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Reconsidering E.J. Pratt

George Elliot Clarke to deliver 50th anniversary Pratt Lecture

Campus and Community

By Janet Harron

The Department of English and the Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences are delighted to announce that Dr. George Elliott Clarke will deliver the 2018 Pratt Lecture on Thursday, March 8.

George Elliott Clarke
Photo: Submitted

Dr. Clarke is an author of unparalleled versatility, writing highly regarded fiction, drama, poetry and criticism.

His poetry collections include Whylah FallsCanticles I and II, and Execution Poems, for which he won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2001.

He is the author of two novels, George and Rue and The Motorcyclist. His plays include Beatrice Chancy and Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path. He has broken new ground in Canadian literary studies with his analyses of African-Canadian literature. An officer of the Order of Canada, in 2017 he served as the Canadian parliamentary poet laureate.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Pratt Lecture, Dr. Clarke will reconsider E. J. Pratt’s Towards the Last Spike (1953) and Brébeuf and His Brethren (1940), two presumptive epics that are “weakened by [Pratt’s] essential promulgation of implicit and explicit racialism, which is also reflective of the impossibility of an ethically “ethnic,” Canadian identity.”

March 8 at the LSPU Hall

All are welcome. The Pratt Lecture will take place on Thursday, March 8, at 8 p.m. at the LSPU Hall in downtown St. John’s. There will be a reception following the event, with a cash bar. Admission is free.

The Pratt Lecture is the oldest public lecture at Memorial University. Past lecturers include Dionne Brand, Northrop Frye, Terry Eagleton, Ursula LeGuin, Alberto Manguel and Anne Carson.


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