MTSU professor considers construction, impact of m...

MTSU professor considers construction, impact of memories in Sept. 19 lecture

(Photo courtesy of Rodolfo Clix/Pexels)

An MTSU professor will examine how we define our memories and how memories define us in an upcoming lecture on campus.

Dr. Mary Magada-Ward, philosophy professor

Dr. Mary Magada-Ward

Dr. Mary Magada-Ward, a professor of philosophy, will present “Immediate Family: On the Consolation, Embellishment and Distortion of Memory” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in Room 100 of the James Union Building.

Magada-Ward’s lecture will be based on a paper she wrote for The Journal of Speculative Philosophy concerning a controversial 1992 exhibit by photographer Sally Mann.

The display featured photographs of Mann’s young children frolicking in the nude, prompting both rave reviews and harsh criticism of Mann’s judgment as a mother. Magada-Ward’s journal article is available here.

Through the prism of philosophy and Mann’s photography, Magada-Ward said she will examine how memory consists of images that provide raw material for the stories we tell about the past.

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies logo“I argue that both the condemnation of Mann’s work and the explosion in diagnoses of multiple personality (disorder) were ultimately rooted in the then-popular belief that memories of childhood abuse determined adult character,” Magada-Ward said.

A searchable campus map is available at

Off-campus visitors attending the event can obtain a special one-day permit at

This is the first event in the Women’s and Gender Studies Research Lecture Series for the 2019-20 academic year. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at 615-898-5910 or

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