The Lyceum Project

While set up as lectures about hot-button topics of the day, Transcendental-era lyceums also ignited in their wake an exuberant public exchange of ideas. Indeed, one of the most fascinating aspects of Transcendentalists is how much they disagreed. The primary tie that bound them was their belief that the existing social order was not the best social order. In short, they rebelled against those who came before them and strove to build a society that looked to the present and the future instead of the past and to the inherent power of the individual instead of the authoritative power of the collective (societal, governmental, etc.). Lyceum lectures did not merely enlighten the folks who heard them; they fostered debate about social reform and how to put it in action.

We're going to do the same thing in a 21st century forum. Here's what we're going to do:

  • We're going to form groups
  • Each group will pick a timely topic and develop a collaborative essay to post on the Lyceum page.
    • The topic you pick is up to you, as long as you run it by me first (not particularly individualistic of me, I know, but this is a for-credit class, after all).
    • The essay must include at least five credible secondary sources and will be no fewer than five pages.
    • The essay also must be written in MLA style, which means it will include in-text documentation and a works cited page. For a refresher on MLA style, look in the shared files area of CampusCruiser.
  • The other groups will fashion collaborative responses and post them on a lyceum discussion forum site. Note that each group response must be a consensus among group members. Responses from individual students will be posted elsewhere.
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