The great writer Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 – 1864) held a mirror up to the American soul in his masterful stories and novels. His themes include the human dreams of progress and perfection, the dark side of human nature, the powers of science, and the fear of Heaven. And his moral imagination was deeply shaped by the biblical vision of man and society. In this seminar, we will read some of Hawthorne’s greatest short stories—such as “The Birth-mark,” “The Celestial City,” “The May-Pole of Merry Mount,” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” Through these great and provocative tales, we will explore who we are as Americans: always dreaming about a more perfect future, always haunted by our exile from Eden.
Earn a Tikvah Certificate
For students who want to take at least 3 courses this summer, you can become eligible for special additional opportunities—including essay prizes/scholarships, special sessions w/ Jewish leaders, and a Tikvah online certificate.Learn More
Meet the Instructors
Seminars are taught by Tikvah faculty and experts in the subject matter. Please note that course faculty are subject to change depending on availability.
The Tikvah Fund
Eric Cohen has been the Executive Director of the Tikvah Fund since 2007. He was the founder and remains editor-at-large of the New Atlantis, and he serves as the publisher of the Jewish Review of Books and Mosaic. Mr. Cohen has published in numerous academic and popular journals, magazines, and newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Weekly Standard, Commentary, The New Republic, First Things, and numerous others. He is the author of In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology (2008) and co-editor of The Future is Now: America Confronts the New Genetics (2002). He was previously managing editor of the Public Interest and served as a senior consultant to the President’s Council on Bioethics. Mr. Cohen currently serves on the board of directors of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Witherspoon Institute, and National Affairs and on the Editorial Advisory Board of First Things.
Stephanie Cohen is a writing and literature teacher for elementary- and middle-school students at Westchester Day School in New York. She is also the school’s librarian. She has been a writer and editor for over two decades. Her love of books and writing—and her kids’ ravenous appetite for great books—led her to create the Lions of Literature blog. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, and international newswires including the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe Magazine, the New York Post, the Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News & World Report Magazine, Bloomberg BNA, Bloomberg Law, Mosaic, CBS MarketWatch, and others. She has also taught journalism and media ethics at the college level.