Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

Russell Library hosts storytellers and scholars event

Athens, Ga. – Local storytellers and scholars will headline an event themed “It was a Big Year” Oct. 24 from 7-9 p.m. in room 285 of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries on the University of Georgia campus.

Three storytellers from the Rabbit Box collective and three scholars from UGA will all speak on “a big year” in their own lives in conjunction with the library’s ongoing exhibit, “Now and Then: 1973.” The exhibition examines a set of key events from the title year and the ways that these events shaped the culture and course of the United States.

“Our goal was to create an event that attendees to consider not just the content on display but the overall concept under which it was organized,” said Jill Severn, head of access and outreach for the Russell Library for Political Research and Studies.

Rabbit Box participants will tell eight-minute, true stories about their lives.

Complementing these personal stories will be a series of three faculty presenters from UGA who will reflect on a “big year” in their fields of study- music, fashion and film. Faculty presenters will include David Barbe, director of the Music Business Program in the Terry College of Business; José Blanco, an associate professor who curates the historic clothing and textiles collection in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences; and Richard Neupert, a professor in the department of theatre and film Studies in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Scholars and storytellers will be interwoven in the program, shifting the focus from national and international events to personal stories about significant moments in the lives of individuals.

The event is inspired by storytelling format of the popular radio show This American Life.

“Hopefully this format will invite attendees to consider the impact of events, micro and macro, and how these moments can shape things moving forward,” said Jan Levinson, an outreach archivist at the Russell Library.

This event is one in a series of three to be hosted by the Russell Library this October, all inspired by the ongoing exhibit “Now and Then: 1973” on display in the Russell Library gallery through December. For more information on this or other events in the It Was a Big Year series, see, email, or call 706-542-5788.
To learn more about the Russell Library, see