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Community Seminar Series

2017-18 Academic Year: Fall Semester

The Community Seminars and Lectures Series provides opportunities to read and discuss great works in the unique St. John’s manner. Our discussion-based learning model provides participants a fresh experience remarkably different from typical learning venues. The small, intimate setting ensures spirited dialogue where all participants have a voice. Seminars are open to curious minds from our surrounding community, including high school aged students and adults of all ages. The Community Seminars and Lecture Series is supported by the Carol J. Worrell Series on literature.

The following lectures and seminars are FREE and OPEN to the public.

See the Dean’s Lecture Series for more lectures open to the public.

Keats: Three Community Seminars and One Lecture

Seminar: “Imagination, Beauty and Truth in John Keats’s Odes and Letters”

Tutor: Marsaura Shukla, St. John’s College, Santa Fe
Wednesdays, October 18, 25, and November 1, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Registration required

For classroom location and reading assignments, pre-register at 505-984-6118 or cbkingston(at)sjc.edu.

Register for the Three Keats Odes Seminars

Lecture: “Sylvan Historian: Time in Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn

Marsaura Shukla, St. John’s College, Santa Fe
Wednesday, November 8, 3:15 p.m., The Junior Common Room
Free and open to the public

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” that is all/ Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. These last lines of Keats’s Ode on a Grecian Urn have long puzzled readers. Does Keats agree with the statement he puts in the urn’s mouth? What might it mean to say that beauty is truth? Is this equation a hint about what poetry, or all art, is or isn’t? Is this poem an argument and the last lines, a conclusion that one either rejects or accepts? My reading of the poem centers on Keats’s thinking about time and our place in it as the context in which to engage these questions about beauty, truth and poetry.

Shakespeare’s Tempest: Friday Evening Lecture and Saturday Seminar

Lecture: “The Poetic Art of the Possible: Shakespeare’s Tempest”

Janet Dougherty, St. John’s College, Santa Fe
Friday, December 1, 7:30 p.m., The Great Hall
Free and open to the public

As Duke of Milan Prospero devoted himself to liberal studies and neglected to govern his city. Having lost his dukedom he has acquired supreme power on an unknown island, and he must use that power to reform the politics of Naples and Milan from afar. Can Prospero’s liberal arts tempered with Machiavellian realism right the wrongs done to himself and his daughter, secure her happiness and establish good government? Prospero loves to attend to the imaginary republics Machiavelli excises from the political art. Love, kindness and forgiveness have no place in the consequently constricted world of politics. But Prospero’s skill in creating images, informed by love and forgiveness, is also a political art: he governs in such a way as to create new possibilities for happiness for most of the individuals he outwits and manipulates. In the end he gives up his magic art, or at least its accoutrements, but does he give up the art they allowed him to practice? Do the possibilities for happiness and good government that emerge on Prospero&rsdquo;s island remain? They do if they are real.

Seminar: Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Tutor: Janet Dougherty, St. John’s College, Santa Fe
Saturday, December 2, 10 a.m. to noon
Registration required

For classroom location and reading assignments, pre-register at 505-984-6118 or cbkingston(at)sjc.edu.

Register for the Shakespeare Seminar

More Information

For more information, please contact Carolyn Kingston by phone at 505-984-6118 or e-mail at cbkingston(at)sjc.edu.

Information and Policies

Lectures and Seminars are FREE and OPEN to the public. 

Seminar enrollment requires pre-registration, as space is limited.

Who Can Attend

Seminars are free and open to all members of the greater community including 11th- and 12th-grade high school students. Space is limited in the seminar, so although free, pre-registration is required by phone, e-mail or online form.

Purchasing Materials

Texts are available for purchase at the St. John’s College Bookstore. Unless otherwise noted, participants are expected to obtain the reading materials and read before the seminar.