Sun Valley, Idaho, home of movie stars, a world-class ski resort and a rich history (first ski lift was invented here and Ernest Hemingway is buried here) is less than a three hour drive from the NNU campus. This popular recreational and cultural destination offers NNU students a great weekend getaway but also unique academic opportunities. One of those opportunities is the Hemingway Symposium. Students from the Department of English, Language and Culture participate annually. Attendee William Roemhildt, class of 2016, chronicles the 2013 event.
Over the weekend of September 26-28, Assistant Professor of English Ben Fischer led a group of NNU students to Ketchum, Idaho to attend and participate in the 5th Annual Ernest Hemingway Symposium. For many years Ketchum served as a hunting and fishing destination for the famed author; he eventually settled down there in 1958, where he lived until his tragic death in 1961.
The theme of this year’s event was “Hemingway and the Modern,” focusing on Hemingway’s place in the modernist movement of the early 20th Century. Events at the Symposium ranged from movie screenings to rigorous academic discussions. Participants had the opportunity not only to appreciate the works of Hemingway but also to gain a deeper understanding of the man who wrote them. A nature walk was available for those who wished to observe the land Hemingway was drawn to near the end of his life.
Fourteen NNU students attended the two-day event. Three of those students, Emi Bergquist, Megan Butler and Max Moser, joined by College of Idaho’s Sydney Williams, presented papers in a student panel moderated by Dr. Fischer. Boise State professor of English Clyde Moneyhun said the panel was one of the liveliest and most valuable events the Symposium has had in recent memory.
Sheridan Brett, representative for the Ketchum Library, expressed a special thanks to NNU students saying, “It [the student panel] was a true success, and I have received some wonderful feedback. Your presence here really opens up the minds of community members and starts a dialogue that continues well into the fall.“ The Community Library generously provided housing and meal vouchers for the NNU students. This is one of the ways that the event organizers have sought an ongoing relationship with the NNU Department of Language, Literature and Culture. The NNU English program has been increasing its role in the Hemingway Symposium over the past four years of participation from having a few students attend to bringing a large group of attendees, becoming an event sponsor and presenting in a public panel this year.