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Author to Discuss Alchemy and Middle English Literature

CONWAY, Ark. (September 14, 2012) - Author Stephanie Batkie will give a lecture entitled "Alchemy and Middle English Literature" on Thursday, September 20, 2012, at 7:30 p.m., in Reves Recital Hall at Hendrix College.

A reception will follow in Trieschmann Gallery. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Henryetta Vanaman at 501-450-4597 or

Batkie's talk is part of the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language series exploring the theme "Literature and Medicine."

Batkie's published work focuses on reading practices in the Middle Ages. Her dissertation, "Sentenced to Hard Labor: Vernacular Transformations in the Late 14th Century," employs the works of William Langland and John Gower to explore how readers think about learning through texts in the medieval period. Batkie's research emphasizes the ways that some medieval texts in the vernacular were not, as is often asserted, clear. In fact, Batkie has found that thorough comprehension required diligent and difficult reading practices that encouraged and inspired spiritual meditation.

A professor of English Literature at Montevallo University in Alabama, Batkie has given lectures and presented research at many colloquia, including Columbia University's Medieval Guild Conference, as the well as the First and Second annual International Congresses of the John Gower Society in London, England, and Valladolid, Spain. She was a contributing author in John Gower, Trilingual Poet: Language, Translation, & Tradition and has been published in The Chaucer Review. Batkie was a Rackham Predoctoral Research Fellow while completing her dissertation at the University of Michigan and is currently a University Teaching Fellow at Montevallo University.

This event is sponsored by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language, which are designed to enhance and enrich the study and teaching of literature and language at Hendrix College.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country's "Up and Coming" liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country's best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Feel about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit