North Central News

Shimer Great Books School leads discussion-based events about Orwell’s “1984”

Oct 06, 2017

The Shimer Great Books School at North Central College is joining an international conversation centering on George Orwell’s classic novel “1984” by hosting four discussion-based seminars Oct. 12-14. One is online and three are on the Naperville campus. 

These seminars are among the first of many planned collaborative activities since the June acquisition of the Shimer Great Books program of Shimer College into North Central College’s academic structure.

Organized by One Book, Many Conversations, the series of seminar-style conversations are taking place at sites worldwide, including North Central College. Participants will gather online and in local groups to discuss the novel, which raises questions concerning the nature of democratic citizenship and leadership. 

Stuart Patterson (photo, below), chair and visiting associate professor in the Shimer Great Books School, is coordinating North Central’s event for the community. 

“We place a high value on lifelong learning at Shimer and at North Central,” said Patterson, “and we recognize the benefits of cross-generational conversation. We know we’re all enriched when we’re introduced to a variety of perspectives, so we hope to attract participants of all ages to these seminars.”

North Central’s Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies Pamela Monaco will lead an online conversation at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12. Registration is free at   

Retired Shimer professor David Shiner will lead two conversations at noon and 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in North Central’s School of Business and Entrepreneurship building, room 162, 40 N. Brainard St. 

Patterson will guide a discussion at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in Goldspohn Hall, 31 N. Loomis St. Registration is free for all on-campus conversations at

“Shimer provides a glorious opportunity for our students in the School of Graduate and Professional Studies to collaborate around events and ideas that cultivate lifelong learning among students, alumni, staff and faculty,” said Monaco. “We are thrilled to build relationships beyond the classroom and continue to be present in the lives of our students.” 

In addition, Shimer has reserved a limited number of seats for undergraduate and graduate students who wish to attend a live production of “1984” in downtown Chicago on Oct. 7. Contact Christopher Ocampo, North Central’s director of graduate education marketing and recruitment, at to reserve one at the discounted rate of $10. 

For more information about these events, contact Ocampo at