Press Release


Illinois Humanities Council hosts Velosophie , a cycling, reading, and discussion seminar through Northern Illinois June 17-23.

CHICAGO—Bicyclists will exercise both body and mind when they take part in the Illinois Humanities Council’s Velosophie program June 17-23. The week-long reading and discussion program combines the physical activity of biking through the Northern Illinois countryside with reflections on the meaning and significance of “The Journey.”

Through nightly conversations moderated by trained facilitators, Velosophie participants will discuss readings focused on the concept of “The Journey.” Selected works include Cormac McCarthy’s The Road; E.B. White’s Once More to the Lake; James Baldwin’s Stranger in the Village; Flannery O’Connor’s The Life You Save May Be Your Own;Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Reveries of a Solitary Walker, and Thomas Merton’s Thoughts in Solitude.

Participants will address such questions as: How does the journey begin? Do we choose the journey or does the journey choose us? How do we know when the journey has ended, and perhaps more importantly, how do we come back?

Derived from the Latin velo (“swift”) and the Greek sophia (“wisdom”), Velosophie is an innovative, mobile humanities seminar experience exploring the connections between an active body and an engaged mind in an outdoor setting. The program is offered through a partnership between the Illinois Humanities Council and the League of Illinois Bicyclists and accompanies the Grand Illinois Trail and Parks Ride 2007 along Northern Illinois trails near the Fox, Illinois, and Rock Rivers.

Discussions will be moderated by Adam Davis and Mark Rockwell. Adam Davis received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, his M.A. from Boston College, and his B.A. from Kenyon College. 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 has an M.Ed. in Educational Policy Studies from Loyola and a B.A. in Theology from Moody Bible Institute, and has conducted bicycle tours through Western Europe, Australia, and North America. For more information on participating in Velosophie, contact the Illinois Humanities Council at, send an e-mail to, or call 312.422.5580.

The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.


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