Great Books discussion Courses

Great fun. Great people. Great books.

Check back for new Fall Tampa Bay Great Books courses!

The courses are offered through USF’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI USF).   To see the latest catalog, visit to

Membership and registration is required, and enrollment is limited.


Check back for the Fall 2021 courses. Here is a review of past course offerings:

Two Great Books courses are being offered with OLLI-USF this Winter and Spring.

  •  Great Books: Selections from the Western Canon, Wednesdays 1/22/20 – 3/11/20, 10:00 – 12:00
  •  Up for Discussion: Memoirs and Novellas, Tuesdays, 3/10/20 – 3/31/20, 1:30 to 3:30

COURSE TITLE: Selections from the Western Canon

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Serious readers welcome! Join our lively discussions of novels, plays, poetry, short stories and essays. Using the Shared Inquiry method of civil discourse, we’ll explore a variety of the classics including Conrad, Shakespeare, Austen O’Neill, Frost, Salinger, Twain and Hurston. Texts be provided by the instructor when you register. Cost $12 for returners and $21 for new registrants. Check the website or OLLI-USF course catalog for location information and map.



COURSE TITLE:  Up for Discussion: Memoirs and Novellas

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Discover compelling literary forms and enjoy spirited discussions. Check the full description in the course catalog for all the readings.  Any edition of these texts will work. Check the website or OLLI-USF course catalog for location information and map.




  • Read the text in its entirety. Only those who have done this should participate  in the discussion.
  • Listen carefully to the ideas and opinions of others. Feel free to respond to their comments or to ask questions of them, but always in a spirit of “shared inquiry.”  Participants should not be trying to score debating points.
  • Focus on the text as the primary avenue of discussion. It is acceptable to refer to outside sources or quotes, as long as they bear directly on the text or discussion at hand.  Extended digressions or personal anecdotes are discouraged.
  • Interact with other participants in a civil way at all times. Vigorous discussion and debate are encouraged, but always in an atmosphere that recognizes the worth and dignity of other participants.  Comments such as “I know I’m right” and “It’s obvious that you don’t know what you’re talking about” are not helpful or welcome.
  • Bring your own questions to the discussion table. While the study group moderator opens the discussion with a “focus” question and later follow-up questions, participants are strongly encouraged to be questioners as well.