Peter Freeman

Peter Freeman is an assistant professor of Renaissance English Literature at a liberal arts college in the United States.

recent articles

When Will Amazon Stop Selling Guy Fawkes Masks?

Now that Amazon and iTunes (and a bunch of other places) have decided to stop selling merchandise featuring the Confederate battle flag, can we pressure them to stop selling merchandise with masks of Guy Fawkes, the radical Catholic who was caught guarding explosives meant to assassinate Protestant King James I and all of Parliament (the … Read more

Reflections on Surviving One Year of Fatherhood

My father claims that he’s never changed a diaper. Not once. As for myself, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have Desitin filling the cracks of my knuckles … and I’ve only been a father for a little under a year. I’m a dad of the twenty-first century, which means I’m part of … Read more

Tolkien’s Farmer Giles of Ham: Hero for Our Time?

Set outside of Tolkien’s well-traversed Middle-earth, “Farmer Giles of Ham” is easily missed by the casual fan of “hobbitses.” It’s a fairy tale from a fictional medieval land known as the Little Kingdom, but it offers fertile soil for thinking about many of the social issues we are facing in the contemporary American political scene. … Read more

Unborn Life Always Trumps the Welfare State

Would you ever want to be buried alive? It’s a question Tom Stoppard raises in his absurdist drama, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. In the play, the titular Rosencrantz considers this riddle when he contemplates the experience of being a corpse in a coffin. Even taking into account the fact that you’re dead, it isn’t … Read more

How the Church Would Rule the World

In his 1911 preface to Dawn of All, Robert Hughes Benson proposes: to sketch—again in parable—the kind of developments, about sixty years hence which, I think, may reasonably be expected should the opposite process begin, and ancient thought (which has stood the test of centuries, and is, in a very remarkable manner, being “rediscovered” by … Read more

In Defense of Nonsense

An academic scandal is afoot. Heedless of economic turmoil and a vortex of national spending, American college students continue to borrow a staggering amount of government-subsidized loans. Making matters worse, these students dump this funding not in profitable coursework like business or accounting, medicine or science, but in studying transvestite drama queens, lewd comedies, and … Read more

Zombies, Zelda, and the Natural Law

Rescuing the princess. Punishing unjust oppressors. Liberating a people from slavery. International gamers across the world live out these fantasies on a daily basis. These fantasies don’t make themselves, however. Grown men and women have to sit down at computers and think them up. Most video games these days have some kind of pre-packaged narrative … Read more

Will Mel Gibson Baptize Chanukhah?

In a recent blog post for Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood, Jeff Dunetz laments that “Mel Gibson’s Catholic Faith Completely Contradicts Story of Judah Maccabee.” The blogger feels that this highly-troubled entertainer is the wrong choice to direct a film about an ancient Jewish hero. True, Mel Gibson’s Catholic faith contradicts many things, including Catholicism. Dunetz … Read more

The Unhidden Faith of Lady Falkland

While plenty of scholars continue to debate Shakespeare’s Catholicity (or lack thereof), there are other English Renaissance dramatists whose Catholicism is less conjectural. One such Catholic is Elizabeth Cary (Lady Falkland, officially), the first known woman to publish an original play in English with the Tragedy of Miriam the Fair Queen of Jewry in 1613. … Read more

God and the Geeks

My first major spiritual crisis occurred when I was five years old. It was the early 1980s, and a local UHF station had started airing a new cartoon called Transformers during my family’s Mass time of choice. As long as we didn’t stop to talk to neighbors on our way home, I’d still be able … Read more

Letters to a Young Catholic Student

The following is a series of open memos that I wish I could have sent to various Catholic students whom I have taught at a secular university. I hope they might help any Catholic student intending to evangelize similar campuses. Names have been faux-classicized. t t t Dear Pedadogus Antagonistes, The first few weeks at … Read more

Civic Engagement 101

When public school began earlier this month, some parents were wary of the idea of President Barack Obama’s likeness appearing on Orwellian viewscreens in their children’s classrooms. While the presidential address might have captured the banality of Big Brother’s compulsory public health announcements, the speech itself contained little that was politically alarming.   Of greater … Read more

Marx and Augustine Find Common Ground

Ever since Candidate Obama remarked that he’d like to “spread the wealth around,” most conservative commenters have concluded that the infiltration of Marxism into our university system has now achieved its long hoped-for effect on American society. “Obama Affinity to Marxists Dates Back to College Days,” read one FoxNews headline. Any number of blogs — … Read more

Claiming Shakespeare

When Joseph Pearce’s epically titled The Quest for Shakespeare was released from Ignatius Press earlier this year, the Catholic blogosphere erupted with reports that William Shakespeare was finally, 400 years after the fact, proud to be papist. Although early modernists (a.k.a. Renaissance scholars) have been pondering Shakespeare’s possible relationship with the Romish Church for decades … Read more

Teaching Marxism

In this summer’s much-anticipated movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the titular Professor Jones is forced to stare into the hollow eyes of the equally titular artifact. As Indy’s will breaks under the skull’s strange hypnotic gaze, a Soviet agent (Cate Blanchett) fantasizes about how she will use the mystical object … Read more

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