Welcome to the Lecture Hub
We call works of literature "classic" for a variety of reasons. It may be because they offer models and standards for creating other works of art. They may be greatly loved treasures. Or they may be sacred heirlooms. Whatever be the reasons that have made these works central to their cultures, they will continue to speak to us across the centuries so long as we have access to them. Lecturers in The World's Classics series provide us with such access, introducing us to some of these texts and textual traditions and helping us understand why they have attained the status of classics.
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Steven Garfinkle regales the audience with a description and analysis of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest "complete" written work in the pantheon of human literature.
Diane Johnson takes a look into the historical context surrounding Sanskrit drama and presents a well-known work by the Shakespeare of Sanskrit literature, Kalidasa.Download Slides
David Curley analyzes the ambiguities inherent in the world's longest narrative poem, the Mahabharata.
Michiko Yusa speaks about the Tale of the Shining Prince, also known as the Tale of Genji. She explains how the Tale of Genji reflects high society in ancient Japan and the impact it had on feminism there.
The story of The Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history is told by Kathleen Tomlonovic who also goes into detail about the important position it holds in Chinese culture and folklore throughout history.
Byron Stayskal summarizes the two great epics of the Greek tradition, examines some of their striking characteristics, and surveys the various theories about how the poems were created. This examination of particular features of the Iliad and Odyssey then serves as a backdrop for concluding remarks about what makes an artistic work a 'Classic.'
Diane Johnson walks us through the story of the Ramayana and its moral and structural differences to western classics.
Steven Garfinkle returns to the Classical Lecture Series to talk about the babylonian creation epic, the Enûma Eli, and the cultural traditions associated with Babylonian epic traditions.
Michiko Yusa and her students recite and discuss classical Japanese poetry and give a sense of the concept of "mujo" or "impermanence".
A witty analysis of François Rabelais, literati and satirist, is given by Nicholas Margaritis as he unravels Rabelais' labyrinthine references to other famous works.