Mon Mar 22 2021

  • Forum on Albert Camus: A Scholarly Talk and Poetry Reading Featuring Robert Zaretsky & Major Jackson
    2:00pm - 3:30pm
    To register, please visit:

    Sponsored by the Humanities Center
    @ the University of Vermont

    Albert Camus was a fearless writer who engaged in the major philosophical and political debates of the twentieth century surrounding individual freedom, social reform, and justice within the contexts of colonialism and the wars of decolonization, Communism, Nazism, and the atomic age. He also wrote an astoundingly prescient account of life under a pandemic in our time.

    Join historian Robert Zaretsky (University of Houston) and poet Major Jackson (Vanderbilt University) for a webinar featuring a scholarly talk and poetry reading, followed by a roundtable discussion in which they will be joined by Camus scholar Meaghan Emery (University of Vermont). There will also be time for audience Q&A, moderated by Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier (University of Vermont).

    Robert Zaretsky, Professor of history in the Honors College at the University of Houston, specializes in the field of modern European intellectual and cultural history. He has published two recent works on Camus, A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning and Albert Camus: Elements to a Life. He is currently working on a manuscript based on his volunteer work at a nursing home during the pandemic with readings of six writers who also dealt with plagues, including Albert Camus whose 1947 novel, The Plague, written under the German occupation of France, focuses on the daily battle against a totalitarian regime of fear, symbolized by disease.

    Major Jackson, the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor at Vanderbilt University, and a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, published a new book of poetry, The Absurd Man in 2020. His book was inspired by his reading of Camus’s philosophical essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, and essays contained in Resistance, Rebellion, and Death.

    Meaghan Emery, Associate Professor of French at the University of Vermont, recently published The Algerian War Retold: Of Camus’s Revolt and Postwar Reconciliation, an intellectual biography combined with a reevaluation of Camus’s ethical thought as seen through the lens of postcolonial works written by Franco-Algerian authors over the past two decades.