When the “New World” Was New: Literature and Maps from the Age of Exploration

Saturday, February 22, 2014
(This program continues for multiple sessions)
Saturdays, February 22 – April 26

1 – 3 pm

Led by Stuart Patterson
This class has been cancelled.

We will explore how Europe’s age of exploration spurred new conceptions of the human condition itself. Through Thomas More’s Utopia, Michel de Montaigne’s “On Cannibals,” William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, along with the Newberry’s extensive collections on early modern exploration, we will grapple with the deep ambivalence these works reveal about the simultaneously “savage” and “civilized” aspects of humanity apparent in worlds both “new” and “old.” Instructor will send preparatory readings in advance of first session.

Stuart Patterson regularly teaches all the works in this seminar as Associate Professor of Liberal Arts at Shimer College in Chicago.

Materials List

  • More’s Utopia (ISBN: 978-0393932461)
  • Shakespeare’s The Tempest (ISBN: 978-0393978193)
  • Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (ISBN: 978-0393930658)
  • These are all three volumes in the Norton Critical Edition Series. While a bit more expensive than many editions, they contain supplementary materials that we will occasionally draw on in the seminar, and participants should otherwise find of interest as we seek to contextualize our main works.

Readings for the First Session:

  • Note: Instructor will send preparatory readings in advance of first session. They will include:
  • The Voyage of Alonso de Hojeda, 1499
  • Amerigo Vespucci, To Lorenzo Pietro Francesco di Medici, 1503
  • Vespucci, Excerpts from the Letters on the First and Third Voyages in Utopia, Norton Critical Edition

CPDU credit for this course is available for Illinois teachers seeking recertification.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program.

Cost and Registration Information 

Ten sessions, $240.
This class has been cancelled.