- Analyzes, Interprets, and Critiques Literature
- Provides Lively Discussion and Debate
- Develops Cultural Aptitude
These courses provide the opportunity to read and discuss novels, short stories, memoirs, plays, and poetry. You will explore classic and contemporary literature from ancient texts to current bestsellers as you gain skills to analyze, interpret, and critique writing; develop cultural aptitude; and participate in nuanced discussions and lively debates.
Discuss articles from a range of magazines and online platforms, including The New Yorker and Charlie Hebdo.
Read short stories, novellas, and novels that use epiphanies to explore fundamental human experiences and emotions.
Explore the lives and legacies of America’s greatest artists, from dancers and actors to musicians and comedians.
Relive—or enjoy for the first time—the fabulous adventures of Odysseus as he journeys home to his wife and son after the Trojan War.
Deepen your knowledge of current events, criminology, psychology, and storytelling’s power by exploring narratives of crime and punishment.
Read the first five books of the Bible, tracing the processes by which they were formed and considering the multiple contexts that informed them.
Read novels from 2005 that respond to the conditions that marked the beginning of 21st-century culture.
Explore a diversity of styles, content, and demographics as a way of appreciating the expansive range that American short fiction achieves.
Examine Thoreau’s Walden in its mid-19th-century context and for its relevance to our current culture and environmentalist thinking.
Read selections from Dante’s Purgatory, which guides readers through seven levels of suffering and ultimately to Earthly Paradise.
Explore Annie Dillard’s exhilarating stories of nature that pair first-person storytelling with philosophical and religious questions.
Explore the lives, times, and places of others through a variety of autobiographical books, films, and essays.
Examine links between the English lyric tradition and popular song, from medieval and folk ballads to contemporary singer-songwriters.
Read three delightful ancient Greek tragedies with happy endings, and explore how the Greeks occasionally imbued tragedy with optimism.
Explore how female writers, from Edith Wharton to Elena Ferrante, have created rich, complex, varied portraits of women.
Read selected international detective novels in translation and others by Anglophone writers who set their work abroad.
Discover a generation of authors likely to set literary trends well into the 21st century.
Read and discuss The Iliad by Homer, a plea for peace embedded in the archetypal epic of war.
Study five major 19th-century classics of literature that have passed the test of time.
Explore the history of the mystery novel, and follow how it has changed in style and subject matter over the years.
Explore the vast and diverse terrain of sub-Saharan Africa by reading and discussing literature from the region.
Explore the writings of Edward Abbey, whose radical voice is not only a cry in the wilderness, but also a cry for the wilderness.
Examine how eight well-known playwrights bring moving, memorable stories to the stage and illuminate injustices evident in culture and communities.
Learn how to download and listen to a variety of the best podcasts—an emerging form of storytelling for the digital age.
Examine Dante’s Inferno and its key themes, overall message, and place in cultural and literary history.
Explore Shakespeare’s sonnets and consider the potentially scandalous stories behind them.
Read and discuss three of Shakespeare’s masterpieces: The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Macbeth.
Read Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End, and discuss the social upheaval brought on by onset of World War I.
Examine the life and writings of John Muir, whose legacy endures through the Sierra Club and the national park system.