Indiana State University Newsroom

Schick Lecture series starts Sept. 25

September 19, 2014

Twenty-six years after emeritus professor Joseph S. Schick endowed the Department of English at Indiana State University with the most generous gift from a former faculty member, the Schick Lectures series is as strong as ever and has an enlightening program planned this year.

In accordance with the endowment, the Schick series invites scholars from the United States and United Kingdom to lecture on literature and language topics before 1900. This year's lineup starts with a talk on English poet John Milton and Italian scientist Galileo.

All lectures, which are free and open to the public, begin at 3:30 p.m. in Root Hall A264:

-- Sept. 25: Barbara Keifer Lewalski, Harvard University: "Milton, Galileo, and the Opening of Science." Lewalski is the author of "The Life of John Milton: A Critical Biography," "Milton's Brief Epic: The Genre, Meaning, and Art of Paradise Regained," "Writing Women in Jacobean England" and other works.

-- Oct. 9: Susan Griffin, University of Louisville. Griffin is the author of "Anti-Catholicism and Nineteenth-Century Literature," "All a Novelist Needs: Colin Tóibín on Henry James," "Henry James Goes to the Movies," "The Painter's Eye: Notes and Essays on the Pictorial Arts," "The Men Who Knew Too Much: Henry James and Alfred Hitchcock" and other works.

-- Nov. 13: Cheryl Glenn, Pennsylvania State University: "Rhetoric, Writing, and Possibility." Glenn is the author of "Landmark Essays on Rhetoric and Feminism: 1973-2000," "Rhetorical Education in America," "Unspoken: A Rhetoric of Silence, Silence and Listening as Rhetorical Arts," "Rhetoric Retold: Regendering the Tradition from Antiquity through the Renaissance," "Making Sense: A Real-World Rhetorical Reader" and other works.

-- Feb. 5: William Rossi, University of Oregon. Rossi is the editor of "Thoreau's Walden, Civil Disobedience, and Other Writings," "Wild Apples and Other Natural History Essays," "Journal 6: 1853," "Walden and Resistance to Civil Government," "Journal 3: 1848-1851" and other works.

-- March 5: Ralph Hanna, University of Oxford. Hanna is the author of "London Literature, 1300-1380," "Pursuing History: Middle English Manuscripts and Their Texts," "William Langland" and other works.

Schick taught at Indiana State, 1946-1976, and bequeathed $860,000 of his estate with his passing in 1988. The endowment is now valued at more than $1 million.

"While Professor Schick's gift to the ISU Foundation to establish a lecture series was huge, his greater gift to Indiana State University was as a teacher, campus leader and scholar for 30 years," said Ronald Baker, professor emeritus of English and Schick's biographer. "As a teacher of Chaucer, the English language, research and bibliography and American literature, Schick always maintained high standards in the classroom and received several honors for his teaching."

With this lecture series, Schick continues to enrich young minds. Each lecturer spends at least a day on campus -- and as many as three days in Terre Haute -- so students get the opportunity to interact with these eminent academics from Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Brown and beyond.

During a recent visit by Pulitzer-Prize winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon, a graduate student who was studying Muldoon sat next to him at dinner -- and benefitted from the interview of a lifetime, said Robert Perrin, English professor and department chair. Other students may meet a lecturer and then decide to conduct future graduate classwork at the lecturer's university.

The English department also buys a copy of the in-print books written or edited by each author, who autographs them during his or her visit. The collection, now up to 1,200 books, is kept in the Schick Library for use by students and faculty.


Contact: Robert Perrin, professor and department chair of English, 812-237-3160 or

Writer: Libby Roerig, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or

Story Highlights

The series features scholars from the United States and United Kingdom to lecture on literature and language topics before 1900. All lectures, which are free and open to the public, begin at 3:30 p.m. in Root Hall A264.

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