In February Professor Charles Lock (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) gave a series of lectures to the MCU audience, on invitation from the Institute of Foreign Languages.
Professor Lock graduated from Oxford University where he conducted research on John Powys poetry. Later he lectured at University of Toronto where he first took interest in Orthodox Christianity in Alaska. Besides literary research, he published a number of essays on Russian iconography and Orthodox theology.
The first lecture presented by Professor Lock on February 17 was titled ‘Episodes of Russian History: Saint Innocentius of Moscow — the Enlightener of Alaska — and Russian America‘ where he considered the Russian period of Alaska history.
The second lecture ‘Shakespeare Offstage: Drama, Imagination and the non-event’, presented on February 21, carried the listeners back to the times of Shakespeare and great dramatic art.
At the next lecture ‘Literature and the Railway’ Professor Lock explained the incredible significance of the invention of railway to the world literature, confirming this statement with such examples of powerful literary scenes staged in the trains or railway stations as Tolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina’ and Dickens’s ‘Dombey and Son’.
This lecture was followed by an analytical workshop ‘How to read a poem, and how to read a novel’ where Professor Lock gave a brilliant master class of literary linguistic analysis through the example of ‘The Walk’ by John Hardy and ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ by Virginia Woolf.
The course was concluded by an open lecture ‘Russian émigré writers: Vladimir Nabokov and Joseph Brodsky’ dedicated to Russian émigré writers examined within the new literary framework of émigré literature. Special focus was on bilingual writers who were able to express their literary talent brilliantly both in Russian and English.
This series of lectures is part of the MCU project Plasticine featuring courses on various subjects for wide audience. The video recording of the lectures by Professor Lock will soon be available on Youtube.