Professor of Humanities
His publications include over a dozen books, as well as numerous translations and original plays. His most recent books are Herakles Gone Mad: Rethinking Heroism in an Age of Endless War and Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War. He has offered workshops on the translation and contemporary production of ancient drama at colleges and universities here and abroad, and has himself directed productions at such venues as the Samuel Beckett Centre, Dublin and the Nandan Centre for the Performing Arts in Kolkota, India. In recent years he has directed and participated in a range of events and programs concerned with healing the spiritual wounds of war in veterans, their families, and their communities. He has also published, blogged, and lectured widely on these matters of urgent national concern.
The aim of this course is the comparative study of four ancient epics from Mesopotamia, Greece, India, and Ireland. The core readings comprised: the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Mahabharata, and the Tain. Each text is considered both in its own historical and cultural context and in the larger shared context of ancient epic, myth, religion, and literature. (keywords: classics, comparative literature, Asian studies, religion)
"Kafka arouses pity and terror, Joyce admiration, Proust and Gide respect, but no modern writer that I can think of, except Camus, has aroused love. His death in 1960 was felt a personal loss by the whole literate world." (Susan Sontag) This course will address the full range of his published writings - fiction, philosophy, and drama. The focus will be on the thought and art of Camus, with particular attention to the Hellenic foundations of Camus' vision, inattention to which has contributed to the most blatant and common misreadings of his work. Students will attend one common lecture per week and either of two weekly discussion groups, one conducted in English and the other in French. Students may read Camus' work in the original or in translation and may write their independent research projects in either language. (keywords: literature, history, religion, humanities, philosophy)
An introduction to the archaeology, myth, history, art, literature, and religion of ancient Ireland: 4000 BCE to 1200 CE, from the earliest megalithic monuments to the Norman conquest. Consideration will be given, then, to these distinct periods: Pre-Celtic (Neolithic and Bronze Ages--4000 BCE-700 BCE); Pre-Christian Celtic (Late Bronze & Iron Ages--700 BCE-400 CE); and Early Christian Celtic (Irish Golden Ages and Medieval--700-1200 CE). The emphasis throughout will be on the study of primary material, whether artifacts or documents. Readings will include: selections from the Mythological, Ulster, and Finn Cycles; The Voyage of St. Brendan; The History and Topography of Ireland by Giraldus Cambrensis; the writings of Patrick; and selections from early Irish hagiography.