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February 13, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Looking for a little romance in your life? Southern Methodist University's Godbey Lecture Series just may be the place to find it. Celebrating one of the oldest and most distinguished forms of fiction in English -- the romance novel -- SMU English Professor Trysh Travis will present a series of four lectures on this feminine genre of literature. Travis will look at the development of the romance novel from its roots in the 18th century to the present, exploring what has changed and what has stayed the same in this essential part of women's literary culture.

The lectures will be at 11 a.m. Wednesdays, March 7, 21, 28 and April 4 at Maggiano's Restaurant in Northpark Center. Cost to attend is $118 for Godbey Lecture Series members or $128 for non-members.

Topics during the four-week course will include the nonfiction forerunners of the romance novel, including 17th- and 18th-century women's Indian captivity narratives. Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, a classic example of Gothic romance, will introduce the ideas of melancholy and the supernatural, showing the intertwined nature of politics and love that shaped the developing genre during the 19th century. Travis will also look past the familiarity of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights to look at how material forces shape love. The final lecture will feature Jane Campion's The Piano, a feminist romance that discusses how the aspects of the marriage bargain, the place of family in the nation-state and women's sexuality have changed since romance novels began more than 300 years ago.

Travis graduated from Dallas' Booker T. Washington Performing and Visual Arts Magnet High School. She attended New York University for her bachelor's degree and later earned a master's degree in English from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. She specializes in the history of reading and publishing.

SMU's Godbey Lecture Series offers quality education programs featuring professors in a forum for intellectual exchange between the university and the community. For more information, contact Dorothy Friedlander at (214) 768-3399.