The Classics Books Lecture Series

Enrich your life with interesting talks on The Classics in Grosse Pointe Farms by U of M English professors

First lecture: Thursday, January 26th: Utopia by Sir Thomas More

The Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library announce the tenth season of The Classics Books Lecture Series.

University of Michigan Professor Theresa Tinkle will give her insight on Sir Thomas More’s Utopia on Thursday, January 26th at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Grosse Pointe South High School, 11 Grosse Pointe Boulevard at Fisher Road in Grosse Pointe Farms. General admission is $10 at the door. Admission is free for Friends members, students and teachers with identification. (There are no presales.) For further information, call 313.343.2074 extension 6 or see the website at

About the Book:  Discoveries of new lands abound in 1516, when Sir Thomas More publishes Utopia, a fantasy exploration of an island where only children admire gold, religious tolerance is commonplace, property is held in common, wars are avoided, and slaves do the dirty work. The work gives us access to More’s early thinking about the role of the humanist philosopher in the state, and to the ideas that will lead him to serve Henry VIII and ultimately, tragically, to die for that service. While foreshadowing More’s martyrdom, the work also reveals his playful side, his astonishing imaginative capacity, and his genuine excitement at the discovery of new worlds. Utopia takes the reader on a voyage back to the Renaissance, where we encounter ideas about humanist education and the state that are still relevant today.

About the Speaker:  Theresa Tinkle is Professor, Associate Chair, and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is the author of Medieval Venuses and Cupids: Sexuality, Hermeneutics, and English Poetry (1996), Gender and Power in Medieval Exegesis (2011), and numerous articles on early English and Latin literature. Her research and teaching interests include gender and religion, early drama, and manuscripts. Her hobbies include scuba diving, hiking, and cooking.

The Classics Books Lectures offer the scholarly expertise of professors from the University of Michigan’s Department of English.  These stimulating talks are enjoyed by everyone from teenagers to octogenarians and beyond. The speakers, all notable scholars in their literary period, discuss the writers, how and why the works were written, historical background, comparison to other literature, and more. The audience is encouraged to ask questions and offer comments.

The rest of the 2012 classics to be discussed include:

“The Prior Poet: Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe” with Professor Ralph Williams

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Puddn’head Wilson by Mark Twain  with Professor Gregg Crane

Thursday, March 1, 2012

“Reflections on Tennessee Williams’ Centenary Year” with Professor Enoch Brater

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford with Professor John Whittier-Ferguson

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe with Professor George Bornstein

Thursday, May 3, 2012

All lectures are at 7:30 p.m. at Grosse Pointe South High School, 11 Grosse Pointe Boulevard at Fisher Road in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. Friends members, students and teachers with identification have free admission. General admission is $10 at the door. (There are no presales.)

The Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to supporting and expanding the educational, cultural and outreach programs of the Library. Friends sponsor activities that encourage literacy, lifelong learning, the love of reading, and stimulate interest in the Library. Annual membership is $25 for individuals and $30 for families. For information about The Friends see the website at or write to The Friends of the Grosse Pointe Public Library, 10 Kercheval Avenue, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI  48236.

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