“The Swerve: How the World Became Modern,” Stephen Greenblatt, The University of Kansas

Hall Center

Apr 14, 2017

Stephen Greenblatt is the John Cogan University Professor of Humanities at Harvard University and general editor of the eminently respected “Norton Shakespeare.” Greenblatt is regarded as the father of New Historicism, a form of critical theory that seeks to unite literature, historical context and cultural theory. He is the author of 12 books about Shakespeare, the Renaissance and early modern culture, including the hugely popular “Will in the World,” a biography of William Shakespeare. His most recent work, “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern” received the 2011 National Book Award, and demonstrates how something as seemingly insignificant as a poem could influence the cultural world. Greenblatt argues that the copying and translation of Lucretius’ “On the Nature of Things” fueled Renaissance artists, shaped the thoughts of thinkers from Galileo to Einstein, and influenced writers from Montaigne to Shakespeare to Thomas Jefferson.

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