News Fanny Crawford At Upcoming Mountain Maryland Writers Institute - Garrett College

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Campus News

July 10, 2018

'The Landscape of Memory and Imagination' to be presented by Fanny Crawford at upcoming Mountain Maryland Writers' Institute


Registration is still available for the upcoming 2018 Mountain Maryland Writers' Institute at Garrett College, with themes centering on historical research, topic selection, and genealogy. Participants will visit locations throughout the county.

On Sunday, July 29th, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., Fanny Crawford's session 'The Landscape of Memory and Imagination' will take place at the McHenry campus of Garrett College in the Art Gallery.

Fanny Crawford begins this workshop session portraying her great-grandfather, T.H. Barnes, sharing a few of his life experiences as the son of an escaped African American slave, as an orphan living through the 1863 New York City draft riots, through trials and challenges to eventual success as a businessman and community leader.

Using the Chautauqua model of Q&A, first with the historic character and then with the performer, this interactive session segues into discussion of ideas and new approaches for historians, family researchers, storytellers, teachers, writers of fiction and non-fiction, or anyone interested in creating or enriching stories.

Crawford's use of raw history, original and traditional stories, and family tales bring to life her ancestors and extended community members, ordinary women and men who's seldom heard voices bring together past, present and future in novel and startling ways. Her portrayal of her great-grandfather T.H. Barnes, for example, creates an iconic American epic based on historical background information, Barnes' own words from the autobiography he left to his children and grandchildren, and extensive interviews with family members.

Other stories in her repertoire include family stories set in depression era New York City from the Jewish side of her family, personal stories evoking specific historical events or periods, folk tales and derivatives of those tales - such as jack tales retold from a female point of view, and narratives of ordinary people who were witness to important events, such as Lydia Hamilton Smith, the African American housekeeper of abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. Workshop participants will consider strategies for investigating character, voice, language, place, changing or emergent values, conflicting versions of a story or character – and the differences and commonalities of print versus oral traditions of storytelling.

Limited workshop registration spaces are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration closes on July 20th. More information on the Mountain Maryland Writers' Institute, including the Friday, Saturday and Sunday schedule and presenters' biographies, can be found online at or by calling 301-387-3333.