Dear Workshoppers,

Our first meeting of the Spring quarter will take place this coming Thursday, April 24! Alison Davis will be our presenter. See below for details of the event and Alison’s description of her fascinating topic.
The Myth of the Scarlet Letter
In this paper I argue for a reading of Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” as an American origin myth that places Pearl as the pivotal figure of interpretation: I claim that she signifies a nascent America grappling with the guilt of a “broken covenant.” Placing Pearl’s story alongside other historical narratives–such as those surrounding Winthrop’s “Model of Christian Charity” and those interpreting the Salem witch trials–I argue that reading American myth against narratives in American history can bring into relief certain tropes dominant in American religious and historical discourse and the ways in which these tropes are both reified and undermined in fiction.
Date: Thursday, April 24
Time: 12:00 – 1:15
Place: Marty Center Seminar Room in Swift Hall

For a copy of Alison’s paper, please email