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Catholic Writers: The Past Century

Monday, November 18, 2013

6:00 pm EST - 7:00 pm EST



Prof. Evelyn Birge Vitz will discuss some of the major Catholic novelists of the past hundred years—and there have been many: the 20th century was a remarkable period for Catholic literary creativity, in both Europe and the United States. The primary writers she will focus on are: Sigrid Unset (Norway); Francois Mauriac (France); J.R.R. Tolkien, Evelyn Waugh, and Graham Greene (England); Willa Cather, Walker Percy, Jack Kerouac, and Flannery O’Connor (USA). She also will look at the picture of Catholic literature in the United States today, with focus on such major writers as Ron Hanson and Cormac McCarthy, and will consider prospects for the future.



VitzEvelyn (Timmie) Birge Vitz was born and raised in Indianapolis. She received her BA from Smith College and her PhD from Yale University in French literature. She has taught since 1968 at New York University, where she is now Professor of French, and Affiliated Professor of Comparative Literature, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and Religious Studies. She is married to Paul C. Vitz, a Catholic psychologist and author who teaches at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington VA. She and her husband are both converts to Catholicism. She is the author of A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family and Faith throughout the Christian Year, as well as many studies of medieval culture and literature. At NYU, she also teaches a seminar titled “Abortion: Examining the Issues,” and with her daughter-in-law, Ann Royals Vitz, she has recently written a play on abortion which has been work-shopped in New York and Washington, DC.  With Paul C. Vitz she recently co-authored an article titled “Women, Abortion, and the Brain” (http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/09/1657 ). She has spoken widely on Catholic issues, such as at the University of Virginia and Assumption College, and several times for Legatus. She is the founder of “Songbringers,” a group of Catholic women in NYC whose mission is to sing for people in nursing homes and hospices. The Vitzes have 6 children and recently had their 16th grandchild; a son is a seminarian for the Institute of the Incarnate Word in MD. The Vitzes recently moved from New York City to Arlington VA; she now commutes to New York University.

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