FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 4, 2004
MUW president to present personal
essay at 20th Century Literature Conference
By Jill D. O’Bryant
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Dr. Claudia A. Limbert, president of Mississippi
University for Women, will present her personal essay “The Little Gray
House and Me” at the 20th Century Literature Conference Feb. 26-28 at
the University of Louisville.
Limbert’s essay was recently published in “Herspace: Women, Writing, and
Solitude.” This book is a collection of essays by women concerning women
and their idea of personal space. Several of the contributors will
participate in a panel discussion at the conference.
According to the editors, the idea for the book originated when Limbert
asked them to co-author a paper for a panel about women’s spaces at the
1998 Midwest Modern Language Association Convention in St. Louis.
“There is a long history behind this book that started as a conference
topic that drew women from all disciplines to talk about something that
was very important to us,” Limbert said. “We found that we had in common
an interest in women's space--whether that space was owned by a
character in a novel, the space in which a female writer herself worked
and lived or the actual physical space where some of us made our own
“The Little Gray House and Me” is the story about Limbert purchasing her
first house as a single woman. It includes her thoughts about the hunt
for the perfect house she had always dreamed of owning, her decision to
buy it and the process of bringing it to life.
“In my case, I wrote about the first home I had ever owned--a little
Cape Cod that had fallen on hard times but that had a sense of space and
peace,” she said. “All it needed was work and love and I was dedicated
to providing both. The result was clearly beyond what I had even hoped
for, and the house became a cozy female space where guests felt welcomed
and comforted by its warmth.”
Limbert received a bachelor’s degree in English, history and education
from Bethel College in Kansas in 1978, and she received a master’s
degree in creative writing in 1980 and a doctorate in English literature
in 1988, both from Boston University.
Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in such publications as
Country Living and House Beautiful, and her scholarly work has appeared
in Restoration, Philological Quarterly, and The National Women’s Studies