A great book invites the reader in as an equal.

That is the spirit in which the Catherine Project’s education is offered.

We invite people from all walks of life to join our community of learning. We charge no tuition or fees.

OFFERINGS
Our courses take place on Zoom. If you would like to study by email, postal service, or telephone instead, please contact us directly and we will endeavor to accommodate your request.
Tutorials

Our tutorials are capped at 4-6 readers each and are led by a tutor. They typically meet for 12 weeks, and are organized around the careful reading and discussion of one or more fundamental texts. Readers write reflection papers on the weekly readings and send them to one another before each meeting.

Reading Groups

Reading groups are typically peer-led and more flexible in nature. They may focus on a single text or a group of texts, and their duration varies (most meet for between 8-14 weeks). We aim for a core of 8-10 readers and there is no required writing.

Subject Tutorials

When possible, we organize small group meetings with a subject tutor competent in subjects such as: the art of writing, languages dead and alive, and mathematical operations such as algebra and geometry. As with our reading groups, the length of subject tutorials is variable.

SPRING 2023 OFFERINGS

Registration for our spring courses is open. Our offerings are available to adults 16 years or older from all educational backgrounds and walks of life. To apply, please use our registration form.

Our courses start at various times from January to April: please note that while the start dates of courses are fixed, all end dates are provisional and subject to change. We process enrollment progressively and begin with the courses that begin soonest. We try to notify applicants of our decisions 2 weeks before the relevant courses begin (for example, admissions decisions for a course starting January 17th are provided by January 3rd).

See our FAQ page for further information about enrollment.

Tutorials (all times listed are in Eastern Time)

Each tutorial meets at the identified times to discuss readings in the relevant text(s). If you are new to this kind of study or unsure where to start, we recommend starting with one of our tutorials on Homer, or emailing us at: study@catherineproject.org.

  • Selected writings of Thomas Aquinas
    • Saturdays, 10:00am-12:00pm, 1/21-4/08
  • Comedies by Aristophanes and Shakespeare
    • Tuesdays, 8:00-10:00pm, 1/17-4/04
  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
    • Tuesdays, 5:00-7:00pm, 1/17-4/04
  • Augustine, Confessions
    • Thursdays, 8:30-10:30pm, 3/09-5/25
  • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
    • Saturdays, 9:00-10:30am, 1/21-4/22
  • Dante, Inferno
    • Fridays, 10:00am-12:00pm, 2/10-4/28
  • Ancient Greek tragedy: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides
    • Fridays, 11:00am-1:00pm, 1/27-4/14
  • Homer, Iliad and Odyssey
    • Thursdays, 7:00-9:00pm, 1/19-4/06
  • Homer, Iliad and Odyssey
    • Saturdays, 1:00-2:30pm, 1/21-4/08
  • Homer, Iliad & Herodotus, Histories
    • Mondays, 7:30-9:30pm, 1/23-4/10
  • Lucretius, On the Nature of Things & Cicero, Tusculan Disputations
    • Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30pm, 1/18-3/29
  • Six tragedies by Shakespeare
    • Mondays, 3:00-4:30pm, 1/23-4/10
  • Virgil, Aeneid & Augustine, Confessions
    • Fridays, 8:00-9:30pm, 1/13-3/03

Reading Groups (all times listed are in Eastern Time)

Each reading group meets at the listed times to discuss readings in the relevant text(s). If you are new to this kind of study or unsure where to start, you are welcome to email us at: study@catherineproject.org.

  • Henry Adams, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres & Johan Huizinga, The Autumn of the Middle Ages
    • Tuesdays, 8:00-10:00pm, 1/17-3/28
  • Aeschylus, Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides
    • Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00pm, 1/18-2/22
  • Al-Hariri, Maqāmāt / Impostures
    • Thursdays, 7:30-9:00pm, 1/19-3/23
  • American short stories by Flannery O’Connor, J.D. Salinger, Mark Twain, and others
    • Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30pm, 1/17-3/28
  • Aristotle, Metaphysics
    • Thursdays, 7:30-9:30pm, 2/16-5/25
  • Aristotle, Politics
    • Mondays, 7:00-8:00pm, 1/23-3/13
  • Boethius, On the Consolation of Philosophy
    • Mondays, 5:30-7:00pm, 1/30-3/20
  • Dante, The Divine Comedy
    • Thursdays, 8:00-9:30pm, 1/12-3/30
  • W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America
    • Thursdays, 7:00-8:30pm, 1/19-5/25
  • George Eliot, Daniel Deronda
    • Tuesdays, 8:00-9:30pm, 1/10-3/07
  • T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
    • Sundays, 4:00-5:30pm, 3/12-4/02
  • Ferdowsi, Shahnameh
    • Tuesdays, 12:00-1:30pm, 1/17-4/11
  • Michel Foucault, The Archeology of Knowledge
    • Fridays, 3:00-4:30pm, 1/20-3/11
  • Søren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
    • Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm, 1/19-4/13
  • Søren Kierkegaard, Philosophical Fragments
    • Wednesdays, 11:00am-12:30pm, 1/25-4/26
  • Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
    • Wednesdays, 8:00-9:30pm, 2/01-03/15
  • Clarice Lispector, The Passion According to G.H.
    • Wednesdays, 8:00-9:30pm, 2/01-3/29
  • Thomas More, Utopia
    • Wednesdays, 12:30-2:00pm, 1/18-3/29
  • Mozi, Mozi
    • Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00pm, 1/25-4/12
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science
    • Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30pm, 1/25-4/12
  • Plato, Republic
    • Mondays, 8:00-10:00pm, 1/23-4/10
  • Plato, Symposium
    • Tuesdays, 6:00-8:00pm, 2/21-3/07
  • Quaker writings from 1650-1920
    • Sundays, 6:30-7:45pm, 2/19-3/19
  • Shakespeare’s sonnets
    • Tuesdays, 7:30-9:00pm, 1/24-4/11
  • Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida
    • Thursdays, 8:00-9:30pm, 1/19-2/16
  • Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji
    • Mondays, 7:30-9:30pm, 1/30-5/29
  • Baruch Spinoza, Ethics
    • Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30pm, 1/24-5/09
  • William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
    • Tuesdays, 8:00-10:00pm, 2/07-6/03
  • Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
    • Thursdays, 8:00-9:30pm, 2/02-4/06
  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse, The Waves, and A Room of One’s Own
    • Wednesdays, 6:00-7:30pm, 2/01-4/19

Subject Tutorials (all times listed are in Eastern Time)

Each subject tutorial meets at the listed dates and times to study the identified subject. Participants may be given assignments to complete before each meeting: these are given to assist in learning and no grades or credit will be given.

Intermediate language tutorials typically involve the translation of Greek or Latin texts and are most appropriate for those who have spent at least a year studying the relevant language. If you have questions about language tutorials, you are welcome to email us at: study@catherineproject.org.

  • Intermediate Greek translation: Euripides, Alcestis
    • Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30pm, 1/24-4/18
  • Intermediate Greek translation: Book III of Plato’s Republic
    • Saturdays, 10:00am-12:00pm, 1/21-4/15
  • Intermediate Latin study
    • Mondays & Wednesdays, 9:00-10:00am, 1/17-5/25
  • Intermediate Latin translation: Bonaventure, Journey of the Mind into God
    • Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00pm, 1/24-4/11
  • Intermediate Latin translation: Vulgate (Latin Bible)
    • Sundays, 7:00-8:30pm, 1/22-4/23
  • Introductory Latin
    • Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:00-11:00am, 1/17-5/25

We provide substantive, high-quality, person-to-person teaching to adults 16 years or older at no fixed cost to them. We also host peer-led reading groups and lectures.

We seek to cultivate free and independent learners who study on their own initiative, driven by their own fundamental questions. To do so, we follow the tried-and-true practice of liberation through person-to-person conversation about great books. Such reading and conversation has long been a refuge for the poor, oppressed, and marginalized, and it enriches people from all walks of life.

The Catherine Project offers no credits or degrees. We do not grade the efforts of our participants. We charge no tuition. We encourage donations from our readers in accordance with their ability to pay, as well as from benefactors interested in our mission. We believe that no one’s inability to pay should be an obstacle to their opportunities to learn.

Study with Us

Our offerings are available to adults 16 years or older from all educational backgrounds and walks of life. In reviewing applications to study with us, we look for enthusiasm and fit for an independent and collaborative style of learning.

Bear in mind that we have many more readers who are interested in studying with us than we have the capacity to serve. Please consider studying with us only if you are confident that you can commit to the regular readings and meetings.

Principles
Hospitality
Anyone may study with us who wishes to learn and who has the basic skills necessary for serious reading and conversation. Our conversations are open-ended and not guided toward particular conclusions. Our students, or readers, are understood to be motivated by their own questions. No one’s inability to pay or inability to travel ought to be an obstacle to their opportunities to learn.
Great books

We read books of richness, depth, and lasting value that bear repeated re-readings. Such books teach readers at all levels of preparation, and they level the distance between the teacher and the learner so as to encourage collaboration. With a book as a teacher, each reader develops the ability to inquire in depth and to evaluate evidence by his or her own lights.

Zeal
The desire to learn for its own sake is the primary engine of our work. Accordingly, we prize amateurism. Tutors learn along with our readers and therefore often teach outside of their fields of specialty.
Conversation

We find that conversation is the best way to cultivate free and independent learners. Conversation and reading are the primary vehicles of the learning we offer: writing assignments are subsidiary. Essays help the reader to think and help to focus the conversations that result from it. 

Self-direction
Our courses help readers to develop as free inquirers. We seek to support independent learners, but we also seek to nurture autodidacts: self-directed, courageous, and honest pursuers of learning in all walks of life.
Focus
In light of our commitment to simplicity, egalitarianism, and intellectual focus, readers do not choose tutors, tutors do not choose readers, and members of reading groups do not choose one another. Readers choose a book to read or a course of study.
Seriousness
We go after the deepest and most difficult questions and ask the same of our readers. We do not “dumb down” material.
Flexibility

We seek to meet the human need for serious inquiry with as few arbitrary constraints as possible.