Great Books discussion Courses

Great fun. Great people. Great books.

Tampa Bay Great Books events for the Fall 2018 kicked off September 7th with a free event A Great Books Sampler. See the morning in pictures! Starting October 3rd are two new Great Books Roundtable courses. Act now because seats are going fast!

Courses are offered through USF’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI USF).  OLLI USF registration opens August 27. To register, call (813) 974-2403, prompt #1, or you may register online by clicking on this handy link or go to

Remember that this Fall’s OLLI-USF “Great Books” sessions have moved to a new day and place!  Join us on Wednesdays in the Multi-Purpose Building of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa, 11400 Morris Bridge Road (just south of Fowler Avenue near I-75).  Check your OLLI-USF Catalogue for map.

Membership and registration is required, and enrollment is limited. Class descriptions below.


Two Great Books courses are being offered through OLLI USF during the 2018 Fall session.

COURSE TITLE:  Great Books Roundtable: Drama, Short Stories and a Little Poetry

Course Number: 191XOSLHA3941

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Join a lively band of book lovers for spirited discussions of literary and philosophical texts using the “shared inquiry” method. Assess ideas about each text in terms of modern culture and your personal experience. Read plays by Shakespeare, Sophocles and Wilde.; short stories by selected female author, D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce, and four great sonnets. Required text ($30) will be supplied by the moderator after registration.


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COURSE TITLE:    Great Books Roundtable: Rereading the Western Canon of Classics in Literature and Philosophy, Series 5

Course Number:  191XOSLHA1781

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Read and discuss literary and philosophical texts from an anthology. Organized around the Socratic “shared inquiry” method of discussion, participants interpret and evaluate the meanings and ideas of classic works  from the “Western Canon.” Readings will include Sophocles, Freud, Kafka, Goethe, Kant, Flaubert, Hume and the Bible (Old Testament. Required text: Great Books Reading and Discussion program, Series Five ($28.95), available through the Great Books Foundation or the instructor.


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  • 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.

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