The first World Literature Colloquium of the 2014-2015 academic year will be a lecture by Associate Professor of English, Sarah Gridley, entitled “Hic Sunt Dracones: Deep Edges in Eliade, Tolstoy, and Atwood.” It will be held on October 20 at 4:30 in Clark 206.
This talk will attempt to track two kinds of chaos monsters—sea serpents and snakes—through two poems, one fable, and one consecration ritual. Drawing on a term paper she wrote as a student in Timothy Beal’s RLGN 445 course, Gridley’s monster-searching will range all over the map: from the axis mundi of a foundation stone in India, to the bottom of a Russian well, to depths of the Canadian wilderness and the Underworld beneath it. Must we repeat more and more insistent forms of cosmos- and ego-building in response to depth, disorientation, and dissolution—or how might literature and religion help us meet our ‘chaos monsters’ less defensively? Gridley invites colloquium participants to join her in pursuing this question through various examples of World Literature.
Sarah Gridley is an associate professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the author of three books of poetry: Weather Eye Open (University of California Press, 2005), Green is the Orator (University of California Press, 2010), and Loom (2013, Omnidawn Publishing—selected by Carl Phillips as the winner of 2011 Open Book Contest).