On April 1, 2016, Prof. Dr. Roberta Maierhofer gave a guest lecture at the University of Maine sponsored by the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Program. Her talk focused on Anocriticism, a theoretical approach developed by Maierhofer to study cultural representations of age and aging. Since the 1980s, scholars in the field of cultural gerontology have turned to cultural manifestations to investigate ideas about the meaning of identity within the life course, and discuss models of aging presented in literature, art, and film. Within the interplay between the fields of sciences and humanities, textual representations are important sources that contribute towards understanding “identity in movement,” the matrix of time and experience within the many contexts in which a person moves over the duration of a life. This anocritical approach has established an intergenerational and interdisciplinary discourse. Growing old can thus be seen in the larger context of fundamental human rights for both young and old, women and men. The talk was followed by a lively discussion with faculty and students.
In addition to the lecture, follow-up activities such as conference participation at the 2017 European Network in Aging Studies event and a guest lecture at the Center for Inter-American Studies were planned with Prof. Dr Mazie Hough, director and professor of History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Maine, and Dr. Margret Cruikshank, esteemed scholar in the field of Aging Studies, and author of the ground-breaking book Learning to Be Old.