Gustavus Hosts Family-Farm Documentarian

Posted on February 13th, 2007 by

Sara Puotinen, producer of a documentary series that explores the relationship people have with their family farms, will visit Gustavus Adolphus College Feb. 19-20. Throughout the two-day visit, Puotinen will lecture and present two short films.

A 1996 Gustavus graduate, Puotinen will present her documentaries, The Farm: An Autobiography and The Farm, Part II: The Puotinen Women, at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, in room 103 of F.W. Olin Hall. Discussion will follow. Her lecture, “Moral Saints or Sinners: The Troublemaker, Outlaw, and Storyteller as Feminist Role Models,” will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, also in room 103 of Olin Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.

Co-produced by Scott Anderson, also a Gustavus graduate, Puotinen’s documentaries explore the bond that the women of her family — past and present — have with their family farmhouse, farmland, and each other.

“Fundamentally, these films are an exploration of the questions: How can I fit my own self-narrative into the narratives of my foremothers and the narrative of the farm? And, how can I honor the heritage and history of the farm and its inhabitants in my own narrative without romanticizing or mythologizing them,” Puotinen said.

Intrinsically related to her films, Puotinen’s Tuesday night lecture will focus on examples of “resisting feminists,” especially those most commonly known as troublemakers, outlaws, and storytellers. She will discuss how these women have helped make it possible to survive and thrive within the difficult and uncertain process of practicing feminism.

Puotinen holds a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from Emory University, located in Atlanta. Sponsorship for her upcoming visit is provided by the Gustavus Women’s Studies Program. For more information about the events, contact Professor Peg O’Connor at (507) 933-7573 or e-mail her at


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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