Humanities

The Idea of Yugoslavia: Translating Miljenko Jergović’s “The Walnut Mansion”

The Walnut Mansion by Miljenko Jergović—translated by Stephen M. Dickey with Janja Pavetic-Dickey—is a grand novel that encompasses nearly all of Yugoslavia’s tumultuous twentieth century, from the decline of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires through two world wars, the rise and fall of communism, the breakup of the nation, and

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Early American Honor Culture and the United States Congress

Joanne B. Freeman— On Saturday, July 18, 1795, an angry crowd stood gathered before Federal Hall in New York City, eager to protest the Jay Treaty, which eased ongoing tensions between Great Britain and the United States. Convinced that the treaty was too favorable to the British, leading Republicans had

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The Legacy of Jane Austen and the Industry of “Jane Austen”

Fiona Stafford– When Jane Austen spoke of being “in love with” Clarkson, in a private letter of 1813, she was referring to the indefatigable antislavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson and his splendid History, which charted the progress of the abolitionist movement. Two hundred years later, the name of Clarkson would be

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How Did We Read in the Past?

Abigail Williams— On April 15th, 1802, Dorothy and William Wordsworth took one of the most significant walks in literary history. They set out in blustery weather, across the fells near Ullswater in the Lake District. It was misty and mild, with a strong wind, and the first signs of spring were

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Max Eastman: A Brief Introduction

Christoph Irmscher— The writer, editor, poet, and political activist Max Eastman (1883-1969) helped shape the dominant intellectual trends of the early twentieth century. He knew personally the most important minds of his time and corresponded with the ones he didn’t know. The son of two progressive ministers, Max grew up

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The English Reformation: Was Henry VIII the Founder of Roman Catholicism?

Peter Marshall— The Reformation in England—heralded by Henry VIII’s repudiation of the authority of the pope in 1533-4—is usually conceived of as a process of societal conversion, through which one kind of religious culture gradually transformed itself into another. A fundamentally Catholic nation became an overtly Protestant one, and the

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Sarah Osborn: Early American Evangelical, Part II

Catherine Brekus— The following letters are taken from the writings of Sarah Osborn, an evangelical woman who lived in Newport, Rhode Island, during the eighteenth century. Osborn was a published author, a rarity for early American women, and she became well known during her life for leading a religious revival

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Sarah Osborn: Early American Evangelical, Part I

Catherine Brekus— What can the story of an eighteenth-century woman’s life tell us about the rise of evangelical Christianity in America? This is the story of Sarah Osborn, a woman born three centuries ago, and the strange yet familiar world in which she lived. Strange, because she rejected many of the

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How to Hook Your Audience: The Rule of Three

David Crystal— If there’s one thing that seems to promote eloquent language more than anything else, that is found repeatedly in the speech of any orator I’ve ever listened to, that appears in every language I’ve ever studied, it’s the “rule of three.” Eloquence is infectious. You notice a clever

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Finding the Medieval in Pop Culture

Michael Alexander— The rise of the visual media, film, television, video, DVD and other forms of electronic transfer, has transformed the mediation of the stories which human beings need, stories previously transmitted through the spoken, the written and the printed word, or by words spoken in live theaters. The visual

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