2021 SUE ROSE SUMMER INSTITUTE
Literature as a Mode of Knowledge
Keith, Dora Wheeler. Penelope Unraveling Her Work at Night. 1886, silk embroidered with silk thread. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
WHEN & WHERE
For application and pricing information, contact Dr. Seemee Ali, firstname.lastname@example.org
For a twenty-first century audience, the imaginative framework we call “epic” can feel uncannily familiar. That’s because epic literature begins in crisis (some examples: the cosmos-shaking rage of a dishonored warrior in Homer’s Iliad; the eerie, implacable havoc generated by a murdered baby’s ghost in Toni Morrison’s Beloved). In ancient texts, gods and heroes serve as both cause and cure of crises that engulf the entire cosmos. But in modern texts, the salvific energy of such gods and heroes can seem elusive. Yet even today the epic impulse remains alive — the impulse, that is, to cast the human predicament in mythic terms; to see an entire community’s future crystallized in a single, charismatic figure; to valorize ideals that can seem outdated; to cultivate new hope even as familiar moral codes are discarded. Now, in 2021, in the wake of an epoch-making pandemic, one that has challenged our economy, upended our politics, and exposed widening fault-lines in our culture, we might find solace – and even wisdom – in the enduring relevance of epic literature.
Each year, since 1984, the Sue Rose Summer Institute for Teachers has brought together an inspired and inspiring group of educators to consider the greatest works of the poetic imagination. Join us this summer for lively seminars and life-changing lectures, as we consider ancient and modern epics – ranging from the Mahabharata to Moby-Dick. (See below for a full list of texts studied in past summer institutes.)
Thanks to the generosity of Deedie and Rusty Rose, full-time primary and secondary-school teachers receive scholarships for the course, inclusive of texts and meals.
EPIC OF GILAMESH
THE MWINDO EPIC
LETTER FROM BIRMINGHAM JAIL
THE SLAVE NARRATIVES BY FREDERICK DOUGLASS
THE POPOL VUH
THE BOOK OF THE HOPI
THE CHINESE EPIC MONKEY