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IAP 2011 Activities by Category


Deconstructing Indian Mythology
Deepti Nijhawan, Kamesh Aiyer
Thu Jan 6, Tue Jan 11, Thu Jan 13, Tue Jan 18, 02-04:00pm, 8-119

No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 01-Jan-2011
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

The Mahabharata is a 100,000 verse epic poem that is a source of Indian mythology. On the surface, it is a story of a great war triggered by disagreement over inheritance of a kingdom that engulfed the South Asian sub-continent.
It can be viewed as a soap opera, a religious text, a textbook of kingship, and a treatise on how to live.
There is something in it for everyone and it has been a wellspring of inspiration in India for the last two thousand years.

The intent of this course is to both introduce the Mahabharata and to take the discussion down paths not generally travelled. We will watch and read a number of interpretations of the story, mostly orthodox, following the traditional story line. The path not traveled is one proposed by the lecturer and will provide fodder for debate. Without doing violence to Vyaasa’s poem, the Mahabharata can be viewed as the story of conflict over alternative social policies to be followed in the face of a multi-generational ecological crisis. This view is based in relatively recent discoveries as well as a literary deconstruction of key stories in the epic.
Contact: Deepti Nijhawan, deeptin@mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT India Program
Cosponsor: Center for International Studies

Lit@MIT Readathon: Beowulf
Arthur Bahr
Tue Jan 25, 09:30am-04:00pm, 14E-304

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Get ready to rumble as the third annual Lit@MIT Readathon tackles Beowulf this IAP. On January 25, starting at 9:30 am in 14E-304, all are invited to come and join as we read out the hero's battles against the monstrous Grendel and his ferocious mother in Denmark, and a fire-breathing dragon back in his homeland. We will use Seamus Heaney's award-winning translation, which has the advantage of including the original Old English as well; those with either expertise in the language or an especially doughty spirit of adventure can read in Old English (on-the-spot pronunciation lessons will be available), but everyone is enthusiastically welcome. (No one, incidentally, should feel obliged to stay for the entire extravaganza; drop-ins are encouraged.) Following the conclusion of the poem proper, we will watch the probably-truly-terrible-but-still-amusing recent (2007) movie version of the poem. Mead, alas, will not be served, but light refreshments will be.

9:30am-11:30am 14E-304
11:30am-1:30pm TBD
1:30pm-2pm 14E-304 for lunch
2pm-4pm 32-141 for movie screening
Web: http://lit.mit.edu
Contact: Jamie Graham, 14N-407, x8-5629, jamiecg@mit.edu
Sponsor: Literature

Love and Romance in Ancient India
Deepti Nijhawan, Shekhar Shastri
Thu Jan 6, Tue Jan 11, Thu Jan 13, 07-09:00pm, 8-119
Tue Jan 18, 07-09:00pm, 8-119, POSTPONED until Jan. 20

No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 01-Jan-2011
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

Romantic poetry was considered the supreme form of aesthetics in ancient Indian literature. Strikingly uninhibited in their content and intensity, the works of poets such as Bhartrhari, Kalidasa, and Jayadeva are unparalleled in their sublime expression of love which provide deep insight into ancient Indian society, culture, and relationships in general. In addition, a brief background in Indian aesthetics will be provided to help in understanding literary works and sensibilities of the era under study; paintings inspired from the above-mentioned love poetry will be shown and discussed.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/misti/mit-india
Contact: Deepti Nijhawan, deeptin@mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT India Program
Cosponsor: Center for International Studies

Outwitting History, Bringing Yiddish Literature Back
Rabbi Michelle Fisher, Prof Jeff Ravel
No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 18-Jan-2011
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)
Fee: 15.00 for Participants will buy their lunch at UMass Amherst’s kosher

MIT Hillel and the History Dept join together to explore the story of the Yiddish Book Center.
Web: http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/
Contact: Rabbi Michelle Fisher, W11-039, x3-2982, rabbif@mit.edu
Sponsor: Hillel
Cosponsor: History

Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books
Prof Jeff Ravel
Aaron Lansky’s book: Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books is the incredible story of the founding of the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA. Join a discussion of the book led by Jeff Ravel, Professor of History. Free copies are available from the History Dept and the Hillel Office. After reading of this fascinating journey, come tour the Yiddish Book Center the next day.
Wed Jan 19, 02:30-03:30pm, E51-285

Visit to the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA
Rabbi Michelle Fisher
The Yiddish Book Center rescues Yiddish and modern Jewish books and opens their content to the world. The center features a Yiddish book repository, art galleries, museum exhibitions about Yiddish language and culture. Tour the center and talk with founder Aaron Lansky, who also pushed the edge of book technology in 1998 when he created a Digital Yiddish Library that now has over 11,000 Yiddish titles for free download.
Thu Jan 20, 09:30am-05:00pm, W11 and Amherst, MA, Meet at W11 at 9:30 am

Pleasures of Poetry
David Thorburn
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Reading and discussion of memorable poems led by Literature Section faculty and other MIT colleagues.

A packet containing all of the poems in the series will soon be available from the Literature Office, 14N-407 and at http://lit.mit.edu.
Web: http://lit.mit.edu/
Contact: Jamie Graham, 14N-407, x8-5629, jamiecg@mit.edu
Sponsor: Literature

John Berryman
Stephen Tapscott
Dream Song 1
Dream Song 4
Dream Song 14
Mon Jan 3, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Li Bai
Alexander Wei
Tales of Sorrowful Song
Feelings upon Awakening from Drunkenness on a Spring Day
Tue Jan 4, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Herman Melville
Wyn Kelley
Time’s Betrayal
Wed Jan 5, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Mark Halliday
David Thorburn
Poetry Failure
The Fedge
Summer Planning
Thu Jan 6, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Goran Sonneri
Zach Bos
from Mozart's Third Brain
Fri Jan 7, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

William Shakespeare
Howard Eiland
Sonnets 15, 71
Mon Jan 10, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Andre Lord, Tennessee Williams
Anne Fleche
Andre Lord
Tennessee Williams
Which is My Little Boy?
Tue Jan 11, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Ellen Bryant Voigt
David Thorburn
Wed Jan 12, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

William Carlos Williams, Kenneth Koch
Amaranth Borsuk
William Carlos Williams
This is Just to Say
Kenneth Koch
Variations on a theme by
William Carlos Williams
Thu Jan 13, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Tennyson, Swinburn
James Paradis
Disgust: A Dramatic
Fri Jan 14, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

ee cummings
Anne Hudson
anyone lived in a pretty how town
next to of course god america i
1(a… (a leaf falls on loneliness)
Tue Jan 18, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Timothy Donnelly
Kate Gyllensvard
Accidental Species
Wed Jan 19, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Anne Carson
Eugenie Brinkema
TV Men: Lazarus
Thu Jan 20, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Wilfred Owen
Nora Delaney
Dulce et Decorum Est
Anthem for Doomed Youth
Fri Jan 21, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Beowulf: highlights
Arthur Bahr
Mon Jan 24, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Beowulf Mobile Marathon
Arthur Bahr
Please join us in this year's Mobile Marathon: Beowulf! We will read the poem in its entirety in a walk around campus. A light breakfast and pizza lunch will be provided, culminating with a screening of Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf (2007).

More information may be found on the Literature website at http://lit.mit.edu
Tue Jan 25, 09:30am-04:00pm, 14E-304

Wayne Koestenbaum, Thom Gunn
Joel Burges
Wayne Koestenbaum
Erotic Collectibles
Thom Gunn
The Man with the Night
In Time of Plague
Wed Jan 26, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

Christian Campbell
Alisa Braithwaite
Oregon Elegy
Sidney Potter Studies

Note: today's session will meet in 14N-417!
Thu Jan 27, 01-02:00pm, 14N-417

James Buzard
The Lotos-Eaters
Fri Jan 28, 01-02:00pm, 14E-304

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Last update: 7 Sept. 2011