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Professor Peter Conn, Ph.D.

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 Collection

    36 Books That Changed the World

    Peter Conn, Ph.D.
    Starting at $199.95 Starting at $199.95 $269.95 $199.95$269.95
    Since the development of written language, books have played major roles in the world: Entertaining. Instructing. Inspiring. Even changing the course of history. Now, with 36 Books That Changed the World, a fascinating Great Courses Collection crafted from our extensive library of courses, take a riveting tour of the profound impact of books from thousands of years of history and from civilizations around the globe.
  2. Great American Bestsellers: The Books That Shaped America Sale

    Great American Bestsellers: The Books That Shaped America

    Peter Conn, Ph.D.
    Save up to $185.00 Starting at $34.95 $69.95 $34.95$69.95
    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...
  3. 36 Revolutionary Figures of History Collection

    36 Revolutionary Figures of History

    Peter Conn, Ph.D.
    Starting at $199.95 Starting at $199.95 $269.95 $199.95$269.95
    Alexander the Great. Jesus. Darwin. Churchill. These are just a few of the revolutionary individuals who have transformed our world in ways that still resonate today. 36 Revolutionary Figures of History is a unique collection of 36 lectures from our extensive course catalog—one that takes you across time and around the globe to offer piercing insights into some of history’s most transformative figures.