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This audio interview and its accompanying transcript capture the early years of Joanne E. Gates' research and publications on Elizabeth Robins. The interview aired on KMSU in May, 1996, subsequent to a Gates' appearance on campus for a scheduled "Brown Bag Lunch" event May 7, 1996, noon to 1:00, sponsored by the Women's Center of Mankato State University. Gates sketches the aspects of Robins' complex life: her acting, her pseudonymous fiction, her suffrage advocacy, and a few of the famous people who admired her. Also discussed: the shaping of the first published biography and the rich archive of her private papers, including the extensive correspondence with Florence Bell and her rich diary records.

Gates announces here two important editing projects that have since been realized. In the same year as the interview, the release of Modern Drama by Women 1880s-1930s. included the Robins play, Votes for Women, edited by and with introduction by Joanne E. Gates. The volume was edited by Katherine E. Kelly (Routledge, 1996). Also, Gates served as co-editor, with Victoria Joan Moessner, of The Alaska Klondike Diary of Elizabeth Robins, 1900 (published by University of Alaska Press, 1999).

In addition, the interview gives the hope and hint of a future Elizabeth Robins website, now realized after decades of Gates' dedication to the project. Gates and Bunkers, the editor of several volumes on women's diaries and a scholar of Katherine Anne Porter, discuss the responsibilities of a first biographer, how to shape the life, and the planning and creative touches that lend to the biography a style of novelization, or Bio-Fiction.

Permissions to archive the interview at this site were secured from KMSU station director and from Suzanne Bunkers.

Publication/Presentation Information

Not previously published. Air date of interview: May 9, 1996.

Transcript Bunkers.docx (39 kB)
Transcript of the radio interview, with a preface