Alumni Reading Groups

Christ College Alumni Reading Groups have met in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Denver, Boston, and Washington DC. Coordinated and led by CC alumni and friends, the groups explore compelling topics of the times.

Reading Group "Syllabus"  Texts, Movies, and Websites
Spring 2015: What is Beauty PDF


Roger Scruton, Beauty

Mary Szybist, Incarnadine

Iris Murdoch, The Sea, the Sea

Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

Please listen to Arvo Pärt, Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, click here. 

2014 Dean's Annual Address 


Spring 2014: Strangers and Journeys PDF



Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses 

Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories 

Terrance Malik's The New World

Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities 

Gabriel Axel's Babette's Feast 


Spring 2013: Literature at the Movies (PDF)

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness

Apocalypse Now


Spring 2012:
Speculative Fiction (PDF)


Game of Thrones, Fantasy, and Allegorical Racism, Thomas Belknap

The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois

"Riding the Red." Black Swan, White Raven, Nalo Hopkinson

So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy, Hopkinson, Nalo and Uppinder Mehan

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Peter Jackson

"Beyond Black and White: Race and Postmoderism in The Lord of the Rings Film, Sue Kim

"My Response to District 419...I Mean District 9." Ninedi's Wahala Zone Blog, Nnedi Okorafor

The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre, Tzvetan Todorov

The Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien


Spring 2011:
Consumer Culture (PDF)


 T. J. Jackson Lears, “From Salvation to Self-Realization: Advertising and the Therapeutic Roots of the Consumer Culture, 1880-1930,” originally published in Lears and Richard Wightman Fox, eds., The Culture of Consumption (Pantheon, 1983), available online here.

Bruce Barton, The Man Nobody Knows (1925). Available as revised edition or eBook.

“In the Suburbs,” promotional video for Redbook magazine, 1957. Available here.

Mad Men season 1, episode 3, Marriage of Figaro.

“Destination Suburbia,” chapter 7 in Regina Lee Blaszczyk, American Consumer Society, 1865-2005, From Hearth to HDTV (2009), 198-214.

Pietra Rivoli, The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade (Wiley, 2009 edition).

Virginia Postrel, The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value is Remaking
Commerce, Culture and Consciousness (HarperCollins, 2003)

Consumer Society


Spring 2010:
The Lincolns (PDF)

Abraham Lincoln, James McPherson
The Portable Abraham Lincoln, edited by Andrew Delbanco
Mary Todd Lincoln, Jean Baker
Lincoln at the Millennium, Barry Schwartz

The Madness of Mary Lincoln
New Mary Lincoln Letter Discovered
Ann Rutledge in American Memory: The Erosion of a Romantic Drama

Spring 2009:
Inventing the Body (PDF)

Thin, directed by Lauren Greenfield

How We Die, Sherwin Nuland
The Body Project, Joan Brumberg
Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser
Spring 2008:
What Makes a Life Significant? (PDF)

Leading Lives that Matter, Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass
Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder

It's A Wonderful Life, directed by Frank Capra
Groundhog Day, directed by Harold Ramis, 1993
Changing Lanes, directed by Roger Michell, 2002
Spring 2007:
Making Things Right (PDF)

Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works, Davies and Evans
The Nonviolent Atonement, J. Denny Weaver
Spring 2006:
Faith and the Public Sphere (PDF)

The Bible in American Public Life, Mark Noll
America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln
One Nation Under God,
Andrew R. Murphy
The Naked Public Square,
Richard John Neuhaus
Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism,
Cornel West
Between Sundays: Black Women and Everyday Struggles of Faith,
Marla F. Frederick
Martin Doblmeier