When I heard about the reading group being organized at Durham, it occurred to me that it would be fun to try something similar here at Sewanee, but I wasn’t sure how much interest there would be. We have a small philosophy faculty of five male professors, so if something like an all-female reading group was going to work, it would need to be run almost entirely by our students themselves. In the end, I needn’t have worried. We managed to secure some internal funding to pay for books, and had no trouble recruiting a wonderful group of students. They immediately set about organizing the readings and the meetings with such enthusiasm that I had to do very little other than check in every once in a while to find out how they were doing. By the end of the semester, they had formed a tight-knit group and begun to develop mentoring relationships between more advanced philosophy majors and newer students. What they learned from each other over the course of a few months is something that none of the classes offered in our department could ever really offer them. I’m delighted that they are planning to continue the group next year, and very happy indeed that I’m no longer the only the only Iris Murdoch devotee at Sewanee!
Dr Mark Hopwood, Sewanee University, USA