If one thinks, as I do, about Shimerians as both a literal genus (that is, a group of people defined as having an institutional attachment to Shimer College at one or more moments of their lives) as well as a figuratve genus (that is, a person or persons that seem sympatico or that share some important feature or features with Shimer and its ethos and values), then one can always ask: is X a Shimerian?
One might ask it of many authors and characters from novels. for example:
1. Are the members of the Inklings all Shimerians? Who are they? Well, you will know the names J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis but may not recognize all the others from this famous group of early twentieth century authors. (Click here for wikipedia on the subject or here for a somewhat more reputable site.)
So: Is Tolkein a Shimerian? Perhaps yes -- if making up languages seems Shimerian -- or battles of good and evil or quests. Is C.S. Lewis? Perhaps less so in Mere Christianity and more so in the Narnia tales? Or does one have to have all one's writings seem Shimerian to qualify?
2. What about women authors? I asked about Madeleine L'Engel previously, but what about, say, J. K. Rowling? No clue who she is? Where have you been in recent decades?
Arguments for and against? Is Hogwarts really an imitation of Shimer? If so, who are the Hufflepuffs?
3. What about characters in books? It seems a tad too easy to inquire about Dr. Who or Sherlock Holmes, and even Captain Kirk seems a tad easy. So let me ask this: are any of the following Shimerians:
a. Lieutenant Uhura
b. Irene Adler
d. Harriet Vane
I think all are. No clue who they are? Hmmm. Research?
4. Finally, I have the following very serious question: what about Oscar Wilde? I think yes. Do you?