This article, from Caitlin Smith, originally appeared on the Online Universities Blog on March 9, 2009.
Being a writer means you constantly evolve and grow in your writing knowledge. One way to aid in this evolution to becoming a better writer is by learning from what others have to offer. The following lectures cover a wide range of fields including literature, speeches from current writers, lectures from Nobel Laureates in literature, lectures about fiction, non-fiction, poetry, journalism, and even entire classes on writing.
Learn from Great Literature
These lectures focus on specific writers and their works, frequently with an emphasis and analysis on the writing.
- Richard Wright, Black Boy. Professor Amy Hungerford takes a look at this American novel and also explores the writer’s determination to maintain the integrity of his novel in the face of a Book of the Month Club president.
- Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood. The first part of this two-part lecture series discusses faith and interpretation while the second part examines the novel in several different contexts.
- Milton. Professor John Rogers teaches this class from Yale with lectures on a variety of Milton’s works, especially Paradise Lost.
- Modern Poetry. From Robert Frost to T.S. Eliot to Elizabeth Bishop, learn from modern poets in these lectures given by Professor Langdon Hammer at Yale.
- J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey. Learn to use evidence from the text to make a sound argument with this novel as an example.
- Guest Lecture by Andrew Goldstone. This lecture focuses on Vladimir Nabokov’s writing style in relation to other modern writers.
- John Barth, Lost in the Funhouse. Watch this lecture to find out about Barth’s commitment to language expressed in the risks he takes as a writer and how it accentuates the relationship of language and love.
- Thomas Pynchon, The Crying Lot of 49. Amy Hungerford looks at Pynchon’s work as "a sincere call for connection, and a lament for loss, as much as it is an ironic, playful puzzle."
- Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye. Examine the role that language as violence plays in Morrison’s work.
- English 205: Lectures. Read the lectures from this class at Los Angeles Harbor College that covers English literature up to 1800.
Read the rest of the article, which includes links to lectures #11 – 100, under the headings Learn From Current Writers, Learn From Nobel Winners, Fiction Writing, Nonfiction Writing, Poetry, Miscellaneous Classes, University Classes Teaching Writing, and Journalism, on the Online Universities Blog.