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What Does Your Hat Say About You?

St. Mary’s Professor Discusses Why Men’s Headwear Presents a Promising Blend of Personal and Cultural Issues
September 17, 2010
Press Release #10-157


There could be more to your hat than meets the eye. Jeffrey Hammond, St. Mary’s College of Maryland English professor and the George B. and Willma Reeves Distinguished Professor in the Liberal Arts, will give the annual Reeves Lecture on the topic of men’s headwear at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 1, in Cole Cinema at the Campus Center. The talk is free and open to the public.

“On the one hand,” Hammond explained, “few things have a more intimate relationship to men than their hats. On the other, few things seem so legible, in social and cultural terms, than men's hats. In this sense, a hat serves as a tangible bridge between the private and the public and between the personal and the extra-personal.”

The lecture stems from Hammond’s Pushcart Prize winning essay, “My Father’s Hats.” Hammond, a St. Mary’s professor since 1990, teaches English and American literature, biblical and classical literature, and nonfiction writing. He has won two Pushcart Prizes, Shenandoah's Carter Prize for Essay, and the Missouri Review Editors' Prize for Essay, and has been cited several times in the Pushcart annual and Best American Essays.

The George B. and Willma Reeves Distinguished Professor in the Liberal Arts is one of several faculty positions set up by an endowment fund. Appointment to one of them is the highest honor a faculty member can receive. George B. Reeves, who grew up in Chaptico, and his wife, Willma, were longtime friends of the college.

St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More than 2,000 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland.