Community Classes are free and meet at Gutenberg College from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on the Wednesdays listed below. These classes are recorded and available to listen to by signing up through Gutenberg’s Patreon page.

Winter quarter’s topic: “Contemporary Conversations, Part 2.”

As a Great Books college, Gutenberg focuses on books that have been part of the “Great Conversation”—that is, books that have influenced Western culture. Many of these books were written hundreds or even thousands of years ago. This year in our Community Classes, however, we will discuss contemporary books that have provoked conversation and reflection. Join the conversation as our speakers present and interact with the arguments of these thoughtful works.

Winter Schedule:

JAN 8 Gil Greco 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
JAN 22 Charley Dewberry “Was E-mail a Mistake?” (The New Yorker) by Cal Newport
FEB 5 Nancy Scott The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
FEB 19 Chris Alderman The Overstory by Richard Powers
MAR 4 Chris Swanson The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets by Thomas Philippon


Upcoming Classes:

Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and a New York Times bestseller ever since, Richard Powers’s The Overstory is one of those rare novels that achieve both critical and commercial success. In this Community Class, Chris Alderman will consider the following questions: What kinds of topics tend to capture people’s imaginations these days, and how are they treated? What makes fiction more appropriate for such treatments than non-fiction? And how does The Overstory want us to think about being people—and not, for example, trees?

Chris Alderman is a tutor at Gutenberg College, where he teaches writing, Greek, and German. Chris has self-published two collections of poetry, Poems in Verse and Ephemerides.

Why do cell phones cost more in the U.S. than in Europe? In his new book (October 2019), Thomas Philippon discusses the economics of free markets. He explains how markets work and, in the context of the cell phone industry, discusses a number of factors that influence their freedom. He concludes that free markets are beneficial (when they are free), but excessive economic inequalities have arisen that are harmful. In this Community Class, Chris Swanson will report on Philippon’s conclusions and provide insight into the economics of large businesses (and why your cell phone bill is so large!).

Chris Swanson is the president of Gutenberg College where he has been a tutor since the college opened its doors in 1994. He has a B.S. in physics and math and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in physics. He has also done post-doctoral research at the University of Oregon and taught at Westmont College in California.

At Gutenberg, we hold two simultaneous convictions about truth seeking. First, freedom of inquiry is critical, and second, an authentic pursuit will lead toward God and Truth. In keeping with these convictions, community classes are intended to be a forum for exploration. They may or may not represent the beliefs and positions of Gutenberg College but are designed to explore topics of significance for our lives.

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