Have any of you ever taken a MOOC? I seem to recall there were a number of folks a year or so ago who were excited about a science fiction class and possibly a poetry class. I don’t recall getting a sense during or after how the experience went. I’m curious because I came across a class on T.S. Eliot that looks really tempting. I can’t tell if it is a continuous class or has already run. Either way, all the lectures are online so I could technically start at any time. It might be nice to do since I just got that copy of Four Quartets. I could have an Eliot binge beginning this coming weekend. Would there be anyone interested in joining in the fun of this self-paced class?

As if Eliot wouldn’t be enough, I had to go poking around to see what else was on offer. There is a class starting October 15th that goes for eight weeks called Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction. What is especially interesting about this course is that the first half is readings and the second half is on the craft of writing historical fiction and will include five guest novelists: Jane Allison, Geraldine Brooks, Yangzse Choo, Katherine Howe, and Mary Beth Keane. I have no interest in writing historical fiction but it would be interesting to hear what the novelists had to say about the process of it.

Then there is The Modern and the Postmodern which is set for February 4, 2014 and lasts 14 weeks. The syllabus is online and one of the assignments is to watch Blade Runner. There is also plenty of Foucault and Virginia Woolf makes an appearance too.

In November there is a module from a larger survey course on Walt Whitman. It isn’t clear how long it lasts or what the reading is so it is hard to get excited about that one.

MIT has an interesting course that appears to be self-paced on Travel Literature. The reading list is long and interesting. I don’t see any video lectures but there are lots of background and supporting materials.

While I was looking around I also found two websites that appear to keep track of MOOCs for the humanities, Class Central humanities and MOOC List.

So many interesting things to do online for free! I do want to do Eliot but that historical fiction one is tempting too. Maybe I can start Eliot, leave off in October for eight weeks for the historical fiction and then pick up Eliot again. Hmm, something to think about!

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