Global Great Books

The World's Best Written Works of imagination, knowledge, and thought.

An all-required curriculum? How is that emancipatory?! When a challenge is confronted and well-met, in order to succeed in the face of the challenge, one must freely deploy the available powers. If one never faces a challenge, problem, paradox, one's powers never develop or one never becomes wise in their deployment. This mode provides important challenges to your powers of thinking, namely by asking you to read, understand, and make something of some of the best works of human intelligence the world has to offer.

Upset the applecart! But how?

Study the Classics redefined, broadened: not only the texts that define the established order, but those that resist it too. Not only books, but buildings, tools, and other Great Things. All of them say something and therefore are our primary teachers.

A conviviality of groups of people working through a thing-in-common; a learning community engaging in a wide-ranging but common conversation.

Everyone reading the same books, discussing the same ideas: educative conviviality!

Consequently, developing more sustainable and supple liberty, by wrestling with the ancestor-ideas of the given, and with ideas of the possible!

The payoff? Students completing it may receive a bound copy of their portfolio, or perhaps upon completion of each stage (by exam, or by paper, or by hosting a conversation), they earn an achievement badge. We're still working out the details.

Our relationship to these books begins in Lectional Optimism. We acknowledge that all books fall out of date in some way. Old ideas and modes of life depicted offend contemporary sensibilities. But much remains that is good and important. We look for and cherish what is best in these best works of human literary intelligence.


1a: the most ancient and best narratives

1b: books of ideas

1c: epic and lyric poetry

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