Diverse Seminar Offerings at Bj?rklunden

From Aug. 9 – 14, Lawrence University’s Björklunden offers the following seminars: “Lolita: A Closer Look at Nabokov’s Scandalous Novel” with Peter Thomas; “Isaiah of Jerusalem: Visionary and Messenger” with Bill Urbrock; and “Europe and the Modern World: 1920-2015” with Tim Crain.

Lolita (1955) is the third novel written in English by the Russian émigré Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977). The history of Lolita’s reception and interpretation is a study in sharp contrasts. It has been dismissed as morally outrageous and praised as profoundly ethical. It has been lionized as a perfect model of postmodern irony, or as the epitome of humanistic engagement. The novel supports all of these interpretations and more. Participants will read – and reread – Lolita slowly, savoring the details, while also noting the rich dialogue that Nabokov carries on with his Russian literary heritage.

Isaiah, son of Amoz, lived in Jerusalem during the tumultuous last half of the 8th century B.C., when the Kingdom of Assyria was flexing its muscles. Chapters 1-39 of the Book of Isaiah contain visions, prophetic messages, and biographical and historical materials relating to this widely revered prophet and his time. Participants will read and discuss selections from the book. The instructor will use the New Revised Standard Version Bible, but participants may use any Bible they prefer.

“Europe and the Modern World” will focus on the positive and negative aspects of European civilization in the modern era. Europe was the centerpiece of global history for more than 700 years, and its civilization served as a gateway to the 20th century. Britain, France, and Germany all played a major role in shaping global politics in the modern era. However, although Europe made tremendous contributions to world civilization, the continent also produced extraordinary levels of violence. This seminar will begin in the aftermath of World War I, with particular focus given to the interwar period, and it will conclude with a look at how and why Europe remains a prominent entity in the 21st century.

Seminar classes are held at Björklunden’s lodge, just south of Baileys Harbor, and meet weekday mornings and some evenings. Each seminar includes meals prepared by Björklunden’s resident chef. For complete course descriptions, fees, and registration dates call 920.839.2216, email [email protected] or visit