The Medical School’s Class of 1921 poses for a photo in front of the Pretzel Bell Restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor in 1945. The Medical School’s annual Reunion Weekend is set for Friday and Saturday at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. Click the photo to view a larger version. (Photo courtesy of Bentley Historical Library)

This month in history (75 years ago)

Poet W.H. Auden was a professor at the University of Michigan during the 1941-42 academic year, teaching “Fate and the Individual in European Literature.” His syllabus required more than 6,000 pages of reading for the single-semester class, including Dante’s “The Divine Comedy,” Dostoevsky’s “The Brother’s Karamazov” and Melville’s “Moby-Dick.” “What I find fascinating about the syllabus is how much it reflects Auden’s own overlapping interests in literature across genres: drama, lyric poetry, fiction, philosophy and music,” said Lisa Goldfarb, associate professor and associate dean at New York University’s Gallatin School. “He also includes so many of the figures he wrote about in his own prose and those to whom he refers in his poetry, especially ‘The Tempest’ of Shakespeare. By including such texts across disciplines, classical and modern literature, philosophy, music, anthropology, criticism, Auden seems to have aimed to educate his students deeply and broadly. He probably would have enjoyed working with students on the texts he so dearly loved.”

— From New York Daily News

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