The recent Qatar Faculty Forum (QFF), which focused on “Place and Space: Rethinking History via Writing,” included two presenters from NU-Q. Aaron LaDuke, an authority on Great Plains literature; and Sam Meekings, a novelist and poet – both professors in the NU-Q Liberal Arts Program. 

LaDuke addressed the emergence of a gothic literature from authors in the Great Plains region, specifically author Annie Proulx. LaDuke claims that extreme climates and low populations provide a canvas for writers to explore historical themes such as crime, violence, injustice, and prejudice, to explore cultural anxieties. In particular, he focused on Proulx’s three Wyoming short story collections: Close Range, Bad Dirt, and Fine Just the Way It Is.

Meekings discussed his book The Afterlives of Dr Gachet, which analyzes the complex history of Vincent van Gogh’s portrait of the physician who treated him before the artist’s death. One of the paintings commanded the highest ever price for a painting at the time, but its whereabouts are currently unknown. Meekings investigates its previous owners and focuses on the reasons behind the melancholic expression in the subject of the painting. 

QFF features work from Education City's humanities, social science, and medical science faculty with a view to create an area for discussion. The next session of QFF on March 20 will be on topic of “Pluralism and Contentious Politics in Europe.”