Susan Harlan, "Luggage (Object Lessons)"
Susan Harlan, Luggage (Object Lessons)
Monday, April 2, 7pm
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
You can't think about travel without thinking about luggage. And baggage has baggage. Susan Harlan takes readers on a journey with the suitcases that support, accessorize, and accompany our lives. Along the way, she shows how the materials of travel-the carry-ons, totes, trunks, and train cases of the past and present-have stories to tell about displacement, home, gender, class, consumption, and labor.
Luggage considers bags as carefully curated microcosms of our domestic and professional selves, charting the evolution of travel across literature, film, and art. A simple suitcase, it turns out, contains more than you might think.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
Susan Harlan is Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University, USA. She is the author of Memories of War in Early Modern England (2016). Her writing has appeared in publications including the Guardian, the Awl, the Bitter Southerner, Jezebel, and Atlas Obscura.