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.”

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.

Readings for Winter 2024

Think Again by Adam Grant

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t by Adam Grant
Led by Lindsey Leonard

This Is Where I Am: A Memoir by Zeke Caliguri

This Is Where I Am: A Memoir by Zeke Caliguri
Led by Ruth Bahe-Jachna

At the End of the World, Turn Left by Zhanna Slor

At the End of the World, Turn Left by Zhanna Slor
Led by Kristin Wendland

Blood, Water, Paint

Blood, Water, Paint by Joy McCullough
Led by Amy Pilcher

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
Led by Andrew Szarejko

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
Led by Andrew Szarejko

The White Mosque: A Memoir by Sofia Samatar

The White Mosque: A Memoir by Sofia Samatar
Led by Debora Johnson-Ross

This 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 began in the 2011-12 academic year 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.


Zak Montgomery

Professor of Spanish

Lindsey Leonard

Associate Dean of Community Life

Kristin Wendland

Associate Professor of Religion

Ruth Bahe-Jachna

Book Leader for Hearthside

Amy Pilcher

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Debora Johnson-Ross, Ph.D.

Vice President of Academic Affairs / Dean of the Faculty

Andrew Szarejko

Assistant Professor of Political Science