Holder Lecture

Each Spring semester, the Kenneth R. Holder Memorial Lecture brings a scholar in language theory, writing, or education to meet with classes and to deliver a lecture open to the public.

The Holder Lecture was established in 1991 by the Department of English to honor the life of Dr. Kenneth R. Holder, Professor of English and Provost at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Dr. Holder joined the faculty in 1972, and served as Provost from 1987 to 1991. His specialties in the English Department were linguistics—which he introduced as a course to the department—history of English, writing, and English Education. As Provost, he focused on strengthening instructional practices through technology and writing among the faculty.

Portrait of Douglas Hesse

Spring 2022 Holder Lecture

On April 21 at 4 p.m., Douglas Hesse, professor of writing in the Department of English at the University of Denver, will discuss “The Creative Coordinates of Contemporary Nonfiction: Matters for Readers and Writers.” The talk will explore how nonfiction writers variously draw on their memories or seek new experiences, how they put themselves at the center of their writing or keep themselves in the background, and how they move between showing and telling, between stories and ideas. Hesse will illustrate these dynamics with work from contemporary writers. Hesse is author of over 80 essays and is the co-author of four books, including Creating Nonfiction and the Simon and Schuster Handbook for Writers. Nationally recognized for his leadership in writing pedagogy and administration and national literacy efforts, he has served as the President of the National Council of Teachers of English, Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, and chair of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum. Hesse earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

Lecture will be held in Callen Conference Room located on the 1st floor of the Smith Curtis building at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Event is free and open to the public.


Past Holder Lecturers

Year Lecturers Topic
2020-21 Daniel Willingham
professor of psychology at the University of Virginiae
"Digital Technology and the Future of Education"
2018-19 K. David Harrison
associate provost, professor of linguistics, Swarthmore College
"Endangered Languages"
2017-18 Ben Crystal
Actor, author and producer
"Spehk thuh speech uh press yuh Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation"
2016-17 Tessa Jolls
President and CEO of the Center for Media Literacy
“Powershift: Redefining our Media Relationships and Culture”
2015-16 Dr. Stephen Buhler
University of Nebraksa – Lincoln
“Eloquence in Action: Rhetorics of Response in Shakespeare”
2014-15 Joan Hughes
University of Texas – Austin
“iPads and Their Impact on Literacy”
2013-14 Carole Levine and Patricia Sullivan
University of Nebraska and State University of New York, New Paltz
"Powerful Women in the Renaissance and Today: The Rhetoric of Queen Elizabeth I and Hillary Clinton"
2012-13 Malea Powell
Michigan State University
“Rhetorical Powwows: Making American Indian Rhetorics”
2011-12 LuMing Mao
Miami University
“Beyond Bias, Binary, and Border
Enacting a Discursive Third in Comparative Rhetoric”
2010-11 Maha Baddar
Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ
“From Athens (Via Alexander) to Baghdad: Medieval Arabic Rhetoric as Dialogic”
2009-10 Jennifer Cognard-Black
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
“Eat My Words: Teaching Writing through the Literatures of Food”
2008-09 Sid Dobrin
University of Florida
"Ecoseeing: Rhetoric, Writing, Images, and Nature”
2007-08 Jeffrey Hammond
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
“Hugging the Shore: Reflections on Creative Nonfiction”
2006-07 John McWhorter
Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow in Public Policy Contributing Editor to City Journal
“Language is a Lava Lamp”
2005-06 Daryl Baldwin
Miami University
“The Myaamia Project: Language and Culture Reclamation”
2004-05 Robert Jensen
University of Texas – Austin
“The Myth of Neutrality: Journalists, Academics and Power”
2003-04 Susan Swan
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
“Civic Engagement and Rhetorical Praxis: Strategies for Making Social Justice Work”
2002-03 Jan Swearingen
Texas A&M University
“Rhetorical Traditions and the Contemporary Academy: the Past Meets the Present, Once Again”
2001-02 Peter Vandenberg
DePaul University
“Intentions in Tension: Advanced Composition As Literate Practice”
2000-01 William Thelin
University of Cincinnati
“Issues of Class and Composition Theory”
1999-00 Mary Rose O’Reilley
Saint Thomas University
“Taking the Moi Out of Memoir”
1998-99 Richard Leo Enos
Texas Christian University
“Recovering the Lost Art of Researching the History of Rhetoric”
1997-98 Jim Corder
Texas Christian University
"How Many Rhetorics Can Dance on the Head of a Pin?”
1996-97 Andrea Lunsford
The Ohio State University
“Women and the Rhetorical Tradition”
1995-96 Jeanne Gunner
Chapman University
“The Story of Basic Writing”
1994-95 Cynthia Selfe
Michigan Technological University
“The Practice, Instruction, Politics, and Study of Literacy in Computer Supported Environments”
1993-94 Christina Murphy
Texas Christian University; now Marshall University
1992-93 Fern Kupfer
Iowa State University, with husband Joe Geha
1991-92 Joy Ritchie
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
1990-91 Les Whipp
University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Inaugural Lecture