The Office of Academic Affairs and the Faculty Club invite you to attend the Reading at the Table presentation scheduled for Wednesday, December 10, 2014, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., when Dr. Jonathan Eller discusses his latest book in the Ray Bradbury series: Ray Bradbury Unbound.
INDIANAPOLIS — Professor Jonathan Eller, director of IUPUI’s Center for Ray Bradbury Studies and Chancellor’s Professor of English, will present the inaugural Bradbury Lecture at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20.
The lecture, in the West Reading Room of the Indianapolis Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St., is free and open to the public.
“Ray Bradbury in the Twenty-First Century” draws on the unique and extensive archives of the Bradbury Center, which is home to the iconic author’s papers, his working library, and a lifetime of his awards and mementos. These materials, recent gifts of the Bradbury family and the author’s longtime friend and bibliographer, Donn Albright, are part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
“Everybody knows a Ray Bradbury story,” Eller said. “Generations of school children and college students have read his work in hundreds of anthologies and textbooks; teachers and librarians continue to value his stories and his poetic, metaphor-rich style.”
Bradbury’s stories have a unique staying power in American culture.
“He published more than 400 stories,” Eller said. “And he wove them into such modern classics as ‘The Martian Chronicles,’ ‘The Illustrated Man,’ ‘The Golden Apples of the Sun,’ ‘The October Country,’ and two enduring titles that emerged from his Midwestern childhood: ‘Dandelion Wine’ and ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes.’ ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ his classic cautionary tale of censorship and book burning, remains a perennial bestseller more than 60 years after publication.”
Eller’s illustrated presentation will focus on two intriguing questions: How did Ray Bradbury, a child of the Great Depression who never attended college, become one of the best-known American writers of his time? And why does this master storyteller of the 20th century remain a powerful cultural influence today?
The inaugural Bradbury Lecture falls during the author’s birthday week, and Eller plans to schedule subsequent lectures each August as Bradbury’s centennial year — 2020 — rapidly approaches.
Eller said, “He was born in 1920, when the Martian Canals of Percival Lowell and Edgar Rice Burroughs were still high in the American imagination; he passed away in 2012, just as the Curiosity Rover was about to land on Mars, at a site named in Ray Bradbury’s honor.” The center’s holdings include artifacts that have orbited the Earth, and Eller’s lecture will also assess the author’s lasting impact on the American space program.
The timing of the first Bradbury Lecture is especially significant. “Ray Bradbury Unbound,” the second volume of Eller’s three-volume study of Bradbury’s life and career, will be published by the University of Illinois Press in early September. At the same time, Kent State University Press will publish volume two of the Bradbury Center’s “Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury,” a series that recovers the seldom-seen original versions of Bradbury’s earliest published stories.
The Bradbury Lecture also kicks off a campaign to expand the Bradbury Center at IUPUI so that students, researchers and the general public can have better access to the archives and artifacts belonging to one of America’s premier storytellers.
The Bradbury Lecture is presented by the Indianapolis Public Library in conjunction with the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. Parking for the Indianapolis Central Library is available via Pennsylvania Street in the library garage for a fee.
Legendary American science-fiction and fantasy writer Ray Bradbury will be the subject of the 2012 John D. Barlow Lecture in the Humanities at IUPUI on Nov. 8.
“Becoming Ray Bradbury” author Jonathan R. Eller, professor of English and director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies in the Institute for American Thought, a research component of the IU School of Liberal Arts, will present the illustrated lecture, “Cry the Cosmos: Ray Bradbury and the American Imagination.”
The lecture will begin at 6:15 p.m. in the IUPUI Campus Center Theater, 420 University Blvd. A reception precedes the lecture in the Campus Center atrium at 5 p.m.
“For more than 60 years, Ray Bradbury has been one of the most recognized figures in American literature and popular culture,” Eller says. “Between 1950 and 1962, he captured the American imagination with such enduring titles as ‘The Martian Chronicles,’ ‘The Illustrated Man,’ ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ ‘The October Country,’ ‘Dandelion Wine’ and ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes.’ His increasing commitments to film, television and stage adaptations of his work led inevitably to his decline as a storywriter, but his early tales and media work soon combined to make him the nation’s most prominent public advocate of the Space Age — a role he fulfilled for the rest of his long life.”
Eller co-founded the Bradbury Center within the Institute for American Thought in 2007, and he became the center’s director in August 2011. He first met Ray Bradbury in 1989, eventually developing a working relationship that lasted until Bradbury’s death in June 2012. Since 2000, Eller has edited or co-edited several limited-press editions of Bradbury’s works, including “The Halloween Tree” (2005), “Dandelion Wine” (2007) and two collections of stories and precursors related to Bradbury’s publication of “Fahrenheit 451: Match to Flame” (2006) and “A Pleasure to Burn” (2010).
The IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI hosts the Barlow Lecture in the Humanities in honor of Liberal Arts Dean and Professor Emeritus John D. Barlow. The lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To RSVP, email LibaRSVP@iupui.edu with “Bradbury” in the subject line.