Submitted Proposals (2013-2014)

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Proposal # Date Panel Title Paper Title
Proposal # 114 2014-01-12 Hamlet in word and deed: inner dialectic, public discourse, and the call to action Hamlet, public and private
Proposal # 169 2014-01-09 Reflections from the Dwellings of the Dead Thinking Dead
Proposal # 171 2014-01-08 "It was a Pleasure to Burn": Banter and Bigotry in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451
Proposal # 168 2014-01-07 Bridging the Gap Between Eighteenth-Century British Laboring-Class Verse and Our Students' World Via Service-Learning
Proposal # 166 2014-01-06 Contemporary Fiction and Core Texts: mark Helprin's Freddy and Fredericka
Proposal # 165 2014-01-06 Spencer and Mill: Competing Views on the Utility of Education
Proposal # 164 2014-01-06 The Relevance of Buddhist Texts to Contemporary Concerns
Proposal # 163 2014-01-06 Apophaticism and The White Whale: How Defending Liberal Arts to the System is Going About it All Wrong
Proposal # 162 2014-01-04 The Synthetic Essay, Revisted: Ecclesiastes, Iphigenia, Showings and Public Service Journalism
Proposal # 160 2014-01-04 Ecology, Cosmology: Paradigm Shifts
Proposal # 158 2014-01-04 Plato: MOOC visionary?
Proposal # 157 2014-01-03 When Religion Isn't: Ecclesiastes and the Challenge of the Hebrew Bible
Proposal # 156 2014-01-03 The Center of the Circle of Knowledge in John Henry Newman's
Proposal # 155 2014-01-03 Federalist 37 and the Challenges of Founding
Proposal # 154 2014-01-03 Dimensions of the African Diaspora in Claude McKays Banjo
Proposal # 153 2014-01-03 Wise, Honorable, and Cultivated St. Augustine as a Guide to Honorable Classroom Discussion of Controversial Topics
Proposal # 151 2014-01-03 Film and the Core Curriculum: Vertigo as a Modern Adaptation of Myth
Proposal # 150 2014-01-03 Candides Garden or Social Reform with Nicholas Wisdom: Two Enlightenment Approaches to Engaging the World
Proposal # 147 2014-01-02 2013 Frankenstein: Society vs. Civility
Proposal # 146 2014-01-02 What Does an Old English Epic and a Video Game Have in Common?
Proposal # 145 2014-01-02 Philosophy, Education, and Citizenship Socratic Philanthropy in Plato's Euthyphro
Proposal # 143 2014-01-01 Dante's Vision Of Justice in the Paradiso
Proposal # 142 2014-01-01 The Role of Play in Culture and Society
Proposal # 141 2014-01-01 The Case for Depth in Humanistic Education, According to Martin Buber
Proposal # 140 2014-01-01 Enchantment, Porous Selves, and Reflection: Charles Taylor and Postmodernity's Core Texts
Proposal # 139 2014-01-01 "The gods are just": Edgar's Prudence
Proposal # 138 2014-01-01 Great Books in the World of Creative Students
Proposal # 137 2014-01-01 Teaching Souls of Black Folk in the Age of Obama
Proposal # 136 2013-12-31 "Right Collides with Right": Conflict in the Oresteia
Proposal # 134 2013-12-31 Teaching Yeats's "In Memory of Major Robert Gregory"
Proposal # 132 2013-12-31 Mill & and the Tyranny of Social Media
Proposal # 131 2013-12-31 The "End of History" and the "Postmodern Condition": Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit as a Meta-core Text
Proposal # 130 2013-12-31 Classics in the Core: How Virgil's Aenied Makes All the Difference
Proposal # 129 2013-12-31 Pedagogical Dimensions of Boethius's 'Consolation of Philosophy'
Proposal # 128 2013-12-31 Unteachable Core Texts Teaching *War and Peace*
Proposal # 127 2013-12-31 The Seriosness of Not Taking Ourselves Too Seriously
Proposal # 126 2013-12-31 Frederick Jackson Turners The Frontier in American History: A Framework for Hollywoods Racist Western Genre
Proposal # 125 2013-12-31 The Wealth of Nations: Adam Smith in Two 21st-Century Novels
Proposal # 124 2013-12-31 Philosophy, Education and Citizenship The Question of Virtue and Socratic Education: Using Platos Alcibiades 1 to Illuminate the Meno
Proposal # 123 2013-12-31 Rhetoric as a Key Component of Core Texts?
Proposal # 122 2013-12-31 Philosophy, Education, and Citizenship
Proposal # 121 2013-12-31 Philosophy, Education and Citizenship The Philo-Philosopher and the City: Glaucon and Cleitophon in Platos Republic
Proposal # 120 2013-12-31 "Crossing the Border between Civilization and Wilderness: White versus Indian Opposition in The Last of the Mohicans."
Proposal # 119 2013-12-31 Seeking Religious Value in Core Texts
Proposal # 118 2013-12-31 Difference and Discoveries: Kalidasa's "Sakuntala" as Liberal Arts Core text
Proposal # 117 2013-12-31 17th Century Pietism and Wilderness: A Walk on the Wild Side
Proposal # 116 2013-12-31 On Liberty's Cure for Today's Polarized Minds
Proposal # 115 2013-12-31 Hamlet in Word and Deed: Inner Dialectic, Public Discourse, and the Call to Action Hamlets 'Madness': Feigned Inconsistency and the Dialectical Struggle Through Real Inconsistencies
Proposal # 113 2013-12-31 The Soul and Skills of Democracy: Core texts and Democratic Governance Preserving Political Institutions: Abraham Lincolns Lyceum Address and the Perils of Democracy
Proposal # 112 2013-12-30 The Soul Alive to Itself: Plato and the Ethics of Ravishment
Proposal # 111 2013-12-30 The Paradoxes of Hypocrisy in Paradise Lost
Proposal # 110 2013-12-30 Thoreau and the Anti-Politics of Resistance
Proposal # 109 2013-12-30 Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Curious Intersection between the Theological and Physical Sciences
Proposal # 108 2013-12-30 Christianity and the Secular in Melvilles Billy Budd, Sailor
Proposal # 107 2013-12-30 Hrothgar meets Iseeo: Parallels between Leadership Ideals in Beowulf and the Kiowa Oral Tradition
Proposal # 106 2013-12-30 Using Dennetts Conceptualization of Possibility to Bridge Classical and Modern Darwinism
Proposal # 105 2013-12-30 Why should students in the 21st Century read Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince?
Proposal # 104 2013-12-30 On the purposes of scientific exploration
Proposal # 103 2013-12-30 Unteachable Core Texts tba
Proposal # 102 2013-12-30 Cross-disciplinary Pedagogy: On Formalizing Analogies
Proposal # 80 2013-12-30 The Virtue of Difficulty
Proposal # 69 2013-12-30 Making a Difference: The Core Text Student and Eliot's "The Waste Land"
Proposal # 59 2013-12-30 'Eros' in Plato's Symposium
Proposal # 101 2013-12-29 Being (un)comfortable in the Core: How some students responded to fantasy, reality and the chivalrous in Don Quixote.
Proposal # 100 2013-12-29 The Uselessness of the Liberal Arts: Philosophers in some Dialogues of Plato
Proposal # 99 2013-12-29 Boethius' Career Advice
Proposal # 98 2013-12-29 Who Resurrected Homer?
Proposal # 91 2013-12-29 Ecological Holism and Environmental Ethics
Proposal # 97 2013-12-28 Margaret Walkers For My People (1937) as African American Mini-Epic
Proposal # 96 2013-12-28 Awkward Classics in Our Students World: Negotiating Texts and Contexts with an Apprehensive, Skeptical Generation Just What Makes This a Great American Novel?: Skeptical Students Imagining the World of Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie
Proposal # 95 2013-12-28 Can Twenty-First-Century Students Enter Homers World? Teaching the Iliad in the Core Curriculum.
Proposal # 94 2013-12-28 tba
Proposal # 92 2013-12-27 Eliciting Perplexity
Proposal # 90 2013-12-27 Thinking about Grand Strategy in Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America
Proposal # 89 2013-12-27 Awkward Classics in Our Students World: Negotiating Texts and Contexts with an Apprehensive, Skeptical Generation When You Read Their Writings: Disrupting Shelleys Frankenstein
Proposal # 88 2013-12-27 The Problem of Justice in Shakespeare's Coriolanus
Proposal # 87 2013-12-26 American Constitution Religion in the American Polity: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?
Proposal # 86 2013-12-26 Visual and Verbal Primary Texts
Proposal # 85 2013-12-26 Deeming Some Island: Milton on Hobbes' Leviathan
Proposal # 84 2013-12-26 The Analysis on the Connotation of Liberal Education as Curriculum theory in Higher Institutions
Proposal # 83 2013-12-24 No damn cat, no damn cradle: Kurt Vonneguts critique of nihilism
Proposal # 82 2013-12-24 The Crying of Lot 49 and the Lot of Humankind
Proposal # 81 2013-12-24 Challenges in addressing students' experience of 'estrangement'
Proposal # 79 2013-12-23 Practicing Being Present: Responses to the Suffering of Others in Prometheus Bound and the Book of Job
Proposal # 78 2013-12-23 Size Does Matter: Mr. Hyde in R.L. Stevensons Novella
Proposal # 77 2013-12-23 Liberal Learning in the Marketplace: Thinking About Liberal Education With Adam Smith
Proposal # 76 2013-12-22 Contracts Between Enemies: On Bonds and The Merchant of Venice
Proposal # 75 2013-12-22 Dantes Imagination: Between Idolatry and Iconoclasm.
Proposal # 74 2013-12-21 Imagination, the Core of the Core Texts Horses, Figures of the Imagination in the Iliad
Proposal # 73 2013-12-21 Earth, Air, Fire and Water: philosophers and the biosphere
Proposal # 72 2013-12-20 Friendship in Aristotles Ethics and in the Lives of Todays Students
Proposal # 68 2013-12-20 How Liberal Education and Technical Education Are Connected
Proposal # 67 2013-12-19 How to Read Don Quijote as a Great Book about the Soul and Politics: First Read Apuleiuss The Golden Ass and Platos The Republic
Proposal # 65 2013-12-19 From Beijing to Birmingham: Encountering Core Texts in a Multicultural Classroom
Proposal # 61 2013-12-18 Dante Questions His World and Ours
Proposal # 60 2013-12-18 Facing Moral Timidity: GREAT EXPECTATIONS and Preparing for the Days and Years Ahead
Proposal # 53 2013-12-11 Cultural Devastation and Radical Hope
Proposal # 52 2013-12-11 Why Nerds Rule The World: What Machiavelli Can Teach Us As Students of the Liberal Arts
Proposal # 51 2013-12-11 Grace and Gracelessness in The Republic of Plato
Proposal # 50 2013-12-11 The Prince in Real Life
Proposal # 49 2013-12-11 The Liberal Paradox: Morality and Law in John Lockes Letter Concerning Toleration
Proposal # 48 2013-12-09 Keep Calm and Carry On: Marcus Aurelius Ancient Cures for Modern Ailments
Proposal # 47 2013-12-09 A 12th Century Saint, a Renaissance Shrine and a 21st Century Pope: imitatio Christi in the Medieval, Renaissance and Modern worlds.
Proposal # 46 2013-12-08 Milton and Hebrew Citizenship
Proposal # 45 2013-12-07 The Death of Death
Proposal # 44 2013-12-07 An Experiment in Aristotelian Character Shaping
Proposal # 43 2013-12-06 Cosmopolitan Conscience of the World: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Proposal # 42 2013-12-05 The Art of Leadership in Xenophons The Anabasis of Cyrus
Proposal # 41 2013-12-05 The Value of Political Philosophy in Preparing Students in the Field of International Relations & Diplomacy
Proposal # 40 2013-12-04 Odysseus and Penelope on Work/Life Balance
Proposal # 39 2013-11-29 Holy Shit: Divine Comedy & High Fashion
Proposal # 38 2013-11-21 By No Means Improvd: Franklins Prodigal Passage to London and Back in the Autobiography.
Proposal # 36 2013-11-18 Receiving Their Inheritance
Proposal # 35 2013-11-17 Dickens, Rubrics, and the Students of Assessment
Proposal # 34 2013-11-17 Is Gatsby an Oxford Man?
Proposal # 22 2013-11-14 Listening in and to Time with Kenko's Essays in Idleness
Proposal # 32 2013-11-13 Words and Desire
Proposal # 31 2013-11-10 The Significance of a Smile: Understanding a Deeper Meaning of Dante's Divine Comedy
Proposal # 30 2013-11-07 Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and August Wilson: "The Color Line": African American Life from Post-Reconstruction through the Twentieth Century in History and Literature Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois: Strategies of Race in Post-Reconstruction America
Proposal # 29 2013-11-07 Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and August Wilson: "The Color Line": African American Life from Post-Reconstruction through the Twentieth Century in History and Literature Playwright August Wilsons Pittsburgh Cycle: Ten Plays Chronicle African American Culture and Racism in the U.S.
Proposal # 27 2013-11-07 Reshaping Students' Perception about Marriage, Women and Family: Teaching Core Texts that Have Affected Arab Intellectual Discourse
Proposal # 28 2013-11-04 Tribal Rule
Proposal # 25 2013-10-16 The Political Animal? Teaching Aristotles Politics to Todays Students
Proposal # 24 2013-10-16 How to Read Don Quijote as a Great Book about the Soul and Politics: First Read Apuleiuss The Golden Ass and Platos The Republic
Proposal # 23 2013-10-16 On Facilitating the Tao
Proposal # 19 2013-10-11 The Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns in Gulliver's Travels
Proposal # 18 2013-10-07 Core Texts: Inter-Disciplinary and Disciplinary Specific
Proposal # 7 2013-10-07 Reading both Aristotle and MacIntyre in Gadamerian Perspective
Proposal # 16 2013-10-02 Law, Justice, and the Political Community in St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae
Proposal # 15 2013-09-30 Christian Teaching: Jesus and/or Socrates?
Proposal # 14 2013-09-30 A modern divine comedy?
Proposal # 13 2013-09-30 master/slave: teacher/student
Proposal # 11 2013-09-30 The Failure of Justice in Camus's The Stranger and Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Proposal # 8 2013-09-30 Core Texts and the Movies The Cooperative Relationship of Consumer and Producer in Art
Proposal # 10 2013-09-17 Core Text and the Movies Winston Churchill and the Movies
Proposal # 1 2013-09-05
Proposal # 3 2013-09-04 Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer?: Preparing our children for the professions
 

Proposal Number: 114
Date: 2014-01-12
Paper Title: Hamlet, public and private
Core Text:
Shakespeare, Hamlet; Heidegger, Being and Time
Abstract:
After avenging his fathers murder, Hamlet dies enjoining his friend Horatio to recount the story of his doom and rescue his wounded name from the calumny of ignorant opinion. But it will thus fall to another to make sense of the deeds left behind and to give public shape to a life so much lived in the inner chambers of the heart. In effect, Hamlet the man so wary of appearances, and yet so practiced in their manipulation wills himself to be restaged for the audience of this harsh world. Yet what does Shakespeare intend by this denouement? This paper will examine the intersection between inner life and outward appearances in the tragedy of Hamlet, with an eye toward a dialogue with Heideggers claims about language, the They, and existential authenticity.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Hamlet in word and deed: inner dialectic, public discourse, and the call to action
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Shakespeare's Hamlet is without doubt one of the veritable touchstones of the western dramatic tradition, and this perhaps because of the very fact that it is an immensely powerful expression of the human condition that constantly throws up new riddles about what exactly it has to say about that condition. What other play has motivated so many and so many very different interpretations, but nevertheless surprises us each time we re-enter its world and find ourselves reflected in its profound mirror? Our own panel explores an aspect of the play that has certainly never failed to arouse question: the insistent tensions within Hamlet - both the play itself and the character of the young prince - with the aim to suggest lines of intersection between those tensions and philosophical conceptions whose origins are temporally far removed from Shakespeare's Elizabethan age, yet are thematically immediately proximate to the concerns plumbed by his acute dramatic insight. What indeed is the nature of Hamlet's inconsistency in character? How might we account for the interplay between the public and private expression of his life and his deeds? In sum, what does Shakespeare's gloomy Dane have to say to us today, in our present age and situation, about what it means to be a human being, living out our lives on our own contemporary version of the world stage? We propose engaging with these questions not merely for the pleasure of once more contemplating the richness of Shakespeare's world, but even more for the opportunity it gives us to consider new ways to demonstrate the value of entering that world for self-understanding and perhaps even a glimmer of hard-fought wisdom.


Proposal Number: 169
Date: 2014-01-09
Paper Title: Thinking Dead
Core Text:
Hamlet/Aeneid
Abstract:
Like many sons, both Hamlet and Aeneas have frank conversations with their fathers that direct them. The difference, of course, in these relationships is that the fathers of both characters speak to them from the dead. This paper will consider selections from Book VI of The Aeneid and scenes from Hamlet to consider not only the advice and directives from their dead fathers but also what their advice and directives say about Virgil's and Shakespeare's conceptions of life after death.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Reflections from the Dwellings of the Dead
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 171
Date: 2014-01-08
Paper Title: "It was a Pleasure to Burn": Banter and Bigotry in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451
Core Text:
Fahrenheit 451
Abstract:
Ray Bradbury"s famous novel, Fahrenheit 451 details the negative effects of censorship specifically in response to the political and social conflicts that remain as culturally relevant as ever in contemporary society. Advocates of gun control, national security, and LGBT, and religious rights all draw from principles found in Bradbury"s novel. My paper will detail how the novel creates learning opportunities for high school students to explore multiple perspectives of censorship, abstract attitudes regarding politics and religion, and emerging contemporary social attitudes.


Proposal Number: 168
Date: 2014-01-07
Paper Title: Bridging the Gap Between Eighteenth-Century British Laboring-Class Verse and Our Students' World Via Service-Learning
Core Text:
The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith
Abstract:
Because the frequently archaic language in eighteenth-century British laboring-class poetry often fails to resonate with my students, I designed a service-learning course to help them understand similarities between the culture within which such poetry flourished and conditions in contemporary rural Alabama less than one hundred miles from our campus. My students and I journeyed into Alabamas Black Belt, where the poverty rate hovers around forty percent, and they came to see how late eighteenth-century poets Oliver Goldsmith and George Crabbe polemicized about conditions like poverty, crime, and rural depopulation that resemble those of contemporary Alabama. My students knew little at first about the nature or causes of eighteenth-century rural poverty and failed to see through Goldsmith"s sentimental rendering of it in The Deserted Village, but they have been inundated all of their lives by Gone With the Wind and other idealizations of agrarian Southern culture. Their illusions dissipated quickly under the combined force of Crabbe"s almost brutal demythologizing of rural poverty in his poetic riposte to Goldsmith, The Village, and our service-learning activities in Head Start centers in the Black Belt. By linking their readings with their service-learning, the students enriched their skills as readers and interpreters of literature, gained practice in civic responsibility, and, most importantly in terms of the ACTC conference theme, gained perspective on current social issues via the literary culture of the eighteenth century.


Proposal Number: 166
Date: 2014-01-06
Paper Title: Contemporary Fiction and Core Texts: mark Helprin's Freddy and Fredericka
Core Text:
Mark Helprin's Freddy and Fredericka
Abstract:
For many undergraduates reading and interpreting classic core texts can be intimidating and prohibitive. Often genre, style, and translation prevent students from realizing the perennial nature and importance of the themes and questions classic texts present. Contemporary fiction that acknowledges its philosophic and literary ancestors while at the same time broaching perennial themes from a modern perspective can be a road in to more traditional texts while simultaneously framing the problems and questions that are prominent to students. In this paper, we will argue that Mark Helprin"s Freddy and Fredericka, with its allusions to Dante, Tocqueville, Hegel, Swift, and Twain (to name just a few) combined with its comic humour and clear vision of democracy provides a path for contemporary students to the western core while at the same time making a case for itself as part of that core.


Proposal Number: 165
Date: 2014-01-06
Paper Title: Spencer and Mill: Competing Views on the Utility of Education
Core Text:
Spencer's Education: Intellectual, Moral and Physical
Abstract:
Contemporaries John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer championed utilitarian views but did not share identical views on the shape and utility of education. Mill"s Inaugural Address at St Andrews is brought into conversation with Spencer"s Education: Intellectual, Moral and Physical in order to consider factors that resulted in radically different priorities and goals for education. These texts raise issues that continue in modern discussions about the utility of different forms of education, particularly of practical and liberal arts education.


Proposal Number: 164
Date: 2014-01-06
Paper Title: The Relevance of Buddhist Texts to Contemporary Concerns
Core Text:
Selected Discourses from the Middle Length Sayings
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 163
Date: 2014-01-06
Paper Title: Apophaticism and The White Whale: How Defending Liberal Arts to the System is Going About it All Wrong
Core Text:
Herman Melville's Moby Dick
Abstract:
Part of the problem with justifying the liberal arts to the modern world (be it scientific, corporate or technological) is that in so doing, we fail to translate standards from those quantifiable to those enduring and universal. Though traditionally used in the theological context, I argue that apophaticism applies also to literary analysis and philosophical conversation concerning Herman Melvilles Moby Dick, and to real life. I utilize the apophatic tradition articulated by modern philosopher and theologian Jean-Luc Marion and apply it to Herman Melvilles Moby Dick; just as the unnamable horror of the White Whale or the eternal truth value of Ishmaels tale evade clear articulation but are for this more intense, more true, so too are the successes of a liberal arts education deeper and more universal. The value and merits of a liberal arts education are not lesser than those of other, more classically quantifiable fields for their inability to be packaged and clearly presented; in fact, they are for this all the more valuable, for they are unbounded and capable of anything.


Proposal Number: 162
Date: 2014-01-04
Paper Title: The Synthetic Essay, Revisted: Ecclesiastes, Iphigenia, Showings and Public Service Journalism
Core Text:
Ecclesiastes, Euripidess Iphigenia, and Julian of Norwichs Showings
Abstract:
St. Olaf Colleges Great Conversation Program is a five-course sequence in the Western Humanities approached through great books and works of art and music. From a recent self-study, we have strong anecdotal evidence of the ways in which core texts influence alumni lives. The programs final assignmentin which students reflect upon a theme of great relevance to them through three or four selected textsprovides evidence of intellectual growth during the first two years of college. In this team presentation, director Karen Cherewatuk and alumnus Jason DeRose, NPR Western Bureau Chief and Senior Editor, revisit the Great Conversations synthetic essay, nearly two decades after Mr. DeRoses participation in the program. Jason will reflect on the texts that have influenced his work as a journalist and the surprising way that great books, in particular Ecclesiastes, Euripidess Iphigenia, and Julian of Norwichs Showings, have contributed to a life of worth and service.


Proposal Number: 160
Date: 2014-01-04
Paper Title: Ecology, Cosmology: Paradigm Shifts
Core Text:
Copernicus, Dedication of the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies
Abstract:
I will talk about how the primary texts we study can either cause us to be complicit in the status quo or help us analyze how predominant scientific discourse since Copernicus have blinded most people to the destruction of our planets ability to sustain life. It comes down to our understanding of time, as comprised of straight lines, of progress forward leaving the past behind, rather than of time as cycles and circles, the prevailing metaphor of the Middle Ages. It comes down to our atomistic understanding of matter as reductionist, and discrete. We believe we can pollute the environment without polluting our bodies, which are a part of it. We believe ourselves separate. We believe we can break apart and join molecules and DNA without consequences, that our bodies will be fooled by synthetic chemicals and organisms. This presentation is a prelude to a course that pairs contemporary books on environmental problems with the historical scientific texts that initiated the problem. Most environmental studies courses tend to focus on environmental texts per se, but I believe it would be more useful to construct a course around a primary question: how did we get into this mess, anyway?


Proposal Number: 158
Date: 2014-01-04
Paper Title: Plato: MOOC visionary?
Core Text:
Plato Republic
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 157
Date: 2014-01-03
Paper Title: When Religion Isn't: Ecclesiastes and the Challenge of the Hebrew Bible
Core Text:
Ecclesiastes / Hebrew Bible
Abstract:
Ecclesiastes (Heb: Qoheleth) presence in the canon of the Hebrew Bible let alone in many core curricula is a matter of considerable consternation. Biblical critics cannot agree on how or why Ecclesiastes was included in the first place, rabbinical commentary is vast and inconclusive, and literary variations proliferate. In this paper, I argue, however, that far from a simple and interesting, if idiosyncratic, historical dead-end, Ecclesiastes offers an opportunity for instructors and students alike to confront how and why they conceptualize the category of religion itself. Drawing on ideas and critiques from Talal Asad, Tomoko Masuzawa, and Leora Batnitzky, I contend Ecclesiastes and the Hebrew Bible more broadly presents an extraordinary staging ground for students to ask why certain texts seem religious and others do not, a critique that is invaluable not only for their readings of Biblical and theological texts but for how they come to understand the most seemingly secular texts as well.


Proposal Number: 156
Date: 2014-01-03
Paper Title: The Center of the Circle of Knowledge in John Henry Newman's
Core Text:
John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 155
Date: 2014-01-03
Paper Title: Federalist 37 and the Challenges of Founding
Core Text:
The Federalist Papers
Abstract:
This paper presents Federalist 37 as a succinct introduction to the both the challenges of the Constitutional Convention, and the overall strengths of the American Constitution. As such, Federalist 37 is also a fine teaching document on not only the history of the founding of the American Republic, but of the unavoidably difficult choices and compromises that must be made in constructing enduring and free republics. As one of the few papers on constitution making itself, Federalist 37 also serves as an excellent introduction to the whole of The Federalist.


Proposal Number: 154
Date: 2014-01-03
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Dimensions of the African Diaspora in Claude McKays Banjo
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
In the milieu of the Harlem Renaissance, reflecting the dilemmas of the African Diaspora in the Francophone colonial world, Claude McKays Banjo: A Story without a Plot (1929) introduces us to the alienation, search for identity, and perceptions of diverse characters in inter-War Marseilles, France. This story from below by one of the leading writers of the Harlem Renaissance is not only a picaresque description of this port city from the angle of black sailors from the United States, West Africa, and the West Indies, but it engages the reader with discussions of education and race while also evoking episodes and associations from the authors life. This book symbolizes the transformations experienced by those of the African Diaspora during a time of international revolutions precipitated by the First World War. Instructors can teach the postwar era from the vantage point of an African American in Europe whose life is impacted by his global experience and the individuals he encounters. The fictional work provides teachers the opportunity to evaluate the complexities of this story and its author from a literary and historical perspective, examining the values, opinions, stereotypes, and awareness of society in the early twentieth century. As a core text, this work also highlights the Negritude movement that affirmed a political and cultural interest and collaboration among those of the African Diaspora.


Proposal Number: 153
Date: 2014-01-03
Paper Title: St. Augustine as a Guide to Honorable Classroom Discussion of Controversial Topics
Core Text:
St. Augustine's _Confessions_, Books X - XII
Abstract:
Those familiar with Augustine"s _Confessions_ often stopped reading after the first nine biographical books; too few have had the will or the classroom obligation to tackle the final, philosophical books. Despite the understandable temptation to spare undergraduates the distress of this latter section, it is precisely here that Augustine can help students wrestle with cognitive dissonance. This paper will explore Augustines approach to theoretical underdetermination as it relates to interpretations of Genesis 1-3, and will explore how Augustine helps model important intellectual virtues, specifically humility and courage. It will conclude with reflections on ways Augustine has been helpful for fostering wise, honorable, and cultivated dialog amongst atheistic and religiously diverse students at one Christian university.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Wise, Honorable, and Cultivated
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 151
Date: 2014-01-03
Paper Title: Film and the Core Curriculum: Vertigo as a Modern Adaptation of Myth
Core Text:
Vertigo
Abstract:
By virtue of its multiple intertexts, Alfred Hitchcock"s film Vertigo (1958) has the potential to bridge gaps in the classroom that exist between traditional or classical core texts and the medium of the cinema. Interpreting the film as a modern adaptation of variants on a myth from antiquity (including Ovid"s version in Metamorphoses), I consider what happens when the supernatural background of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice is relocated to a world that is more familiar to students: the world of post-World War II industrial modernity. In the process mythological figures defined by iterable patterns of external action are replaced by characters defined by their interior psychological predispositions. This paper focuses on links between the diagnosed pathologies of the characters of the film and symptomatic conditions of modern life between, for example, the fear of heights (acrophobia) and the massive scale of the modern city.


Proposal Number: 150
Date: 2014-01-03
Paper Title: Candides Garden or Social Reform with Nicholas Wisdom: Two Enlightenment Approaches to Engaging the World
Core Text:
Voltaire's Candide and Ignacy Krasicki's The Adventures of Nicholas Wisdom
Abstract:
The story of Voltaires Candide is a classic example of the optimism and jaded pessimism that came with much learning and experience that characterized both Voltaire and the later French Enlightenment. Recent Enlightenment studies have come to find Eastern Europe as a fertile ground for comparison with the French Enlightenment, and has focused on the Polish educator, diplomat, and novelist Ignacy Krasicki. Krasickis The Adventures of Nicholas Wisdom, his most popular work, was an homage to Candide, but with a twist.


Proposal Number: 147
Date: 2014-01-02
Paper Title: 2013 Frankenstein: Society vs. Civility
Core Text:
Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Abstract:
President George W. Bush stated in his first inaugural speech that A civil society demands from each of us a good will and respect, fair dealings and forgiveness. This paper explores the literary concept of the book Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus and parallels the creation of the Frankensteins monster to creating a society riddled with sexism, classism, racism and homophobia. All isms are socially constructed and are saliently durable. A latent consequence in creating a civil society is that a monster has been fashioned that is out-of-control with materialism, inequality and social injustice. This paper will explore that theory with literary evidence that suggest that we are the monsters that are destroying civilization as it is known today.


Proposal Number: 146
Date: 2014-01-02
Paper Title: What Does an Old English Epic and a Video Game Have in Common?
Core Text:
Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Abstract:
Older literary texts are rarely, if ever, chosen as reading for pleasure; instead, they have the disadvantage of being assigned reading in literature courses. With the odds stacked against Old and Middle English poetry for reader acceptance, teaching epics like Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight becomes a wonderful journey of discovering how Millennial students can relate to and enjoy reading such older core texts. In a world that is visually oriented, students can approach, explore, and even appropriate these texts at the intersections where verbal and visual representations meet.


Proposal Number: 145
Date: 2014-01-02
Paper Title: Socratic Philanthropy in Plato's Euthyphro
Core Text:
Plato, Euthyphro
Abstract:
Diogenes Laertius tells us that the conversation recounted in the Euthyphro leadsEuthyphro to withdraw the indictment against his father. This rather modest papersuggests that the entire conversation is carried out for the benefit not of Socrates, butEuthyphro. The dialogue is less concerned with the difficult question raised at 10a then itis a display of the edifying effect Socrates sought to have on those around him. That thisis so is made clear by attending to certain rhetorical and psychological features of thedialogue. Platos Euthyphro presents a Socrates who recognizes the character of hisinterlocutors soul and crafts a conversation with the specific goal of moderating it.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Philosophy, Education, and Citizenship
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
The purpose of this panel is to bring together papers addressing the relationship between the philosopher, education, citizenship and the non-philosopher, as embodied in writings related to Socrates. Toward that end, this panel will examine that relationship as it comes to light in the writings of Plato and Xenophon.


Proposal Number: 143
Date: 2014-01-01
Paper Title: Dante's Vision Of Justice in the Paradiso
Core Text:
Dante Divine Comedy
Abstract:
Dante in a letter described the Divine Comedy as a work whose vision of the afterlife was to be understood as allegorical of its proper subject matter: the ethical. It is often a challenge for students to break through the literal surface and see the ethical import of the work, particularly in the Paradiso. In this talk, I will seek to bring out Dante"s vision of Justice as part of his larger vision of the transhumanization of natural virtues into theological virtues. As such Dante"s argument is about a new ethical vision that I will argue informs our modern understanding of justice, taking us beyond what was available to the ancients.


Proposal Number: 142
Date: 2014-01-01
Paper Title: The Role of Play in Culture and Society
Core Text:
Johan Huizinga - Homo Ludens
Abstract:
Johan Huizinga (1872-1945), Dutch Historian, wrote in 1938 Homo Ludens: a Study of the Play - Element in Culture, a book about the role of play in culture and society. The book is, since World War II, one of the core texts of human civilisation and tells how "play" is not only necessary for the arts but for the whole society. The essence of play is, - like Schiller told us before in On aesthetic Education of Men (1794)- a free state of mind. Poetry is the free language of mankind. Science needs liberal thinking in solving its riddles. Civilisation arises as play. Politics should be a form of fair play.


Proposal Number: 141
Date: 2014-01-01
Paper Title: The Case for Depth in Humanistic Education, According to Martin Buber
Core Text:
I and Thou
Abstract:
Buber"s I and Thou presents a piercing analysis of human relationships and institutions as suffering from a quotidian superficiality, in a privileging of breadth over depth. This trend is especially pernicious in the modern lust for unusual "experiences," in which one values people or things only on the basis of unusual qualities they possess, which ironically is unable to recognize those things in any personally engaged (and therefore deep) way. Despite their initial resistance to Buber"s critique, I have found students to appreciate Buber"s insights and to relate it to their own college experience. After recapitulating Buber"s basic argument, my paper will argue for the importance of Buber"s direction of inquiry (as well as his text) for recognizing the validity of humanistic depth to any genuine education for proper human relation.


Proposal Number: 140
Date: 2014-01-01
Paper Title: Enchantment, Porous Selves, and Reflection: Charles Taylor and Postmodernity's Core Texts
Core Text:
Charles Taylor, A Secular Age
Abstract:
What texts will postmodernity contribute to the liberal arts project? It"s impossible to know for sure, but this paper proposes that one bookthe philosopher Charles Taylor"s 2007 magnum opus, *A Secular Age*when read alongside works of contemporary American fiction, both argues for its own importance in the canon and helps us start to see which other books will still be taught in a century. As Taylor diagnoses the modern self and traces its lineage, he also gives readers a new way to understand literatureand, by extension, other narrative media important to our age and to our students" lives, such as television and movies. This paper will briefly look at Taylor"s framework, then read it against *All the Pretty Horses *(Cormac McCarthy), *Housekeeping* (Marilynne Robinson), and *The Corrections *(Jonathan Franzen).


Proposal Number: 139
Date: 2014-01-01
Paper Title: "The gods are just": Edgar's Prudence
Core Text:
King Lear
Abstract:
By the end of King Lear, Goneril"s widower has ostensibly created a new division of the kingdom, one in which power is shared by Albany, Gloucester and Kent (5.3.326-27). The paper will consider to what extent we are meant to believe that this new division might fare better than the last one. Does Edgar"s action of saving his father from suicide indicate that he has learned prudence sufficient to help to govern a broken kingdom? What type of prudence does this play offer our students?


Proposal Number: 138
Date: 2014-01-01
Paper Title: Great Books in the World of Creative Students
Core Text:
Plato's Timaeus, Virgil's Aeneid
Abstract:
Creatives benefit from an interdisciplinary grounding in core texts: as Montaigne puts it, such an approach immerses them in a dialogue between the students and their books. In this paper, I consider Plato"s mandate to writers of creative fiction, articulated through the Myth of Atlantis in the Timaeus. Then, considering an example from my first semester ancients intellectual tradition course for honors students at Baylor University, I consider how a creative approach (as mandated by Plato in the Timaeus) to engaging history and ethics through story offers new insight to students exploring Virgil"s Aeneid for the first time. Through a creative approach to reading the opening of the Aeneid, students engaged in a more traditional approach to core works gain new insight, and students in creative writing tracks learn the weight and importance of the creative act.


Proposal Number: 137
Date: 2014-01-01
Paper Title: Teaching Souls of Black Folk in the Age of Obama
Core Text:
Souls of Black Folk
Abstract:
If Americans, both black and white, cannot identify the dimensions and scope of the color line, then they cannot possibly understand its prominence in 21st century America. How far has the United States come in the last 100 years as that distance in time and place is related to racial division and distinction? The American cannot answer without a proper understanding of the color line, and part of this understanding comes with the ability to recognize the relevance of terms like the veil and double consciousness in 21st century America. In short, a full appreciation of American history and identity requires a comprehensive recognition of Duboiss Souls of Black Folk in American life and culture.


Proposal Number: 136
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: "Right Collides with Right": Conflict in the Oresteia
Core Text:
The Oresteia
Abstract:
How can the Oresteia help to illuminate the kinds of conflicts we face between cultures and within a multi-cultural society? I think that, by dramatizing the battle between old and new gods, Aeschylus pointed to a level of conflict deeper than our usual notions of difference--a conflict between two ethea that cannot be resolved simply by dialogue, mutual understanding, or appeals to a common standard of reason. But by telling the story of the reconciliation of the old and new gods, Aeschylus also described how such conflicts may be at least partly resolved. I will argue that the Oresteia can help students better understand the kinds of conflicts they may have to deal with in their own lives.


Proposal Number: 134
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Teaching Yeats's "In Memory of Major Robert Gregory"
Core Text:
"In Memory of Major Robert Gregory"
Abstract:
This elegy for Robert Gregory, the accomplished son of Yeats"s great friend Lady Augusta Gregory, is a beautiful formal elegy. I propose that it should be taught alongside Yeats"s more commonly taught lyrics such as "When You Are Old," "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," and "The Wild Swans at Coole." Teaching students what an elegy is, how and why it is built, and why it expresses grief in the ways that it does is useful information. Talking about ways to communicate grief in great writing is a liberating and ennobling enterprise, and our students need those emotional and intellectual experiences as much as ever.


Proposal Number: 132
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Mill & and the Tyranny of Social Media
Core Text:
On Liberty
Abstract:
Few Core authors are as deft as J.S. Mill in snatching the scales from our students" screen-bedazzled eyes. In an age of sexting, trolling and "doxing," when the presidency itself can hinge on a single anonymous tweet or on the "paid advocacy" of a single anonymous donor, Mill"s On Liberty reveals the conditions of true liberty and its progress and perils amid the "Digital Age." What should worry us more, for example, the NSA, Google/Facebook or the prying eyes of friends, family and future employers? Do Gawker, Wikileaks, viral tweets and YouTube add to, or distract from, the "experiments in living" and free discussion by which Liberal Democracy supposedly advances?


Proposal Number: 131
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: The "End of History" and the "Postmodern Condition": Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit as a Meta-core Text
Core Text:
G. W. F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit
Abstract:
The juxtaposition of the phrases end of history and postmodern condition in my title might suggest a presentation emphasizing the (presumably) starkly contrasting views of the two authors with whom these phrases have, in the past couple of decades, most typically been associated, Francis Fukuyama (b. 1952) and Jean-Francois Lyotard (19241998): for Fukuyamas first book, The End of History and the Last Man (Free Press, 1992), was widely viewed in the 1990s as a neocon response to the reputed deconstructive leftist nihilism of the book for which Lyotard became most well-known in Anglophone cultural circles, The Postmodern Condition (Minnesota, 1984; French original, 1979). My presentation will, however, focus instead on a shared common ground source, familiarity with which is presupposed by both of these authors, namely, the core liberal/progressive/modernist philosophy of history that was arguably first well-sketched in the decades following the American and French Revolutions by the German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel (17701831) in his 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit. Specifically, drawing on my experience of recently reading Hegels Phenomenology together with a small, select group of students in the first half of a sophomore/junior-level course titled topics in nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, I will-after, first, briefly sketching the views of Fukuyama and Lyotard in a way that places greater emphasis on their similarities than on their differences-both: (1) identify some of the scholarly/pedagogical aids that I found most useful in introducing students to the study of Hegels Phenomenology; and (2) share some of the (surprisingly) positive reactions to Hegels Phenomenology written by students who were otherwise generally either predisposed never to read any of his published works or who were familiar with his views only as sketchily presented in Lyotards Postmodern Condition.


Proposal Number: 130
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Classics in the Core: How Virgil's Aenied Makes All the Difference
Core Text:
The Aeneid
Abstract:
T.S. Eliots 1944 speech to the Virgil Society called What is a Classic? argues that the Aeneid is the singular universal classic, the text that stands alone in Western civilization as a bridge between the classical world and the advent of Christianity. Near the end of a core course that also covers Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Aurelius, and Livy, my students discuss how well the Aeneid lives up to Eliots assessment that a work is a classic when it explains the maturation of a civilization. Anticipating a course on early Christianity, students consider also the value of looking at writers like Virgil and Marcus Aurelius from the proto-Christian position central to Eliots definition.


Proposal Number: 129
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Pedagogical Dimensions of Boethius's 'Consolation of Philosophy'
Core Text:
Boethius, 'Consolation of Philosophy'
Abstract:
Written by the imprisoned Boethius awaiting his execution, the "Consolation of Philosophy" articulates a process of interior growth toward philosophical understanding, one that leads Boethius (the character in the book) from reactionary anger to metaphysical contemplation. By articulating this process, Boethius (the author) shows us not only the truths that may have consoled him in his final solitude, but also those stages through which human beings in general pass in their pursuit of wisdom. Considered in this light, then, the "Consolation" can provide guidance as to how to usher students from a more emotional, reactive stance toward reality to a more open, contemplative one.


Proposal Number: 128
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Teaching *War and Peace*
Core Text:
*War and Peace*
Abstract:
How can we teach big classic texts and know that students will actually read the work? I will discuss the teaching of *War and Peace* as an interdisciplinary course in the Reflections profile of Dawson College, Montreal. While perhaps unteachable as a part of any course because of its length, *War and Peace* as the sole text in a team-taught course has quickly become one of our signature course offerings. I will discuss some of the practical strategies we have used to manage the teaching and motivate the students. Finally, I will discuss what some of the students have said about the course: their excitement at the work, their sense of accomplishment at finishing it, and their feeling that having read it will make a difference in their lives.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Unteachable Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 127
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: The Seriosness of Not Taking Ourselves Too Seriously
Core Text:
Plato's Symposium
Abstract:
In accordance with Phaedruss desire, the speeches in Platos Symposium are supposed to be in praise of love. And students are often drawn to a romantic reading of Aristophaness speech, in which love is praised as a serious search for authentic human wholeness and happiness through union with ones other half. Yet, its also not hard to read the speech as the comic poets debunking satire of just such an ideal. I argue that Platos character Aristophanes wants to allow both readings, because either one provides a salutary way of diverting human beings from their dangerous aspirations to higher things, although the debunking version is closer to the truth.


Proposal Number: 126
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Frederick Jackson Turners The Frontier in American History: A Framework for Hollywoods Racist Western Genre
Core Text:
Frederick Jackson Turner, The Frontier in American History
Abstract:
Frederick Jackson Turners The Frontier in American History: A Framework for Hollywoods Racist Western GenreFrom the pens and fertile imaginations of western writers of fiction, who glorified some of the Old West and its inhabitants; and omitted others, we have a Wild West that is so fictionalized and fantasized it has influenced millions, especially Hollywood directors, who perhaps have never read an honest history. This essay identifies one source for the unhistorical image of the Old West; Frederick Jackson Turner, a man who has been called one of the founding fathers of western historiography, favorably depicted the white settlers, hunters, cowboys of the Old West, and ignored the plights, histories, and achievements of other ethnicities, particularly Native Americans, and former African American slaves, who settled in that region. An argument for the inclusion of Turners book as a core text realizes that todays students are profoundly influenced by Hollywoods historical take on both pivotal periods and who has earned a venerable place in American history. If the professoriate is to guide students onto the path of critical thinking about history, we must first identify how the stories began and who decided the the great White men and women, were the only ones worthy of a place in the historical annals.


Proposal Number: 125
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: The Wealth of Nations: Adam Smith in Two 21st-Century Novels
Core Text:
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
Abstract:
The Wealth of Nations, a clear and elegant 1000+ pages, is a masterpiece of English prose that is more often invoked than read, and often used to support policies Smith himself rejected. The Wealth of Nations as a theme and as a book are both central in quite different ways to David Mitchell"s The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010) and to Amitav Ghosh"s River of Smoke (2011). The novels, in their use of The Wealth of Nations, link not only the 18th, 19th, and 21st centuries but also the nations and peoples caught up in the rise of imperialism, particularly Great Britain, Holland, India, China, and Japan. Mitchell and Ghosh render vividly the status of Adam Smiths foundational work in modern economics as a core text for representing the modern world imaginatively, showing how Smiths theory, both understood and misunderstood, has motivated people and policies.


Proposal Number: 124
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: The Question of Virtue and Socratic Education: Using Platos Alcibiades 1 to Illuminate the Meno
Core Text:
Plato's Alicibiades I and Meno
Abstract:
Despite the status of the Meno as a Great Book and standard philosophical text, most commentators fail to appreciate the odd and sometimes vexing arguments of the dialogue precisely because they do not see them in light of Socrates intention. This paper argues that the Alcibiades 1, a dialogue where Socrates talks to a similarly ambitious young man, provides the required illumination. There, Socrates seduces Alcibiades into conversing about virtue, and Socrates repeatedly attempts to have him see how important virtue is to him. Although Alcibiades ultimately fails to evince truly self-conscious concern about justice, the dialogue nonetheless demonstrates the importance of this procedure to Socrates approach to education. In the Meno, Socrates uses similar tactics to push Meno toward seeing the nature of his own conception of and attachment to virtue. Because both Alcibiades and Meno fall short of full self-awareness, reading the two dialogues together provides important insight into how Plato understands the preliminary obstacles to Socratic education.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Philosophy, Education and Citizenship
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 123
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Rhetoric as a Key Component of Core Texts?
Core Text:
Cicero, On the Orator; Quntilian, Orator's Education; Isocrates
Abstract:
Rhetoric (along with grammar and logic) has always been part of the traditional "trivium" of the liberal arts. Do core text programs give rhetoric its due or appreciate the important and powerful role an orator can play in society? This paper will explore thoughts and ideas expressed by Cicero and Quintilian on the nature of an orator and on rhetoric--and will consider Isocrates" thoughts as well, particularly whether his concept of a "philosopher" (as distinct from the Socrates-Plato-Aristotle understanding of the term) may hold especial importance in our present day.


Proposal Number: 122
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Philosophy, Education, and Citizenship
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 121
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: The Philo-Philosopher and the City: Glaucon and Cleitophon in Platos Republic
Core Text:
Plato's Republic, Apology of Socrates, Cleitophon
Abstract:
Socrates narrates the Republic the morning after an all-night conversation, the main effect of which is to dissuade his primary interlocutor, Glaucon, from devoting himself to Athenian politics. This dissuasion is accomplished through a new understanding of justice which carries with it a new conception of the city and politics: Socrates convinces Glaucon to practice the politics of his own soul rather than the politics of his fatherland. Glaucon becomes a philo-philosopher -- instilled with a reverence for philosophy through the dialogue"s most memorable images, and a love of the philosopher Socrates himself -- rather than a practitioner of Socratic philosophy, which is displayed in Socrates" very participation in the conversation (and perhaps his narration of it as well). This paper investigates the character of the philo-philosopher in contrast to that of the quintessential political man, Cleitophon, whose interest in justice and virtue combined with his impatience for the difficulties and ambiguities of dialectic make him ultimately hostile to the examined life.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Philosophy, Education and Citizenship
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 120
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: "Crossing the Border between Civilization and Wilderness: White versus Indian Opposition in The Last of the Mohicans."
Core Text:
The Last of the Mohicans
Abstract:
James Fenimore Cooper, in his Indian novel The Last of the Mohicans, portrays the complex personal relationships developed among several characters, as they make a journey from safety and civilization to the hostile and perilous Indian country. This paper will study the "Indian Myth" and the complex "White" versus "Indian" opposition, as well as the visible link between sexuality, religion, race and class, what leads to the tragic events at the end of this American frontier novel.


Proposal Number: 119
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Seeking Religious Value in Core Texts
Core Text:
Mill's _On Liberty_
Abstract:
Like religious artifacts and acts, core texts and performances tend to be approached as intrinsically valuable: the majestic passages, paintings, and musical pieces that make up the heart of the liberal arts are taken to merit our attention. They may have pragmatic consequences even as they stand above instrumental value. In discussing this matter of the sense of the religious that surrounds the humanities, I will turn to a post-Enlightenment text from the Contemporary Civilization syllabus, John Stuart Mills _On Liberty_. I have selected it on the basis of the students responsiveness to it and for how it in particular captures the commitment of this generation of students to individual expression and tolerance for difference.


Proposal Number: 118
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Difference and Discoveries: Kalidasa's "Sakuntala" as Liberal Arts Core text
Core Text:
"The Recognition of Sakuntala" by Kalidasa
Abstract:
The 3rd/4th century classical Indian play The Recognition of Sakuntala by Kalidasa (included in most World Literature anthologies) is an excellent Liberal Arts core text because it deepens students understanding of how to negotiate difference in our increasingly multi-cultural classrooms and the globalized world. The plays distant and alien context both charms and challenges: its romantic story of love lost and restored is widely accessible, yet it demands rigorous attention to its particular social codes and artistic norms, as well as their subtle critique. Its depictions of the operations of power, class factors and gendered hierarchies require students to engage with the cultural specificity of the drama, to perceive complexities and contradictions within the constructs and interrogate their own assumptions about ancient eastern cultures. The process of defamiliarization and discovery that students experience is a valuable lesson about encountering cultural difference: it cannot be dissolved into facile universalism or relativism, its otherness resists simplistic definitions and dichotomies, and most importantly it teaches us how to read its own significations and ourselves.


Proposal Number: 117
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: 17th Century Pietism and Wilderness: A Walk on the Wild Side
Core Text:
Pia Desideria by Philip Jacob Spener
Abstract:
How can core texts be used to foster a discussion about our relationship to the natural world? Teaching in an off-campus program that combines a core texts curriculum with wilderness experience, it is not difficult to prompt student reflection on nature in general: Having spent a week in the Sierra backpacking, who gets it right Parmenides or Heraclitus? But my students are drawn primarily from evangelical backgrounds and evangelicalism possesses, at best, an unclear articulation of the relationship between human beings and the natural world, which has profound ethical, economic, political, and spiritual implications. Evangelicals tend to reject Thomistic natural law theories as well as the nominalism of Luther and Calvin leaving them with positions that fail to resonate with their own faith considerations. The recent growth of Pietism studies and the contemporary scholarship of historian W.R. Ward have, however, altered our historical, theological, and philosophical understanding of evangelicalism. Widespread agreement exists that any definition of evangelicalism must start with 17th century German Pietism. I argue that one of the most influential texts of 17th century Pietism, Philip Jacob Speners Pia Desideria, provides a middle path between Catholic natural law theory and the Ockhamist-inspired nominalism that dominates Reformed theology. Pietisms use of biological metaphors challenges the juridical framework of Luther and Calvin and provides the basis for an evangelical understanding of our relationship to the natural world.


Proposal Number: 116
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: On Liberty's Cure for Today's Polarized Minds
Core Text:
On Liberty by JS Mill
Abstract:
Mill argues on educational, political and personal grounds for energetic, disciplined, sustained and in depth discussion between liberals and conservatives. "It is in great measure the opposition of the other that keeps each within the limits of reason and sanity." Even were one side entirely in the right, it would still need the opposition of the other. "Soldiers go to sleep at their posts when there is no enemy in the field."


Proposal Number: 115
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Hamlets 'Madness': Feigned Inconsistency and the Dialectical Struggle Through Real Inconsistencies
Core Text:
Shakespeare's Hamlet
Abstract:
This paper will investigate Shakespeares Hamlet in order to both show that what looks like madness could be what is otherwise known as inconsistency, whether of judgment or character, and that it is best to use inconsistency in relation to Young Hamlet because he is demonstrably not mad. Starting from this idea of inconsistency, it will be shown how Hamlet feigns inconstancy in public in order to obey his constant nature that seeks revenge, and how along the way to this revenge he dialectically works through real inconsistencies in private in order to both solidify his nature, and to reach a didactic stage in his development in which he is able to teach himself and others how to be honest and consistent. Students who carefully chart Hamlet"s struggle will gain a richer understanding of their own private and public battles taking place on a modern stage dictated by technological and social networking "players" that try to control how they communicate and act.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Hamlet in Word and Deed: Inner Dialectic, Public Discourse, and the Call to Action
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Shakespeare's Hamlet is without doubt one of the veritable touchstones of the western dramatic tradition, and this perhaps because of the very fact that it is an immensely powerful expression of the human condition that constantly throws up new riddles about what exactly it has to say about that condition. What other play has motivated so many and so many very different interpretations, but nevertheless surprises us each time we re-enter its world and find ourselves reflected in its profound mirror? Our own panel explores an aspect of the play that has certainly never failed to arouse question: the insistent tensions within Hamlet - both the play itself and the character of the young prince - with the aim to suggest lines of intersection between those tensions and philosophical conceptions whose origins are temporally far removed from Shakespeare's Elizabethan age, yet are thematically immediately proximate to the concerns plumbed by his acute dramatic insight. What indeed is the nature of Hamlet's inconsistency in character? How might we account for the interplay between the public and private expression of his life and his deeds? In sum, what does Shakespeare's gloomy Dane have to say to us today, in our present age and situation, about what it means to be a human being, living out our lives on our own contemporary version of the world stage? We propose engaging with these questions not merely for the pleasure of once more contemplating the richness of Shakespeare's world, but even more for the opportunity it gives us to consider new ways to demonstrate the value of entering that world for self-understanding and perhaps even a glimmer of hard-fought wisdom.


Proposal Number: 113
Date: 2013-12-31
Paper Title: Preserving Political Institutions: Abraham Lincolns Lyceum Address and the Perils of Democracy
Core Text:
Abraham Lincoln's Speech to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield Illinois
Abstract:
Democracy has not always enjoyed the good reputation that is has earned in the modern age. For example, Aristotle categorized democracies under the list of bad regime types. Lincolns Lyceum Address warns the American people about the tendency in democratic regimes for lurch towards mob law and he provides his diagnosis on how to avoid the destruction of democracy from within.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Soul and Skills of Democracy: Core texts and Democratic Governance
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Democratic government requires more than a belief in the principle of human equality and a love of individual freedom. Democracy requires that citizens actually have the skill sets to run their own government, to make good decisions, and to solve problems in partnership, or conflict, with other citizens. These require more than passion and commitment, they require a caste of mind buttressed by practical skills. Skills that will also serve them well in the world outside politics, perhaps even in the working world. This Panel will explore the intersection of great ideas that should shape the soul and minds of democratic citizens as well as the practical skills required to actually make democratic governance work. Skills that likely have a life beyond the halls of the capital dome, skills that employers will value as well.


Proposal Number: 112
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: The Soul Alive to Itself: Plato and the Ethics of Ravishment
Core Text:
Phaedrus
Abstract:
The description of the conference theme suggests: But if we do not perceive and articulate very particular ways our texts and our courses are making noticeable differences to the questions students ask, the choices students make, the relations they form, and the values they adhere to, then it will be hard for us to make a case for a core text education on human grounds. The very particular way core texts make a difference is their capacity to engender an engagement of ravishment through which the soul becomes alive to itself. Focused work with vitally potent texts kindles the experience and processes of ravishment through which a young person can become erotically intertwined with a world in ways that can resist, contest, and imaginatively transcend other dominant models of desire (e.g. those emphasizing preference, choice, fantasy, or consumption). If you were to ask parents: Do you hope for your child that he/she will become enraptured with something in the worlda vocation, a query, an intellectual pursuit, a dream of servicerather than remaining content with the common satiation of desire, most would say, Yes. The idea of the ethics of ravishment is my attempt to elaborate an account of the distinctive value of study in the liberal arts from this point of yes, via Platos Phaedrus.


Proposal Number: 111
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: The Paradoxes of Hypocrisy in Paradise Lost
Core Text:
Paradise Lost
Abstract:
Miltons _Paradise Lost_ offers students a surprising opportunity to recognize our present political condition as uniquely modern. The second book of this epic famously depicts an Infernal Parliament in which Satan and his companions deliberate regarding how best to address their fallen condition. I contend that this passage dramatizes the political paradoxes that arise from the attempt to limit deliberations about the public good to matters of instrumental judgment. Ultimately, by presenting the speeches by Moloch, Belial, and Mammon as instances of hypocritical discourse taken to the height of demonic perfection, the poem dramatizes the characteristically modern difficulty of distinguishing, in principle, between moral virtues and their mere appearance.


Proposal Number: 110
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: Thoreau and the Anti-Politics of Resistance
Core Text:
Resistance to Civil Government
Abstract:
In Resistance to Civil Government, Henry David Thoreau rejected democratic politics on grounds that it had become a superficial and coarsening affair, incapable of effecting real change in society. What is needed, he argued, is for conscientious individuals to give up what is called politics in favor of action from principle, which, in the face of injustice, requires the transgression of unjust laws. In the paper I intend to argue that Thoreau wished his readers to focus less on the practices and institutions through which political reform is effected, and more on the individual self-reform they require. Neither can be undertaken without the other, as Thoreau himself came to realize, but true reform ultimately depends on the willingness of individuals to put principle before convenience.


Proposal Number: 109
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Curious Intersection between the Theological and Physical Sciences
Core Text:
Thomas Aquinas - Summa Theologica, Aristotle's Physics
Abstract:
Early in the Summa Theologica Thomas Aquinas famously addresses the question of the existence of God. Students are surprised to see the extent to which Aquinas relies on physical and philosophical principles laid down by an ostensibly non-theistic Aristotle. Both Aqunias and our modern world struggle with this fundamental problem examined by the liberal arts - the tension between the mutual independence of the natural sciences and theology from each other and the unity of knowledge as a whole. This paper examines this tension in both the context of the classroom and the writings of Thomas Aquinas.


Proposal Number: 108
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: Christianity and the Secular in Melvilles Billy Budd, Sailor
Core Text:
Herman Melville, Billy Budd, Sailor: An Inside Narrative
Abstract:
Melvilles novella about the conviction and hanging of a sailor aboard a 19th century British man o war casts into sharp relief the conflict between moral innocence and the necessities of martial law. Billy Budd is the object of resentment of the depraved Master-at-Arms, Claggart. Melvilles portrait of Claggart calls to mind Miltons account of Satan in Paradise Lost: a being consumed by envy and resentment of the very image of the goodness of another. The reader is led to think of Billy as a prelapsarian Adam or the Second Adam Himself. Complicating this, however, is a presentation of Billy as a Rousseauian savage, unlearned, thoughtlessly good-natured, without the wiles and dissimulations of society, politely declining the salvation presented him by the chaplain because he has no understanding or felt need of it. The novella is Rousseauian, associating sin with the advent of organized society, law, and the retreat of nature.


Proposal Number: 107
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: Hrothgar meets Iseeo: Parallels between Leadership Ideals in Beowulf and the Kiowa Oral Tradition
Core Text:
Beowulf and Wilbur Sturtevant Nyes Bad Medicine and Good
Abstract:
It is surprising to find very different, but mutually parallel, models of leadership offered in core texts from very different cultures. These two sources are Beowulf and Iseeos oral history of Kiowa leadership ideals as related to Wilbur Sturtevant Nye in the early twentieth-century. (This latter appears in Nyes Bad Medicine and Good.) Both put forward an organic model of leadership. Leadership is based on personal loyalties and mutually supportive relationships, cemented by the exchange of property and service. In both, the true leader models selfless service to the tribe and a corresponding disregard for personal advantage.


Proposal Number: 106
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: Using Dennetts Conceptualization of Possibility to Bridge Classical and Modern Darwinism
Core Text:
On the Origin of Species (Darwin); Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Dennett)
Abstract:
As a classic core text, Darwins On the Origin of Species is foundational to a consideration of the philosophy and history of science. With the addition of Daniel Dennetts Darwins Dangerous Idea, many concepts essential to an understanding of genetic revolution in biology can be visualized with sophistication and nuance. Our students world is full of references to the products of the modern synthesis in biology. The combination of Darwin and Dennett gives students powerful tools to understand both the philosophical and technical basis of this revolution.


Proposal Number: 105
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: Why should students in the 21st Century read Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince?
Core Text:
Machiavelli's The Prince
Abstract:
Niccol Machiavelli is considered the father of modern western political theory. His booklet, The Prince represents a study of human nature, the nature of power and how to control and to govern the people, the armed forces, and the nobility of a principality. It is the first treatise of its kind and has served for 500 years as a model for famous and infamous leaders such as Thomas Cromwell, Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler. In our time, it has been read by such modern American statesmen as John F. Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.


Proposal Number: 104
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: On the purposes of scientific exploration
Core Text:
Poincare, Science and Method
Abstract:
In Science and Method, Poincare suggests that scientists achieved scientific breakthroughs not because of their ability to do analytical and logical derivations, but rather, in a certain extent very similar to artists, of their vivid sense of beauty and harmonious orders. The driving force for scientists and artists to devote themselves with long and painful labours is the satisfaction they would find in this beauty and the harmonious orders, rather than a valuable patent or an artistic work per se. Thus, it is, albeit arguably, in accordance with Schrodingers idea that monotonous jobs can cause fatuity of the human mind. The coherence between their ideas might open up for students a novel attitudinal dimension towards their ways of life.


Proposal Number: 103
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: tba
Core Text:
tba
Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Unteachable Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 102
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: Cross-disciplinary Pedagogy: On Formalizing Analogies
Core Text:
Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein
Abstract:
In his debatably easiest-to-read book on relativity, Einstein alluded to analogues in order to make us understand how the biases of our previous knowledge can make it hard to make sense of a new idea. In this paper, I discuss how analogues across fields can be used for effective cross-disciplinary pedagogy. If formalized, the use of analogies can make transfer of advanced level concepts an exercise in comparison. But, I propose, that it has to be done under some formalism to avoid pitfalls. I will take examples from some current multi-disciplinary areas of research and ensuing emerging job markets to show how analogues can be employed under rules for the benefit of students.


Proposal Number: 80
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: The Virtue of Difficulty
Core Text:
T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Sappho, and Dante
Abstract:
Our students are faced with difficult texts in every course they take as undergraduates and there are many variations of difficulty: unknown, obscure or archaic language, multiple languages in one text, historical or cultural distance, varied allusion, or simply length. In this paper I intend to advocate for difficulty, in all its forms, for its central place in the expansion of their minds, but especially because difficulty demands participation. Difficult texts ask our students to be generous, to speak in class, to test their ideas about meaning itself, and, further, difficult texts allow our students to expand the meanings they discover through error and trail. I will use examples from the works of T. S. Eliot, Dante, Sappho, Wallace Stevens, Virginia Woolf, and Anne Carson to argue my points.


Proposal Number: 69
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: Making a Difference: The Core Text Student and Eliot's "The Waste Land"
Core Text:
T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land"
Abstract:
In the final month of a four-semester sequence on the Western Intellectual Tradition, students in our University Fellows Program read T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land." In my paper, I discuss how I teach this poem not only as an example of modernity but also as a reflection on the value of participating in a core-text program. Emphasizing the quest narrative that underwrites this poem, I ask my students to evaluate how "The Waste Land" challenges their desire for and capacity to discover meaning. This emphasis allows my students to understand more deeply the purpose of our program and the preparation it gives them for a life beyond the university.


Proposal Number: 59
Date: 2013-12-30
Paper Title: 'Eros' in Plato's Symposium
Core Text:
Plato's 'Symposium'
Abstract:
Allen Bloom states, in his "Ladder of Love" essay, that Aristophanes speech gives the truest and most satisfying account of eros that we find in the Symposium. While Bloom presents this point not to denigrate Socrates speech and rather to note the way in which Socrates is shifting the discussion away from bodily eros into a more soulful context, I argue that Socrates is also correcting fundamental problems in Aristophanes' speech. Aristophanes does not give a true account of eros, and Socrates must correct him in order to give an authentic expression of even bodily eros. My argument proceeds by examining the key aspects of Aristophanes' speech and pointing out its central difficulties, and then showing how Socrates corrects these mistakes.


Proposal Number: 101
Date: 2013-12-29
Paper Title: Being (un)comfortable in the Core: How some students responded to fantasy, reality and the chivalrous in Don Quixote.
Core Text:
Don Quixote
Abstract:
In the exploration of the liberal arts, we often deal with the embrace and exploration of the Other; i.e. the other culture, the other self- the that or the who which are not we. In reading Don Quixote, we are called upon to explore the element of the alternate i.e. an alternate reality and even an alternate self. A strong and pervasive element of the Quixote is the examination of what is real and what is not as well as what perhaps should be. In the Fall of 2013, I examined with students several of the key episodes in both Book One and Book Two of the Quixote and was both surprised and provoked by their responses and reactions to the fantastic and chivalrous in a work that is a touchstone of literature. This paper will explore the key episodes examined and my students reactions, remarks and personal journeys.


Proposal Number: 100
Date: 2013-12-29
Paper Title: The Uselessness of the Liberal Arts: Philosophers in some Dialogues of Plato
Core Text:
Plato's Symposium
Abstract:
The expectation that a liberal arts education is supposed to prepare students for their future careers reflects historical changes in the understanding of the liberal arts, education, work, and the good life. This change is evident when one considers the way philosophy and philosophers are portrayed and defended in the dialogues of Plato, especially Symposium and Republic as useless and good for nothing. In these dialogues, however, the uselessness of philosophers and philosophy is accepted and embraced, and the value of usefulness is put into question.


Proposal Number: 99
Date: 2013-12-29
Paper Title: Boethius' Career Advice
Core Text:
Consolation of Philosophy
Abstract:
Much about Boethius life and times resonates with the modern world: the Roman Empire was highly partisan in its division between Byzantium and Rome (or Ravenna) and, within the western empire, in the division between the ruling Germanic Goths and the largely Roman Senate and Catholic Church. Boethius, a student of literature first and foremost, navigated these perilous political waters and, because of the love of truth instilled in him by his liberal studies, he faced imprisonment and execution following a brief but illustrious career. As in our own time, a well-lived life and the demands of vocational survival (political or otherwise) may be mutually exclusive. Boethius encourages us to reflect not just on how our studies can advances our careers, though he owed much of his success to his liberal studies, but what value to place on career and jobs, which are increasingly the presumed end of education; in essence, he makes us question how readily we should succumb to demands to gear Core Texts toward functional job training.


Proposal Number: 98
Date: 2013-12-29
Paper Title: Who Resurrected Homer?
Core Text:
Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid
Abstract:
Who Resurrected Homer?Alden Smith, Baylor UniversityHomer may not have been the author of any of them but he is responsible for three epics that, if we are doing our jobs correctly as teachers of core texts, our students will have read by the time they are graduated: the Iliad, the Odyssey, and, less directly, the Aeneid. While Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath suggest that we, through our own loss of values, have killed the classics, in this paper I will argue that two twentieth-century academic figures, Tolkien and Lewis, whose works have found their way to the big screen have rekindled interest in the key literary themes of quest and good-versus-evil dualism. These themes are implicit or explicit in Homer"s and Virgil"s literary works, if less cut-and-dried in the source texts than their progeny, such as Aslan vs. the White Witch, or a precious ring-seeking adventure; still, with the resurrection of these themes and interest in the books whence they derive comes, too, interest in their models. While the answer to who killed Homer? is, controversially, we did, the answer to my question who Resurrected Homer? may just be J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.


Proposal Number: 91
Date: 2013-12-29
Paper Title: Ecological Holism and Environmental Ethics
Core Text:
A Sand County Almanac
Abstract:
Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac (1949) is justly regarded as a core text for the field of environmental ethics. Leopold proposed the land ethic, which he said, "simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land." But this extension is anything but simple; it forces us to fundamentally rethink the nature of the moral community which we inhabit and to abandon the idea that human individuals are the sole bearers of moral value. If he is correct, the land ethic entails a radical inflation of human responsibilities towards nonhuman nature.


Proposal Number: 97
Date: 2013-12-28
Paper Title: Margaret Walkers For My People (1937) as African American Mini-Epic
Core Text:
"For My People" (poem by Margaret Walker)
Abstract:
Walker (later Margaret Walker Alexander) was the first African American poet to win the Yale Younger Poets Prize (for her 1942 collection For My People), making her the Phillis Wheatley of the Modernist period. For My People is just 57 lines of rhythmically pounding free verse, but in those lines, Walker records a history of African America that is just as compelling and sociologically incisive in 2013 as it was in 1937. Though the poem lacks one central Odysseus or Aeneas, it has a collectivized People as its national hero. And just as in a primary classical epic, the singer of tales Walker uses the devices of repetition and cataloging to craft her episodic, yet highly concise and inclusive narrative.


Proposal Number: 96
Date: 2013-12-28
Paper Title: Just What Makes This a Great American Novel?: Skeptical Students Imagining the World of Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie
Core Text:
Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie
Abstract:
Undergraduate students frequently find Theodore Dreisers naturalist novel Sister Carrie (1900) to be a somewhat puzzling, laborious read, and admittedly the novel is marked by prose that is at times cumbersome, contains stretches of documentary reportage and sociological commentary that may not capture the imaginations of students, and features a female protagonist who often fails to win over student sympathies. The significant length of the novel (the Oxford Worlds Classics edition is 460 pages), along with a publication history complicated by the 1981 introduction of a new, even lengthier, supposedly more authentic edition (by the University of Pennsylvania Press), makes this great American novel even more unwieldy in a class of apprehensive undergraduates unused to reading long novels. This paper explores pedagogical strategies for enabling students to engage with the literary, psychological, ideological, and sociological richness of Sister Carrie, a work of tremendous importance to the American literary tradition and whose raw power continues to spark the intellectual imaginations of readers across generations. More specifically, this paper shares strategies for engaging students in a rigorous, energetic, cross-disciplinary conversation over the novels treatment of the rise of the modern American city; the rapid growth of consumer culture and its connection to identity in the modern era; related themes concerning gender, sexuality, desire, power, and also aging in the modern era; and concepts and forms related to the influential movement of literary naturalism that, arguably, continues to provide important lenses through which to examine the dilemmas of modern social existence.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Awkward Classics in Our Students World: Negotiating Texts and Contexts with an Apprehensive, Skeptical Generation
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
As the 2014 ACTC conference theme makes clear, it is already a significant challenge teaching core texts to a generation of students much more concerned with careers (narrowly defined) than studying the classics. This particular panel examines the additional challenge of teaching core texts that, while often privileged by literary scholars, appear awkward, unimportant, unwieldy, or unnecessarily cumbersome in the eyes of students. These are texts that, by the judgment of most scholars and teachers of literature, have unquestionable intellectual merit and value, but that, in the actual practice of teachingin that sensitive classroom space of negotiation between instructor and studentsseem to bring with them some additional burden of explanation, clarification, and even justification as to why they occupy such a central place in our curriculum and, as a consequence, demand so much attention and time from students. Whether it be a lengthy, cumbersome novel with substantial digressions, a lesser-known, understudied work in an authors oeuvre, or a curriculum that prioritizes the close reading of messy, unpublished manuscripts of a highly recognized/comfortable text, this panel explores pedagogical strategies for making the study of such texts a deeply meaningful learning experience for students that may initially respond with apprehension, skepticism, or resistance.


Proposal Number: 95
Date: 2013-12-28
Paper Title: Can Twenty-First-Century Students Enter Homers World? Teaching the Iliad in the Core Curriculum.
Core Text:
Homer, Iliad, Book 24
Abstract:
Recently, St. Bonaventure University faculty undertook a retranslation of most foreign-language Core texts that are used in our foundational Core course called The Intellectual Journey. This paper will focus on my effort to translate and subsequently teach Book 24 of Homers Iliad. Twenty-first-century students entry into the world of ancient Core texts is impeded by the style of most translations from the Greek and Latin, which, although learned and cultured, are almost impossible to read even for some professors. Using both Gadamers hermeneutic principles, according to which it is useless to engage a classic text unless it can become relevant to the present-day reader, as well as the principles of historico-philological analysis of Homers text, I attempted to render it both comprehensible and relevant to present-day students, thus making it part of their twenty-first-century world.


Proposal Number: 94
Date: 2013-12-28
Paper Title: tba
Core Text:
R.G. Collingwood, Idea of History
Abstract:
In Idea of History, Collingwood distinguishes between the historian"s aim and that of the scientist. I explore Collingwood"s idea of history and the reasons he gives for privileging history over science in the understanding of human affairs. Unique to the historian"s craft, Collingwood defends the idea that history involves re-enacting past experiences or re-enacting past thoughts. His methodological individualism reveals both the procedural and historical character of human nature. His arguments are especially important in a time when some have maintained the view that we live at the end of history.


Proposal Number: 92
Date: 2013-12-27
Paper Title: Eliciting Perplexity
Core Text:
Guide of the Perplexed, Maimonides
Abstract:
The conceit of Maimonides"s Guide is that he is writing a series of letters to a student of his, Joseph ben Judah, who has grown perplexed. At bottom, philosophic wonder is elicited by perplexity. This paper will explore how Maimonides elicits and characterizes the perplexity he finds in his student to see what parallels might be drawn to the experience of contemporary students.


Proposal Number: 90
Date: 2013-12-27
Paper Title: Thinking about Grand Strategy in Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America
Core Text:
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Abstract:
This paper offers an exploration of the lessons for grand strategy and some practical implications in Alexis de Tocqueville"s Democracy in America. First, I consider Tocqueville"s observations about America origins as well as the influence of frontiers on the American experience, shaping the distinctive ideas, institutions, principles, and interests of the republic. Turning from geographical considerations, I then explore how Tocqueville analyzes characteristic written laws, institutions, and political society as well as the "sovereignty of the people" with implications for American grand strategy. Finally, I conclude with Tocqueville"s critical insights about American mores as influenced by the equality of conditions and the social state particular to democracy in America.


Proposal Number: 89
Date: 2013-12-27
Paper Title: When You Read Their Writings: Disrupting Shelleys Frankenstein
Core Text:
Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
Abstract:
A familiar presence on core syllabi for its capacity to raise questions timeless in their philosophical significance and timely in their relevance for us, Mary Shelleys 1818 novel Frankenstein also emerges as an ideal text for fostering a critical habit of mind, precisely because attention to its complex compositional history allows students to reflect on their own practices as readers. In this paper, I describe an approach to teaching the novel in which students must work with reproductions of the original manuscript materials, endeavoring to make sense of the crossings-out, additions, and marginalia of both Mary Shelley and her husband, Percy, as they collaboratively tested out, rejected, and refined complex possibilities of meaning during the drafting process. Students must work out, first, what was originally written in the manuscript and, second, how and why certain readings were eventually adopted while others were rejected. As I argue, this approach beneficially slows and disrupts the act of reading for our students, revealing how the practice of close reading is a mode of critical response not simply justified by but actually necessitated by the acts of writing from which texts like Frankenstein originally emerged.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Awkward Classics in Our Students World: Negotiating Texts and Contexts with an Apprehensive, Skeptical Generation
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
As the 2014 ACTC conference theme makes clear, it is already a significant challenge teaching core texts to a generation of students much more concerned with careers (narrowly defined) than studying the classics. This particular panel examines the additional challenge of teaching core texts that, while often privileged by literary scholars, appear awkward, unimportant, unwieldy, or unnecessarily cumbersome in the eyes of students. These are texts that, by the judgment of most scholars and teachers of literature, have unquestionable intellectual merit and value, but that, in the actual practice of teachingin that sensitive classroom space of negotiation between instructor and studentsseem to bring with them some additional burden of explanation, clarification, and even justification as to why they occupy such a central place in our curriculum and, as a consequence, demand so much attention and time from students. Whether it be a lengthy, cumbersome novel with substantial digressions, a lesser-known, understudied work in an authors oeuvre, or a curriculum that prioritizes the close reading of messy, unpublished manuscripts of a highly recognized/comfortable text, this panel explores pedagogical strategies for making the study of such texts a deeply meaningful learning experience for students that may initially respond with apprehension, skepticism, or resistance.


Proposal Number: 88
Date: 2013-12-27
Paper Title: The Problem of Justice in Shakespeare's Coriolanus
Core Text:
Coriolanus
Abstract:
This papers examines some of the ways in which the problem of justice is central to the action of Shakespeare"s play Coriolanus.


Proposal Number: 87
Date: 2013-12-26
Paper Title: Religion in the American Polity: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?
Core Text:
McCullum v. Board of Education (1948) and Washington's Farewell Address
Abstract:
In 1948 the U.S. Supreme Court announced a new era in the relationship between religion and the public order -- an era of a much stricter separationism in which the perceived divisiveness of religion was to be left outside the confines of the schoolhouse door. This was a far cry from the founding era in which religion - in the words of George Washington himself -- was seen as an indispensable support toward political prosperity. This paper will explore the impact on the public perception of religion during the latter half of the 20th century as the legal community began to understand the U.S. as having a "secular unity." In this new era, only a privatized religion with a denuded epistemological status is constitutionally tolerated.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: American Constitution
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 86
Date: 2013-12-26
Paper Title: Visual and Verbal Primary Texts
Core Text:
Rousseau's EMILE and Jean Baptiste Pater's THE DANCE
Abstract:
My freshman class focuses on primary sources, above all, the work of art experienced first-hand; often it is linked to a primary written work. Jean Baptiste Paters painting The Dance, 1730, in the Worcester Art Museum, presents an experience that allows student to analyze its formal structure as well as its subject matter in reference to Jean-Jacques Rousseaus Emile ou lducation of 1762. The French philosopher wrote on the relationship of the individual to the state. He argued that humans are better served by first studying the example of nature, rather than following religious or political traditions to discover truth. Citizens become more cooperative and hard working when they are doing what is natural. Historians have often cited Rousseaus ideas as the seeds from which the French revolutions 1789 Droits de lHomme (Rights of Man) arose. The1948 Rights of Man proclaimed by the United Nations is based on the 1789 document. Paters landscape of French aristocracy interacting with nature in a rustic setting prioritizes nature itself as its subject matter. The brushstrokes and composition of the painting differs radically from that of courtly portraiture of the seventeenth century. Although seemingly innocuous and charming on its surface, Paters work promotes individualistic sentiments of pleasure and mutual respect, marginalizing the coercive nature of social hierarchies.


Proposal Number: 85
Date: 2013-12-26
Paper Title: Deeming Some Island: Milton on Hobbes' Leviathan
Core Text:
Milton, Paradise Lost
Abstract:
Four-sentence Abstract of paper: In Paradise Lost, Milton treats the political beginnings of fallen angels before he treats the account of Genesis. This allows him to engage the tradition of political philosophy which hold that human societies are periodically destroyed by cataclysms but then rebuild themselves, and the claim of Hobbes to have found a stable basis for politics. I argue that Milton uses Satan as a stand-in for Hobbess sovereign, satirizing not only his political teachings but their basis in a materialism, an epistemology, and a theology which profess our fundamental solitude and ignorance. This paper focuses on a few passages from Book I in which Miltons imagery likens Satan to the artificial island that is Hobbess Leviathan.


Proposal Number: 84
Date: 2013-12-26
Paper Title: The Analysis on the Connotation of Liberal Education as Curriculum theory in Higher Institutions
Core Text:
general education; curriculum of higher institutions; theoretical basis
Abstract:
General education is both a kind of important theory of higher education and model of higher education, which follows the law of the development of higher education and is with positive significance to the reform of Chinese higher education. However, general education has not played its due role because of the delay of the education reform in China. By researching systematically on the general education"s connotation and its evolution process, it is easy to find that the theory of general education should be used to guide the sustained healthy development of Chinese higher education and the healthy growth of high level talents as one of the most important theoritical basis for the reform of curriculum and the cultivation of innovative talents because which can satisfy the needs of the talented person development in both of the contemporary society and the future society, and is accord with the law of the higher education development at the same time.


Proposal Number: 83
Date: 2013-12-24
Paper Title: No damn cat, no damn cradle: Kurt Vonneguts critique of nihilism
Core Text:
Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Abstract:
Despite charges of unsubtlety and heavy messaging, I find in Kurt Vonneguts work a sense of compassion, a critique of cynicism, and, perhaps, a defense of idealism in a form accessible to my students. Focusing on Cats Cradle, two episodes in the text receive special attention: his critique of nihilism in the Meow chapter, and his espousal of a moralistic aesthetic when discussing the proposal for a general strike of all writers. Both reveal a moral pragmatism as the foundation for his attack on science and religion.


Proposal Number: 82
Date: 2013-12-24
Paper Title: The Crying of Lot 49 and the Lot of Humankind
Core Text:
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
Abstract:
Thomas Pynchons novella selectively samples professions that the characters discharging them no longer believe in. We do not learn whether housewife-heroine, Oedipa Maas, solves the riddles that a pseudo-Jacobean drama and 20th century Southern California pose her; but her story confronts us with her and our human lot. Students tackling this intentionally frustrating story will almost necessarily reflect on whether belief in a profession helps them live well in a self-projected world.


Proposal Number: 81
Date: 2013-12-24
Paper Title: Challenges in addressing students' experience of 'estrangement'
Core Text:
Karl Marx's 'Estranged Labor' in the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
Abstract:
While it is encouraging to find students actively reflect on their own lives with Karl Marx"s "Estranged Labor", it is also challenging for the teacher to address the kind of estrangement they have identified and continue to experience in their academic and social life in the university. In this paper, I discuss students" reception of Marx"s ideas with specific comments they have made in class and in written assignments. I also examine the specific experiences they bring from their world to understanding Marx, and explore possibilities of facilitating student agency in their labor of learning.


Proposal Number: 79
Date: 2013-12-23
Paper Title: Practicing Being Present: Responses to the Suffering of Others in Prometheus Bound and the Book of Job
Core Text:
Prometheus Bound and the Book of Job
Abstract:
Our students are often confronted with the suffering of others, whether they are studying global poverty, counseling a friend, volunteering in an after school community program, or even reading a tragedy. This paper considers the ways in which readings of Aeschylus Prometheus Bound and the book of Job allow students to consider emotional and active responses to the suffering of others. The chorus of Oceanids in Aeschylus text practice an active listening to the suffering Prometheus story, and they move from a distanced pity for his undeserved suffering (such as Aristotle might delineate) to a desire to endure alongside him in his sufferings, something which Jobs friends also initially practice in Job 2. As students seek to find creative ways to act in the world to alleviate pain and be an advocate for those who are marginalized or experiencing injustice, these texts suggest the importance of cultivating an ability to listen to others and in some way, to endure alongside those who are suffering.


Proposal Number: 78
Date: 2013-12-23
Paper Title: Size Does Matter: Mr. Hyde in R.L. Stevensons Novella
Core Text:
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Abstract:
During my years of teaching Robert Louis Stevensons The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), my students have been fascinated by the dwarfish size of Mr. Hyde as compared to the larger size of Dr. Jekyll. The students have expected Hyde to be monstrous, such as the popular Hulk, and have been puzzled by the inverse in Stevensons novella. This puzzlement leads the class members to a discussion of moral repression vs. libertine excess. I shall present a summary of the students reflections on Victorian emphases on duty and self-renunciation as opposed to the modern trends toward pursuit of happiness and egotism.


Proposal Number: 77
Date: 2013-12-23
Paper Title: Liberal Learning in the Marketplace: Thinking About Liberal Education With Adam Smith
Core Text:
Adam Smith, THE WEALTH OF NATIONS
Abstract:
In this paper, I employ notions from THE WEALTH OF NATIONS to consider the place of liberal education in the "academic marketplace." I suggest that, in Smith"s view, material abundance requires a division of labor, which in turn favors specialization over liberal learning. But the abundance provided by this division of labor also leaves room for "unproductive labor" (such as that in which we college professors engage) even as it militates against it. Smith goes so far as to suggest that some of the innovations that make the division of labor so productive actually require that some people engage in leisurely contemplation of a variety of "dissimilar objects"; in other words, the "capitalist marketplace" exists in a paradoxical relationship with those of us who "specialize" (so to speak) in liberal education.


Proposal Number: 76
Date: 2013-12-22
Paper Title: Contracts Between Enemies: On Bonds and The Merchant of Venice
Core Text:
The Merchant of Venice
Abstract:
The Merchant of Venice explores the various kinds of bonds that exist between humans (familial, legal, erotic, etc.). In particular, the conflict between Antonio and Shylock and the marriage of Lorenzo and Jessica allow Shakespeare to examine the possibility of contracts between enemies and opposites. Does Shakespeare believe that enemies can somehow co-exist in political or familial communities, or not? This paper will argue that The Merchant of Venice provides our students with an opportunity to think about the costs and benefits of bringing radically different individuals into community with one another. What kinds of contracts are necessary to bind antagonists together?


Proposal Number: 75
Date: 2013-12-22
Paper Title: Dantes Imagination: Between Idolatry and Iconoclasm.
Core Text:
Dante's Comedy
Abstract:
I argue that Dantes Beatrice suggests a defense of images of God, and, at the same time, a limit to the power of images. I will discuss the role of the imagination in some scenes with Beatrice from the Vita Nuova and the Purgatorio. I will then discuss her disappearance at the end of the Paradiso, and the high fantasy in its closing lines.


Proposal Number: 74
Date: 2013-12-21
Paper Title: Horses, Figures of the Imagination in the Iliad
Core Text:
Iliad
Abstract:
The Iliad suggests a deep ontological unity binding together beasts, men, and gods. My paper examines the epics depiction of Achilles single mortal horse, Pedasos: . . . mortal as he was, he ran beside the immortal horses (16.154). Yoked together with the immortal horses, gifts of Zeus, Pedasos presents a metonym revealing the inner unity of the whole poem. Indeed, the figure of Pedasos invites further musing on the role of horses (and their breakers) in the imaginative cosmos the Iliad creates.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Imagination, the Core of the Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
These papers consider a common theme -- the role of the imagination in understanding the world around us. Core texts to be considered include the Iliad, the Republic, the Divine Comedy, King Lear, and selections from twentieth-century lyric poetry.


Proposal Number: 73
Date: 2013-12-21
Paper Title: Earth, Air, Fire and Water: philosophers and the biosphere
Core Text:
Heraclitus, selected fragments; Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Abstract:
In a freshman seminar course, The Biosphere, my students begin by reading Theophrastus on plants, Aristotle on animals and Lao Tzus Tao Te Ching. They are also given several fragments of Heraclitus as prompts for writing in their journals about observations in the field. We discuss the readings in class and follow the questions they raise about the nature of life on Earth in later, ecological writers including Henry David Thoreau, George Perkins Marsh, Vladimir Vernadsky, G. Evelyn Hutchinson, Rachel Carson and Loren Eisley. I will discuss what these early philosophers, especially Heraclitus and Lao Tzu, have to say about the living world we inhabit and how they challenge our views of the balance of nature.


Proposal Number: 72
Date: 2013-12-20
Paper Title: Friendship in Aristotles Ethics and in the Lives of Todays Students
Core Text:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
This paper describes the authors experiences when teaching the theme of friendship in Aristotles Ethics, during a seminar on ancient political philosophy, which proceeded through a close reading of both the Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics, so that friendship which was discussed after we had examined the moral and intellectual virtues. The class was receptive but had some difficulty relating to Aristotles account of the moral virtues, either from relatively few opportunities to practice them (e.g. martial courage), from growing up in a culture which devalues others (e.g. magnanimity), or simply locates the mean in a different place (e.g., right anger, wit). This changed, dramatically, when we discussed friendship in Book VIII: For the first time students were eager to show how their experiences fit into Aristotles categories of use, pleasure and true friendship; they also had an elaborated vocabulary for describing bad friends. Todays students, enmeshed in others lives as a result of social networking technology, have rich experiences which enable them to engage this aspect of Aristotles thought. Accordingly, the remainder of the seminar used the various forms of friendship as a touchstone to examine politics as shared rule, and the different forms it may take.


Proposal Number: 68
Date: 2013-12-20
Paper Title: How Liberal Education and Technical Education Are Connected
Core Text:
Democracy and Education, John Dewey
Abstract:
The schism between the concepts of liberal education and technical education has existed since the time of the ancient Greeks. Belief in the separation and incompatibility of the liberal and the technical presents a great challenge to higher education. Dewey makes a powerful argument that the two should be connected. I will examine Deweys argument for connecting the two and some of the qualities they ideally share.


Proposal Number: 67
Date: 2013-12-19
Paper Title: How to Read Don Quijote as a Great Book about the Soul and Politics: First Read Apuleiuss The Golden Ass and Platos The Republic
Core Text:
Don Quijote (Cervantes), The Golden Ass (Apuleius), The Republic (Plato)
Abstract:
In order to study literature well, which includes not only contemplating its symbolic meaning but also relating it both to students personal experiences as well as their attitudes towards human society, we should consider doing so in terms of comparative literature. It follows that if we wish to study great literature well, we should also do so comparatively. One way to elicit tangibly anchored and creatively independent discussions of Miguel de Cervantess intimidatingly complex Don Quijote is to ask students to ponder its consistent dual allusions to both the classical origins of the novel and the classical origins of political philosophy. In the context of Apuleiuss The Golden Ass and Platos The Republic, Cervantess magnum opus manifests important links between, on the one hand, thinking about personal spiritual development and, on the other hand, thinking about real political problems.


Proposal Number: 65
Date: 2013-12-19
Paper Title: From Beijing to Birmingham: Encountering Core Texts in a Multicultural Classroom
Core Text:
Nichomachean Ethics, The Rule of St. Benedict, To Live
Abstract:
Core texts can be challenging for first-year students, and even more so for international students who lack the vocabulary and common cultural experiences that most Western students share. With an increasing number of Chinese students enrolling in our core text courses at Samford University, I have altered approaches to some traditional core texts and added new texts that have proven more accessible to non-Western students. This paper will suggest approaches to three texts that have worked well in my multicultural classroom: Aristotles Nichomachean Ethics, The Rule of St. Benedict, and To Live, by Chinese author Yu Hua.


Proposal Number: 61
Date: 2013-12-18
Paper Title: Dante Questions His World and Ours
Core Text:
Dante, Divine Comedy, Book III, Paradise
Abstract:
In the Divine Comedy and particularly third book, Paradise, Dante, presents a series of scenes and dialogues which raise questions about customs and understanding of the early fourteenth century, and answers them in ways that challenges those fourteenth century customs and understanding. While we often think of Dante as the paradigm of a medieval writer, we find in these portrayals that his medieval response also challenges our own age. The questions he raises are about understandings and customs not only of his age, but of ours. Dante seems to span the ages and becomes the teacher both of the medieval and modern age, a remarkable example of the kinds of questions an acknowledged classic can prod us and our students to consider.


Proposal Number: 60
Date: 2013-12-18
Paper Title: Facing Moral Timidity: GREAT EXPECTATIONS and Preparing for the Days and Years Ahead
Core Text:
GREAT EXPECTATIONS, Charles Dickens
Abstract:
As many Victorian novels do, Dickenss GREAT EXPECTATIONS presents students with a protagonist who must achieve some equilibrium between personal desires and social demands: like Pip, they will have to determine their roles and their places in a culture that values status and material wealth more than personal identity or fulfillment. Teaching GREAT EXPECTATIONS provides students with opportunities to examine the conflicts that often arise between conformity and authenticity, the social and the personal, and the superficial and the internal. The novel simultaneously keeps students at a distance (needed for them to analyze and understand what theyre seeing there) and draws them in, using Pips narrative to establish the crucial importance of his choicesand ultimately of their own. Students do not fail to see the applicability of this core text to their own lives.


Proposal Number: 53
Date: 2013-12-11
Paper Title: Cultural Devastation and Radical Hope
Core Text:
McCarthy, The Road
Abstract:
Taught within an NEH-sponsored "Enduring Questions" course, McCarthy"s The Road presents students with the ultimate challenge in distilling hope from the ashes of a devastated culture. The course used Jonathan Lear"s notion of "radical" hope (derived from the experience of the Crow tribe in accomodating to dominant white culture) to frame its explorations of authors ranging from Euripides to Solzhenitsyn. The paper will locate The Road relative to ideas mined from these other texts (which include Camus, Frankl, Boethius, Sophocles, Augustine and other lesser-known authors representing Asian and Native American contexts).


Proposal Number: 52
Date: 2013-12-11
Paper Title: Why Nerds Rule The World: What Machiavelli Can Teach Us As Students of the Liberal Arts
Core Text:
Machiavellis The Prince
Abstract:
the presenters on the latter panel presented a paper entitled The Commander as Machiavellian Statesman: George Washington Self Understanding in the Revolutionary War.My analysis would focus not on how statesmen might benefit from the liberal arts, but on how we, as students of the liberal arts can benefit from the advice of Machiavelli. I would specifically focus on chapters XXII and XXIII of The Prince. As conventionally understood, Machiavelli is exhorting princes to choose their counselors wisely. It strikes me that this is the same choice made by those who place value in great books, instead of favoring the transient and academically trendy programs that have largely taken hold of the academy.


Proposal Number: 51
Date: 2013-12-11
Paper Title: Grace and Gracelessness in The Republic of Plato
Core Text:
The Republic of Plato
Abstract:
grace for Socrates is the harmonious disposition of the parts of the soul. The physical aspects of grace can be ascribed to grace in the soul. A soul with grace would be upright and would not slouch in virtuous actions and would have the proper attitude to accompany the actions. A graceless soul would be clumsy in his virtue; the parts of his soul would be disordered. By being educated towards grace, the guardian must have surroundings of reason and beauty, rather than those that are disordered. In a way this education is similar to our own liberal education. A liberal education is about more than developing critical thinking skills that aid a student in getting a job post graduation. Instead, a liberal education should lead the student to the reasonable and beautiful, it should lead to the end of the ordering of the soul, it should lead to grace.


Proposal Number: 50
Date: 2013-12-11
Paper Title: The Prince in Real Life
Core Text:
Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince
Abstract:
Niccolo Machiavelli"s The Prince contains a teaching directly applicable to the lives of students of the liberal arts. Though most students will not become rulers of their own principates, they may adapt what Machiavelli says about how to discern good counsel in chapter XXIII to their own lives and learn to recognize good advice. Teachers can take the lessons concerning ruling virtues and vices from chapters XV to XXI and adapt them for the interpersonal relationships of their students. Additionally, his discussion of the relative strengths and weaknesses of various governmental arrangements and tactics is helpful for the student in a liberal democracy hoping to exercise his suffrage wisely.


Proposal Number: 49
Date: 2013-12-11
Paper Title: The Liberal Paradox: Morality and Law in John Lockes Letter Concerning Toleration
Core Text:
John Lockes Letter Concerning Toleration
Abstract:
Contemporary analyses of the Letter Concerning Toleration often mistake the end for which Locke separates the institutions of church and state. He limits the states legislative jurisdiction to those things knowable by all mens natural reason, not so that laws can be freed from moral influence, but, paradoxically, so that they can more certainly and authoritatively legislate within a moral framework. Liberal open-mindedness towards religion, in other words, is good in large part because it allows mens reason to lead them to greater certainty in fundamental principles. In our increasingly pluralistic and relativistic society, the liberal arts and core texts, by both representing many epochs and cultures throughout human history, and yet revolving around truths and themes common to them all, uniquely qualify students to strike this much-needed balance in the world they will be entering.


Proposal Number: 48
Date: 2013-12-09
Paper Title: Keep Calm and Carry On: Marcus Aurelius Ancient Cures for Modern Ailments
Core Text:
Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
Abstract:
According to Marcus Aurelius, it is unreasonable for humans to expect that the world should change in order to create conditions of happiness. For the Stoic philosopher there is merit in existential suffering as means to invent new moral techniques for coping with everyday reality. Marcus Aurelius encourages the activation of critical thinking and individual will as ways that redefine the participation of individuals in political society. Resignation and defeat are replaced by moral empowerment in the form of fearlessness and determination to confront existences ongoing challenges.


Proposal Number: 47
Date: 2013-12-09
Paper Title: A 12th Century Saint, a Renaissance Shrine and a 21st Century Pope: imitatio Christi in the Medieval, Renaissance and Modern worlds.
Core Text:
Celano's Second Life of St. Francis
Abstract:
The idea of imitatio Christi as it runs through three eras of Western Christianity and is seen in contemporary headlines concerning the current Pope Francis.


Proposal Number: 46
Date: 2013-12-08
Paper Title: Milton and Hebrew Citizenship
Core Text:
The Torah, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained
Abstract:
Did ancient Israel have a concept of citizenship? Early Modern theorists like Spinoza and Sigonio seemed to think so. But in order to puzzle out what it may have meant to be a citizen in the Hebrew republic so lionized by Early Modern republicans, we must look at relevant passages in the Torah. Only then can we turn to another Renaissance Republican, John Milton, whose theorization of citizenship in Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained arguably draws on yet transcends the work of Sigonio and Cuneaus.


Proposal Number: 45
Date: 2013-12-07
Paper Title: The Death of Death
Core Text:
Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra
Abstract:
In this paper I explore a theme tying together some of the greatest works of 20th century philosophy: the declaration of death. Starting with Nietzsches Zarathustra in the 19th century, I turn to the 20th to notice that in both the Anglo-American analytic and Franco-German continental traditions, one way or another much is being declared dead. Zarathustras declaration of the death of God is followed throughout the 20th century by the same being said of linguistic meaning, the author, value(s), method, reality, sex, art, history, gender and of course metaphysics and philosophy. Connecting a series of authors and two traditions taken to have little in common, I argue this sets us up for a return to the present to ask if it might not be time for us to declare the death of death? With our students attending funeral after funeral hardly knowing very well who is in the casket (is this the reason black is such a popular color among our most committed students?), and staring down a life on average far longer than most previous generations could have imagined, might it be time to bury the undertakers and return philosophy to the embrace of life?


Proposal Number: 44
Date: 2013-12-07
Paper Title: An Experiment in Aristotelian Character Shaping
Core Text:
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
As a test of Aristotle"s claim that one acquires a virtue by habituation--in effect, acting as if one already possessed that virtue--I had my students select a trait that was a scored as a weakness based on an on-line survey, practice that trait for the length of the semester, and then re-take the survey to see if they improved in terms of manifesting that trait. I will discuss the texts inspiring this experiment, the procedure, and our results.


Proposal Number: 43
Date: 2013-12-06
Paper Title: Cosmopolitan Conscience of the World: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Core Text:
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Abstract:
I will argue that the UDHR should be an essential core text--not only in colleges and universities, but also in high schools. In making the case, I will briefly tell the story of the Declaration"s writing, approval, status, and influence. I will also respond to the standard criticisms, e.g. that it is the imposition of "Western" ideas and doesn"t recognize the crucial role of cultural considerations in implementing human rights norms.


Proposal Number: 42
Date: 2013-12-05
Paper Title: The Art of Leadership in Xenophons The Anabasis of Cyrus
Core Text:
The Anabasis of Cyrus
Abstract:
In The Anabasis of Cyrus, Xenophon presents himself as the ideal ruler. He operates between two extremes. The first is Clearchus, who relies too much on force. The soldiers respect and obey Clearchus in times of danger but do not wish to be ruled by him in any less dire circumstances. The other extreme is Proxenus, who relies too much on praise. According to Xenophon this makes him competent to rule over those who were noble and good but incapable of ruling those who require force instead of persuasion. Furthermore, Xenophon rules from a position of competence. He is an ideal ruler because he is capable of ruling well and is therefore worthy of other mens allegiance. Finding the balance between these two extremes and understanding the necessity of competence in leadership is vital for those seeking positions of leadership today. This knowledge is necessary for students interested in politics, business, law, the military, and even parenting. Xenophons example in The Anabasis is an essential tool for liberal arts students seeking to make an impact in the world.


Proposal Number: 41
Date: 2013-12-05
Paper Title: The Value of Political Philosophy in Preparing Students in the Field of International Relations & Diplomacy
Core Text:
Frederick Douglas - "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"
Abstract:
Requiring two political philosophy courses for our international relations & diplomacy degree results in the common refrain: What does this have to do with my job? The understanding, and hopefully development, of a more balanced soul, in the Platonic sense, should lead students to recognize arguments driven by passion, by reason, and how to find a balance that leads to political prudence. Frederick Douglas What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? is a wonderful example of the spirited soul harnessing both passion and reason to recognize political prudence in decision-making. Juxtaposing two Constitution Bicentennial works, one by Thurgood Marshall and one by Robert Goldwin, Douglas becomes an example of a balanced soul and prudent diplomat.


Proposal Number: 40
Date: 2013-12-04
Paper Title: Odysseus and Penelope on Work/Life Balance
Core Text:
Homer's Odyssey
Abstract:
In a culture in which past and contemporary voices alike cast a dim light on the feminine, the domestic, and the private sphere of life, Homer"s Odyssey presents a critical counterpoint. For young men and women about to embark upon their own professional lives and possibly enter into lifelong journeys of partnership and parenthood, nothing could be more relevant or more lacking in current education. The Odysseys simultaneous portrayal of both the importance and strength of private attachments and its tension with public achievement and glory speaks to practical contemporary issues central to the life decisions of young college students and graduates. The Odyssey thus prepares students to consciously, wisely, and responsibly determine the relative extent to which they will devote themselves to their families or pursue the honor that can be won through political, artistic, and professional pursuits.


Proposal Number: 39
Date: 2013-11-29
Paper Title: Holy Shit: Divine Comedy & High Fashion
Core Text:
Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus
Abstract:
This paper seeks to establish a connection between profanity and clothing by way of Thomas Carlyle"s Sartor Resartus. Sartor Resartus is an elegant and repulsive book, which attacks modern science and German idealism in a single blow by posing the latter as the comic antidote to the former. German idealism is personified by an elusive Philosopher of Clothes named Diogenes Teufelsdrockh, or "God-born Devil"s Shit," from Weissnichtwo, or "Know-Not-Where." I will link utterances of unknown origin (curse words), clothes made of fig leaves, and elitist parodies.


Proposal Number: 38
Date: 2013-11-21
Paper Title: By No Means Improvd: Franklins Prodigal Passage to London and Back in the Autobiography.
Core Text:
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Abstract:
Benjamin Franklin arrived in Britain betrayed and broke. Promised letters of credit and introduction by Pennsylvanias governor, Franklin arrived in London only to discover he possessed neither. As he makes clear in the early pages of The Autobiography, the inconstancy of colonial power was the first in a series of hard lessons London was to offer the young Franklin. In the Autobiography, Franklin recalls eighteen months in London in which he read, worked, made new acquaintances and betrayed old. Ultimately, Franklin left London admitting that he had done all this but had by no means improvd my Fortune. The phrase is telling. Franklins Autobiography promised his readers an account of his rise from obscurity and of the means by which he had improved upon his fortune, hoping that such recollections might be of use to readers. Franklins account of his time in London can, most generously, be read as a pause or plateau in his otherwise remarkable ascent. This paper will focus in particular on the ways, in friendship, in family and in industry, that London led Franklin to forget himself, to lose the very identity that the Autobiography seeks to cultivate in his reader. This paper will argue that Franklins London, characterized by stagnation, inertia and ultimately decline, was meant not to report on English conditions but, in contrast, to promote American ambitions.


Proposal Number: 36
Date: 2013-11-18
Paper Title: Receiving Their Inheritance
Core Text:
Plato's Republic and the Book of Job
Abstract:
This paper will compare the discussions about inheritance in the Republic and Job on the ground that not to do so is to deprive our children and students of their inheritance. To deprive children of their inheritance causes them to lose interest in justice at the beginning of the Republic, but the rectification of unequal inheritance by eliminating its possibility as suggested by the Republic tramples on the love of parents and children. The unbearable pain of losing all of his children causes Job to change his will for future children to equal inheritance. This may help to explain why one of the greatest evils recorded in the Old Testament is Jezebel"s use of a frame-up and consequent murder to steal an inheritance.


Proposal Number: 35
Date: 2013-11-17
Paper Title: Dickens, Rubrics, and the Students of Assessment
Core Text:
Hard Times, Charles Dickens
Abstract:
In the novel Hard Times by Charles Dickens, Thomas Gradgrinds obsession with facts limits his ability for innovative problem-solving, while the circus performer Sissy Jupe demonstrates innovative problem-solving abilities. In the assessment-obsessed culture of twenty-first century American education, students can visibly see how unimaginative they have become, due to the emphasis on accomplishing easily assessable tasks. While critics such as Richard E. Miller have pointed out the connections between the modern British educational system described by Dickens and the assessment culture of the Educational Testing Service, the students in our classes today have never known a educational system outside of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation and state-mandated assessment programs, such as the FCAT in Florida and STAAR in Texas. Hard Times shows todays students who they are and what they need to circumvent their own educational limitations.


Proposal Number: 34
Date: 2013-11-17
Paper Title: Is Gatsby an Oxford Man?
Core Text:
Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Abstract:
Throughout F. Scott Fitzgerald"s novel, The Great Gatsby, characters debate whether or nor Jay Gatsby is "an Oxford man." This paper will examine what it means to be "an Oxford man," particularly the symbolism for Americans and their relationship with the City of Dreaming Spires.


Proposal Number: 22
Date: 2013-11-14
Paper Title: Listening in and to Time with Kenko's Essays in Idleness
Core Text:
Listening in Time: Kenko's 'Essays in Idleness'
Abstract:
Offering the elegant world of traditional Japanese musical and musical-theatrical arts to American general education/humanities students enrolled in a Traditions in World Music course offers ripe opportunities to begin to prepare them for life and business in our global economy and in our diversely populated nation, where an ability to understand and operate within structures of behavior and modes of thinking not their own is crucial. One way for students to enter modes of thinking not their own is to enter the distant world of the 14th century "essays" by Buddhist monk Kenk, his work long considered a canonic one in Asian studies. Using Kenk"s Essays in Idleness as a text supports the information-based aspect of core humanities courses and the pedagogical goal of developing critical thinking, and, more importantly, it supports the goal of developing "critical" listening skills--attentiveness--in students whose distracted lives and whose popular culture do not encourage the deep thinking and attentiveness needed to live balanced existences or to engage in the kinds of political and social awareness we will need in the 21st century in order to solve pressing needs. Taken as a whole, Kenk"s Essays present not only meditations on time (perceptual, personal, historical); on beauty (impermanence) and its paradoxes (the consistency of that which is inconstant); and on the past"s location in the present (ritual), the 243 brief essays offer students opportunities to focus on the lived moment as they experience it in the texts, reflect on it in essays, and begin to apply those experiences to listening in the musical moment.


Proposal Number: 32
Date: 2013-11-13
Paper Title: Words and Desire
Core Text:
PHAEDRUS
Abstract:
The "Phaedrus" deals with two topics: desirous longing and writing. In what two topics are college students more engaged in? The dialog asks: How do we talk (and write) to our beloved? What is the relationship between the person we love and how we speak to him or her? Every undergraduate should have the chance to read the "Phaedrus".


Proposal Number: 31
Date: 2013-11-10
Paper Title: The Significance of a Smile: Understanding a Deeper Meaning of Dante's Divine Comedy
Core Text:
Dante's Divine Comedy
Abstract:
Society has interpreted the action of smiling to indicate happiness, or joy. There are, however, different ways to interpret a smile and different reasons to smile. The uneducated mind interprets a smile as a response to happiness, when often the smiler employs to smile to convey a conscious message. This paper focuses on the theme of smiling and how it teaches both the reader and Dante to focus not on what is seen on the surface, but rather to delve deeper into an idea and truly gain understanding of the presence of God.


Proposal Number: 30
Date: 2013-11-07
Paper Title: Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois: Strategies of Race in Post-Reconstruction America
Core Text:
"The Atlanta Exposition Address" and The Souls of Black Folk
Abstract:
In today"s multi-racial, pluralistic society, it is both challenging and rewarding to teach about issues of race; in tackling this challenge, a useful approach is to go back to the pivotal sources and moments that have helped to frame the debates on race for more than the past century. Two such sources are Booker T. Washington"s "Atlanta Exposition Address" (1895), in which Washington pushed for policies of accommodation, and W.E.B. DuBois" The Souls of Black Folks (1903), in which DuBois predicted that "the color line will be the issue of the twentieth century." In first tackling--comparing and contrasting--the divergent views of Washington and DuBois, and then considering these views within their post-Reconstruction historical context, students are challenged to understand what Washington and DuBois still have to "say" to us, consider how their arguments may still be relevant, and view how we have come to be where we are from where we have been.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and August Wilson: "The Color Line": African American Life from Post-Reconstruction through the Twentieth Century in History and Literature
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Booker T. Washingtons Atlanta Exposition Address and W.E.B. DuBois The Souls of Black Folk are core texts that describe the critical issues of race and racism in America as the 19th century ends and the 20th century begins. While these two authors propose discrete strategies for dealing with racism, they both are committed to lifting up the black race. African American playwright August Wilson then contributes a ten-play cycle chronicling black life in the U.S. Each play explores one decade of the 20th century. Now that Wilsons plays have become core texts in many colleges and universities, students can experience racism directly through the lives of the characters. By entering their struggles, students can witness both the progress American culture has made against prejudice and the stubborn resilience of racism that still endures.


Proposal Number: 29
Date: 2013-11-07
Paper Title: Playwright August Wilsons Pittsburgh Cycle: Ten Plays Chronicle African American Culture and Racism in the U.S.
Core Text:
August Wilson's plays: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Two Trains Running
Abstract:
Booker T. Washingtons Atlanta Exposition Address (1895) and W.E.B. DuBois The Souls of Black Folk (1905) laid the groundwork for world-class playwright August Wilsons Pittsburgh Cycle, which features ten interconnected plays chronicling the history of an entire century of African American life from just after Reconstruction ends to the brink of the 21st century. With the Hill District of Pittsburgh as a microcosm of the United States, Wilson immerses readers and audiences in African American culture, thus revealing the challenges his characters face, and the racism inherent in white society. When studying the plays, students of all races and ethnicities begin to understand the nature of racism and issues of power and privilege. August Wilsons plays now take their place among the great core texts of American literature.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and August Wilson: "The Color Line": African American Life from Post-Reconstruction through the Twentieth Century in History and Literature
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Booker T. Washingtons Atlanta Exposition Address and W.E.B. DuBois The Souls of Black Folk are core texts that describe the critical issues of race and racism in America as the 19th century ends and the 20th century begins. While these two authors propose discrete strategies for dealing with racism, they both are committed to lifting up the black race. African American playwright August Wilson then contributes a ten-play cycle chronicling black life in the U.S. Each play explores one decade of the 20th century. Now that Wilsons plays have become core texts in many colleges and universities, students can experience racism directly through the lives of the characters. By entering their struggles, students can witness both the progress American culture has made against prejudice and the stubborn resilience of racism that still endures.


Proposal Number: 27
Date: 2013-11-07
Paper Title: Reshaping Students' Perception about Marriage, Women and Family: Teaching Core Texts that Have Affected Arab Intellectual Discourse
Core Text:
Qasim Amin 1899 book The Liberation of Women (Tahrir al mar'a) and its 1900 sequel The New Woman (al mar'a al jadida).
Abstract:
Youth gain their perceptions about marriage, women and family from their parents, religion and the society as well. And the solidity of the tradition plays its role in a different way from one family to next. The question, then, is whether there is a fundamental role that the university can play to reshape the knowledge of youth in regard to sensitive cultural issues, especially given that it is not the duty of the professional educator to interfere with or deal with this issue. This paper suggests a different approach to rebuilding our students' perceptions about important issues that affect ability to succeed in life. Qasim Amin was an early advocate of women"s rights in Egyptian society; his works represent a classical text that has shaped the Arab discourse in the issue of women in the 20th century. This teaching oriented research paper aims at opening a discussion about how we, as professional educators in the Middle East environment, lead our students to examine and evaluate their perceptions about certain cultural issues. Simultaneously, they rethink one or more core texts in a positive way, even if the text's approach is a different way of thinking for our students.


Proposal Number: 28
Date: 2013-11-04
Paper Title: Tribal Rule
Core Text:
Tom Wolfe's BACK TO BLOOD
Abstract:
The paper examines BACK TO BLOOD as it illustrates Chris Hedges" EMPIRE OF ILLUSION. Wolfe"s narrative expose of contemporary Miami culture addresses America"s illusions of literacy, love, wisdom, happiness, and the concept of America itself.As a city full of young immigrants now, Wolfe"s Miami seems to have as its only hope, the last vestiges of values alive only in these youth from elsewhere. The one white, young WASP who might prove hopeful is a journalist, still interested in finding and reporting truth. Most of the rest of Miami, as Wolfe represents it, are interested only in "getting and spending" in any way they can - this is the current world our students will have to deal with.


Proposal Number: 25
Date: 2013-10-16
Paper Title: The Political Animal? Teaching Aristotles Politics to Todays Students
Core Text:
Aristotle's Politics
Abstract:
The Political Animal? Teaching Aristotles Politics to Todays StudentsStudents in the U.S., and probably the West generally, believe strongly in the justice of liberal regimes but are often insufficiently aware that the regime to which they are attached rests fundamentally on the denial of humans natural sociability. Students also, alternatively, sense that something in them does in fact draw them toward their fellow human beings, that humans are somehow driven to live together in communities or, at the very least, to couple or to form families. This paper will discuss teaching the opening chapters of Aristotles Politics, as well as offer interpretations of these passages. I intend to show how these chapters lay bare the fundamental alternatives regarding humankinds sociability.


Proposal Number: 24
Date: 2013-10-16
Paper Title: How to Read Don Quijote as a Great Book about the Soul and Politics: First Read Apuleiuss The Golden Ass and Platos The Republic
Core Text:
Don Quijote (Cervantes), The Golden Ass (Apuleius), The Republic (Plato)
Abstract:
In order to study literature well, which includes not only contemplating its symbolic meaning but also relating it both to students personal experiences as well as their attitudes towards human society, we should consider doing so in terms of comparative literature. It follows that if we wish to study great literature well, we should also do so comparatively. One way to elicit tangibly anchored and creatively independent discussions of Miguel de Cervantess intimidatingly complex Don Quijote is to ask students to ponder its consistent dual allusions to both the classical origins of the novel and the classical origins of political philosophy. In the context of Apuleiuss The Golden Ass and Platos The Republic, Cervantess magnum opus manifests important links between, on the one hand, thinking about personal spiritual development and, on the other hand, thinking about real political problems.


Proposal Number: 23
Date: 2013-10-16
Paper Title: On Facilitating the Tao
Core Text:
Tao Te Ching
Abstract:
Engaging students in a core texts course can be challenging enough with Western texts that often dovetail with the students high school education and general upbringing, but helping them appreciate Eastern texts can be even more challenging. Some may find this is especially true of the Tao Te Ching for reasons including a) it communicates in a non-narrative style a worldview that few U.S. American-born students are familiar, and b) few faculty members are experts in Chinese philosophy, yet many may wish to include this important text in an effort to have a more multicultural course that better prepares students for a global life and to honor the culture, tradition, and country that has been a force in the past and is rising exponentially again. So how does one teach that which cannot be taught? By, at least in part, setting aside self and facilitating rather than teaching, by wordless teaching and modeling the benefit of taking no action (Lao Tzu, 43), which will be discussed along with setting the stage for this non-traditional approach.


Proposal Number: 19
Date: 2013-10-11
Paper Title: The Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns in Gulliver's Travels
Core Text:
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Abstract:
Everyone knows that Swift skewers modern politics and science in Gulliver"s Travels. Others further argue that the book makes a case for the forgotten classical alternatives. But if Gulliver himself proves in some way to be a partisan of the ancients, is his judgment, or are the reasons supporting it, shared by Swift? I will argue that Swift"s critique of modernity includes a critique of Gulliver, and that by pointing to Gulliver"s limits, Swift indirectly shows us what we must face if we are truly to come to grips with the quarrel between the ancients and moderns.


Proposal Number: 18
Date: 2013-10-07
Paper Title: Core Texts: Inter-Disciplinary and Disciplinary Specific
Core Text:
Dante's Divine Comedy, Augustine's Confessions,Newman's "Knowledge as its own End," and Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" among others
Abstract:
My paper concerns teaching core texts in both inter-dicsiplinary (classic "core" courses) and disciplinary specific courses (i.e. traditional English courses). We will specifically cover works by Dante, Augustine, Newman, and Plato, but we will go beyond these texts to look at the general content of three courses at Seton Hall (Journeyof Transformation -- core class, first year writing classes I and II, and Great Books -- traditional English). Newman"s essay, "Knowledge as is own End" will be our framing text, used to interpret the other texts and their use in a Core class and traditional English curriculum.


Proposal Number: 7
Date: 2013-10-07
Paper Title: Reading both Aristotle and MacIntyre in Gadamerian Perspective
Core Text:
Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics and MacIntyre's After Virtue
Abstract:
This paper explores the value of teaching both Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics and MacIntyres After Virtue in one intensive reading course. The paper explores the possibility that reading both texts in one course may be conducive to what Hans-Georg Gadamer called the process of transcending the subjectivity of horizons of interpretation. The argument of the paper and the course is that by agreeing or disagreeing with MacIntyres arguments in After Virtue, which in many ways is a modern appropriation of Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics, while also reading Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics itself, the student is invited to participate in a living tradition of interpreting ancient texts, to move towards developing his own appropriation of Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics and, in the process of critically analyzing MacIntyres arguments, to be aided in transcending the subjectivity of his/her horizon of interpretation. The paper also explores the extent to which such transcendence is of personal or intellectual benefit to the student, connecting to one of the questions of the ACTC conference about the extent to which a liberal arts education in core text(s) makes a difference.


Proposal Number: 16
Date: 2013-10-02
Paper Title: Law, Justice, and the Political Community in St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae
Core Text:
Summa Theologiae
Abstract:
St. Thomas" famous argument for the eternal and natural laws would seem to require the virtuous human being to act according to a measure of justice superior to the inferior political justice established in the variety of human laws. St. Thomas, however, acknowledges the truth of Aristotle"s argument that man is by nature a political animal whose earthly survival and earthly excellence depend on the political community, a precarious unity composed of an imperfect many bound together by laws and customs often permitting or even promoting vicious habits. Thus the justice of the virtuous must respect and often support human laws that are not just when measured by the higher law.


Proposal Number: 15
Date: 2013-09-30
Paper Title: Christian Teaching: Jesus and/or Socrates?
Core Text:
Philippians, 1 Timothy, Instructing Beginners in Faith (Augustine), Faust (Goethe)
Abstract:
Many discussions of the vocation of a Christian teacher start with the "kenosis" hymn of Philippians 2, as well as the opening chapter of 1 Timothy. Augustine elaborates these in his discussion of teaching those who are investigating the Christian faith. But these alone do not capture the vocation of Christian teacher: for that we need the Platonist element Augustine frequently brought into his thought elsewhere, for a full sense of teaching as both love of God and love of neighbor.


Proposal Number: 14
Date: 2013-09-30
Paper Title: A modern divine comedy?
Core Text:
Dante's Divine Comedy
Abstract:
To explore the reception by students of Dante's Divine Comedy. Of interest is the ways in which students are able, or in some cases not able, to find modern significance to such a mediaeval vision. In other words, of what possible relevance can Angels, Devils, harmonic spheres, and the Aristotelian universe have for the modern student in the modern age? The question will also be raised as to whether there is any credibility in trying to describe a modern Divine Comedy?


Proposal Number: 13
Date: 2013-09-30
Paper Title: master/slave: teacher/student
Core Text:
Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
Abstract:
Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit contains the famous section on the master and slave relationship. This has been taken up in recent philosophical work to illustrate the pedagogical relationship between teacher and student, as well as between medical practitioners and their patients. A will explore such readings and describe the experience of teaching this content to undergraduate students on a liberal arts programme in England.


Proposal Number: 11
Date: 2013-09-30
Paper Title: The Failure of Justice in Camus's The Stranger and Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Core Text:
Camus's The Stranger: Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Abstract:
In Camus's The Stranger and Marquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold, justice fails in large part because judgment is based on the character of the accused rather than his alleged actions. In addition, both novellas subtly indict racism (against Arabs), as evidenced in the crime itself, the failure of justice, or both (recall that there are two crimes and two trials in The Stranger: those of Raymond the pimp as well as those of Mersault, and the first leads almost inexorably to the second). Moreover, in both works the circumstances of the alleged crimes are unclear, even if they are described in the narrative, and in Marquezs Chronicle we never even find out whether or not the condemned man committed any crime at all. Students relate these novellas to their own experience of crime, justice, and racism, which usually comes from TV shows, movies, and high-profile controversial trials, such as the recent George Zimmerman case. Our discussion of these texts encourages them to reevaluate their own views of justice, consider the weaknesses of Western judicial systems, and confront the significance of racial prejudice.


Proposal Number: 8
Date: 2013-09-30
Paper Title: The Cooperative Relationship of Consumer and Producer in Art
Core Text:
James Monaco, How to Read a Film
Abstract:
Both modern and postmodern art presuppose the notion of art for arts sake or the primacy of the producer over the consumer. This notion, however, does not apply to the most popular art form of the 20th century motion pictures. In film, the consumer is equally important to the producer of the art. Monaco's book tackles the question of film consumption from both a philosophical and practical perspective. Monaco first details an approach to the study of art using the French notion of 'Rapport de Production.' This concept is demonstrated by the interactions between the movie director and producer, Alexander Korda, and Winston Churchill and the failed attempt to produce a movie on the life of King George V.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Core Texts and the Movies
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Many modern writers end up writing for the movies. Some of the most unlikely persons have tried to write for the movies. What is the relationship of core text to movies? What is the importance of movies to modern life and literature? Finally, are movies important to our understanding of history?


Proposal Number: 10
Date: 2013-09-17
Paper Title: Winston Churchill and the Movies
Core Text:
Great Contemporaries
Abstract:
Winston S. Churchill is best known as a politician but he made his money by writing. He even wrote for the movies but instead of being made he reworked his treatments into essays. These essay provide great insight into how Churchill wrote and about his subjects. Finally, I will look at Churchill"s life long fascination with the movies.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Core Text and the Movies
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Many modern writers have written for the cinema. How are movies related to the liberal arts. What is the relationship between core texts and the movies. What is the importance of movies to modern life and literature. Finally, what is the relationship between movies and our understanding of history


Proposal Number: 1
Date: 2013-09-05
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 3
Date: 2013-09-04
Paper Title: Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer?: Preparing our children for the professions
Core Text:
Plato Laches
Abstract:
Platos Laches calls into doubt expert instruction as preparation for civic distinction within a practice, particularly technologically trendy instruction. At the same time, it makes open-ended enquiry into the ultimate purposes of a practice crucial to exercising genuine leadership within the practice. Medicine and warfare are the two life-and-death examples used by Socrates in the dialogue to tease out the difference between technical knowledge and the broader civic purposes that should guide the use of this professional knowledge and skill. Written in a time of extremely rapid social and intellectual change, the dialogues insistence that second-order wisdom must be part of professional training echoes contemporary criticism of a narrowing concept of professional training in our own age of accelerating change, where doctors, lawyers, and engineers are increasingly being reduced to technicians for hireseen as competing in the market place rather than advocating for the civic goods embodied in their professional practices.