Republics of Letters is a peer-reviewed, digital journal dedicated to the study of knowledge, politics, and the arts, from Antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the early modern period. Articles are organized by forum, each of which, unlike special issues in print journals, will continue to accept new material over time. All articles are freely accessible.
Do revolutions follow predictable patterns, like migratory
birds, or are they “black
swans” that appear unexpected and surprise us every time? Can historians
help us understand the present or do they merely obscure the specificity of
Most attention is paid at
institutions of higher education to the beginning and end of undergraduate
studies. Curriculum committees debate the nature and number of requirements
that students must fulfill, mostly in their freshman year; and departments
spend a great deal of time evaluating the content and structure of majors,
which tend to occupy students in their junior and senior years.
In a recent New York Review article on Byron, Harold Bloom makes the following passing remark: “In the two centuries since Byron died in Greece [...] only Shakespeare has been translated and read more, first on the Continent and then worldwide.” Bloom does not cite any statistics, and one cannot help but wonder: Really?