By: Joshua Blicker  | 

Literature and Beyond Club Hosts Its First Event of the Semester

On Tuesday, December 6th,  the Literature and Beyond Club hosted its first event of the semester. Entitled “Authorial Intent: Shakespeare, the Constitution, and the Shulchan Aruch,” the event analyzed matters of authorial intent across three disciplines—political science, English Literature, and sacred Jewish texts. Each respective topic was analyzed by a particular expert in its field: Dr. Ruth Bevan, chair of the political science department, discussed authorial intent in the U.S. Constitution; Dr. William Lee, professor of English, discussed authorial intent when it comes to literary theory, and Rabbi Carmy discussed the relevance of authorial intent when it comes to analyzing biblical and rabbinic texts.

Founded in spring 2016, the Literature and Beyond Club aims to emphasize the relevance and importance of liberal arts – exemplified by canonical textual works by Shakespeare to popular modern films like the Hunger Games – for students in our times. The club also aims to foster a love for these texts, films, and much more among the YU student community.

Each professor lectured on his or her expertise for fifteen minutes, after which there was a question and answer session wherein students had the opportunity to engage in dialogue with the professors about a wide array of related topics.

In total, over 25 students attended the event, including all of the members of Dr. David Lavinsky’s 21st Century Chaucer class. Yechiel Schwab, a Yeshiva College senior majoring in English and Mathematics taking Dr. Lavinsky’s class, enjoyed hearing about the issue of authorial intent, which he has discussed in many English classes, “from a number of different and interesting perspectives, during one enlightening hour of discussion,” he said.  Echoing Yechiel’s message, Shula Goldstein, a psychology major at Stern College, stated that the event “helped sensitize” her to “the subtle ways that we can be influenced by the author of a given text.”