“Crime and Juvenile Delinquency – My Pet Hobby at Present”: Margaret Walker and the WPA in Chicago.


Kathi King (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg)

Author and poet Margaret Walker “grew out of shadow” in the 1930s in Chicago. It is here that she found her voice as a writer, became involved in intellectual networks, and began her literary career. Her work from this time is very much shaped by the institution it was produced in: the Federal Writers’ Project. Another institution and thinking school helped her gather content and develop ideas for the fiction and poetry she worked on and published during her time on the FWP payrolls: the Chicago School of Sociology. Here Walker got in touch with the concept of delinquency, which should inspire a number of her literary, ethnographic, and poetic works from this period.

Part of 34-06 Preserving and Presenting Folklore Throughout History, Wednesday, October 20, 2:15 pm–3:45 pm