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Laura C. Stevenson, Ph.D.

Personal Info
Photo of Laura C. Stevenson
Speaker Bio: 

Laura C. Stevenson was trained as an historian, but upon going deaf in her mid thirties, she moved back to her family’s summer house in Vermont and became a novelist.  Her first two novels for young adults, Happily After All and the Island and the Ring, were both short-listed for Vermont’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award and awards from other states.Her next two young adult novels, both published in England, concerned disabilities: All The King’s Horses is about Alzheimer’s Disease, and A Castle in the Window is about dyslexia.  Her most recent novel, Return in Kind, is set in the fictitious town of Draper, Vermont, and reflects upon the changes in Vermont landscape and residents from 1929 to 1971. Reviewed as “a highly intelligent, moving, and humane novel,” the book is a study of loss – of hearing, of love, of a way of life. Stevenson is retiring from Marlboro College, where she has taught Writing and Humanities since 1986.

Presentation Info


Pencil, Laptop, Cochlear Implant:  Making Meaning of Late Deafness
December 8, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Student Development Center (Bldg. 55), Rm. 1300/1310

Lecture Abstract:
How does a 29-year-old scholar on the cusp of a professional career make meaning of Late-onset Deafness?  How does a semi-professional violinist make meaning of the inability to hear music?  The lecture describes Stevenson’s personal pilgrimage into the cultural limbo of the Late Deafened Adult, with reflections on the ways technological change has affected her professional life and the perspective that difficulty of communication has brought to her teaching and writing.  In particular, Stevenson will talk of her attempt to make meaning of Late Deafness in her recent novel, Return in Kind.

Recommended Readings:
Return in Kind.  Novel. Separate Star Press, 2010

“A Wall of Glass,” Potash Hill: Alumni Magazine of Marlboro College, Winter 1991

“Memory, Music, and Cochlear Implant,”  Seneca Review Fall 2009/Spring 2010, Volume 39, No. 2.

Follow-Up Workshop:
The Perils of Writing Memoir and Fictional Autobiography, and How to Avoid Them
December 9, 2011, 10:00 a.m. - Noon
Student Development Center (Bldg. 55), Rm. 1300/1310

Workshop Abstract:
What are the perils of writing memoir and fictional biography? They're embedded in the advice familiar to every student writer:

Write what you know. Express Yourself. Just be who you are. Disaster! Professional writers know that convincing personal writing depends on:

  • Controlled subordination of ideas
  • Development of narrative voice
  • Rejection of literary stereotypes
  • Understanding the evolving self

This workshop offers an introdution to these techniques.