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Albert Camus’ novel depicts the city of Oran, Algeria during a contemporary outbreak of the plague. While there are obvious parallels between the plague in the novel and the peste brune (the brown plague, a nickname for the Nazis who occupied France during World War 2), by transforming the threat into an act of nature, Camus shifts the focus from human cruelty to the many reactions to suffering: some pretend it doesn’t exist, some try to escape it, others accept it and try to alleviate pain.
Illness has been recorded in art for much of human history. In the fall of 2017, my colleague Brian Poole and I co-taught an Honors 220: Unexpected Connections course we titled “Literature and Disease.” The class was Brian’s idea. He’s a microbiologist in the College of Life Sciences, a virologist, and an expert on the human immune system.
Associate Professor Mike Pope (Comparative Arts and Letters) discusses plagues in Classical literature and how epidemics were used as a literary convention.
Assistant Professor Elliott Wise (Comparative Arts and Letters) shares how “plague crosses” served as a beacon of hope for those suffering from sickness during the Renaissance.
How can poetry, plays, and art flourish during a deadly pandemic? Learn how Shakespeare used the time of plagues to spur his creativity!
Greek myths have been told time and again, but Professor Roger Macfarlane explores how these myths have been adapted to our modern culture.
At BYU’s 2019 Education Week conference, professor of Linguistics David Eddington shared his insights about the nature of births, deaths, and evolution of languages.
Tips for Remote Language Teaching
Consider limiting large group discussions and focusing more on small group conversations focused on student readings and student papers (something like the tutorial system in the UK)
Associate Dean Leslee Thorne-Murphy lectured during Education Week 2019 on Victorian Christmas literature and how authors focused on Christ despite the rise of commercialization.
Dr. George B. Handley of the Comparative Arts & Letters Department recently published his 11th book, If Truth Were a Child (2019). Unlike his previous titles—which include creative non-fiction, scholarly works, a memoir, and a novel—this book is a compilation of reflective essays analyzing the intersection between faith and intellectualism.
Florida State University's Dr. Juan Carlos Galeano addressed BYU students, faculty members, and others in a pair of lectures on January 30, 2020.