Schemel Forum Courses Examine Camelot, Shakespeare, Friendship and Medieval Books

01/15/10

Schemel Forum Courses Examine Camelot, Shakespeare, Friendship and Medieval Books
    
    The legend of Camelot, the importance of friendship, Shakespeare across mediums and the medieval book are the topics that will be examined through courses sponsored by The Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton during the spring semester.  
    
    The spring courses offered through the Schemel Forum by University of Scranton professors are Camelot in Winter: Savoring Arthurian Legend; The Nature and Value of Friendship: Philosophical Perspectives; Shakespeare on Film: The Bard and the Director; and Preserving and Democratizing Knowledge: The History of the Medieval Book, 500-1500.
Professor of English Rebecca Beal, Ph.D., will examine the story of King Arthur, his Queen and his noble knight in Camelot in Winter, which will meet on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. from Feb. 3 through Mar. 10.
    
    Beal says the Camelot course is unique for two reasons: its content and format. 
    
    “This course gives students a glimpse into the development of a literary tradition, and there are certain ‘givens’ associated with such development,” said Beal. “Authors have to both operate within the constraints of the tradition, but authors also work within those constraints to develop new forms and approaches. We get to watch that process unfold.”  
    
    The course will involve discussion about the works being studied, which will include major examples of Arthurian literature from Geoffrey’s 12th century “History” to Sir Thomas Malory’s 15th century Morte D’Arthur. 
    
     “In the past Schemel Forum courses I’ve taught, I’ve always appreciated the community we develop, and I’m always impressed by the quality of conversations among the participants,” said Beal.   
    
    For Shakespeare on Film: The Bard and the Director Michael Friedman, Ph.D., professor of English, will lead the study of two of Shakespeare’s most revered plays, Romeo and Juliet and Henry V, and will compare and contrast two film versions of these works.
    
    “One of the things I like to point out is how differently film directors can interpret a Shakespeare play, even though they’re working from the same words,” said Friedman. “This can be attributed in part to the different eras in which the films were made, but also to the vision of the directors and actors. The students will get a true sense of just how interpretable Shakespeare’s works are.”
    
    This forum’s four sessions will be held on Tuesdays from Feb. 16 through Mar. 9, with films shown at 3 p.m. and discussions beginning at 6:30 p.m.
    
    In addition, The Nature and Value of Friendship: Philosophical Perspectives, led by Richard J. Klonoski, Ph.D. professor of philosophy, will survey an array of western philosophical writings that focus on the origins, nature and importance of friendship.  This course will meet on Mondays from Feb. 8 through Mar. 22, except for Mar. 15. Michael Knies, associate professor and special collections librarian, will use reproductions and authentic medieval books from The University of Scranton’s collection to explore the medieval book from illuminated manuscripts to Gutenberg’s printing press revolution for Preserving and Democratizing Knowledge: The History of the Medieval Book, 500-1500. This class will meet on Thursdays from Apr. 8 to 22. Both sessions meet from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
    
    Session fees vary and reservations are required to attend. Space is limited and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additionally, Schemel Forum annual and “angel” memberships are available.   
    
    To register for the programs, contact Kym Fetsko, events coordinator, at (570) 941-7816 or fetskok2@scranton.edu. For more information on programs and memberships, contact Sondra Myers, director of the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton, at (570) 941-4089 or myerss2@scranton.edu.
    
    The Schemel Forum is a program of participatory learning experiences aimed at cultivating the intellect and the imagination through study and discussion of classical texts and current policies, from the arts, history and philosophy to technology and theology. Founded in 2006 through generous gifts to the Rev. George Schemel, S.J., Fund, the forum has grown quickly from a handful of informal lectures to a comprehensive enrichment program of study, dialogue, performances and special events. Session fees vary by program. 

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The University of Scranton
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