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DIY Syllabi: Fantasy Literature

We start with the Greeks, as usual. This may be quixotic: the Greeks certainly had no notion of “fantasy.” The stories, or mýthoi, they told were part-religious, part-historical. There was no implication that they were false. But unlike the Hebrews, who were famously the People of the Book, the Greeks liked to modify their stories, […]

DIY Syllabi: 20th and 21st Century Literature

“On or around December 1910, human character changed,” wrote Virginia Woolf. “I am not saying that one went out, as one might into a garden, and there saw that a rose had flowered or a hen had laid an egg. The change was not sudden and definite like that, but a change there was, nevertheless.” […]

DIY Syllabi: Modern Political Thought

If we still acknowledge the old rule, there are only two topics that can’t be discussed at a dinner table: politics and religion. Why? Even if the rule isn’t followed – even if you’ve never heard of the rule, much less followed it – its nervous existence is revealing. Arguably the two most universal and […]

DIY Syllabi: Comparative Religion

When Nietzsche announced God’s death from the voice of a “madman” in 1882, he knew he wasn’t the first to deliver the news. In fact, in the context of the parable, it wasn’t even news: the madman is speaking to a group of atheists. What Nietzsche meant has been debated ever since (long story short, […]

DIY Syllabi: Principles of Economics

There’s an argument that goes something like, never before has it been more important to understand the fundamentals of economics, and never before has the public been more dangerously economically illiterate. This is, of course, difficult to prove but gaining traction nonetheless (see the following from the New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian , […]

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