Weekend Reading

Using Lord of the Rings to interest students in, um, Confucianism and the “Warring States” period in ancient Chinese history.

Harriet Jacobs
Former slave, abolitionist, and writer Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897) - Wikimedia

• The Israeli antiquities dealer who owns an ossuary supposedly inscribed with the name of Jesus’ brother James was acquitted by a criminal court of forging that still-controversial inscription.

• A review of the newest exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, chronicling the decline of the Byzantine Empire.

• Newly discovered: letters written by King Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour (mother of Elizabeth I).

• This weekend Wheaton College is hosting The Civil War and Sacred Ground: Moral Reflections on War. For a taste of the themes it covers, check out this interview with featured speaker and former Wheaton history professor Mark Noll (The Civil War as a Theological Crisis).

• The fascinating literary genre of slave narratives: the best-known autobiographies written by former slaves like Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass, but also including some fictionalized accounts penned by white authors (some of whom were trying to support slavery).

• And NPR’s Michel Martin wrapped up Black History Month by asking why we’re so taken with memoirs and biographies. (H/T Randall Stephens)

• The Minnesota Historical Society’s 10,000 Books blog previewed a March 30 discussion at St. Paul’s Episcopal in Minneapolis that will feature Brenda Child and Michael Witgen, authors of two new books on American Indian history.


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