Sarah Vowell brings her unique voice to Graham Chapel
For those of you who are not fans of “This American Life,” you might at least recognize her voice as Violet from “The Incredibles.” Delving into concepts of American identity and memory in ways that a standard textbook does not, the American Culture Studies program welcomes Sarah Vowell, whose writing incidentally explores America’s history of assassinated presidents.
Students in the freshman FOCUS course on American Memory and Memorialization will explore sites in Washington, D.C., from Vowell’s novel, “Assassination Vacation.” The book describes a road trip touring the murder sites of various presidents and how these deaths define our nation. Vowell’s other books describe her experience of listening to the radio in 1995, the New England Puritans and the 1898 annexation of Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam. Although she covers a wide range of topics in American history, one attribute of her work remains constant: she always points out how it’s relevant today.
Formerly a contributing editor for “This American Life,” a job she held for 12 years, Vowell is renowned for her quirky storytelling and insights on American history that will rarely be taught in the classroom. Vowell believes that history can actually be interesting, can actually be relevant to our daily lives and, listening to her, you might actually start to believe her.
Vowell speaks Monday at 7 p.m. in Graham Chapel. This event is free and open to the public.