George Orwell’s Enduring Legacy: ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’

Bard College

Joseph Luzzi (PhD, Yale) is the Asher B. Edelman Professor of Literature and Faculty Member in Italian Studies at Bard College, and he taught previously at the University of Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in The New York Times, TLS, The London Times, the Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, and on National Public Radio. Dr. Luzzi’s awards include a Yale College Teaching Prize, Dante Society of America Essay Prize, and Wallace Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, Harvard’s Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. He is the author of five books and recently created The Virtual Book Club: an international community of readers dedicated to exploring major literary works past and present.



Few works of modern literature have been as influential as George Orwell’s mid-twentieth century classics, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm. With his uncanny ability to probe the most lacerating political developments of his time, Orwell created novels that remain shockingly relevant today because of their diagnosis of power, corruption, and misinformation, among many other key issues of the present. In this presentation, we will discover what makes Orwell’s gorgeous prose “tick,” as we also consider how remarkably prophetic he was in understanding the forces and trends that would define global life from his age all the way to our own.



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Mary Davidson


As usual, Dr. Luzzi brings new vision to what may seem to be old literary relics. He has an amazing ability to bring in sources from many decides of writers that give new meaning to the written word.

10 months ago
MaryMargaret Cronin

A real eye-opener

I too decided to re-read 1984 while tucked away during the Pandemic, but Professor Luzzi’s discussion brings in so many additional elements – I had to watch it twice!!

10 months ago

So Relevant

Like many I recently re-read 1984 as it was one of my favorite books from high school and it felt so relevant with all the misinformation that is out there. My son is now reading it in high school so he also enjoyed the lecture and was able to learn more about Orwell and how prophetic his works are to modern times. Animal Farm is also a great book as well and this makes me want to go back and read it next.

10 months ago
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