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Join Lewis Hyde for a discussion of our cultural commons, that vast store of art and ideas we have both inherited from the past and continue to enrich in the present. Suspicious of the current idea that all creative work is “intellectual property,” Hyde, in his newest book, Common as Air, turns to America’s founding fathers—Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and more—in search of other ways to value the fruits of human wit and imagination. Shedding fresh light on everything from the Human Genome Project to Bob Dylan’s musical roots, Hyde discovers a rich tradition in which knowledge was assumed to be a commonwealth, not a private preserve. Lewis Hyde is the author of The Gift (1983), This Error Is the Sign of Love (1988), and Trickster Makes This World (1998). A MacArthur Fellow and former director of undergraduate creative writing at Harvard University, Hyde is the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College and a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Added by Center for the Humanities on April 21, 2011