Event to honor Josefina Niggli

Josefina Niggli

Josefina Niggli

Students and faculty at Western Carolina University will stage a multimedia presentation honoring the late Josefina Niggli, a former instructor at the university, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Niggli Theatre on the WCU campus.

The “Niggli Celebration Premiere” will include a performance highlighting Niggli’s career and professional life; a slideshow by honors students; displays from WCU’s Hunter Library and Office of International Programs and Services; and information about upcoming Niggli-related events. The event is free and open to the public.

Born 100 years ago, Niggli was an established novelist, poet, playwright and screenwriter when she arrived at WCU in 1956 to teach journalism and drama. She proved influential in the lives of many of her students, as well as committed to WCU. Now WCU is in the midst of a yearlong series of interdisciplinary, campuswide events recognizing Niggli’s contributions as a teacher, writer, actress and scholar.

Steve Carlisle, associate dean of the Honors College and a former Niggli student, will direct the performance portion of the Jan. 28 event. “We will attempt to create a show that Miss Niggli would be proud of and one fitting of the respect and love that all of her former students and admirers have for her,” Carlisle said.

“The goal of the premier is to help bring more awareness to the Niggli celebration that will kick into full swing in January,” said Glenda Hensley, coordinator of first-year experiences with the Office for Undergraduate Studies. “Although many projects and course engagements are already under way, spring will bring significant elements to fruition.”

Other upcoming events related to the Niggli celebration include:

–          Jan. 15-Dec. 11, exhibit by Hunter Library’s Special Collections.

–          March 10, a film screening of “Sombrero,” with screenplay by Niggli and based on a book of her short stories; and a gender conference at WCU, sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program and featuring author and Niggli scholar Elizabeth Coonrod Martínez as keynote speaker.

–          April 1-May 8, Niggli portrait exhibit, Fine Art Museum.

–          July 8-10, a reunion of former Niggli students and a performance event.

For more information about the “Niggli Celebration Premiere” or other Niggli events, contact Hensley at 828-227-2786 or ghensley@wcu.edu.