University of Oregon

UO Insight Seminars: Mission and History

image: trees and mountain reflected in lakeThe UO Insight Seminars were established in 2003 to provide an opportunity for the general public to re-engage with the liberal arts and experience the intellectual fulfillment that is the hallmark of a university education. The seminars are not designed for career development; rather, they focus on the humanities, particularly on “meaning of life” topics of intense interest to adults. They are aimed at people eager to return to real college-level reading and study. They are non-credit and ungraded, and although they do not typically involve written assignments, they require a good deal of challenging reading of both primary and secondary materials. They are led by UO faculty who are expert in the topics, who provide formal study guides and lead college-level discussion of the materials.  Insight Seminars became a program of the UO Libraries in 2010.


Mission Statement

In middle life the questions addressed by the humanities take on a new reality. Our society offers little guidance for this stage of life, though other cultures consider it a time for thinking and writing, wisdom and understanding, and coming to grips with ultimate questions. This is when we should make time for philosophy, literature, history, religion, art and music. Anyone can dabble in these without a university; but there’s no comparison between the random reading most people do and the sort of experience a university can provide: the joys of real study and deep learning, with a group of motivated peers, facilitated by experts you can respect.

View the current schedule

Contact Jan Smith at 541/346-1889 or for more information.

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Created by jenkins on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Aug 12, 2013
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