The Kirschbaum Lectures

The Kirschbaum Lectures


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Sy Kirschbaum, renowned for his translations of major European writers like Jan Horak and Anton Grassfeld, has arrived at the college to teach a course called Introduction to Literature. He’s come from the Czech countryside, where he’d been undergoing treatment by Dr. L. Hruška for a psychological breakdown connected to the seventeen-year-long process of finishing Horak’s epic novel of Cold War dissent. Standing before a group of disoriented but enthralled students, facing down an increasingly tyrannical dean, Kirschbaum embarks on a twelve-week journey into his past and toward the heart of his literary life, 1990s Berlin, where art and dreams surged with the raw energy of utopian aspirations. Sy’s lectures cross treacherous narrative terrain and spiral toward the shocking revelation of an unhealed wound, from which literature itself, in its infinity of interwoven forms, seems to pulsate.



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Seth Rogoff has been a part-time member of the History faculty at USM since 2013. He teaches a variety of online classes for the department, including HTY 102: Western Civilization II, Modern Russian History, and two upper level elective courses on modern World History. He completed his BA in Literature and History at Washington University in St. Louis in 1999, earned an MA at Duke University in 2003, and recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Amsterdam. He has also been a Fulbright Scholar in Berlin, Germany (2006-2007). Mr. Rogoff is the author of two translations of Franz Kafka’s work and two novels, First, the Raven: A Preface (2017), and Thin Rising Vapors (2018).

The Kirschbaum Lectures