Category: Great Ideas

Christopher Marlowe and the Mythology of Shakespeare

Gary Taylor, lead general editor of The New Oxford Shakespeare, departs from the usual collections of Shakespeare’s plays. For the first time, the three Henry VI plays add the name of Elizabethan tragedian and “bad boy of the English Renaissance,” Christopher Marlowe, as co-author alongside the Bard. But that’s not all–fourteen other plays from the […]

Seth Godin on “Soft” Skills

Let’s get things straight: they’re not soft skills. They’re anything but. So claims best-selling author Seth Godin, who abhors the reliance on a linear scale that companies tend to adopt as they consider new and current employees. It’s easy to measure based on a linear scale, Godin says, but the problem is that the scale […]

From 3QuarksDaily: ‘Alternative Facts’ And The Necessity of Liberal Education

Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse at the 3quarksdaily find occasion in the recent intense disagreement over the crowd size attending the Trump inauguration to proffer the values of a liberal education. We understand this is a convenient pretext, because anything in the news would have allowed them to do just the same, and almost everything […]

Whales, Barnacles, and Ancient Migrations: A Possible Break in One of Evolution’s Biggest Mysteries

What do barnacles have to do with prehistoric whale migration and evolution? A whole lot, according to UC Berkeley Ph.D. candidate Larry Taylor. From their origins as four-legged, dog-like creatures in Pakistan to their present-day incarnations as “preposterously large” marine mammals that traverse the vast oceans, whales are the “poster child of evolution.” Millions of […]

From the Nation: Criticism in the Twilight

Nicholas Dames at The Nation reviews three books that attempt to vindicate the practice of literary criticism. One of the most salient ways in which all three have done so is by laboring howcriticism opens the sensibilities of its readers to more valuably appreciate works of art that wouldotherwise have been abstruse or mysterious. What, […]

From McSweeney’s: Post-Election College Paper Grading Rubric

Dr. Daveena Tauber at McSweeney’s has found it necessary in light of the new darkness inaugurated by our jurassic president to revise her paper grading rubric. She wants to make America grade again, Trump’s way. Now, the class clown will now find himself valedictorian.If it could make Trump president and give success to all of […]

From The Chicago Maroon: Read it and Weep

(“Read it and Weep” might not have been the best entry into one’s column). As all of you probably know, our world has experienced a tragedy recently, and some of us are still finding it difficult to recover from the sounding of the death-knell: Bob Dylan has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature: Literature? […]

From the American Library Association: Parthenon Made Out of Banned Literature

Documenta 14 is a series of art exhibitions, hosted every five years to commemorate the values of democracy and freedom of expression–hard-won, but too easily taken for granted. Behind the exhibit is Marta Minujin, who sought inspiration for the exhibit from one of her earlier works. In 1983, after the dissolution of dictatorship in Argentina, […]

How Homer Matters

“The core of what is valuable about those epics is that they are intensely human. … It is an absolutely down-the-barrel look at the realities of who we are.” In his lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, author Adam Nicholson argues the importance of Homer thousands of years after he wrote the Iliad and […]

Top Ten Benefits of Core’s Final Semester

Sophomores — it’s registration weekend! This is a milestone moment. You’ll be selecting classes for next semester, which for many of you is your fourth in the Core, and potentially your final one. Now, it is well known that there are myriad benefits — intellectual, social, and logistical — for finishing Core in the second-year […]