About the Event:
Edmundson and Mikics will talk about how to get the most out of reading, and why books still matter--especially now, in an era of digital distraction and the university-as-corporation. They'll talk about some of their favorite books to read and teach, discuss what they think teaching should be, and share anecdotes about how reading can give you a real education.
About Slow Reading in a Hurried Age:
Wrapped in the glow of the computer or phone screen, we cruise websites; we skim and skip. We glance for a brief moment at whatever catches our eye and then move on. Slow Reading in a Hurried Age reminds us of another mode of reading--the kind that requires our full attention and that has as its goal not the mere gathering of information but the deeper understanding that only good books can offer.
Slow Reading in a Hurried Age is a practical guide for anyone who yearns for a more meaningful and satisfying reading experience, and who wants to sharpen reading skills and improve concentration. David Mikics, a noted literary scholar, demonstrates exactly how the tried-and-true methods of slow reading can provide a more immersive, fulfilling experience. He begins with fourteen preliminary rules for slow reading and shows us how to apply them. The rules are followed by excursions into key genres, including short stories, novels, poems, plays, and essays.
Reading, Mikics says, should not be drudgery, and not mere escape either, but a way to live life at a higher pitch. A good book is a pathway to finding ourselves, by getting lost in the words and works of others.
About Why Teach?:
Mark Edmundson's essays reclaim college not as the province of high-priced tuition, career training, and interactive online courses, but as the place where serious people go to broaden their minds and learn to live the rest of their lives.
A renowned professor of English at the University of Virginia, Edmundson has felt firsthand the pressure on colleges to churn out a productive, high-caliber workforce for the future. Yet in these essays, many of which have run in places such as Harper's and the New York Times, he reminds us that there is more to education than greater productivity. With prose exacting yet expansive, tough-minded yet optimistic, Edmundson argues forcefully that the liberal arts are more important today than ever.
Why Teach? offers Edmundson's collected writings on the subject, including several pieces that are new and previously unpublished. What they show, collectively, is that higher learning is not some staid, old notion but a necessary remedy for our troubled times. Why Teach? is brimming with the wisdom and inspiration that make learning possible.
David Mikics is John and Rebecca Moores Professor of English at the University of Houston.
Mark Edmundson teaches at the University of Virginia, where he is University Professor. A prizewinning scholar, he is also the author of Why Read?, Teacher, The Death of Sigmund Freud, and The Fine and Perfect Wisdom of the Kings of Rock and Roll. His writing has appeared in such publications as The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and Harper's. He lives in Batesville, VA with his wife and two sons.