Is Cindy Sheehan, who turned her grief over her sons death in Iraq into a protest against the war, a modern-day Antigone, the mythic heroine who buried her brother in defiance of the kings order the body be left to rot on the battlefield?
Does the election of Barack Obama have its roots in the publics perception of former President George W. Bushs foreign and domestic challengesfrom the abuse of Iraqi prisoners of war in Abu Ghraib prison to the governments response following Hurricane Katrina?
Donald Pease , a professor of English, comparative literature and African and African-American studies at Dartmouth College, will attempt to answer these and other questions during a Feb. 27 talk at West Virginia University .
Pease will speak onAntigones Kin: From Abu Ghraib to Barack Obamaat noon in 130 Colson Hall. His talkwhich is free and open to the publicis part of the Eberly Family Distinguished Lecture Series in the WVU Department of English .
He will pull from his forthcoming book,Unacknowledged Legislators: State Fantasies from the Persian Gulf War to Barack Obama,which demonstrates the ways in which national governance is structured in part upon fantasies and dreams.
Dr. Peases lecture will draw connections between various aspects of American political culture and literary art to demonstrate the value of the humanities in our course toward a more established and principled future,said John Ernest , Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of American Literature.
The presentation will discuss how events such as Abu Ghraib, Sheehans protest outside Bushs ranch in Crawford, Texas, Hurricane Katrina, the home finance crisis and Obamas movement resulted in undermining Bushsfantasyof a Homeland Security State.
Specifically, Pease said he will discuss the ways Bushs post-9/11 compact with the American people came apart, explaining how Sheehans refusal to mourn the death of her son was a re-enactment of Antigones confrontation with King Creon and how the Obama movement originated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Pease is an authority on 19th- and 20th-century American literature and literary theory. The chair of the Dartmouth Liberal Studies Program, he brought the School of Criticism and Theory to Dartmouth and founded the Dartmouth Institute in American Studies.
He is the author ofVisionary Compacts: American Renaissance Writings in Cultural Contextand more than 70 articles on figures in American and British literature and the culture of U.S. imperialism. He is also co-editor ofAmerican Renaissance Rediscoveredand general editor of a series of books by Duke University calledThe New Americanists.
He has a doctorate from the University of Chicago.