A literature scholar just needs books and isolation! INVITE Blog

We continue the series of posts from our INVITE fellows spread all around the world. Here we have a short message by Hasmik Vardanyan, who is spending a training period abroad at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, USA).

I am on a secondment in the USA, State of Indiana, and here the panic is growing because of the virus. People buy a lot of things in panic leaving many shelves empty in the supermarkets. I try to understand this strategy of ‘fighting the virus’, but it is still a mystery for me!

After the spring semester break the University of Notre Dame announced that all the lessons and seminars would be held online until the end of the semester. They called back their students studying in Italy. The library and the labs are still open but with limited access, the online resources are available, so it is possible to go on working somehow for the researchers.

The main building of the University of Notre Dame (Source: Wikipedia)

What about me, I had to cancel my trips to Europe, as the conferences I was supposed to take part in are postponed. It is a pity both for the participants and the organizers who have done a lot of work. I am really sorry for that as it would be nice to share some of the results of my research with my colleagues and to learn from their experiences.

Yet, I am trying to be positive. I am in contact with my home university in Verona and with my supervisor, as well as with my friends and colleagues from Cultures and Civilizations department and INVITE project. I hope the situation will be ok soon and we will be back to our normal life!

For the rest my research is not suffering much because of the virus crisis. In our days of a rapidly changing world and human values I find my shelter in the poetry, which helps me to keep inner peace and balance. I spend my working hours with Dante, Eghishe Charents, Osip Mandelstam, Hovhannes Shiraz, reading articles and monographs on history and literature. My two invisible companions Vahan Teryan and Giacomo Leopardi are with me in my free time. So I am in a good company!

All a literature scholar needs are books and isolation!