Leading scholar of American naturalism to give Eidson Series Lecture at UGA

Athens, Ga. – Donald Pizer, Pierce Butler Professor of English emeritus at Tulane University, will give a talk entitled “American Literary Naturalism: A Re-introduction,” in UGA’s Park Hall room 265 on Wednesday, April 19 at 4 p.m.  Sponsored by the English department’s Eidson Series, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Pizer’s lecture will pay special attention to short works by Hamlin Garland and Stephen Crane and to Theodore Dreiser’s monumental novel Sister Carrie.  Although recent criticism has attempted to portray the naturalists as writers who covertly dramatized middle-class beliefs and assumptions, Pizer will explore the ways in which these writers are critical of the dehumanization of an industrialized America.

The author of ten books, scores of articles, and the editor of twenty-five volumes, Pizer has established himself as the leading scholar of American Naturalism.  Among his best-known works are Realism and Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, The Novels of Theodore Dreiser: A Critical Study, and The Theory and Practice of American Literary Naturalism: Selected Essays and Reviews. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as senior awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Civil Liberties Union.

He has two books currently in press: an edition of previously unknown letters of Theodore Dreiser and a documentary history of Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.