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Book Salon & Dinner: Willa Cather’s "Death Comes for the Archbishop"HighlightsIn-Person

Headshot of Kate Marshall

Thursday, Jan 11, 2024

5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

5:00 p.m.: “Acts of Faith” Private Exhibit Tour
5:30 p.m.: Death Comes for the Archbishop seminar
6:45 p.m.: Dinner

In partnership with the New-York Historical Society.
This event is open to Fellows who teach any subject or grade.

Willa Cather’s novel Death Comes for the Archbishop is not often taught, but this program isn’t about teaching. It’s about learning for its own sake, and is our inaugural offering in a new program series we are calling Feed Your Head.

This salon, led by the brilliant Katherine Marshall, will focus on Cather’s masterpiece and its historical background. Dinner will follow.

Cather’s 1927 historical novel spans many decades of the nineteenth century, and follows the lives of two Catholic priests as they confront the transformation of the Mexican-American frontier and the legacies of colonial expansion. Through Cather’s novel, and other documents from the period, we will learn how the 1920s viewed the landscapes, cultures, and the intersection of faith and power in the nineteenth-century American west.

This program, held in partnership with the New-York Historical Society, includes a private tour of the Society’s exhibit “Acts of Faith: Religion and the American West.” The exhibit explores the interplay between religion and US expansion, illuminating how religion became such a vital and contested part of American life, and includes the story of Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the French American prelate whose career inspired Cather’s novel.

Kate Marshall

Kate Marshall is Associate Dean for Research and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Notre Dame, where she also serves as Director of the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts and is Associate Professor of English. She is the author of Novels by Aliens: Weird Tales and the Twenty-First Century and Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction. Marshall edits the Post*45 book series at Stanford University Press, and teaches at the Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont.