This undergradaute conference seeks to examine the concept of labor in all of its forms: intellectual, artistic, physical, and otherwise. Our conference theme rises out of Sigma Tau Delta’s proposed common reading of the year, Tess Taylor’s Work and Days. This is, of course, a theme celebrated in literature through the ages.
For instance, in Robert Frost’s poem “The Death of the Hired Man,” Silas, the hired man, works one summer beside Harold Wilson, a boy home from college. Silas believes if he could teach Harold to build a load of hay, “he’d be / some good perhaps to someone in the world. / He hates to see a boy the fool of books.” This poem presents a tension between physical labor and intellectual labor.