IU East’s upcoming Community Engagement Series focuses on 19th Century Literature

The next Community Engagement Series will be presented by School of Humanities and Social Sciences faculty, Professor of English Alisa Clapp-Itnyre and Assistant Professor of English Steven Petersheim. The presentation will be held on Thursday, November 19, at Morrisson-Reeves Library, 80 N. 6th St. in Richmond.

Each presentation in the series begins with a reception at 5:15 p.m. followed by the lecture at 6 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public.


Alisa Clapp-Itnyre

The Community Engagement Series is presented by the Indiana University East School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Clapp-Itnyre will present “English Culture & Childhood: 19th-Century Children’s Hymns as Poetic Empowerment.” She will be speaking about the culture of children’s hymn-singing in 19th-century England, and the many hymns which we still sing today. Though hymns are discussed in the context of adult-singing, rarely has anyone acknowledged the many contexts of children’s hymn-singing … and that they were often being challenged to sing adult hymns themselves. This presentation will feature recordings of children singing many favorite hymns of then and now.


Steven Petersheim

Clapp-Itnyre teaches Children’s Literature, Young-Adult Literature, and Victorian literature. She is the author of Angelic Airs, Subversive Songs: Music as Social Discourse in the Victorian Novel (Ohio UP, 2002). A third book about to be published, for Ashgate’s Studies in Childhood Series: 1700-Present series, is titled British Hymn Books for Children, 1800-1900: Re-Tuning the History of Childhood. Along with Assistant Professor of Music Jessica Raposo, she has formed the Church Choristers to learn, sing, and record 19th-century hymns for children around the community.

Petersheim will present “American Literature & the Environment: The Ethos of 19th-Century Nature Writing.” He teaches American literature and writing.

Petersheim’s research focuses on 19th-century writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne as well as environmental and ethnic literature, and he has authored a number of publications in these areas. He sees literature as a way to enter other people’s minds and experience the world anew, and he studies nature writing as one way we can think about the human connection to the environment.

For more information on the Community Engagement Series, contact the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at (765) 973-8484 or visit iue.edu/facultypresents.