Women’s literature lecture series comes to Destin Library

Savannah Vasquez
Patricia Moran

With topics like Women’s Literature and the “F” Word, and How to Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm, it’s not a far cry to assume that the upcoming lecture series at the Destin Library is going to be a lively one.

Patricia Moran, who will be leading the series, has a history of creating energetic and dynamic learning atmospheres in her literature classes at The Center for Lifelong Learning in Fort Walton Beach, and said that this lecture series will be no different.

“People who have been in my class before can expect more of the same,” laughed Moran. “People hear women and the “f” word, and go ‘Ha, ha, ha,’ because they think it’s a four letter English expletive, but it’s really women and feminism.”

Moran said the topic of feminism is often a dicey one because many people that hold feminist beliefs are hesitant to be labeled a feminist, but said that this lecture series will focus more on defining the modern women’s place in literature.

“The initial class will concern the people that are in the class,” she said. “Using myself as an example, I will ask, ‘At what point would I classify myself as a feminist?’ It will be an examination of women, and literature that deals with women.”

Moran was also quick to point out that the talks will be open to both men and women.

“I would love to have some guys so they can roll there eyes up into their heads, and their wives can rub their elbows into them,” she laughed. 

As for How to Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm, Moran said the focus of this second lecture will be stereotyping in literature.

“After women were allowed to go to college, after they learn how to read and write and can check out the newspaper and bible for themselves than how are you going to keep them down on the farm,” Moran said. “That status business and stereotyping will be involved in the lecture.”

Moran, who holds a Masters in English Literature, a PHD. in Adult Continued Education and an emphasis in women’s studies, said she was first enraged by women’s representation in literature when she read “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey,” in her undergrad courses.

“My specific interest in women in the classics began at the University of Nebraska in 1972,” she said. “I found out that if Odysseus did not come home from the Trojan war, his wife would have to go back and live with her dad because she was this widow lady; and that just steamed me. Today, people are still studying the classics, and still getting mad, over the same thing over and over again.”

Moran told The Log that with this literature series, she hopes to ignite fun conversations, but ultimately she hopes participants will leave with a stronger love and appreciation for reading.

“My goal always is to get people to reexamine literature and reexamine themselves,” she said. “It’s just as Socrates said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ So this lecture series is just something to get you started on your own reading.”

The Lunch and Learn Women’s Literature Circle three-week lecture series will be held at the Destin Library Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb 9, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information call the Destin Library at 837-8572.