From Odysseus to Harry Potter

  • From Odysseus to Harry Potter

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  • Canisius College’s Institute for Classical and Medieval Studies offers a six-session lifelong learning course on the Evolution of the Hero. COURSE DESCRIPTION: A noted scholar once observed: “The hero has not disappeared but is reborn phoenix-like.” This six-week seminar will trace how patterns established in classical literature, particularly Homer’s The Odyssey, have been revived and modified by a wide range of modern writers. Seminar topics include The Modern Hero, World War One Antiheroic Poetry, The American Hero and Heroine, and The Contemporary Hero. Course readings will include works by Joseph Campbell, Homer, Willa Cather, and J.K. Rowling. Two films will also be examined in terms of how they envision traditional and modern forms of heroism. INSTRUCTOR: Dr. ROBERT BUTLER, Emeritus Professor of English, has taught at Canisius since 1966. He has developed a wide range of courses in American and modern literatures. His publications include authoring or co- authoring seven books in African-American literature. He has also published over forty scholarly articles on a variety of modern writers, including Dreiser, Dos Passos, Bellow, Wright, Ellison, Lee, Morrison, Walker, and Whitehead. His teaching awards include the Kenneth L. Koessler Distinquished Faculty Award and the All-College Honors Professor of the Year.

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