Poetic Ways of Knowing, October 2

West End Library

Poetic Ways of Knowing, October 2

Dr. Anne Ashbaugh          Christophe Casamassima          Magus Magnus
Three writers share their fascination with the culture of Ancient Greece, celebrating its perennial relevance, through vital exploration of some of the greatest names in literature, philosophy and myth.

From Homer (bounced against James Joyce) to Heraclitus of "You can't step into the same river
twice" fame, with Plato's philosophy attendant upon the union of Eros and Psyche, your panelists
offer fresh and exciting modes of access to the root knowledge hidden at the foundation of our
Western civilization. Here you'll discover how the past reaches into the present, and -- just as astonishing -- how the present reaches the past.

Dr. Anne Ashbaugh, Professor of Ancient Greek Philosophy, Towson University
Christophe Casamassima, poet and publisher
Magus Magnus, author of Herclitean Pride

11:30 a.m. - Welcome, Introductory remarks and presentation by Magus Magnus.
12 noon - Dr. Anne Ashbaugh, author of Mythopoiesis
12:30 p.m. - Christophe Casamassima, author of The Proteus and Ore
1 p.m. - Magus Magnus, on Heraclitean Pride and Verb Sap
1:20 - 2 p.m. - conclusion, open to audience involvement and questions

Anne Freire Ashbaugh came to Towson from Colgate University and has been a recurring visiting professor at Rutgers University since 2005. Her research covers Ancient Greek Philosophy, Philosophy of Literature and Epistemology. She is author of Plato’s Theory of Explanation (1988) and Mujeres ensayistas del Caribe hispánico: Hilvanando el silencio (2007, with Rojas and Romeu).  Her post-doctoral studies include yearlong research in Princeton University and in Europe at El Escorial, Cambridge University, Venice’s Library (Marciana) and the University of Salamanca. She participated in Philosophy Talk, discussing “Pornography” and “Immortality.”  At Towson University, she chairs the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and teaches courses on skepticism, Greek philosophy, Plato and Nietzsche.

Christophe Casamassima Myths fascinate me.  In the practice of philosophy, I found myself turning to myths to awaken in students the power of their imagination, to enrich their inquiry and to express Ancient Greek culture. I started writing Mythopoiesis as a philosophical exercise, to move reason fluidly, yet with discipline, from Plato’s philosophy to the myth of Eros and Psyche. I found that some of my monotheistic colleagues wanted to address their own myths and I sought to intertwine one-god myths with those of polytheism. I regularly taught a course on “The Powers of Myths” and a course on “Finding Ourselves Through Myths.” In the latter we sought to uncover various psychological dimensions of three myths: Narcissus, Theseus and Psyche.  Ovid’s The Metamorphoses became my constant companion. 

Magus Magnus lives in the D.C. metro area. Ten years in the making, his creative-poetic treatment
of the fragments of Heraclitus, Heraclitean Pride, is just out this fall from Furniture Press, with an introduction by Dr. Wolfgang Fuchs. The work could be thought of as a playful yet rigorous re-construction of Heraclitus' lost book, once so famous in antiquity. Magnus' book Verb Sap came out in 2008 from Narrow House. Two poems from Verb Sap -- "Radical Crumb" and "Empirical / Imperial Demonstration" -- have been selected for the 10th edition of Pearson Longman's English Anthology of Literature.

Refreshments will be served throughout the program./p>