This Friday, Canadian psychology professor Anthony Sampson will embark on a educational experiment – teaching Cali residents about the Holocaust through literature.
The course will be offered at the Pontificia Javeriana University’s Friday night literature class. Fridays in Cali are notorious for rumba, but dedicated readers from all walks of life in the city have gathered regularly for the past three years to discuss literary masterpieces ranging from Don Quixote to works from the Golden Age of Spanish literature.
Usually, the texts selected for the course are lighter works, but Sampson has chosen some more challenging material. For the next six weeks, readers will explore books by Primo Levi, and Elie Wiesel’s Night, among other renowned Holocaust works for the course “Writing from disaster: Trauma and testimony.”
Sampson chose the works in part because of concerns that the average Caleno is unfamiliar with the history of the Holocaust; “I wanted to show that this isn’t something that happened so long ago, or in such a far away place; it’s a real possibility,” he explains.
One reason for low literacy rates in
But, as Sampson says, “Human creativity during adversity is relentless. In