For students seeking an enriching academic experience over winter break, our Humanities at Hertog program offers four online seminars, each centered around an enduring literary work.

You can expect small classes of 10-15 peers who love great texts, big ideas, and lively conversation. Together, led by a master teacher, students will plumb classic and contemporary literary works for the insights they offer into fundamental human questions.

Applicants may apply for their choice of seminar. All seminars meet via Zoom, and are scheduled in the afternoon, evenings, and weekends to allow students from across time zones to come together. Fellows will receive a stipend contingent upon participation in their course and completion of a brief response paper and evaluation. All course materials will be provided.

A Hertog Conversation on Renewing Humanistic Inquiry

Winter 2023 Courses

Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground

Reflect on the human consequence of modern thought with Doestovesky's 1864 novella.

Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice

Study Jane Austen's beloved novel of marriage and manners.

Richard A. Florsheim, Sleeping City, 1965, color lithograph, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Utopia & Dystopia

Explore visions of utopian & dystopian societies in three short novels.

Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence

Compare America and Europe, aristocracy and democracy, in Wharton's classic novel.

Past Courses

Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart & No Longer at Ease

Reflect on two great novels from the father of modern African literature.

Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov

Meditate on Dostoevsky’s final – and greatest – novel.

Dostoevsky’s Demons

Study Dostoevsky's great novel on the nature, logic, and social origins of revolutionary politics.

Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels

Revisit the quarrel between "the ancients and the moderns" and reflect on human nature with Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man

Study this monumental work on race, identity, and citizenship in America.

Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein

Reflect on a novel rich with themes of politics, philosophy, religion, love, friendship, and death.

Shakespeare’s Henry V

Explore Shakespeare’s insights into the exercise of power.

Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities

Read Tom Wolfe’s devastating, irresistible satire of urban and racial politics.

Deadlines & Eligibility


Who Should Apply? Undergraduates, gap-year students, young professionals, and graduate students are all eligible to apply. Fellows may apply for, and participate in, multiple seminars.

Dates & Times: All seminars will meet online via Zoom at a set date and time over January 2023. See the individual course pages for full details.

Stipend & Course Materials: Fellows will receive a small stipend contingent upon participation in their course and completion of a brief response paper and evaluation. All course materials will be provided.

Deadline: The application deadline is Thursday, December 1, 2022. Admission decisions will be made on a rolling basis so apply now!




    Please provide a brief account (approximately 500 words) of your interest in your selected seminars.


    Unofficial; required only for current undergraduates & recent graduates.


    10 pages maximum; double-spaced. Please send academic writing that best showcases your ability to invent and sustain a persuasive argument, no matter the subject-matter.


    Provide the name and contact information of a professor, mentor, or supervisor.

Other Courses You Might Be Interested In

The Words That Made Us

Revisit key constitutional questions through the lens of history and law.

Sophocles’ Antigone

Consider the conflicting understandings of the familial, the divine, and the political, and their proper relationships through Antigone.

Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Meditate on the nature of political authority with one of Shakespeare's greatest plays.

Shakespeare’s Prince & Tyrant

Explore the political and religious contexts of Shakespeare's plays.

The Limits of Politics

Explore the boundaries of politics from the perspective of the household and the divine.

The American Character

Explore issues of American identity, character, and citizenship with classic short stories.