Thursday, 11 December
8:15 PM, Daugherty-Palmer Commons
Robin Bates has been teaching English at St. Mary’s College since 1981 and has twice been a Fulbright professor in Slovenia. The author of numerous film and literature articles as well as of one book, How Beowulf Can Save America: An Epic Hero’s Guide to Defeating the Politics of Rage, Bates blogs daily at betterlivingthroughbeowulf.com about how immersion in literature is vital to one’s life. For Bates himself, when he was one of the plaintiffs in a civil rights suit brought by white and black families against the Franklin County school system, he drew strength from Huck’s friendship with Jim. As a lonely teenager in a military high school, he felt himself understood by existentialist writers such as Dostoyevsky. At Carleton College, the poetry of D.H. Lawrence inspired him, and Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones was the key work for him after he graduated and entered the job market. In the thirty-plus years since then, he feels privileged to have had students share with him their own literary life stories.