Homer and MoreGAMBIER, Ohio (September 28, 2005) Professor of Humane Studies Timothy Shutt, a popular lecturer in Kenyon classrooms, is now reaching a wider audience through Recorded Books, a Maryland-based publisher of audio-books and academic courses. Shutt says he was "flattered and delighted" when the company approached him about becoming the first professor to record a series of lectures in its Modern Scholar series.
The opportunity arose in part because of a Kenyon connection. One of Shutt's former students, Jay Alexander, Class of 1991, is the executive producer of the series and recommended him as the leadoff lecturer. "We look for passionate teachers who bring the material to life," the former drama and philosophy major explains. "Professor Shutt has an exuberance for his material that is captivating."
The series currently includes approximately sixty courses, among them lectures recorded by such academic luminaries as Harold Bloom and Joseph J. Ellis. Shutt's offerings include Foundations of Western Civilization, The Epic in Literature, The Literature of C.S. Lewis, Wars that Made the Western World, Dante and the Divine Comedy, and Masterpieces of Medieval Literature. Each of the courses, consisting of a set of lectures that run about thirty-five minutes apiece, is a more condensed version of a course he actually teaches.
"The Foundations course is basically the first half of an Integrated Program in Humane Studies course, and the Dante course is the one I teach every year," says Shutt. Each course contains seven CDs, about eight hours of listening time.
Shutt says he can record seven lectures in a day, working from notes. "I never read a script," he says. It takes him a little longer to prep and to write the booklets that accompany each packaged course. "I put a lot of effort into those books," he says. "But to a certain extent, I'm prepping all the time."