Haunted lecture to be held at the Mabee Library

Xuelu Pan,Washburn Review

The 2013 Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection Lecture will take place in Mabee Library March 12. This year’s featured lecture is “Haunted Kansas” by Lisa Heitz.

The lecture is organized by Thomas Fox Averill, writer-in-residence and professor of English at Washburn. Averill teaches courses such as creative writing, Kansas literature, folklore and film.  His publications include three novels: “Rode,”   “Secrets of the Tsil Cafe,” and  “The Slow Air of Ewan MacPherson.”  His collection of short stories, “Ordinary Genius,” was also published by the University of Nebraska Press in April 2005.

In 2009, Averill began the process of creating the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection at Mabee library. This collection mainly consists of almost all forms of literature about occurrences in Kansas, which have been gathered over 40 years. In order to preserve, enhance, increase and publicize the collection, Averill, with the help of other Kansas writers, has also created the Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection Support Fund through the Washburn Endowment Association.

“Every year we like to showcase the collection with a speaker doing interesting work in Kansas studies,” said Averill. “And as the organizer I thought it would be fun to focus on WU, since we’re celebrating our 150th birthday in 2015.”

There will be several posters put up this week around campus. The lecture starts at 4 p.m. in Mabee Library opening with a welcome speech by Alan Bearman, dean of Mabee Library. The speaker will be introduced by Averill and light refreshments will be provided shortly after. Heitz will be giving a speech titled “Haunted Washburn.”

Heitz is a folklorist holding a B.A. in English from Washburn University. She is the author of “Haunted Kansas: Ghost Stories and Other Eerie Tales” and has been researching ghost stories, hauntings and spirits at Washburn for quite some time. Heitz is even sometimes known as the “famous Kansas Ghost Lady.”

More information on Heitz can be found at ghostscholar.com or  hauntedinkansas.com.

The Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection also welcomes use by any researcher. However, due to the specialized nature of the collection, the items are available for in-library use only. If you need assistance, please call Michael Bascom (785) 670-1829.

Averill encourages Kansas authors and their supporters to add books, manuscripts and other materials to the collection.

Those interested in contributing can contact Martha Imparato in the special collections department at 670-1981 or [email protected] For more  information about the event, visit washburn.edu/cas/english/taverill/.