In “A Way with Words: Writing, Rhetoric, and the Art of Persuasion”, widely published professor Michael D.C. Drout embarked on a thought-provoking investigation into the role of rhetoric in our world.
Now, in “A Way with Words II: Approaches to Literature”, the renowned literary scholar leads a series of lectures that focus on the big questions of literature.
Is literature a kind of lie? Can fiction ever be “realistic”? Why do we read? What should we read? Drout provides insight into these and other provocative questions, including those related to the role of the text, author and audience in the reading process.
Throughout, Drout introduces the major schools of literary and critical thought and employs illuminating examples from the world’s most important literary works.
Literature contributes to our understanding of what it means to be human in a myriad of complex ways, and for all those who appreciate the role of literature in our lives, this course proves a wonderful exploration of one of humankind's most cherished pursuits.
Drout is a professor of English and director of the Center for the Study of the Medieval at Wheaton College.
Drout, who holds a Ph.D. in English from Loyola University Chicago, is an author and editor specializing in Anglo-Saxon and medieval literature, science fiction and fantasy, especially the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin.
He is best known for his studies of Tolkien’s scholarly work on Beowulf and the precursors and textual evolution of the essay “Beowulf: the Monsters and the Critics”, published as “Beowulf and the Critics by J. R. R. Tolkien”, which won the Mythopoeic Award for Scholarship in Inklings Studies.
He is the editor of the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, a one-volume reference on Tolkien’s works and their contexts.
With Douglas A. Anderson and Verlyn Flieger, he is co-editor of “Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review”.