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Olio Breakfast Club will be a monthly series dedicated to gathering and discussing one classic text over coffee and bagels. Our version of a book club, led by a great teacher.
This week: Frankstein by Mary Shelley
Martin Luther King, in a speech to the American Psychological Association one year before his assassination, stated, “The field of psychology [has] given us a great word…maladjusted. [T]he word implies [y]ou are saying that all must seek the well-adjusted life in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities. There are some things concerning which we must always be maladjusted if we are to be people of good will.”
When Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, it began as the Gothic fruits of a brilliant 18-year-old woman, initiated by a dare presented in a group of literary men. The prompt? Think of the most terrifying story the mind can concoct. In this discussion, we will explore her version of the myth of Prometheus and the human compulsion for scientific knowledge and its often terrible consequences. Consider today, the use of psychology/psychiatry to medicalize and subsequently criminalize human reactions to structural racism.
We will discuss the ways in which King reflects upon our obligation to remain maladjusted to racism, religious bigotry, economic inequality, and violence and hold space to talk about the very real consequences that exist all around us—from the mental health of our everyday lives to the mental health of our most vulnerable populations.
Some questions to think about:
The Gothic movement came as a reaction to the strict use of logic and reason brought on by the Enlightenment. When do we begin to learn that our emotions and, by association, our humanity, should be kept in the background of our waking lives?
Still have questions? Ask the community.
This class isn't on the schedule at the moment, but save it to your Wish List to find out when it comes back!
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Join Colm Tóibín, celebrated author of Brooklyn and professor at Columbia University, for a course on three Irish writers and three American writers. The divided self and the delighted eye—this course explores the idea of internal tension in a text, literature in which there is an argument enfolding, an argument that animates the text; as well...
Wednesday Aug 12th, 3pm - 4pm Eastern Time
The Black Jacobins: Liberation, Political Theory, and the Haitian Revolution The Haitian Revolution marked not only the liberation of Haiti from French colonial rule, but also, in Cedric Robinson’s words, “the first slave society to achieve the permanent destruction of the slave system.” As with the Paris Commune later in the 19th century and...
Tuesday Sep 15th, 6:30pm - 9:30pm Eastern Time(4 sessions)
Composed sometime between the seventh and eighth centuries B.C., Homer's Odyssey is one of the oldest works of world literature and the ancestor of virtually every narrative that involves a difficult journey home. The longing to return home is for Odysseus is the longing of a man to recover his identity as a king, husband, and father after having...
Wednesday Sep 16th, 10am - 11:30am Eastern Time(8 sessions)
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