The Art of Reading Symbols: A Six-week Intensive

March 1
- April 5, 2022

When: Tuesdays, March 1 – April 5, 2022, 4-5:30 ET
Leader: Katerina Kern 

> Can’t make the class live? Everyone who signs up will receive the recordings to watch later.
In school we tend to learn literature, art history, myths, etc. as different topics and likely from different teachers. This typically leaves us thinking of these different genres as isolated fields working differently. However, throughout history the verbal and visual arts informed each other and spoke the same language; they all attempted to express reality through the most available and correct symbols. Reading these symbols is, ultimately, the foundational Liberal Art of Grammar.

In this course, we will attempt to learn that language by exploring fairy tales, myths, paintings, and literature. Each week will consider a different archetype and trace its symbolic representations through the arts.

This course is for teachers and high schoolers. There will be optional homework and some class participation recommended, as the sessions will be taught through a mix of discussion and lecture.

We will consider how archetypes appear within literature, myth, and paintings. Some of the archetypes we will be examining: the Great Mother, the Great Father, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Death, the Bride, the Bridegroom, and the Waters of Life and Waters of Death (subject to change).

Each of these archetypes are spoken of through symbols like a dragon, fruit, maiden, tower, rose, enclosed garden, rivers, and more. We will consider upwards of ten symbols in each class.

Some of the great works we will consider include The Bible (Revelation, Genesis, Ezekial, Jonah), The Odyssey, the myth of Cupid and Psyche, the myth of Persephone, Little Briar Rose, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Buried Moon, Medieval paintings, the works of Edward Burne-Jones and other Pre-Raphaelites, Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, and more.

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