Great Books Chicago 2019

Something Wicked This Way Comes

We have exciting news: registration for Great Books Chicago 2019: Something Wicked This Way Comes, is now open! The dates are May 3–5, 2019, and the event will once again be held in the heart of downtown Chicago.

We’ve put together a fantastic agenda around this theme, exploring the wickedness that people contemplate and perpetrate. The readings are:

  • “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor
  • “The Grand Inquisitor,” a chapter from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson

We also have some great ideas for enriching outings for this special weekend.

More good news: you will save $100 when you register for Great Books Chicago by October 31, 2018. We are raising the registration fee just a tad to cover costs—to $450—but you’ll pay only $350 when you register early!

The registration fee includes:

  • Welcome reception dinner at Pinstripes Chicago on Friday evening
  • All readings to be discussed at the event (to be shipped approximately one week after you register)
  • Exciting weekend events involving the conference theme—to be announced soon

You will love this weekend of growth, friendship, and great discussion. Call Dan Lindstrom with any questions at 312.646.7116.

The Poet as Boss of the Universe

“The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”

Few things warm the hearts of poets and philosophers more than when a scientist of Einstein’s stature shows an appreciation for liberal learning. He was not alone in expressing this sentiment. Enlightened people in both camps . . .

Read the full article by John Riley on Medium.

What is the registration fee?


What’s included in the registration fee?

  • One copy each of the Great Books Foundation’s new anthology Her Own Accord: American Women on Identity, Culture, and Community, and Willa Cather’s celebrated novel, My Antonia
  • Participation in three discussions, one each day, led by Great Books Foundation staff. Discussions will be held at the DePaul University conference center located at 333 S. State St., 8th floor
  • A visit to the Art Institute of Chicago along with a slideshow presentation and talk by artist Sean Forester
  • Friday evening reception with hors d’oeuvres and drinks at Pinstripes Chicago
  • Ticket to a performance of “Shakespeare in Love” at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 6
  • Free time to explore Chicago

What readings will we discuss?

My Antonia by Willa Cather (full novel)
Readings from Her Own Accord

  • At Odds, by Julia Serano
  • Rowing, by Anne Sexton
  • I Go Back to May 1937, by Sharon Olds
  • The Box House and the Snow, by Christina Henríquez
  • Reeling for the Empire, by Karen Russell
  • Recitatif, by Toni Morrison

Is there a more detailed itinerary?

Yes, the itinerary is:

Friday, May 5
12:15—12:30 p.m.
Check-in, pick up registration packet

12:30—1:00 p.m.
Welcome and opening remarks

1:00—2:00 p.m.
A conversation with Sean Forester, artist: ““Workers, Thinkers, Artists, Mothers,
Lovers, and Friends”

2:15—4:00 p.m.
Visit to The Art Institute of Chicago

4:30—6:30 p.m.
Discussion #1: Selections from Her Own Accord

  • “Rowing” by Anne Sexton
  • “At Odds” by Julia Serano
  • “Recitatif” by Toni Morrison

7:30—9:30 p.m.
Reception with drinks & buffet, Pinstripes Chicago

Saturday, May 6
9:30—11:30 a.m.
Discussion #2

  • My Ántonia by Willa Cather

11:30 a.m.—3:00 p.m.
Lunch on your own

3:00—5:45 p.m.
Event: Shakespeare in Love, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Free time

Sunday, May 7
9:30—10:15 a.m.
A conversation with Christine I. Hooker, PhD, Stanley G. Harris Sr. Professor of Psychiatry, Rush University Medical Center: “The Science of Gender Bias and the
Gender Bias in Science”

10:30 a.m.—12:30 p.m.
Discussion #3: Selections from Her Own Accord

  • “I Go Back to May 1937” by Sharon Olds
  • “The Box House and the Snow” by Cristina Henriquez
  • “Reeling for the Empire” by Karen Russell

12:30 -12:45 p.m.
Hail & farewell

Where will the discussions take place?

DePaul University Center, 1 East Jackson Blvd., 8th Floor

What else do I need to know?

Read our Tips & Practical Information sheet for essential details that will help make sure your weekend in Chicago runs as smoothly as possible!

Are any Great Books Chicago events held at a centralized hotel?


Are attendees staying at the same hotel?

No. Participants can stay wherever they want. Here is a partial list of the many hotels in downtown Chicago provided by DePaul University for people participating in events there.

Should I book accommodations early?

Yes, we suggest you don’t wait too long to reserve your accommodations.

“I enjoyed meeting new people and sharing the love of good books and ideas.”
“I loved how everyone (participants and workers) was so friendly and willing to listen.”
“I liked everything! Loved Chicago, loved the discussions, the leaders, all of it!”

If you would like to be notified of open registration for Great Books Chicago 2018, please provide your information.

* Required
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    This is a required question
    Never submit passwords through Google Forms.