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August 18, 2008

Rhorer presents at 2008 Nathaniel Hawthorne Society Summer Meeting

Dr. Donna A. Rhorer, associate professor of English at ULM and Faculty Senate president, made a presentation during the June 12 – 15, 2008 Nathaniel Hawthorne Society Summer Meeting at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

The biennial meeting of national and international Hawthorne scholars featured “Nathaniel Hawthorne: Starting Over" as this year’s theme.

Rhorer’s paper was titled “Eve Actualized: Housework as Art in Hawthorne's Longer Fiction.” The paper stated that Hawthorne's emphasis on housework as art and sewing as a controlling metaphor for the making of one's own salvation is his attempt to understand and elaborate on the ramifications of restricting the roles of women within the 19th-century metaphor of a male-dominated New Eden and to explain the female's attempt to deal with the effects of those limitations.

Rhorer continues that Hawthorne creates his Eves who, confined to certain physical and intellectual spheres, survive by defining their places in the new garden, grow by structuring those spaces to give themselves meaning and fulfillment, and finally, triumph over sin and adversity by embellishing their spaces through the performance of housekeeping tasks elevated to art.

The highlight of the conference's opening meeting in the Longfellow Library was an exhibit of original Hawthorne texts and personal school papers, said Rhorer.

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