Jack-o-Lit: Literary Pumpkin Carving with Students, Librarians, and Faculty
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a pumpkin of means must be in want of a knife.
-Dr. Holly Dugan, Associate Professor of English
It began as a late-night Twitter conversation. Students of Dr. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen had suggested pumpkin carving as a fun activity for the class, but once he mentioned it in a tweet the community of professors and librarians knew it had to be a larger event. Multiple pumpkin-based literary allusions later, Jack-o-Lit, a festival of literary pumpkin carving, was born.
And so on a spectacular Tuesday in late October, students, faculty, and librarians gathered on Kogan Plaza to put a literary spin on the traditional Halloween Jack-o’-Lantern. Participants brought their own pumpkin to sculpt and enjoy the company of some of GW’s “coolest faculty and librarians.”
Finished pumpkins were judged in several areas including best literary adaptation, best overall pumpkin, and best Postmodern pumpkin. A variety of books were provided by the English Department as prizes, including the much-coveted Riverside Chaucer. Participants were encouraged to dress as their favorite literary or classical character, with professors Dugan and Hsy reigning as king and queen of the festivities.