Great Books

Julie Hopson

Tuesday, 10:00 am – 11:30 am

1/2/2018- 3/27/2018

Pre-requisite: class overview with moderator prior to registration

13 weeks: $54 members/$68 non-members


Thank you for your interest in our Tuesday Morning Great Books Discussion Group. This Great Books Discussion group uses the methods and texts from the Great Books Foundation and relies on the Shared Inquiry approach. We focus on a Great Books anthology and also choose an additional book (novel or nonfiction) each year. To ensure all new participants understand the commitment and class structure required for this book discussion group, you must contact the Moderator, Julie Hopson, 740-348-6810, for details prior to authorization to sign up for the group.

The discussion group has space for a few more members in 2018. We welcomes readers from all walks of life who are open to listening and learning, and who are willing to take a turn at leading the discussion eventually in future years (Leaders for 2018 have already been scheduled.). Purchasing the text is a prerequisite for joining the group and reading the text is a prerequisite for discussion. The text selected by the group for 2018 is “The Civically Engaged Reader: A Diverse Collection of Short Provocative Readings on Civic Activity.” The book we will be reading is “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.”

How does it work?

Each Participant is engaged in an active search for the meanings of the selection at hand. With the energy and encouragement of the group, participants articulate ideas, support assertions with evidence from the text, and grapple together with different possibilities of meaning. In this process participants enjoy the benefits of diverse points of view, focused exploration, and common discovery. It is NOT a freewheeling exchange of opinions and testimonials that range far outside the text.

There is a “leader” for each selection. The leader has read the text at least twice carefully and has developed interpretive questions or discussion topics—things that puzzled the reader (not questions with specific answers).

Here are the basic guidelines:

1. Read the selection carefully before participating in the discussion.
2. Support your ideas with evidence from the text.
3. Discuss the ideas in the selection and try to understand them fully.
4. Listen carefully to other participants and respond to them directly.

Moderator Background: Retired college English Professor with a Bachelors in Journalism (University of Missouri), a Masters in English and American Language and Literature (Harvard), and a Ph.D. in Education, specializing in Reading, Writing, and Literacy, (University of Pennsylvania). Started as a Staff Writer for The Des Moines Register and moved on to teaching English literature and composition on the high school and college level. Trained as a Great Books Leader.