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James V. Morrison
Centre College of Kentucky (Danville, KY 40422-1309)
Shipwrecks and the Reinvention of Self in Homer, Shakespeare, Defoe, and the Modern World

Homer, Shakespeare, and Defoe--and their literary descendants--probe the opportunities shipwreck disasters offer for personal transformation and a better society. I examine three "classical" models (THE ODYSSEY, THE TEMPEST, and ROBINSON CRUSOE) and twentieth-century adaptations of these works, including Walcott's works, other fiction, and several movies. My special interest concerns how literary shipwrecks are linked to the idea of the re-invention of self with respect to possible new roles and relationships. The historical context is also addressed, for in some cases real-life "triggers" may have inspired these works. My ultimate goal will be to explain why this archetypal scene continues to resonate today.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Comparative Literature

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 6/30/2007