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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

The Joynes Suite and Joynes Programs

The Joynes Suite

Through the generosity of the estate of Mary Lu Joynes, the Dean's office of the College of Liberal Arts, and the Division of Housing and Food Service, space in the Carothers Residence Hall has been remodeled to create the Joynes Reading Room and two seminar rooms for honors classes. Each seminar room is approximately 22 by 18 feet, and furnished with tables and moveable chairs. The elliptical table in the north room was designed and built by Dr. Paul Woodruff, Daniel Kievlan (Plan II, May 2006) and Matt Valentine (Plan II, May 2000). The rooms seat 20 people in comfort, and receive some natural light from clerestory windows opening on the Joynes Reading room.

The Joynes Reading Room is a hub of activity for all the honors programs on campus. This comfortable library space houses a collection of literature, art, and films. Thousands of books have been carefully selected to supplement your learning, and over 300 DVDs are available to watch on one of three projection screens. Laptop computers are available from the Joynes Room front desk, with complimentary printing and internet access over our wireless network.

Within the Joynes Room are two smaller seminar rooms, where many honors classes meet. These are among the best classrooms on campus, with cutting edge technology and custom-built furniture. When the seminar rooms are not being used by classes, honors students may reserve them for extracurricular activities, club meetings, or group study sessions.

All three rooms are wired for both wireless internet access and have live dataports. Each seminar room is outfitted with a complete media console, including document cameras and ceiling-mounted projectors. Carothers is on Whitis, south of Dean Keeton, directly across from the College of Communication.


Joynes Programs

Every month, the Joynes Room hosts a visiting writer. These authors, poets, artists and scholars give public readings or lectures, and meet with a small group of students to discuss the craft of writing. Recent visitors have included finalists for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.

The Joynes Room also offers fellowships to support student writers. These include a scholarship and sponsorship for participation in book fairs, festivals and plays.

If you are interested in scheduling the Joynes Room, you can fill out a reservation form online.

Map to Carothers (Enter the Joynes Suite through the east doors of Carothers Residence Dorm; from the Honors Quad. Enter the Quad between Carothers and Littlefied or Blanton and Littlefield.)

Joynes Literary Society

Dear colleagues, the following message is from Anna Lesa Russo, the new student leader of the Joynes Literary Society. Please share this information with your honors students.  -Matt Valentine
Dear Honors Community,

I would personally like to invite each and every one of you to get involved with the Joynes Literary Society.

The Joynes Literary Society is a student-led organization that brings honors students and UT's finest professors together to explore worthy texts. Once a month, 15 students meet in the Joynes Reading Room for a one-to-two-hour discourse--informal, but inspired--on a chosen text. In the past, Paul Woodruff hosted a reading of his translation of Electra; John Trimble interpreted Miller's Death of a Salesman and Elliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" in the light of personal experience; Timothy Moore introduced us to Kyogen theatre; Carol Mackay contextualized then dissected A Room of One's Own. You need only query former participants to sense these gatherings were a rewarding experience.

This year the Joynes Literary Society will also be inviting some of the University's finest students to lead hearty discussions.

The Joynes Reading Room is kind enough to provide the first 15 students who sign up for the book discussion with a free or reduced book. The University Honors Center is also kind enough to provide snacks and refreshments. (September 2007)

joynes-readingSelected Previous Joynes Events:

Joynes Event: Anne Fadiman, author of memoir The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
February 23, 2009
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction, the Salon Book Award for nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Magazine Award for Reporting

Anne Fadiman, an award-winning author in residence at Yale University, will discuss the Hmong refugee community in California and its challenges with the U.S. medical system in a lecture hosted by the Plan II Honors Program and the School of Social Work.

Fadiman will discuss the tragic case of one epileptic child who became a casualty of the cultural battle between her family and the American doctors who were treating her disease. Participants at the event will include people, many of them refugees themselves, who provide resettlement, health and mental services to refugee populations and victims of human trafficking.

Fadiman is the author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction, the Salon Book Award for nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for current interest nonfiction and the Boston Book Review Ann Rea Jewell Award for nonfiction.

Fadiman's essays and articles have appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Washington Post. While she was a staff writer at Life, she won a National Magazine Award for Reporting for her reportage on suicide among the elderly.

Seating is limited. Tickets (free of charge) are available at the student services desk in the School of Social Work building or at the Joynes Reading Room front desk in the Carothers Building, room 007.

Joynes Event: Elva Treviño Hart, author of memoir Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child
November 17, 2008
Winner of the American Book Award, the Alex Award and the Violet Crown

From Publishers Weekly: "Hart's expressive and remarkably affecting memoir concerns her childhood as the daughter of Mexican immigrants who worked as migrant workers to feed their six children. Hart remembers...when the entire family participated in the backbreaking field labor, driven mercilessly by Apa (her father), who was determined to eaern enough maney to allow all his children to graduate from high school. Hart eloquently reveals the harsh toll that poverty and discrimination took on her family in sharply etched protraits of Ama, Hart's worn-out mother who clearly loved her daughter but was too exhausted to show it; of her brother Rudy, who refused to sit at the back of the bus because he was Mexican; and of her teenage sisters, who struggled to keep their dignity in the muddy fields. At 17, she drove her father back to Mexico to visit his family; she recalls how he suddenly changed into a happy man who felt at home with his land, his language and his people. This is a beautifully written debut from a writer to watch."

Joynes Event: Alison Bechdel, author of the graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
November 6, 2008

From Publishers Weekly Starred Review:  This autobiography by the author of the long-running strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, deals with her childhood with a closeted gay father, who was an English teacher and proprietor of the local funeral parlor (the former allowed him access to teen boys). Fun Home refers both to the funeral parlor, where he put makeup on the corpses and arranged the flowers, and the family's meticulously restored gothic revival house, filled with gilt and lace, where he liked to imagine himself a 19th-century aristocrat. The art has greater depth and sophistication that Dykes; Bechdel's talent for intimacy and banter gains gravitas when used to describe a family in which a man's secrets make his wife a tired husk and overshadow his daughter's burgeoning womanhood and homosexuality. His court trial over his dealings with a young boy pushes aside the importance of her early teen years. Her coming out is pushed aside by his death, probably a suicide. The recursively told story, which revisits the sites of tragic desperation again and again, hits notes that resemble Jeanette Winterson at her best. Bechdel presents her childhood as a ''still life with children'' that her father created, and meditates on how prolonged untruth can become its own reality. She's made a story that's quiet, dignified and not easy to put down. (June) "

Joynes Event: Barry Lopez
April 23, 2007
National Book Award prize winner

In his nonfiction, Mr. Lopez writes often about the relationship between the physical landscape and human culture. In his fiction, he frequently addresses issues of intimacy, ethics, and identity. He is the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award, Of Wolves and Men, a National Book Award finalist for which he received the John Burroughs and Christopher medals, and eight works of fiction, including Light Action in the Caribbean, Field Notes, and Resistance. His essays are collected in two books, Crossing Open Ground and About This Life.

He contributes regularly to Granta, The Georgia Review, Orion, Outside, The Paris Review, Manoa and other publications in the United States and abroad. His work appears in dozens of anthologies, including Best American Essays, Best Spiritual Writing, and collections from National Geographic, Outside, The Georgia Review, The Paris Review, and other periodicals.

Informal gathering, Yale Professor Wai Chee Dimock
April 10, 2007

Through Other Continents is a reexamination of American literature through the lens of world history and global culture. This is a critically acclaimed book by a renowned scholar. Honors Students are invited

March 22, 2007
Mary Karr

Karr will read from recent works. Karr's first memoir, The Liars' Club, won the PEN Martha Albrand Award for best first nonfiction and was a finalist for The National Book Critics Circle Award. It was on The New York Times bestseller list for more than a year and a "best book" for more than thirty newspapers and magazines. The sequel, Cherry, about her adolescence, was also a bestseller for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Houston Chronicle. It was a "best book" for those periodicals and The New Yorker, where it was excerpted. Karr's two memoirs are credited with sparking the explosion in that genre.

Karr's grants include The Whiting Writer's Award, an NEA, a Radcliffe Bunting Fellowship, and a Guggenheim. Her work appears in such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, and Parnassus. She is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University. She contributes to magazines such as The New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly.

November 30, 2006
Joynes Events: Barbara Ras
Award-Winning Poet

Her first book of poems, Bite Every Sorrow, was chosen by C.K. Williams to receive the 1997 Walt Whitman Award and subsequently won the Georgia Author of the Year Award for poetry. Her work has appared in many magazines and anthologies, including Boulevard, Massachusetts Review, Prairie Schooner, and American Scholar. She has received the Ascher Montandon Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and honors from the National Writers Union, Villa Montalvo, San Jose Poetry Center, Spoon River Poetry Review, and others. She has traveled extensively in Latin America and lived for periods of time in Colombia and Costa Rica, and in 1994 she edited a collection of Costa Rican fiction in translation entitled Costa Rica: A Traveler's Literary Companion. She is currently Director of the Trinity University Press in San Antonio. Her new book, One Hidden Stuff, is forthcoming from Penguin.

November 2, 2006
Lawrence Wright
Author and Magazine Journalist: Lawrence Wright

Best-selling author and magazine journalist Lawrence Wright discusses his new book on Al-Qaeda.
Wright has published six books. City Children, Country Summer (Scribner's, 1979), In the New World: Growing Up with America, 1960 - 1984 (Knopf, 1988), Saints and Sinners (Knopf, 1993), Remembering Satan (Knopf, 1994), Twins: Genes, Environment, and the Mystery of Identity (Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1997; Wiley and Sons, 1998), and God's Favorite (Simon and Schuster, 2000).

His history of Al Qaeda, The Looming Tower, will be published by Knopf in August. A portion of that book, "The Man Behind Bin Laden," was published in The New Yorker and won the 2002 Overseas Press Club's Ed Cunningham Award for best magazine reporting. He has also won the National Magazine Award for Reporting as well as the John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism.

Wright is the co- writer (with Ed Zwick and Menno Meyjes) of The Siege, starring Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis and Annette Bening, which appeared in November 1998. He also wrote the script of the Showtime movie, Noriega: God's Favorite, directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Bob Hoskins, which aired in April 2000. Currently he is working on a script for MGM about John O'Neill, the former head of the FBI's office of counterterrorism in New York, who died on 9/11. Wright is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.





Questions concerning Joynes Speaker Series, Matt Valentine


Joynes Room Reservations



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