On Sunday, October 16, Commonwealth Headmaster Bill Wharton moderated a panel discussion at the Annual Conference of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers at Boston University’s Editorial Institute. The topic of the seminar was “Teaching the Odyssey in Schools and Colleges,” and the panel included thirteen teachers, graduate students, and professors.
Bill, who taught the Odyssey to 9th graders in Commonwealth's Ancient History course for over a decade, guided the conversation from considerations of ways to help students understand the structure and language of the poem to the Odyssey’s afterlife in medieval and modern literature.
Among those at the seminar were a number of parents of Commonwealth alumni/ae, including B.U. Professor Christopher Ricks (father of Alice ’97, James ’98, and Sophie ’01) as a panelist, and poets David Ferry (father of Stephen ’78 and Elizabeth ’85) and Rosanna Warren (mother of Chiara Scully ’03) as audience members.
The ALSCW is an organization of writers and scholars whose aim is to “ensure that literature thrives in scholarly and creative environments.” To this end, they advocate for the teaching of close, analytical reading in schools and colleges.