Noon-Time Reading: Luggage with Susan Harlan

Apr 6, 12pm - 1pm

Noon-Time Reading: Luggage with Susan Harlan photo

You can't think about travel without thinking about luggage. And baggage has baggage. In Luggage (Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2018) Susan Harlan takes readers on a journey with the suitcases that support, accessorize, and accompany our lives. Along the way, she shows how the materials of travel--the carry-ons, totes, trunks, and train cases of the past and present--have stories to tell about displacement, home, gender, class, consumption, and labor. She considers bags as carefully curated microcosms of our domestic and professional selves, charting the evolution of travel across literature, film, and art. A simple suitcase, it turns out, contains more than you might think. She will give a reading and discuss the connections she finds among artworks in the Baggage Claims exhibition. A book-signing will follow.

Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. It is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic. Susan Harlan is Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University. Her essays have appeared in publications including The Guardian US, Roads & Kingdoms, The Morning News, The Awl, Curbed, Atlas Obscura, Nowhere, The Common, Literary Hub, The Bitter Southerner, and The Brooklyn Quarterly. Her book Decorating a Room of One's Own, a humorous mash-up of home design reportage and literary homes based on her column for The Toast, will be published by Abrams in October 2018.

Special thanks to the UNCG Humanities Network and Consortium for helping to sponsor this event in conjunction with the exhibition Baggage Claims, on view at the Weatherspoon Art Museum January 27-April 22, 2018. 

View all upcoming events