University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

The Presence of the Past: Memory, Fiction, and the Contemporary Landscape. Thursdays at Four, Oct. 30, 2014

The Presence of the Past: Memory, Fiction, and the Contemporary Landscape

October 30, 2014, at 4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop

Panel with Mary Relindes Ellis, author of The Bohemian Flats (2014), Catherine Watson, memoir and travel writer, and Scott Vreeland, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner.

Download: small video or original.


Download: small video or original.

Faulkner said the past is not even past. David Lowenthal among others has said that the past is a foreign country. But in fact the past is all around us and constitutes a big part of our sense of who and where we are. The past is central to people’s personal stories, to well-known novels, and to our sense of where we are in the urban landscape. Come join us as three people talk about how the past is an important part of their work.

Reviewers pronounced Mary Relindes Ellis’s debut novel, The Turtle Warrior, passionate and heartfelt, exhilarating and harrowing, and gorgeously poetic. In her next novel, The Bohemian Flats, Ellis’s rich, imaginative gift carries us from the bourgeois world of fin de siècle Germany to a vibrant immigrant enclave in the heart of the Midwest and to the killing fields of World War I.

Catherine Watson is an American travel writer, photographer and writing coach who teaches workshops in the United States and abroad. She was the founding travel editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and was its chief travel writer and photographer from 1978 until 2004. Nationally, she was a pioneer in first-person travel writing for newspapers, and her work has won many awards.

Scott Vreeland is currently Park Board Commissioner for Minneapolis District #3. He has been a teacher of kindergarten kids and college students, an actor, a community organizer and past president of the Seward and Cedar Riverside neighborhood organizations. He has a special interest in canoeing the Mississippi River and promoting alternative transportation, stormwater and water quality education, local history and native plant restoration.

Moderated by Pat Nunnally, River Life. Cosponsored by the Heritage Collaborative and the Minnesota Historical Society/University of Minnesota Heritage Partnership.

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