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September 24, 2014
For this year's banned book week, the LearnOutLoud.com team has taken a look at classics that have been frequently challenged and compiled a list of free "banned audio books" that may surprise you. For various reasons, whether it be political, moral or cultural grounds, the titles listed here have been banned by governments, and educational institutions. Some, such as Joyce's Ulysses, Twain's Huckleberry Finn or especially Mein Kampf are probably understandable in certain circumstances, but even we were amazed to see how often certain books have been censored (and why). We hope this list gives you a better appreciation of how even undisputed masterpieces can sometimes be viewed as harmful when seen in a certain light.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Candide by Voltaire
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
And for more on D.H. Lawrence check out this new lecture series from Oxford we added:
D.H. Lawrence Lecture Series by Catherine Brown
Ulysses by James Joyce
Posted by LearnOutLoud | Permalink
September 16, 2014
It's our back to school extravaganza! And we've really out done ourselves this year at LearnOutLoud.com. We've searched deep and wide, and have unearthed over 700 new free audio & video courses to our LearnOutLoud.com Free Courses Collection. That means we now have over 1200 free courses in our collection! The largest collection of free audio & video courses from colleges and universities on the web! You can check out the full collection right here:
Click through to the categories and subcategories of the courses and you'll find them sorted by most recently added, so you can see what is new!
In this blog post we'll guide you through what we've added. We'll start with courses we've added that are available from YouTube. For these courses we've embedded the YouTube playlists so you can watch lectures right through our site or click over to YouTube. In all we've added over 250 full courses on YouTube from various colleges and universities. We'll start out listing some of the colleges that have a lot of course offerings which we've added:
Biola University (23 Courses)
Cal State Dominguez Hills (37 Courses)
Crash Courses (7 Courses)
Indian Institutes of Technology (10 Courses)
MIT OpenCourseWare (65 Courses)
UC Irvine (30 Courses)
University of Missouri-Kansas City (13 Courses)
Virtual University of Pakistan (28 Courses)
And to get you started with some courses, we'll highlight some of the most interesting courses being offered through YouTube that we've added to our site. Here are some great courses you might want to check out:
The Age of Sustainable Development by Jeffrey Sachs at Columbia University
Biodiversity and the Meaning of Human Existence by E.O. Wilson at Duke University
Dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises by Howard Gray
Inside Creative Writing by Robert Olen Butler at Florida State University
Positive Psychology by Tal Ben-Shahar at Harvard University
The Rise and Future of the Food Movement by Michael Pollan at UC Berkeley
Pakistan Studies by Arshad S. Karim at Virtual University of Pakistan
Physics 255: Einstein's General Relativity and Gravitation by Herbert W. Hamber at UC Irvine
World Economic History Before the Industrial Revolution by Gregory Clark at UC Davis
Cars: Past, Present, and Future by Jon Summers at Stanford University
Ancient Israel by Daniel Fleming at New York University
The Early Universe by Alan Guth at MIT
The Heroic Quest by Joseph Hughes at Missouri State University
Indian Philosophy by Satya Sundar Sethy at Indian Institutes of Technology
Introduction to Music by Mary Dave Blackman at East Tennessee State University
Fundamentals of Speech by Bill Deluca at Cal State Dominguez Hills
Enjoy these free courses available through YouTube!
Along with course from YouTube, we've also scoured iTunes U for some of their best courses and have come up with over 300 iTunes U Courses that are available on audio and video. These come from a wide range of educational institutions from prestigious universities to community colleges to seminaries to technical schools. Enjoy these free offerings from iTunes U. We'll start by listing the colleges that have the most courses:
Arizona State University (10 Courses)
Columbia University (8 Courses)
Concordia Seminary (11 Courses)
Covenant Theological Seminary (18 Courses)
Dallas Theological Seminary (25 Courses)
East Tennessee State University (17 Courses)
Front Range Community College (8 Courses)
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (10 Courses)
Harrisburg Area Community College (22 Courses)
Johns Hopkins University (7 Courses)
La Trobe University (29 Courses)
Liberty University (15 Courses)
Missouri State University (31 Courses)
New Jersey Institute of Technology (8 Courses)
Ohio State University (8 Courses)
Reformed Theological Seminary (30 Courses)
Seattle Pacific University (12 Courses)
Stanford University (60+ Courses and Talks)
UC Davis (22 Courses)
University of Michigan (9 Courses)
University of New Orleans (12 Courses)
Utah Valley University (9 Courses)
And now for some highlights of the free courses we've added from iTunes U. Here are some of the outstanding courses you can take on audio & video:
Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology by Michael J. Shively at Utah Valley University
The Kennedy Half Century from University of Virginia
Story of Freedom in America by J. Rufus Fears at University of Oklahoma
History of Modern Philosophy by Clarence Mark Phillips at University of New Orleans
Shakespeare's Principal Plays by Ralph Williams at University of Michigan
Mind, Self, and Language by Amy Fountain at University of Arizona
HIST 443: The United States Since 1945 by Paul Iwancio at University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Jerusalem: The Holy City by Robert R. Cargill at UCLA
Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety by Margaret Swisher at UC Davis
How to Think Like a Psychologist by Kelly McGonigal at Stanford University
C.S. Lewis by Knox Chamblin at Reformed Theological Seminary
Fundamentals of Nutrition by Toni Burkhalter at Parkland College
Life in the Universe by Richard Pogge at Ohio State University
Investment Philosophies by Aswath Damodaran at New York University
Classical Mythology by Joseph Hughes at Missouri State University
The Roman World by Rhiannon Evans at La Trobe University
The History of Public Health by Graham Mooney at Johns Hopkins University
Western Movies: Myth, Ideology, and Genre by Richard Slotkin
American Capitalism: A History by Louis Hyman at Cornell University
Blood and Oil: Energy, the Middle East and War by Alan Richards at UC Santa Cruz
Exploring The Hobbit by Corey Olsen
Faith, Social Justice, and Public Life by Jim Wallis
The Hebrew Scriptures in Judaism and Christianity by Shaye J.D. Cohen at Harvard University
So many great free courses to choose from. But we're not done yet!
We've also added courses to our collection from two great other sources. Annenberg Learner offers multimedia resources for teaching and learning, and in their video series they have 50 outstanding courses. These video courses are available on streaming video through their pop up player on their site. Here are all the Annenberg Learner courses we've added:
And here are some of their video courses that may interest you:
The next great collection of knowledge that we've added comes from Oxford University. Oxford offers 100s of podcasts and we've picked out over 100 podcasts to add to our site. You can play these audio podcasts directly through our podcast player. Not all of them are courses, but they are all a great source of education from our friends over in England.
Here are some of the Oxford podcasts that are courses:
A Romp Through Ethics for Complete Beginners by Marianne Talbot
A Romp Through the Philosophy of Mind by Marianne Talbot
Approaching Shakespeare by Emma Smith
General Philosophy by Peter Millican
Hume's Central Principles by Peter Millican
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason by Daniel N. Robinson
Philosophy for Beginners by Marianne Talbot
The Elements of Drawing by Stephen Farthing
And we forgot to mention one final source of free courses that we've added. The Ayn Rand Institute now has courses available on streaming video (and some on audio download). Note that taking courses on the Ayn Rand Institute website requires registration. Click below to see the ones we've added:
Ayn Rand Institute (11 Courses)
Some of the highlights include:
History of Philosophy by Leonard Peikoff
The Fountainhead Course by Keith Lockitch
Ayn Rand, the Radical Thinker by Onkar Ghate, Keith Lockitch, & Yaron Brook
And a mini course by Ayn Rand herself:
Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand
Start taking a free course today!
Posted by LearnOutLoud | Permalink
September 4, 2014
Over the course of literary history, it would be difficult to understate England's overwhelming influence on the world. LearnOutLoud.com has selected 15 free audio books of the best British literature in one place, making it easier than ever to get started on some of the greatest books ever written. From William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Emily Bronte, to Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, we've come up with an essential reading list designed to stimulate your inner anglophile. You'll find free podcasts of Pride and Prejudice and Sherlock Holmes' adventures, as well as Victorian era standouts like Charlotte and Emily Bronte and science fiction from pioneer H.G. Wells. Scroll down to starting browsing:
We've just been informed of a great new resource for listening to Shakespeare's plays on audio. Speak the Speech is a non-profit audio theatre company dedicated to providing freely available Shakespearean audio performances online. Collaborating with a full cast of actors in Portland, Oregon, they've recorded some of the best audio versions of Shakespeare's plays available and they've made them available for free on MP3 download through their website. Here are the plays they're offering:
As You Like It
Henry IV, Part One
Henry IV, Part Two
Romeo and Juliet
A Winter's Tale
Sounds of Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra, King John, Cymbeline, King Richard II, and The Merry Wives of Windsor
You can also subscribe to their podcast which currently features 8 of their plays:
Thanks to Speak the Speech for informing us of their great audio dramas of Shakespeare's plays!
Download Jane Austen's undeniable classic Pride and Prejudice. Hear the story of the courtship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in early 19th century England. Published in 1813 this classic tale of love, reputation, and class remains one of the most beloved books of all time. This edition is well narrated by Karen Savage at LibriVox. She has a British accent and a nice flair for character narration. This unabridged novel has a running time of 10 Hrs. 25 Min. and is available on MP3 download from LibriVox.org.
Download an unabridged recording of John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost for free on MP3 from Librivox. Listen as Milton seeks to "justify the ways of God to men" through the story of the fall of Man as the fallen angel Satan tempts Adam and Eve which leads to their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. This 12-book, 9 1/2 hour audio program is narrated by group of volunteer narrators at Librivox.
And reading or listening to Milton is no walk in the park. To help guide you along with this audio book we are also featuring a free course from Yale University entitled "Milton" taught by Professor John Rogers. This course features an introduction to the poetry of Milton along with 10 lectures on Paradise Lost. It is available on streaming video through YouTube and downloadable audio & video on the Yale website.
Joseph Conrad's classic novella Heart of Darkness has recently been made available for free on audio download. LoudLit.org and LiteralSystems have produced this professional sounding audio book that is narrated by Tom Franks. Listen to the highly symbolic tale of Marlow's journey down the Congo River. This unabridged audio book is available on MP3 Download from and can also be subscribed to as a podcast.
Listen to Emily Bronte's only published novel Wuthering Heights. Emily decided to publish her novel after the success of her sister Charlotte's novel, Jane Eyre. The novel Wuthering Heights tells the tale of the passionate, yet thwarted, love between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw and how it affects the cast of characters around them. This unabridged audio book is narrated by Librivox volunteer Ruth Golding who has a lovely British accent.
You can now download all four of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's great Sherlock Holmes novels from Gutenberg.org on MP3 audio download. They are being made freely available from AudiobooksForFree.com with professional narration from British thespian John Telfer. AudiobooksForFree.com offers many audio books for free at a low bit rate of 8 kbps which is not very listenable. But for these Sherlock Holmes audio books, AudiobooksForFree.com has donated them to be offered on Gutenberg.org at higher quality bit rates of 16 kbps and 32 kbps which are both listenable. To get the 32 kbps MP3 files click the "More Files..." link at the bottom of the list of MP3s on the page on Gutenberg.org and you'll see links to the files at this quality.
From audiobooks.org comes this free edition of Daniel Defoe's classic adventure tale Robinson Crusoe. The novel tells the story of an English castaway who spends 28 years on a remote island. This unabridged recording seems to be from a narration conducted in the 1970s, but the narrator and audio quality still sound good. This title is available on MP3 download.
Check out this free unabridged professional recording of A Tale of Two Cities, released by Literal Systems. Listen to this sweeping historical novel set in London and Paris around the time of the French Revolution. The audio quality is top notch and Jane Ayer's narration is superb. This classic 14-hour audio book is available on MP3 download as a podcast from Literal Systems.
Travel into the future with H.G. Wells' classic novel The Time Machine. Bear witness to Morlocks and more in the year 802,701 A.D. This audio book is available on MP3 Digital Download from Project Gutenberg. It is well narrated by Roy Trumbull who runs The Story Spieler site which features many other stories and interesting audio programs.
10. Jane Eyre
You should definitely give a listen to this great novel if you never have before. In this first-person narrative you follow the title character as she matures from childhood to adulthood. Its portrayal of the development of a thinking and passionate young woman led it to sometimes be regarded as an important early feminist novel. Librivox.org offer three versions of this novel and we think we picked out the best one narrated by Elizabeth Klett, who is one of the most prolific and talented volunteer narrators at Librivox. Enjoy this novel on MP3 and now even M4B bookmarkable audiobook download.
Listen to a great love story in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Hardy himself thought it his finest novel and Tess the most deeply felt character he ever created. Hear the tragic tale as Tess is torn between the aristocratic Alec d'Urberville and her true love Angel Clare. This novel is being offered for free on audio download from Librivox and is narrated by Adrian Praetzellis.
Download and listen to one of Charles Dickens' greatest novels: Great Expectations! This coming-of-age Victorian novel follows a young orphan named Pip through his personal development into adulthood when he grows up to become a fine young gentleman. This novel is well read by one of the readers at Lit2Go and is available on MP3 audio download from their newly designed site.
Also NAXOS AudioBooks is also offering for free introductions to all 16 of Charles Dickens' novels! These Dickens podcasts make up an audio book unto itself with 8 hours of introductions by David Timson including extensive excerpts from the audio books of each of these novels. NAXOS is offering these in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens's birth and they have now recorded all 16 of Dickens's novels in both unabridged and abridged editions.
Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all time. It is the first and only novel written by the English author Anna Sewell and it was published shortly before she passed away in 1878. The story is written in the form of an autobiographical memoir told by a horse named Black Beauty. As we follow Black Beauty throughout her life the story contains many allegorical lessons that teach us to treat both people and animals with kindness and respect. The novel is narrated by one of Librivox.org's best volunteer narrators Cori Samuel. It is available on MP3 download from Librivox.org.
Listen to William Shakespeare's famous tragedy Macbeth on streaming audio and MP3 download. This full cast dramatization of the play is offered by Wired for Books. Hear all the drama of Macbeth's bloody grab for power and his subsequent unraveling. The play stars Mark Mann as Macbeth and Laura Lee Parrotti as Lady Macbeth.
Listen to Mary Shelley's classic tale of Gothic horror and science fiction. Written at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, this allegorical novel reveals the dark side of modern man's irresponsible use of technology. This free unabridged audio book is being offered by Lit2Go. Download Frankenstein on MP3 today.
And if you want to learn more about British literature check out these two great debates from Intelligence Squared on the kings and queens of English Literature:
Two advocates and a group of gifted actors pit Wuthering Heights author Emily Bronte up against the works of Jane Austen in this streaming lecture provided by Intelligence Squared. Professor John Mullen argues that in Jane Austen's novels, readers get formal brilliance, incredible dialogue, consistent humor, and biting social commentary that has made her work highly relatable beyond the historical period in which they were written. Writer Kate Mosse contrasts Austen's work with Emily Bronte's single novel, arguing that in one book, Bronte was able to transcend stories of marriage to get at the eternal, ethereal aspects of love. The debate is given up to the audience to ultimately decide who is the queen of English letters, with entertaining, funny, and interesting results.
William Shakespeare is pitted against John Milton to determine the king of English literature in this streaming video debate presented by Intelligence Squared. On the one side, English professor James Shapiro presents his case for Shakespeare, arguing that the bard's complex understanding of human relations, his unparalleled range, and the multiple ways in which his work and characters can be interpreted are reason enough to crown him king. On the other side, Nigel Smith argues that with Paradise Lost alone, John Milton was able to push the biblical story of Man's fall into new territory, taking a well-known story and imaginatively reshaping it to add layers of emotional complexity that equal anything Shakespeare was able to accomplish in his many plays. The two advocates in the debate are aided immensely by three award-winning actors that are on hand to act out scenes from Shakespeare and passages from Paradise Lost, making for an exciting discussion regardless of who ends up taking the prize.
Posted by LearnOutLoud | Permalink
July 11, 2014
Climate change is now a burning issue as we enter the first decades of the 21st century. With this list of free audio and video resources, LearnOutLoud.com asks "What is Global Warming?" In this selection of lectures and recorded discussions, various pundits explore the worldwide problem of climate change from a scientific and political perspective, and offer solutions for how we might avert global catastrophe. Topics include a history of global warming, how we can decrease our dependence on oil and fossil fuels, and Al Gore's 15 ways we can avert a climate crisis. Learn more about how scientists and politicians are working to save the earth by clicking any of the links here:
The University of Chicago presents a full course on the history, science, and possible future development of Earth's climate provided in a series of 23 video lectures taught by Professor David Archer. The first half of the course covers the basic physics, such as how the climate of the earth is determined by the energy of the sun, and what role green house gas emissions play. The second half talks how carbon helped form life, why the sun has provided such a stable global temperature, and other delicate details that make the planet hospitable for life. By the end of the quarter, Archer will talk about the toll human activity has had on the eco-system and what we can do to avoid future problems. The entire course offers a top to bottom education on the latest science behind global warming.
In this streaming talk provided by UCTV, science historian Naomi Oreskes shows how mainstream views on global climate change developed and became more politicized throughout the 20th century. Oreskes begins by tracing how the earliest green house gas studies were conducted in the 1930s, and how by the 1960s, many leading voices in the scientific community on both sides of the political spectrum were making dire predictions about future climate change. Citing that many Americans still believe there is a controversy within scientific circles over the reality of global warming, she argues that this confusion is partly due to a concerted effort made by a few politically-driven organizations to muddy the issue. What would drive these groups to argue against an issue that could have such dire consequences for humanity? Oreskes has some interesting answers.
This is the first lecture from the Modern Scholar course Global Warming, Global Threat taught by Professor Michael B. McElroy. In this lecture professor Michael B. McElroy introduces the worldwide experiment we have embarked on through the increase in global temperature. He covers some of the basics of global warming such as the greenhouse effect, the gases that contribute to global warming, and what creates the climate on Earth. He then puts humanity and global warming in the context of Earth's entire history going back 4.5 billion years ago. He uses a calendar year as a reference for Earth's history and places global warming at the last few seconds before midnight on December 31st. It's an excellent introductory lecture for placing global warming in global history.
The hard facts of our changing climate are detailed in this sobering digital download lecture presented by WGBH. Here Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert and author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe explains how scientists first identified the possibility of climate shift over 100 years ago and then she traces scientific research up the present day, concluding with an undeniable portrait of what Earth will look like in the coming decades. What was once the realm of speculation is now an imminent threat, as scientists announce record temperatures every year; here you will find out what's happening and what can be done for future generations. This lecture is available on streaming video through YouTube.
Al Gore lays out 15 ways to avert climate crisis through our personal and professional lives. He plays a brief slide show and provides examples of many of the ways that these steps are being used in action. Speaking to a business audience at the TED conference he also points out important steps that businesses can take to influence climate change. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.
Author Amory Lovins lays out his plan to help America kick the oil habit in this instructive lecture released by MIT World. In a matter of fact style that drives home the point that change is obviously upon us, Lovins shows how cars, planes and other vehicles can be made to run without fossil fuel after a one-time investment from the major U.S. manufacturers. He then shows how a firmer commitment made by business men and politicians would lead to not only greater financial returns and more efficient vehicles, but a cleaner, brighter future. Check out this free lecture on streaming audio & video from MIT World.
Posted by LearnOutLoud | Permalink
July 11, 2014
Hoping to enrich your knowledge of art history, but unsure of where to start? With this selection of free videos, podcasts, and audiobooks, LearnOutLoud.com has collected a great primer designed to boost your art appreciation on all levels. Here you will be introduced to the finest painters and sculptors, and will get guided tours of the world's great architectural achievements. From Roman architecture, to Renaissance painting, to 20th century avant-garde developments and everything in between, these resources bundle together the most important eras, movements, and aesthetic trends in one place. Learn more by clicking any of the links below!
Take a journey through the History of Art with this free video course from the Otis College of Art and Design. This course comes with great visual accompaniments of the works of art being discussed. In this free 2 hour, 27 episode video series called "Art History Time Line". Professor Jeanne Willette takes you from the cave paintings to Romanticism in this video course. Each episode lasts about 5 minutes and covers a specific period in Art History. Learn about famous periods such as the Renaissance, the Baroque, Neo-Classicism, and Romanticism.
You can watch 13 lectures from the Modern Art History course which is being offered through YouTube from the Otis College of Art and Design. In these lectures Dr. Parme Giuntini, Director of Art History at Otis College of Art and Design, covers many schools of modern art including Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau, and more. She also provides the political and social context which these art movements arose from. Enjoy this free, 5-hour introduction to Modern Art from the Otis College of Art and Design.
With the Smarthistory series of YouTube videos, the Khan Academy presents over 500 brief art history lessons on a variety of subjects. Two unscripted art historians, Dr. Steven Zucker & Dr. Beth Harris, guide you enthusiastically through subjects that include the ancient architecture of the Greeks, paintings by van Dyck, Vermeer, and Bruegel, and modern works, such as Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial. In addition to getting a valuable art lesson, the speakers also bundle their commentary within a historical context that gives the viewer a well-rounded understanding of a given piece.
Get an introduction to Roman Architecture with this free course available on audio & video from Yale University. Professor Diana E.E. Kleiner takes you on a historic journey through Rome, Pompeii, and other sites in Italy, along with notable structures throughout the Roman Empire. She covers a wide variety of Roman buildings illustrated with over 1,500 images. Although the slide presentation isn't ideal (she points them out projected on a wall), it is still recommended you watch this architecture course on video.
LearnOutLoud.com's Art History Podcast highlights over 20 of the greatest works of Western painting. From "The Birth of Venus" painted by Sandro Botticelli in 1486 to "The Gleaners" painted by Jean-Francois Millet in 1857, you'll learn about great paintings with selections from many art criticism books throughout history. Podcasts are enhanced with the image included along with high quality PDFs of the image on the podcast feed. Learn about the best painting from the masters like Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa", Michelangelo "The Last Judgment", and Rembrandt's "The Night Watch". Enjoy this free podcast from LearnOutLoud.com. We've also posted our YouTube playlist of these podcasts to the page.
This entertaining video podcast covers one famous work of art in detail for each podcast. Currently host Christopher Witcombe has analyzed Leonardo DaVinci's Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. The videos are well produced and they provide some fun facts about the paintings you may not have heard before. Hopefully there will be more to come from this art history video podcast.
Dr. Vida Hull's "Art History Survey" course covers the history of painting, architecture, & sculpture from the Renaissance all the way up to the 20th century. This 36-hour course is neatly divided into lectures that focus on specific artistic periods such as the Italian Renaissance, Dutch Baroque, Impressionism, and so much more. Dr. Hull also focuses certain lectures on individual artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Rembrandt, and many more giants of Western art history. The lectures are recorded specifically for video with clear slide show presentations that present the works of art in detail. Dr. Vida Hull presents the material with passion and clarity and it sounds like the best free introductory art history course out there!
Here are four other art history courses being offered by Dr. Vida Hull:
Posted by LearnOutLoud | Permalink