Lynn Peril, pop culture historian, author and zine

Cecil Giltz Published:

Lynn Peril, pop culture historian, author and zine publisher, is coming to Kent State University. Peril will speak at 7 p.m. March 12 on Pink Think: Becoming a Woman in Many Uneasy Lessons.Perils program, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 204 of the Kent Student Center. A book signing and reception follows, according to Shirley Wajda, assistant professor of history and director of American Studies at KSU. Peril writes, edits and publishes Mystery Date: One Gals Guide to Good Stuff, a zine devoted to her obsession with used books (particularly old sex and dating manuals, etiquette and self-help books and health, beauty and fashion guides) and other detritus of popular culture, especially that concerning gender-related behavioral prescriptions. Peril describes Pink Think as a set of ideas and attitudes about what constitutes proper female behavior and assumes there is a standard of behavior to which all women must aspire. Having Peril here during March will certainly help make Womens History Month a success, according to Shirley. Perils program is sure to be of interest if the praise from Publishers Weekly is any indication of Perils subject and approach. In casual, friendly language, Peril, who shares tales of her own childhood pink-think rebellion, charts the amusing yet sad history of how women have been conditioned with a set of rules that often begins with someone telling them little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. A pop culture history of achieving the feminine ideal, the book explores everything from childhood and adolescence to marriage and the workplace, according to Publishers Weekly. A Pushcart-Prize-nominated writer, Perils column, The Museum of Femorabilia, appears in Bust magazine. Her essays and reviews have appeared in Londons Guardian newspaper, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Tucson Weekly, Film Threat, and Hermenaut among other publications. Peril will also present a teaching and writing workshop from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Tuesday in Room 303 of the Student Center. Lunch is provided, but seating is limited. To reserve your seat, e-mail Shirley at swada@kent.edu or call (330) 672-8913. Peril received her master of arts degree in history, with a concentration in Gender, from San Francisco State University in 1995. She currently lives in Oakland, Calif., with her husband and two cats. The Department of History, the Program in Womens Studies, the Department of English, the Program in American Studies, the Honors College, the Office of the Provost and the Office of the President are among the departments sponsoring Perils visit. The adage There may be snow on the ground, but spring is in the air, comes to mind thanks to a story from Karen Barrett, owner of City Bank Antiques in Kent. February has been cold and bleak, but not for one couple coming into her store. Our store is generally where mundane reigns, but last month a young couple came to City Bank Antiques. The young woman was admiring a vintage marquis-cut diamond ring, Karen said. Karen could tell her beaux was surprised by the young womans enthusiasm for the ring. Karen offered the traditional advice of when you are ready for such a decision we have a lay-away policy. The couple returned a few days later to put the ring in lay-away. I was surprised and happy for both of us, Karen said. They were thrilled. In fact, the young lady coaxed the young man to take a photo of the ring on her hand before returning it to store lay-away. One day later the young couple returned. The girl was more ebullient than before. The young man had payment in full, and Karen offered to polish the ring and having done so handed the young man the ring. He dropped to his knee and in the traditional courtship manner right there in the front of our store professed his love for his bride-to-be and formally, with a ring this time, asked her to marry him. Through her tears she accepted. He placed the ring on her finger and we all tried to compose ourselves after applauding his tender words and her acceptance, Karen said. Even my high school daughter, Caroline, was dearly moved by it all, Karen said. It was the first proposal in the store ever. Moreover, it held the hope and assurance of a new life together. In these troubling days it did more to boost the sagging spirit than she realized, Karen added. A clarification on the photo that ran in my last column. The sweatshirt, with the KSU seal, was not circa 1941. The seal design was incorporated into the KSU logo many years later. Have a suggestion for a column item about Kent State University or local Kent organizations? Contact Margaret Garmon at (330) 678-1450 or e-mail her at mgarmon@kent.edu.

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