O’Brien Lecture to celebrate the works of Edgar Allan Poe

Poe event graphic

Indiana University English Professor Jonathan Elmer will be on the Hanover College campus Tuesday, Oct. 24, to present the annual Cornelius and Anna Cook O’Brien Lecture.

Elmer’s address, “In Poe’s Wake: Form, Media and Graphic Horror,” will help celebrate Hanover’s acquisition of a first edition of “The Works of the late Edgar Allan Poe: with Notices of his Life and Genius,” the first published collection of the famed American author’s works. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Duggan Library. The lecture is open to the public, free of charge.

Indiana University Professor Jonathan Elmer
Indiana University Professor Jonathan Elmer

A specialist in American literature and culture, Elmer served as chair of Indiana’s English Department from 2009-12 and has served as director of the College Arts and Humanities Institute since 2012. He helped launch the university’s Center for Theoretical Inquiry in the Humanities and was also a founding member of the Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Elmer has written extensively about such authors as Poe, Herman Melville, Richard Wright, Ambrose Bierce and Kurt Vonnegut, as well as cultural topics ranging from “The Big Lebowski” and “The Silence of the Lambs” to public humanities and cocktails. He has taught in Israel and South Africa and given lectures at universities across the U.S. and in Australia, Canada, England and Finland. He has also served as artistic director of the Chicago Humanities Festival and currently works as principal investigator of Platform, an arts and humanities research laboratory initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Poe is regarded as a key figure in American literature and considered the father of the modern detective and horror story. He is best known for his poetry and short stories, including “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” “The Works of the late Edgar Allan Poe: with Notices of his Life and Genius” was first published in 1850, just one year after his death. The editorial commentary in the publication had a major impact on the author’s reputation.

Hanover’s purchase of the “The Works of the late Edgar Allan Poe: with Notices of his Life and Genius” was made possible through the Aubra Hiland Art Memorial Fund. The endowed fund was created by Jeffery and Peggy Hiland in honor of their daughter, a Hanover student who died in a 2004 automobile accident.