Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Spooky Season Begins for WT Great Books Series with Discussion of ‘Goblin Market’


CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University’s Great Books Series is offering forbidden fruit for its audience in September.

Dr. Monica Hart, associate professor of English at WT, will lead the discussion of Christina Rossetti’s narrative poem “Goblin Market” at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 via Zoom.

The discussion series — sponsored by the Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages in the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities —is open to those who either have or haven’t read the book, said Dr. Daniel Bloom, Great Books organizer and associate professor of philosophy.

“At first glance, ‘Goblin Market’ seems like a fairy tale,” Hart said. “Two sisters live in a fictional land with goblins who offer forbidden fruit for sale. One sister gives in to temptation, buys the goblin fruit, suffers terrible consequences, but is saved by her loving sister. Straightforward tale of fall and redemption, right? Not really, no.”

Hart said all kinds of issues and themes are at work in Rossetti’s piece, which can be read as a Christian allegory, a cautionary tale about substance abuse, or an examination of 19th-century British fears of foreigners at the height of its imperialism.

The discussion also will touch on the rich history of artwork accompanying the poem by Rossetti’s brother, the artist and poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

WT professors and guest lecturers lead the monthly Great Books discussions.

The series began in 2011 and is traditionally held on the second Tuesday of the month.

To register for the September discussion, email Bloom at [email protected].

The series is one way in which WT serves the region by offering engagement with a variety of literary and philosophical texts. Being a learner-centered university is a key principle of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021— has raised more than $125 million and will continue through 2025.

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