Media & Interviews

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Interview on The Open Mind

With Alexander Hefner

I’m Alexander Hefner, your host on The Open Mind. The Splintering of the American Mind is the subject of today’s broadcast and the title of my guest’s new Bloomsbury book The Splintering of the American Mind: Identity Politics, Inequality and Community on Today’s College Campuses. William Egginton is the Decker Professor in the Humanities and the director of the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Sloan Foundation President and Williams College President Emeritus Adam Falk praised Edmonton’s book as “an incisive and nuanced diagnosis of the ruptures in our society that so challenge higher education today. His call for a universal experience of the liberal arts as essential to democracy is as compelling as any I have seen.” I likewise applaud Egginton central thesis and illumination of the crisis. As my past guest, William Deresiewicz testified to here on The Open Mind, Egginton rightly concerns himself and us with the expensive, exclusive, elite clubs that lack commitment to community that will better our country. Bill, pleasure to have you here today.

 Panel at The Center for Fiction

 

 In his bestseller The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered in the Modern World, Professor William Egginton explores Cervantes's life and the world he lived in, examining the ways his writing fundamentally changed literature, and how it provided a unique way of viewing the world. Egginton, translators Edith Grossman and Natasha Wimmer, and author Álvaro Enrigue (Sudden Death) explored Cervantes’s impact on not only fiction, but society as we know it. 

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Interview on Full Stop

By Andrew Mitchell Davenport

 There are many stories in Don Quixote, but perhaps not a single one so unbelievable as the story of its creator. Miguel de Cervantes didn’t have it easy. William Egginton’s new work, The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered in the Modern World (Bloomsbury, 2016), makes this abundantly clear. But Egginton’s book focuses on the ways in which Cervantes, with his literary talents and his time-tested sense of humor, persevered in a world that seems to have conspired to keep him down. Cervantes was no ordinary chap. He was a humanist in an age of inquisition. Somehow he kept his head. 

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Twilight of the Idyll: How Cervantes Pulled Fiction Out of the Grave of Pastoral

Lecture at Concordia University Symposium: From My Cold Dead Hand: Cervantes and the Public Humanities in the Twenty-first Century

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William Egginton on Democracy, Citizenship, and the Importance of Educating the Populace

 

Interview by Dale Keiger

The ominous final sentence of your book is, "Our democracy, our freedom itself, is at stake, and time is running out." What is the threat to our democracy in your eyes?


Democracy is hard work. Democracy involves having enough basis for conversation with others so that you can actually get together and do the hard work of having arguments and coming to conclusions and basing policy decisions on those conclusions. When I say at the end of this book that democracy is at risk, I see what many other commentators have seen as a very deep fraying of the social bonds that allow us to have those conversations in the first place.

An Interview with William Egginton

 

With Columbia University Press

Question:  What are everyday fundamentalisms?

William Egginton: Physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow have recently used the term “model-dependent realism” to talk about the extent to which humans can approximate knowledge of the world as it really is, independent of our senses and the media we use to grasp it. The idea is basically that different conditions require different models of reality, and there is no sense at all in talking about a model-free reality.