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Lander’s Laura Martin to Discuss Relationship of Reading Literature and Compassion

Laura-Martin-LMB_6128.jpgThe community is invited to join Lander University and the Arts Center of Greenwood for the fourth installment of the 2023-24 Community Lecture Series on Tuesday, February 6, at the Arts Center. Assistant Professor of English Laura Martin will give a talk titled “Does Literature Make Us Better People?” The lecture begins at 6 p.m., with refreshments starting at 5:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

It’s a commonly held belief that reading and writing are good for us, not just academically, but personally. This belief is so strongly held that prestigious universities like Georgetown and Rice incorporate literature into the studies of doctors-in-training for the explicitly stated purpose of teaching them empathy. But is the relationship between literature and compassion a direct correlation, or is it more complicated? In this lecture, Martin will explore the surprising relationship between literature and compassion and discuss how reading and writing can both help and hinder our understanding of others.

Laura M. Martin is originally from Woodstock, Illinois and currently resides in Greenville. She has a BA in Humanities with emphases in English and creative writing from New York University, and an MFA in Creative Writing with a creative nonfiction emphasis from Georgia College. This is her seventh year at Lander University where she teaches a variety of writing courses. Her essays appear in HuffPost, Chicken Soup for the Soul, New South, Blue Earth Review, SHIFT, The Smart Set and Luna Luna, among other publications. Her essay, “Dead Horse Bay,” was a semifinalist for the 2019 Brooklyn Nonfiction Prize; the same year she was shortlisted for the Submerging Writers Fellowship.

Please visit for updates and to confirm event times and venues. For questions, please contact Interim Assistant Provost Dr. Mark Rollins at 864-388-8563 or