Curious Minds // Literary Cities: Paris, New York, St. Petersburg and the Birth of the Modern Age


Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Jan 10, 2020 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Jan 17, 2020 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Jan 24, 2020 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Jan 31, 2020 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Feb 7, 2020 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Fri, Feb 14, 2020 10:00 AM


**Course registration sold-out. A limited number of single course tickets will be available at the box office the same day as the lecture.**

After charming us with her courses on the Hermitage Museum and The Ballets Russes, Curious Minds favourite Dr. Julia Zarankin returns to explore how the cities of Paris, New York and St. Petersburg gave birth to some of history's greatest writers in the early 20th century. As we journey across the cultural landscapes of these great world metropolises, we’ll examine how the fast-paced lifestyle of the modern city inspired artistic luminaries like Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, Leo Tolstoy, Edith Warton and Langston Hughes, transforming the way readers made sense of their changing societies. We’ll immerse ourselves in the colourful characters and the rich sights and sounds of these literary hotbedsand take measure of the cultural revolutions they brought into the world.

This series is led by Dr. Julia Zarankin, who holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and was recently awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. She enjoys teaching in venues across the GTA and also leads culture tours with Worldwide Quest

January 10: Paris: The Quintessentially Modern City
We’ll start by examining how the urban renewal of Paris in the 19th century inspired Baudelaire and his concept of the flâneur—the “passionate observer” of city life. From there, we’ll consider how the Eiffel Tower reconfigured the Parisian landscape and inspired writers such as Marcel Proust and Guillaume Apollinaire to seek new literary forms.

January 17: Paris: City of Exiles
In the early 20th century, Paris became home to a community of expats and writers living in exile. We’ll explore how the “City of Lights” informed the work of Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Djuna Barnes.

January 24: St. Petersburg: A City on the Cusp of Change
Learn how St. Petersburg’s complicated, paradoxical historical identity weaves its way into the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy, and depicts a city on the cusp of cataclysmic change.

January 31: St. Petersburg: Literature and Revolution
Political upheaval in St. Petersburg spurred a generation of writers, spearheaded by Vladimir Mayakovsky, to embrace the revolution as a utopic dream and a source of spiritual renewal.

February 7: New York: A Bridge to the Modern Age
We’ll travel across the Atlantic to New York City and explore how the growing metropolis and pace of modern life is reflected through the lens of Walt Whitman, Edith Wharton and Henry James, whose evocations of the city galvanized a new generation of modern writers.

February 14: New York: The Diverse City
Our literary tour will end with an exploration of the diversity of New York’s modernist landscape, including work by Harlem Renaissance writers Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.

Additional Information

Fridays, January 10—February 14
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Six-week course: $69 (Members: $60, $48, Free) | REGISTER NOW
Single class: $21 (Members: $17, $14, Free)

See all Curious Minds courses for Winter 2020

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