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Pulitzer prize winner coming to UNI

Susan+Faludi+is+a+Pulitzer+Prize+winning+journalist+coming+to+UNI+on+Feb.+6+in+Kamerick+Auditorium.+
Susan Faludi is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist coming to UNI on Feb. 6 in Kamerick Auditorium.

Susan Faludi is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist coming to UNI on Feb. 6 in Kamerick Auditorium.

COURTESY PHOTO

COURTESY PHOTO

Susan Faludi is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist coming to UNI on Feb. 6 in Kamerick Auditorium.

SARAH HOFMEYER, Staff Writer

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Susan Faludi is set to visit campus as part of the Meryl Norton Hearst Lecture Series on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Kamerick Art Building Auditorium. Faludi is the fifth speaker this year in the lecture series, which centers around communication and interaction.

Faludi is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Kirkus Prize winning nonfiction author. Her lecture will center around her most recent book, “In the Darkroom.” The memoir focuses on her relationship with her transgender father, who underwent sex reassignment surgery at the age of 76.

Her lecture discusses identity in depth, including how identity manifests differently and changes over time.

Melissa Beall, professor of communication studies and co-chair of the Hearst Lecture series, explained that securing the lecture series is a two-year endeavor for the committee, and the responsibility is entrusted with a different department within the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences annually.

“Our theme was how community interfaces with interaction,” Beall said. “We wanted it to be about community and the things that affect students, faculty and people within the community, including how we can have an impact on what goes on around us.”

Susan Faludi was chosen in part because of the breadth of her lecture; she touches on identity, gender and inequalities across the workplace. Her professional perspective was also valuable to the committee.

“We did some additional research, and it seemed like Susan Faludi, with her emphasis on journalism and writing non-fiction works, was something that would be helpful [for students],” Beall said.

Faludi’s unique life experience also captured Beall’s attention.

“‘In the Darkroom’ talks about her relationship with her father, which was contentious. The book described him as being a macho man,” she said.

Faludi’s past interviews also describe how she found out through an email, with the subject line “Changes.”

Faludi is a successful author, and her message is poignant and valuable to students, according to Beall.

“[The lecture] is about identity. We all are trying to find out who we are,” Beall. “But especially in high school and college, identity is sort of what drives us.”

The Hearst Lecture series has been successful this year. Beall reports that most speakers have 50 plus attendees, with several bringing in over 100 people, including community members, students and faculty. Regardless of the speaker or attendance, Beall most enjoys hearing the questions attendees bring forth.

“We always have room for Q&A time, which for me has been fun,” Beall said. “People mention why they came.”

The Lecture Series strives to engage community members, students and faculty. Speakers eat meals with the campus community and visit classes. Faludi will visit three different classes, with each connecting to a different part of her work.

For example, she will visit both a visual rhetoric course and a course centered around the impact of incarceration on prisoners. To round out her classroom visits, she will be interviewed in a journalism class by Bettina Fabos. She will also eat lunch with Women and Gender Studies students.

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Pulitzer prize winner coming to UNI