The idea of traveling to a different time, future or past, has fascinated writers of fiction, philosophy, history and science. This discussion-based seminar will revel in this topic rich in possibilities and paradox from each of those vantage points, though the primary point of entry will be through fiction. Our texts will be The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells, Einstein’s Dreams, by Alan Lightman, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. We will also screen at least one time traveling movie. As the week unfolds, most likely in the usual linear way (though one never knows!), we will discuss not only time travel itself but also its place in popular culture, our own ways (both as individuals and as a society) of traveling through time and whether time even exists at all.
Required Reading: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, any edition.
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, any edition.
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman, any edition.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald, any edition.
Roy Underhill ’81 graduated from Lawrence University with degrees in philosophy and piano performance and graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1984. After six years of varied law practice, he spent 20 years as a stay-at-home homeschooling dad. Last summer he was lucky enough to snag a Bjorklunden seminar gig and, when asked to do another one in 2018, traveled in his mind back in time to sixth grade when he read a story about a man who is hurled backward in time to become the explosion we now call the Big Bang. That visit to the past started the sequence of events that has resulted in the time line in which he offers this seminar.