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Welcome to The Great Books Summer Program

Written by Great Books on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Welcome to The Great Books Summer Program

Our blog designed to honor literary inspiration, to encourage passionate, young writers-to-be, and to embrace the immersive creative experience that is known as Great Books Summer Program.

In its 17th year, Great Books is a place to celebrate inspired learning and examine timeless literature in a warm, supportive community of avid readers. We embrace the never-ending quest for knowledge while exploring the art of civil discourse. Our seminar-style lectures give students the first taste of college by learning through asking questions as they discuss complex matters with civility, respect, and support for contrary perspectives.

Our Blog embraces discussion-based learning, the importance of discovery and the need for conscientious debate to advance deep conversations. We’ll examine the timeless questions of: What is the good life? What do I owe my neighbors? What must I do in the face of injustice? And we will hear from current and past students who attended Great Books.

Please bookmark this page to hear what our students, program assistants, faculty and perhaps even some of our distinguished guests are saying! If you are interested in being a guest writer please email info@greatbookssummer with your idea or a ready-to-go article for review.

Category : General Information


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What they did on their summer vacation: At the Great Books program at Amherst College, reading is a joy, not a chore

At first glance, it looked like a scene from a typical day at Amherst College: about 100 students in a lecture hall, on tiered seating on three sides of the room, notebooks and digital devices like iPads at hand, while a professor stood in the well of the room, looking up at some of the young people seated above him.

The subject matter seemed a serious one. Discussion revolved at first around “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” Harriet Beecher Stowe’s seminal anti-slavery novel that became a bestseller in the 1850s as the United States moved ever closer to civil war. “That was a time of growing division,” the professor said. “How different is our country today?”

In this case, though, it was early July, and the professor, Ilan Stavans, was wearing shorts and no shoes; as for the students, they looked a little young to be in college. They were, in fact, high school students, from their mid-to-late teens and from across the country and overseas, who had come to Amherst to do something not usually associated with summer camps: read.

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