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Professor Peter Conn

Professor Peter Conn
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University
By looking carefully at these texts, many of them still popular, we can gain valuable insights into our national history and culture. We will also have occasion to speculate on American values and the changing nature of American society.

Dr. Peter Conn holds the Vartan Gregorian Chair in English at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has a secondary appointment in the Graduate School of Education. Since 1993, he has served as a visiting professor at the University of Nanjing. Professor Conn earned his Ph.D. from Yale University. Professor Conn is the author of numerous works on American literature and culture, including The American 1930s: A Literary History; Literature in America; and Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has lent his expertise as a literary consultant on numerous television projects, including the Emmy Award winning series The American Short Story. In 2004, he served as principal literary advisor to Oprah's Book Club for The Good Earth. A John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, Professor Conn has directed National Endowment for the Humanities seminars for college and high-school teachers and was the recipient of an NEH Humanities Focus grant. Throughout his career, he has won numerous teaching awards, including the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious senior teaching prize, the Lindback Award.


"Professor Conn is an interesting and entertaining teacher. His insights into the historical and social context of the books are enlightening and thoughtful."

3 Courses

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3 Courses

  1. 36 Books That Changed the World Sale

    36 Books That Changed the World

    Peter Conn
    Save up to $215.00
    Can a book actually change history? The answer is, resoundingly, yes. For more than 20 years, The Great Courses has devoted lectures to exploring these transformative books. And with 36 Books That Changed the World, you can now get a single course that collects our best lectures on literary works that shaped the world. It’s a riveting intellectual tour that introduces you to the profound impact of books from...
  2. 36 Revolutionary Figures of History Sale

    36 Revolutionary Figures of History

    Peter Conn
    Save up to $215.00
    Alexander the Great. Jesus. Darwin. Churchill. Just a few of the politicians, religious leaders, scientists, philosophers, authors, warriors, and even dictators who transformed our world in ways that still resonate today. And while revolutionary figures have been the subject of many Great Courses lectures, what single course (or professor) could cover all of them? Now, with 36 Revolutionary Figures of History,...
  3. Great American Bestsellers: The Books That Shaped America Sale

    Great American Bestsellers: The Books That Shaped America

    Peter Conn
    Save up to $185.00
    There's much more to our nation's best-selling books than the enormous sales figures they rake in. They also provide us with unique ways to appreciate and understand American culture. Great American Bestsellers: The Books That Shaped America is a pointed 24-lecture tour of key best-selling works in the history of U.S. literature and what they reveal about the cultural climate of our nation at particular points in...