(October 17, 2008)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Centenary Alumni Present on Call of the Wild at Symposium

SHREVEPORT, La. —Two Centenary alumni—Jeanne Campbell Reesman, '76, and Dr. Earle Labor (Honorary Alumnus, '90)—played significant roles in the International Jack London Symposium and THE BIG READ celebration, held October 8 — 14 in San Marino, Calif.

The Big Read Program was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts on London's The Call of the Wild, and held in conjunction with the Jack London Society Symposium.

Dr. Jeanne Reesman

Dr. Reesman, the Ashbel Smith Professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is the Executive Director of the Jack London Society and Program Coordinator for the Bi-Annual Symposium. A prominent London scholar, she lectured for the Big Read on "The Call of the Wild as Slave Narrative." Based on new research into London's family and racial background, as well as analysis of London's complex racial attitudes, and his use of materials drawn from African American writers at the turn of the century, her lecture presented an original reading of his most famous novel.

Dr. Earle Labor

A veteran London scholar, Dr. Labor, George A. Wilson Professor of American Literature at Centenary, presented a paper at the Symposium titled "Genesis and Genius: Jack London's 'The Night-Born'," in which he discusses the vital interrelationships between life and creative art in one of London's most fascinating stories. He also lectured for the Big Read on "From Call to Calling: A Biographical Odyssey" in which he presented the dramatic story of his 70-year connection with Jack London, starting with his discovery of London's stories as a grade-schooler in Oklahoma's Kiamichi Mountains and culminating in his assignment to produce the "definitive Jack London biography" by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Publishers.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrates 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.