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Test of Faith: Signs, Serpents, Salvation

Lauren Pond, an award-winning documentary photographer, will stage an exhibit throughout the month of October and give a presentation about her 2017 book "Test of Faith: Signs, Serpents, Salvation," which chronicles the life, death and legacy of Pastor Mack Wolford, a Pentecostal serpent handler from West Virginia. The book, which is concentrated in Appalachia, provides a deeply nuanced, personal look at the often sensationalized and misunderstood signs following faith. Pond's work also serves as a meditation on photography, its ethics and its capacity to generate empathy. 

An exhibit of photos from Pond's book will be on exhibit on the ground floor of the Downtown Campus Library during the month of October, and she will give a presentation about her work on Monday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. in room 104 of the Downtown Campus Library, adjacent to the exhibit.

The exhibit and presentation are made possible by the Mary L. Thomas Endowment in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, the Reed College of Media  and the Office of Multicultural Programs.

About the Speaker
Lauren Pond
Lauren Pond is author of "Test of Faith: Signs, Serpents, Salvation," which won the 2016 Duke Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography. Based in Columbus, Ohio, she is also the manager of the Fresh A.I.R. Gallery and a multimedia producer for the Center for the Study of Religion at Ohio State University. Pond earned a BS and a BA at Northwestern University in 2009 and an MA from Ohio University in 2014. Her photographs have been displayed in solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and in Australia. Pond regularly collaborates with scholars and has spoken extensively on her work at academic conferences and universities. 

About the Mary L. Thomas Endowment

This lecture has been made possible with funds from the Mary L. Thomas Endowment. Established by a generous gift by alumna Mary L. Thomas in 1992, the Mary L. Thomas Endowment supports the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of English to support lectureships, colloquia, symposia or seminars alternating biennially between both departments.