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From the London-based tales of Poe, Woolf and Machen, and the Parisian flânerie of Baudelaire, to the 'psychogeography' of contemporary cities, the city has been the site of many poetic or visionary walks. We will read some of the authors who have explored the modern city (including Iain Sinclair, Nick Papadimitriou, Laura Grace Ford, and Esther Kinsky) and share their peculiar discoveries. Is the literary walk an act of re-enchantment of the world? Can it be a political gesture against the privatisation of public space? What makes the simple act of walking so powerful?
This is an on-line course. Virgil's Aeneid is the epic poem of Imperial Rome, with its roots in the Greek models of Homer's epics. It tells the story of Aeneas, a refugee from the destroyed city of Troy. What can it tell us today about war, migration and national myth-making? This course follows Aeneas as he recounts the Fall of Troy, meets and abandons Dido, Queen of Carthage, crosses to the Underworld on Charon's barge, and finally gives us a foundation myth for Rome with echoes throughout Western literature.
This is an on-line course. The Iliad is more than 2,500 years old, and yet it remains startlingly relevant today. It transports us to the final year of the Trojan War, and the catastrophic consequences of an argument between Greek warriors Agamemnon and Achilles. Homer's epic poem still speaks clearly about the horrors of war, but it deals with many other themes besides, such as the impact of war on the women and children who remain at home, and the ever-present role of the gods in archaic society. This course explores the poem in all its complexity, horror and beauty.
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