Wellesley College faculty introduce you to a book that they're passionate about in
their field, and then read a brief passage to whet your appetite.
The books might be little-known literary gems, beloved classics, scenes
from plays, recent provocative essays, poems, thought-provoking analyses of current social
issues, biographies, or many other literary forms.
Take a few minutes to explore the books that captivate Wellesley
faculty. Click on a book to hear the reading. If you prefer to download these readings, visit
iTunes U site.
Our series will resume in September.
May 5, 2015
Nancy Hall reads from Down the Rabbit Hole
by Juan Pablo Villalobos,
published by FSG Originals. (6:08)
||April 29, 2015
Pinar Keskin reads from Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention
Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by
Edward Glaeser, published by Penguin. (5:06)
"If energy users are taxed for the social costs of their actions,
then they'll use more fuel-efficient cars and live in more energy-efficient houses.
They'll also find energy-conserving big-city life more appealing."
||April 22, 2015
Yoon Sun Lee reads from A Defense of Poetry by Percy Shelley,
collected in the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. (6:08)
"Poetry defeats the curse which binds us to be subjected to
the accident of surrounding impressions...It compels us to feel that which we
perceive, and to imagine that which we know."
||April 15, 2015
David Ellerby reads from The Blind Watchmaker by
Richard Dawkins, published by W.W. Norton & Company. (5:27)
"We are entirely accustomed to the idea that complex elegance
is an indicator of premeditated, crafted design. This is probably the most
powerful reason for the belief...in some kind of supernatural
||April 8, 2015
Nicholas Knouf reads from #Accelerate: The Accelerationist Reader
edited by Robin Mackay and Armen Avanessian, published by Urbanomic. (6:18)
"Libraries burning in Babylon. Knowledge is decoded from its
proprietary grid of occult encryption. The academy in flames."
||April 1, 2015
Paul Wink reads from My Struggle: Book Two: A Man in Love by
Karl Ove Knausgaard, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (5:32)
"But sitting there I was rendered completely harmless, without
dignity, impotent, there was no difference between me and her, except that
she was more attractive, and the leveling ...filled me with rage."
||March 18, 2015
Karen Lange reads from Alan Turing: The Enigma by
Andrew Hodges, published by Princeton University Press. (4:01)
"Alan…had discovered…the idea of a universal machine that could
take over the work of any machine. And he had argued that anything performed by
a human computer could be done by a machine."
||March 11, 2015
Lamia Balafrej reads from Echo Objects: The Cognitive Work of Images
by Barbara Maria Stafford, published by The University of Chicago Press. (5:39)
"Consciousness seems to be tied to the experience of depth...Our inner life thus advances
and retreats, stretches forward, backward, but, above all, away and down."
||March 4, 2015
Angela Carpenter reads from The World Until Yesterday: What Can We
Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond, published by Viking
"...Bilinguals have an advantage at solving...tasks that are
confusing because the rules of the task change unpredictably, or because there
are misleading...but obvious cues that must be ignored."
||February 25, 2015
Kaye Peterman reads from The Eighth Day of Creation: Makers of the
Revolution in Biology by Horace F. Judson, published by Simon and
"I put a lot of sugar in a glass and filled it with water, and
then cut off a piece of fingernail...just to see if it could float...We didn't
know the density of DNA, but a fingernail seemed a reasonable analogy."
||February 18, 2015
Guy Rogers reads from The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by Andrew George
and published by the Folio Society. (6:30)
"Ever the river has risen and brought us the flood, the mayfly
floating on the water. On the face of the sun its countenance gazes, then all
of a sudden nothing is there!"
||February 11, 2015
Paul MacDonald reads from Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian
War, edited by Robert Strassler and published by Free Press. (5:33)
"Hope, danger's comforter, may be indulged in by those who have
abundant resources...Let not this be the case with you, who are weak and hang
on a single turn of the scale."
||February 4, 2015
Michael Hearn reads from Where Good Ideas Come
From: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson, published by
"The work of dreams turns out to be a particularly chaotic, yet
productive, way of exploring the adjacent possible."
||January 28, 2015
Helena de Bres reads from Death and the Afterlife
by Samuel Scheffler, published by Oxford University Press (4:13)
"...The existence of the [collective] afterlife matters more
to us than our own continued existence."
Last Modified: May 5, 2015
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