Nostalgia in the 'Death of Print' Age is Breathitt Lecture Focus
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 4, 2013) — Ashleigh Lovelace, a University of Kentucky English, arts administration and art history senior from Russell, Ky., has been selected to present the 19th annual Edward T. Breathitt Undergraduate Lectureship in the Humanities at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, in the UK Athletics Auditorium at William T. Young Library. Lovelace's free public lecture focuses on the nostalgia society feels for the printed page in the age of the "death of print."
The Breathitt Lectureship was named for an outstanding UK alumnus who showed an exceptional interest in higher education and the humanities, Gov. Edward T. Breathitt. The lectureship is awarded to an undergraduate who has eloquently expressed the qualities of mind and spirit, including one or more of the basic concerns of the humanities: form, value and memory. Each year all undergraduate students are invited to apply for the lectureship.
Lovelace's lecture, "Nostalgia in the Present: The 'Death of Print' and a Contemporary Crisis of Communal Identity," will explore the sociological concept of nostalgia and its role in personal and communal memory as applied to the threatened "death of print."
"Because printed books are longstanding cultural objects in our society, the way in which we respond to their possible extinction — through discussions of their tangibility — reveals the way that nostalgia functions to provide continuity of personal and societal memory in periods of transition," Lovelace said.
The former Gaines Fellow's interest in this topic began when she started interning at the University Press of Kentucky in January 2012. As a result, Lovelace started becoming more attuned to the changes in the publishing industry, specifically the responses to an increased presence of e-readers and tablets among readers of books.
"As a student of literature, I have amassed quite a collection of books myself, but also have plans to buy more e-books for my tablet," Lovelace said. "We are seemingly at a crossroads of new technology and old, and the subject of nostalgia for printed books struck me as a timely discussion that could explore the reasons why there seems to be so much resistance to the idea of progressing 'past the book.'"
The Breathitt Lectureship is presented by the Gaines Center for the Humanities, part of the UK Division of Undergraduate Education. As part of the lectureship, a student is given the opportunity to write and deliver a humanities-oriented public lecture on the topic of their choosing. The student speaker is chosen through an application process that includes a lecture proposal submitted by the student to an independent committee of readers.
In recognition of her selection to deliver the Breathitt Lectureship, Lovelace also will receive a commemorative award and a $500 honorarium.
"Ashleigh is an educator’s ideal: talented, curious and intensely motivated," said Benjamin Withers, interim associate provost for Undergraduate Studies and director of UK Honors Program. "I remember her first as a student in my art history class; she stood out even then and it has been a great pleasure to watch her over the last several years as she has used her time as student marvelously well, finding opportunities to develop skills and to make use of the kinds of resources a major university like UK can offer. We are proud to have students like her in Honors and as a Gaines Fellow.”
The daughter of Dr. George Lovelace, of Russell, Lovelace became interested in becoming a Gaines Scholar because the program reminded her of the close-knit community of advanced students she enjoyed being a part of during her time at Russell High School.
"After spending nearly a year and a half at UK, I knew that I wanted to find that niche group of students who valued academics the way I had come to over the years," Lovelace said. "The Gaines Fellowship offered the opportunity for me to exercise my voice as a scholar in a more intimate academic setting with people who cared for the humanities in the same way I did."
Outside of the classroom, Lovelace is extremely active. She continues to work as an intern in the acquisitions and marketing departments at the University Press of Kentucky. She also serves as the editorial assistant to Marion Rust associate professor in the UK Department of English and reviews editor for Early American Literature, a journal published by the University of North Carolina Press. Prior to this year, Lovelace was the editor-in-chief of Shale, the undergraduate literary and arts journal, for two years. The senior is also an officer in Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honor society, and is in her second year serving as a resident adviser at Patterson Hall, which houses the Honors Living Learning Program.
Lovelace, a member of the Honors Program, has earned several scholarships and awards at UK including the Dantzler Award for Undergraduate Fiction, the Oswald Research and Creativity Award, the Bob Whitaker Alumni Scholarship, a University Scholarship, the Spence-Clark Scholarship and a Presidential Scholarship.
Upon completion of her undergraduate degree this May, Lovelace would like to work at a publishing house.
MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or firstname.lastname@example.org