Hearthside Project: 
Encouraging the Exploration and Celebration of the Humanities at Wartburg College

The Hearthside Project offers faculty and students the unique opportunity to connect around the virtual hearth. The program encourages student/faculty interaction outside the formality of the classroom based on the more intimate learning environments of graduate work, or of a European approach to readings and the discussion of texts often labeled “the directed reading model.” The program allows students to engage in the process of reading with a professor and to consider connections between their own course of study and the practical and philosophical ideas explored through each text. Texts chosen by faculty and staff emphasize, by topic or implication, the key role of the humanities in contemporary thought. The program is in its ninth year (2019-20) and was developed by the late Dr. Survilla, former Slife Professor in the Humanities (2010-2016). Dr. Zak Montgomery administers the Hearthside Project as the current Slife Professor in the Humanities. The Mike and Marge McCoy Family Distinguished Chair in Lutheran Heritage and Mission is co-sponsoring the program this year.

Students receive their books free of charge. Reading groups consist of one book leader and three students. To apply, send an email to the participating leader of the book you’re interested in discussing (listed below).

Little Women book cover, Hearthside 2021 selection
Mindful Twenty-Something book cover, Hearthside 2021 selection
Woman Who Smashed Codes book cover, Hearthside 2021 selection
Poisoned City book cover, Hearthside 2021 selection
Elephant Company book cover, Hearthside 2021 selection
Grit book cover, Hearthside 2021 selection
Know My Name book cover, Hearthside 2021 selection
Velvet Rage book cover, Hearthside 2021 selection

Readings for Winter 2021:

  • Cynthia Bane: “The Mindful Twenty-Something: Life Skills to Handle Stress…and Everything Else”  by Holly Rogers
  • Tiffany Stouffer & Katie Kreis: “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott
  • Joy Becker: “The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies” by Jason Fagone
  • Cassie Hales: “The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy” by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
  • Ruth Bahe-Jachna: “Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II” by Vicki Croke 
  • Jennifer Larson: “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth 
  • Lindsey Leonard: “Know My Name: A Memoir” by Chanel Miller
  • Penni Pier: “The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World” by Alan Downs
"Mathematics for Human Flourishing" book for Hearthside Project 2020
"The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" book for Hearthside Project 2020
"Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua 1893-1956" book for Hearthside Project 2020.
"Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning" book for Hearthside Project 2020
"White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" book for Hearthside Project 2020
"Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing our stories of race, culture and identity" for Hearthside Project 2020

Readings for Fall 2020:

  • Mariah Birgen: “Mathematics for Human Flourishing”  by Francis Su
  • Jennifer Onuigbo & Krystal Madlock: “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander 
  • David Fredrick: “Lords of the Atlas: The Rise and Fall of the House of Glaoua 1893-1956” by Gavin Maxwell 
  • Amandajean Nolte: “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning” by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
  • Ruth Bahe-Jachna: “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo 
  • Amy Pilcher: “Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing our stories of race, culture and identity” by Winona Guo & Priya Vulchi 

FACULTY & STAFF

Zak Montgomery

Associate Professor of Spanish

Katie Kreis '19

Alumni & Development Communications Associate

Jennifer Larson

Associate Professor of Music

Jennifer Onuigbo

Office Coordinator, Student Life

David Fredrick

Book leader for Hearthside 2020

Cynthia Bane

Professor of Psychology

Tiffany Stouffer

Annual Giving Project Manager

Ruth Bahe-Jachna

Book leader for Hearthside 2020

Penni Pier

Professor of Journalism and Communication

Mariah Birgen

Professor of Mathematics

Amandajean Freking Nolte

Information Literacy Librarian

Joy Becker

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Cassie Hales

Director of Residential Life and Chief Student Conduct Officer

Lindsey Leonard

Director of Student Engagement

Krystal Madlock

Director of Multicultural Student Services

Amy Pilcher

Assistant Professor of Business Administration