Philosophy Psychology in Everyday Life Reading Group

The Evolution of a Collaborative Reading Community

My dual project as a YouTuber and a reading group organizer addresses the need for reflective spaces of dialogue, away from cynicism, away from performance-oriented or outcome-based cultures I encountered within and outside academia.

Bridging the solitary, public YouTube presence with a communal, private reading group has its own challenges, but I occasionally attempt to bridge these, knowing that what I say cannot substitute for actually experiencing what it’s like to be in the group.

Since 2020, along with my YouTube channel, I have hosted this collaborative space for engaging with texts and sharing perspectives. What sets this space apart, I think, is a genuine enthusiasm shared among the participants, and an appreciation for the dialogical process. We are not that concerned with technical or ‘disciplinary’ questions, especially because those questions don’t resonate with what goes on outside their narrow fields of ‘disciplined knowledge.’

We’re also mindful of including diverse viewpoints in the discussions, including the diversity reflected in a singular life. Our reading group thrives on differences, which is why it has appealed to those who value connecting texts with their experiences outside of the text. This, in fact, sheds light on a second meaning for the word ‘dialogue’ within our group, which refers to the generative contact between lived realities and the material we find in the texts.

The participatory nature of our discussions is often under-appreciated from the outsiders’ perspective, which is why participants often express surprise at how deeply conversational our sessions are, and how we, indeed, think together.

Our group has evolved with the contributions of new members and the lessons learned about pacing ourselves and finding suitable texts. We have also recently begun recording the sessions to improve continuity and accessibility.

Looking forward, we might further expand our public engagement and find new expressions what goes on within the conversations. This could include collaborative, written publications. At its heart, however, the group will continue to prioritize reflection, thoughtful lingering, and dialogue.

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Learn more about the group here or join us for a month through Patreon.

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