Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
astronomical clock
Rachel Carson

Tag: Great Books

We’re excited that you’ve joined the conversation! At HMU, we want to continue the great authors’ conversations in a contemporary context, and this blog will help us do that. We look back to Aristotle and the early philosophers who used reason and discourse to gain wisdom and now we endeavor to do the same every day.

CATEGORIES

November 24, 2023

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Each fall, Great Books San Francisco hosts a Poetry Weekend. And if there’s one thing that I’m grateful for in this world, it’s poetry. I love to attend this event because of its hybrid nature. The first day is filled with reading and discussion. Groups of fifteen or so are separated into Zoom spaces where we read,

 » Read more about: Poetic Gratitude  »

May 13, 2022

Thanks to 2022 Fellow in Ideas, David Yamada, for today’s post.

Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz

As the humanities and social sciences face core threats fueled by higher education budget cuts and political divisions, they are conventionally defended on vocational and practical grounds. The liberal arts, so the argument goes, provide a strong grounding for successful careers by teaching students how to read,

 » Read more about: BOOK REVIEW: Lost in Thought  »

May 24, 2019

Thanks to James Keller, HMU student, for today’s post.

Borrowing from Bradbury, Great Books Chicago 2019 was titled: Something Wicked This Way Comes. Taken as a statement rather than a title, it is a somewhat comforting thought—at least initially. If the wicked thing is coming, it is something outside and not of ourselves. It is something foreign to humanity, perhaps a distortion of humanity, but not endemic to humanity.

 » Read more about: The Misfit’s Wickedness  »

May 17, 2019

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Great Books Chicago is a weekend of book discussions held in Chicago. We meet at the Great Books Foundation and break off into separate rooms for discussions. We also attend events as a larger group. This year’s theme was Something Wicked This Way Comes which opened the door for a discussion of crime. We began with Flannery O’Connor’s short story “The Misfit,” which is an exceptionally well-crafted story.

 » Read more about: Great Books Chicago 2019  »

January 5, 2018

Thanks to HMU student, Dave Seng, for today’s post.

“So, let great authors have their due, as time, which is the author of authors, be not deprived of his due, which is further and further to discover truth.” – Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning

I began my educational journey as a liberal arts student in the late 1990s, about the time when postmodern critical theory was winding down and scholars were trying to figure out whom won the battles of the “canon” and whom lost the “theory wars.” I remember it well.

 » Read more about: Why I Read The Great Books  »

December 30, 2016

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

“The best nonfiction books add up to a biography of our culture.” – Robert McCrum

It is difficult to determine what falls within the bounds of the nonfiction genre. Can we include cookbooks or dictionaries? Reading the dictionary is certainly a different type of reading than a chapter book or a textbook. And yet, all of these are meant to give us a better understanding of factual information.

 » Read more about: What Makes Great Nonfiction  »

November 11, 2016

Thanks to Ann Wagner, HMU doctoral student, for today’s blog. Her essay introduces the contemporary struggle with the Great Idea of “Man”. She offers helpful historical connections regarding the lack of a female voice in the updated version of the Great Idea of “Man”. The essay is posted here in its entirety. Enjoy!

According to Adler the primary principle to be experienced by the reader when exploring an idea in The Great Books of the Western World is the conversation that evolves between the authors across the centuries and the awareness that this conversation has meaning today.

 » Read more about: Essay on The Great Idea of Man  »

December 18, 2015

In the Preface to Genius, literary critic and professor Harold Bloom asserts the existence of and need for a discussion of genius. In the book, Bloom describes one hundred different voices in which he finds an element of genius, of creation. He writes, “Talent cannot originate, genius must.” These authors are considered geniuses because they created something where nothing existed before. Vergil, for example, ordered the Roman world,

 » Read more about: Why the Syntopicon?  »

November 20, 2016

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for the following book review. This was first published in the HMU fall newsletter.

Alquist, Denise, et al., eds. Imperfect Ideal: Utopian and Dystopian Visions. Chicago: Great Books Foundation, 2015. Print.

In his essay, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism”, Oscar Wilde says, “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at,

 » Read more about: BOOK REVIEW: Imperfect Ideal  »

June 5, 2015

Thanks to Marcus Conley, HMU Tutor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, for today’s post.

Last week, I posted about my experience at the 2015 MLA Convention in Vancouver, British Columbia. I mentioned my interest in a talk on the King James Bible from Cynthia Wallace, and a talk on animal studies and George Eliot by Danielle Coriale. These were just two of many interesting presentations—ranging in subject from medieval studies to popular culture—that led me to reflect on my own work,

 » Read more about: MLA Convention 2015, Part Two  »

Scroll to Top
Skip to content