Legassie emphasized this point by combining the Gothic with the modern, combining horror themes from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.”
He encouraged students in particular to explore diverse themes.
“Analysis is not the opposite of pleasure,” he said.
The Furst lecture series was started by comparative literature graduate students in 2005 and honors the late professor Furst.
Jasmine McKewen, who coordinated the original forum nearly six years ago, said these lectures are a way for students to analyze literature from a multi-disciplinary perspective and examine different types of work.
Graduate student Meredith Ringel said Legassie’s presentation broadened her interpretation on the analysis of literature.
“It got me out of my usual frame of medieval studies,” she said.
Furst, who died in September of 2009, was known for her inter-disciplinary work and her focus on expanding her students’ academic horizons.
“Dr. Furst made comparative literature into what it is in the U.S. today,” said Samantha Riley, who co-organized Thursday’s forum.
Furst specialized on the relationship between literature and medicine and wrote more than 20 books, with material ranging from eating disorders to romanticism.
McKewen said Furst’s work — and the lecture series — aims to strengthen the research and analysis capabilities of professors and students by having them view their work from a variety of fields.
Senior Jonathan Slaughter said Legassie was able to portray literature in a “de-familiarized” way through the use of artwork, imagery and film clips.
Thursday’s lecture was the first of four upcoming this semester. The Furst Forum will continue its discussions on Feb. 24, when Pablo Maurette will discuss “Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics of Touch.”
The organizers said they hope that students will use future lectures to follow in Furst’s footsteps and broaden their academic careers.
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