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Institute for Writing and Thinking presents

Curriculum Conversation: Homer's The Odyssey

Friday, March 8, 2013

In the spring of 2009, IWT offered the first in a series of Curriculum Conversations on cross-disciplinary approaches to teaching "canonical" texts through diverse writing-to-learn practices. IWT Curriculum Conversations focus on reinvigorating and developing innovative approaches to teaching these texts, but perhaps more importantly, they lead to new ways in which to help students understand their relevance. Classical literature is a case in point, and this year, we turn to the source of Western literature and the second of Homer’s epic poems, The Odyssey. How can The Odyssey shed light on our current circumstances? What does it reveal to us that other more contemporary texts don’t? How do we help students understand that it is full of human urgencies and stories that continue to be a part of our lives today—and are a part of their lives? Writing-to-learn practices are the starting point for a rigorous reading of the text and for multiple readings through the lens of other texts—fiction and nonfiction, contemporary and historical.

The day includes a plenary session with writer, critic, classicist, and translator Daniel Mendelsohn, Charles Ranlett Flint Professor of Humanities at Bard College. Mendelsohn’s essays, reviews, and articles appear frequently in the New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, among other publications, and he is the author of award-winning books including The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million and How Beautiful It Is and How Easily It Can Be Broken. He teaches both The Iliad and The Odyssey for first-year students at Bard.

For more information, call 845-758-7383, e-mail fleming@bard.edu,
or visit http://www.bard.edu/iwt/workshops/descriptions/?listing_id=8638440.

Location: Olin Hall