“Learn to love, and leave all else”: Piers Plowman and Pandemic

The worst pandemic in European history, the Black Death, helped prepare the way for the first great flourishing of English literature not long after. How the first makers of modern literature responded to the traumas of their time can help us think about how to respond to the pandemic and injustice we continue to face. […]

#KeepingHope: Hosting the First VIRTUAL Michigan Medieval & Renaissance Undergraduate Consortium

by Marla Lunderberg “Thank you for your presentation. Does anyone have any questions?” A pregnant pause. The kind that sometimes tempts me to fill the silence with my own voice, my own questions. But after a moment, my computer screen shows a mic being unmuted. A student’s voice rings in my headphones. My student is […]

Searching for Marriage: From Primary Sources to Digital Tools

Marriage. One of the world’s most traditional institutions, present in every culture, the same across centuries and millennia — at least until recently. Right? Um, not quite. In fact, as Hope students taking the new Cultural Heritage course “Marriage in the Modern Age” this semester could tell you, none of that is true. Everything from […]

Coming Out of COVID-19: The Early Bird Catches the Worm

By Ernest Cole COVID-19 has disrupted a good part of our daily routines or what was considered normal living: life as we knew it. From waking up in the morning to going to bed at night, Americans are confronted with the challenges of a different mode of living. For us in the teaching profession, COVID-19 […]

The Rap and Poetry Gods Broke It Down to this Stuttering Boy

Teaching Rap as Poetry by Pablo Peschiera In my poetry classes, I often teach the basic structures of poetic rhythms through rap music. I use rap songs from artists like Public Enemy, Run DMC, Fu Schnickens, Queen Latifah, Eminem, LL Cool J, Lizzo, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar and many others. This no accident. Rap and […]

Going Home: Its Complexities and Possibilities

by Ernest & Ernesta Cole As the airplane began its final descent into Banjul International Airport, I was overcome by a feeling of nervous excitement. I was excited at the prospect of coming back to my adopted home, the place where my wife and I sought refuge at the height of the civil war in […]

“The Love of Bob”: A Faculty Feature from Curtis Gruenler

I went to hear the most recent American Nobel laureate in literature last fall. It wasn’t a reading. As has become his norm, Bob Dylan did not speak at all, even to introduce the members of his band (which is a shame, because they’re outstanding). All he did was sing, in that never-pretty voice that […]

Books to Curl Up With Over Winter Break

Happy (almost) winter break to our lovely students! We asked our faculty & staff to share a text that they would recommend for students on vacation looking to relax and take a break from scholarly pursuits. Be sure to stop by Van Wylen before you leave to check some of these out, and may your […]

Fun Facts about Going to the Theater in the 19th Century

A Faculty Feature by Dr. Emily Tucker Popular theater in nineteenth-century Britain drew enormous audiences and exerted tremendous influence on writers in other genres. Sadly, though, it has a bad reputation as “the nadir of the English drama.”1 Other than late-century playwrights like Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, most writers for the nineteenth-century stage […]