UWinnipeg Professor Lectures at Stanford University

Dr. Jenny Willis

Dr. Jenny Wills

WINNIPEG, MB – UWinnipeg’s Assistant Professor (English department, Faculty of Arts) Dr. Jenny Wills, will be a guest lecturer at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA later this month. She will be speaking on The Paradoxical Essentialism: Reading Race and Ethics in Black Slave Autobiographies and Asian Adoption Stories.

Willis will present some ideas she is working on in her current book manuscript.Through readings of both adoptee literature and slave narratives, Wills discusses the ways that we are urged to read certain subjects as embodiments of social constructivism despite the presence of overly essentialist desires we find within the way they depict their own lives.

“We are excited to have the chance to hear Professor Wills’ provocative and challenging thesis regarding ethnic and racial identity,” said David Palumbo-Liu, the Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor, and Professor of Comparative Literature, Stanford University. “She raises key questions that help us reconsider our inherited beliefs about the ‘social construction’ of identity. We especially look forward to our conversation and exchange of ideas later.”

“This is another example of how UWinnipeg researchers are being recognized internationally for their expertise and knowledge,” said Dr. Jino Distasio, UWinnipeg Associate Vice-President, Research and Innovation.  “Dr. Wills has had a profound impact in her area of study and this invitation certainly further confirms her reputation in the field.”

The Paradoxical Essentialism: Reading Race and Ethics in Black Slave Autobiographies and Asian Adoption Stories
Dr. Jenny Wills – Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm
CSRE Conference Room 360-361J

Stanford University located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, is one of the world’s leading teaching and research universities. Since its opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world.


Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7130, E: n.ibrahim@uwinnipeg.ca

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