Literary Theory and Philosophy

Online Mini-Courses

Critical Theory & Philosophy Online Mini-Courses

For curious minds who love to learn the hidden influences in culture, our critical theory and philosophy mini-courses offer an in-depth look into the most important minds in history.

We help participants master difficult philosophical concepts by teaching with simple language and creating a space for conversation.

Read and discuss a new thinker each month in this online course series. At the beginning of the month, participants receive a short introduction to that month's thinker and a list of supplemental resources, including articles, podcasts, and videos to read, listen, and watch before we meet together online for our live discussion.

We aim to read a key text together, and then participants read as much or as little of that thinker's writings as they can. We also dig into as much of the supplemental material as we have time or interest for.

On the last Saturday of each month, we get together for about two hours and discuss that month's thinker. By the end of the meeting, participants have a solid grasp on that thinker's major contribution to critical thought and the ways their ideas are manifested in culture.

Participants have complete access to course materials, including the recordings of all live discussions. While we emphasize the live element and the online discussion, many participants choose to remain self-paced and work through materials on their own.

All participants are welcome to start discussions and share resources in our private Facebook group.


"Wonder is the feeling of the philosopher and philosophy begins in wonder."



  Jacques Lacan
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  Simone de Beauvoir
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Your Instructor

Jessica S. Manuel
Jessica S. Manuel

Jessica S. Manuel is a reader, writer, and college professor. Her work explores the intersections of contemporary theories and philosophies with classic and contemporary literature.

She earned her B.A. in English with an emphasis in Critical Theory and a minor in Theological Studies from The Master's University. She went on to earn her M.A. in English (Literature) from San Francisco State University where she studied 19th-20th Century Literatures with a special studies emphasis in Critical Theory. After examining the intersections of psychoanalysis and contemporary literature, she wrote her thesis on Haruki Murakami's use of the unconscious in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

After earning her M.A., she continued her education at University of California, San Diego where she studied and earned certificates in teaching adult learners, literature, and online teaching and learning. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design at Clemson University.

Jessica offers online adult literature courses and reading groups for life-long learners through Book Oblivion Academy and also teaches writing and literature courses at the college level.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
This reading group meets once a month to read and discuss each thinker. Participants can join at any time and will remain a part of the group and have full access to the materials and live discussions for as long as their subscription is active.
What if I can't meet for live discussions?
Our participants reside all over the world and many are working professionals or students with difficult schedules. The live discussions are the heart of our group because of the various backgrounds and experiences each reader brings to the table, but the discussions are not mandatory. All discussions are recorded and uploaded into the course for later viewing for all course participants.
Who is this reading group for?
Most of our participants are uniquely motivated to read and learn. Some are newly retired, and others are working working professionals, college professors and administrators, business owners, graduate and undergraduate students. All walks of life are welcome. The one thing each person has in common is that they are in search of a like-minded community of readers that share a humble intellectual curiosity for ideas.

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