The 58th Annual Great Books at Colby Summer Institute

July 27–August 2, 2014
Location: Colby College, Waterville, Maine
Costs: $580
Who Should Attend: Anyone who loves books, enjoys discussing them with others, and seeks an inexpensive, intellectually stimulating vacation.
Come to our annual week of lively discussion at Colby College. We are a community of people who enjoy reading and discussing great books. Have you ever closed a book after reading the last page and wished you could share your thoughts with someone? Colby offers an opportunity to collaborate in discovering insights rarely achieved just reading alone. Located on a beautiful campus, it offers an inexpensive, intellectually stimulating vacation where readers who love to think and talk about the world's great literary works can derive pleasure from spending time with others who share their enthusiasm. For two hours each day, readers discuss their understanding of thought-provoking classics through the Great Books Foundation's Shared Inquiry Method. Our focus this year is on Judgment. Decisions that people make can evoke personal, societal, or legal consequences; our focus will be on how society and we judge behavior deemed morally repugnant. Join us in examining how great writers see this process evolving.


Adult Readings:

Euripides: Hippolytus
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Crime and Punishment
Oscar Wilde: De Profundis & The Ballad of Reading Gaol
Albert Camus: The Fall
John Rawls: Justice as Fairness (Parts 1-3)
Joyce Carol Oates:  I Lock My Door Upon Myself

Junior Great Books Readings:

Grade 8 and up:  The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers; Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass; FEVER 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson; and Trifles by Susan Glaspell.

Grades 6 & 7: Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus; Westing Game by Ellen Raskin; Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson; and Journey to Topaz by Yoshiko Uchida.

Grades 1-5: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Ellen Coerr; The Composition by Antonio Skarmeta; The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame; and Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl.

Registration covers books and discussions, as well as swimming, tennis, films, group social activities, and a real Maine lobster bake. On-campus registration includes a single or double dormitory room (six nights: Sunday through Friday) and all meals.  This year, there is an option at an additional charge to stay over Saturday night either before the week (July 26) or after (August 2).  Either night provides an opportunity to attend the Atlantic Music Festival's outstanding free classical music concert.  We also offer a Children's Program for ages three and above.  Commuters participate in all activities, but live on their own, off-campus, and receive lunch each day and the Friday night lobster bake.

The cost for commuters (participants who live off-campus) is $290 and includes lunches and the lobster bake. Scholarships are available on a need basis. We are also offering a one time $50 discount to Colby alumni!  Our registration deadline is July 1.

Option One:  Additional $35 to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  This covers your admission, motor coach and boxed lunch, with early dinner at your own expense is in Boothbay Harbor.

Option Two: 
Early arrival on Saturday, July 26 is $80 with dinner, breakfast and lunch, and late departure on Saturday, August 2 for $75 with dinner and breakfast, for the opportunity to attend the free Atlantic Music Festival concerts.

You may register online or click here to download a registration form.

Contact Information

Great Books Summer Institute at Colby
PO Box 8188
Radnor, PA 19087


Partial Schedule

Arrival:  Sunday, July 27
1:00-6:00 p.m.:  Registration - Mary Low Building
5:30 p.m.:  First Meal
8:30 p.m.:  Welcome Reception

Daily Discussions:  9:00-11:00 a.m.
Monday:  Hippolytus, pp.1-62
Tuesday:  Crime and Punishment, pp. 3-551 (9:00-11:30 a.m.)
Wednesday:  De Profundis & Ballad, pp. 45-161 & 209-232.
Thursday:  The Fall, pp. 3-147.
Friday:  Justice as Fairness, pp. xv-134.
Saturday:  I Lock My Door Upon Myself, pp. 3-101.

Special Events:
Wednesday, Noon, Optional Bus Trip to Boothbay Harbor & Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens($35)
Saturday nights, 7/26 ($80) and 8/2 ($75):  Optional overnight attendance of Atlantic Music Festival's Concert (additional charge)

Departure:  Saturday, August 2
11:15 a.m.:  "Hail and Farewell" on the lawn
11:30 a.m.:  Lunch & Departure

Times and locations of other activities for the week, including a lobster bake, films, and the Wachs Works will be announced at registration.