Class, Inheritance and Society: The Economics of Love in Jane Austen

Class, Inheritance and Society: The Economics of Love in Jane Austen Presented by Margaret J. Oakes. Jane Austen is all about numbers: how much per year is someone worth; how many suitors does a woman have; how many possible heirs might someone produce? These questions are not just for her female characters, as who you … Read more

The Shakespeare You Love to Hate

The Shakespeare You Love to Hate Presented by Margaret J. Oakes. The expression “The Bard” does Shakespeare and playgoers a huge disservice. The guy with the ruff and the beard is “too highbrow,” “out of touch,” and “stuffy.” Sometimes, however, Shakespeare is raunchy, extraordinarily violent, and witty, as reflected in numerous phrases and concepts in … Read more

Donne and Herbert: Facing God with Humor and Frustration

Donne and Herbert: Facing God with Humor and Frustration Presented by Margaret J. Oakes. We may assume that 17th century poets, especially two who are priests, are boring, rigid, sanctimonious, and irrelevant to how contemporary life approaches spirituality. John Donne and George Herbert were, however, people like us – with families, career frustrations, facing illnesses and … Read more

John Milton: Making and Destroying the World

John Milton: Making and Destroying the World Presented by Margaret J. Oakes. Many of our contemporary notions of Heaven, Hell, and Eden come not just from the Bible, but from John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Milton did not contradict anything in Genesis, but built from centuries of interpretation and synthesis to create the most powerful images in … Read more

A Comfortable Murder: British Detective Fiction of the Golden Age

A Comfortable Murder: British Detective Fiction of the Golden Age Presented by Margaret J. Oakes. The 1920’s and 30’s were the highlight decades of the British “cozy”: the relatively bloodless type of murder mystery that one can read curled by up by the fireplace with a strong cup of tea. This talk will trace the … Read more

The Letters of Queen Elizabeth I: the Humility of Power

The Letters of Queen Elizabeth I: the Humility of Power Presented by Margaret J. Oakes. Elizabeth I was regarded with awe by her people in her own lifetime, but she frequently communicated with her subjects as well as her fellow monarchs and counselors. Her avenues of communication were much more limited than those used by … Read more

The History of Liberal Arts Education

The History of Liberal Arts Education Presented by Margaret J. Oakes. The history and practice of the liberal arts in the western tradition fundamentally underlie how we think about education in America. This wide-ranging talk explores educational institutions from the classical period to the present, focusing on the development of universities from medieval monastic houses … Read more