Wolfe hopes the lasting relevance of Homer in modern English classes will encourage students who are interested in literature to come see her.
“My research speaks directly to texts many UNC students study,” she said.
Wolfe also said it was UNC students who kept her inspired throughout her writing process.
“A big influence is the undergraduate and graduate students I have worked with, especially in comparative literature,” said Wolfe. “At every level, I just got a sense of enthusiasm and appetite for the kind of work I was doing.”
Wolfe’s gratitude towards her student is clear in the pages of her book.
“If you look at the dedication to the book, you will see a long panegyric to UNC’s comparative literature program,” she said.
At Bull’s Head, Wolfe plans to discuss not only the content of her book, but also how she obtained the scholarly content she found.
“I want to share what the process of writing a book like this looks like,” Wolfe said.
The process she speaks of includes doing years of research and going into archives and libraries in places like the Vatican and Venice to discover commentary on Homer’s readings dating back to centuries ago.
“You never know what you may find when you go into libraries with your eyes open and your mind open,” she said.
All UNC students and faculty are welcome to come to the event for free. Kyle McKay, a marketing manager at UNC Student Stores who is coordinating the event, thinks students who attend will benefit from what Wolfe has to share.
“Having faculty members come to our store and talk about what they’re experts in is a much more interesting setup than a typical lecture class,” McKay said.
“She’s a wonderful speaker, so I personally plan to attend,” said Inger Brodey, an associate professor in the English and Comparative Literature Department. “She’s a fabulous scholar doing groundbreaking research on Homer, which isn’t easy to do.”
One of the most important concepts Wolfe hopes to discuss this afternoon is the need for students to be encouraged to do research on classic works similar to how she has done.
“Without scholars doing this type of research, we may lose access to millions of classic manuscripts,” Wolfe said.
“Those materials are lost to the future if we don’t continue to do this work and to improve upon it.”