This year the English Department will observe the 300th anniversary of the publication of Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe with a series of events for diverse audiences, from young readers to undergraduate and graduate students and distinguished scholars of the eighteenth century. On June 1, fourteen students from New Haven and West Haven public schools kicked off the series, participating in a workshop sponsored by Yale’s Pathways to Arts and Humanities program and led by Jill Campbell and Victoria Baena. The workshop combined close analysis of passages with a visit to the Beinecke Library, where students examined objects from the Library’s vast holdings related to Robinson Crusoe, including early editions of the novel, the 1920 edition illustrated by N. C. Wyeth, and nineteenth-century Robinson Crusoe playing cards and magic-lantern slides. Sara Powell, Research Librarian, provided students with an introduction to the collection. Events planned for the fall include opportunities for Yale College students to offer creative and critical responses to the novel and a symposium about Robinson Crusoe and eighteenth-century fiction at the Beinecke on November 8-9.
For more information on Yale Pathways to Arts & Humanities, visit: https://onhsa.yale.edu/ah