Quincy University Great Books Program will host guest speaker, Stuart Patterson, Ph.D., chair of the Shimer Great Books School at North Central College, on Wednesday, October 23, at 3 p.m. in Quincy University’s MacHugh Theater (1800 College). Patterson’s talk is part of the annual Great Conversations Speakers Series. This series, offered in conjunction with Quincy University’s Great Books program, brings in leading scholars who investigate the fundamental dilemmas of human life and whose arguments challenge us to reexamine our most dearly held beliefs. This event is free and open to the public.

During his lecture, “How Do We Measure Books?” Patterson will discuss the designation of books as “great” and the related notion of the “canon.” The latter word, which is derived from a Greek term meaning measure or standard (and related to the term for the reeds originally used as rulers), suggests that people measure themselves by what they read. Patterson will also prompt the listener to examine the standards by which people measure the books themselves.

“My meditation on this question will involve a look at both the opportunities and pleasures we find in reading as well as the anxieties that the technology of writing has stirred at different epochs in both Western and Eastern cultures of the book,” said Patterson.

Patterson earned his bachelor’s from the Great Books Program at St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico and his doctorate in American studies from Emory University. He worked as an art therapist before joining the faculty at Shimer in 2004.  During his time at Shimer, he has taught in all three areas of the core curriculum, including courses in the history of economics, in theories of metaphor, in the history of chemistry and in studio art.

For more information, please contact Neil Wright, at 217-228-5432 ext:3036 or wrighne@quincy.edu.

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University (www.quincy.edu) is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University Office of Community Relations by calling (217) 228-5275.