It’s Alive! An Anatomy of Words – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

It’s Alive! An Anatomy of Words

When writer Shelley Jackson visits the Colleges for her upcoming Fisher Center Series lecture, she’ll show the campus that a “body of text” can be a literal, physical and living thing. Adding a new perspective to the series’ theme of “Animation and Gender,” Jackson will explore the anatomy of words at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19 in the Geneva Room.  During her lecture, she’ll examine how we give life to words and how they give life to us, especially when those words are tattooed on our own skin.

Titled “Words and Other Bodies in Motion,” Jackson’s lecture exposes the intersection of the written and tattooed words as well as the bodies they are written on. She will also discuss what her texts have animated in the readers of her hyperfiction, “Patchwork Girl,” a re-examination and hybridization of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz.” Jackson will also examine the intersection of textual and physical bodies using her current project SKIN, a “mortal work of art” published in tattoos on the skin of more than 2,000 volunteers.

On the day following her Fisher Center Series lecture, from noon to 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20, Jackson will hold a Moving Words Workshop. Interested members of the HWS community should R.S.V.P. to to reserve a spot.

Jackson’s short stories and essays have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including Conjunctions, The Paris Review, Bookforum, The Believer, The LA Times, The Village Voice and Cabinet Magazine. She is co-founder (with artist Christine Hill) of The Interstitial Library and headmistress of the Shelley Jackson Vocational School for Ghost Speakers and Hearing-Mouth Children. She is the recipient of a Howard Foundation grant, a Pushcart Prize and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. Jackson, of Brooklyn, N.Y., has degrees from Stanford and Brown and teaches in the graduate creative writing program at the New School University. More information on her can be found at

Several books by Jackson are currently available in the College Store.

Upcoming Fisher Center Series events include a four-day event in March that begins with a screening of the ground-breaking Anime film, “Grave of the Fireflies” at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 2 in the Sanford Room. A second anime film, “Tekkonkinkreet,” will have a screening and panel discussion with screenwriter Anthony Weintraub and Japanese anime and culture expert Roland Kelts on Tuesday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanford Room. The following day, Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room, Kelts will offer a Fisher Center Lecture, titled “Pop Culture in a Multipolar Japan.” Kelts will also follow-up his lecture with a morning roundtable discussion on Thursday, March 5 at 9-10 a.m. in the Fisher Center (Demarest 212).