Art historian Holly Edwards opened her April 28 lecture at the Bennington Free Library, "One Image at a Time," by admitting that her talk would be provocative and advising audience members made uncomfortable by the sensitive material to feel free to leave. Instead the audience was riveted as she traced the journey of a single photograph from the Iraq war -- an image at once beautiful and horrifying -- to demonstrate how photos contribute to our "trauma culture." Heavy stuff.

Staff writer Derek Carson tackled the challenge of summarizing her powerful if disturbing lecture in his insightful front-page review on April 30 ("AAUW Lecture Focuses on Role of Images in Our Daily Lives"). Dr. Edwards, a senior lecturer at Williams College, addressed her audience as equals. Derek Carson, as well as the rapt public who turned out for this installment in AAUW’s annual lecture series on the Middle East, rose to the occasion. Not many writers could have captured the essence of her complex presentation so forthrightly. Carson did, and we thank him.

JULIE MACKAMAN

President, Bennington Branch American Association of University Women

Bennington