Pulitzer Prize Author to Speak at President’s Convocation
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Pulitzer Prize-winning author Amy Ellis Nutt will speak at Illinois
Wesleyan University’s President's Convocation on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 11 a.m. in
Presser Hall’s Westbrook Auditorium (1210 N. Park St., Bloomington).
Nutt is the author of IWU’s Summer Reading Program selection Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of An American Family, which tells the story of Wyatt Maines in her journey of asserting her gender identity
and “becoming Nicole.” In the process, Nicole challenges those around her to reassess
their previously held beliefs in light of a rapidly changing world. Similarly, the
University’s annual intellectual theme Changing Climates challenges the campus community to examine and re-examine the racial, religious,
political, environmental and economic climates present in our world.
Currently a neuroscience and mental health writer at The Washington Post, Nutt holds
a prolific background in journalistic writing as a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at
Harvard University, a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton, and an instructor
of journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Nutt was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for her feature series The Wreck of the Lady Mary, about the 2009 sinking of a fishing boat off the coast of New Jersey. She was also
a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing for The Accidental Artist, later made into a book, Shadows Bright as Glass. Becoming Nicole is Nutt’s second New York Times bestseller, following her 2014 co-authored book The Teenage Brain.
Nutt previously worked as a journalist for the Star-Ledger in Newark, New Jersey and
Sports Illustrated, for which she received several honors. Her awards have included
the Distinguished Writing Award (non-deadline writing) from the American Society of
Newspaper Editors, the Pinnacle of Excellence Award from the American Association
for the Advancement of Science, and the Front Page Award from the Newswomen's Club
of New York.
Nutt graduated from Smith College with a double major in English and philosophy. She
holds master’s degrees in philosophy from M.I.T. and journalism from Columbia University.
Nutt was born in Staten Island, New York, grew up in New Jersey and lives in Washington,
By Rachel McCarthy ’21
Understanding culture and society through a gendered lens allows many opportunities
to unpack assumptions and narratives that reinforce/reinscribe power, privilege and
identity. Further, a study by the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Issues in Education
found that a lack of programming on transgender issues was a major hurdle in making
campuses more Trans-inclusive. We proposed a speaker/performer series that created
dialogues and intersections around gender and gendered experiences to further understanding,
self- and social-awareness, and knowledge creation at the borders through the presence
of trans*-identified people. The following programs and events were part of the TRANSVOICES
speaker and performer series, funded in part by a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation.
Taking place during 2014-15, these programs featured Trans speakers and focused on
gender, gender identity and the cultural construction of the gender binary.
Athens Boy Choir: Feb 5, 2015
" Harvey Katz manages to give voice to a community that needs to be heard; he is an
artist who knows the power of word and uses it wisely. His performance poetry is rapid-fire
word-play that shines light on lives that rarely get airtime. His heart-on-the-sleeve
linguistic exploration is matched by his enthusiastic, potent performances. Through
the course of one poem, he manages to bring the audience to the verge of tears and
turn them on their heads with laughter. He is compassionate, complicated and a seasoned
Beyond Competence: Nov 18, 2014
The Staff of Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago, renowned for decades of LGB and
Trans advocacy weave a presentation that highlights the history, hope and harmony
that lives lived on the margins have contributed to creating a rich, resilient and
Trans* Day of Remembrance: Nov 20, 2014
"On this day we talk about the importance of Trans* inclusion on campus and across
the country.Office of Diversity and Inclusion director Brandon Commons and Chaplain
Elyse Nelson Winger will give opening remarks. Then the names of trans victims of
abuse and suicide will be read off and a candle lit in their honor." Source: IWU Pride
Christina Kahrl: Becoming a woman in a man's world - Nov 6, 2014
Christina Karhl shares with us the hardships and triumphs of being a transgender female
in her family, career, and the American culture. She unravels her original confusion
and attempts to mask her actual identity to fit into the norms of a cis-gendered society.
TRANSVOICES Promotional Materials
*Pictures are linked to a Photobucket account. Click on each picture to view the whole