Coming Online Events

One-day onsite seminar tuition is $125 per person. Any contribution above $125 is classified as a tax-deductible donation. Special events have differing tuition. Scholarships are available for teachers and students. Or, become a subscriber in the Community of Lifelong Learners for $40 per month for unlimited attendance at on-site and online events, or $25 per month for only online events. 
Please inquire via email here.

Online Seminar Series

Greek Intensive - Section Two: Tragedy and Comedy


>> Cohort One - Thursday Evenings - March 4-June 3, 2021

>> Cohort Two - Tuesday Evenings - March 9-June 8, 2021

Isocrates, the Greek rhetorician, once remarked that what makes one an Athenian is not the blood that runs through one’s veins, but the ideas in one’s mind. How can we access this ancient world, with some aspects so foreign and others so familiar, and discover foundations that changed the trajectory of civilization. This series is developed in four sections: 1) Gods and Epics, 2) Tragedy and Comedy, 3) Philosophy, 4) History. Attendees will gain a deep understanding of Greek life through some of its greatest authors, and will be better able to see the profound influence the Greeks have had on the entirety of the west and the world. 

 

All reading materials (in English translation) will be supplied and sessions will be facilitated by tutors experienced is shared inquiry and the Socratic method. Groups will be limited to 12 participants and no prior knowledge is required. The Four-Month Weekly Series is $600 and is not included in the recurring subscription package, but subscribers receive a $100 discount. Payment options are available.

Click here for full details.

Online Seminar Series

American History Intensive - Section One: The Colonial Experience to the Declaration of Independence 


Wednesday Evenings - April 21 to August 4.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in Democracy in America that “Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.” By most accounts, America is a profound experiment whose effect on the world cannot be overstated. Through a keen sense of destiny and a wealth of natural resources, the country has helped to transform political structures globally, as well as humankind’s vision of itself. The meaning of the “shot heard round the world" in 1775 is still unfolding, with no guarantee that a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” By varying degrees, the nation continues to strive to live up to its principles, and the struggle for equality for all its citizens continues to be a central difficulty. 

 

Through the lenses of race, religion, politics, education, media, commerce, science, and culture, this series will explore the history of America through three four-month sections, and will attempt to find answers to our essential American questions: How can we describe the American Mind? What are the country’s core values and central tenets?  Can those core values and central tenets endure? How has America’s role on the international stage changed over time?   

All reading materials (in English translation) will be supplied and sessions will be facilitated by tutors experienced is shared inquiry and the Socratic method. Groups will be limited to 12 participants and no prior knowledge is required. The Four-Month Weekly Series is $600 and is not included in the recurring subscription package, but subscribers receive a $100 discount. Payment options are available.

Click here for full details.

Online Seminar Series

Dialogues Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
by Galileo - Continued

Saturday, April 24, 2021

"To apply oneself to great inventions, starting from the smallest beginnings, is no task for ordinary minds; to divine that wonderful arts lie hid behind trivial and childish things is a conception for superhuman talents."

Reading: 

Aristotle - On the Heavens - Book Two, Chapter 14

Galileo: First Day, page 101 to Second Day - page 107, and 

Second Day - page 113, first full paragraph to page 182, middle of page

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Larry Shields

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Online Seminar

The Art of Rendition, Interpretation, and Social Comment
Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story

Sunday, April 25, 2021

“These violent delights have violent ends / And in their triumph die, like fire and powder / Which, as they kiss, consume.”

Reading:

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Films to view before the seminar:

1961 film - West Side Story - directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins

1968 film performance directed by Franco Zeffirelli

Schedule:

10:00AM-12:00PM PDT

 

Tutors

Kytriena Payseno and Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Online Seminar Series
Epistemology - Part III -

Theaetetus by Plato, Part One - Page 1-60 (142a-186e)

Sunday, April 25, 2021

What can we say we know with certainty? What does it mean to say that we know something? How do we know that we know? How does knowledge differ from belief? This series will include works from Plato, Aristotle, Empiricus, Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, Russell, Popper, and others. 

Schedule:

12:30-2:30PM PDT

 

Tutor

Carol Seferi

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Online Seminar

Free Community Seminar Series

The Foundations of Our Republic, Take II

Monday, April 26, 2021

What are the fundamental principles of our Republic? Are these principles based on a view of objective reality/nature, or simply the "consent of the governed"? Depending on how one addresses the previous question: Are these principles changeable, and if so on what grounds? How should one read the founding documents? What authority does the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches have? What are rights? Are they based on nature or consent? Are they inalienable?

The April 12 reading is -
Constitutional Amendments XVI, XVII. 

Schedule:
5:30 - 6:30PM PST

Readings in the series:
Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, selected Federalist Papers, selected Anti-Federalist Papers, the U.S. Constitution, selections from Democracy in American, Dred Scott Decision and Dissenting View (edited), selected Lincoln speeches, Lincoln Douglass Debates (edited), Plessy v. Ferguson and Dissenting View (edited), Brown v. Board of Education, Letter from Birmingham Jail, Proposed Equal Rights Amendment, UN Declaration of Human Rights

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link.

Online Seminar

Free Community Seminar Series

The Ancient City: A Study of the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome by Fustel de Coulanges

Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Ancient City (La Cité antique), published in 1864, is the most famous book of the French historian Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges. Based on texts of ancient historians and poets, the author investigates the origins of the most archaic institutions of Greek and Roman society. He warns of the error that lies in examining the habits of ancient people with reference to those of today, when it is necessary to avoid our biases and study ancient peoples in the light of the facts. Please join us as we explore this thought-provoking work through semi-monthly lunchtime meetings. 

The April 29 reading is -
Introduction and Book One - Ancient Beliefs

Schedule:
12:00 - 1:30PM PDT

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link.

Online Seminar Series

Stoicism - Part V - Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Books 1-6

Saturday, May 1, 2021

This series explores to varied aspects of Stoicism through the writings of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. How best to live life, in the best and worst of times...

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor

Kevin Walker

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Online Seminar Series

Shakespeare's Henriad Series - Section Two
Henry VI - Part One

Sunday, May 2, 2021

"Here on my knee I beg mortality, Rather than life preserved with infamy."

Readings in the Series:

Henry VI - Part One

Henry VI - Part Two

Henry VI - Part Three
Richard III

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PST

 

Tutor

Eric Stull

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Online Seminar Series

The Republic of Plato Intensive

Tuesday Afternoons - May 4 to July 6.

What is justice? 

That is the question that Socrates, within Plato's most famous dialogue, will explore with each of his interlocutors. Within this small group, we will carefully work though this text, investigating the issues of epistemology, political theory, the human soul, form and content, poetry, and more. We invite you to join us for ten Tuesday afternoon sessions, beginning May 4 and concluding July 6. If you were only going to read one Platonic dialogue in your educational career, this is the text to choose. Truly, no rounded liberal arts education is complete without it, and this book's influence on Western Civilization cannot be overstated. 

 

These ten online seminars will take place on Tuesday afternoons, 12:00-1:30PM Pacific Time. All reading materials (in English translation) will be supplied and sessions will be facilitated by tutors experienced is shared inquiry and the Socratic method. Groups will be limited to 12 participants and no prior knowledge is required. Teachers will be offered 3 CEU credits for participation.

 

This Ten-Week Series is $350. Community of Lifelong Learners subscribers receive a discount of $50 through a refund.  

Click here for full details.

(Attendees from Chapter One are automatically enrolled in future offerings of the series)

Online Seminar Series

Lunchtime with Ulysses by James Joyce
Chapters Four and Five: Calypso and Lotus Eaters

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

(The series will take place the first
Wednesday of each month)

Ulysses is considered among the most important works of modernist literature and one of the greatest literary works in history. The book chronicles the appointments and encounters of Leopold Bloom in Dublin in the course of an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. Ulysses contains structural correspondences between the characters and experiences of Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus, in addition to events and themes of the early 20th-century, Dublin, and Ireland's relationship to Britain. Because of the book’s complexity and use of allusion, we will also slowly work through a study guide - Jame Joyce’s Ulysses - A Study by Stuart Gilbert. We invite you to join us on this long lunchtime journey as we slowly and carefully work through Ulysses, one chapter per month. 

May 5 Reading:

Part Four and Five of Jame Joyce’s Ulysses - A Study by Stuart Gilbert and Calypso and Lotus Eaters of Ulysses by James Joyce

Schedule:

12:00-1:30PM PST

 

Tutor

Barry Rabe

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Online Seminar Series

Anguish and the Absurd - Part VIII
The Master and Margarita (in four parts)
by Mikhail Bulgakov

Saturday, May 15, 2021

This series will explore the troubling world of the absurd through the writings of Kafka, Gogol, Camus, Sartre, Borges, Beckett, Bulgakov, and others.

May 15 Reading:

Book Two, Chapters 26-32 (end)

Schedule:

10:00AM-12:00PM PDT

 

Tutors

Paul Herder and Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Online Seminar Series

Ocean and Underworld - 
Purgatorio by Dante - Part One

Saturday, May 15, 2021

What mysteries are hidden underwater and deep in the underworld? Will one who explores these realms discover ancestors, gods, monsters,... or even oneself? This series will consider the ocean and the underworld as depicted in these classic literary texts.

May 15 reading:
Dante, Purgatorio - Cantos 1-16

Future Readings in the Series:

Cervantes, Don Quixote - The Cave of Montesinos
Shakespeare, The Tempest
Melville, Moby Dick (selections)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World
T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland

Schedule:

2:00-4:00PM PDT (please note time change)

Tutor:

Elizabeth Reyes

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link.

Online Seminar Series

The Wisdom of Humor - Part VI

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Many a truth is spoken in jest.
 

May 16 reading and viewing:​

TED Talk by Emily Levine - How I Made Friends with Reality 
and  Henri Bergson on Laughter

 

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Readings in the Series:

Clouds by Aristophanes
A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare

On Lying by Twain and Wilde

A Modest Proposal by Swift
Speech on Slavery by Douglass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Carroll

TED Talk by Emily Levine and Bergson on Laughter


Tutor:
Karl Haigler

Location:
Online. Register to receive the link.

Online Seminar Series

Love - A Gentle Creature by Dostoevsky

Saturday, May 22, 2021 

Othello said about himself that he “loved not wisely but too well.” It seems that one can love things too much, but can one really love someone too much? Does the answer to that question depend on what is meant by love? Perhaps more fundamentally: are there different kinds of love? This series will devote itself to a discussion of the mystery and majesty of love.

​Schedule:
12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Readings in the Series:

Plato, Symposium

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Bk. 8 and 9 edited)

Aquinas, Selections

Shakespeare, King Lear

Sigrid Unset, Gunnar’s Daughter
Dostoevsky, A Gentle Creature
Ibsen, A Doll’s House
Flannery O’Connor, The Lame Shall Enter First
C.S. Lewis, Four Loves

Tutor:
Paul O'Reilly

Location:
Online. Register to receive the link.

Online Seminar Series
Epistemology - Part IV -

Theaetetus by Plato, Part Two - Page 60-end (187a-end)

Sunday, May 23, 2021

What can we say we know with certainty? What does it mean to say that we know something? How do we know that we know? How does knowledge differ from belief? This series will include works from Plato, Aristotle, Empiricus, Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, Russell, Popper, and others. 

Schedule:

10:00AM-12:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Carol Seferi

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

(Current attendees are automatically re-enrolled in the series)

Online Seminar Series

Beloved, Jazz, and Paradise by Toni Morrison

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Beloved is the first of three novels about love and African-American history. Morrison said that they are intended to be read together, explaining, "The conceptual connection is the search for the beloved – the part of the self that is you, and loves you, and is always there for you." In 1993, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

May 23 Reading:

Beloved, pages 278-end (Part III)

Schedule:

12:30-2:30PM PDT

 

Tutor

Patricia Locke

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Online Seminar Series

Herodotus - The Histories - Book Four

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Known as the Father of History, Herodotus offers a detailed record of his inquiry on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars. In his account there are also many strange stories, myths, and folk-tales, causing even his contemporary critics to find his account too fanciful. Thucydides described Herodotus as a primarily a storyteller. Still, a large portion of the information Herodotus provides has been confirmed by historians and archaeologists. Join us for this series as we delve into history, story, legend, and humanity. 

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

David Appleby

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link.

Online Seminar Series

Le Morte d'Arthur - by Thomas Malory - Book Three

Sunday, May 30, 2021

"In the midst of the lake Arthur was ware of an arm clothed in white samite, that held a fair sword in that hand." Join us as we move through these 15th century prose tales of King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table.

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Zoe Appleby

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Online Seminar Series

A Voice from the South by Anna Julia Cooper and The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois - Selections

Saturday, June 12, 2021

 

"We too often mistake individuals’ honor for race development and so are ready to substitute pretty accomplishments for sound sense and earnest purpose."

"The slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery."

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutors

Anika Prather and Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Online Seminar Series
Epistemology - Part V -

Nicomachean Ethics - Book 6, Chapters 1-8 by Aristotle

Saturday, June 19, 2021

What can we say we know with certainty? What does it mean to say that we know something? How do we know that we know? How does knowledge differ from belief? This series will include works from Plato, Aristotle, Empiricus, Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, Russell, Popper, and others. 

Schedule:

10:00AM-12:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Carol Seferi

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

CONTACT US

1129 Maricopa Highway #156 ·
Ojai, California 93023


Phone: (805) 231-5974

Email: greatbooksojai@gmail.com

Web: www.agorafoundation.org

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