Professor Vanda Wilcox Gives Lecture on Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" from a Historian's Perspective

On October 21st, John Cabot University’s Italy Reads presented a lecture by Professor Vanda Wilcox on Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms from a historical prospective. Over 100 people attended the lecture in the Aula Magna, including teachers and students of participating Italian high schools as well as community members.

Professor Wilcox, an expert on military history and Italy’s role in WWI, provided the necessary historical context for a greater understanding of A Farewell to Arms, this year’s Italy Reads novel. Her lecture was a timely addition to the IItaly Reads program, since this year marks the centenary of the war’s beginning.

In particular, Professor Wilcox illustrated the dynamics of the Battle of Caporetto. Her lecture shed light on the tragic reality of this event and its significance for Italy and Italians at the time. The audience was able to understand and appreciate the physical and moral suffering experienced by all involved.

Without entering into a literary analysis, Professor Wilcox pointed out historic discrepancies in the novel and suggested possible reasons for Hemingway’s choices in writing this classic piece of literature.

This year’s Italy Reads program sees the participation of 130 high school teachers and students.

Learn more about Italy Reads at John Cabot University in Rome.