In the age of identity politics, of social media and distraction, of instant gratification, of Trump--why engage with the classics of Western civilization? Why read Homer, Aristotle, Augustine, Dante, Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and the many other writers who make up what critic Harold Bloom calls "The Western Canon"? What makes an author’s work canonical? Who decides what works merit inclusion in this canon? And finally, assuming that we can agree, at least to some extent, on a core selection of books, how should we read this literature? What values and standards do we apply as we grapple with the great stories and ideas that underpin the foundations of the West? In this episode, we approach an answer to these questions, while also discussing the current state of the Humanities.
About the Show:
The Western Canon is a monthly podcast dedicated to examining the timeless stories, ideas, and thinkers of the Western literary tradition. Working chronologically through "the great conversation of history," each episode focuses on a distinct canonical work, set of works, or intellectual period. Featuring lively summary, literary analysis, philosophical discussion, and guest commentary, the show also tackles social and political issues related to Western civilization, the modern university, free speech, well-being, and much more. Educate your mind and feed your soul by tuning in with Jordan Alexander Hill, Gina Santiago, and special guests on the 1st of every month!