Why do students across the world today still study The Iliad and The Odyssey? Surely, stories told in the 8th Century BC could not still hold relevance in the world of today! While it may be easy to think that, it is simply untrue.
Ancient Greek poet Homer's most famous works have held relevance in culture from their first telling through today, and will continue to do so through centuries and generations to come. But why? What makes these magnificent epic poems remain understandable to our contemporary world? How can his masterpieces the Illiad and The Odyssey help us make sense of some of the greatest cultural, political, and social problems we face? Why do Homer's messages and stories continue to resonate with people today?
Join your expert, professor and New Yorker-acclaimed author, Dr. Joseph Luzzi, to explore the magnificent world of Homeric epic in relation to such contemporary issues as the effects of endless war, the nature of honor and the costs of ambition, the claims of fame, and the idea of home itself. You will leave this seminar with a renewed understanding of not only Homer's most famous, and timeless, epics, but also of the human experience through literature, and the unceasing relevance of so many vital storytelling themes.
Joseph Luzzi received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is a Professor of Comparative Literature and Faculty Member in Italian Studies at Bard College, where he has taught since 2002 after being a visiting faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania. A frequent contributor to publications including the New York Times, TLS, and Chronicle of Higher Education, he is the author of 5 books, including "My Two Italies," a New York Times Editors' Choice selection and "In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love," a Vanity Fair “Must-Read” selection. His work has been translated into multiple languages and his many awards include a Yale College Teaching Prize, Dante Society of America Essay Prize, and Wallace Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, Harvard's Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. In 2017 he was named Cittadino Onorario/Honorary Citizen in Acri, Calabria, his Italian parents' birthplace. His next book is "Botticelli's Secret: The Lost Drawings and the Rediscovery of the Renaissance," which will be published by W. W. Norton. Professor Luzzi is the founder of the Virtual Book Club, an online community of readers dedicated to exploring some of the best books ever written. Learn more at JosephLuzzi.com.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.