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The Literary Mediterranean: From Homer to Twain

October 3, 2023 at 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. EDT
Hosted virtually by the IU Alumni Association

Is there any place more historic, more literary, more magical than the Mediterranean Sea and its coasts? This storied region was the site of Rome, Athens, Constantinople, and countless events—some historical, some fictional, some mythical—all memorable. In this series of lectures, we will explore this realm through its literature, which includes both world classics and lesser-known (but nonetheless fascinating) works of poetry and prose. We will begin (of course) with Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey—the epics written (and spoken) some three thousand years ago in ancient Greece. We then will turn to Virgil’s Aeneid, which purports to pick up where the Iliad left off—with the destruction of Troy. In part two, we will explore the region through the eyes of three more recent writers: Mark Twain (who recounted his travels here in The Innocents Abroad) and the poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, who actually lived in Rome and wrote about the Mediterranean region in their poetry. Through the wonder of words, we will immerse ourselves in the magical Mediterranean.

About the Speaker

Mark Canada is the eighth chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo. Before becoming an administrator, he was an award-winning English professor specializing in American literature and the English language. His seven books include the Audible Originals Ben Franklin’s Lessons in Life and Edgar Allan Poe: Master of Horror. He also is the author of scores of articles and presentations about Thomas Wolfe, Theodore Dreiser, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and other topics.

If you have questions, please contact Lifelong Learning at or 812-855-9335.

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