“You’re so earnest about morality that I hate to think how essentially immoral you must be underneath.”
George F. Babbitt has it all–a perfect house, a nice car, a doting wife, three kids, a thriving business, and the admiration of his community. But Babbitt is unhappy. His discontent leads him to question everything he has been taught to believe is important and to rebel, without fully realizing what his rebellion may cost him. Taking place during the roaring 20s, Sinclair Lewis’ satirical Babbitt (1922), explores consumerism, conformity, politics, and what it means to be middle class in such a way that his almost 100 year old novel is still extremely relevant today.
Babbitt is now in the public domain and can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg.
Ancient principles, the modern concept of criminal justice and the theory of restorative justice will be discussed as an alternative to the current justice system from the perspective of a former lawyer. Ms. Calvachi-Mateyko, a restorative justice practitioner, gives a brief overview of the challenges presented by the current punitive system and invites the participants to consider a different way to handle crime today.
“Why it Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation” is a national initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and aims to “explore civic participation as it relates to electoral engagement in a multivocal democracy”.
The Delaware Humanities project seeks specifically to examine and elucidate systems in the United States by putting our democracy into a global context. Our first lecture will be by our Project Scholar, Justin Collier. Mr. Collier is working on his Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware. His research areas include public diplomacy, nationalism, civic education, and international education.
“Those who don’t build must burn.”
In a future society where reading books is illegal and firemen start fires instead of putting them out, fireman Guy Montag has a secret. After an evening when Montag’s duties do not go as planned, Montag must make a decision which will impact his life forever, and he must make it while he still has the ability to decide. Ray Bradbury’s banned classic Fahrenheit 451 (1953) is a book of warning, which discusses important topics that happen to be in focus currently–the quality of information, the ability to digest and analyze information, and the lengths people will go to defend what they believe to be right.
“Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”
Sethe was born a slave and through a perilous journey escaped to Ohio. Eighteen years later, living in her own home with her daughter Denver in a post-Civil War America, Sethe is still not free. She is haunted, figuratively and literally, by her past. Just when things begin to change, potentially for the better, a mysterious teenager shows up on Sethe’s porch, calling herself by the one word Sethe could afford to put on her dead daughter’s tombstone…Beloved. Toni Morrison’s banned magic realism classic, Beloved (1987), is a powerful look at love, loss, freedom, good, and evil.