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Edgar Allan Poe, Sleepy Hollow and death in mid-19th century America topic for UNI history lecture series Oct. 29

October 21, 2003
Contact: 

Thomas Connors, UNI assistant professor of history, (319) 273-2994
James O'Connor, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- How two famous horror story writers, Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving, dealt with the challenges of urban burial in the mid-19th century, will be the topic of a history lecture Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the University of Northern Iowa.

Thomas Connors, associate professor of history at UNI, will speak at 7 p.m. in Seerley Hall, Room 115. His address, 'Poe's 'Conqueror Worm' and Irving's 'Sleepy Hollow': The Landscape of Death in Mid-Nineteenth Century America,' is free and open to the public. It is the second in the 2003-2004 Phi Alpha Theta/Department of History lecture series.

The talk will place American writers Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving's experiences with death in the broader context of the period's evolving approach to urban burial. Connors says where Poe's family had to depend on charity, Irving carefully planned his family plot in the rural cemetery he helped develop at Sleepy Hollow.

Connors teaches Irish, British and American history and social studies teaching methods. He is vice president of the Cedar Falls Historical Society. Connors has delivered lectures on Cedar Falls cemeteries and led a tour of Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles for the National Council for History Education. He has published articles on Irish history, social science education and Sleepy Hollow.

The series is sponsored by the UNI Department of History, Phi Alpha Theta history honorary organization and the UNI History Club. The next lecture will take place Wednesday, Nov. 12, with 'Common Work, Common Lives: The Social Construction of Work in the Amana Society,' presented by Peter Hoehnle.