The thirteen essays included in this special issue on "Reading Homer in the 21st Century" are divided into three main sections. The first, "Homer and the Oral Tradition" contains two essays by John Miles Foley and Pura Nieto Hernandez, which set the stage for approaching Homer in today's college/university classroom by providing the background necessary for a close and intelligent reading of Homer's works. The second section, "Interpreting Homer's Texts," containing seven essays, examines the Homeric epics from a variety point of views. Damian Stocking and Annette Lucia Giesecke's essays take a philosophical and/or political approach to the epics while Matthew Clark, Joe Wilson, and Kalliopi Nikolopoulou deal specifically with the interpretation of the Iliad and John B. Vlahos, and Scott Richardson do the same with the Odyssey. The third section, "Homer's Influence on Contemporary Culture" offers four essays by Scott A. Belsky, Casey Due, Mihoko Suzuki, and Kostas Myrsiades, which show how Homer continues to influence our Western literary tradition.
We hope that this special issue will serve the needs of college/university instructors asked or who wish to include Homer on their reading lists and will provide some new insights on the relevency of the Homeric epics in the 21st century for all readers of Homer.