Graham School Events

MLA Faculty Lecture: Epics, Nations, and Identities



Classic painting of soldiers escaping the ancient city of Troy


The project of nation-building, bringing a national identity into existence, is often regarded as a defining aspiration of many ancient and modern epic poems. Yet one of the many surprising things about Homer and his successors is how little nationalism their texts embody, in the sense of dehumanizing or “othering” those who do not share the ethnocultural identity whose heroes and great deeds their poems celebrate and memorialize. In this talk, we’ll look briefly at Homer’s Iliad, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Derek Walcott’s Omeros as three examples of epic poems that manifest compassion and connection across lines of identity. The lecture will take place from 6:00pm-7:30pm. At 7:30pm, the Master of Liberal Arts team will be available to answer any questions you have about the program.

The Master of Liberal Arts program (MLA) at the University of Chicago is a degree program designed for working professionals. Our flexible course schedule is offered remotely and makes our MLA degree program ideal for adults with busy professional lives. You can earn your master’s degree on a part-time basis, or complete the program in a year full-time. Learn more here >


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Master of Liberal Arts