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Spotlight for the week of October 25

Rhodes College

Spotlight on Lifelong Learning

Spotlight on Lifelong Learning with Laura Loth is a weekly look at some of the exciting public conversations upcoming around the Mid-South. Laura Loth is a professor at Rhodes College.

Carson McCullers once said that the “closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.” Two events at Rhodes College this week highlight questions of care giving, family, belonging, and exclusion.

The first is a talk by Dr. SunAh Laybourn, professor of Sociology at the University of Memphis,. In her online talk entitled “Family Matters: How Adoption and Deportation Define the American Family” on Tuesday evening at 6pm, Dr. Laybourn will discuss international adoption in the 1950s. While these children are typically not thought of as immigrants, the deportation of international adoptees who are now in adulthood raises questions around US citizenship, family, and belonging and illustrates who is part of the national family, who is not, and the implications for all of us.

On Thursday at 6pm, the Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes celebrates the opening of a new show “The Photographer’s Shadow” with a talk by Canadian artist David Harper. Blending aspects of his own family history with enigmatic imagery, Harper builds an intricate tableau that alludes to the backstory of someone who spent their life dutifully caring for someone. With hidden meanings and obscure clues to this person’s story, Harper engages the viewer in a dialogue on notions of loss, love, feelings of belonging, and how we use objects to inform our notions of self.

For the links to these and other lifelong learning opportunites in Memphis, please join our Facebook page or just check out our website at

Dr. Laura Loth is the Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the Director of the French and Francophone Studies program at Rhodes College. She teaches courses in French and Francophone literatures, cultures, and cinema. She received her BA from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. You can email her at