the Events

Fall Semester 2015

Great Books Coffee & Tea An informal social gathering for Great Books students and faculty and a slide show of last year's Great Books Games. (Friday, September 11, from 3:00 pm until 3:45 pm, in Groover 112)

Fourth Annual Great Books Games (Friday, September 18, from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm, on the Academic Quad)

"The Archaeology of Troy and Homer's Iliad" A lecture delivered by Dr. Achim Kopp and Dr. Charlotte Thomas (Wednesday, September 23, at 7:00 pm; location to be announced)

GBK Homecoming Tailgating A chance to visit with alumni and current GBK students at the homecoming football game (Saturday, October 24, starting at 9:00 am on or near Black Field; kickoff is at 3:00 pm)

[Additional lectures and events of possible interest are located on the events page of The McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles]

Spring Semester 2016

"Ambition v. Ambition: Classical Democracy, Greek Tragedy, and the Federalist Papers"
A lecture delivered by Dr. Christopher Blackwell (Classics, Furman), sponsered by The McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles (Wednesday, January 20, starting at 6:00 pm in the Medical School Auditorium)

“Michelangelo’s David and Republicanism”
A lecture delivered by Professor David Alvis (Political Science, Wofford), sponsered by The McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles
(Wednesday, February 3, starting at 6:00 pm in the Medical School Auditorium)

"A Usurer's Repentance: Giotto and the Scrovegni Chapel"
A lecture delivered by Dr. Thomas Huber (Thursday, February 11, starting at 7:00 pm, SEB 110)

"Plato's Cities in Speech: The Structures of The Republic, the Republic, and the republic"
A lecture delivered by Dr. Charlotte Thomas (Wednesday, March 16, starting at 6:00 pm, SEB 110)

Senior Celebration
A program-wide celebration of GBK seniors that includes a picnic dinner (Thursday, March 31, details TBA)

[Additional lectures and events of possible interest are located on the events page of The McDonald Center for America's Founding Principles]

At a recent Junior/Senior banquet we were regaled by Dr. Robert Good who read some of his Great Books Limericks. Here are the first and last two, with a few of those in-between!

Great Books might have one flaw, if I may.
It's that now, at the end of the day,
some quite good things you've read
have seeped out of your head
and run some risk of getting away.

So tonight, then, I hope you won't mind,
just a month from the end of your grind,
if I pass in review
some Great Books you once knew
by the one silly means I could find.

D'you recall that first big book you got
where they fought and they fought and they
fought?
You had heard how it went:
A Greek gift horse got sent.
but then lo and behold it did not.

While Telemachus' dad was away,
please don't think all the boy did was play.
He did get good at darts,
but learned two martial arts,
and helped out at the SPCA.

Driven out by geat anger and gloom
came a cry from Penelope's room:
"Be gone now, vile suitors!
this palace ain't Hooters!
So please leave me in peace at my loom."

Plato's cave was a dark and dank place
where a pitiful bronze sort of race
lacked the right kind of light
to see anything right
or, as Christians might say, lacked God's grace.

Euclid's wife came to know a sure sign
that her studious husband felt fine.
When the weekend came 'round
his loud voice would resound:
"Let's go out and square dance in a line."

Let's say Job and his wife passed your way.
What d'you reckon you'd manage to say?
"Dem's the breaks."
"How's your mood?"
"Oy gewalt!"
"sorry, Dude."
Or perhaps simply, "Have a nice day."

"Would the Bishop of Hippo be in?"
asked a girl with a faintly lewd grin.
"I can see his time's dear
so just tell him I'm here
on account of original sin."

Upon hearing that sound at the door,
Augustine wondered what it was for.
When he learned, he said, "Dear,
I'm so glad that you're here
but I'm just not that kind any more."

Timeless truths are quite rare, but here's one.
True as anything under the sun.
Chaucer's Wife of Bath said it
and pop music then spread it:
It's that girls simply gotta have fun.

There's a big book from Spain that we read
'cause the founders once reasoned the need
to put something exotic,
something downright quixotic
in the hands of our stern WASPish breed.

Dante's poem was a helluva feat.
Milton knew it would be hard to beat.
But John played a fine part
by describing Hell's start
so the whole business seems more complete.

On his comf'rtable country estate
John Locke now and then liked to sleep late.
And 'though lounging in bed
seemed to clear out his head
he could never quite get a blank slate.

Mrs. Bennett's remarkable head
housed assortments of worry and dread.
she would fret and she'd scream
but she scarcely dared dream
that her Lizzy and Darcy might wed.

Near Trieste, Sigmund Freud saw a squid
with a rather remarkable id.
And 'though on his vacation,
that creature's gyration
made Freud want to take notes. So he did.

Was Franz Kafka's old man a real thug?
Did his mother not know how to hug?
What dire deprivations
brings alienation
so acute that one thinks man a bug?

After Heidegger's Dasein what next?
Are we destined to spend life perplexed?
Is there more to the show
than to wait for Godot
while we fritter and twitter and text?

And yet some consolation exists
for the Great Books alum who persists.
It's that greatness ain't through
-- Hitchcock's films, Kind of Blue --
and that old works keep showing new twists.

And please remember ...

In the land of the bulldog and peach,
if great deeds sometimes seem out of reach,
think of Flann'ry O'Connor
and those laurels heaped on 'er.
Hers aren't books that folks read at the beach.