Creating a better future through great literature – Huffington Post

Through the lens of great literature, I hope to improve civil discourse in our communities and provide a forum for people to understand a diverse range of viewpoints. The discussion of literature, for students and adults, also provides a framework for understanding the history of ideas. In July, for example, leading discussions in the Great Books Summer Program, I began an exploration of “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau. As the group unpacked the details of the text, students soon drew parallels with Gandhi’s protests in India, the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Black Lives Matter. Because we explored Thoreau’s essay together, because students had the opportunity to make connections on their own, students expressed excitement, even amazement, over Thoreau’s ideas, and everyone in the room understood the power and importance of bringing the past into the present.

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