An Introduction to World Literature by a Cast Of Literary & Academic Stars (Free Course)

Updated: 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.

Permanently housed in the Literature section of our collection of 1,300 Free Online Courses, Invitation to World Literature features the following lectures:

  1. The Epic of Gilgamesh
  2. My Name is Red
  3. The Odyssey
  4. The Bacchae
  5. The Bhagavad Gita
  6. The Tale of the Genji
  7. Journey to the West
  8. Popul Vuh
  9. Candide
  10. Things Fall Apart
  11. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  12. The God of Small Things
  13. The Thousand and One Nights

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