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Aug. 4, 2017
A paper authored by Dr. Virgil Albertini, distinguished professor emeritus at Northwest Missouri State University and longtime supporter of The Willa Cather Foundation, recently was presented a paper at the foundation’s 16th International Willa Cather Seminar in Pittsburgh.
Albertini’s paper, “Cather and Her Bicycle in Nebraska and Pittsburgh” discussed Cather’s personal and literary use of the bicycle in Pittsburgh as well as Red Cloud and Lincoln, Nebraska, in the late 1890s, emphasizing it as a symbol of strength and freedom and a strong and autobiographical contribution to her 1896 short story, “Tommy, the Unsentimental.”
Dr. Steven Shively, a former Northwest faculty member, read Albertini’s paper at the gathering as Albertini was unable to travel to Pittsburgh because of the scheduling conflict. It was among more than 50 papers presented at the week-long international seminar, which is organized every two years. The seminar featured scholars from throughout the world as well as tours of locations and performances highlighting the role Pittsburgh played while Cather lived there between 1896 and 1906.
The Willa Cather Foundation, established in 1955 and based in Red Cloud, Nebraska, is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and preserving the historical settings and archival material associated with her life and writings.
Albertini, enjoyed a 34-year career as a faculty member in the Northwest’s English department. Shively, now serving as associate professor of English at Utah State University, was a faculty member in Northwest’s English department from 1999 to 2007.
In 2009, Northwest’s GreenTower Press published “Teaching the Works of Willa Cather,” a book Albertini and Shively edited and containing 19 essays examining Cather’s novels and short fiction. In addition to being longtime members of the Board of Governors of The Willa Cather Foundation, Albertini and Shively are founding co-editors of Teaching Cather, a semiannual journal dedicated to Cather literature and pedagogy. At the 15th International Willa Cather Seminar in 2015, they were honored with an award of appreciation for their leadership in the field of Cather studies.
Albertini with his wife, Dolores, regularly attend the Willa Cather Foundation Annual Spring Conference in Red Cloud, organizing and directing a scholarship program for the foundation. They also are charter members of the Cather Legacy Society.
For more information about The Willa Cather Foundation, visit www.willacather.org.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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