Canadian Writer’s “Selfie”: Going Public with the Private, a course which studies the theory of auto/biography and the “selfie,” welcomed an honoured guest recently. Dr. Magali Sperling Beck, a visiting scholar from Universida de Federal de Santa Catarina in Brazil was greeted by Jessica Bosnell, Amy Bowen, and Hunter Haig, students in the M.A. Program in Public Texts (English).
Together with the students, Professor Sperling Beck was drawn to Trent to look at the recently published Mexican Journal by P.K. Page, a publication of Page’s travel writing from Mexico based on her private journals. Mexican Journal is the third volume to be published in the award-winning “Collective Works of P.K Page Project,” based at Trent University and led by principal investigator, Dr. Zailig Pollock, the editor of Kaleidoscope: Selected Poems of P.K. Page. It was Dr. Suzanne Bailey’s editing and creative work on the second volume in the series, Page’s Brazilian Journal (Porcupine’s Quill 2011), that attracted Prof. Sperling Beck from Brazil to Trent University for her 2015-16 sabbatical year.
“Traill College’s Page-Irwin Colloquium Room, dedicated in May 2009 to the “extraordinary presences” of P.K. Page and William Arthur Irwin, continues to make connections that would delight Page herself,” explained Dr. Margaret Steffler, English professor at Trent University. “As we read Page’s Mexican Journal, surrounded by her artwork and volumes from her library, together with Magali who was drawn to Trent University because of the power of Page’s travel writing, I could not help but feel the continued charisma and influence of Page and her work.”
Working on Canadian women’s travel writing, Prof. Sperling Beck is enjoying the literary landscape of Peterborough, having visited Susanna Moodie, Catharine Parr Traill and Samuel Strickland sites in the Lakefield area with Professor Bailey, Professor Steffler, and Professor Emeritus Michael Peterman this fall and having attended many of the writers reading events and visiting speaker’s talks at Traill College over the past three months.