Seminars for Teachers: Odyssey

The epic that inspired the road trip genre, the Odyssey is often remembered as the story of a man who took ten years to return home to his wife, fighting off sirens, nymphs, and his and his companions’ bad decisions along the way. But beneath the vice and folly lies an exploration of the nature of storytelling, the limits of perseverance, the contours of faith, the inscrutability of death, and a quest to define and safeguard home.

Winter/Spring 2022: Odyssey (Professor Eirene Allen)

For Middle, High School, and HomeSchool Teachers. Free. Max 10 teachers.

When: Mondays January 24 to May 2 (no class March 21) , 7-9 p.m ET.

Forum: Live classes on Zoom. Discussion on Discord.

Syllabus: see below.

Required texts: Homer’s Odyssey, translated by Anthony Verity

Course requirements: attend all live sessions, participate in Discord discussion, and 1 paper (5-7 pages) due May 16.

Teachers will receive a grade and certificate upon completion of requirements.

Apply.


Course Description

Spring 2021: Odyssey Seminar

The epic that inspired the road trip genre, the Odyssey is often remembered as the story of a man who took ten years to return home to his wife, fighting off sirens, nymphs, and his and his companions’ bad decisions along the way. But beneath the vice and folly lies an exploration of the nature of storytelling, the limits of perseverance, the contours of faith, the inscrutability of death, and a quest to define and safeguard home.

Like the Iliad, the Odyssey is a paradox: a text of a poem composed orally in performance, an end product of a centuries-old tradition and the beginning of a new kind of storytelling. Reading two books per week in Anthony Verity’s translation, we will explore the poem’s meanings and messages within a Homeric context and their appeal across time.

Week 1: Introducing the Odyssey

Read: William Allan’s introduction to Verity’s Odyssey

Week 2: Trouble at Ithaca

Read: Books 1 & 2

Week 3: Nostoi/Returnings

Read: Books 3 & 4

Week 4: Calypso’s promise

Read: Books 5 & 6

Week 5: The Blind Bard

Read: Books 7 & 8

Week 6: The Wanderings of Odysseus

Read: Books 9 & 10

Week 7: Liminal spaces

Read: Books 11 & 12

Week 8: Reciprocity among gods and men

Read: Books 13 & 14

Week 9: Return and recognition

Read: Books 15 & 16

Week 10: Discernment and disguise

Read: Books 17 & 18

Week 11: Penelope’s web

Read: Books 19 & 20

Week 12: Retribution and reciprocity

Read: Books 21 & 22

Week 13: Minds in harmony

Read: Books 23 & 24

Week 14: The world of the Odyssey

Apply.