Download 55 Free Online Literature Courses: From Dante and Milton to Kerouac and Tolkien

milton and kerouac

Here at Open Culture, we don’t just feature education in your recommended daily servings of culturally wide-ranging video, audio, text, and image — we also feature it in a form that goes deep: whole courses you can download to your computer or mobile device of choice and experience at your own pace. If you never quite studied all the literature you wanted to — or if you simply can’t get enough study of the stuff — pay a visit to our collection of over 50 free literature courses online. Some of them may even cover the same textual ground as the classes you felt curious about taking in college but could never quite fit into your schedule: “Dante in Translation” (Free Online Video - Free iTunes Audio - Free iTunes Video - Course Materials), for instance, or “Introduction to Theory of Literature” (Free Online Video - Free iTunes Audio – Free iTunes Video - Course Materials), or “Introduction to World Literature (Free Online Video).

Our collection offers courses with relatively broad literary subject matter, such as “American Passages: A Literary Survey” (Free Online Video) and “Contemporary Literature” (Free Online Video – Free Video Download), and others specific to one period or even one writer, like “Oscar Wilde” (Free Online Audio ). and the Allen Ginsberg-taught “Jack Kerouac” (Free Online Audio Part 1 and Part 2). Other offerings in our collection more closely resemble the courses you may have always wanted to take, but never found offered, like these from “Tolkien Professor” Corey Olsen:

And yes, for those truly intent on continuing their education in Middle-Earth, Olsen also offers a “Silmarillion Seminar” (Free Online Video & Audio). If none of these appeal to your own intellectual curiosity, however, do visit the collection’s page for more options from existentialism to George Eliot to Shakespeare. (Nor should you miss our complete list, 1000 Free Online Courses from Top Universities, which includes other subjects like philosophycomputer sciencepsychology, physics, religion and more.) And if you feel like something lighter, might I suggest John Green’s crash course on literature?

Related Content:

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Crash Course on Literature: Watch John Green’s Fun Introductions to Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye & Other Classics

600 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.



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  1. tudza says . . . | May 9, 2014 / 5:59 pm

    The Hobbit course available on the Professor’s site is great. I never got in to the other courses because they involved class discussions rather than straight lectures.

    I will have to check if those referenced here are different.

  2. Arcilpn Amorim says . . . | June 22, 2014 / 12:00 pm

    Quero paryicipar

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