Roosevelt Montás

Five Things I've Learned About

Self-Transformation, by Reading Ancient Books

in conversation with Nicholas Buccola

Presented in partnership with Project Word

LIVE: Wednesday, June 15:00pm pacific / 8:00pm eastern

Join writer, author, and professor Roosevelt Montás in this 90-minute class and discover the Five Things He’s Learned about the transforming power of the Great Books—and why the ideas and passions within these ancient sources still possess the power to make and remake our lives today.

Online Event Details

  • 90 minutes

Price

  • Single Ticket - $40.00
Add to Calendar 06/01/2022 05:00 PM 06/01/2022 06:00 PM America/Los_Angeles Roosevelt Montás | Self-Transformation, by Reading Ancient Books

Join writer, author, and professor Roosevelt Montás in this 90-minute class and discover the Five Things He’s Learned about the transforming power of the Great Books—and why the ideas and passions within these ancient sources still possess the power to make and remake our lives today.

https://myfivethings.com/class/roosevelt-montas-self-transformation-by-reading-ancient-books/
Don’t get that ticket just yet!

This is just one of four Five Things I’ve Learned sessions devoted to The Power of the Written Word.

Join Roosevelt Montás, Myisha Cherry, David W. Blight, and Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. – and get special Series Ticket pricing.

Learn More

Join me in this 90-minute class and discover the Five Things I’ve Learned about the transforming power of the Great Books—and why the ideas and passions within these ancient sources still possess the power to make and remake our lives today.

My name is Roosevelt Montás and I am a Senior Lecturer in English and American Studies at Columbia University. I have been teaching the “Great Books” to Columbia students for over 20 years, ten of them as Director of Columbia’s Center for the Core Curriculum. I invite you to join me in a discussion with Prof. Nicholas Buccola about some of the things I have learned from reading, teaching, and living with the classics.

My recent book, Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation is an intellectual memoir about how four great writers have influenced the trajectory of my life, from the shock of immigrating to New York City from rural Dominican Republic without speaking English at age twelve, to the struggles of self-discovery as a poor student at an Ivy League University, to the experience of directing the oldest and most influential great books program in the country.

I am trained as an Americanist, specializing in American political thought and its roots in Pre-Civil War American culture. I do not read ancient texts as a specialist, but as a curious and engaged individual. When teaching them, I approach them not as scholarly artifacts or museum relics, but as living texts. The classics command our attention because of what they say about the most persistent human questions we face and because the light they shed on the fundamental problems of our time. Great books are not primarily for scholars but for curious and thoughtful readers who seek intellectual experiences that illuminate their own humanity and that deepen their sense of what it means to be alive. The great books stand out for the force with which they provoke reflection on the grand question of our lives: “what whole way of life would make our lives most worthwhile living?” (to use words attributed to Socrates). Reading these books with that question in mind and discussing them with hundreds of thoughtful individuals—students, colleagues, and friends—has shaped the way I think about the world and the person that I am. 

I invite you to join me for this conversation, as Prof. Buccola and I discuss how these books can be transformative.  Among the things I look forward to discussing are:

  • How all knowledge culminates in self-knowledge
  • “Things are never as they seem, nor are they otherwise”
  • Why education makes you free
  • How the present emerges from and is organically connected to the past
  • In order to see the world clearly, get out of the way

The the work of education goes deeper than learning; it is the work of self-transformation.  I invite you to taste insights from ancient sources that can illuminate your entire life.

Best wishes,

Roosevelt Montás

Roosevelt Montás

Roosevelt Montás is Senior Lecturer in American Studies and English at Columbia University.  He holds an A.B. (1995), an M.A. (1996), and a Ph.D. (2004) in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.  He was Director of the Center for the Core Curriculum at Columbia College from 2008 to 2018.  Roosevelt specializes in Antebellum American literature and culture, with a particular interest in American citizenship.  His dissertation, Rethinking America: Abolitionism and the Antebellum Transformation of the Discourse of National Identity, won Columbia University’s 2004 Bancroft Award.  In 2000, he received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student.  Roosevelt teaches “Introduction to Contemporary Civilization in the West,” a year-long course on primary texts in moral and political thought, as well as seminars in American Studies including “Freedom and Citizenship in the United States.” He is Director of the Center for American Studies’ Freedom and Citizenship Program in collaboration with the Double Discovery Center.  He speaks and writes on the history, meaning, and future of liberal education and is author of Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation (Princeton University Press, 2021).  

Purchase Ticket

Don’t get that ticket just yet!

This is just one of four Five Things I’ve Learned sessions devoted to The Power of the Written Word.

Join Roosevelt Montás, Myisha Cherry, David W. Blight, and Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. – and get special Series Ticket pricing.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

Your ticket entitles you to ongoing access to this class — even after the live session concludes.

If you purchase a ticket in time to join the class live, you can view the archive as soon as it’s posted, as often as you like. Look for an email with information about how to access the course archive within 48 hours of the end of the live class. Once you get it, you’ll have all the information you need to access it as you like across any and all devices you own.

If you purchase a ticket after the live class takes place, you can view the archive immediately, and you can return to it as frequently as you like

If you’d like a refund, we can happily credit the card you used to register for the session. Please send a note to pre.event@extendedsession.com , and we’ll confirm receipt as soon as we see it (We don’t need your credit card info – just your email address and date of purchase.)

There are two things to know:

  • Unfortunately, we can only accept cancellations and refunds up to 48 hours before a scheduled session.
  • There is sure to be a lapse in time between the time we refund your order and the time a corresponding credit appears on your credit card statement. So that you’re not left waiting and wondering, we’ll contact you as soon as we’ve processed the credit in our system.

For reasons we hope you’ll understand – the biggest of them the fact that we make a point of compensating the folks who host Five Things I’ve Learned classes as quickly as we can – we can’t accommodate refunds for tickets purchased within 48 of the start of a scheduled live event. We can also accommodate refund requests for the purchase of an archived session only within 24 hours from the time of purchase.

If you’ve purchased a ticket for this online class and you find that for some reason you can’t make the live session, you have two choices:

  • The first: View the session archive. You can view the session archive as soon as it’s posted – or any time, as often as you like. We’ll make an archive of this class available within 48 hours of the live session, and we’ll send every ticket holder details on how they can view it. As a ticket holder, you’re able to view this full session archive any time– as often as you like.
  • The second: Request a refund. Just send a note to pre.event@extendedsession.com, and we’ll help sort things out. Please keep in mind that we can only accommodate refund requests made more than 48 hours from the start of a live session.

We take data security and the need to protect your privacy as seriously as you do. That’s why we use Stripe to process your registration transaction. They take your credit card and secure your data – in fact we don’t even have access to your credit card number. Which is just the way we like it!

The information we do retain we protect carefully.

We’re committed to keeping personal information collected from those individuals who visit our website and make use of our online programming and services confidential, secure, and private. Our privacy policy ensures that we meet – and when we can – exceed most existing privacy standards.

Want to know more? Read the ExtendedSession Online Privacy Policy Agreement.

Still have a question? We’d be pleased to hear from you. Send a note to: pre.event@extendedsession.com.

The receipt you receive via email immediately after you register is all you need to confirm you’re set for the upcoming session.

About 48 hours before the live class is scheduled to begin, we’ll send you a personalized email confirming that everything’s on schedule and containing easy instructions for accessing the class.

We’ll send another reminder on the day of the class itself, and we’ll be available online just before the class begins to make sure you have no problems joining when the time is right.

Have a question in the meantime? We’d be pleased to hear from you. Send a note to: pre.event@extendedsession.com.

If you’ve not received confirmation of your purchase, it’s not because we haven’t sent it. In fact, we send an immediately confirmation to the email address you share with us to ensure that we can reach you with class details.

If you don’t receive a confirmation within 10 minutes or so making your purchase, please first check your “junk” or “promotions” email first — some people’s email programs group unfamiliar emails in these types of folders. The email date and time should match closely the time you purchased your ticket online.

If the confirmation email is not there, there’s a small possibility that your email address wasn’t entered as you intended when you registered. (You’d be surprised, but this happens.)

In any case, we want to make sure we can reach you. And we want to make sure you’re registered for the class you want. if you can’t find your confirmation email, please send us a note at pre.event@extendedsession.com. We’ll get back to you right away.

© 2022 All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy

Thanks for stopping by!

Sign up for our newsletter.
Find out first about every new class.

Register now. Get the latest news and the earliest discounts delivered right to your inbox. Not all the time. Just once a week.



By sharing your email, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.