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Books That Changed the World
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Sixth Annual "Books That Changed the World" Seminar

Notre Dame College is proud to present its sixth annual “Books That Changed the World” seminar series this fall, offering leaders and aspiring leaders—and anyone with a passion for lifelong learning—the opportunity to meet and discuss a common theme for the year.

This year’s seminar will explore America: Tales of Time and Place seeking insight into the American experience—a sense of place and regional variety and a sense of time and Americans’ shifting values and perspectives.

Seminars anchored in the “great books tradition” draw leaders into thought-provoking analyses of contemporary issues through the medium of timeless literature and are among the most eagerly sought-after personal enrichment and professional development experiences. The ideas, concepts and situations these works present are as relevant to today’s challenges and opportunities as when they were first penned.

The College invites organizational or community leaders, or people who are passionate about great books and lifelong learning, to participate in “Books That Changed the World” and join peers in stimulating discussions about fine literature.

The Schedule

Participants will meet monthly to discuss a great literary work during a 90-minute session. They can choose between three sessions each month, as the seminar will meet  on the second Wednesday morning, the third Tuesday evening and the third Thursday morning, beginning in September 2013 and ending in May 2014. During each session, participants will explore and discuss a different great work. THose who enroll will receive a detailed schedule in advance.

Wednesday and Thursday sessions begin at 7:30 a.m. with refreshments followed by the discussion from 8-9:30 a.m. Tuesday sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments followed by the discussion from 7-8:30 p.m.

Note: The only January session (on the 22nd) will be An Evening of Film Discussion: The Grapes of Wrath, the 1939 version produced by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda. Participants will receive a DVD of the film to view at their leisure prior to the evening’s discussion.

The Presenters

Notre Dame College President, Dr. Andrew P. Roth welcomes participants to the seminar series. Dr. Roth, a published author in addition to his duties as president, teaches one course a year at the College on either colonial American history or the American Revolution.

Kenneth Palko is tutor and chief developer of the “Books That Changed the World” seminar series. He is associate professor of philosophy on the Notre Dame faculty.

Sr. Eileen Quinlan is professor of English/communication and a published author. She joined Notre Dame’s faculty in the fall of 1999 and since has left her mark on her students and has shared her research studies with her colleagues.  

Nicholas R. Santilli is vice president of academic and student affairs and professor of psychology at Notre Dame. He joined the College and seminar leadership teams in the past year.

Location

Participants will meet in the elegant, wood-paneled Tudor-style Great Room in the Administration Building on the Notre Dame campus, where ample free parking is available.

Tuition

Tuition is $375 and includes all nine sessions, books and materials and refreshments.

Registration

To register by mail, complete the “America: Tales of Time and Place” registration form and mail it to: Notre Dame College, 4545 College Road, South Euclid, Ohio 44121 ATTN: April Kennedy

To register by fax, complete the “America: Tales of Time and Place” registration form and fax to: 216.381.5096 ATTN: April Kennedy

To register by phone, call April Kennedy at 216.373.5238

When you call, you will need to identify whether you will be paying by check or credit card and provide your name; address; city; state; zip code; email address; and home, office and cell phone numbers so the College has multiple ways to contact you should it be necessary.

If paying by credit card, please be prepared to provide your credit card number, credit card type, security code and expiration date.

Please let us know whether you prefer to come to the Notre Dame campus to pick up your books or if you would like them delivered to you. If you prefer delivery, please provide a shipping address.

The Reading List

The works chosen for the upcoming year will be used as case for group discussion. They are:

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (September)

Leading off this year’s series, Nathaniel Hawthorne's masterpiece has, for over a century and a half, mesmerized readers and critics alike. Rooted firmly in the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s 17th century Puritan ethos, The Scarlet Letter, through the story of Hester Prynne and the Rev. Dimmesdale, presents themes of sin, guilt and redemption.

Beloved by Toni Morrison (October)

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Toni Morrison’s Beloved is a spellbinding and dazzlingly innovative portrait of a woman haunted by the past. Set in Cincinnati and Kentucky after the Civil War, it combines the visionary power of legend with the unassailable truth of history. Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and voted the finest American novel of the past 25 years, Morrison tells the story of a slave woman who escaped to Ohio only to be held emotionally captive by the loss of a child.

The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow (November)

Recipient of the 1954 National Book Award and voted by Time Magazine as one of the 100 finest American novels, it has been compared to novels as diverse as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye. Bold, expansive and keenly humorous, set in Chicago during the Great Depression, The Adventures of Augie March blends street language with literary elegance to tell the story of a modern “everyman’s” quest to make sense of and succeed in an alienating world.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (December)

As I Lay Dying is Faulkner's harrowing account of the Bundren family's odyssey across the rural Mississippi countryside in the early 20th century to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Told in turns by each of the family members—including Addie herself—the novel ranges in mood from dark comedy to the deepest pathos.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
—1939 John Ford/Henry Fonda film version (January)

The Grapes of Wrath is a drama film based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. It tells the story of a poor Midwest family forced off of their land to escape the Dust Bowl. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (February)

Winesburg, Ohio is Sherwood Anderson's masterpiece, a cycle of short stories concerning life in a small town in the Buckeye State at the end of the 19th century. At the center is George Willard, a young reporter who becomes the confidant of the town's "grotesques"—solitary figures unable to communicate with others.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (March)

One of the most important works of 20th century American literature, Zora Neale Hurston's 1937 classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is an enduring African-American Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty and heartfelt wisdom. Told in the captivating voice of a woman who refuses to live in sorrow, bitterness, fear or foolish romantic dreams, it is the story of poverty, trials and purpose.

The Master Butcher’s Singing Club by Louise Erdrich (April)

Having survived World War I, Fidelis Waldvogel returns to his quiet German village and marries the pregnant widow of his best friend who was killed in action. With a suitcase full of sausages and a master butcher's precious knife set, Fidelis sets out for America, where he experiences the archetypal Middle European’s immigrant experience in the Upper Mid-West. When the Old World meets the New—in the person of Delphine Watzka—the great adventure of Fidelis's life begins in this brilliant novel.

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (May)

Angle of Repose tells the story of Lyman Ward, a retired professor of history and author of books about the Western frontier, who returns to his ancestral home of Grass Valley, California, in the Sierra Nevada. Wheelchair-bound with a crippling bone disease and dependent on others for his every need, Ward is nonetheless embarking on a search of monumental proportions—to rediscover his grandmother, now long dead, who made her own journey to Grass Valley nearly a hundred years earlier.

 

What sets these books apart from others?

These books have literally "changed the world." Repeatedly, alumni and others tell us the part of their college education they valued the most (or, maybe more accurately, came to value as they advanced in their careers and lives) was the liberal arts courses where they confronted great questions—what constitutes the good life, what is my responsibility to myself, to my professional peers and those who work with me, to others, to society. How can these questions be answered? Issues like these are at the core of the seminar series, though the intent is not to provide pat answers, but to provoke deep thinking about core issues that continue to confront our society through the lens of some of the greatest works in our philosophical, political and literary heritage.

How were these books selected?

Much time and effort went into this selection with the thought of how they relate to the conditions faced in lives today. You've probably heard people refer to them, but weren't comfortable because you lack familiarity with them. Here is your opportunity to become acquainted or reacquainted with this powerful literature. By attending this seminar, you'll be able to discuss and reflect on key aspects of the works because you know them. You will be "well-read."

Sitting down alone with many of these books and selected readings may be a pleasant pastime, but more is to be gained studying them with a group of peers who offer interpretations and ideas that you may not have considered. Take a moment to review what this seminar offers. See if you don't agree that this is a unique opportunity for those who appreciate fine literature to meet on a regular basis and discuss how these works shaped the world.

 

For additional information contact April Kennedy at 216.373.5238 or akennedy@ndc.edu.

 

To register or for additional information, please call April Kennedy at 216.373.5238 or send an e-mail to akennedy@ndc.edu.

When you call, you will need to identify whether you will be paying by check or credit card and provide your name; address; city; state; zip code; email address; and home, office and cell phone numbers so the College has multiple ways to contact you should it be necessary.

If paying by credit card, please be prepared to provide your credit card number, credit card type, security code and expiration date.

Please let us know whether you prefer to come to the Notre Dame campus to pick up your books, or if you would like them delivered to you. If you prefer delivery, please provide a shipping address.