LECTURES IN 2017
- October 6, 2017. Silver with Red: 1917 and Russian Literature. Friday, October 6, 2017, 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM. Chicago Cultural Center. Free Public Lecture sponsored by Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults, Graham School, University of Chicago. Lecture Description: If literature is a mirror of life, then the revolution of 1917 could be seen as a hammer that broke that mirror into multiple pieces. Some writers chose exile, others stayed. Of those who stayed, some believed in the party line and complied with it; others didn’t. Some works were published in a million hardcover copies; others were read in typewritten “samizdat” copies or kept “in the drawer” for decades. This lecture explores the impact of 1917 on Russian authorship and readership: What did it mean to be Akhmatova, Mandelstam or Tsvetaeva under Stalin? How did the situation of Bulgakov or Pasternak differ from that of Gorky or Sholokhov? How did Bunin and Nabokov or, later, Solzhenitsyn and Brodsky, fare abroad? And what does it mean to be a reader of these writers – then and today?
- March 3, 2017. Counterlives: Philip Roth in Context. Friday, March 3, 2017, 12:15-1:45 PM, Claudia Cassidy Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center. Free admission. Sponsored by the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults, Graham School, University of Chicago. Lecture description:
Fiction is an opportunity to entertain roads not taken, to live vicariously, to test the boundaries of one’s empathic potential and open-mindedness. Even the most autobiographical writers are aware of this dimension of their art. Philip Roth, who coined the word “counterlife,” might be the most thorough living explorer of this function of literature. In his oeuvre, counterlives are a trope, a theme, and a prompt for reflection on that exclusively human way of conquering mortality called imagination. The lecture will consider Roth’s counterlives in the context of the Western tradition, e.g., Homer, Plato, Shakespeare, Kierkegaard, Fernando Pessoa, and Kafka.
PUBLICATION – November 2016
- Mark Strand, A Piece of the Storm / Частица от бурята. Sofia: Fakel Expess, 2016, 312 p. Translation into Bulgarian Katia Mitova and Kristin Dimitrova. Design: Yana Levieva. Editor: Georgi Borissov. COVER IMAGE STRAND.
LECTURES IN 2016
- December 2: Shakespeare the Master of Ambiguity. Friday, December 2, 12:15-1:45 PM, Claudia Cassidy Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center. Free admission. Sponsored by the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults, Graham School, University of Chicago. More information. Description: In life, ambiguity frustrates us. In poetry it delights us. In drama? As long as we are reading a masterpiece that allows for multiple interpretations, we perceive ambiguity as richness. Uncertainty intrigues us. But how does one stage the ambiguity we perceive in Shakespeare’s characters, in the plots of his masterpieces, in his half-closures, in his brilliant puns? We’ve seen very different King Lears, Hamlets, and Iagos, all of whom said the same words. Midsummer Night’s Dream is not always funny and The Winter’s Tale can be quite bitter, despite its “happy ending.” This lecture explores the tension between text and theater caused by Shakespeare’s ambiguity.
- May 17: Introduction to Wislawa Szymborska. Tuesday, May 17, Center for Life and Learning, Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago. Admission fee. Description: One of the fourteen women awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Wyslawa Szymborska (1923-2012) has been called “the Mozart of poetry.” We will read a sample of her work and explore the unique ways in which her wisdom, humanity, and philosophical depth blend with sparkling humor, irony, and playfulness.
LECTURES IN 2015
- December 4: Fear of Doubt in Shakespeare’s Othello. Friday, December 4, 12:15-1:45 PM, Claudia Cassidy Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center. Free admission. Sponsored by the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults, Graham School, University of Chicago. The lecture is based on a book chapter available on Academia.edu: https://chicago.academia.edu/KatiaMitova
- July 12: Moby-Dick at the Lookingglass Theatre. Post-matinee panel discussion of the play on July 12, 4:30 PM. With Dr. Janna Henning and the theatre’s artistic director, Andrew White. Topic: “Obsession, Revenge, Fanaticism and Madness in Moby Dick.” More information HERE. My lecture on “Moby Dick’s Double Vision and Double Vision in Moby-Dick” is available on Academia.edu: https://chicago.academia.edu/KatiaMitova
- June 6: Healing Through Poetry. Saturday, June 6, 1:30 PM. Reading and conversation with Joanna Kurowska and Stella Vinitchi Radulescu. Seminary Co-op Bookstore, 5751 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637. More information HERE. Planning to attend? Make sure you RSVP.
- April 25: The Makers of the Odyssey. Saturday, April 25, 9-10:30 AM. Lecture at the Basic Program Spring Weekend Study Retreat on Homer’s Odyssey, April 24-26, The Abbey Resort, Fontana, WI. Description & Registration. Read a full version of the lecture: The Makers of the Odyssey.
LECTURES IN 2014
- December 5: Dream Ambiguity in the Odyssey, Othello, and Anna Karenina. Public lecture. Friday, December 5, 12:15-1:30 PM, Claudia Cassidy Theatre, Chicago Cultural Center. Free admission. Sponsored by the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults, Graham School, University of Chicago. Interview with Katia Mitova in Dream Time. The lecture in based on a paper in progress. A draft of it is available here: Mitova Dream Ambiguity 20141130. If you read it, please feel free to send me comments, questions, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also see Dream Masks.
- April 26: Frost’s Sonnets: Short and Long. Lecture at the Study Retreat on Robert Frost. Lecture at the Basic Program Weekend Study Retreat on Robert Frost. April 25-27, The Abbey Resort, IL.
- March 7: 20th-century Prophets: Kafka and Borges. 12:15-1:45 PM. Claudia Cassidy Theater. Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago. First Friday Lecture sponsored by Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults, Graham School, University of Chicago.
- February 16: Nobody the Writer, Seminar. 7-8 PM. At the Parlor, 1434 N. Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622.
- January 17: The Art and Craft of Storytelling in Teaching Psychology and Education (with Cynthia Langtiw, Michelle Cutler, and Charles Vanover). The Qualitative Report. Fifth Annual Conference. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. January 17-18.