Geri Olson Explores Documenting a Life Through "Diaries, Letters, Scrapbooks and Journals," Feb. 18

geriolson.pngPsychology Professor Geri Olson has been interested in studying a variety of approaches to documenting one¹s life through scrapbooks, diaries ,letters, individual and group journals, and the more recent use of online blogs and confessional sites such as PostSecret.

She will share her work "Diaries, Letters, Scrapbooks and Journals: Crafting a Visual Autobiographical Self" in a free public lecture at noon on Feb. 18 in Stevenson 2011. The event is part of the School of Social Science's Brown Bag lecture series. The focus for this lecture will be on the contemporary scrapbook.

Letters, journals, and other writing programs are increasingly being used in nursing homes, prisons, with war veterans, in family therapy and for treatments related to anxiety, grief and health disorders, says Olson.

"Early scrapbooks, beginning with the commonplace book during the Renaissance to American scrapbooks of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, have provided a visual narrative of how people construct an identity and document personal histories," says Olson.

"The scrapbook, along the illustrated diary, visual journal and letter offer a method to compile selected memories, protect and harbor confessions, and anchor an assemblage of personal insights into a reservoir of material that ultimately describes an individual life."

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