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Lecture by Troy Wellington Smith, Graduate Student, University of California, Berkeley

Troy Wellington Smith received his BA in English literature and history from Swarthmore College in 2005, and—after some years of teaching English at home and abroad—his MS in library science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2012. While reading in his spare time at Clarion, he was bowled over by the orchestral majesty of Søren Kierkegaard’s Either/Or, and decided that he wanted to write a master’s thesis on the Danish philosopher. Towards that end, he enrolled in an MA program in English literature at the University of Mississippi. Originally, he had intended to focus his thesis on Kierkegaard’s influence on southern literature, but his plans changed after a seminar on Lord Byron in the first semester. After writing his seminar paper on Byron and Kierkegaard, he presented on Kierkegaard’s reading of Byron at conferences in the US and the UK. One of these papers, “P. L. Møller: Kierkegaard’s Byronic Adversary,” was later revised and published in the June 2014 issue of The Byron Journal. In April 2015, he defended his MA thesis, entitled “Kierkegaard and Byron: Disability, Irony, and the Undead.” Smith has also given papers regarding Kierkegaard’s influence on American authors such as Richard Wright, Walker Percy, Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, and Cormac McCarthy. At Berkeley, he hopes to broaden his knowledge of Scandinavian literature, not only for the sake of his teaching and research, but also for his librarianship, as he is intent on becoming a Scandinavian subject specialist. In his first year, he has been given the welcome opportunity to serve as librarian for the department’s library.

This event is part of the lecture series accompanying the exhibition “The Sorrow of Too Many Joys: Satire in 19th Century France,” on view September 5 – December 6, 2015.

General admission is $5; free for OUMA members or with a Petrel Pass.