Courses Open For Registration

Join Us for Fall 2014 Classes and Events.

Hannah Arendt: Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship

An Evening With Author Kathleen Jones + a Seminar Discussion Class on Hannah Arendt’s “Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship”


Dr. Kathleen JonesBook Talk

Join us for an inspiring evening with writer, Kathleen B. Jones, as she takes us on a thinking journey with the political theorist Hannah Arendt, whose life and work inspired Kathleen to write a philosophical memoir about her own. She will read an excerpt from her new book, Diving for Pearls: A Thinking Journey with Hannah Arendt. Books will be available for sale at the event.



Hannah AredntPersonal Responsibility Under Dictatorship

Fifty years ago, Hannah Arendt published her controversial report on the trial of Nazi deportation commander, Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil put Arendt at the center of a storm of criticism that continues to this day. Her most virulent critics called her a self-hating Jew who seemed to be blaming the victims more than the perpetrators of the Holocaust. Arendt didn’t engage these charges immediately. But several years after the book’s publication she replied indirectly in an essay entitled “Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship.”


An important argument about moral and political responsibility, the essay makes a compelling and provocative read. Come join author Kathleen B. Jones, who also directs seminars on Arendt for educators, as we explore together Arendt’s thinking about judgment and responsibility in a discussion of this essay.

Copies of the essay will be made available so registered participants can read the essay in advance of the class.

Instructor: Dr. Kathleen Jones

When: Tuesday  August 26, 2014

Book talk with Dr. Kathleen Jones on her work “Diving for Pearls”: 6:30-7:15

Seminar class on Hannah Arendt’s “Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship” lead by Dr. Kathleen Jones: 7:30-8:45

WhereThe Women’s Building, 3543 18th St, SF

Cost: Registration is required for this event. We welcome everyone to this event regardless of ability to pay. This event and class is a special Polis “Pay What You Can” evening. Suggested class fee: $15 (but we welcome those who can contribute more to cover the costs of the session).

Come for the book talk and stay for the seminar discussion!

Light refreshments, including wine, will be served at this event. 

Eventbrite - An Evening With Dr. Kathleen Jones on Hannah Arendt


 Drinkers and Great Thinkers Series: September 2014

Go Down, Moses- Selected Short Stories of William Faulkner

Together we will read a selection of short stories from this classic collection by William Faulkner. Through our discussion of Faulkner’s stories we will discuss race relations in the US, the impact of history on our identity and personal decision making, and what it means to be a human in the modern world.

Go Down, Moses is composed of seven interrelated stories, all of them set in Faulkner’s mythic Yoknapatawpha County. From a variety of perspectives, Faulkner examines the complex, changing relationships between blacks and whites, between man and nature, weaving a cohesive novel rich in implication and insight.- Goodreads Review

This class will be paired with a selection of craft beers from the American South in honor of Faulkner’s deep roots in the Southern U.S.

Instructor:Mary Finn

When: Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

Time: 7:00-8:30 PMthe-precint-beer-taster

WhereThe Women’s Building, 3543 18th St, SF


Eventbrite - Drinkers and Great Thinkers Sept. 2014: Short Stories of William Faulkner + Southern Craft Beers


 booksSF-Bound Course Series: The Poetics of Place: John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row

How does the past of a place interact with the present?

The Nobel prize winning author John Steinbeck describes the sardine-packing area of Monterey as a “poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream” in his 1945 novella “Cannery Row“. Although the last sardine canning factory on Ocean View Avenue shuttered its windows in 1973, the waterfront street in Monterey has been officially renamed Cannery Row in honor of Steinbeck’s oeuvre. Former factories have been transformed into hotels and restaurants, and the street now bustles with commercial activity.

In this SF-Bound Polis course, we will explore together the essential questions of location and collective memory with the help of Steinbeck’s impeccable work. How is it possible to understand the transformation of Cannery Row from an industrial eyesore to a popular tourist attraction? How is this transformation echoed in today’s San Francisco and the larger Bay Area? How do we discuss today the class tensions Steinbeck so artfully captured fifty years ago? Does the past remain imbedded in the historical memory of a place?

Join us as we discuss one of Steinbeck’s most famous works and sip on California craft ales and sodas.

This course will contain an optional field trip to Monterey to see Cannery Row with our own eyes. Details will provide in class.

Instructor: Julie Draskoczy

When: Wednesday Oct. 22, 2014

Time: 7:00-8:30 PM

WhereThe Women’s Building, 3543 18th St, SF

Eventbrite - SF Bound Course Series: John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row


brainHuman Anatomy for the Grown-Up

Beer and Brains!!

This is a two session class.

Join us for this course as we explore the relationships between the extraordinary 3 pound organ, the human brain, the mind and memory.

We will examine and dissect the organ while also discussing the concept of how we develop a sense of self and time by forming memories.  What is a memory?  Where is it physically, if anywhere, in the organ?  Is a human ‘self’ just a compilation of memories, no more than jumble of neuron firings in distinct locations?   We will read excerpts from Marcel Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” to inform our discussion.

Appropriate beer pairings will be available but, after we’ve dissected!

Instructor:Carrie Maslow

When: Wednesday’s  January 15th & 22nd

Time: 7:00-8:30 PMthe-precint-beer-taster

WhereThe Women’s Building, 3543 18th St, SF

Eventbrite - Anatomy for the Grown Up: Brain Dissection! (and a little philosophy and beer)


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