MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2013 Activities by Sponsor - Literature

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Mobile Reading Marathon: Odyssey

Stephanie Frampton, Professor of Literature

Jan/23 Wed 09:00AM-09:00PM location will change

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

Come join the 4th annual Literature-sponsored Mobile Marathon on Jan. 23rd, when we will be reading the ENTIRETY of Homer's Odyssey in a single day for a Homer-athon!  It took Odysseus 20 years to get home from Troy, but through the wonder of the codex book we are redefining what 'epic' means; in the great Greek peripatetic tradition, we will move across the campus reciting (and sometimes performing) the story, in translation. Come and go as you please, or join a hearty crew of professors, students and other community friends who journey together from start to finish.  Starts at 9 am in 14N-417, and moves with the story from East to West Campus, stopping for rest and refreshment in congenial rooms (see room list below). Appropriate garb and monster outfits welcome but not required: just a sense of humor, desire for community, and a willingness to listen or read. Feel free to join during any part of the day.

9:00-10:00: 14N-417

10:00-11:30: 4-349 (Pappalardo Room)

11:30-1:00: 62 (Talbot Lounge)

1:00-3:00: 50 (Pritchett)

3:00-5:00: Lobby 10

5:00-7:00: W20 (Twenty Chimneys)

7:00-9:00: W1 (Maseeh Hall)

Questions: contact Stephanie Frampton

Sponsor(s): Literature
Contact: Stephanie Frampton, 14N-434, 617-253-4452,

On the Screen - activity

Alvin Kibel, Literature Professor

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

Examines works of film, television or other screen-based media, with emphasis on texts that are related by genre, time period, style, or director. Listeners are welcome to attend individual sessions.
We will explore various elements of cinematic texts to determine what makes a film an instance or version of a film of a particular kind, members of which all offer versions of the same underlying story. Discerning its kind (or genre) is implicit in understanding any film narrative--why the action makes sense and what it means in relation to lived experience. Genres to be examined will include: Westerns, Detective Films, Musicals, Screwball Comedies, Fantasy, Vampires, Gangster movies, Samurai movies, and a nameless genre: films about the relation of the medium to reality. In addition to viewing sixteen films, we will also read some literary or dramatic texts or portions thereof to compare the treatment of similar narrative patterns in two different media.

Sponsor(s): Literature
Contact: Alvin Kibel,

Mon-Fri, Jan 7-11, 14-18, 22-25, 28-1


Room 14E-310

Alvin Kibel - Literature Professor

Pleasures of Poetry

David Thorburn

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

This popular activity – which aims to reach all lovers of poetry -- has been offered every IAP for the last fifteen years.  Each one-hour session is devoted to a single poet, usually a single poem.  The goal is discussion and shared pleasure.  No lectures or professorial arrogance allowed. Some participants attend every session, but many others attend only once or twice to read and discuss a favorite poet or poem.  The roster of poets is always immensely diverse: from ancient Chinese masters to contemporary American poets laureate, from such famous Greats as Shakespeare, Keats and Auden to Dr. Seuss and Bob Dylan.  Discussion and collaborative close reading are the aim and ideal of each hour.  A packet of all the chosen texts will be posted online ( and will be available in hardcopy from the Literature Office.

Sponsor(s): Literature
Contact: David Thorburn, 14N-335, 3-6950,

Jan/07 Mon 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/08 Tue 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/09 Wed 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/10 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/11 Fri 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/14 Mon 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/15 Tue 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/16 Wed 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/17 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/18 Fri 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/22 Tue 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/23 Wed 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/24 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/25 Fri 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/28 Mon 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/29 Tue 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/30 Wed 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Jan/31 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304
Feb/01 Fri 01:00PM-02:00PM 14E-304

David Thorburn