Small-Group Seminars | Various times, see individual programs for details
Our seminars are everything you love about learning with Classical Pursuits — focus on the text, emphasis on exploring meaning together, and a leader who asks questions to get you thinking — in virtual form. Online or in person, you’re part of a convivial community that gathers to read, watch, listen to and discuss compelling literature, art, music and film. Study works that move, provoke, unsettle and inspire.
Classical Pursuits offers a rare experience in continuing education. We deliberately differ from courses where a lecturer is teaching you about a topic. While our practiced leaders give context and help participants “think out loud”, the real teacher is the book, poem, painting or piece of music you’re studying.
At Classical Pursuits, we are always learning in community. We work together toward deeper understanding. If this kind of learning is new for you, know that you are not alone! We are always welcoming first-time participants, and can offer extra support to help you get started. Click here for more tips on preparing for seminar discussion.
You don’t need any previous study or specialized knowledge to participate in any of our seminars. The only prerequisites are to do the reading and come with an open mind.
Current Seminar Catalog | Scroll over the tiles to learn more
More details soon
More details soon
Online Presentations | Thursdays at 2 p.m. Eastern | Free!
Explore a range of topics with our free webinar presentations, from the gardens and painting of Monet to Gold Rush San Francisco to urban planning. Even if you can’t attend, register to receive the recording. For recordings of past presentations, see our Archive page.
Our seminars are on hiatus, but we are planning a series of free events the week of July 18. Watch this space for more details soon!
Friday Flash Fiction | Fridays at 5 p.m Eastern | Free!
Join Classical Pursuits director Melanie Blake or longtime San Francisco Great Books Council leader Louise DiMattio for a one-hour discussion of a classic or contemporary short story, with a selection that changes weekly. Explore a range of authors and genres. All stories will be freely accessible online. Bring your favourite drink and enjoy chatting with other readers.
How to join Friday Flash Fiction: Email Melanie to RSVP if you do not already have the recurring Zoom link. Please keep the Zoom link handy.
- Reading for May 14: “Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Reading for May 7: “Brooksmith” by Henry James | We encourage you read this story at least twice, if possible, given it’s Henry James
- Reading for April 30: “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” by Flannery O’Connor
- Reading for April 23: “The End of the Party” by Graham Greene (story starts on p. 18 of the PDF)
- Reading for April 16: “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston
- Reading for April 9: “Homecoming” by Rabindranath Tagore
- Reading April 2: “My Sister’s Marriage” by Cynthia Marshall Rich
- Reading March 26: “Theft in a Pastry Shop” by Italo Calvino
- Reading March 19: “The Embassy of Cambodia” by Zadie Smith
- Reading for March 12: “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner
- Reading for February 26: “Weekend” by Fay Weldon
- Reading for February 19: “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver
- Reading for February 12: “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- Reading for February 5: “Brothers” by Sherwood Anderson
- Reading for January 29: “The Book of Martha” by Octavia E. Butler
- Reading for January 22: “The Killers” by Ernest Hemingway
- Reading for January 15: “Nuns at Luncheon” by Aldous Huxley
- Reading for January 8: “Smouldering Crisis” by Margit Kaffka (story is pp. 158–170 of PDF)
- Reading for December 18: “Hot and Cold Blood” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Reading for December 4: “The Stone Boy” by Gina Berriault
- Reading for November 20: “A Woman of Fifty” by W. Somerset Maugham
- Reading for November 13: “And of Clay We Are Created” by Isabel Allende
- Reading for November 6: “A Village After Dark” by Kazuo Ishiguro
See previous weeks’ readings on our archives page.
By participating in any Classical Pursuits program, you are agreeing to abide by our code of conduct