The Kamholtz course is an institution within the institution of The Mercantile Library. Mercantile members have been enjoying University of Cincinnati English professor Jonathan Kamholtz’s well-researched and animated lectures for over 30 years.
Scientific Questions and Scientific Quests
This year, our topic is Scientific Questions and Scientific Quests. We’ll be reading five novels about scientific heroism and scientific discoveries with consequences intended and otherwise. These are books that chronicle the scientist’s need for obsessiveness and vision, for perseverance and imagination. What sort of responsibilities does the scientist have, and what sort of person might the scientist be? Each of our books thinks about what the world might look like to the understanding of experimenters, explorers, thinkers, and measurers. And each suggests some different ideas about what science itself is and can do. I don’t promise that I can vouch for or explain all the science in our five books, but all of them make for terrific reading.
April 21: Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith. The classic American novel for which Lewis was awarded a Pulitzer Prize which he then refused to accept. Arrowsmith follows the life and career of a small town Midwestern doctor as medicine becomes increasingly science-driven. Though Arrowsmith will travel to the Caribbean to bring modern knowledge to bear on an outbreak of the plague, he will still maintain that he is “in no degree a hero.” What sort of man must a scientist be?
Jonathan Kamholtz holds a Ph.D. from Yale University and is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati.
Series price: $50 members/$55 nonmembers
Individual sessions: $15 members/$20 nonmembers
Reservations required: 513.621.0717 or email firstname.lastname@example.org