The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University

"Memorial" (the award winning poem by Alice Oswald) is a list of all the soldiers who died in the ninth year of the Trojan war. Its text is a selective translation of Homer's Iliad, missing out the central narrative and focusing instead on its many marginal narratives of ordinary lives and deaths. Alice Oswald will read from Memorial and also from her recent piece, 'Tithonus - 46 minutes in the life of the Dawn'. This poem, a response to the Odyssey, tells the story of Tithonus, whom the Dawn married and made immortal, forgetting to ask that he should not grow old. Spoken in the voice of...

Everyone reading the Iliad and the Odyssey wonders what the presence of the gods and the demigods might signify. Three distinguished scholars address how transcendent or spiritual values are conveyed in Homer’s texts, and how Romare Bearden translates Homer’s gods into a contemporary perspective. Edward Mendelson is Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities at Columbia and W. H. Auden’s literary executor. His books include The Things That Matter (on seven novels by women about classic existential questions) and the forthcoming Moral Agents (about eight American writers...

Columbia to Explore Romare Bearden's A Black Odyssey

A traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey *, will make its final stop at Columbia’s Wallach Gallery beginning in November. Centered around collages based on Homer’s Odyssey by the celebrated African American artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988) and curated by Robert O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature, the exhibition is the focal point of a unique yearlong, University-wide exploration of Bearden’s iconic work. Departments and schools, students and faculty across Columbia, from the Core Curriculum to the Global Centers, will engage in an array of public programs, including lectures and conferences, jazz and spoken word performances, and other special events on and off campus beginning in September.

For updates and to register for events please visit Watch this Video by the Columbia News Video Team for more information about this exciting project.

*Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in cooperation with the Romare Bearden Foundation and Estate and DC Moore Gallery. The exhibition and its related educational resources are supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.