Public lecture compares Homer’s depiction of returning soldiers to today’s vets

MIDDLEBURY — Dartmouth classics professor Roberta Stewart will share what Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey” has to say about modern war in a talk at Ilsley Public Library on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. Her talk, “Reading Homer with Veterans: Narratives of Return and Rage,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and is free and open to the public.
Stewart will describe her work with veterans and examine what the story of Odysseus’ long journey home from war has to say to veterans, and to all of us.
Stewart is chair of the Classics Department at Dartmouth College. Since 2008, she has read Homer’s “Odyssey” and “Iliad” with combat veterans — from World War II to Afghanistan — and used the ancient texts to explore the soldier’s experience of combat and return from war. She has taught at Dartmouth since 1996 and has also taught at Union College and Duke University. Her most recent book is “Plautus and Roman Slavery” (2012).
The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays talks in Middlebury are held at Ilsley Public Library unless otherwise noted. All First Wednesdays talks are free and open to the public.
Upcoming talks in Middlebury include “Defense of the West” with Middlebury College visiting scholar Stanley R. Sloan on Jan. 6; “Shakespeare in America” with Columbia University professor James Shapiro on Feb. 3 (at Middlebury College); and “Building Monticello” with Dartmouth College senior lecturer Marlene Heck on March 2.

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