Sun, Jul 28 at 10 a.m. | 90 minutes
Patricia Kim, english professor and social worker will give us a unique perspective on a classic text which is encouraged but not essential to read ahead of time. This series, centering around the theme of social justice, will provide a foundation to speak to mental health as a significant and fundamental factor in each respective narrative--both book and self.
We begin with The Stranger by Albert Camus:Meursault, our unreliable narrator, provides a locus of investigation into our collective consciousness. He epitomizes Absurdism—the human will to meaning locking horns with an inherently meaningless world. But his identity is fundamentally entwined with meaning—that of mortality. How do you live if you are dying (je meurs)? What are the consequences levied on life when seen in such a way? We will discuss what (or who) lends life meaning and the role meaning-making plays in our lives and in turn our society,
Traversing boundaries set by age, race, gender, culture, socioeconomic status—and perhaps most importantly—time, we’ll come to find that no matter how many generations have come and gone to dust, there’s something about being human that we just can’t seem to get away from. What’s up with that? Let’s talk about it.
Some questions to keep in mind as you are reading/revisiting The Stranger:
How do you feel about and towards Meursault?
Where do you feel inclined to sympathize with him? why or why not?
Who do we presume ourselves to be? how does this affect who we presume others to be?
Patricia Kim received her MFA from Columbia University and teaches Composition and Literature classes at Baruch College while completing a novel. She is a licensed social worker who worked for the Mental Health Service Corps. (MHSC) under New York's Thrive initiative and is now a reentry social worker on Rikers Island, providing services to the population of patients on Rikers with serious mental