Online Seminars, Lectures and Book Discussions

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

Interested in multiple seminars? See our Frequent Reader program. Want to see past seminars? Click here.

Atonement by Ian McEwan
March 17
Wilfred Owen: Beyond Dulce et Decorum Est
March 31
Plato's Republic
April 12
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
April 19
Book of Genesis
April 20
New section added!
Vergil's Aeneid
April 26
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
More details soon
Venice in Art and Literature
May 5
Novels of Penelope Fitzgerald
May 5
More details soon
Understanding Conservatism: Then and Now
May 13
More details soon
The Trials of Socrates
June 13
More details soon
Hannah Arendt and the Human Condition
June 20
More details soon
Absalom, Absalom!
More details soon
Tristram Shandy
July 27
More details soon
Delhi by Khushwant Singh
More details soon
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
February 18
Bold, Brilliant Broads: The Playwrights
February 20
Bold, Brilliant Broads: The Feminists
March 14
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
March 19
Myths of the Greek Gods
March 18
Edith Wharton's New York Novels
April 17
Interiors: Painting The Intimate Space
May 2
Too Real for Reality
Ongoing Series


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.


Sicilian Literature 101
March 11, 2021
London Theatres Through the Eyes of a Londoner with Derek Boyes
March 16
Amrchair Art Tours: Dutch and Flemish Masters, Part I
March 18, 2021
Theatrical Adventures with Derek Boyes & Colin Mochrie
March 23
Amrchair Art Tours: Dutch and Flemish Masters, Part II
March 25, 2021
Literary Tangier
April 8, 2021
More details soon

Novello Theatre image © Elliott Brown


Friday Flash Fiction | Fridays at 5 p.m Eastern | Free!

Join Classical Pursuits director Melanie Blake 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.

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


Travel Adventures for the Mind
with The world's best books, art and music as Your guides