Skip to main content

Roundtable Seminar

Introduction

The Valente Center Undergraduate Roundtable Seminar on Great Books includes 12 to 15 highly motivated students and four professors. Each faculty member lends a different form of expertise to the study of important books of recognized importance and value that enrich student understanding of the arts, history, literature, business, politics and life in general. The seminar is a three-credit course that meets every week. The books chosen are ones that the faculty members do not already know and that do not come from their fields of expertise. Because of this, the seminar has no teacher in the conventional sense; students and faculty members read and learn together, and it is the student participants who lead the discussion.

Valente Seminar FAQs

Have questions about how the Roundtable Seminars work?

Read FAQ

Spring 2021
"Black"

Roundtable Seminar 2020-2021 Black Lives, Black Voices: Intersectional Perspectives on Racial Justice

The Valente Center Undergraduate Roundtable Seminar is a three-credit course in which a small group of dedicated students meets every week with five members of the faculty, representing different disciplines, to read and discuss challenging books of recognized importance and value.  The books are ones that the faculty members do not already know and that do not come from their field of expertise.  This way the seminar has no "teacher" in the usual sense.  Students and faculty members read and learn together, and it is the student participants who lead the discussion.

Our focus in this Valente Center Roundtable Seminar on Racial Justice will be on selected works of fiction, non-fiction, and film representing Black lives and Black voices.  Materials for the seminar may also include excerpts from tv series, music, and other cultural products.  Our goal will be to explore how the issue of "race" and racial justice in contemporary culture intersects with issues concerning ethnicity, gender, law, politics, citizenship, immigration, and environmental justice. Participants, including both students, staff, and faculty members, will come together weekly to read and discuss works that engage with the current crisis of racial justice, and also place the crisis within the context of earlier public debates about these interlinked issues.
 
In this course, students will develop or build on emerging presentation and reading and analysis skills through engagement with the texts and the corresponding assignments. Classroom methods will include discussion, student presentations, a midterm, and a reflection paper at semester's end. 

The seminar meets on Tuesdays between 11am and 1.50pm (block 10) through zoom. The Valente Center covers the cost of all books as well any other activities as selected by students and faculty.

How to apply:

Send a brief statement to the Valente Center - between 400 to 500 words - explaining why you want to participate, a copy of your Degree Works Summary (available on Workday)

Email Now

Spring Session 2020
"Roundtable"

Roundtable Seminar 2019 - 2020

Faculty: Ernesto Schirmacher (Department of Mathematics), Johannes Eijmberts (Department of Global Studies), Ralph Pennel (Department of English and Media Studies), Katie Leahy (Bentley University Library)

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Moshin Hamid

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

How do we measure success? Is it accumulated wealth? Is it emotional well-being and happiness? This course will broadly investigate the corruptibility or incorruptibility of the human spirit when the influences of cultures that prioritize pursuits of financial and cultural capital press upon us in nearly all social, personal and professional contexts. We will examine these themes in a variety of ways through a wide range of media, including two novels, films, podcasts and other literatures that explore the concerns expressed by the themes and their greater interpersonal and sociopolitical impacts. In this course, students will develop or build on emerging presentation and reading and analysis skills through engagement with the texts and the corresponding assignments. Classroom methods will include discussion, student presentations, a midterm, and a reflection paper at semester’s end.

Grades for the seminar are based on participation, a reflection paper and a final research paper. The seminar meeting time is Wednesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. The Valente Center provides lunch and covers the cost of all books as well as the cost of trips to local cultural events and dinners as selected by students and faculty.

Contact:

Johannes Eijmberts
Director of Valente Roundtable
Office Adamian 247, extension 2585    

Email

Archive: Past Seminars 2015 - 2018  

View Past Seminars