Sigma Tau Delta (ΣΤΔ), an international English honor society, encourages academic excellence and intellectual community-building among English majors at H-SC. We hope enhance the ΣΤΔ experience by utilizing two of the state’s major arts organizations—the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Opera—to introduce students not only to literature but also to art and opera of the 1930s.
This event would consist of two parts. The first part would be an hour-long seminar about the work of writers from the 1930s, especially W. H. Auden and Bertolt Brecht, led by one or two English faculty members. (Though Auden once commented that Brecht “was simply a crook,” that did not stop him from translating his work into English and collaborating with him.)
The second part would be a trip on Friday, October 14 to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where we would spend the afternoon visiting the recently acquired Fischer Collection of German Expressionist Art, followed by dinner and then a trip to see the Virginia Opera’s performance of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, a satire that reflects Brecht's own travels away from a Nazi-occupied Germany in the 1930s, with a libretto translated by Auden. It would be an unforgettable experience for the students in our Honors, a chance to see read, view, and hear great work from this tumultuous period.