Press Release


Illinois Humanities Council hosts Velosophie, a weeklong biking, reading, and discussion seminar June 11-17 through western Illinois.

CHICAGO—From June 11 through June 17, 35 Illinoisans will exercise both body and mind by participating in the Illinois Humanities Council’s Velosophie program—a weeklong reading and discussion program designed to complement the physical activity of biking with reflection on the meaning and significance of that activity. Through moderated, nightly conversation, participants in Velosophie have the opportunity to reflect upon thematic readings as they pertain to the athlete’s experience of being in motion. This year’s readings focus on “Pleasure and Pain” and include Ernest Hemingway‘s The Old Man and the Sea, Albert CamusThe Myth of Sisyphus, Franz Kafka‘s A Hunger Artist, and Jack Londons Love of Life.

Derived from the Latin velo- and the Greek sophia – meaning, in turn, “swift” and “wisdom” – Velosophie is an innovative, mobile, humanities seminar experience that explores the connections between an active body and an engaged mind. Velosophie is currently offered through a partnership between the IHC and the League of Illinois Bicyclists and accompanies the Grand Illinois Trail and Parks Ride 2006 which takes place from June 11 through June 17 through western Illinois and four days on Mississippi River trails.

Discussions will be facilitated by Adam Davis and Mark Rockwell. Adam Davis, also the lead facilitator and coordinator of the Illinois Humanities Council’s Justice Talking, a social-justice oriented seminar series for AmeriCorps volunteers, is the Executive Director of Camp of Dreams, a non-profit organization providing year-round programming for underserved 9-15 year olds in Chicago and a Research Associate with the Project on Civic Reflection. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (2003), his M.A. from Boston College (1996), and his B.A. from Kenyon College (1993). He has spent several years as a lecturer in political philosophy at the University of Chicago and as a backcountry trail crew leader for the United States Forest Service.

Mark Rockwell is a part-time lecturer in the Philosophy Department and is completing a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations at Loyola University Chicago. He works as Facilities Manager for Loyola’s Cudahy Library, holds an M.Ed in Educational Policy Studies (Loyola, 1999), and a B.A. in Theology (Moody, 1991). Mark has conducted and led several self-contained bicycle tours of Western Europe, Australia, and various regions in North America.

For more information about the Illinois Humanities Council, please visit, send an email to, or call 312.422.5580.

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.


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