Mercy Book Club Opens New Season with Nussbaum’s “Not for Profit”

Launching the third year of the Mercy Book Club, the Department of English and Foreign Languages and the Office for Mission and Heritage invite all faculty members explore anew the purposes of higher education by reading and joining the discussion of “Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities” by Martha Nussbaum.

Full of possibilities for rich interdisciplinary conversation, Nussbaum’s book argues that education is and must be more than preparation for a career. She maintains that, despite increasing emphasis on the economic value of higher education, educators and curricula need to continue to value, address, and facilitate the larger civic, cultural, and ethical domains of human learning and life.

The first of two discussions of “Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities” will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Wed., Oct. 23 in the Bishop Quarter Room. College of Arts and Sciences faculty members Mary Beth Tegan and Michael O’Keeffe will facilitate the discussion. Light refreshments will enhance the conversation.

Would-be discussion participants can “sign on” and – while supplies last – receive a complimentary copy of this semester’s Mercy Book Club selection by contacting Maria Llerenas in N430 at or (773) 298-3231.

Begun with a grant from the Lilly Fellows Program, the Mercy Book Club offers faculty and interested staff members an opportunity to engage with colleagues across the disciplines on topics of general relevance to higher education. Past academic partners in the program have been the School of Nursing (2011-12) and the School of Education (2012-13). This year the College of Arts and Sciences has stepped up, with the Department of English and Foreign Languages taking the lead this semester and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders on deck for spring semester.