Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Keynote Speaker

Announcing the Keynote Speaker for the Fall 2018 Convention: Karen Piper!

Karen Piper is the author of A Girls Guide to Missiles (Viking Penguin, 2018), a memoir about growing up at the nation’s largest weapons development center, where her mom and dad built missiles in California’s Mojave Desert.  Her book has been described as “reaching back into the body of American war and retrieving the heart of a girl, still beating, not beaten.” Piper has also written about climate change and water issues in two previous books, The Price of Thirst (University of Minnesota, 2014) and Left in the Dust (Palgrave, 2006). 

With a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and M.A. in Environmental Studies, her research and writing interests have always been eclectic and interdisciplinary.  She has received numerous awards and fellowships for her work, including the Sierra Nature Writing Award, the Next Generation Indie Book Award, a Huntington Research Fellowship, Carnegie Mellon Visiting Professorship, the Sitka Writing Residency, and the National Endowment for the Humanities grant. She is currently a professor of literature at the University of Missouri.

Karen Piper will read briefly from her new book and present a talk, entitled, “Truth and Lies in the Land of Trolls.”