South Charleston campus to welcome Cat Pleska Sept. 25


Cat Pleska  a 7th-generation West Virginian, educator, author, editor, storyteller, and occasional re-enactor of historical characters,  will be giving a presentation in the  South Charleston campus library from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25.

The title of her talk is In the Fullness of Time: How the Humanities Can Save the World. The program will feature her experience in the humanities, and she will also provide a short reading from her memoir, titled Riding on Comets: a Memoir, published this past May.

Pleska holds a B.A. in English from West Virginia State University, an M.A. in Humanities from Marshall, and an M.F.A. from Goucher College in Baltimore. She edited an anthology, Fed from the Blade, with Woodland Press and has written and recorded nearly 40 essays with West Virginia Public Radio. She also has reviewed books for the Charleston Gazette. Her articles and essays have appeared in numerous other publications.

“I can’t imagine being the writer, or the human being I am, without the knowledge I gained through studying humanities,” Pleska said. “To succeed well at anything, you need broad knowledge about the world, about history and culture, and, most of all, humans, what makes them tick. It’s no wonder, then, I eagerly sought a degree in humanities from Marshall University. It has also helped me immensely in teaching English and literature throughout the years at Marshall and other universities.”

Most important, if you’re going to be a writer, she notes, “The depth and breadth of knowledge that studying the humanities brings to the table helps, whether you’re writing about global issues or your own life. Indeed, although I was writing about my life in Riding on Comets, I believe the humanities helped me recognize universal ideas within the stories of my family and myself.”