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Source: Stephen Kiefer, 785-532-2642, swkiefer@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Calin Cooney, 785-532-2535, media@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011

NOTED WRITER, CRITIC TERRY CASTLE TO GIVE INSIDE LOOK ON OUTSIDER ART

MANHATTAN -- Art produced by individuals not considered part of the mainstream world is the focus of this year's Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program Lecture by noted writer and critic Terry Castle at Kansas State University.

Castle will present "'Outsider Art' and the Problem of Aesthetic Value" at 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, in the Little Theater at the K-State Student Union. The lecture is free and open to the public.

In her lecture Castle will address the global phenomenon of outsider art and the challenge it poses to traditional aesthetics. Outsider art is usually defined as artwork produced by individuals in some way exiled from the so-called normal or mainstream world.

Castle has been hailed by author Susan Sontag as "the most expressive, most enlightening literary critic at large today." She has taught at Stanford University since 1983, where she serves as director of undergraduate studies in English, and she was named the Walter A. Haas professor of humanities in 1997. Her scholarly interests include 18th-century British fiction, the gothic novel, Jane Austen, World War I, English art and culture of the 1920s and 1930s, modernism, autobiography and biography, and gay and lesbian writing.

She is the author of eight books and a widely celebrated collection of autobiographical essays. Several of her essays have won prizes, including the William Riley Parker Prize of the Modern Language Association of American for her essay "The Carnivalization of 18th-Century English Narrative." In 1995 her book "The Female Thermometer"was a runner-up for the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay. She was elected to the PEN American Center in 2009.

Castle has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Pew Foundation, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library and Harvard Society of Fellows. She writes regularly for the London Review of Books, the Atlantic, Slate, the New Republic and many other publications and blogs. She also is a visual artist and has done cover art for several publishers. She has an art blog called Fevered Brain Productions and a personal website devoted to both her writing and her visual work.

K-State's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa invited Castle as part of a national Visiting Scholar Program sponsored by the honorary's Washington, D.C., office. Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest, most selective and most prestigious honorary academic society in America. Lecture sponsors also include the university honors program, the department of English and the women's studies program.