Skip to Content

Chautauqua Circles

Chautauqua Circle

 Chautauqua Circles

Fall 2015

In order to facilitate a community of scholars and friends, the Chautauqua Circles will unite students and faculty to discuss and share ideas on a chosen book. Led by an Honors faculty member, each group will be limited to 10 students and have a unique book to discuss.

Fall 2015 registration is now closed!

Student Expectations

  • Purchase the book
  • Participate in each discussion
  • Attend all of the planned meetings
  • Respect others' thoughts and point-of-views
  • Information shared in the Circle should stay in the Circle
  • Keep up with the reading schedule as designated by the faculty member

Faculty Expectations

  • Lead and participate in each informal discussion
  • Attend all of the planned meetings
  • Make and send reading schedule to students at least one (1) week before first meeting
  • Notify all students in a timely manner if there is a temporary change in the schedule

Fall 2015 Chautauqua Circles 

The Rest is Noise
The Rest is Noise
by Alex Ross
Professor: Dr. Margaret Menninger
Authors: Alex Ross
Summary: This book is a history of music in the twentieth century and the twentieth century through music. 
Additional Information: What did the twentieth century sound like? This Circle will use music to talk about history and history to talk about music. Combining reading and listening, we will discuss the styles and composers presented in Alex Ross' best-selling "The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century." This Circle is sponsored by the NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities. Copies of the book will be provided by the National Endowment for Humanities.
Dates: October 28th - November 11th every Wednesday
Time: 6 - 7 PM
Place: LAMP 407A (Conference Room)
Serpent and Rainbow
The Serpent and
the Rainbow
by Wade Davis
Professor: Dr. Heather Galloway
Author: Wade Davis
Summary: The story of ethnobotanist Wade Davis journey to understand zombis and their relationship to the voodoo religion in Haiti. He seeks to understand the relationships between culture, religion and science.
Additional Information: A great read and a wonderful investigation of the limits of scientific understanding.
Dates: September 10th - October 8th every Thursday
Time: 5 - 5:50 PM
Place: Dr. Galloway's Office


Brownsville Stories

by Oscar Casares

Professor: Professor Diann McCabe

Author: Oscar Casares

Summary: These short stories centered around Brownsville mark Oscar Casares' debut. The stories give a picture of the writer's imagination and understanding of the lives of the diverse people who live in Brownsville, Texas.

Additional Information: I look forward to the conversations we will have about the stories in Brownsville and I look forward to the students sharing stories of their hometowns and the characters who inhabit those towns. I hope we can find bridges through stories to provide a deeper understanding of community.

Dates: September 1st - September 15th every Tuesday

Time: 3:30 - 4:30 PM

Place: LAMP 407A (Conference Room)

Let Your Life Speak
Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the
Voice of Vocation
by Parker J. Palmer
Professor: Prof. Susan Hanson
Author: Parker J. Palmer
Summary: "Is the life I am living the same as the life that wants to live in me?" With this searching question, Parker Palmer begins an insightful and moving meditation on finding one's true calling. Let Your Life Speak is an openhearted gift to anyone who seeks to live authentically.
The book's title is a time-honored Quaker admonition, usually taken to mean "Let the highest truths and values guide everything you do." But Palmer reinterprets those words, drawing on his own search for selfhood. "Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it," he writes, "listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent."
Vocation does not come from willfulness, no matter how noble one's intentions. It comes from listening to and accepting "true self" with its limits as well as its potentials. Sharing stories of frailty and strength, of darkness and light, Palmer shows that vocation is not a goal to be achieved but a gift to be received.
Additional Information: "As young people, we are surrounded by expectations that may have little to do with who we really are, expectations held by people who are not trying to discern our selfhood but to fit us into slots," writes Parker Palmer. "In families, schools, workplaces, and religious communities, we are trained away from true self toward images of acceptability; under social pressures like racism and sexism our original shape is deformed beyond recognition; and we ourselves, driven by fear, too often betray true self to gain the approval of others."
Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others, Palmer offers wisdom that helps illuminate a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives.
Dates: September 15th - September 29th every Tuesday
Time: 5 - 6 PM
Place: LAMP Upstairs Kitchen / Lounge
History of Sexuality
History of Sexuality Vol. I
by Michel Foucalt
Professor: Dr. Ron Haas
Author: Michel Foucalt
Summary: With the women’s and homosexual liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s and the prodigious growth of the LGBTQIA community of the last two decades, it seems that we may have finally liberated sexuality from social oppression.  But what if the problem is not how to liberate sexuality from society but how to liberate ourselves from sexuality?  At a time when sex is everywhere in our culture and our politics and new sexual identities continue to emerge, is it possible that we remain dominated and subdued not by repressive social institutions but by a particular understanding of sexuality that began to take shape in the West during the Victorian era?  In this brief and penetrating volume, Michel Foucault explores this intriguing possibility by observing startling connections between the natures of sex, power, knowledge, and pleasure in contemporary society.
Additional Information: Michel Foucault is the single most cited author in all of the humanities, and The History of Sexuality, vol. 1 is one of the founding texts of modern gender and sexuality studies as well as a classic of social and political theory.
Dates: October 5th - October 19th every Monday
Time: 5 - 6:30 PM
Place: LAMP Upstairs Longe/Kitchen