Office of Alumni Engagement

1886 Literary Society - December 2020

December 7

2020-2021 Book Read Series

Alma College, 10/07/2019. Photos by Steve Jessmore, Steve Jessmore Photography, Steve@stevejessmo...December 2020
Host: Kate Blanchard, Charles A. Dana professor of religious studies.
Professor Blanchard’s choice for the month is How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell.


This month’s 1886 Literary Society gatherings will take place on Mondays, December 7, 14, and 21 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. (EDT).  Please only sign-up if you are able to attend at least three of the four meetings, including the first one.

Dr. Blanchard had this to say regarding her choice of a book for this month:

“I recently read How to do Nothing by Jenny Odell and I LOVED it! The pandemic of 2020 has made parts of our lives more chaotic (like providing childcare while working from home) while forcing us to slow down in other areas (especially traveling and socializing). How are we to make sense of all the changes in what used to be our normal schedules? Even before the pandemic, Jenny Odell suggested that we cultivate our ability to “do nothing,” by which she means not just surfing the web or chilling on the sofa, but paying better attention to the people, places, and things that are closest to us, which we often forget to notice. Learning how to do nothing, deliberately and consciously, may be a key to finding greater well-being amid the busy-ness and constant stimulation that pervade our contemporary culture. I look forward to re-reading and talking with other folks about it, especially during what is typically a month many of us feel is one of the busiest of the year.”

Registration Instructions

A web link and more instructions on how to access the weekly sessions will be provided after completing the sign-up form.