Ask Your Library
The Great American Read Lecture Series: Literary Themes -- What We Do For Love
Each episode of PBS's The Great American Read will explore one of five overarching literary themes. Join the discussion about why the books we read matter, why we're drawn to these themes and what they tell us about ourselves.
Dr. Rewa Burnham of Trinity Washington University will lead the discussion. This week's theme: What We Do For Love. Ages 13 and up.
What We Do For Love
Books about love challenge us to take a hard look at ourselves. Are we the heroine or villain, the white knight or callous rogue, the virtuous prince or seductive siren of our own love stories? And hidden in the undercurrents of our favorite romantic tales are reflections of our deepest fears and insecurities, and questions about our social structures and moral codes.
Books dedicated to love range across genres, styles, and subjects, like the many different kinds of love in our lives. The books in this episode explore these loves—from the romantic and sexual, to our complicated friendships and family relationships, to love’s overpowering, dangerous, and destructive side.
OVERARCHING QUESTION: How do books about love help us navigate and understand the relationships we have in our own lives?
Rewa Burnham is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Trinity Washington University. She teaches African American literature, multicultural literature, and twentieth century American literature. Her research examines fugitive figures in contemporary African American literature and representations of the body in black women's autobiographical writing. She is currently working on a personal history that highlights similarities between the lives of black women across four generations.
Ph.D. and M.A., English Language and Literature, University of Maryland, College Park; B.A., English and Public Affairs, Trinity College