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Hemingway Literary Center

The Hemingway Literary Center (HLC) fosters an appreciation for scholarly research and creative activities associated with the literary arts (fiction, poetry, drama, and other textual media). The HLC brings scholars, artists and authors to Boise State University to give talks and readings, and work one-on-one with students through master classes, panel presentations and classroom visits. The HLC further brings literature and the literary arts to communities in Idaho through readings, performances, and conference presentations. Each fall, the Hemingway Literary Center works with the Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho for the annual Hemingway Festival.

The Center operates thematically. Each year it has a new theme.

This year the Hemingway Literary Center is partnering with Melville’s Marginalia Online to bring you a year of events commemorating the bicentennial of the birth of author Herman Melville. Although Melville’s most well known work Moby-Dick faced considerable criticism when it was first published, its opening line of “Call me Ishmael” is a cultural touchstone. Join us as we read and explore the lasting influence of Herman Melville and his works on literature, art, and society in the past, present, and future.

On March 6 we host the first speaker of our Spring 2019 lecture series. We welcome Dr. Michael Sawyer of Colorado College, who will present: “The Discourse of Race in the Art of Herman Melville.” The lecture will take place at 6:00 pm in the Bergquist Lounge of the Student Union Building. The talk is free and open to the public. Light refreshments are provided and free parking is available.

This talk aspires to make both a disciplinary and methodological intervention in Melville scholarship, literary criticism, and critical race theory.  As certain quarters of academia endeavor to “decolonize” the canon this effort makes a case that reexamining texts in order to expose their engagement with critical questions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc. can serve this effort through engagement rather than extraction.

The project will take up essential elements of Moby-Dick to argue that Melville has a complex understanding of race in the Atlantic World and endeavors to destabilize structures of marginalization by exposing them through the practice of fiction. This will allow us to contemplate the radical potentiality of art generally and the practice of fiction specifically.

Also coming up is the first Lit for Lunch meeting on Friday , February 22 at 12:10-1:00 in the main library Bingham Room on the 3rd floor. We will be discussing Herman Melville’s book, “Billy Budd, Sailor.” Our schedule for the semester is below and I hope you will join us for some or all of these!

Click here to read more about this year’s Lit for Lunch events.


2019 - 'Melville @200


  • Friday, February 8, 6pm SUB Berquist Lounge: Prof. Michael Sawyer, Colorado College “The Discourse of Race in the Art of Herman Melville”
  • Friday, March 15, 6pm SUB Berquist Lounge: Prof. Steven Olsen-Smith, Boise State University “White Whale Rising: Source Origins and Artistry in Moby-Dick
  • Friday, April 26 6pm SUB Farnsworth Room: Prof. Dennis C. Marnon, Harvard University “‘Oh! Oh! This is too much!’ An Old Tub-Oarsman Annotates Moby-Dick


Mechanization combined with traditional understandings of nation, duty, and warfare made World War I unlike any before in its sweeping destruction and entrenched paralysis. This programming invites us to consider what the war can tell us about contemporary politics and social relations by examining the violent upheavals the war occasioned in technology, media, class, gender relations, and national identity. How can the arts and humanities frame this history without reproducing the romance of war? The soldier Wilfred Owen, on his way back to the front wrote, “Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, and the pity of War. The poetry is in the pity. Yet these elegies are to his generation in no sense consolatory. They may be to the next. All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful.” One-hundred years later, what truths have we learned of the pity of war?



  • Friday, September 1. Lit for Lunch  Adam Hochschild, To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918.
  • Sep. 28-30, Oct. 4-7 at 7:30pm and Oct. 1 and 8 at 2pm. R.C. Sheriff’s Journey’s End, Department of Theatre Arts.
  • Friday, October 6.  Lit for Lunch: Rebecca West, The Return of the Soldier.
  • Friday, October 6. Adam Hochschild to discuss “To End All Wars.” on President Kustra’s Reader’s Corner
  • Tuesday, October 17. Prof. Lynn Lubamersky of BSU, “The Memory of the Great War: Fallen Soldiers  by George Mosse.”
  • Friday, November 3. Lit for Lunch: Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room.
  • Friday, November 9 Prof. Vincent Sherry of Washington University, “Bare Death: The Failing Sacrifice of the Great War” – 6PM, SUB Bergquist Room
  • Friday, December 1. Lit for Lunch: Ford Madox Ford, Some Do Not…


  • Friday, January 19. Lit for Lunch: Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.
  • Friday, February 16. Lit for Lunch: Katherine Anne Porter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider.
  • Friday, March 9. Kate Moore, best-selling author of The Radium Girls – 6:30PM, Yanke Room 207
  • Thursday, March 15. Prof. of MIT Christopher Capozzola, “Uncle Sam Wants You: Idaho, the First World War, and the Making of Modern America” – 6PM, Hemingway Gallery
  • Friday, March 16. Lit for Lunch: Joseph Boyden, Three Day Road.
  • Tuesday, March 20. BSU Prof. Michael Porter, “A Strange Meeting: The Literary and Musical Duality of Wilfred Owen and Benjamin Britten in War Requiem. 6-7:30pm C200 Recital Hall Morrison Center
  • Friday, April 20. Lit for Lunch: Kate Moore, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women.

2016-2017 - 'All the World's a Stage' Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's death

FALL 2016

  • September: The First Folio!, Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio comes to Boise State university
  • October: Actors from the London Stage, Five actors from London perform and conduct master classes

Boise State University’s English and Theatre departments along with the respective Student Associations are sponsoring Notre Dame’s Actors from the London Stage. This is an event that is open to the public and free of charge. Actors From The London Stage will unleash their new adaptation of Richard III, Shakespeare’s crooked King. Featuring Liz Crowther in the title role, the five actors, using minimal sets and costumes, bring the Bard’s tale of treachery and murder to vivid life.


  • February: Still Time, Jean Hegland (author)
  • March“Race, Identity Politics, and the Poetics of Diversity on the British Stage”, Jyotsna Singh (Professor of English, Michigan State University)
  • April: “The Limits of the Shakespearean Stage — Rejigging The Winter’s Tale”, Patricia Fumerton (Professor of English, University of California, Santa Barbara)

2015-2016 - 'Global Film and Literature

Sharnush Parsipur

Hemingway Literary Center, Shahrnush Parsipur Public Lecture

Spring 2016


  • March: “Kissing the Sword,” Shahrnush Parsipur (Iranian Author)


  • April: “Mumbai Noir and the Global Crime Film,” Anastup Basu (Associate Professor of English, Media, and Cinema Studies, University of Illinois)