johnstonia

 

This is the home page of Ian Johnston, a retired instructor (now a Research Associate) at Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina College), Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. It is designed to provide curricular material for various courses in literature and Liberal Studies.

This site is under continual construction (last revised January 2014). For comments, questions, corrections, and so on, please contact Ian Johnston. For information about copyright on the material listed anywhere on this site, check the following link: Copyright.

If you have trouble with a particular link on the following page type johnstoi and the name of the work or the lecture you are interested in into a search engine (e.g., johnstoi antigone). The material you are looking for will appear high on the list of results.

 

[Vancouver Island University]—[Capitan Mail]

This site is dedicated to the memory of my son Geoffrey, 1974-1997

 

 geoff.jpg

 

Generations of men are like the leaves.
In winter, winds blow them down to earth,
but then, when spring season comes again,
the budding wood grows more. And so with men
:
one generation grows, another dies away. (Iliad
6)

 

SITE INDEX

Book Reviews
Curricular Material for Classics 101
E-Text Catalogue
General Study Materials (Handbooks)
Introductory Lecture Series
Miscellaneous Essays (by Ian Johnston)
Studies in Shakespeare

 

E-TEXT CATALOGUE FOR THIS SITE

Some of these texts are available in Publisher or Word format for those who wish to make booklets, so that they or their students can read the works as books rather than as printed web pages. There is no charge for these files. For details, please use the following link: Publisher files.

AESCHYLUS
Oresteia
(Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides)
Persians
Prometheus Bound
Seven Against Thebes  
Suppliant Women

ARISTOPHANES
Birds
Clouds
Frogs
Knights
Lysistrata
Peace

ARISTOTLE
Nicomachean Ethics
(Abridged)

JOHN BUNYAN
The Pilgrim’s Progress

GEORGES CUVIER
Discourse on the Revolutionary Upheavals on the Surface of the Earth (pdf)

English Reviews of the First Edition of Cuvier’s Essay: British Review and London Critical Journal (1813); Edinburgh Review, 1813-1814

CHARLES DARWIN
On the Origin of Species (1859 text, abridged)
Preface to Later Editions of the Origin of Species
Review of Origin of Species by Richard Owen (1869)
Review of Origin of Species by Fleeming Jenkin (1867)

RENE DESCARTES
Discourse on Method
Meditations on First Philosophy
(1641)

DENIS DIDEROT
A Conversation Between D’Alembert and Diderot
D’Alembert’s Dream
Rameau’s Nephew

EURIPIDES
Bacchae
Electra
Medea
Orestes

HOMER
Iliad
Odyssey

JAMES HUTTON
Theory of the Earth; or an Investigation of the Laws Observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land upon the Globe (1785)

FRANZ KAFKA
The Metamorphosis
Selected Short Writings

IMMANUEL KANT
Universal History of Nature and Theory of Heaven
On Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Tract

JEAN-BAPTISTE LAMARCK
Zoological Philosophy, Volume I

LUCRETIUS
On the Nature of Things

KARL MARX
The Communist Manifesto

JOHN STUART MILL
On Liberty (Drastically Abridged)

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
Beyond Good and Evil
On the Use and Abuse of History for Life
The Birth of Tragedy
The Genealogy of Morals

OVID
Metamorphoses

JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU
Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts [First Discourse]
Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men [Second Discourse]
The Social Contract

SOPHOCLES
Ajax
(pdf)
Antigone
Oedipus the King
Philoctetes

THUCYDIDES
History of the Peloponnesian War (Abridged Text)




CURRICULAR MATERIALS FOR CLASSICS 101

Background Material on Classical Greece
On Classical Greek Culture
A Note on the Trojan War



GENERAL STUDY MATERIALS

And Still We Evolve . . . (A Handbook on the Early History of Modern Science)

Essays and Arguments (A Handbook on Writing Argumentative Essays)

Guide to the Marking of Written Assignments

I’ll Give You a Definite Maybe: A Handbook on Probability, Statistics, and Excel

Writing Reviews of Fine and Performing Arts Events

Participating in Seminars

Grammar Review Exercises

A Practical Introduction to College Teaching

 

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE SERIES

[This section lists the texts of various introductory and public lectures and supplementary notes prepared for college courses, particularly for Liberal Studies at Vancouver Island University (once Malaspina College). These are not scholarly studies of the works listed but rather initial introductions designed for readers who are encountering these texts for the first time. These materials are in the public domain and may be used, in whole or in part, by anyone without permission and without charge, provided the source is acknowledged. For comments or questions, please contact Ian Johnston.]

On Aeschylus, Oresteia
On Alfons Mucha and Art Nouveau
On the American Adam: Why God Rides a Harley in the Land of the Free
On Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem
On Aristophanes, Clouds
On Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics
On the Life of Aristotle
On de Beauvoir, The Second Sex: Some Historical Aspects of Feminism
On Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress
On Chaucer, The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales
On Cubist Architecture in Prague
On Czech History
On Dante, The Inferno
On Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
On Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
On Descartes, Discourse on Method
On Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground
On Dryden, “Mac Flecknoe”: Introduction to Satire
On T. S. Eliot: “Prufrock” and The Waste Land
On Euripides, The Bacchae
On the Book of Exodus
On Frayn, Copenhagen
On Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents
On the Gospel of Matthew and the Epistle to the Romans
On Hasek, The Good Soldier Svejk
On Hildegard of Bingen: Mystical Writing
On Hobbes, Leviathan
On Homer, The Iliad
(series of essays)
On Homer, The Odyssey
On Ibsen, A Doll’s House
On William James, Varieties of Religious Experience
On Kafka’s Metamorphosis
(A lecture by Karl Marx)
On Kant, “Perpetual Peace”
On Lucretius, On the Nature of Things
On Machiavelli, The Prince
On Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
On Marx, The Communist Manifesto and Other Writings
On Mill, On Liberty
On Milton, Paradise Lost
On Montaigne, Essays
On Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
On Ovid, Metamorphoses
On Plato, Poesis in Plato’s Republic
On Plato, The Meno
On English Poetry in the Romantic Era
On Rorty, Contingency, irony and solidarity
On Rousseau, Emile
On Rousseau, The Discourse on Inequality
On Shakespeare
(Lectures in Studies of Shakespeare)
On Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
On Sophocles, Oedipus the King
On Spiegelman, Maus I and II
On Stendhal, Red and Black
On Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
On Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
On Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War
On the Trojan War
(A Summary Account)
On Twain, Huckleberry Finn
On Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
On Woolf, To the Lighthouse

 

STUDIES IN SHAKESPEARE

Critical Approaches to Shakespeare: Some Initial Observations
Henry IV, Part 1: A Short Introductory Note
Historical Background to Shakespeare’s History Cycles
Lectures on Shakespeare
On Scholarship and Literary Interpretation: An Introductory Note

 

MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS
[by Ian Johnston]

Ancient and Modern Science: Some Observations
Deconstructing Shakespeare
E-Coli (A Satirical Ezine)
The Illogic of a Creationist Argument
Creationism in the Science Curriculum?
God’s Handicap: Golf as Spiritual Ordeal
In Praise of Conversation
My Body the Billboard
Malaspina at the Crossroads: Reflections for the Record
Myth Conceptions of Academic Work Once More
No Snakes on These Islands
A Proposal to Reduce the Cost of Undergraduate Education
Research Revisited: The Rage of Caliban
To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns
The Short Proof of Evolution
Some Non-Scientific Observations on the Importance of Darwin
Towards an Initial Understanding of Science
On Western Civilization: Or Why is Everyone Trying to Learn English?
Our Universities: How We Got Where We Are
Why Should I Obey the State?

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Nancy Bermeo, Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times: The Citizenry and the Breakdown of Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2003).

Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything (Doubleday Canada, 2003).

Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter (Nan A. Talese [Doubleday] 2003).

Francis Crick, Of Molecules and Men (Prometheus Books, 2004) and Paul Kurtz, Affirmations: Joyful and Creative Exuberance (Prometheus Books, 2004),reviewed together.

Phil Dowe, Galileo, Darwin, and Hawking: The Interplay of Science, Reason and Religion (William B. Eerdmans, 2005).

Robert Jewett and John Shelton Lawrence, Captain America and the Crusade Against Evil: The Dilemma of Zealous Nationalism (Eerdmans, 2003).

Robert Kaplan, Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos (Vintage Books, 2003).

Stephen Lewis, Race Against Time (Anansi Press, 2005).

Richard Rorty, Contingency, irony and solidarity (Cambridge University Press, 1989).

Amartya Sen, Identity of Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (New York: Norton, 2006) and Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star, Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences (MIT Press, 2000).

Ross A. Slotten, The Heretic in Darwin’s Court: The Life of Alfred Russel Wallace (Columbia University Press, 2004).

Timothy E. Quill and Margaret P. Battin, editors, Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care and Patient Choice (Johns Hopkins, 2004).

 

 


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