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About this lecture

The Center for the Study of Women and Society and Women Writing Women's Lives present the Dorothy O. Helly Works-in-Progress Lecture "P(l)athography: Sylvia Plath and Her Biographers" by Heather Clark.

In her talk, Heather Clark will give a brief overview of the role Plath biographies have played in pathologizing their subject, and argue that their illness-centered narratives have diminished Plath’s intellectual and creative legacy. She will also discuss the challenges she has faced writing about this iconic poet and novelist, and the wealth of new material she has drawn upon. Her biography of Sylvia Plath, will be published by Knopf in 2019.

Heather Clark is the author of two award-winning books on twentieth-century poetry: The Ulster Renaissance: Poetry in Belfast 1962-1972 and The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, both published by Oxford University Press. She received a 2017-18 NEH Public Scholar Fellowship for her work on Plath, and has been a Biography Fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography, CUNY.

Cosponsored with the Leon Levy Center for Biography, CUNY Graduate Center’s PhD Programs in History and English, MA Program in Liberal Studies, MA Program in Women’s and Gender Studies, the Center for the Humanities and The Feminist Press at the Graduate Center, CUNY.