Alden Library and Graduate Student Senate will kick off the Graduate Student Research Series @ Alden on Friday, February 17 with a presentation by Ohio University PhD candidate Kelly Kathleen Ferguson. Ferguson will discuss the research process for her new book My Life as Laura.
The Research Series is a collaborative effort between Alden Library staff and the Graduate Student Senate. The series aims to highlight the research process of graduate students. Ferguson’s presentation will be at 1pm in the Friends of the Library Room (Alden 319). Students, faculty, staff, community members and Laura Ingalls Wilder enthusiasts are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided.
My Life as Laura is a creative non-fiction memoir that follows Ferguson as she explores the historical journey of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Ferguson visited Ingalls Wilder’s home sites across American prairie, even donning a “Laura-like” dress as she gathered more information about the beloved author of the Little House series.
When asked to describe her research, Ferguson said:
“I had read William Anderson’s biography of Laura before (written for young adults), but I kept myself deliberately naive for the trip,” said Ferguson. “The trip was 99% first person research– driving and taking notes, watching how the landscape changes from Minnesota to Missouri, taking pictures and short videos, talking to people. As I traveled I amassed books from the gift shops and learned more about Laura from an adult perspective, which became part of the book. Once I began writing book sources beget other sources. Bibliographies and footnotes were my friends.”
Aside from publishing her first book, Kelly has an MFA from the University of Montana, and is currently teaching and working on a PhD in creative nonfiction at Ohio University. Her work has appeared in mental_floss magazine, Poets & Writers, Gettysburg Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Brevity, among other publications. Visit Ferguson’s website for more information on Ferguson and her achievements.
Graduate students interested in applying to be the next speaker in the series should see this blog post for additional information. Applications are available here. The deadline for the spring series is March 1.