Jonestown 35 Years Later: Student Presentations


Bucknell
University

Elaine Langone Center Terrace Room

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm

ENGL 290 – JONESTOWN RECONSIDERED:

A STUDENT RESPONSE PROJECT

On November 18, 1978, more than 900 Americans died in Jonestown, in the small South American country of Guyana. A U.S. Congressman was assassinated on a remote airstrip, along with 4 Journalists who were shot and killed. A woman slit her three children’s throats and then her own, and hundreds of men, women and children died in what appeared to be the largest mass suicide in history. Many ask and argue: was it suicide or murder?

Sixteen of us in English 290, have studied the history of Jim Jones and Peoples Temple, focused on characters, events, questions of religion, race, poverty, power, civil rights, sexuality, aspiration, identity, read narratives spanning the 1950s through the 70s, and attended lectures by survivors, victims’ relatives, and concerned artists.

We thank you for being here tonight to share some of our responses to Jonestown and Peoples Temple.

Heidi Schuerger: METHODISM, SOCIALISM AND JONESTOWN: REFLECTIONS ON FAMILY & SEARCH FOR COMMUNITY

Eli Evans:  OUT OF THE DARKNESS, AWAY FROM THE FEAR: IMAGINED SERMONS CONTRASTED WITH JIM JONES’ SERMONS

Kiara Huertes: THINGS WE’D LIKE TO BELIEVE ABOUT JIM JONES

Allison Friedlander: A READING FROM “THE BOOK OF MARCELINE”

Allison Wright:  CLAIRE JANARO: SURVIVING JONESTOWN, BEFORE AND AFTER

Jack Chen: IMAGINING: I WAS TIM STOEN

Chloe Drennen and Jess Gunther: JOHN VICTOR STOEN: A CASUALTY OF JIM JONES’ QUEST FOR POWER

Brandon Farrell: BOB HOUSTON: A QUESTIONABLE DEATH

Jess Gunther and Tim Bergen: LEO RYAN: A TRAGIC HERO

Meghan Carroll: A BROKEN BOND: MARIA KATSARIS AND HER FATHER

Matt Liguori: KATSARIS

Jack Chen: THE DEVELOPMENT OF STEPHAN JONES

Kate VanNess: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: JIM JONES AND STEPHAN JONES

Ben Barrett: STEPHAN JONES: JIM JONES GREATEST OPPOSITION – HIS SON

Ashlyn Trimmer: LEO RYAN: INTENTIONS OF THE INNOCENT

Matt Liguori: THE WAY THAT WE DIED

Kiara Huertes: THE AFTERMATH OF JONESTOWN: A FOUND POEM

Ben Barrett and Chloe Drennen: CHRISTINE MILLER: HEROISM IN THE FACE OF MURDER

Kiara Huertes: CHRISTINE MILLER AT JONESTOWN

Allison Friedlander: SURVIVORS: HYACINTH THRASH AND ODELL RHODES

Meghan Carroll: LOST VOICES: THE CHILDREN

Julianne Mammana: THE LAST DAY

Entire class: EPILOGUE

The Response Project’s Staff:

    ENGL 290 Course Instructor and Griot Institute for Africana Studies Director: Professor Carmen Gillespie

    Jonestown Class Response Project Director: Professor Bob Gainer

    ITEC Team: Debra Sarlin, Brianna Derr and Debra Cook-Balducci

    Technical Directors: Jeffrey Campbell and George Lincoln

    Technical Associate: Aaron Diebler-Gorman

    Interim Assistant Director of The Griot Institute: Rebecca Willoughby

    Griot Institute Assistant: Rebecca Gaffron

    Elaine Langone Center Staff: Gina Stockdale, Mary Schramm and the ELC Custodial staff

Special Thanks to:

    Professor Carmen Gillespie – for her inspiration in conceiving both this ENGL 290 course and project, and for envisioning the Griot Institute’s complementary “Jonestown Reconsidered: Lecture Series.”

    Fielding M. McGehee III – for his “Jonestown Institute: Alternate Considerations of Jonestown” Digital Website, an ongoing online repository for Jonestown scholarly studies created and housed at San Diego State University. Mr. McGehee’s website (and generous communication with us throughout the semester) has served as a major source of information and stimulation for the students in the ENGL 290 course.

    Professor Rebecca Willoughby – for her facilitation of many course and lecture series components

    Professor Shara McCallum – for her essential support on this endeavor

Originally posted on October 13th, 2013.

Last modified on October 15th, 2013.
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