Volume 12, Number 1 July 23, 2004

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Profs teach ‘great books’ in eastern Europe

In May the U of S began a new Great Books series, in which some of its professors teach classic literature in central and eastern Europe over the next three years.

The series was sparked by an invitation to U of S English professors from the University of Warsaw, Poland. It will fit into a grassroots reform of education currently underway in central and eastern Europe.

“The idea is to bring a greater understanding of literature and the history of the English language to transitional societies in central and eastern Europe,” said U of S English Professor and Associate Dean of Arts & Science Judith Rice Henderson. “They are very eager to develop English studies.”

Henderson returned in late May from Warsaw after teaching a two-week seminar on Shakespeare’s tragedies to some of Poland’s most gifted students.

Current educational reform in Poland is being propelled by the Akademia Artes Liberales (Liberal Arts Academy), a consortium of universities including the U of W. It is trying to offer its top students a broader liberal arts education instead of the narrower training in specialized fields still prevalent in the region.

The Great Books series at the U of W will continue in May 2005 with a course on Shakespeare’s histories, to be taught by U of S English Professor David Parkinson. In May 2006, U of S English Professors William and Camille Slights will teach a course on Shakespeare’s comedies.

U of S involvement is largely possible thanks to funding from CIDA.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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