What is High Culture For?

National Association of Scholars

Nathaniel Peters is in the business of minding the gap—the gap between what today’s students learn in college, and what they need to know to participate fully in the life of the mind.

As executive director of the Morningside Institute, an independent organization near Columbia University, he introduces students to the great books and works of art that too often get overlooked.

In this conversation, Nathaniel and I talk about Verde’s Falstaff, which reimagines and tells in operatic form the story of one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, and the Morgan Library’s exhibit on J.R.R. Tolkien. And we talk more broadly about what the collegiate experience is like for students who, despite the unraveling of the core curriculum, still seek a good education.

Listen through to the end to hear us debate whether any “Great Books” should be demoted from the list. 

  • Share

Most Commented

January 24, 2024


After Claudine

The idea has caught on that the radical left overplayed its hand in DEI and is now vulnerable to those of us who seek major reforms. This is not, however, the first time that the a......

February 13, 2024


The Great Academic Divorce with China

All signs show that American education is beginning a long and painful divorce with the People’s Republic of China. But will academia go through with it?...

October 31, 2023


University of Washington Violated Non-Discrimination Policy, Internal Report Finds

A faculty hiring committee at the University of Washington “inappropriately considered candidates’ races when determining the order of offers,” provided “disparate op......

Most Read

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

October 12, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...

September 21, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What Does YHWH Elohim Mean?

A reader asks, "If Elohim refers to multiple 'gods,' then Yhwh Elohim really means Lord of Gods...the one of many, right?" A Hebrew expert answers....