Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’: A Guided Seminar Series For Teachers

Event details

  • Thursday | July 30, 2020 to Thursday | August 20, 2020
  • 7:30 pm

Join for a guided virtual seminar series on Beloved, Toni Morrison’s classic of American literature.

In his book, Why Literature Matters, Glenn Arbery writes that “literature matters because nothing can better approach the form…of life in its felt reality, as it is most deeply experienced, with an intelligence that increases in power the more it explores the most unbearable dimensions of joy and suffering.”

It is to gain a deeper sense of the joy and suffering of human life as lived through the African American experience that we invite teachers from Catholic schools to join us for a virtual seminar series on Toni Morrison’s great work of literature, Beloved. We also hope that this seminar will encourage teachers in their vocations as they offer students transformational encounters with great literature.

No prior experience with Morrison’s work is required, and we invite teachers from across disciplines to participate in the transformational power of literature.

Join expert teacher Ms. Onyema Nweze as she leads the class through a close reading examining the apotropaic (resistance of the tragic self) as illustrated in Morrison’s contemporary classic.


Because of our generous supporters, we are pleased to offer this important and timely seminar for free.

BONUS: Refer two teachers and receive a complimentary book on Catholic thought and culture from the Portsmouth Institute! Referred registrants must enter your name on registration page for you to be eligible. 


In 1988, Toni Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved, a novel which in 2006 was selected as “the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years. With remarkable speed, Beloved, less than 20 years after its publication, became a staple of the college literary curriculum, which is to say a classic,” according to critic A.O. Scott. Today, over 30 years later, Beloved continues to be read and struggled with, not only by traditional students but also by serious readers of diverse backgrounds and experience. Given our history, it is a difficult book to confront but more difficult to understand American culture without it. Join Ms. Onyema Nweze as she leads the class through a close reading examining the apotropaic (resistance of the tragic self) as illustrated in Morrison’s contemporary classic.

A total of four seminars will take place each Thursday from July 30 to August 20 at 7:30-9:00pm ET. All seminars will take place over ZOOM. ZOOM meeting information will be emailed to you upon registration. Registration is free to teachers.

We are proud to offer this guided seminar led by a master teacher of Morrison’s work. We look forward to exploring with you.


July 30Beloved, Epilogue and First 100 pages (Discussion of Memory: A story to pass on)

August 6Beloved, pp. 101-186

August 13Beloved, pp. 187-256

August 20Beloved, pp. 257- Epilogue

Buy Beloved Online: Bookshop | Amazon

Text: Vintage International, ISBN 1-4000-3341-1

Supplemental Essays:

Toni Morrison, “Memory, Creation, and Writing” (1984)

Louise Cowan, “Beloved and the Transforming Power of the Word” (1993)

Larry Allums, “Beloved: Remembering the Past” (1993)

Genre Wheel


Onyema Nweze worked as a public-school educator for over 20 years. In 2011, she earned a Master’s degree in Humanities from The University of Dallas. A 2006 and 2007 alumnus of The Sue Rose Summer Teacher’s Institute, Onyema now serves as an educational consultant for the Cowan Center™. She worked in the Dallas ISD for nineteen years, where she served as a high school English teacher, district instructional coach, and assistant principal.

Onyema most recently worked as the Instructional Coach for After School All Stars of North Texas and is currently attending Nova Southeastern University, pursuing a doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Onyema lives in Mansfield, Texas and is a proud mother of her son, Gabriel.