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Lafayette College’s 1999 Roethke Humanities Festival features “Modern Appropriations of Homer’s Odyssey,” celebrating the 2,700 year-old epic that was this summer’s common reading assignment for incoming first-year students at Lafayette.

The festival includes lectures, art exhibits, and events in the performing arts series at the Williams Center for the Arts. It is sponsored by Lafayette’s Cultural Program and the academic departments in the humanities, which are art, English, foreign languages and literatures, music, philosophy, and religion.

Held every two years, the Roethke Festival is named for Theodore Roethke (1908-63), a former Lafayette faculty member and noted poet of the 1940s and ’50s. Roethke published several critically acclaimed volumes of poetry, including The Waking, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1954.

This year’s festival kicked off September 8 when Robert Fagles of Princeton University read from his award-winning 1996 translation of the Odyssey (the translation read by Lafayette students) and led a roundtable discussion with students and faculty.

Here is a calendar of festival events:

Tuesday, September 14 (through October 31) – Lobby installation: “The Parthenon Project” by Pittsburgh architect Paul Rosenblatt and New York City photographer Judith Turner, Williams Center for the Arts. Reception 3 p.m. Sunday, October 31

Sunday, October 24 (through December 10) — Exhibit: “Journeys: An Exhibition Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey,” Williams Center gallery. Reception 3 p.m. Sunday, October 31

Wednesday, October 27, 8 p.m. – Presentation: “Oral Traditions in World Cultures: Journeys through Storytelling” by Lisa Facciponti, Williams Center room 108

Monday, November 1, noon – Roundtable discussion with artists in the “Journeys” exhibit, Williams Center room 108

Monday, November 1, 8 p.m. – Lecture: “Values of Homer’s Odyssey in a Modern World” by Mary Lefkowitz, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and chair of the classical studies department, Wellesley College, Williams Center room 108

Monday, November 1, 9 p.m. – Workshop: “Traditional Greek Circle Dancing” by Lisa Facciponti, Farinon College Center, Marlo Room

Monday, November 8, 8 p.m. – “Story Circle Workshop with Students” by Lisa Facciponti, Kirby Hall of Civil Rights room 4

Thursday, November 11, 7:30 p.m. – Workshop: “Skills of Physical Theater” by Lisa Carter and Louis Butelli of Aquila Theatre of London, Williams Center Theater

Friday, November 12, noon – Lecture: “Stagings of Homer’s Epics for the Modern Stage” by Robert Richmond, artistic director of the Aquila Theatre of London, Williams Center room 123

Saturday, November 13, 10 a.m. – Family Workshop: “Enjoying the stories of the Iliad through the medium of theater,” Williams Center Theater

Saturday, November 13, 8 p.m. – Williams Center performance: The Iliad by Aquila Theatre of London, Williams Center Theater

Friday, January 28, 7 p.m. – Lecture: “From Homer’s Odysseus to Joyce’s Ulysses” by Vicki Mehaffey, professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, Williams Center room 108

Friday, January 28, 8 p.m. – Williams Center performance: Ulysses by Headlong Dance Company, Williams Center Theater

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