The Odyssey Project

This grant supports a series of 3 community dialoguesat UNC Asheville  which use episodes from Homer’s Odyssey as the context for exploring current societal challenges. The first dialogue will be an introduction to the themes of the project, the second dialogue will use the episode of Odysseus at Ismaros as the context to discuss violence and colonialism and the seeds of its glorification, and the third dialogue will use Odysseus’ homecoming to Ithaka to discuss masculinity and how to get beyond the seduction of violence as virtue.

This project aims to offer a new framework for interpreting Classical texts which reveals continuing aspects of their importance in illuminating human behavior, and which brings these texts to a new audience to deepen public appreciation for their continued pertinence. The three dialogues will be free, open to the public and led by the multidisciplinary experts listed above in fields ranging from Classics to Education to Politics to sociology to medicine and psychology. Creating this journey using the context of Homer's Odyssey reveals the deep archetypal wisdom carried in Classical literature to help societies identify the dangers to look out for, as well as the support available to us when embarking together on an epic journey of transformation.