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 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.

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

Readings for Winter 2020:

Readings for Fall 2019:

  • Cynthia Bane: “Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman” by Christina Dalcher 
  • Joy Becker: “Behold the Dreamers” by Imbolo Mbue
  • Rachel Clark: “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood
  • Jo Dorrance: “What Elephants Know” by Eric Dinerstein
  • Jennifer Larson: “Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music” by Angela Myles Beeching
  • Penni Pier: “Vox” by Christina Dalcher
  • Kyle Schenkewitz: “That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation,” by David Bentley Hart


Zak Montgomery

Associate Professor of Spanish

Brian McQueen

Asst. Professor of Sociology

Katie Kreis '19

Alumni & Development Communications Associate

Krystal Madlock

Director of Multicultural Student Services

Joy Becker

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Jennifer Larson

Associate Professor of Music

Maria Paula Survilla

Professor of Music

Lindsey Leonard

Director of Student Engagement

Tiffany Stouffer

Annual Giving Project Manager

Jennifer Onuigbo

Office Coordinator, Student Life

Rachel Ellen Clark

Associate Professor of English

Penni Pier

Professor of Journalism and Communication

Cassie Hales

Director of Residential Life and Chief Student Conduct Officer

Benjamin Bousquet

Associate Professor of Physics

Lucy Barnhouse

Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Cynthia Bane

Professor of Psychology

Jo Dorrance

Internship and Wartburg West Coordinator

Kyle Schenkewitz

Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion