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The Great Books
Executive Committee Minutes


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Minutes of the Great Books Committee

Members: Assoc. Dean Michael Brown, Anne Bunnell, Charles Fantazzi, John Given, Robert Hammond, Thomas Herron, Kevin Moll, Frank Romer, David Smith, John Stevens, Anoush Terjanian, Edmund Wall, David Wilson-Okamura, Tricia Wilson-Okamura

Members Present: Assoc. Dean Michael Brown, Anne Bunnell, Charles Fantazzi, John Given, Thomas Herron, Frank Romer, David Smith, John Stevens, Anoush Terjanian, Edmund Wall, David Wilson-Okamura, Tricia Wilson-Okamura

Sept. 21, 2007, Meeting #1, 3-4 pm, Bate 3321

Agenda Item 1. Election of Officers
Prof. Stevens was re-elected Director of the Great Books program. The duties of secretary will rotate among the committee's other members, proceeding alphabetically through the list of members.

Agenda Item 2. Invited Speakers
Prof. Herron requested financial support to bring a Seamus Heaney scholar to campus on December 3. The committee agreed to help. Prof. Romer will check on bringing a speaker in from St. John's in Annapolis. Prof. Terjanian suggested bringing a Christine de Pisan scholar to campus.

Agenda Item 3. Open House
Profs. Stevens, Given, and T. Wilson-Okamura will represent the Great Books Program at the University's Fall Open House.

Agenda Item 4. Minors
Prof. Stevens will obtain and present a list of the Great Books minors at the Committee's next meeting, TBA.

Agenda Item 5. GRBK 2000
Prof. Stevens read a report from Prof. Given on the progress of the current GRBK 2000 course.

Agenda Item 6. Program Revisions
The committee discussed revisions to the Program's description of requirements.

  • The committee decided to delete the sentence "A maximum of 6 s.h. may be used to satisfy foundations curriculum requirements for the great books minor." The beginning of the description's last sentence is to be changed from "A major option" to "A major in Great Books."
  • The Committee discussed and then approved the addition of these courses to the list of possible electives:
    ART 2905. Masterpieces in the Visual Arts and Literature
    CLAS 2600. The Power of Images in Classical Greece and Rome
    ENGL 3630. The Bible as Literature
    HIST 4445. The European Enlightenments
    MRST 2400 Introduction to Medieval Studies
    MRST 2500 Introduction to Renaissance Studies
    POLS 2070. Introduction to Political Theory
    PHIL 1695. Introduction to the Old Testament
    PHIL 1696. Introduction to the New Testament
    PHIL 2691. Classical Islam
    PHIL 2692. Buddhism
    RUSS 3221. Twentieth Century Russian Literature in Translation
  • The Committee discussed and then rejected these courses as possible electives:
    MRST 5000. Medieval and Renaissance Studies Seminar
    PHIL 1110. Introduction to Philosophy
    PSYC 4280. History of Psychology
  • The sentence concluding the list of electives is to be changed from "Other courses as approved by the Great Books Executive Committee" to "Other courses as approved by the Great Books Director."

Agenda Item 7. Expanding the Great Books program
The committee discussed the future of the Great Books program with Associate Dean Michael Brown, especially the committee's interest in forming a subcommittee to research the viability of pursuing outside donations and grants to fund faculty positions in Great Books. Dean Brown suggested inviting the College's fundraisers to attend a meeting, and also to consider approaching nontraditional allies such as Student Affairs. Dean Brown underscored the importance of finding Department Chairs willing to help support partial faculty positions. Professors David Wilson-Okamura, John Stevens, and Frank Romer volunteered to work on a subcommittee tasked with exploring funding opportunities. Professor David Wilson-Okamura agreed to chair the subcommittee. Members interested in joining the committee were encouraged to do so at any time.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.