Each summer for the past nineteen years, a carefully selected group of outstanding students have come together at Amherst College, Stanford University and University of Oxford to take up the Great Conversation of classic literature, with a broad range of texts and an emphasis on the timeless questions: What is the good life? What do I owe my neighbors? What must I do in the face of injustice?
Using an approach that dates back to Socrates, we teach by asking questions and stimulating discussion amongst students. Students come away from the Great Books Summer Program with sharper critical thinking skills and a deep connection to other outstanding young people preparing to lead lives of distinction.
Each summer our Academic Directors put together a wide variety of selections for students to read and discuss. These have included Shakespeare, Dante, Jefferson, Homer, Hemingway, Jamaica Kincaid, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Leo Tolstoy, Pablo Neruda, and others. For a list of previously used texts, click here.
In addition to our discussions, we offer two electives each day; literature and applied art. The literature electives are led by our talented Program Assistants and are designed to explore a genre, author or philosophy. These hour-long daily courses are different each session. Applied arts electives are offered in theater, music, writing and visual art to allow students to express their interpretations of the ideas we've discussed. Working in small groups with highly talented teachers, students collaborate and contribute to a final evening of performances.
There are also lots of fun activities to choose from each day, and the evenings are filled with movies, theater games, mixers
Great Books Online is new for 2020, available anywhere and offered in multiple time zones. Learn more here.
Deep discussion, debate, and critical thinking.
Hear students share what they love about the Great Books Summer Program and Great Books Online! Following our 20-year history of success, our new online program is in a class of its own, with programs for literary exploration and Writer's Workshops too.