sculpture of Constantine
Ancient Literature

How Did Constantine Alter the Course of the Roman Empire?

June 18, 2017

In the course, Books That Matter: The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Professor Leo Damrosch examines this great work from multiple perspectives; as a vast historical chronicle, as a compelling masterpiece of literature, as a sharp commentary on cultural mores, and as a cautionary tale to Enlightenment Europe. […]

The tragedy of Hamlet book cover
Literature

What Hamlet Teaches Us About Revenge

April 14, 2017

One of the big questions throughout anyone’s life is a common one: Should you take revenge? How much time should you give pondering revenge? In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, we see first hand where the path of vengeance can tragically lead. […]

British Literature

H. G. Wells and the Quest for Utopia

March 9, 2017

Many of H. G. Wells’ science fiction stories contain fantastical utopian overtones. What was the historical impact of including these utopian settings within the context of his writings? And, relatedly, is there a way to see utopia as being inherently part of the science fiction project? […]

Historical painting showing Alexander Pushkin
British Literature

How Pushkin Discovered Shakespeare

February 19, 2017

By Irwin Weil, Ph.D., Northwestern University In 1825, a group of aristocrats attempted an uprising on a St. Petersburg square. Naïvely, given that they had […]

Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts
American Literature

Thoreau and Walden: American Nature Writing

January 28, 2017

By Ashton Nichols,Ph.D., Dickinson College Walden; Or, Life in the Woods, by Henry David Thoreau, is the foundational text of American nature writing; the point from […]

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