World Literature in 13 Parts: From Gilgamesh to García Márquez

Love and longing, hope and fear – these threads run throughout all literature, whether we’re talking about the great ancient epics, or contemporary novels written in the East or the West. That’s the main premise of Invitation to World Literature, a multimedia program organized by David Damrosch (Harvard University), and made with the backing of WGBH and Annenberg Media.

The program features 13 half-hour videos, which move from The Epic of Gilgamesh (circa 2500 BCE) through García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). And, collectively, these videos highlight over 100+ writers, scholars, artists, and performers with a personal connection to world literature. Philip Glass, Francine Prose, Harold Ramis, Robert Thurman, Kwame Anthony Appiah – they all make an appearance.

Each video is accompanied by readings and related materials. You can get started with Invitation to World Literature here, or find a trailer introducing the series here.

This course will be added to our list of Free Online Literature Courses, a subset of our collection 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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