In this course, we will study the evolving idea and experience of freedom. Try to define freedom. Do you land on words like choice, speech, or even obligation? Does your language emerge from the realm of politics or literature, psychology, or religion?
Studying texts chosen from the Torah, ancient philosophy, modern literature, and political history, we will read excerpts from Exodus, Thucydides, Frederick Douglass, and more. We will ask ourselves how this term has developed and begin to shape our own definitions of a concept that has great relevance for our moral and political lives.
- Excerpts from Thucydides, “History of the Peloponnesian War” (Funeral Oration, Account of the Plague)
- Excerpts from Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
- Writings about Exodus by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
- American political speeches by Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln
Meet the Instructor
Dr. Tamara Mann Tweel is Director of Civic Initiatives at the Teagle Foundation. She joined the Foundation in 2019. Previously, she served as the Founder and Director of Civic Spirit and the Associate Director of the Freedom and Citizenship Program at Columbia University. She currently teaches in the American Studies Program at Columbia University and serves on the Advisory Council of the Princeton University Office of Religious Life. Tweel received a master’s degree in theological studies from the Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate in history from Columbia University. In 2009, she received the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She recently testified before Congress on the value of the humanities, bringing the stories of the Freedom and Citizenship students to our national representatives. Her work has been published in numerous academic and popular journals, magazines, and newspapers, including The Washington Post, The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Journal of World History, and Inside Higher Ed.
Kate Havard Rozansky