President Wente walks and talks with Greiman about how 18th- and 19th-century American literature can inform our approach to today’s issues, especially around democracy. They describe the impact of Wake Forest’s Humanities Institute on interdisciplinary scholarship and how liberal arts classes build upon each other. Greiman discusses how she encourages students to step outside the things they know and then what she learns from them when they do. 

Professor, English

Jennifer Greiman brings 18th century literature into current debates about the future of democracy. Greiman serves as the director of the Humanities Institute and is a Professor of English. She specializes in 18th- and 19th-century Atlantic literature, democratic theory, and the work of Herman Melville. Her latest book, “Melville’s Democracy: Radical Figuration and Political Formwas published in 2023. She is also the author of “Democracy’s Spectacle: Sovereignty and Public Life in Antebellum American Writing” and co-editor of “The Last Western: Deadwood and the End of American Empire.” She says that we cannot fully read Melville without understanding the formative role of democracy in his work — nor can we fully understand American democracy without reading Melville.

Categories: Walk with Wente