Can the Literary Arts Thrive in an Open Book?

A Minneapolis Collaboration Between Three Book-Minded Nonprofits Created a Home for the Arts—and Lots of Other Things

When it comes to music or theater, community-building happens right in front of your eyes. Crowds surge forward to see a band, or settle together into rows of seats as the lights go down and the curtain comes up. What does community look like, though, in the literary world? The logo for the Kindle app says it all about the classic image of a reader: a lone figure sitting under a tree.

It’s possible, though, to create a physical space that brings writers and readers together to share the transformative power …

Were Mr. Darcy and Boo Radley Anti-Social Misfits—or Autistic?

How Fiction Can Reframe a Misunderstood Mental Condition

Is autism cool?

It is in literature, as novels featuring characters on the autism spectrum have become so frequent that they’ve spawned a new genre: “autism lit,” or “aut lit.”

Many of …

Why ‘Frankenstein’ Is a Great Science Policy Guide for the Future

Mary Shelley's 200-Year-Old Fable Explores the Tension Between Scientific Creativity and Social Responsibility

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley’s epic tale about the perils of scientific creation, turns 200 this year. Its famous creation story involves laudanum, and sexual tension, and an …

Frankenstein Is a Story About Climate Change’s Horrors

How a Massive Volcanic Eruption Spun the World Into Chaos and Helped Inspire the Famous Novel

Two hundred years ago this June, during a dreadfully cold and wet summer, Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein. Since then Frankenstein has become iconic, spawning a legion of adaptations and …

“Frivolous” Humanities Helped Prisoners Survive in Communist Romania

Covertly Studying Language and Literature Connected Captives and Freed Their Minds

In a recent New York Times article on the movement to promote university majors promising higher employment and income, Anthony Carnevale, a professor at Georgetown University, sums up the utilitarian …