Great Books discussion Courses

Great fun. Great people. Great books.

Tampa Bay Great Books Great Books Roundtable courses at OLLI-USF start February 6, 2019.

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

Remember that the OLLI-USF “Great Books” sessions meet 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: Classic to Contemporary

Course Number: 192XOSLHA4161

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Using the “Shared Inquiry” method of civil discourse, our lively band of bibliophiles discuss a broad variety of classic literary and philosophical works, featuring Rousseau, Shakespeare, Aristotle, American Short Stories, Lawrence and Joyce. Required texts will be supplied after registration by the moderator ($15 for returners from Fall 18 Great Books, $30 for new registrants).


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

Course Number:  192XOSLHA4171

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 Nietzsche, Aristotle, Plato, Henry Adams, Virginia Woolf, Dante’s Inferno and King Lear. Required text is Great Books Reading and Discussion Program, Series Five ($28.95), available through 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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