In some ways, the Germanic epic Beowulf fits one definition of tragedy, says Lois Smedick: as a fight to the death in a narrow place against odds.
“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, with its interplay between the ridiculous and some deadly intentions, may speak more readily to our take, nowadays, on the world,” she says.
Dr. Smedick, an English professor emerita, will engage in an hour’s conversation about these heroes in “Beowulf, Sir Gawain and ? Why we Read: A Life in Literature,” on Wednesday, November 16, at 3:30 p.m. in Assumption University’s Freed-Orman Centre.
A reception will follow the lecture, sponsored by the Humanities Research Group.
The event will also mark the launch of the Lois Smedick Humanities Research Group Endowment. The endowment will ensure the continual thought-provoking dialogue between the academic world and the community at large, Smedick says: “The humanities are the disciplines that engage in questioning interpretations of the world we experience.”
The naming of the endowment is meant to honour Smedick, says the group’s director, Antonio Rossini.
“She is a well-respected scholar dedicated to academia and philanthropy and an advocate for many community organizations,” he said.
Smedick is a former dean of graduate studies and research, and former director of the Humanities Research Group. She is chair of the Board of Governors of Assumption University and a past president of the Art Gallery of Windsor board of directors.