Vol. 20, No. 13
April 5, 2001
Annual Norton Lecture to feature Louise Antony
Louise Antony, professor of philosophy at Ohio State University will deliver the 2001 David Norton Memorial Lecture. speaking on "Natures, Norms and the Foundations of Liberalism" at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 11, in 125 Clayton Hall.
The lecture, named in honor of the late University philosophy professor, is free and open to the public.
Her lecture will focus on "Is there such a thing as 'human nature'?" According to Antony, historically, appeals to human nature have been used to oppress, and, as a result, progressive philosophers, especially feminists, are divided on the question. In her presentation, she will sort out the issues involved in the debate about whether there is "human nature" and conclude with some optimistic reflections on the prospects of a new form of "humanism."
A graduate of Syracuse University, Antony studied at the University of London and holds a doctorate from Harvard University. She has published extensively in her field and is the editor of A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity. She has written several forthcoming books, including Humanism as Feminism: Reviving the Liberal Ideal, and three textbooks, Human Nature, The Philosophy of Mind and Feminism and Philosophy. Her specialties include the philosophy of language, philosophical issues in cognitive science, the philosophy of the mind and feminist theory.
Dr. Norton, who died in 1995, joined the faculty in 1966 and helped establish the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program. He was the author of two major philosophy books, Personal Destinies and Democracy and Moral Development, in addition to almost 100 articles, essays and reviews. With his wife, Mary, he edited Philosophies of Love, and a book entitled Imagination, Understanding and the Virtue of Liberality was published posthumously. Among his honors was an honorary doctorate from Soka University in Japan.
The lecture is supported by the David Norton Memorial Fund, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program, the Department of Philosophy and the Class of 1955 Endowment Fund.
For further information, call 831-2359.
Disney recruiter to speak on
Along with representatives Brian Ulrich, a junior communication major from Newark, and Kim Franchino, a senior, political science major from Nanuet, N.Y., Springsteen will be welcoming a recruiter from Walt Disney World to campus at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 10. The meeting, for all students interested in working at Disney World no matter what the grade or major, will be held in 120 Smith Hall.
Springsteen, a senior communication major from Elkton, Md., has participated in the Walt Disney World College Program twice and loved every minute of it. In the fall of 1998 she was a recreation hostess at Blizzard Beach, operating the water slides in an official Disney world bathing suit or shorts and shirt. In the fall of 1999, she was a merchandising hostess at Epcot.
"Basically, you can work in jobs in any area of Disney World," she explained. "In transportation, attractions, food and beverages, hospitality, custodial or as park greeters or life guards."
The college program has three levels, she explained, "living, learning and earning." Participants can take classes for college credit while they work in Walt Disney World, and they have the opportunity to shadow some of Disney's highest executives if interested in their particular field. They also can listen to the Disney Speaker Series and hear executives discuss their jobs. Students are housed together in a part of the park. Everyone is required to take a traditions class that explains all about the magic of Disney.
"You don't always make a lot of money, but you make lots of great connections and memories. The experiences more than make up for the income, and it never hurts to have Disney on your resumeit opens so many doors," Springsteen said.
Springsteen said she was somewhat shy and nervous her first time at Disneyfeelings that disappeared in a matter of days. She has met many of her best friends through the program and is engaged to a Floridian who also participated in the program.
To participate in Disney's summer program and to work there during the academic year, interested persons are required to attend a campus session like the one scheduled on April 10. Meantime, interested parties can check out the Disney World College Program web site at [www.wdwcollegeprogram.com] or send e-mail to any of the campus representatives at [email@example.com], [firstname.lastname@example.org] or [email@example.com].
PHOTO BY KATHY FLICKINGER
Reel World spring film series
The University's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered (LGBT) Community continues its "Out in the Reel World" film series of weekly LGBT-themed films, beginning at 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays, in 004 Kirkbride Lecture Hall.
The spring lineup for these free public screenings includes:
The film series is sponsored by the LBGT Community Office.
For information, call 831-8703.
Open house, events mark National Med Lab Week
A number of special events are planned on the campus to celebrate National Medical Laboratory Week (NMLW), officially observed throughout the country during the week of April 15. Originated in 1975, the week is designed to educate the public about the work of approximately 300,000 practitioners of clinical laboratory science in the U.S.
Each year, more than 7.5 billion clinical laboratory tests are performed in this country, with over 13 million tests done within Delaware alone. The medical technologists who design, perform and maintain the quality assurance of these tests are considered key members of the nation's healthcare system.
UD's Department of Medical Technology is presenting activities throughout the entire month of April to highlight this healthcare profession, and a large NMLW banner will hang outside McKinly Laboratory during the special week.
From April 1-21, web users are invited to check out the department web site at [http://www.udel.edu/medtech] to take the Great Med Tech Trivia Challenge. Prizes will be awarded. Also, anyone with a question about laboratory tests done for themselves or family members can go to the department web site and post a question. Resident experts, can help users understand what their laboratory test results mean. This free, confidential service is offered on the web site every day of the year, not just during the celebration week.
From 2-5 p.m., Tuesday, April 10, the department will hold an open house in McKinly Laboratory for students interested in majoring in medical technology. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., that same day, medical technology seniors will staff a kiosk in the Trabant University Center to provide information about clinical laboratory testing. This kiosk presentation also is scheduled on Tuesday, April 24.
At 12:30 p.m., Friday, April 20, in 140 DuPont Hall, Dr. Kenneth Sisco, medical director of the clinical laboratories at Christiana Care Health System, will speak to students and faculty on "Professionalism: Taking Your 'Job' to a New Level." At a luncheon seminar that day, at a location to be announced and sponsored by the Department of Medical Technology and the College of Health and Nursing Sciences, faculty of the College of Health and Nursing Sciences will discuss the "Myths and Facts of Medical Technology." Eighty-five percent of all diagnostic decisions are made using clinical laboratory test results, yet there are important aspects of this profession that are not well known by the general public or by some health care professionals.
Anyone interested in attending the April 20 luncheon must contact Mary Ann McLane in advance at 831-8737 or via e-mail at [firstname.lastname@example.org] to reserve a space.
The week will close with an open house of McKinly Laboratory from 2-5 p.m., Saturday, April 21. Displays will highlight the importance of the four disciplines of laboratory medicine: hematology, chemistry, microbiology and blood banking.
For additional information, call 831-2849, or contact McLane at 831-8737.
Chekhov and Shakespeare featured on PTTP stage
This spring the Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) will present both Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard and Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost in April and May at Hartshorn Theatre.
The show times for The Cherry Orchard are at 7:30 p.m., April 18, 19, 21, 27, 29 and May 2, and at 12:30 p.m., April 22 and 28.
The Cherry Orchard is a masterpiece about aristocrats mired in financial straits, a country embroiled in social upheaval and an orchard of cherry trees that may be lost to the nouveau riche. Both hilarious and heart wrenching, this play presents a bittersweet portrayal of a family living graciously, yet ridiculously, in the face of the coming Russian revolution.
Love's Labour's Lost tells the story of the young and romantic king of Navarre and his three earnest schoolmates who publicly renounce the "shallow worldly pleasures" of women, good food and recreation for the morally uplifting academic life of pure study and contemplation. When the beautiful princess of France and her three captivating ladies-in-waiting arrive on a diplomatic mission, well-meaning idealism collides with basic human instinct.
Tickets for each show for the general public are $17 on Friday and Saturday evenings, $16 on weeknights and $14 on matinees and Sunday evenings. Ticket prices are reduced $2 for senior citizens and UD faculty and staff. Ticket prices for UD students are reduced $7.
Tickets may be purchased at the Hartshorn, Bob Carpenter Center and the Trabant University Center box offices, or through TicketMaster at (302) 984-2000, where a service charge will apply.
For more information, call 831-2204.
PHOTO BY KATHY FLICKINGER
Hispanic heritage events set
Three special events are planned in April to celebrate Hispanic heritage.
At 7 tonight, April 5, Sandra Guzman, an Emmy Award-winning journalist and the former editor-in-chief of Latina magazine, will speak on "Latino Leadership in the New Millennium."
Her free public talk will be held in the Trabant University Center Theatre. Guzman, also is the founder of SOLOELLA.com, a bilingual web site for Hispanic women.
At 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 17, Literatura Y Cine will present a free public screening of the film Don Segundo Sombra in 206 Kirkbride Lecture Hall. The film celebrates the lifestyle of the gauchos, Argentinean cowboys who occupied the pampas up until the beginning of the 20th century. It tells the story of a 14-year-old orphan who endures an unhappy life with his aunt until he meets Don Segundo Sombra, an old gaucho. The two spend the next five years together, living a nomadic lifestyle as the boy learns all the customs, traditions, dances, games, songs and work of the gaucho.
On Saturday, April 28, a bus trip is planned to New York City with a special stop at El Museum del Bario in Spanish Harlem, which houses more than 8,000 pieces of pre-Columbian and contemporary artifacts from Puerto Rico, Central and South America. The bus will depart from UD at 9 a.m. and return at 8 p.m. For information, call the Center for Black Culture at 831-2991.
Garden workshops scheduled
The New Castle County Master Gardeners are offering two workshops this month.
"Beds and Borders" will be held from 9:30-11:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 10, at the New Castle County Cooperative Extension office at 910 South Chapel St., Newark. The workshop fee is $12.
"I Hate My Lawn (and How To Grow the One You Want)" is a two-session workshop and will be held from 6:30-9:30 p.m., Monday, April 16, and Wednesday, April 18, in the Fischer Greenhouse. The cost is $24 for the two sessions.
For a registration form and a brochure listing all the workshops, call 831-2506 or visit the web site at [http://ag.udel.edu/ncc/].
Former 'Time' correspondent
Jaime (Jimi) FlorCruz, former Beijing bureau chief for Time magazine, will speak at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 12, in 125 Clayton Hall. His free public talk is part of the Global Agenda 2001 lecture series.
Born in the Philippines in 1951, FlorCruz was a vocal anti-Marcos activist during his college days in the early 1970s. In 1971, on a three-week tour of China, he was forced into exile when then-President Ferdinand Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus and rounded up hundreds of his opponents and detractors. Marcos declared martial law in 1972. A year later, FlorCruz' Philippine passport expired, and he was stranded in China for 12 years.
While there, FlorCruz studied and traveled extensively. He worked for nearly a year in a state farm in Hunan province, Mao Zedong's birthplace, and also in a fishing corporation in Shandong Province.
In Beijing, he took two years of intensive Chinese language (Mandarin) study and translation training at the Beijing Languages Institute. He received his bachelor of arts degree in Chinese history from Peking University in 1982, in addition to a bachelor of arts in advertising he had earned at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 1971.
While writing his history dissertation on the Dec. 9, 1935, student movement in China, FlorCruz was a stringer for Newsweek magazine. Twice weekly, he gave English lessons to college professors at Peking University and to college students at Peking Normal College. He also appeared several times on Chinese national television, teaching English songs in a weekly program called Let's Sing.
FlorCruz joined Time's Beijing bureau in 1982 and served as Beijing bureau chief from 1990-2000. In the summer of 1989, he co-wrote Massacre at Beijing, a book about the crackdown against the protesters in Tiananmen Square. He was known as the dean of the foreign press corps in Beijing and was a two-term president of the 200-member Foreign Correspondents' Club of China. He is the current Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
For information, call (302) 831-2355 or refer to the web site at [http://www.udel.edu/IPSS/ global].
Marie Robinson, children to present recital Sunday
Soprano Marie Robinson, accompanied by pianist Norman Thompson, will present a free recital at 8 p.m., Sunday, April 8, in Loudis Recital Hall of the Amy E. du Pont Music Building.
The program will include Knoxville: Summer of 1915 by Samuel Barber, a song set by Respighi and Mozart's Alma grande e nobil core. A special feature of the program are duets by Schumann and Verdi, which Robinson will perform with her children, Angelyn Rosetta Robinson, soprano, and Tobie Norwood Robinson, tenor.
Marie Robinson made her operatic debut as Aida with the Graz Opera, where she was principal soloist for three years. During her tenure at Graz, she was hailed by critics as the finest Tosca of her generation. Also at Graz, she became the first soprano of her race to portray the role of Sieglinde in Die Walkure in a stage performance anywhere in the world.
Her repertoire includes 33 major roles, and she has appeared with 42 companies in Eastern and Western Europe, as well as in South America. Most recently, Robinson has performed the role of Aida with Opera International in Mexico, Hong Kong, Marseille and Lyon and OperaDelaware.
Angelyn Rosetta Robinson made her operatic debut in Porgy and Bess at the Graz Opera House in Austria. She has sung with OperaDelaware in Aida and Tosca. A regional level winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing award, she is a soloist at St. Andrew and St. Matthew Episcopal Church.
A graduate of Shenandoah University, Tobie Norwood Robinson also received a master's degree in vocal performance and a graduate artist diploma from Peabody Conservatory of Music. He has sung with the Baltimore Opera, OperaDelaware and Washington National Opera. His operatic roles include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Dr. Caius in Falstaff and the title role of Candide.
For information, call 831-2577.
Artist to speak Monday, April 9
Artist and art critic Stephen Westfall will speak about his work as a painter and his role as a writer for Art in America, at 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 9, in 101 Recitation Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Westfall is the recipient of three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and two from the New York State Council of the Arts.
His work is included in the collections of Bon Marche in Paris, the Albertina Museum in Vienna and the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland. His writings have appeared in Vogue and The New York Times.
For more information, call 831-4105.
Workshop on ending racism at local school
A community workshop conducted by United to End Racism (UER) will be held from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, April 29, at Wilmington Friends School. The workshop will be led by Barbara Love, professor of African-American studies at the University of Massachusetts. Cost is $20 at the door, and proceeds will support UER.
The session, for teachers, human service workers, diversity coordinators and community activists, will include work with people of color on internalized racism and with whites on racist attitudes, assumptions and behaviors.
UD's Center for Community Development and Family Policy is one of the sponsors.
For information, call Gwen Brown at 831-6544.
Seminar on leadership airs today
Main Event 2001, a daylong, interactive satellite series of conversations focusing on leadership, women and the world of work, will be held from 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., today, April 5, in the Gallery of the Perkins Student Center.
The free, public event will offer men and women around the globe a chance to learn from leaders in today's business world about issues ranging from getting and keeping employees in a fast-changing workplace to leadership skills needed for 2001 and beyond.
Main Event 2001 is cosponsored by the Institute for Public Administration, Office of Women's Affairs, LEAD (Leadership Education Program) and Student Centers. For information, call 831-3323.
Ho Chi Minh biographer will present lecture on April 9
William J. Duiker, professor emeritus of East Asia Studies at Pennsylvania State University, will speak on "Ho Chi Minh: A Reappraisal," at 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 9, in 125 Clayton Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The author of a biography of the Vietnamese revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh: A Life, Duiker was a former foreign service officer with posts in Taiwan and South Vietnam and currently specializes in the history of Vietnam and China.
He is the author of The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam, which received a Choice Oustanding Book Award for 1982-83 and a second award when it was republished in a new edition in 1995. Other recent books include Sacred War: Nationalism and Revolution in a Divided Vietnam, U.S. Containment Policy and the Conflict in Indochina and China and Vietnam: The Roots of Conflict. He also has written a textbook, World History, with Jackson Spielvogel, which is in its third edition.
Duiker was awarded a Faculty Scholar Medal for Outstanding Achievement by Penn State and has received numerous grants for his research.
The lecture is sponsored by the East Asian Studies Program, International Studies and Special Sessions, the College of Arts and Science and the Faculty Senate Committee on Cultural Activities and Public Events.
Surviving with humor theme of special talk for employees
A program on "Humor as Survival Training: Coping with Stress and Change" will be presented from 12:05-12:55 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, in Bacchus Theatre of the Perkins Student Center.
In this program, open to both faculty and staff, Paul McGhee will show the importance of keeping one's sense of humor on the job.
A good sense of humor has become an essential survival tool and provides the resilience needed to cope with steadily increasing levels of job stress, McGhee said.
In the process, humor helps sustain a frame of mind that helps employees perform at their peak and provide quality service. Other work benefits of humor also will be discussed, and attention will be given to the research on the physical benefits of humor and using it to cope with other types of stress.
McGhee is president of The Laughter Remedy in Wilmington and known internationally for his own research on humor.
Registration is due by April 17 and can be made by sending an e-mail to [www.udel.edu/ wellness] or by calling 831-8388. No wellness dollars are needed. Dessert and beverages will be provided.
The program is cosponsored by the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, the Office of Human Resources and the Employee Wellness Center.
WalkAmerica steps off from
Featuring fun and fitness for a good cause, the annual WalkAmerica March of Dimes is scheduled for Sunday, April 29. Registration for the New Castle County six-mile walk will begin at 9 a.m., with the walk beginning at 10 a.m., near the Delaware Field House.
YoUDee, Baby Blue and the UD cheerleaders will be on hand to entertain and cheer participants on their way, and food will be available.
UD has traditionally sponsored a large team of walkers, and the first 50 members of the University community who register with $25 in pledges will receive a free University of Delaware Walk T-shirt.
The mission of the March of Dimes is to prevent birth defects and infant mortality through education, research, community programs and advocacy. Since 1970, WalkAmerica has raised more than $1 billion. Proceeds of WalkAmerica will go toward this goal. Brochures with registration information will be distributed at the Trabant and Perkins centers, the Carpenter Sports Building, the Employee Wellness Center, dining halls and other locations around campus. Sussex and Kent County walks are scheduled April 28.
For information, contact UD WalkAmerica coordinator Margot Hsu Carroll, Office of the Executive Vice President, at 831-2200 or send e-mail to [email@example.com].
Nobel Prize-winning novel focus of faculty discussion
Soul Mountain, the autobiographical novel by Nobel Prize-winner Gao Xingjian will be the topic of a discussion and readings by faculty and students from 12:30-1:45 p.m., Tuesday, April 17, in 109 Memorial Hall.
The even is free and open to the public. Those attending are invited to bring lunch, and Chinese tea will be provided.
The book was first published in Chinese in 1990, in French in 1995 and in English in 2000. Soul Mountain takes place in 1983, when Gao had been misdiagnosed with lung cancer and was expecting to be sent to a prison farm in China because of his most recent play, Bus Stop. To avoid arrest, he spent five months in remote parts of the country.
Gao describes the changes in rural China, some caused by the Cultural Revolution, and writes of the people he encountered. During his wanderings, he seeks Lingshan or Soul Mountain, which may or may not exist. His quest for Lingshan increasingly becomes the struggle of an individual against the pressures of a conformist society.
The commentators and readers for the program include James Dean, McKay Jenkins, Clyde Moneyhun and Lois Potter, all English; Alexander Lehrman, foreign languages and literatures; David Pong, history; graduate student Devin Harner; and undergraduate students John Balas and Dan Gray.
For more information, contact Linda Russell by phone at 831-1974 or send e-mail to [firstname.lastname@example.org].
See HTAC in 'Encore' on Pearson stage
The Harrington Theatre Arts Company will present Encore!A Musical Revue in Pearson Hall. The show will be presented at 8 p.m., April 13, 14, 18, 19 and 20, and at 2 p.m., April 14.
Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $7 for general admission.
For more information, send e-mail to [email@example.com].
Böer Medal to be presented
The Karl W. Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit to honor significant pioneering contributions to advance and promote the global use of solar energy will be presented to Allen M. Barnett, president and CEO, AstroPower, Inc. at 3 p.m., Thursday, April 12, in the Perkins Student Center Gallery. The University community is welcome to attend.
Barnett was cited for his pioneering high-performance thin-crystalline silicon solar cells, founding and leading a world-class enterprise for the commercialization of solar electric products and continuing service to the solar electric power community.
Panel discussion planned on Paul Jones collection
Paul Jones, the Atlanta art collector who recently donated his extensive collection of African-American art to the University of Delaware, will speak about the collection at 6 p.m. Monday, April 9, at UD. His talk, part of a panel discussion, will be held in the Trabant University Center Theatre.
Other panelists will be Amalia Amaki, artist, art historian and curator of the collection, who also is a visiting professor in the Black American Studies Program and the Center for American Material Culture Studies at UD; and Belena Chapp, director of University museums at UD.
The discussion is free and open to the public.
For more information, call 831-2991.
Photo by ERIC CROSSAN
Hospice conference set on grief, caregiving and coping
Caregiving and Loss: Family Needs, Professional Responses" is the topic of the Hospice Foundation of America's eighth annual Living with Grief teleconference, from 1:15-4:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, in the Trabant University Center Theatre.
ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts will moderate a panel of experts who will discuss ways professionals can better serve family caregivers.
The panel will include
A special message from former first lady Rosalynn Carter will be part of the program.
Local moderator is Madeline E. Lambrecht, Division of Special Programs at UD and a certified death educator and grief counselor. Local panel members include Ellen B. Spoehr, executive director of Supporting K.i.d.d.s.; Alex Tyree, a bereavement staff member of Delaware Hospice; and Linda Wills, a psychosocial team leader of Delaware Hospice.
Continuing education units are available for professionals, and a teleconference companion book will be available for purchase.
The program, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the University, the College of Health and Nursing Sciences and the Division of Special Programs.
For more information or to register, call Heidi Ross at 478-5707.
Keep up with Wellness in April
A number of Wellness programs have been scheduled for employees during April.
"Osteoporosis- Strength Training for Strong Bones" will be the topic of a program from 12:05-12:55 p.m., Friday, April 6, in 117 Gore Hall.
"Medical Self-Care: Working with Your Doctor For Better Health" will be the topic of a session from 12:05-12:55 p.m., Thursday, April 12, in 061 McKinley Laboratory.
Cholesterol screening will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, April 13, in 310 Gore Hall.
A diabetes seminar will be presented from 12:05-12:55 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, in 126 MBNA America Hall.
For further details, cost and registration information on these programs, please visit the web site at [http://www. udel.edu/wellness].
Winning poet's reading set in Gore Hall
Gladys M. Ilarregui, the 1999 winner of the prestigious Jorge Luis Borges Prize for Poetry in Buenos Aires, will give a reading of some of her works in Spanish at 7:30 p.m, Monday, April 9, in 103 Gore Hall.
The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by refreshments.
For more information, call 831-2597.
Author to discuss the Korean War expert
James Brady, author of The Coldest War and The Marines of Autumn, will discuss "Remembering the Coldest War: Korea in Fiction and Fact," at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 17, in 219 Trabant University Center.
A Korean War veteran and current contributing editor of Parade Magazine, Brady will discuss his experiences as a 23-year-old lieutenant in Korea, including a look at the savage nature of the fighting, the severity of the weather and the heroism of the Marines. A book signing will follow. For information, call 831-1296.
Expert will discuss nuclear power's future, controversy
Michael Marriotte of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service will discuss "15 Years after Chernobyl: Will Nuclear Power Survive?" from noon-1:30 p.m., Thursday, April 12, in the Ewing Room of the Perkins Student Center.
The Nuclear Information and Resource Service is the center for citizens and environmental organizations concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation and sustainable energy issues.
Marriotte's talk is the third in the Environmental Policy Colloquium series about energy and the environment cosponsored by the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy and the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy. For information, call 831-8405.
Library speaker to share 'linguistic detective story'
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary is the "linguistic detective story of the decade," according to William Safire in The New York Times Magazine.
Simon Winchester, who wrote the critically acclaimed book, will be the featured speaker at the annual dinner of the University of Library Associates, beginning at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, at Arsht Hall on the Wilmington Campus. His talk is titled "Remarks on The Professor and the Madman."
The book is the true story of J.A.H. Murray, the first editor of the massive dictionary, and Dr. W. C. Minor, the American doctor who was one of its most prolific contributors. Minor's story goes from Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, where he was born to two American missionaries, to Yale University, to the battlefields of the Civil War where he served, to London and to Broadmore Asylum for the criminally insane where he was committed for murder and where he worked on the dictionary.
Murray, the father of 11 children who were pressed into service in helping with the dictionary, was a London teacher and professor. He was commissioned to edit the dictionary in 1879 and moved to Oxford and built an iron and tin building, which he christened the Scriptorium as the headquarters for the project. He knew nothing of Minor's background although he corresponded with him for many years. After Minor did not attend a gala dinner at Oxford to honor those who were instrumental in creating the dictionary, Murray visited him and discovered that he was committed to an asylum.
In the book, Winchester describes the relationship between Murray and Minor as one that "would combine sublime scholarship, fierce tragedy, Victorian reserve, deep gratitude, mutual respect and a slowing growing amity that could even, in the loosest sense, be termed friendship...until death finally separated them 30 years later."
The centerpiece of the book is the dictionary (12 volumes, 414,825 words and 2,827,306 illustrative quotations), which was completed in 1927, some 48 years after Murray was appointed editor and after both Murray and Minor had died.
The Professor and the Madman has received kudos from critics on both sides of the Atlantic. The reviewer for the London Times wrote, "Simon Winchester's effortlessly clear, spare prose is the perfect vehicle for the tale...absolutely riveting." The review in USA Today said that Winchester "combines a reporter's eye for detail with a historian's sense of scale. His writing is droll and eloquent." The Wall Street Journal reviewer said that Winchester "deftly weaves...a narrative full of suspense, pathos and humor...."
The paperback edition of the book has spent the last year on The New York Times bestseller list.
A journalist, correspondent and senior feature writer of the London Sunday Times, Winchester has written several books, including The Fracture Zone: A Return to the Balkans, Their Noble Lordships: Class and Power in Modern Britain and The River at the Center of the World: A Journey up the Yangtze and Back in Chinese Time.
The annual dinner is open to the public but reservations are required. The cost is $68 per person for Library Associates members, $88 for guests and $700 for a corporate table of eight. Printed invitations are being mailed for the event. For information or to request an invitation, contact the Office of the Director of Libraries by phone at 831-2231 or send an e-mail to [UDLA@udel.edu] with full name and mailing address.