(Posted February 19, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Two war stories told centuries apart that provide a distinctive historical peek into the values of two very different societies are the topic of the Juniata College lecture "War and Peace in Homer and Tolstoy," at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Neff Lecture Hall on the Juniata campus.
The lecture, by Jim Roney, professor of Russian at Juniata, is free and open to the public. Roney is a specialist in Russian literature and teaches a course on Homer and Tolstoy.
Homer's "Iliad" and Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" not only are considered two literary masterpieces, but both are epic stories that give readers and historians insight into war and the culture of the nations at war. "They each tell the epic story of a conflict which was central to a society's sense of national identity," Roney says.
Roney will use contrasting examples from each story to illustrate ideas each culture held about history, the origin of the universe, human nature and war. He also will discuss literary differences in the oral tradition of Homer and in Tolstoy's written novel.
Roney based his lecture on his participation in a faculty seminar on Homer at the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies and on his current course on Homer and Tolstoy. He plans to present his work at the annual conference of The Association for Core Texts and Courses later this semester.
Roney earned a bachelor's degree in Russian language and literature from Dartmouth College, and went on to earn a master's degree and doctorate in Russian from Ohio State University. He has studied abroad in the Soviet Union and Poland with grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the International Research and Exchange Board.
His teaching experience includes appointments as a graduate teaching assistant and National Defense Education Act grantee at The Ohio State University, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky, and assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire.
With special interests in Russian and Polish literature, literary theory, science fiction, postmodernism and romanticism, he has taught all levels of Russian language, literature and culture. Roney has presented dozens of papers at professional language conferences, workshops, and symposiums.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.