Why Billy Made Children Laugh

Event details

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 from 7:00pm - 7:30pm



RegistrationRegister to attend
Event typeLecture/Discussion
SeriesRites of Reading: Elephant, Donkey, Bull Moose, and Others

Join Marilynn Olson, distinguished professor of English emerita (Texas State) to learn about this once-ubiquitous, but now forgotten children's series that was a childhood favorite of President John F. Kennedy. How did the adventures of Billy Whiskers, a fiercely loyal but violent goat, and his friends shape Americans' perceptions of their world in the first third of the 20th century?

This event is one in the series "Rites of Reading: Elephant, Donkey, Bull Moose, and Others," in the context of the Democracy & Debate theme semester. Guest speakers examine how animal stories — fable, folk tale, fantasy, picture and chapter book adventures — have shaped U.S. presidents and their children.

These online lectures offered by the Residential College are part of an upper-level writing requirement and are also available to the public.

Detail from the bookcover of Billy Whiskers by Frances Trego Montgomery, circa 1928. From the private collection of Marilynn Olson.


Library contact

Juli McLoone · jmcloone@umich.edu

Event contact

Elizabeth Goodenough · lizgoode@umich.edu

Library events are free and open to the public, and we are committed to making them accessible to attendees. If you anticipate needing accommodations to participate, please notify the listed contact with as much notice as possible.

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