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For a year, we've held over 100 pop-up classes with top NYC professors. Now we're sharing their writing in a pocket-sized notebook.
For a year, we've held over 100 pop-up classes with top NYC professors. Now we're sharing their writing in a pocket-sized notebook.
61 backers pledged $1,879 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Created by Dylan Smith
Created by Dylan Smith

Think Olio’s core belief is that education should be an ongoing, lifelong endeavor; no one should ever want their education to end and, in this way, OlioNote is an extension of this belief. For this inaugural issue, we have curated five essays and a play, written by six of our favorite professors, in an attempt to make academic writing more accessible. 

In the same way Think Olio has made university-level lectures as enjoyable as a night at the movies, OlioNote will make academic essays more accessible by delivering them in a pocket-sized, 32 page notebook that you can enjoy on the train or with a beer. 

We believe that reading scholarly writing should be as fun and entertaining as it is meaningful and enlightening. This is why we’ve made OlioNote and this is why we are asking for your support.

We originally planned to fund this journal through a team of New York based sponsors, but we've since decided that, because Think Olio has been built around (and by) a community of learners, it is important to reach out to the community for support with this new project. You all have helped create Think Olio, and we want you to be able to take part in creating OlioNote, too. 

Created by Dylan Smith
Created by Dylan Smith

Design Philosophy

You’ll notice that the aesthetic of this journal is different from your typical scholastic publication. Any academic journal we’ve read feels like the typical university classroom: infected by the despotic fluorescent lighting of white pages and black text. Just as Think Olio has rid learning of these nightmarish paradigms by holding classes in bars and coffee shops, OlioNote has rejuvenated the experience of reading an academic text by placing a huge emphasis on design.

Not only are we publishing the OlioNote as a beautiful, compact 3.5 x 5 inch notebook (the size of a Fieldnote or a Moleskine), but each article will be accompanied by a piece of art, created by our co-editor and designer, Dylan Smith. And, in addition, there will be plenty of room to jot down your own thoughts with five lined pages in the back.

An example of a notebook printed by Scout Books and designed by Marmoset, a music agency out of Portland.
An example of a notebook printed by Scout Books and designed by Marmoset, a music agency out of Portland.

Content

The contributed content in this first issue will set a precedent for all that follow. We have five truly brilliant thinkers who have given us previously written excerpts from both unpublished and published manuscripts, as well as some content written specifically for this journal. Here is a list of our contributors and the titles that will be featured in this issue: 

  • Republicans, U.S. Inequality and the Military-Industrial Complex, By Michael Brenes: Michael Brenes has been teaching courses in American history at Hunter College, CUNY for six years. He is currently working on a book manuscript entitled For Right and Might: The Cold War, Economic Inequality, and the Remaking of American Democracy.
  • Camus and the Tragedy of Absurdism, By Patricia KimPatricia Kim received her MFA from Columbia University and has been teaching College Composition and Literature classes at Baruch College while completing a novel. 
  • An excerpt from Heartbreak, a play by Ariel Stess: Ariel Stess is a Brooklyn-based playwright and director originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She teaches at Brooklyn College and NYU.
  • Into the Abyss, by Charles A. Riley II: Charles Riley II, PhD, is an arts journalist, curator and professor at the CUNY. He is the author of thirty-one books on art, architecture and public policy. Upcoming books include Echoes of the Jazz Age and Sacred Sister (in collaboration with Robert Wilson).
  • Slavery and Death in American History, by Jamie Warren: Jamie Warren has a PhD in American History from Indiana University, and she is an Assistant Professor at BMCC-CUNY where she teaches American history, the history of women and gender and women’s studies. Her research focuses on slavery in the antebellum South with a particular focus on death, the body and the philosophy of history.
  • An excerpt from the upcoming book If Oscar Wilde Ate People: Aestheticism, Evil, Hannibal, by Geoff Klock: Geoff Klock has a doctorate from Oxford and is an associate professor at BMCC-CUNY, where he teaches composition, film and British Literature. He is the author of three books: two about comic books and one about poetry. His new book will be about Hannibal Lector.

Your Support

We have partnered with an incredible printing company based out of Portland, Oregon called Scout Books. Using 100% recycled paper and housing all production processes in their own warehouse, we feel that your donation will be supporting two separate small businesses. For a cost of $1,000, we will be able to work directly with Scout Books to bring OlioNote to life. Ultimately, this is what you're support will garner: the printing cost of our first issue. 

Created by Dylan Smith
Created by Dylan Smith

What is Think Olio?

The Best Professors. Handpicked Venues. Lifelong learners.

Think Olio was created for those who want to keep learning. With our salon-style classes, taught by college professors, we’ve cut the excess out of education - the costs, the tests, the grades and the people who don’t really want to be there.

Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding your worldview. It is about enhancing our awareness of humanity and nurturing our appreciation for the humanities. Think Olio exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts and an embrace of new perspectives.

Founded by CUNY students Chris Zumtobel and David Kurfirst in March 2015 with a class in their living room, Think Olio has now held over 100 classes at more than 20 locations. These classes are open to all curious people, regardless of their educational background. With simple roots, Think Olio is dedicated to bringing the best professors into communities all over the world.

Chris Kelley teaching "It's Funny Because It's True: Buddhist Realism & The Dark Comedy of Louis CK"
Chris Kelley teaching "It's Funny Because It's True: Buddhist Realism & The Dark Comedy of Louis CK"

 

Lev Moscow teaching on the 2008 financial crisis at a coworking studio in Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Lev Moscow teaching on the 2008 financial crisis at a coworking studio in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

 

Monica Marino teaching an Olio entitled "Senses of Sight" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Monica Marino teaching an Olio entitled "Senses of Sight" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A special thanks to Christiana Lopez for creating this campaign's video. To see more work by Christiana, visit her website: www.awnamakesthings.com 

Risks and challenges

We've accomplished a great deal over the last year, but we've never published a magazine. Things can always go wrong when you're bringing something to life, but we are working with experienced designers and a top printing company, Scout Books, in Portland to make this little notebook a reality.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A printed copy of OlioNote

    Get a pocket-sized OlioNote shipped to your door along with a handwritten note of thanks for helping us liberate the writing of New York's top professors.

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    EARLYBIRD: OlioNote & Invite to Launch

    Your very own OlioNote and an invite to our launch party on July 15 in a penthouse studio in Times Square! At the launch we will have three of our favorite professors teaching on the writing they have included in the journal.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    OlioNote & Invite to Launch

    Your very own OlioNote and an invite to our launch party on July 15 in a penthouse studio in Times Square! At the launch we will have three of our favorite professors teaching on the writing they have included in the journal.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Two Tickets to any Think Olio Class

    Bring a friend or just come solo to a couple of our classes over the summer. And of course, you'll receive your very own OlioNote at the class and an invitation to the Launch Party.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Downloadable Autodidact Pack

    This is for those who love to learn but live too far to come to an Olio (for now). Some of our best professors have compiled a simple guide for where to begin various topics. From 'Where to start with Foucault' to 'How to watch David Lynch,' our teachers are passing their expertise and years of research on to you.

    You will also receive your own OlioNote as a thank you for backing the campaign.

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    Think Olio Unlimited Month Pass

    Pick a month, either July or August, for as many classes as you can handle. And of course, your very own OlioNote and access to the Launch Party.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Think Olio Unlimited Summer Pass

    For the most curious minds! Come to as many classes as your brain can handle from July 1 to Aug 31. And of course, your very own OlioNote and an invitation to our Times Square Launch Party on July 15.

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    Become a supporter of OlioNote

    Show your support for lifelong learning by being a part-sponsor of the publication. We will include a handwritten thank you letter, a personal note of thanks inside the first issue of OlioNote and all other rewards presented on this page.

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Funding period

- (22 days)