Submitted Proposals (2014-2015)

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Proposal # Date Panel Title Paper Title
Proposal # 70 2015-01-20 Can We Trust Thucydides?
Proposal # 254 2015-01-16 Tyndale's New Testament: the Art and Science of Translation
Proposal # 253 2015-01-16 Influencing Images: Art and Ethics in Dantes Divine Comedy
Proposal # 252 2015-01-16 Aristotle and Heidegger on the Transformative Power of Art
Proposal # 251 2015-01-16 Matching the core text approach with the general education philosophy: Breaking new grounds at Leuphana College in Lneburg, Germany
Proposal # 250 2015-01-15 Parmenides: To Be Not or Not To Be?
Proposal # 249 2015-01-15 Some Science and Art in Ovids Metamorphoses: Distinguishing the Natural and the Supernatural
Proposal # 248 2015-01-14 Qualitative Narrative Assessment Project
Proposal # 247 2015-01-14 Botany, Sex, and Politics: Erasmus Darwin's _Loves of the Plants_
Proposal # 241 2015-01-12 Shakespeare's
Proposal # 240 2015-01-12 In sign of what you are; Studying Coriolanus and Learning the Art of Reading.
Proposal # 239 2015-01-12 Spartan vs. Athenian Education: Lysander and Alcibiades
Proposal # 238 2015-01-12 Integrating Giacomo Leopardi into American Core Curricula
Proposal # 234 2015-01-11 Shakespeare's Coriolanus: The Machiavellianism of Volumnia
Proposal # 224 2015-01-11 Empathy with the Devil? Student Reaction to the Film
Proposal # 216 2015-01-11 From Faulkner to Cond: Connecting Through Core Texts
Proposal # 211 2015-01-11 none -- see below "Seek Not the Ancients": Bashs Narrow Road and the Liberal Arts
Proposal # 237 2015-01-10 Spiritual Crisis in Western Civilization; Odysseys Ancient and Modern
Proposal # 236 2015-01-10 Towards an Asymmetrical Art of Classical Liberalism: A MOOC on Cervantess Don Quijote Emphasizing Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, and Apuleius
Proposal # 235 2015-01-09 The English Gypsy as a source for Feste in Twelfth Night: Shakespeares Civil Savage
Proposal # 233 2015-01-08 The Crime of Abusing Science
Proposal # 232 2015-01-08 Ancient Qualms to Modern Science in Aristophanes Clouds
Proposal # 230 2015-01-08 On Knowing Nothing
Proposal # 229 2015-01-07 What is nature and how do we know it? Comments on a Novel Approach to the Natural Law
Proposal # 228 2015-01-06 "Still Bridging the Gap: Sandra Steingraber's Living Downstream as Literary Science and Scientific Poetry."
Proposal # 227 2015-01-06 QNA
Proposal # 226 2015-01-06 Poets as Muses: Ovid, Dante, and Joyce Ovid's Independence
Proposal # 180 2015-01-06 Breaking Bad among the Tragedies
Proposal # 149 2015-01-06 Core Texts for the Selfie Generation
Proposal # 107 2015-01-06 The New "Manufacturing Aristocracy" and the Case for the Liberal Arts and Sciences in a Democratic Society
Proposal # 50 2015-01-06 The Science of Silence: Thoreau's Spiritual Audition
Proposal # 34 2015-01-06 Guided Wandering or Going Astray: Seneca, Ulysses, and the Liberal Arts
Proposal # 225 2015-01-05 Encountering and Engaging The Other in Text and Film The Israeli/Palestinian Film Paradise Now: Should We, or Can We, Make Suicide Bombing Understandable
Proposal # 222 2015-01-05 The Cost of Wisdom
Proposal # 221 2015-01-05 Page and Stage: Helping Students Make Sense of Chekhovs Darkest Play, The Three Sisters
Proposal # 220 2015-01-05 The Tangled Bank of Liberal Arts Education: What's Darwin Got to Do With It?"
Proposal # 219 2015-01-05 "Doctrinas, quas liberales vocant": Augustine's Ambivalence toward Liberal Education
Proposal # 218 2015-01-05 NQA Sappho versus Plato: The Necessity of a Lady Poets Voice
Proposal # 207 2015-01-05 Qualitative Narrative Assessment Panel. Tradition and Innovation Curriculum Development Panel
Proposal # 203 2015-01-05 (1) Traditions & Innovations (2) Qualitative Narrative Assessment Panel Sappho versus Plato: The Necessity of a Lady Poet's Voice
Proposal # 201 2015-01-05 A Pedagogy of Beauty: Teaching Platos Republic through Mathematics and Music
Proposal # 200 2015-01-05 A Taste for Freedom: Interpreting Aesthetic Value in Buddhist Texts
Proposal # 187 2015-01-05 Textbooks and Core Texts
Proposal # 178 2015-01-05 Questioning Values Through Nature
Proposal # 168 2015-01-05 The One and The Many: Teaching the Bhagavad Gt through its Commentaries
Proposal # 167 2015-01-05 Shakespeare and the Art of Politics Shakespeares Coriolanus: The Machiavellianism of Volumnia
Proposal # 155 2015-01-05 Theodore Roosevelts New Nationalism: Getting Right with Lincoln?
Proposal # 154 2015-01-05 The Darwinian Divergence and the Uncertainty Principle in Identifying Art and Science
Proposal # 147 2015-01-05 Taoism and Chinese young people
Proposal # 141 2015-01-05 The Tension between the Love of the Soul and Socrates Education in Virtue
Proposal # 140 2015-01-05 Enlargement of Mind: Intellectual Virtue and Moral Apprehension According to John Henry Newman
Proposal # 139 2015-01-05 A Dialogue on Beauty Reading Platos Symposium and Poincars Science and Method
Proposal # 138 2015-01-05 Qualitative Narrative Assessment Panel The Challenge of Creativity
Proposal # 131 2015-01-05 As Plato Rewrites Homer. A Bloomian analysis of Plato's concern with core texts in the Republic
Proposal # 125 2015-01-05 "Medieval Political Philosophy: An NEH Summer Institute." What Lost Students Need Most Is a Curriculum: Maimonides Fulfills Dereseiwicz
Proposal # 99 2015-01-05 Using Weiners The Beak of the Finch to create a course accessible to first-year students from any major and is engaging for upper-level biology students.
Proposal # 86 2015-01-05 NEH Summer Seminar on Political Philosophy Which Sciences Does Political Science Direct?
Proposal # 72 2015-01-05 Medieval Political Philosophy: An NEH Summer Insitute The Other Traditions: Islamic and Jewish Political Philosophy
Proposal # 217 2015-01-04 Huckleberry Finn and The Invisible Man: Teaching Core Texts and Canon Formation
Proposal # 215 2015-01-04 Is there a middle, moderate, virtuous way in *Anna Karenina*?
Proposal # 214 2015-01-03 Hitting A Moving Target: Linking The Fashionable to Scientific Notions of Truth
Proposal # 213 2015-01-03 Godhead Knowledge: The Smorgasbord of Omniscience in Core Courses
Proposal # 212 2015-01-03 Towards an embodied Liberal Education
Proposal # 121 2015-01-03 NEH Summer seminar on Political Philosophy Political Effects of Medieval Creation/Eternity Debates
Proposal # 210 2015-01-02 Towards an Embodied Liberal Education
Proposal # 209 2015-01-02 Defending Democracys Spin Doctors: The (Ultimate?) Role of Congress Press Secretaries
Proposal # 208 2015-01-02 Being and Becoming Stupor non meno: What Virgil Saw
Proposal # 196 2015-01-02 The U.S. Constitution as a Core Text and the Problem of Constitutional Illiteracy
Proposal # 199 2015-01-01 From Page to Stage: What We Learned in Paris What's In A Toga? Thoughts on French Classicism in the 21st Century
Proposal # 198 2015-01-01 The Liberal Art of Interpretation: Nietzsche on Reading
Proposal # 197 2015-01-01 On Being Political by Nature: The Implications of Aristotles Account of the Human Telos
Proposal # 195 2015-01-01 Wharton's Lily Bart as Existential Hero
Proposal # 194 2015-01-01 More Than Just Songs, They Are a World Vision
Proposal # 193 2014-12-31 Euripides and the Dionysian in early twentieth century Oxford
Proposal # 192 2014-12-31 Dante and Joyce: how to learn from a great book
Proposal # 191 2014-12-31 Being and Becoming Hegel's Reading of Dante
Proposal # 190 2014-12-31 "That's not Literature": Exploring Euclid and Galileo as core texts for understanding mathematics and science as human ways of knowing.
Proposal # 188 2014-12-31 Being and Becoming Leonine Resurrection in Shakespeare?
Proposal # 186 2014-12-31 On the Myth of the Charioteer: Plato's Phaedrus
Proposal # 185 2014-12-31 Reflecting on the Purpose of Liberal Education in both the Arts and the Sciences in Light of Platos Meno, and Lewis Carrolls What the Tortoise said to Achilles
Proposal # 183 2014-12-31 Aristotle on the Virtues and the Characters of Oedipus Tyrannus
Proposal # 182 2014-12-31 Living Plutarch's LIVES: is Biography the most liberal of the Liberal Arts?
Proposal # 181 2014-12-31 Kierkegaard, Subjectivity and the Limits of Quantification
Proposal # 177 2014-12-31 Imagining Creation: Reading Haydns Die Schpfung (The Creation)
Proposal # 176 2014-12-31 An Invitation to the Intellectual Life: Using Frederick Douglass' My Bondage and My Freedom as a Core Liberal Arts Text
Proposal # 175 2014-12-31 Science, Medicine, and the End(s) of Life in Tolstoy's "Ivan Ilyich"
Proposal # 174 2014-12-31 The Etymology of Goodbye: Vestigial Language in Charles Baxters Poor Devil
Proposal # 173 2014-12-31 Biology in a Core Text Education Life - one and many
Proposal # 172 2014-12-31 Medieval Political Philosophy: An NEH Summer Institute Maimonidess Eight Chapters as an Introduction to the Study of the Guide of the Perplexed
Proposal # 171 2014-12-31 The Elevation of Science (episteme) over Art (techne): Some Problems with Nicomachean Ethics VI
Proposal # 170 2014-12-31 'The Noblest Recorded Thoughts of Man': Thoreau on Reading, Listening, and Liberal Education in WALDEN
Proposal # 169 2014-12-31 Belonging to Oneself - Montaigne on the art of automony
Proposal # 165 2014-12-31 Michael Faraday and the Grand Unification of Forces
Proposal # 163 2014-12-31 Dialectic and Rhetoric in Socrates' Examination of Callicles
Proposal # 162 2014-12-31 Readings of Dante
Proposal # 161 2014-12-31 Tradition & Innovation Curriculum Development workshop
Proposal # 160 2014-12-31 Every Episode: Reading Don Quixote in Full
Proposal # 159 2014-12-31 The State and its Discontents: Hegel, Marx, Foucault on
Proposal # 158 2014-12-31 Long Lives with Nothing To Do: the Future of Humanity in a Technological Age
Proposal # 157 2014-12-31 The Wonderful World of Eudora Wealty: Wonder as Knowledge in Delta Wedding
Proposal # 156 2014-12-31 My Second Self: Newman and Augustine on Friendships in a University
Proposal # 153 2014-12-31 The Mind's Idols and the Possibility of Knowlege
Proposal # 151 2014-12-31 How to be Tamed by a Shrew
Proposal # 150 2014-12-31 Teaching the 7 Deadly Sins through Shared Inquiry and Cooperative Learning Principles
Proposal # 148 2014-12-31 Tradition and Innovation Project Report - University of Navarra
Proposal # 146 2014-12-31 Teaching Techniques and Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics: Towards a Liberal Education
Proposal # 143 2014-12-31 Creating a Voice: Self and Others in Maxine Hong Kingstons The Woman Warrior
Proposal # 142 2014-12-31 From Monasticism to Scholasticism: Reflections on Anselm and Aquinas
Proposal # 137 2014-12-31 Civil Disobedience as a Core Concept Civil Disobedience as Resistance: Fanon, Ferguson, and Beyond
Proposal # 136 2014-12-31 Postmodernity, Ideology and Rationality in the Communist Manifesto
Proposal # 135 2014-12-31 Civil Disobedience as a Core Concept Wonder, Philosophy, and Civil Disobedience
Proposal # 134 2014-12-31 Page and Stage: Helping Students Make Sense of Chekhovs Darkest Play, Three Sisters
Proposal # 133 2014-12-31 Civil Disobedience as a Core Concept Civil Disobedience in King and Kant
Proposal # 132 2014-12-31 Cloth and Clothing in Moll Flanders
Proposal # 130 2014-12-30 Xunzi on the Importance of Ritual: A Confucian Meditation on Soft Power
Proposal # 129 2014-12-30 Criticism, Creativity and Tradition in Mohammad Iqbal's
Proposal # 128 2014-12-30 The Hebrew Bible and Its Cultural Contexts
Proposal # 126 2014-12-30 Give Me a Liberal Arts Education or Give Me Death: Seneca on the Shortness of Life
Proposal # 124 2014-12-30
Proposal # 123 2014-12-30 Kant's Groundwork in a Core Curriculum
Proposal # 122 2014-12-30 "What is Enlightenment?" and The Student-Professor Antagonism
Proposal # 120 2014-12-30 Using Weiners The Beak of the Finch to create a course accessible to first-year students from any major and is engaging for upper-level biology students.
Proposal # 119 2014-12-30 On Plato's Apology of Socrates
Proposal # 118 2014-12-30 Platos Laws: The Political Philosopher as Author
Proposal # 117 2014-12-30 Socratic Philanthropy in Platos Meno: Thoughts on Justice and Learning
Proposal # 116 2014-12-30 Platos Theages: Political and Moral Implications of Socrates Daimonion
Proposal # 115 2014-12-30 Reconciling Socrates Philosophic Clarity With his Motives for Helping Others: Three Views Considered
Proposal # 114 2014-12-30 Philosophers, Philanthropy, and Politics Socratic Philanthropy in the Trial and Death of Socrates
Proposal # 113 2014-12-30 Interpretations of Children and Culture in Le Clezio's "The Boy Who Had Never Seen The Sea"
Proposal # 112 2014-12-30 Not to segregate and specialize, but to combine: Virginia Woolf on the New Aim of the Cheap College
Proposal # 111 2014-12-30 Faith and Reason: Teaching Ibn Tufayl, Maimonides, Aquinas and Scotus at a Catholic Institution
Proposal # 108 2014-12-29 Troy and the Aspiration to Human Self-Sufficiency
Proposal # 106 2014-12-29 The poetics of Heidegger's Enframing within current science and technology
Proposal # 105 2014-12-29 What's in a Selfie? How Montaigne's Essays give character to the modern project of shaping a self.
Proposal # 103 2014-12-29 Liberal Education and the American Citizen
Proposal # 101 2014-12-29 QNA Panel
Proposal # 100 2014-12-29 Aristotle, Buddha, and the Contemporary American College Student: Wisdom and Morality Across Time and Space
Proposal # 98 2014-12-29 John Dewey's A Common Faith and Religious Humanism
Proposal # 77 2014-12-29 What does al-Ghazali (c.10561111) Tell Us About the Goals of University Education?
Proposal # 96 2014-12-28 Inclusion and Diversity in Franciscan Renaissance Art
Proposal # 95 2014-12-28 Tradition and Innovation Project Report
Proposal # 94 2014-12-28 Medieval Political Philosophy: An NEH Summer Institute How Ought One to Read Scriptures? Teaching Averroes Decisive Treatise
Proposal # 93 2014-12-28 Qualitative Narrative Assessment
Proposal # 92 2014-12-27 Teaching Philosophy through Artwork Alternate History of Consciousness
Proposal # 91 2014-12-27 Socrates
Proposal # 90 2014-12-26 Against Dryness: Real People and Reading Don Quixote in Light of the Liberal Arts
Proposal # 89 2014-12-26 Modern Science and the Quadrivium
Proposal # 88 2014-12-24 Persuasion on the Stage: Aeschylus' Oresteia
Proposal # 87 2014-12-24 Ennoblement and Crisis in Core Pedagogy
Proposal # 85 2014-12-23 The Liberal Arts, the Mind, and the Soul: Hugh of St. Victor's Didascalicon
Proposal # 84 2014-12-23 See the Poem, Be the Poet, See the Poem Again
Proposal # 82 2014-12-23 Kant on the Great Books and the Challenge of Liberal Education
Proposal # 81 2014-12-23 Memory is the Mother of All Wisdom. --Aeschylus
Proposal # 79 2014-12-23 Mathematics and Science as Liberal Arts
Proposal # 75 2014-12-22 Aristotle on the Metaphysical Status of the Human Mind
Proposal # 74 2014-12-22 Back to the Future: Erasmus and Machiavelli in 2040
Proposal # 73 2014-12-22 Morrison's *The Bluest Eye* as a Core Text . . . in Aesthetics
Proposal # 71 2014-12-21 The Exploration of Human Nature in the Similes and Catalogues of Men in Homers Iliad
Proposal # 68 2014-12-19 CORE and Information LIteracy: The Role of Librarians in CORE
Proposal # 67 2014-12-19 The Destruction of Justice and forgiveness in Dostoevsky's "Notes from Underground"
Proposal # 66 2014-12-19 The Federalist Papers as a "Lesson of Moderation"
Proposal # 65 2014-12-19 College of Charleston Tradition and Innovation Report
Proposal # 63 2014-12-19 The Philophical Foundations of Melville's Billy Budd
Proposal # 62 2014-12-19 Schiller and the Freedom of Love
Proposal # 53 2014-12-19 Tradition and Innovation Workshop On Building a Core Texts Program from Scratch (OR) Making the Anabasis 'relevant
Proposal # 55 2014-12-18 A War Not of Parchment, But of the Sword: The Federalist vs. The Social Justice Movement
Proposal # 54 2014-12-18 Pedagogical Poetics in Platonic Philosophy
Proposal # 52 2014-12-17 Art, Liberal Art, and the Art of Self-Making
Proposal # 51 2014-12-17 Emersons Loss
Proposal # 49 2014-12-17 Intimations of Eternity in Psalm 89
Proposal # 47 2014-12-16 Bonhoeffer and the Singularity: Why the Body Matters Before It No Longer Does
Proposal # 46 2014-12-16 Reading the Declaration of Independence at an HBCU
Proposal # 45 2014-12-16 Liberal Arts, Political Science: Contrasting Classical Realism and Neorealism in Search for Predictive Utility
Proposal # 43 2014-12-15 Philosophy, or How to not know something
Proposal # 42 2014-12-15 Desire and Domination in Machiavelli's Prince
Proposal # 41 2014-12-15 Vico and the Rhetoric of Disciplinarity
Proposal # 30 2014-12-15 The vast contributions of a family to Mathematics and Physics - The Bernoullis
Proposal # 22 2014-12-15 Everything you need to know you can find in rock 'n' roll
Proposal # 40 2014-12-12 The Child as Solitary Scientist: Defending Ibn-Tufail's Hayy Ibn Yaqzan for Undergraduate Study
Proposal # 39 2014-12-11 What is Art? The Question Posed by Duchamp's "Fountain"
Proposal # 38 2014-12-11 Mill's Aristotle: Made in his Own Image
Proposal # 36 2014-12-10 Choosing Texts and Assessing Learning: How Does Galileos Starry Messenger Fit with Dana Johnsons Melvin in the Sixth Grade?
Proposal # 33 2014-12-10 The City/Soul analogy in Republic Bk. 5
Proposal # 31 2014-12-10 Daniel Bernoullis Epidemiological Paper RevisitedAgain
Proposal # 28 2014-12-10 Teaching Science Through Core Text: The Case of the Ego and the Id
Proposal # 29 2014-12-08 Journey of Ibn Battuta: Art of cultural and civilizational communication
Proposal # 27 2014-12-07 Power, Grief and Beauty: Exploring Visual Culture with the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) in Core Classes
Proposal # 26 2014-12-06 Dante's Divine Comedy -- A Core Text that models the use of Core Texts from the past
Proposal # 25 2014-12-05 What does it mean to be human?: Lessons of inclusion from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Proposal # 24 2014-12-01 Slaughterhouse-Five, Science Fiction, and Four Levels of Reading
Proposal # 23 2014-11-27 Entering Upon That One Path: Bacons Knightly Quest for Knowledge
Proposal # 21 2014-11-24 Divine Indifference: Job and the Challenge of Human Justice
Proposal # 20 2014-11-23 From Athens to the Grant Study: Moral Philosophy Meets Behavioral Science
Proposal # 19 2014-11-18 Martin Luther, Educational Reformer: An Examination of The Duty of Sending Children to School.
Proposal # 18 2014-11-12 Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Life and Prose Style as Art
Proposal # 15 2014-11-12
Proposal # 5 2014-11-12 The Lives of Others: William James and the Ethics of Humanism
Proposal # 14 2014-11-03 Confronting the Compliance Problem: Why Students Don"t Read and What to Do About It Teaching Philosophy through the Three Ps: Problem, Position, and Proof
Proposal # 13 2014-10-30 Evolution and...
Proposal # 11 2014-10-07
Proposal # 9 2014-10-04 Framing A Conversation of Core Texts with BIG Questions to Shape the Soul
Proposal # 7 2014-09-26 Achilles and the God of Fire
Proposal # 6 2014-09-22 The US Constitution in China
Proposal # 4 2014-09-16 Navigating the Tradition: Melville's Appropriation of Dante in _Moby Dick_
Proposal # 2 2014-09-09 Dostoevsky's Artistry: The Elision of the Ultimate Humiliation in
Proposal # 1 2014-08-30 Camus and Nietzsche: Two Responses to a "Meaningless" Universe
 

Proposal Number: 70
Date: 2015-01-20
Paper Title: Can We Trust Thucydides?
Core Text:
Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian Wars
Abstract:
Thucydides often features men whose names are so suspicious as to cast doubt on how completely we can rely on his trustworthiness. What arouses suspicion is the frequent coincidence in the name of an agent with a deed he is performing or speech he is delivering. Sometimes, of course, a coincidence is just a coincidence, but when there are many of them, and a pattern emerges, and the pattern itself intimates an authorial intention, the historicity of the names is called into question, and when a name is not attested in any independent source, Thucydides is entirely safe from “fact-checkers.” In addition, his deliberate use, repetition, and omission of the dignifying patronymic, and, contrastingly, his use of anonymous speakers, as well as other features of naming and not naming offer hints of Thucydides’ view that philosophical truth transcends historical accuracy—a view that, I shall argue, defines core texts of liberal education.


Proposal Number: 254
Date: 2015-01-16
Paper Title: Tyndale's New Testament: the Art and Science of Translation
Core Text:
The New Testament
Abstract:
William Tyndale was the first to attempt an English translation of the Bible directly from the Hebrew and Greek, rather than from the Latin of the Vulgate. His translation of the New Testament was based on the Greek text recently published by Erasmus and advanced the latters efforts to establish a scientific philology. Tyndales excellence as a translator is shown by the fact that 83% of the Authorized (or King James) Version of the New Testament is taken directly from him. This paper will explore Tyndales achievements and illuminate them by comparison with other English translations, especially ones from our own time.


Proposal Number: 253
Date: 2015-01-16
Paper Title: Influencing Images: Art and Ethics in Dantes Divine Comedy
Core Text:
Dante's Divine Comedy
Abstract:
Inspired by the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute entitled, Dantes Divine Comedy: poetry, philosophy, and the city of Florence, this paper explores the connections between the artwork of Dantes era and the rich imagery presented in his poem. This examination of image and word will begin with a study of the mosaics in the Florentine Baptistery of San Giovanni and the mosaics in the basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. In addition to exploring the origins of Dantes word painting, this paper will also investigate the ways in which Dante uses images to transcend the limitation of language.


Proposal Number: 252
Date: 2015-01-16
Paper Title: Aristotle and Heidegger on the Transformative Power of Art
Core Text:
Aristotle's
Abstract:
Does the idea of a purpose reduce art to an instrument and essentially eliminate what makes it unique? Or can we legitimately inquire into the societal role that artists and works of art play while elevating, rather than narrowly relegating, artistic expression? In the present investigation, I aim to consider these questions from two thinkers who span most of the Western philosophical tradition: Aristotle and Martin Heidegger. Through an analysis of Aristotles Poetics and Heideggers Origin of the Work of Art, I will consider the way in which art can impact even transform both the individual and society and whether these two levels of transformation are at odds with one another or are mutually reinforcing.


Proposal Number: 251
Date: 2015-01-16
Paper Title: Matching the core text approach with the general education philosophy: Breaking new grounds at Leuphana College in Lneburg, Germany
Core Text:

Abstract:
What are the challenges to face when trying to incorporate the core text reading idea into a German university? This paper demonstrates ways forward in defiance of constraints that are related to an academic tradition that perpetuates (sometimes even aggravates) scientific boundaries and claims that core texts inevitably belong to specific disciplines. However, study elements of general education at Leuphana College like the first semester compulsory module Humanities teach Understanding and text-oriented perspectives within the Complimentary Studies program illustrate ways forward, even if the scholarly terrain may be rough.


Proposal Number: 250
Date: 2015-01-15
Paper Title: Parmenides: To Be Not or Not To Be?
Core Text:
Parmenides' Fragments
Abstract:
The simple version of Parmenidean doctrine is that everything "is" and nothing is not. But the fragments are written in poetry, the language of becoming or "non-being." The "non" of "non-being" and the "not" of the negative truth that there is no way to non-being will turn out to be different. As a result, the two ways of Parmenides" poem- that of truth and that of doxa- will become more inseparable than they appear in the initial image.


Proposal Number: 249
Date: 2015-01-15
Paper Title: Some Science and Art in Ovids Metamorphoses: Distinguishing the Natural and the Supernatural
Core Text:
Ovid's Metamorphoses
Abstract:
Many scenes of transformation in Ovids Metamorphoses boast vivid descriptions of bodies changed into new forms, as the poet makes good on his proems claim to sing such subject matter (in nova mutatas formas | corpora, Met 1.1-2). While metamorphosis is most often suffered by its victims at the hand of the mythic catalogues divine machinery, however, it is not so easy to identify a clear distinction between natural and supernatural throughout the poem. This paper explores how Ovid relates the natural and the supernatural through more than simply the interaction of gods with the human race, and aims at an Ovidian definition of the supernatural consistent with his poetic program.


Proposal Number: 248
Date: 2015-01-14
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Qualitative Narrative Assessment Project
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Updated reports on first cohort and book publication. Initial reports on second cohort


Proposal Number: 247
Date: 2015-01-14
Paper Title: Botany, Sex, and Politics: Erasmus Darwin's _Loves of the Plants_
Core Text:
Loves of the Plants by Erasmus Darwin
Abstract:
As a synthesis of Neo-Classical poetry, Romantic impulses, Linnaeuss classification system, botanic art, and radical politics, E. Darwins 1789 text engages students in various disciplines, helps them connect other Core texts, and cultivates appreciation of required Core Texts courses. When studied in its historical context, this work can enhance students understanding of the Enlightenment, Early Romanticism, and specific issues that remain of interest to students today. These issues include the geo-politics of botany, foodstuffs, pharmacology, fair trade, labor, slavery, and global markets; our knowledge and definitions of life, sex, reproduction, ecology, and economy; and the civil laws and customs we create based on our knowledge and beliefs about sex and natural laws.


Proposal Number: 241
Date: 2015-01-12
Paper Title: Shakespeare's
Core Text:
Shakespeare's
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 240
Date: 2015-01-12
Paper Title: In sign of what you are; Studying Coriolanus and Learning the Art of Reading.
Core Text:
Shakespeare's Coriolanus
Abstract:
Shakespeares Coriolanus abounds with judgments regarding the nature of its leading character. Those judgments give rise to controversy. Ultimately, anyone making a serious study of the play must seek Coriolanuss true nature. Seeking that nature demands close scrutiny of all the passages where judgments are made, where controversy arises, etc.


Proposal Number: 239
Date: 2015-01-12
Paper Title: Spartan vs. Athenian Education: Lysander and Alcibiades
Core Text:
Xenophon, Hellenica
Abstract:
The contrast between education in Sparta and that in Athens prefigures our views and questions about the place of the liberal arts and sciences in our education. The Spartans opted for an education suited to a career: that of making war. Sparta held books and words in suspicion, but won the Peloponnesian War; Athens believed its liberal education--education that caused freedom, rather than resulting from it--gave it its glory and its title to rule; ultimately, it did not rule, but it has never been forgotten. Lysander and Alcibiades are the highest practical progeny of these opposing educations. What do they have to tell us about the education they each received?


Proposal Number: 238
Date: 2015-01-12
Paper Title: Integrating Giacomo Leopardi into American Core Curricula
Core Text:
Giacomo Leopardi, Operette Morali
Abstract:
My paper argues for the inclusion of Giacomo Leopardi in American college core curricula on the basis of his constant critique of the separation of knowledge and art into disciplines and professions. Modeled largely upon the classical dialogue form, Leopardis 1824-5 Operette Morali offer a particularly rich ground for the 21st century college student asked to critique a culture in which information is capital, science is often reduced to technology, and literature and philosophy occupy a nebulous space, a dispensable indulgence, in a world preoccupied with efficiency. Leopardis themes vary widely and could enrich a list of core texts seeking to understand historical connections between literary and scientific ways of interrogating the world. These short, sharp, atheistic, playful works would add a variety to the Italian presence in the American core curriculum, often restricted to Medieval and Early Modern texts.


Proposal Number: 234
Date: 2015-01-11
Paper Title: Shakespeare's Coriolanus: The Machiavellianism of Volumnia
Core Text:
Coriolanus
Abstract:
Many of Shakespeare’s characters are interpreted as exemplary types of Machiavellian schemers. Iago, Richard III, Cassius, … come instantly to mind. Shakespeare’s play Coriolanus is replete with such characters: the scheming tribunes who orchestrate Coriolanus’s banishment; his archenemy Aufidius who conspires successfully to assassinate him; and his mentor Menenius whose pragmatic approach to playing both sides of the street in the factional struggle keeps him in power. But the only character who rises to any real Machiavellian height is his mother Volumnia, who seems to use Coriolanus to become the savior of Rome. This paper looks at her actions particularly her speech to her son regarding his moral absoluteness in dealing with politics. She advocates a “realism” that seems to fit with Machiavelli’s view of politics.


Proposal Number: 224
Date: 2015-01-11
Paper Title: Empathy with the Devil? Student Reaction to the Film
Core Text:
Movie
Abstract:
For most American students, Nazism represents the epitome of “evil,” and as such is easily dismissed as a German aberration that fascinates but does not touch their lives. But surely one of the most important pedagogical aims of the liberal arts is to unsettle and destabilize students’ sense of superiority (“it could never happen here”)—to provoke cognitive dissonance so that they begin to see “the other” not as alien but as a human response to a set of circumstances. Can a viewing of the controversial film “Downfall” (“Der Untergang”), a claustrophobic depiction of the despair of Hitler’s inner circle closeted in his Berlin bunker during the last ten days of his life, break through the barrier of dismissive superiority and lead to a place of empathy? Or is the fear of being seen as having “sympathy for the devil” too great a barrier to be overcome, so that the pedagogical aim is undermined?


Proposal Number: 216
Date: 2015-01-11
Paper Title: From Faulkner to Cond: Connecting Through Core Texts
Core Text:
Absalom, Absalom
Abstract:
This paper demonstrates ways in which using Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom as a canonical, core text to inform the reading and interpretation of such postcolonial texts as Maryse Conde’s Crossing the Mangrove, connect what is often perceived as very disparate periods of literature. In this way, the core text provides professors in the literary arts the means to integrate the old and the new using the core text as the anchor for analysis and comparison. The two novels share many features—cultural and regional similarities, multiple narrators, layered development of identity of the protagonist, and even similarly named characters like Quentin, who for Faulkner is one of the primary narrators of the story. The ‘double consciousness’ that postcolonial characters often experience can also be found in characters of Faulkner. In this way, the use of the core text as a bridge from one literary period to another provides students the means to tie together separate periods and lines of inquiry in the same discipline.


Proposal Number: 211
Date: 2015-01-11
Paper Title: "Seek Not the Ancients": Bashs Narrow Road and the Liberal Arts
Core Text:
Basho, Narrow Road to the Deep North
Abstract:
What does it mean to see the world anew, a goal that lies at the heart of the liberal arts? The Narrow Road to Deep North (Oku no hosomichi) by the Japanese poet Matsuo Bash offers a highly teachable approach to this question. Bash"s mode of poetic discovery was travel -- through both physical and literary space. Far from simply recording what he observed, Bash generated meaning through creative dialog with those he met on the road -- hosts, priests, peasants, prostitutes -- as well as with the celebrated poets of his past. By weaving richly allusive chains of poetry and prose, Bash sought to reinvigorate an anemic poetic tradition, and to arrive at what he termed poetic truth. This is the meaning behind his famous dictum, Seek not the ancients, seek what the ancients sought. The Narrow Road sparks the imagination and takes learners on an intriguing journey through language, landscape and selfhood.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: none -- see below
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This paper might work with proposal #90 -- I also teach Don Quixote, and it is also a travel narrative of self-discovery/constructions, so there are intriguing links


Proposal Number: 237
Date: 2015-01-10
Paper Title: Spiritual Crisis in Western Civilization; Odysseys Ancient and Modern
Core Text:
Homer's 'Odyssey' and Joyce's 'Ulysses'
Abstract:
An investigation of Spiritual Crisis at the extreme ends of Western Consciousness, focusing first on Homer"s "Odyssey" and then Joyce"s "Ulysses". Both texts will be examined within my general theory of Spiritual Crisis and Overarching Metaphors.


Proposal Number: 236
Date: 2015-01-10
Paper Title: Towards an Asymmetrical Art of Classical Liberalism: A MOOC on Cervantess Don Quijote Emphasizing Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, and Apuleius
Core Text:
Don Quijote, The Republic, The Politics, The Economics, Elements, The Golden Ass
Abstract:
Towards an Asymmetrical Art of Classical Liberalism:A MOOC on Cervantess Don Quijote Emphasizing Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, and ApuleiusOne reason we need core texts is that they tend to promote sensible, civil thinking about topics that are dominated by irrational ideologues. To this end, Universidad Francisco Marroqun is launching a Massive Open Online Course on what is arguably historys greatest work of creative fiction: Miguel de Cervantess Don Quijote. Highlighting Cervantess critiques of authority and his emphasis on personal freedom, we want readers to grasp the age-old relevance and logic of classical liberal ideas found in that book, such as the need for sound monetary policy and constitutional restraints on government. Revealing these ideas at the cores of the core text of the history of the modern novel, we aim to shift the terms of a number of academic debates in Hispanism and the Humanities more generally. Our dual language online format allows us to greatly amplify the impact of our project; similarly, we have tried to build as many bridges as we can with other core texts, underscoring how Cervantess values relate to those of precursors like Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, and Apuleius.


Proposal Number: 235
Date: 2015-01-09
Paper Title: The English Gypsy as a source for Feste in Twelfth Night: Shakespeares Civil Savage
Core Text:
Twelfth Night
Abstract:
Often scholars, students, and teachers need to use more than one academic discipline to come to an enriched understanding of a subject. The fields of Historical Anthropology, Literary Criticism, and Textual and Performative Analysis can be usefully employed to illuminate my thesis, that Feste, the fool in Shakespeares Twelfth Night, is modeled at least in part on the English Gypsies who proliferated on the wrong side of the Thames and with whom Shakespeare would have been familiar. Such an approach casts new light on both the gypsies of the Tudor period and on the play, and leads to the discovery of new ironies in both cases. I could cite several instances in Shakespeares work of his apparent acquaintance with English Gypsy lore, music, curses, cant, and other real, fantasized, or mythologized characteristics - Autolycus in Winters Tale, Lears fool and Edgar in disguise as Poor Tom, Cleopatra and her eunuch and soothsayer and court (already much noted by literary scholars as descriptive of gypsiness), andTouchstone in As You Like It - but Feste represents, for me, the most complex and interesting case for the English Gypsy, and the Tudor perception of the English Gypsy, as one possible source in Shakespeares complex, sponge-like mind.


Proposal Number: 233
Date: 2015-01-08
Paper Title: The Crime of Abusing Science
Core Text:
Crime and Punishment
Abstract:
In *Crime and Punishment,* several characters use a lot of scientific language and apply what they consider scientific interpretations to society. In many ways, this does not work out. Dostoevsky, an engineer by training, consdered himself a scientist and he had very little patience for amateurs, who tried to apply scientific analysis where it does not belong. Discussion of the novel in the classroom can thus show the limits of scientifc discourse as well as its many amazing possibilities whe applied to the right questions. A discussion of this core text can bridge the gap of humanites and the sciences.


Proposal Number: 232
Date: 2015-01-08
Paper Title: Ancient Qualms to Modern Science in Aristophanes Clouds
Core Text:
Aristophanes Clouds
Abstract:
The conference is dedicated the arts and science: Why do we need them? For the ancients, the question might have been posed differently. Do we need both the arts and sciences? Aristophanes Clouds is the clearest expression of the qualms that the ancients had with science and the privileged position they gave to poetry and theater. Their criticism of the scientific project helps us understand why so many people today especially those of religious orientation oppose the modern world


Proposal Number: 230
Date: 2015-01-08
Paper Title: On Knowing Nothing
Core Text:
The Cherry Orchard, The Trial
Abstract:
Most college students in the United States do not have the opportunity to attend an institution that requires broad exposure to those texts ACTC recognizes as core. Those of us who nevertheless regularly teach such texts to most college students thus share a unique responsibilityand opportunity. In my presentation, I will argue for the perhaps paradoxical value of teaching core texts outside our particular areas of expertise, especially in introductory classes filled, by definition, with other non-experts. Put differently, I maintain that one of the best ways for students to learn that an educated person should be equipped to live a disciplined and examined life (ACTC Organizing Statement) is for them to see highly trained scholars deliberately engage with major authors, texts, and ideas that fall outsideperhaps well outsidetheir specialized research agendas. I will conclude by discussing what I have discovered from putting myself on the spot by deliberately reading for the first time along with my students works by the likes of Chekov, Kafka, and Murakami.


Proposal Number: 229
Date: 2015-01-07
Paper Title: What is nature and how do we know it? Comments on a Novel Approach to the Natural Law
Core Text:
Aquinas, Treatise on Law
Abstract:
A recent approach for renewing natural law within the contemporary context, as articulated in a series of articles by Robert Sokolowski, highlights a set of distinctions obtaining outside the moral agent herself. This set of distinctions illuminates the natural ends of things, our obligations toward those ends, and how those ends are distinguished both from our own purposes and inclinations and from conventional practices. This paper will focus on Sokolowskis novel approach to natural law and the benefits it offers, especially as this approach incorporates metaphysical knowledge as intrinsic to the discovery of natures telos.


Proposal Number: 228
Date: 2015-01-06
Paper Title: "Still Bridging the Gap: Sandra Steingraber's Living Downstream as Literary Science and Scientific Poetry."
Core Text:
Sandra Steingraber, Living Downstream
Abstract:
The question of disciplinary compartmentalization is prominent in the conference theme: "Is there a sense in which core texts of the humanities are artistic objects, whereas core texts of the sciences or mathematics are something else?" Environmental Literature is a very slippery genre because of the crossover between science and literature. Many ecological core texts bridge disciplines; Sandra Steingrabers work is a chief example of this, spanning the spectrum of toxicology to poetry, steadily taking its place as a new core text in environmental literature, comparable to Rachel Carson. Both Steingraber and Carson have been accused of compromising their science by the use of story, metaphor, and beautiful language. But in fact, their use of literary techniques not only frames the argument for a larger audience; it clarifies the science and hearkens back to the writing of science core texts like Origin of the Species, stepping outside the sterile and sometimes misleading constraints of more commonly accepted scientific genres.


Proposal Number: 227
Date: 2015-01-06
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: QNA
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Report on a Trial Application of the Wolcott-Lynch Model for Qualitative Assessment of the General Education Foundation Program at The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Proposal Number: 226
Date: 2015-01-06
Paper Title: Ovid's Independence
Core Text:
Ovid, Metamorphoses; Virgil, Aeneid; Homer, Iliad
Abstract:
This paper addresses a closing puzzle of the Metamorphoses: Why does Ovid thrust Pythagoras, an apparently authoritative but alien figure, into the last book of his otherwise showily independent work? Although Pythagoras" philosophical and scientific speech appears in some respects to support Ovid"s vision of the cosmos, his style and thought are in many other respects quite out of place in Ovid"s work. I hope that a consideration of this extraordinary summoning will help us to consider less explicit but looming influences of Virgil and Homer, too.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Poets as Muses: Ovid, Dante, and Joyce
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will consider core texts created in the shadow of earlier masterworks. In particular, we will follow the poetic influence of certain classical poets through several generations of Medieval and Modern authors. How do Homer and Virgil shape the showily independent Ovid? How do Virgil, Ovid, and Lucan shape Dante, and in particular, his understanding of freedom and transformation? How do all of these predecessors shape Joyce, who creates out of these very old sources something very new, indeed? Conversations between these poet Muses and their greatest readers may teach us much about how to read and engage great works ourselves.


Proposal Number: 180
Date: 2015-01-06
Paper Title: Breaking Bad among the Tragedies
Core Text:
Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Sophocles' Antigone, Shakespeare's Macbeth, Dante's Inferno
Abstract:
The TV dramatic tragedy "Breaking Bad" is unique in its suitability for classroom study--even study within a core texts curriculum that includes works by Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Dante. In the fall of 2014 just such a course was taught at Messiah College, in which students reflected on many of the classic themes in tragedies, and considered whether the viewing of this show might help them to live a good life. This paper will suggest some of the ways in which the study of exemplary contemporary popular media might contribute to the traditional goals of the liberal arts.


Proposal Number: 149
Date: 2015-01-06
Paper Title: Core Texts for the Selfie Generation
Core Text:
Tolstoy, the Death of Ivan Ilyich, Plato, Dialogues,
Abstract:
Many of today’s students consider taking a "selfie" to be a contemporary, technological version of the ancient Greek dictum to "Know Thyself." Although this attempt to “"Know Thy Selfie" suggests that students are ripe for traditional liberal arts courses that are organized around self-reflection and the living of an examined life, too often students see little connection between the texts they are reading in class and the lives they are leading. Thus, they are indifferent to the examined life, to the injunction of live more thoughtfully. This paper discusses a possible response to this indifference through the use of core texts that encourage students to move from an unexamined life (crowd sourcing?) to the examined life.


Proposal Number: 107
Date: 2015-01-06
Paper Title: The New "Manufacturing Aristocracy" and the Case for the Liberal Arts and Sciences in a Democratic Society
Core Text:
Tocquevile, Democracy in America; Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Abstract:
Alexis de Tocqueville, in Democracy in America, warns of the danger--as a result of the individualism and materialism of democratic peoples, along with the practical education characteristic of democratic society--of the rise of a modern form of aristocracy, based on the ownership and operation of industry rather than on the ownership of land,as was the case with medieval aristocracy. Tocqueville argues that this new aristocracy will be "one of the hardest that have appeared on earth," but also claims that, for a number of reasons, it will be "one of the most restrained and least dangerous." Mark Twain, in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, portrays the modern aristocracy in action, in the form of the novel's protagonist, Hank Morgan, but in the end contradicts Tocqueville's reassurance concerning the danger of the new aristocracy, by depicting the enormities--eerily prescient of the horrors of the twentieth century--of which it is capable. In this way, Twain makes clear the need for what might at first appear as an impractical and even irrelevant education in the liberal arts and sciences, as a corrective for the dangerous tendencies in democratic thought and practice, and provides a great work of literature that might be included in that education.


Proposal Number: 50
Date: 2015-01-06
Paper Title: The Science of Silence: Thoreau's Spiritual Audition
Core Text:
Thoreau's Walden and selections from the Journal
Abstract:
In Walden, Thoreau writes that “the words which express our faith… are not definite,” and that this makes them all the more significant. What is religion, he asks, but “that which is never spoken”? If Thoreau’s natural philosophy and his religious philosophy are related, I propose, it is because the problem of coming to terms with the unspoken lies at the heart of both. Thoreau is not simply assuming a conception of nature, or of the divine, as transcending human language and thought. As he suggests, nature itself speaks in silence. It speaks from out of that which is not spoken. This is what Thoreau’s “science” seeks to translate.


Proposal Number: 34
Date: 2015-01-06
Paper Title: Guided Wandering or Going Astray: Seneca, Ulysses, and the Liberal Arts
Core Text:
Seneca, Epistle LXXXVIII
Abstract:
In Epistle VXXXVIII, the Stoic philosopher Seneca uses the image of Ulysses “going astray” to illustrate his views on liberal education. Today we throw around the descriptions “liberal arts college” and “liberal education” with little thought to what we mean by “liberal.” Just how “free” is liberal education in America? Do we allow our students to wander—or wonder—and do we know ourselves what and where is Ithaca?


Proposal Number: 225
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: The Israeli/Palestinian Film Paradise Now: Should We, or Can We, Make Suicide Bombing Understandable
Core Text:
The 2005 Israeli/Palestinian Film:
Abstract:
The Israeli/Palestinian Film Paradise Now: Should We, or Can We, Make Suicide Bombing UnderstandableThe dramatic Israel/Palestinian film, Paradise Now (2005) focuses on a pair of Islamic suicide bombers. The movie has won numerous international awards for making the unthinkable (suicide bombing) understandable; the film has also been denounced for the exact same reason. Those of us in liberal arts education agree that understanding The Other is a fundamental calling of our craft; however, in this era of beheadings, drone strikes, suicide bombings, and the fear of rising anti-Semitism, is it advisable, or even possible to explore with our students an Other that they see as a fundamental current and existential threatMany of our students, after all, are returning vetereans. In the era of War on Terrorism can we follow Sun Tzus dictum, Know your enemy.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Encountering and Engaging The Other in Text and Film
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Surely one of the primary tasks of the Liberal Arts Core is to help our students engage with, and understand, The Other. Through engagement with Core Texts, students learn to engage with the different, the foreign, the past, the unusual. But what of the dangerous, the violent, the destructive? How can we, and how should we, lead our students to engage with the monstrous, the evil, and the fundamental ideological threats to our existence? Since Sun Tzus The Art of War, we have been exhorted to know your enemy. But should The [Monsterous] Other be understood so that it can be destroyed, or understood so that we can see the monstrous in our selves.


Proposal Number: 222
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: The Cost of Wisdom
Core Text:
Ecclesiastes
Abstract:
The roots of Western education rest, largely, in the Greek love of pursuing wisdom. Indeed, Aristotle envisions those who constantly contemplate wisdom as living in the Isle of the Blest. Such a paradisal picture of the pursuitand attainmentof wisdom is still proffered by professors to their pupils. But Qoheleththe Preacher or Teacherin Ecclesiastes offers an alternate assessment: For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow (1:18). This paper will explore Qoheleths analysis of wisdom and how this is good for students to grapple with as a core text.


Proposal Number: 221
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Page and Stage: Helping Students Make Sense of Chekhovs Darkest Play, The Three Sisters
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will explore the concurrent production of Chekhovs Three Sisters within the theatre department and the reading of the text within a core curricular class. Specifically, we will discuss the influence of environment on the central characters in the play and how the resulting tension is captured within the text as well as on stage. Students involved with the production, a guest designer and faculty member from England, theatre and literature faculty, and criticism from Robert Brustein and David Mamet all contributed to text brought to life and a much fuller understanding of what is often called Chekhovs darkest play.


Proposal Number: 220
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: The Tangled Bank of Liberal Arts Education: What's Darwin Got to Do With It?"
Core Text:
On the Origin of Species
Abstract:
Charles Darwin closes his On the Origin of Species (1859) waxing eloquently about a tangled bank. This poetic finish to a classic of the biological sciences germinated in Darwin"s undergraduate years at Cambridge University. However, upon entering Cambridge, he cared more for hunting, beetle collecting, and spending family money than liberal education. Despite Darwin"s tepid attitude toward core curriculum, it provided the intellectual and moral canvass for his artful scientific genius and hope for contemporary relations between the arts and sciences.


Proposal Number: 219
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: "Doctrinas, quas liberales vocant": Augustine's Ambivalence toward Liberal Education
Core Text:
Augustine, Confessions
Abstract:
The Confessions is a literary and philosophical masterpiece, a historic milestone in the Western intellectual tradition, and a mainstay of contemporary great books curricula. Its author, however, was highly ambivalent toward "the arts which they call liberal," regarding his own abortive career in liberal education as an exercise in arrogance and vanity. This paper first reconstructs the critique of the liberal arts that Augustine develops in Confessions III-IV, then contextualizes this critique through a close examination of his more positive treatment of the liberal arts in Confessions V, and a brief analysis of his remarks on rhetoric in On Christian Teaching.


Proposal Number: 218
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: Sappho versus Plato: The Necessity of a Lady Poets Voice
Core Text:

Abstract:
Together with Dr. Julie Chiu from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Please refer to the abstract submitted by Dr. Chiu. Thank you.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: NQA
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 207
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Qualitative Narrative Assessment Panel. Tradition and Innovation Curriculum Development Panel
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 203
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: Sappho versus Plato: The Necessity of a Lady Poet's Voice
Core Text:
Sappho's Fragments and Plato's Symposium
Abstract:
A lady; a poet; a celebrant of emotions and subjective experience; a writer known to be spontaneous, direct, accessible only through fragments; a Lesbian who depicts erotic desire as erotic desire, not some drive for sublimative progression toward Beauty. In all aspects, a stark contrast with Plato. Is it possible to make a case for Sappho in place of Plato, in a core text course where The Symposium has become a fixed point of departure, along with its celebration of homosexual love, its exemplification of the Platonic dialogue and the Socratic Inquiry marked with structure and reason every single step? In addressing that question, perhaps we are also asking: how much art do we allow in a science of knowing oneself?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: (1) Traditions & Innovations (2) Qualitative Narrative Assessment Panel
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 201
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: A Pedagogy of Beauty: Teaching Platos Republic through Mathematics and Music
Core Text:
Plato, Republic
Abstract:
Plato’s ontological realism unites truth, goodness, and beauty, and he recommends musical education as part of his philosophic education. However, Plato’s advocacy of musical censorship is difficult to convey to students who often hesitate to assign to music a value that transcends personal taste. Fortunately, the study of physical science – in which the authority of nature seems clear – shows that consonant musical intervals are grounded in the mathematical regularities of sound waves. Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu in C Sharp Minor provides an example of such order, both illustrating a scientific basis for musical beauty and cultivating an appreciation for it.


Proposal Number: 200
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: A Taste for Freedom: Interpreting Aesthetic Value in Buddhist Texts
Core Text:
Xuanzang, Demonstration of Consciousness Only; Kant, Critique of Aesthetic Judgement
Abstract:
Abhidharma (Buddhist psychology) texts contain their own frameworks of ideas which can help to clarify connections between Buddhist and western psychology. In particular, Buddhist descriptions of the subject’s encounter with ethics and morality play an important role in understanding Buddhist approaches to freedom from suffering. Xuanzang’s Demonstration of Consciousness Only, a seminal text of East Asian Buddhist thought, includes a rigorous analysis of experience similar to Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgment. A careful reading of both texts reveal some alternatives for approaching aesthetic and moral values as well as their relationship to human consciousness.


Proposal Number: 187
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: Textbooks and Core Texts
Core Text:
Tocqueville's Democracy in America; The Federalist Papers; Supreme Court decisions, Lincoln-Douglas debates, etc.
Abstract:
This paper discusses the challenges and rewards of incorporating core texts into a general education course in American government that must be taught within the following constraints: a) a syllabus or course outline common to all faculty and b) the requirement that faculty rely primarily on a standard American government textbook.


Proposal Number: 178
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: Questioning Values Through Nature
Core Text:
Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac
Abstract:
A dyad of essential questions that resonate across generations and cultures is “What do I value and why?” Western cultures usually define value in instrumental and economic terms. These referents are particularly visible in our relationships to land, air, and water. Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac develops the parallel themes of appreciation of nature and art, not as investments, but as essential components of human life and expression. Thisslender volume allows students to explore fundamental questions of value in the context of beauty, essence, and wildness.


Proposal Number: 168
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: The One and The Many: Teaching the Bhagavad Gt through its Commentaries
Core Text:
Bhagavad Gt
Abstract:
What should be involved in teaching the Bhagavad Gita, a text widely considered an essential part of Hinduism and a core text program? In teaching the text I suggest we need to take into consideration an ambitious project, one of opening students to the diverse commentarial traditions on the text. These commentaries are often the sources for specific Hindu schools in terms of religious practice, ethical norms, and ritual, as well as diverse reflections God, self, and the world. By a reading of key Bhagavad Gt verses and their commentaries, I discuss akaras (c. 700-750 AD) non-dualistic conception of self and Brahman, contrasted with Rmnujas (1077 -1157 AD) dualistic conception of soul and Viu.


Proposal Number: 167
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: Shakespeares Coriolanus: The Machiavellianism of Volumnia
Core Text:
Coriolanus
Abstract:
Many of Shakespeare’s characters are interpreted as exemplary types of Machiavellian schemers. Iago, Richard III, Cassius, … come instantly to mind. Shakespeare’s play Coriolanus is replete with such characters: the scheming tribunes who orchestrate Coriolanus’s banishment; his archenemy Aufidius who conspires successfully to assassinate him; and his mentor Menenius whose pragmatic approach to playing both sides of the street in the factional struggle keeps him in power. But the only character who rises to any real Machiavellian height is his mother Volumnia, who seems to use Coriolanus to become the savior of Rome. This paper looks at her actions particularly her speech to her son regarding his moral absoluteness in dealing with politics. She advocates a “realism” that seems to fit with Machiavelli’s view of politics.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Shakespeare and the Art of Politics
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Shakespeare’s plays suggest that he understood that drama could not only depict moments of high political significance such as the regime change which takes place in Coriolanus, but drama can also become a way of educating the audience on the nature of politics and on political decision-making. The plays offer the opportunity to consider politics in action as the audience is invited to weigh the motives, decisions, actions, and consequences of Shakespeare’s characters and how they interact with their respective regimes.


Proposal Number: 155
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: Theodore Roosevelts New Nationalism: Getting Right with Lincoln?
Core Text:
Theodore Roosevelt, The New Nationalism, (Speech at Osawatomie, Kansas), August 31, 1910
Abstract:
The primary issue dividing liberals and conservatives remains the same today as it was a hundred years ago: The legitimacy and efficacy of government regulation of the economy for the sake of the common good. Theodore Roosevelt’s New Nationalism speech stands out as a ringing defense of the interventionist position, grounding his defense in part on the claim that Lincoln’s politics were a progressive attack on the most powerful special interest of his day. Roosevelt’s assertion of progress in history is arguably un-Lincolnian, but the distinction between the form and content of political causes, and between empirical and moral principles, is. This will be shown by comparing Roosevelt’s understanding of property rights to Lincoln’s in the letter to Henry L. Pierce and others and the Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society. Teaching these texts together has thus been used as a way to deepen students understanding of the philosophical underpinings of very contemporary political debates.


Proposal Number: 154
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: The Darwinian Divergence and the Uncertainty Principle in Identifying Art and Science
Core Text:
Darwin's On the Origin of Species
Abstract:
The liberal arts and sciences are often seen as competing claims to art or science rather than as the more appropriate partnership that truly exists. The systemic effort to separate and identify them is the result of academic narrow mindedness, not reality. Darwin’s explosive work, On The Origin of Species, signaled the modern start of this divergence. But the tie that binds religion, philosophy, natural science, and politics – humanity – needs to reemerge in our core programs. A return to Darwin and a look at the journey back must pass through quantum theory and the beauty of the uncertainty principle in true understanding. Heisenberg discussing particle physics stated, “The great effort of our time in this field can be taken as an expression of the human endeavor to penetrate to the innermost center of things.” (1974 – Encounters with Einstein) The study of humanity is a study in contradictions, of the arts and the sciences and the uncertainty that is inherent in both.


Proposal Number: 147
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: Taoism and Chinese young people
Core Text:
Chuang-Tzu or Huainan Tzu
Abstract:
As source of Chinese culture and wisdom, Chuang-Tzu and Taoism affect old peoples thought and deed. Nowadays in a rapid changing world, everyone wants to make clear how to think and how to do. They are looking for some rules to cope with uncertain situation in the near future. Chinese young people include undergraduates become confused in colleges and society. No ready answer. Classic philosophy maybe reveals the truth. For liberal education Chuang-Tzu or called Huainan Tzu is a famous core text, enlightens young people on their lifestyle through study stage and career stage. We need to discuss how to make the great work into proper course for undergraduates.


Proposal Number: 141
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: The Tension between the Love of the Soul and Socrates Education in Virtue
Core Text:
Plato, Symposium
Abstract:
When Socrates describes the stages of the erotic ascent to the beautiful itself, which engenders true virtue in the soul, he seems to include the love of the soul, but on closer examination he in fact omits it (see 201c1, where he says auto not aute, and 211c1-d1). I will compare his speech to speeches that specifically include the love of the soul, such as those of Pausanias, of Aristophanes and especially of Socrates' student Alcibiades, who sees the beauty of Socrates' soul, but not the beautiful itself, and who likens the love of Socrates to a snakebite. It seems that the love of the soul, even when it is of a beautiful soul such as Socrates', risks derailing an education in virtue--but why? In addressing this question I will consider not only the problems that can surround an admirable and inspiring educator, but also why and how the beautiful and the good (as Socrates describes them) must not be conflated.


Proposal Number: 140
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: Enlargement of Mind: Intellectual Virtue and Moral Apprehension According to John Henry Newman
Core Text:
The Idea of a University
Abstract:
The substantive end of the university, says John Henry Newman in his Idea of a University, is the illuminated or enlarged mind, which consists not merely in knowing many things but, rather, in having a connected view of things. On the one hand, Newman maintains that “all knowledge forms one whole, because its subject-matter is one,” and, thus, he grounds the unity of knowing in some real apprehension or receptive beholding of the things themselves. On the other hand, he speaks of enlargement of mind as an intellectual virtue consisting in the integrative activity of the individual knower. In this paper, I examine two passages in which Newman speaks of the integrative activity involved in enlargement of mind, attempting to show how this subjective activity squares with his assertion that the unity of knowing is ultimately to be located in real apprehension of the object.


Proposal Number: 139
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: A Dialogue on Beauty Reading Platos Symposium and Poincars Science and Method
Core Text:
Symposium and Science and Method
Abstract:
In Platos Symposium, Socrates shapes his eulogy of Eros by citing Diotimas ladder of love where the pursuit of beauty drives the lover to climb gradually from the lowest stage of physical beauty to the summit of ultimate beauty from which all forms of beauty derive. In his Science and Method, Poincare points out that it is the beauty of the nature that motivates the scientist to study it. The beauty only a pure intelligence can grasp is self-sufficing intellectual beauty. This article compares the concepts of beauty in the two texts, and investigates what the care for the beautiful in science is in light of Symposiums ladder of love.


Proposal Number: 138
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: The Challenge of Creativity
Core Text:
Testament of Abraham
Abstract:
Meaningful creativity serves as a bridge between different realities, that which exists and that which is coming into being. Bloom's taxonomy lists critical thinking and creativity as the more advanced stages of cognitive development, which are not always expected in lower division core courses. Students are told not to be creative in the first year, because they must first demonstrate information literacy by adequately accessing, comprehending, and utilizing existing knowledge. The Apocalypse of Abraham provides an example of bridging between existing an authoritative figure and texts and a new reality; it takes a satirical posture against an ancient polytheistic world, but also creatively challenges readers with their own inability to recognize their complicity in that world.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Qualitative Narrative Assessment Panel
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 131
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: As Plato Rewrites Homer. A Bloomian analysis of Plato's concern with core texts in the Republic
Core Text:
Harold Bloom's Anxiety of Influence and Plato's "Republic."
Abstract:
In his Anxiety of Influence Harold Bloom describes the relation between a strong poet and her precursors as one of discontinuity and internalization. The strong poet must show discontinuity from her precursor, because she wants to turn away from what has been said, she desires to diverge from her precursor. However this divergence veils a mechanism of internalization of the precursor. This peculiar form of internalization, unlike Freud's creation of a superego, amounts to the birth of a desire; the desire to say what the precursor has failed to say. Thus, paradoxically the strong poet dismisses the discontinuity with her precursors, since her desire is the very desire that animated her precursor and moved him to write. Blooms analysis of the relation between a strong poet and her precursors can be applied to Plato's concern with Homer, Hesiod and the tragedians in the Republic. At the level of textual analysis in books II and III, Plato purges the Homeric text on the grounds of its mendacity, only to create a greater, nobler, lie to institute his city. At the level of ethical discipline Plato rejects the conduct of the Homeric man, who accepts the Homeric divinities as models of ethical conduct only because of his ignorance of the divine, but maintains that disciplining the citizenry in ethics must begin by leveraging their ignorance. At the level of writing theory in book X Plato rejects poetry because it is imitative and far removed from the truth, only to express the truth in the imagery of icons. This Bloomian analysis of Plato's concern with his own core texts reveals a prolific attitude towards classics, one which leads to harvesting the desire to write at the bottom of the text we read.


Proposal Number: 125
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: What Lost Students Need Most Is a Curriculum: Maimonides Fulfills Dereseiwicz
Core Text:
Epistle Dedicatory, Maimonides Guide of the Perplexed
Abstract:
In his challenge to elite colleges, Excellent Sheep, William Deresiewicz includes a fine stirring address to ambitious but drifting students (Part Three), about finding a purpose in your studies and in your life, but except for literature, Deresiewicz has no idea of a core curriculum that would meet their desires, while what Maimonides addresses to his student Joseph, in the preface to The Guide of the Perplexed, provides one, one with the arts and sciences ordered, and a lofty purpose to crown their study.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: "Medieval Political Philosophy: An NEH Summer Institute."
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 99
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: Using Weiners The Beak of the Finch to create a course accessible to first-year students from any major and is engaging for upper-level biology students.
Core Text:
The Beak of the Finch by J. Weiner
Abstract:
The Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Beak of the Finch” by Jonathan Weiner is used in an interdisciplinary course on evolution and the Galápagos Islands to bridge the diversity of backgrounds among students, making the course accessible to first-year students who are not majoring in science and, yet, engaging for upper-level biology students. The book chronicles the ground-breaking, decades-long research on natural selection in the Galápagos finches by Peter and Rosemary Grant. However, it also includes chapters on Darwin’s voyage and discoveries, the development of his theory, examples of natural selection and adaptive radiation from other parts of the world, and the work of other evolutionary biologists. Each of these chapters serves as the starting point for students to explore more complex topics and for reading selections of Darwin’s works, as well as primary research articles on more recent studies of evolutionary processes in Galapagos finches.


Proposal Number: 86
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: Which Sciences Does Political Science Direct?
Core Text:
Aritstotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Ingram Bywater"s Greek critical edition of Aristotle"s Nicomachean Ethics suppresses the restrictive adjective "political" in the sentence "politics used the other practical sciences." This interpretation makes politics into simply the supreme science. I argue that Thomas Aquinas" interpretation not only is consistent with the received manuscript tradition, but also makes better sense of Aristotle"s true philosophical position. Though politics governs the other practical sciences both in whether they are to be pursued and how they are to be pursued, politics governs only whether a theoretical science is to be pursued but cannot determine the intrinsic truth of any theoretical science. There is accordingly no "proto-Stalinist" or "totalitarian" doctrine in Aristotle"s politics.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: NEH Summer Seminar on Political Philosophy
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 72
Date: 2015-01-05
Paper Title: The Other Traditions: Islamic and Jewish Political Philosophy
Core Text:
Alfarabi, Enumeration of the Sciences and Book of Religion; Maimonides, Treatise on the Art of Logic and Guide of the Perplexed
Abstract:
This paper will explore not only some relevant texts and ideas but also the pedagogical challenges of teaching medieval Islamic and Jewish political philosophy, especially the thought of Alfarabi and Maimondides. In the West, these traditions are studied primarily for what they can teach about metaphysics, especially Avicenna and Averroes, and to a lesser extent Maimonides. Careful study of Alfarabi, however, reveals that the place and status of the arts and sciences, especially metaphysics and theology, are radically different from their place in the Christian tradition in gneeal Is there then a right and a wrong way of understanding the relation of the sciences?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Medieval Political Philosophy: An NEH Summer Insitute
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will consider texts, ideas, and pedagogical issues in the teaching of medieval political philosophy. Last summer, Douglas Kries, Joseph C. Macfarland, and Joshua Parens co-directed an NEH Summer Institute on medieval political philosophy in three monotheistic traditions: Islam, Judaism, and (Western) Christianity. The institute centered on the study of three anchor authors -- Alfarabi, Maimonides, and Thomas Aquinas -- along with an array of other authors. Most of the participants were not specialists but generalists interested in what they might glean for their own teaching. Because the character of politics, especially in Islam and Judaism, was so all encompassing, our inquiries were not limited to politics but inevitably touched on the highest themes in metaphysics and theology. This panel will extend those inquiries.


Proposal Number: 217
Date: 2015-01-04
Paper Title: Huckleberry Finn and The Invisible Man: Teaching Core Texts and Canon Formation
Core Text:
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & The Invisible Man
Abstract:
The question How is this book excellent? is assumed by my advanced undergraduate students to be one that I am to answer for them as their professor. Studying core texts in my American literature survey course while exploring the complexities of canon formation challenges students to focus on the question of excellence and canonicity for themselves. Accompanying the ample selections from the American literature anthology are multiple readings on the canon ranging from Eliot, Altieri, and Bloom to more recent analyses. This paper shares the results and surprising findings. Tasked as an undergraduate with comparing a book on the syllabus to one not included, Alan Nadel chose to compare Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to Ralph Ellisons The Invisible Man. Years later he wrote Invisible Criticism: Ralph Ellison and the American Canon. Such is my aspiration for my students, that they read in order to see the intertextual connections that good books can share as they address the central question of what makes a good book a great one.


Proposal Number: 215
Date: 2015-01-04
Paper Title: Is there a middle, moderate, virtuous way in *Anna Karenina*?
Core Text:
*Anna Karenina*
Abstract:
Tolstoy"s novel *Anna Karenina* puts on display a wide panoply of various types of human behavior. The bulk of these behaviors would seem to be negative, or at the very least mistaken. Does Tolstoy, however, offer us "the good and true life" in the novel? This paper will examine whether the lifestyle of the character Levin is meant to be emulated--or whether a hidden, more moderate, and more virtuous (in the classical sense of Aristotle"s *Ethics*) is implied.


Proposal Number: 214
Date: 2015-01-03
Paper Title: Hitting A Moving Target: Linking The Fashionable to Scientific Notions of Truth
Core Text:
Robert Frost "The Black Cottage" and miscellaneous scientific works
Abstract:
The last year in the sciences has brought the discovery of artificially produced DNA bases, mind-controlled gene expression, and microscopy at the molecular level. In other words, the trend in biology is toward ever greater levels of reductionism. Consequently, administrators at smaller liberal arts institutions have targeted the sciences for their greater cost per student of performing real time science in the classroom. Students, especially those with humanities backgrounds, view these trends as evidence of the esoteric nature of the sciences. As a result, many students feel the sciences are incomprehensible and value them only in a utilitarian way (i.e., technological solutions to life problemsthe cure for cancer and phones that are not smart enough). Ironically, the sciences have become a victim of their own success. If the aforementioned factions simply desire for us to inexpensively convey the truth about the world, science courses of core curricula are in jeopardy. Since the sciences proceed by falsification, the notion of finding the truth as espoused by Bacon, Galileo, Harvey and many others is itself a falsehood. The truth, in a scientific sense, is a moving target, often a fleeting understanding of the world, or intellectual fashion. If we think of the sciences as the latter, then we clearly have much in common with the humanities. As stated by Robert Frost in The Black Cottage: Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor. The analogy, as it applies to the sciences can describe the overall progression of ideas, to the re-discovery of ideas that were previously ignored or discredited (Mendel, Lucretius, for example), or how ideas, however unjustified, can become fancied. The last interpretation tells us how bad science or non-science can become commonly held belief (i.e. intelligent design). T.H. Huxley suggests that irrationally held truths may be more dangerous than well reasoned errors. Knowing why the truth makes sense in its temporal context is far more powerful than knowing what the truth is. Perhaps this provides a context for the importance of the sciences in core curricula and one that can be grasped by students of all kinds.


Proposal Number: 213
Date: 2015-01-03
Paper Title: Godhead Knowledge: The Smorgasbord of Omniscience in Core Courses
Core Text:
an interdisciplinary on-line course module
Abstract:
Since retirement in 2011, Ive been pulling weeds on campus, and cooperating with two colleagues in constructing core courses that are diachronically and synchronically diverse presentations, on-line, of concepts and materials drawn from all disciplines and all cultures. As Terence (and others) declared, Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto," a sentiment of increasing cogency for students about to enter actively into our tense and interconnected world. As an outline for us (and for initial marketing purposes), weve arranged the initial course into six modules corresponding to the six topics required in courses approved for credit in North Carolinas community college capstone humanities course. The topics include, for example, The Individual & Society, The Search for Happiness, and The Search for Identity. Id like to show ACTCs conference participants one of the six modules, using it to exemplify how real science, real art, and real philosophy (etc.) can be presented together in palatable and stimulating ways, thus giving students The Big Picture on important human topics while at the same time clarifying for them the ways in which each discipline maintains its particular field, tools, and issues. We need the arts and sciences of a core text education to investigate all things: we scholars and teachers delineated the disciplines in order to undertake this quest, and it is important that we encourage students to draw thoughtfully on any of these fields, as they themselves venture.


Proposal Number: 212
Date: 2015-01-03
Paper Title: Towards an embodied Liberal Education
Core Text:
Emile or on education
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 121
Date: 2015-01-03
Paper Title: Political Effects of Medieval Creation/Eternity Debates
Core Text:
Maimonides, Guide of the Perplexed
Abstract:
This paper argues that medieval debates over the eternity/creation of the form and matter of the world (in e.g., Farabi, Maimonides,Aquinas) introduced some philosophic respectability to the biblical idea of creation which, over time, came to provide an alternative to the Platonic political "techne" model evident in The Republic, a new model in which political subject matter could (creatively) generate its own political form or constitution without the need for a founder-craftsman.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: NEH Summer seminar on Political Philosophy
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 210
Date: 2015-01-02
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Towards an Embodied Liberal Education
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
In mile ou De lducation (1762) Rousseau appeals to let us transform our sensations into ideas, but do not let us jump all at once from the objects of sense to objects of thought Let the senses be the only guide for the first workings of reason! Rousseau describes here the coming into the world of mile in a very embodied way, whereas since the publication of this important Bildungsroman, in universities due to the legacy of the Enlightenment, the students bodies are merely seen as vehicles only to carry around the brains in their heads. Recent influences of phenomenology on the neurocognitive sciences nevertheless restored the insight of more than 200 years ago that the body, being the seat of consciousness, participates actively in grasping and developing knowledge and (motor) skills and therefore asks for embodied education. In our paper we will urge for the necessity of a liberal education, drawn from arts and sciences, which does not only provide an opportunity for students to shape their own souls, but also their own bodies!


Proposal Number: 209
Date: 2015-01-02
Paper Title: Defending Democracys Spin Doctors: The (Ultimate?) Role of Congress Press Secretaries
Core Text:
The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights; Rousseau, Locke; early as the 5th century B.C., exploring the influence of Solon (594 B.C.), Ephialtes (462 BC)
Abstract:
The paper asks if the U.S. Congress press secretariesCapitol Hills spin doctors--work enhancesor hurtsour democracy. To find the answer, it consults three of the nations founding documentsi.e., The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights; two of our most studied political philosophers (e.g., Rousseau, Locke); and a collection of democracys deepest writings from as early as the 5th century B.C., exploring the influence of Solon (594 B.C.), Ephialtes (462 BC), et. al. The paper concludes suggesting the synergy between todays press secretaries and fair-minded journalists provides the closest approximation to "truth" we can create. As a result, messages shared with the citizenry have verity, the nation is well served, and democracy is ultimately enhanced.Finally, the paper argues a modern liberal education, gained through exposure to the seminal thinkers/texts such as those referenced in the paper, will make students better, more informed stewards of our democracy. To complement that knowledge, the paper also suggests an awareness of Congress press secretaries desire to influence public opinion will make for more astute citizenry.


Proposal Number: 208
Date: 2015-01-02
Paper Title: Stupor non meno: What Virgil Saw
Core Text:
The Divine Comedy (Dante)
Abstract:
Focusing on Inferno 14 and Purgatorio 28-30, the paper will investigate the implications of Dantes rearrangement of the rivers of the Virgilian underworld. I will consider both descriptions of and events occurring beside Lethe, first in Georgics 4 and Aeneid 6, then in Purgatorio 28-30; and I will focus on the consequences of Dantes choice to place Lethe in the Earthly Paradise. The central questions are as follows: why does Dante describe Virgils gaze upon the Celestial Pageant in motion on Lethes far bank as a look of stupor (Purg. 29. 57)? When Virgil looks at Dantes Lethe, what does he see?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Being and Becoming
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will focus on being and becoming, time, stasis and change in a number of classic texts, ranging from Homer to Shakespeare, with a double pause on Dante.


Proposal Number: 196
Date: 2015-01-02
Paper Title: The U.S. Constitution as a Core Text and the Problem of Constitutional Illiteracy
Core Text:
United States Constitution
Abstract:
The idea of different kinds of literacy (besides competence in reading and writing) is well established in the contemporary world. As two examples, people speak of both "cultural literacy" and "scientific literacy." At the same time, while the civic dimensions of American higher education are sometimes discussed and debated, persons rarely acknowledge "constitutional literacy" as a goal of higher education. The paper explores the idea of constitutional literacy and also asks whether "constitutional illiteracy" can be fruitfully compared with the notions of "cultural illiteracy" and "scientific illiteracy."


Proposal Number: 199
Date: 2015-01-01
Paper Title: What's In A Toga? Thoughts on French Classicism in the 21st Century
Core Text:
plays by Racine and Moliere, especially Phedre and Le Misanthrope
Abstract:
Seventeenth century French theatre seems to pose a particularly thorny problem for contemporary directors. The subject matter would seem to demand background knowledge (of ancient sources for the tragedies, of contemporaneous French society for the comedies) that cannot be assumed of the average viewer; and the plays are written in 12-syllable verse. This paper proposes to examine the problems and perils of adapting French classical plays, using this summer"s intensive theatre-going as illustrative material.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: From Page to Stage: What We Learned in Paris
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel is the fruit of a Faculty-Student On-Site Research Grant which Rukmini Girish and I were awarded in the Summer of 2014. We spent six weeks in Paris doing intensive reading, discussing, and viewing of canonical French texts. We saw a total of 25 plays in the course of our stay, and as the time passed, we became increasingly focused on questions of production. What does it mean to do a "faithful" version of a play? Is anachronism a betrayal? Does modernizing a canonical text necessarily make it more accessible and rewarding for a contemporary audience? We propose to continue our examination of these questions in the company of the ACTC community, using French canonical plays as our center of inquiry.


Proposal Number: 198
Date: 2015-01-01
Paper Title: The Liberal Art of Interpretation: Nietzsche on Reading
Core Text:
The Genealogy of Morals
Abstract:
Debates on core text courses today are largely polarized around two opposed positions: on the one hand, a tradition that views core texts as repositories of great ideas--a view that rightly emphasizes their contemporary relevance, but which risks a navely ahistorical approach to reading, and which is vulnerable to accusations of presentism and Eurocentrism; on the other hand, a tradition that views core texts as cultural and historical artifacts--a view that rightly emphasizes their historical and cultural specificity, but which risks a navely historicist approach to reading, and is vulnerable to accusations of relativism. I would argue that both positions fail to do justice to the nature of interpretation, and that a post-Nietzschean art of interpretation can help us both to preserve the insights in both positions while transcending their limitations. Through a reading of Nietzsche and Homer I will try to show that hermeneutics--the theory and art of interpretation--belongs among the arts proper to a liberal education.


Proposal Number: 197
Date: 2015-01-01
Paper Title: On Being Political by Nature: The Implications of Aristotles Account of the Human Telos
Core Text:
Politics, by Aristotle
Abstract:
In the Politics, Aristotle claims that the human being is a political animal, and by political he means social. It is in our nature to be raised by parents or caretakers and to, in part, rely upon others to cooperatively meet our basic needs and the conditions necessary to live flourishing lives. If we didnt live this way, we would be different creatures; Aristotle claims that we would be either beasts or gods. We are neither beasts nor gods because of our telos. However, sometimes accidents happen and our telos is not realized because the conditions for its realization are removed. This paper explores the significance of Aristotles claim that our telos is constitutive of our nature, and does so by examining the possibility of the inadequacy of its realization in cases of wild children, specifically the Wild Boy of Aveyron.


Proposal Number: 195
Date: 2015-01-01
Paper Title: Wharton's Lily Bart as Existential Hero
Core Text:
The House of Mirth & Existentialism as a Humanism
Abstract:
The protagonist of Edith Whartons 1905 satire The House of Mirth is Lily Bart, who offers us far more gravitas than one might expect from a novel of manners. I argue that Lily is nothing less than an existential hero (heroine, if you prefer). The presentation analyzes Lilys choices using Sartrean principles of existential philosophy. Lily Barts contribution to the liberal arts tradition is profound: historically, the liberal arts are the arts of free people, and Lilys struggle for freedom in a deeply constrained world is quintessentially human.


Proposal Number: 194
Date: 2015-01-01
Paper Title: More Than Just Songs, They Are a World Vision
Core Text:
Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake
Abstract:
By studying core texts, as examples of great literature, students discover not only distinctive artistic merits but timeless and universal elements that teach us something about ourselves. Besides the biblical paradigm of fall and redemption, showing the two contrary states of the human soul, the Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake present a myriad of voices with spiritual, social, political, and economic commentaries that expand the Songs beyond the two opposing views of the world into a more comprehensive vision of a world where negotiations and compromises are possible.


Proposal Number: 193
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Euripides and the Dionysian in early twentieth century Oxford
Core Text:
Euripides, The Bacchae
Abstract:
Euripides Bacchae shocks in its portrayal of the struggles for power and bloody retributions attendant upon human attempts to relate to the divine. This paper discusses the ways in which this canonical play can be used today to challenge students understanding of the moral difficulties inherent in the acceptance and rejection of religion. In particular, two contrasting early twentieth century treatments of the play, by the Oxford Classicists CS Lewis and Gilbert Murray, demonstrate the appeal and flexibility of this play when approached by pedagogues from divergent religious points of view.


Proposal Number: 192
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Dante and Joyce: how to learn from a great book
Core Text:
Dante, Divine Comedy / Joyce, Ulysses
Abstract:
Although Joyces Ulysses takes its title from Homers epic hero, Odysseus (or, in Latin, Ulysses) it is as strongly influenced by Dante as Dante was by Virgil or as Virgil was by Homer. Joyce follows Dante introducing himself, here the self of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, into his epic, in his painstaking fidelity to the minutiae of actual historical events, and in his working these incidents of pure chance into a cosmic system. And yet out of something very old Joyce creates something very new indeed. This paper will examine how Joyce found his own singular mode of expression through Dante and consider how this might serve as a model for students learning today from classics of the past.


Proposal Number: 191
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Hegel's Reading of Dante
Core Text:
Hegel's Aesthetics, Dante's Divine Comedy
Abstract:
Hegel sees classical sculpture as substance, with other art forms and other periods as departures from its objectivity, sometimes negatively, in the direction of mere theatricality (e.g., Hellenistic art, Baroque), other times positively, as a celebration of transience (e.g., Dutch still life),and inner life (e.g., novels of Laurence Sterne). And some art forms are in fact sculptures in disguise, in particular Dante"s poetry is powerful because it is full of "bronzes". This account of Dante was central to the theories of literature in Lukacs and Auerbach that are still very influential. I will use Hegel"s account of Dante to try to show how sculpture can help us understand literature.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Being and Becoming
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 190
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: "That's not Literature": Exploring Euclid and Galileo as core texts for understanding mathematics and science as human ways of knowing.
Core Text:
Euclid, Elements Bk.I, Definitions through Prop.5; Galileo Two New Sciences, selections
Abstract:
The proposal to include mathematical or scientific literature in a great books seminar program may meet with considerable resistance from faculty who argue, "that"s not literature." Such resistance reflects both an assumption that specific expertise is necessary to "teach" these subjects appropriately and a belief that mathematics and sciences lie outside the domain of humanistic literature. However, upon investigation, there are important learning objectives to be advanced by approaching such texts as Euclid"s Elements and Galileo"s Two New Sciences as literature, which renders them both accessible to non-experts and open to fresh interpretation. This approach at once broadens our perception of humanities by considering mathematics and science as distinctly human endeavors, while presenting opportunities to challenge students to examine their many assumptions about the nature of mathematical and scientific truths, and raising essential questions about the role of definitions and first principles in logical inquiry in general.


Proposal Number: 188
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Leonine Resurrection in Shakespeare?
Core Text:
King Lear, Antony & Cleopatra, others.
Abstract:
Shakespeare is fascinated with the theme of rebirth or resurrection, a theme that appears overtly in many of his plays, ranging from Romeo and Juliet to The Winters Tale. In this paper, I will discuss the resurrection theme in conjunction with another motif -- the presence of lions. The lion motif, it turns out, is often co-present with the resurrection theme in Shakespeares writing. (In fact, Medieval bestiaries associate lions symbolically with resurrection.) Having noted several plays where lions appear in conjunction with overt resurrection, I will then wonder if lions can sometimes serve as a marker for the theme of resurrection, even in plays, e.g., King Lear or Antony and Cleopatra, where resurrection is not overtly represented.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Being and Becoming
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will focus on being and becoming, time, stasis and change in a number of classic texts, ranging from Homer to Shakespeare, with a double pause on Dante.


Proposal Number: 186
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: On the Myth of the Charioteer: Plato's Phaedrus
Core Text:
Phaedrus
Abstract:
I will consider how Plato rethinks the meaning of divinity and articulates a new understanding of the divine in his Phaedrus. In the dialogue, Socrates talks about what our souls have done before we"re born; different souls have followed different gods or goddesses around the periphery of the cosmos. The myth explains how different people end up being devotees of different gods; for Plato, the myth makes intelligible the way people live in a polytheistic religion. His sense of divinity is more precise and illuminating than Homer"s; Plato"s thought opens up the possibility of an atheistic practice of devotion in relation to the divine.


Proposal Number: 185
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Reflecting on the Purpose of Liberal Education in both the Arts and the Sciences in Light of Platos Meno, and Lewis Carrolls What the Tortoise said to Achilles
Core Text:
Plato's "Meno & "Lewis Carroll's What the Tortoise Said to Achilles
Abstract:
Platos dialogue the Meno, includes the famous geometrical sub-dialogue between Socrates and the slave boy from which we basically get the conception of Socratic teaching. In a short dialogue from an entirely different historical era, in Lewis Carrolls1895 monogram, What the Tortoise Said to Achilles the fictional character Achilles (of Zenos paradox fame) attempts to logically force the Tortoise (also from the paradox) to accept the First Proposition from Euclids Elements. The Tortoise foils his regressively repeated efforts. I believe that the lesson for liberal education from both of these two classic, but disparate dialogues is that what genuine liberal learning is really about is self-instruction. The goal of true liberal education is to assist students to learn how to teach themselves, to show students how to not need their instructors help, to learn how to learn. For the process to succeed, however, it requires the complete co-operation and acceptance of the student e.g., the Tortoise in Lewiss monogram cannot be convinced. A student must further be prepared for the many difficulties of the process. It is on this point that I think many conflicts between liberal education proponents and other popular not so liberal education trends are generated, or at least so I argue.


Proposal Number: 183
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Aristotle on the Virtues and the Characters of Oedipus Tyrannus
Core Text:
The Nicomachean Ethics and Oedipus Tyrannus
Abstract:
This paper uses Aristotle"s subtle distinctions of ethical actions and states in the Nicomachean Ethics to evaluate the characters in Sophocles" Oedipus Tyrannus. For example, are Oedipus, Tiresias, and Creon engaged in good-tempered actions or, rather, actions associated with one of the vicious states associated with anger? Does Oedipus practice truthfulness? Can Jocasta and Oedipus be said to be temperate while engaged in involuntary acts of intemperance? Would we judge Oedipus" self-blinding and Jocasta"s suicide to be acts of retributive justice or injustice, or perhaps categorize them differently?


Proposal Number: 182
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Living Plutarch's LIVES: is Biography the most liberal of the Liberal Arts?
Core Text:
Plutarch's Life of Pericles
Abstract:
This paper addresses Plutarch"s claims (Pericles 1.4-2.4) concerning the relationship between mimesis and virtue, and then investigates the place and role of Biography in a liberal arts education.


Proposal Number: 181
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Kierkegaard, Subjectivity and the Limits of Quantification
Core Text:
Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscripts
Abstract:
As quantitative assessment paradigms continue to reshape higher education, its critical to think about their limitations vis--vis the practices of intellectual life which they cant adequately measure. In this essay I draw on Kierkegaards analysis of the subjects relationship to truth in Concluding Unscientific Postscripts in order to show that there are aspects of liberal arts education which an objectifying approach fails to capture. Moreover, I will argue that in certain cases they even constitute a barrier to understanding the phenomena in question. I also offer reflections on the deeply problematic ways in which quantitative paradigms are transforming our conceptualizations of the telos of a liberal arts education.


Proposal Number: 177
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Imagining Creation: Reading Haydns Die Schpfung (The Creation)
Core Text:
Franz Joseph Haydn's oratorio Die Schpfung (
Abstract:
In the five minutes of orchestral music that begins the oratorio The Creation, the composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) imagined a time before life, and before lighta time that eludes both words and visual images. This famous movement entitled Die Vorstellung des Chaos (The Depiction of Chaos) sets the stage for a musical telling of the creation story from the text of Genesis I and II, interpolated with images from John Miltons Paradise Lost. In taking the time to listen attentively to this story made vivid by the orchestra and human voices, we practice a different set of reading skills that rewards patience and engages creative imagination through the demands of aural interpretation and analysis. At the same time, like any good core text, Haydns masterpiece invites historical contextualization and provokes critical discussion on broadly-ranging topics from aesthetics and theology to language and gender as we explore our unifying question for the semester: What does it mean to be human?


Proposal Number: 176
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: An Invitation to the Intellectual Life: Using Frederick Douglass' My Bondage and My Freedom as a Core Liberal Arts Text
Core Text:
Frederick Douglass' My Bondage and My Freedom
Abstract:
An often-cited criticism of the liberal arts literary canon, broadly construed, is that it has served to further perpetuate the inclusion of narrowly conceived European and Anglo-American perspectives while marginalizing those perspectives from other groups. In proposing that Frederick Douglass My Bondage and My Freedom be taught as a core text, my paper aims to address this issue, while also suggesting several other advantages to teaching Douglass narrative as a core liberal arts text. While using My Bondage and My Freedom as a core text serves to bring to the fore a still often-neglected work, the predominant benefits of its implementation are that 1) it shows the philosophical power of narrative, not just as a philosophical topic but also as a philosophical methodology; 2) it introduces students to existential-phenomenological accounts; 3) it offers an account of themes which remain some of the most important, socially and politically; and 4) it illustrates the empowering function and real-life value which philosophical self-reflection can have. In doing (1) (4), Douglass text shows the power that critical thinking can have, and is thus a literary embodiment of the goal of welcoming students to the intellectual life.


Proposal Number: 175
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Science, Medicine, and the End(s) of Life in Tolstoy's "Ivan Ilyich"
Core Text:
Lev Tolstoy, "Death of Ivan Ilyich"
Abstract:
Teaching Tolstoys Death of Ivan Ilyich in a core course on medicine and literature allows bioethics, literature, and philosophy to pose essential questions to each other: How can science, medicine, and literature help us balance curing disease and caring for people? How should we apply ethical rules in particular life situations? How can we balance professional expertise, faith, and moral empathy in education and life?


Proposal Number: 174
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: The Etymology of Goodbye: Vestigial Language in Charles Baxters Poor Devil
Core Text:
Charles Baxter's
Abstract:
At first glance, Charles Baxters short story Poor Devil strikes one as literally incoherent, the parts of the story seeming to fly off in all directions with such violence that it seems less that the center cannot hold than that there is no center. The key to understanding the story is to recognize the vestigial religious language both characters rely on (both the narrator and ex-wife use language that was once rooted in and reflective of religious values but that has since been reduced to secular idiom). Although the characters use such language unconsciously, their creator, Charles Baxter, has placed this language in their mouths with great purpose, and eventually the careful reader understands that what plagues the narrator is that he is unfaithful in the most literal sense possiblehe has no religious faith, and without it, his marriage was doomed to fail. In the end, he finds himself locked in his darkened house, a metaphorical hell, and with the words Goodbye (God be with ye), he ironically bestows an inadvertent blessing on his wife, who has, moments earlier, left the premises.


Proposal Number: 173
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Life - one and many
Core Text:
Heraclitus, Fragments, Darwin, Origin of Species, Schrdinger, What is Life?
Abstract:
Life on the Earth presents such great diversity of form and function, that it is difficult to believe it is a single phenomenon, as shown by evolutionary biology. The one and the many is among the oldest and deepest philosophical problems. Can biology, the science of life, contribute to the liberal arts students understanding of this paradox? Can inquiry into the physical nature of life give insight into living well?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Biology in a Core Text Education
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Since our theme is The Arts and Sciences of a Core Text Education: What Are They and Why Do We Need Them? It seems natural to ask the question, what is the place of biology among the liberal arts? Should biology be part of an expanded quadrivium alongside geometry, arithmetic, music and astronomy? Can students gain insight into the wonder and mystery of their own existence from considering the many and varied fellow creatures that share our planet? This panel will consider diverse accounts of biology and its role in core text education.


Proposal Number: 172
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Maimonidess Eight Chapters as an Introduction to the Study of the Guide of the Perplexed
Core Text:
Eight Chapters
Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Medieval Political Philosophy: An NEH Summer Institute
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 171
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: The Elevation of Science (episteme) over Art (techne): Some Problems with Nicomachean Ethics VI
Core Text:
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Since its inception, the western philosophical tradition has often looked askance at the productive activities of human beings, viewing them as (at best) regrettably necessary activities to procure leisure time, or (at worst) just an incurable busyness that distracts the mind from more contemplative activities. Indeed, the productive arts have been called, among other things, mere moneymaking, servile, and work-a-day-- activities befitting those who lack the intellectual lights to pursue more theoretical activities. Perhaps the foremost spokesman of this tradition is Aristotle, whose analysis of art (techne) and producing (poiesis) in Nicomachean Ethics Book 6 renders the productive skill a species of intellectual virtue, but as the very lowest of human rational activitiesbeneath ethical reasoning and scientific reasoning. This paper will examine and challenge several of the underlying presuppositions at work in Aristotles analysis, attempting in the process to rehabilitate the arts as a source of both practical and theoretical wisdom.


Proposal Number: 170
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: 'The Noblest Recorded Thoughts of Man': Thoreau on Reading, Listening, and Liberal Education in WALDEN
Core Text:
WALDEN
Abstract:
This essay examines Henry David Thoreau"s reflections on reading the classics and listening to the sounds of nature in his masterpiece, WALDEN. First, I reconstruct his ideas about reading classics - placing them in terms of his views on education, cultural critique, and the arguments of the work as a whole. While some of Thoreau"s contemporaries thought that the study of the classics would at length fade to modern and practical studies, he asserts, "... the adventurous student will always study classics, in whatever language they may be written and however ancient they may be." I also describe Thoreau"s advice on why, how, and what to read among these "trophies" deposited in the "forum of the world" as well as his concerns about "so called liberally educated men" of Concord. Lastly, I contrast the various perspectives on books and liberal education with Thoreau"s apology for existential listening or alert awareness for what is to be heard in nature, "the language which all things and events speak without metaphor, which alone is copious and standard."


Proposal Number: 169
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Belonging to Oneself - Montaigne on the art of automony
Core Text:
Montaigne's Essays
Abstract:
According to Michel de Montaigne the greatest thing in the world is knowing how to belong to oneself. Such belonging is however a difficult project. Knowing and belonging to oneself requires being liberated from the customs, mores, habits, and prejudices inherited from ones culture and circumstances. The Essays, "a book consubstantial with its author," is an account of Montaignes own efforts at such liberation. This essay explores Montaignes claim that he has no more made his book than his book has made him.


Proposal Number: 165
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Michael Faraday and the Grand Unification of Forces
Core Text:
Faraday's Experimental Researches in Electricity
Abstract:
Michael Faraday was one of the most brilliant and important physicists of the nineteenth century. Many of his experiments in electricity, magnetism, and optics are staples of the lecture and laboratory experience to this very day. Significantly, Faraday was guided in his researches not only by the outcome of his own and others investigations, but also by his faith in a divine authorship of the laws he discovered. This paper examines his desire to find the common origin of all the forces of nature - representing the beginning of the end of classical physics and the seed of our contemporary approach to science.


Proposal Number: 163
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Dialectic and Rhetoric in Socrates' Examination of Callicles
Core Text:
Plato's Gorgias
Abstract:
Platos dialogues are among the greatest products of the liberal arts that we have had the good fortune to inherit. Part of the intricacy of these texts is due to the fact that they simultaneously embody and depict the exercise of the liberal arts. I will try to illustrate this with respect to two of them, dialectic and rhetoric, by looking at the beginning moves in Socrates examination, in the Gorgias, of Callicless claim that it is just by nature that the stronger have more. I will try to distinguish, not only the dialectical and rhetorical aspects of the text, but also the Socratic and Platonic levels of each.


Proposal Number: 162
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Readings of Dante
Core Text:
Divine Comedy
Abstract:
Dante"s Divine Comedy is well known for being an allegorical pilgrimage with the goal of eternal life with God. Along the way, the pilgrim Dante encounters souls representing ancient mythological heroes, saints and sinners from scripture, and recent denizens of his own world of 12th and 13th-century Florence. It also is a political commentary on the long-standing struggle between the papacy and the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire, as well as a reflection on the quarrel"s repercussions in Florence. The paper will examine how a contextual reading of Dante can supply a crucial dimension of meaning to the text as a spiritual allegory.


Proposal Number: 161
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Tradition & Innovation Curriculum Development workshop
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
In November, Mark Alterman and Alisha Paddock had the opportunity to share their experience at last year's Tradition & Innovation seminar with Manhattan Christian College's faculty. Our report was warmly received. During our discussion time, it became clear that many of MCC's faculty already include, in some way or another, core texts in their course work. We were encouraged to come up with a list of core texts that we would like all MCC graduates to have read by the time they graduated, so that MCC could be more intentional about incorporating core texts throughout its courses. Also during the discussion time, a question was asked about the feasibility of creating a track focusing on core texts that would allow students to have even more exposure to core texts. The next step is to create a committee that would bring these ideas to fruition.


Proposal Number: 160
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Every Episode: Reading Don Quixote in Full
Core Text:
Don Quixote
Abstract:
We can all lament the disadvantages of excerpting long texts, a concession we make in the interest of saving time. But what are the particular and peculiar pedagogical problems introduced by abridgment, and aside from saving time, are there are potential advantages or opportunities for discovery? In the Columbia literature survey, we typically read about half of Don Quixote, a work that is easy to trim down but that, in reduced form, can easily seem goofy and antique. This year I will assign the entire work, and I will compare my experience of teaching Don Quixote in selections and in full, not only in terms of how I and the students approach this specific text, but also in terms of the larger formal and thematic continuities and discontinuities this presents for a literature survey course.


Proposal Number: 159
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: The State and its Discontents: Hegel, Marx, Foucault on
Core Text:
Hegel's Philosophy of Right
Abstract:
A century from now, incarnations of the modern state will have been profoundly determined by forces that tend to exceed it, not the least of which will be transnational capital. Does a thinker like Hegel, whose doctrine of the state scarcely takes account of this force, still speak to us today? This paper will examine the significance of "the rational" in Hegel"s political doctrine, comparing it to shifting paradigms of rationality and state politics in Marx and Foucault. The intention will be to highlight what Hegel may yet have to say about our political future.


Proposal Number: 158
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Long Lives with Nothing To Do: the Future of Humanity in a Technological Age
Core Text:
John Maynard Keynes, Economic Possibilities of our Grandchildren; Josef Pieper, Leisure, The Basis of Culture
Abstract:
Today, many of our students in the sciences are working towards a world that is fully automated and in which, as a consequence, there will be very little that humans will actually need to do. Other science students are working towards a world in which the end of life will be a choice. Conditions that have long been considered utopian now actually appear to be within reach. The response to these developments, however, has been longer working hours and mind-numbing leisure activities. We are educating our students to create a world in which they are ill-equipped to live meaningful lives. To what extent should we educate our students for long lives with nothing to do?


Proposal Number: 157
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: The Wonderful World of Eudora Wealty: Wonder as Knowledge in Delta Wedding
Core Text:
Delta Wedding
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 156
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: My Second Self: Newman and Augustine on Friendships in a University
Core Text:
John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University; St. Augustine- Confessions
Abstract:
In The Idea of a University, John Henry Newman states that although they may maintain a questionable moral code, universities can still produce statesmen and philosophers. When universities simply bring individuals together whose hearts are open to each other, Newman emphasizes that the bonds of friendship will allow them to enlarge their minds through their daily conversations and learning from each other (Svaglic, Pg. 110-111). While he writes 1,200 years before Newman, Augustine shows in the Confessions how core texts provide students an opportunity to shape their own souls, and thereby create friendships that expand their intellects even within a university which does not cultivate virtue. By considering Augustines engagement with Ciceros Hortensius, this paper will examine how St. Augustine can teach us to implement Newmans vision of making friends within our own modern day universities.


Proposal Number: 153
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: The Mind's Idols and the Possibility of Knowlege
Core Text:
Bacon's New Organum
Abstract:
Francis Bacon is known for his substantial contributions to modern science: his emphasis on induction over deduction and on observation and experimentation over a prior reasoning have defined many disciplines. Less well appreciated, however, is his concern that mind itself become the subject of scientific inquiry, in part as a means of "straightening the mirror". The current field of psychology with its attention to bias, emotion, language, genetics, and physiology, is one of, if not the field, in which Bacon"s intention is being carried out. Current research has deepened our understanding of the idols of the mind, but has also raised important questions about the possibility of knowing, about popular notions of enlightenment, and about the nature and value of science.


Proposal Number: 151
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: How to be Tamed by a Shrew
Core Text:
Much Ado about Nothing
Abstract:
Much Ado about Nothing considers the problem of fitting equals into an abstract hierarchy. How could a superior woman get herself married, and why would she, if marriage means a husband"s authority? And if "man is a giddy thing," according to this play, what is his attachment to his authority and to docility in women? A close look at this play might give us some insight into why, in these days of equal marriage, the old problems persist.


Proposal Number: 150
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Teaching the 7 Deadly Sins through Shared Inquiry and Cooperative Learning Principles
Core Text:

Abstract:
This paper explains how a course entitled The Seven Deadly Sins through the Short Story was created for St. Josephs College (N.Y.) students in a Freshman Year Experience program using a modified version of The Great Books Shared Inquiry method and cooperative learning principles. The paper also describes how the course was aligned with the mission of St. Josephs College to provide a value oriented education rooted in the liberal arts tradition. Authors of the short stories used in the course included Faulkner, Hawthorne, Wharton, de Balzac, Cheever, Fitzgerald, Huxley, and Gordimer, among others.


Proposal Number: 148
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Tradition and Innovation Project Report - University of Navarra
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 146
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Teaching Techniques and Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics: Towards a Liberal Education
Core Text:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
The paper reflects on teaching Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics in close reading sessions. The paper discusses the uses of three teaching techniques in relation to the text, namely (1) the drawing discussion; (2) expert grouping; (3) analytical reading. The aim of the paper is to reflect on the contribution of both close reading sessions and particular teaching techniques to the ideal of liberal learning.


Proposal Number: 143
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Creating a Voice: Self and Others in Maxine Hong Kingstons The Woman Warrior
Core Text:
Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior
Abstract:
Maxine Hong Kingstons The Woman Warrior models the self-creating possibilities of a liberal arts education through its demonstration of the creation of a voice. Because this narrative blends an account of Kingstons experiences as a daughter of Chinese immigrants in California with a distinctive retelling of her parents stories, it illustrates her developing understanding of self in relation to others. Voice serves as a key metaphor for this process: Kingston initially describes her own voice as broken and ugly, but eventually invokes the story of a Chinese poetess who calmed foreign armies with her beautiful songs. Kingstons reference to Virginia Woolfs A Room of Ones Own intensifies the texts evocation of the meaning and importance of forging ones voice in dialogue with longstanding traditions.


Proposal Number: 142
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: From Monasticism to Scholasticism: Reflections on Anselm and Aquinas
Core Text:
Anselm, 'Proslogion'; Aquinas, 'Summa theologiae'; Benedict XVI, "Regensburg Address"
Abstract:
It can be gleaned from Pope Benedict XVI"s "Regensburg Address" that the intellectual history of Western Christianity can be sketched out in terms of the three liberal arts. Beginning from the "rhetorical" age of the Fathers, there was a move to the "grammatical" age of the monks and then to the "logical" age of the Scholastics; moreover, since the Scholasticism of the late Middle Ages, this three-stage process has reversed itself. In this presentation I focus on the move from the "grammatical" age to the "logical" age by briefly investigating the different approaches to God"s existence taken by Anselm in the "Proslogion" and Thomas Aquinas in the "Summa theologiae". Such an investigation illuminates not only these two important core texts in particular, but also the character of intellectual inquiry in monastic and Scholastic settings in general.


Proposal Number: 137
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Civil Disobedience as Resistance: Fanon, Ferguson, and Beyond
Core Text:
Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
Abstract:
In Black Skin, White Masks, Frantz Fanon critically analyzes the experiences of alienated black people in an anti-black, racist world. Indeed, the original title of this important work was An Essay on the Disalienation of the Black. He considers several approaches to disalienation from mastering colonial languages to pursuing romantic love with whites and ultimately concludes that ontogenetic and phylogenetic solutions are not solutions at all, and that black people should seek sociogenetic solutions solutions, in other words, that involve active resistance to institutional racism and hierarchical dehumanization. In light of recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, I contend that Fanon"s difficult-but-profound text ought to be studied, not only because it sheds light on anti-black racism, but also because it presents an important argument for resistance, for civil disobedience, and for a more human world.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Civil Disobedience as a Core Concept
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
In light of the recent acts of civil disobedience in Ferguson, New York City and elsewhere across the U.S., and the Colorado school district proposal to remove civil disobedience from the curriculum for high school U.S. History, we investigate what it means for civil disobedience to be a core concept. Is civil disobedience a core concept? How should we teach authors who discuss civil disobedience? As core educators, what does it mean to educate not just about but for civil disobedience? These and other questions will be explored in papers on topics such as on wonder in Plato, the relationship between the moral philosophy of Kant and King, and resistance in Fanon.


Proposal Number: 136
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Postmodernity, Ideology and Rationality in the Communist Manifesto
Core Text:
Communist Manifesto
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 135
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Wonder, Philosophy, and Civil Disobedience
Core Text:
Theaetetus by Plato
Abstract:
At 155d of the Theaetetus, the philosopher and civil disobedient Socrates locates the arch of philosophy in the pathos of wonder. Taking its bearings from the gadflys famous identification of philosophys origin, this paper explores the possibility that the passion that impels and guides lovers of wisdom can also afford a deeper understanding of citizens who openly challenge the laws of their polis or the values of their society. While the words and deeds of Socrates himself will serve as the focal point of the investigation, advertences to Antigone and the work of Richard Gregg and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be made as well.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Civil Disobedience as a Core Concept
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
In light of the recent acts of civil disobedience in Ferguson, New York City and elsewhere across the U.S., and the Colorado school district proposal to remove civil disobedience from the curriculum for high school U.S. History, we investigate what it means for civil disobedience to be a core concept. Is civil disobedience a core concept? How should we teach authors who discuss civil disobedience? As core educators, what does it mean to educate not just about but for civil disobedience? These and other questions will be explored in papers on topics such as on wonder in Plato, the relationship between the moral philosophy of Kant and King, and resistance in Fanon.


Proposal Number: 134
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title:
Core Text:
Chekhov's Three Sisters
Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Page and Stage: Helping Students Make Sense of Chekhovs Darkest Play, Three Sisters
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will explore the concurrent production of Chekhovs Three Sisters within the theatre department and the reading of the text within a core curricular class. Specifically, we will discuss the influence of environment on the central characters in the play and how the resulting tension is captured within the text as well as on stage. Students involved with the production, a guest designer and faculty member from England, theatre and literature faculty, translation by Michael Frayn, and criticism from Robert Brustein and David Mamet all contributed to text brought to life and a much fuller understanding of what is often called Chekhovs darkest play.


Proposal Number: 133
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Civil Disobedience in King and Kant
Core Text:
Letter from the Birmingham Jail and But if Not by Martin Luther King, Jr. and The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant
Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Civil Disobedience as a Core Concept
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 132
Date: 2014-12-31
Paper Title: Cloth and Clothing in Moll Flanders
Core Text:
Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders
Abstract:
In Daniel Defoes Moll Flanders, cloth is a frequent motif. By exploring this motif in both a new critical way (by the way it is described, the themes it is connected to, etc.) as well as in a new historical way (by exploring the actual and relative cost of this kind of item during the 18th century), this paper will examine issues of gender, aesthetics, and morality. Both Moll and her mother are sent to Newgate for the crime of stealing cloththus indicating its importance without necessarily identifying its value. This paper will focus on the latter.


Proposal Number: 130
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Xunzi on the Importance of Ritual: A Confucian Meditation on Soft Power
Core Text:
Xunzi
Abstract:
In this paper I intend to focus on Xunzis philosophy of ritual. The last and arguably the most influential of the classical Confucians, Xunzi uncharacteristically begins with the assumption that human nature is bad. He argued that the violence and disorder of his own daythe Warring States periodwas a direct result of people following their natural inclinations to aggressiveness and selfishness. But humans can be made good by deliberate effort and by learning the value of ritual. The value of Xunzis work lies in his demonstration of how ritualsmore than laws and more than verbal persuasionhave the effect of promoting the interests of the weakest members of a community. This applies not just to domestic society but to interstate politics as well. Through the cultivation of humane authority, a state will find that its soft power is more effective than its economic strength or military force.


Proposal Number: 129
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Criticism, Creativity and Tradition in Mohammad Iqbal's
Core Text:
Secrets of the Self
Abstract:
This essay analyses the philosophical underpinnings of a renowned Persian poem that significantly influenced the movement towards the emancipation of India from colonial rule and towards the creation of the independent Muslim state, Pakistan, in 1947. Its author, Muhammad Iqbal (1876 - 1938), drew upon major intellectual movements in Europe (especially the philosophies of Nietzsche and Bergson) to "reconstruct" the religious thought of Islam and to reawaken within the minority Muslim peoples of India a renewed sense of their historical identity and destiny. The poem highlights a tension that continues to drive debates about liberal arts education and texts: the tension, real or apparent, between providing students with critical capacities to challenge externally imposed constraints and with opportunities for fashioning their own souls, on the one hand, and, on the other, handing over a specific religious/cultural tradition within the limits of which higher criticism and the art of soul-craft are to be exercised. Mohammed Iqbal"s poem, Secrets of the Self, is an outstandingly useful core text for educators who are interested in engaging Islam and reflecting upon the purpose of core texts within curricula.


Proposal Number: 128
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: The Hebrew Bible and Its Cultural Contexts
Core Text:
The Hebrew Bible (Focus on Genesis)
Abstract:
This paper propose methods for teaching the Hebrew Bible within its complex cultural contexts. While the Hebrew Bible is one of the most central core texts of the Western tradition, it only achieves this status through its appropriation by a very different, and sometimes hostile, Christian tradition. This paper will discuss teaching the Hebrew Bible in ways that highlight its intertextual complexities, both in terms of the cultures that influence its writing, and those that later appropriate and reinterpret it. I will first discuss the first chapters of Genesis in relation to the Mesopotamian sources the Hebrew Bible rewrites as it resists the Babylonian and Assyrian empires that threaten its people from the North. I will then discuss ways in which the Christian interpretations of the opening chapters of the Hebrew Bible depart from a Jewish understanding of these chapters. While the Bible is taught as a core text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, I will point to the tensions and differences between the cultural traditions this much-used term elides. In the last part of my talk, I will provide a brief overview of the key views of the Hebrew Bible held in Christianity and Islam. The Bible is clearly central to the art and literature of the West and a key core text. The goal of my talk is to recover the historical and cultural contexts of its writing and highlight the various cultural tensions surrounding the ways in which it is interpreted.


Proposal Number: 126
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Give Me a Liberal Arts Education or Give Me Death: Seneca on the Shortness of Life
Core Text:
Seneca's On the Shortness of Life
Abstract:
In On the Shortness of Life, Seneca argues that the study the liberal arts, especially great works of philosophy, will extend ones life. The aim of this paper is to explain Senecas provocative thesis as well as the educational benefits of teaching On the Shortness of Life to undergraduates. My paper will investigate Senecas distinction between life and time as well as the impact that this distinction has upon Senecas understanding of vice, virtue, busy idleness, and leisure. The educational benefits of teaching undergraduate students a core text in which the study of core texts is recommended will also be considered.


Proposal Number: 124
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 123
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Kant's Groundwork in a Core Curriculum
Core Text:
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of morals
Abstract:
his paper explores possible ways of incorporating Kant"s Groundwork into a Core Curriculum. It approaches the work in the context of Enlightenment thought while exploring strategies for making the work relevant to undergraduate Core students. The paper pays particular attention to Kant"s ideas about sympathy, good will, and the moral imperative. How does the Groundwork make its case for students to think about morality based on a Kantian metaphysics in today"s contemporary society?


Proposal Number: 122
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: "What is Enlightenment?" and The Student-Professor Antagonism
Core Text:
Immanuel Kant's "What is Enlightenment?"
Abstract:
The antagonism that frequently develops between student and professor, in which each sees the other as an opponent to be managed, evaded, or defeated, is particularly prevalent in core text and foundational programs, where students often feel they are being forced to take courses irrelevant to their degree. The new Brantford Foundations program, which endeavors to give students a foundation in social and political thought, offers an interesting opportunity to think through classroom dynamics using the course texts themselves. In this paper, I use one of our core texts, Immanuel Kant"s "What is Enlightenment?" as both an illustration and a theoretical tool to think through my own techniques for addressing and dealing with the student-professor antagonism. I also refer to qualitative data taken from focus groups conducted with first year students to analyze the outcomes of these techniques.


Proposal Number: 120
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Using Weiners The Beak of the Finch to create a course accessible to first-year students from any major and is engaging for upper-level biology students.
Core Text:
The Beak of the Finch by J. Weiner
Abstract:
The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner is used in an interdisciplinary course on evolution and the Galpagos Islands to bridge the diversity of backgrounds among students, making the course accessible to first-year students who are not majoring in science and, yet, engaging for upper-level biology students. The book chronicles the ground-breaking, decades-long research on natural selection in the Galpagos finches by Peter and Rosemary Grant. However, it also includes chapters on Darwins voyage and discoveries, the development of his theory, examples of natural selection and adaptive radiation from other parts of the world, and the work of other evolutionary biologists. Each of these chapters serves as the starting point for students to explore more complex topics and for reading selections of Darwins works, as well as primary research articles on more recent studies of evolutionary processes in Galapagos finches.


Proposal Number: 119
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: On Plato's Apology of Socrates
Core Text:
Apology of Socrates
Abstract:
The Apology of Socrates is, of course, one of the greatest and most influential works of Western philosophy. This paper will address some interpretive issues in the Apology, with an eye toward elucidating the themes of the panel.


Proposal Number: 118
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Platos Laws: The Political Philosopher as Author
Core Text:
Plato's Laws
Abstract:
This paper examines the Platonic turn from philosophic conversation to philosophic writing. Whereas it is beyond question that political philosophers such as Cicero, Machiavelli, and Hobbes sought to influence political practice by their writings, it is controversial whether, and in what way, Plato intended his works to have a historical impact. Most studies of Platos view of writing are guided by the Socratic critique in the Phaedrus. This paper argues for the thematic importance of writing in the Laws, and in two ways. On the one hand, the medium of writing is part of the Athenian Strangers strategy in overcoming the Dorian agonistic or akratic view of the self, the political, and the cosmic while founding the colony of Magnesia. On the other hand, Plato himself is reflecting on his own legacy as an author in the Laws, his last written work. An examination of the theme of writing in the Laws will aid an understanding of that dialogue specifically and Platos view of writing (that is, the philosophers relation to politics) generally.


Proposal Number: 117
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Socratic Philanthropy in Platos Meno: Thoughts on Justice and Learning
Core Text:
Plato's Meno
Abstract:
A close investigation of Platos Meno is well suited for a conference that seeks to treat the relationship between the liberal arts and science. We discover early in the dialogue that Meno has a deeply confused relationship with virtue. For, he believes that virtue is both the acquisition of the greatest goods, and that virtue is a limit on that acquisition. Had he reflected on his own experiences in political life, he would have likely discovered that there are intractable tensions within moral virtue. He also believes that knowledge must come from an external source and that it makes known what is completely unknown. Menos stance toward learning would naturally entail a failure to have carefully examined his own experience of virtue. Socrates tries to show Meno that the moral or political problem has the same solution as the scientific or epistemological problem: that we must carefully examine and clarify our own awareness of the world, as this is our only starting point.


Proposal Number: 116
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Platos Theages: Political and Moral Implications of Socrates Daimonion
Core Text:
Plato's Theages
Abstract:
This paper examines Socrates presentation of his daimonion to young Theages. Socrates argues that his daimonion is responsible for determining the potential of a young follower, particularly significant given Theages admittedly tyrannical ambitions. Why does Socrates use this mythical or even mystical explanation? Why does he seem hesitant to spend time with Theages? Does Socrates use his daimonion to mask his rejection of Theages or does he truly believe it? Socrates interpretation or use of his daimonion helps explain how Socrates understands political and moral obstacles to knowledge.


Proposal Number: 115
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Reconciling Socrates Philosophic Clarity With his Motives for Helping Others: Three Views Considered
Core Text:
Various Platonic Dialogues
Abstract:
Socrates ostensibly moral or ethical behavior toward others becomes difficult to explain in light of his incisive critiques of justice and other moral phenomena. This paper considers briefly three different ways of reconciling Socrates philosophic self-understanding with his apparent generosity, justice, and other demonstrations of care.


Proposal Number: 114
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Socratic Philanthropy in the Trial and Death of Socrates
Core Text:
Apology of Socrates
Abstract:
This paper examines the Apology of Socrates with a focus on its weakness as a defense of Socrates himself, and the concessions that Socrates makes to the city. It concludes with the suggestion that Socrates himself is guilty of at least some of the charges against him, and suggests that he is manipulating the jury in order to bring about his own execution, ultimately for philanthropic reasons which come to light more fully in the Crito.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Philosophers, Philanthropy, and Politics
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel is concerned with Plato and Platos Socrates - taking Socrates as emblematic of the philosopher. Toward that end, the papers on this panel will explore how the philosopher and philosophic activity relate to the community. Papers will address the Apology of Socrates, the care Socrates has for those around him, philosophic education, and philosophic writing in the writings of Plato and the actions of Platos Socrates.


Proposal Number: 113
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Interpretations of Children and Culture in Le Clezio's "The Boy Who Had Never Seen The Sea"
Core Text:
"The Boy Who Had Never Seen the Sea" by JMG Le Clzio
Abstract:
This paper discusses the relationship between nature and culture within JMG Le Clzios short story, Celui qui n"avait jamais vu la mer ("The Boy Who Had Never Seen the Sea"). I claim that the return to a pure and free nature of materialism does not exist because children, as portrayed by Le Clzio, are products of culture, having developed a concept of the self that is a response to the Other, which is embodied by the repressive culture industry. Nature reflects the concept of primitivisma return to natural and free of the influence of culturewhereas culture is perpetuated through the industrial society and its oppressive effects. I shall, through this paper, discuss the ways in which Le Clzio portrays culture as an oppressive industry and also consider the value of a liberal arts-based education in the age of consumerism.


Proposal Number: 112
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Not to segregate and specialize, but to combine: Virginia Woolf on the New Aim of the Cheap College
Core Text:
Three Guineas
Abstract:
The magnificence of canonical works is countervailed by the multiple impossibilities surrounding core text programs: too many books per semester, too many pages per session, too many students per section, coupled perhaps with the regrettable constraints of too little student investment, curiosity, and humanities spirit. One might find oneself further ladened when charged with introducing students to the *category* of the humanities (in addition to covering the *content*). This paper focuses on the coincidence of these responsibilities (of teaching both concept and content) by treating pp. 31-34 of Virginia Woolfs _Three Guineas_ (Harcourt).


Proposal Number: 111
Date: 2014-12-30
Paper Title: Faith and Reason: Teaching Ibn Tufayl, Maimonides, Aquinas and Scotus at a Catholic Institution
Core Text:
Ibn Tufayl, Hayy Ibn Yaqzan; Maimonides' Guide to the Perplex; Aquinas and Scotus on Analogy.
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 108
Date: 2014-12-29
Paper Title: Troy and the Aspiration to Human Self-Sufficiency
Core Text:
Homer's Iliad
Abstract:
In the Iliad, Troy seems to represent the aspiration to earthly immortality by means of the self-sufficient and perpetually self-regenerating city. Homer depicts Troy as the complete civilization: beautiful, prosperous, fertile, well-ordered, and well-walled; its people refined in speech, dress, and manners, and skilled in the arts (especially horsemanship). But close reading of the Iliad reveals contradictions in Troys constitution that contribute to its ultimate destruction and prompt reflection on the nature of cities and civic education generally. The paper will give a critical overview of the Trojan constitution, and will articulate some fundamental questions about civilization and human self-sufficiency that originate in the Iliad and are taken up and addressed in various ways by later ancient and modern texts and authors.


Proposal Number: 106
Date: 2014-12-29
Paper Title: The poetics of Heidegger's Enframing within current science and technology
Core Text:
Heidegger - "The Question Concerning Technology"
Abstract:
I see two major turns in Heideggers essay, both of which reposition his line of thought: The first turn occurs after a type of prelude, where early in the essay he asks, But where have we strayed to? The second reframing or repositioning I see is through a citation of the words of the poet Hderlin: But where danger is, grows/The saving power also. It is not a logical necessity to have a saving power also present with the danger, but is rather a poetic liberty, a swerve. As Heidegger tells us, given a renewed sense of the poetics of technology, in swerving, we have strayed to altheia (truth) as a revealing, a presencing of the present in both the arts and sciences. This paper will critically analyze Heideggers essay as a way to frame a current conversation in neuroscience and technology and to understand exactly what has been and is yet at stake in its poetics.


Proposal Number: 105
Date: 2014-12-29
Paper Title: What's in a Selfie? How Montaigne's Essays give character to the modern project of shaping a self.
Core Text:
Montaigne's
Abstract:
This paper pursues a comparative analysis of the modern phenomenon of selfies and Montaignes Essais. Both create new genres through which to explore ones experiences and to express ones thoughts. Both are, at one and the same time, deeply self-absorbed and yet popularly shared. Through a close reading of Montaigne"s "Of Presumption" and "Of Experience" I hope to illuminate ways in which we can see past the vanity and conformity that selfies all too easily depict. And given his continual association with those rich souls of the past, Montaigne offers a model through which to explore how the great book tradition may fortify the individual in the project of cultivating a self with depth and character.


Proposal Number: 103
Date: 2014-12-29
Paper Title: Liberal Education and the American Citizen
Core Text:
Reforming Education: The Opening of the American Mind by Mortimer J. Adler
Abstract:
Mortimer J. Adler, in Reforming Education: The Opening of the American Mind, argues that liberal education with the Great Books, the fundamental texts of Western civilization, makes men free through a process of self cultivation. The true freedom of liberal education is submission to right reason. Leisure activities consist in the perfection of private and public human excellences, which are only obtainable by submission to right reason. I propose to defend Adlers conclusion that the immense leisure obtained by Americans in the industrial revolution requires that Americans receive some degree of liberal education through the Great Books so as to properly spend their leisure time.


Proposal Number: 101
Date: 2014-12-29
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: QNA Panel
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
We are in the middle of qualitative thematic analysis of an essay required in each of the four semesters in our great books program. The essay is a student reflection on learning over their journey through the semesters of seminar, with increasing requirements of depth and breadth.


Proposal Number: 100
Date: 2014-12-29
Paper Title: Aristotle, Buddha, and the Contemporary American College Student: Wisdom and Morality Across Time and Space
Core Text:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
The purpose of this paper is to put Aristotle and the Buddha in conversation regarding the age-old question, how should I best live? Specifically, I will offer a brief analysis of Aristotle"s Nicomachean Ethics with particular emphasis on a practical ethics firmly grounded in the realities of human nature and daily life. Just as Aristotle explored the question of what is good living, centuries before on the Indian subcontinent a wandering renunciant, the Buddha, also examined the question of what is the good life, arriving at startling similar conclusions to those of the later Greek philosopher. By putting Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics and the Buddhas Sigalovada Sutta in conversation, this paper aims to show college students how ways of seeing, understanding, and living in the world are as relevant today as they were 2000+ years agoand as applicable in the West as they are (and were) in the East.


Proposal Number: 98
Date: 2014-12-29
Paper Title: John Dewey's A Common Faith and Religious Humanism
Core Text:
John Dewey, A Common Faith (1934)
Abstract:
Students of religion notice that many people today say they are spiritual but declaim any attachment to institutionalized faith. This paper will explore the origins of this new type of religious belief and sensibility, using John Deweys 1934 A Common Faith as a touchstone. The book ties ideas of progress and dynamic human development to a criticism of traditional belief in a transcendent God, and to a program of godless faith in the human prospect. For Dewey, religion is properly adjectival, characterized more by attitude than object. Deweys religious humanism is rooted in progressivism and stands or falls with the continued cogency of this complex, multi-faceted movement.


Proposal Number: 77
Date: 2014-12-29
Paper Title: What does al-Ghazali (c.10561111) Tell Us About the Goals of University Education?
Core Text:
AbuHamid al-Ghazali: The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Iy ulm al-dn)
Abstract:
The Revival of the Religious Sciences deals with knowledge and the requirements of faith. It covers almost all fields of Islamic sciences and contains four major sections. These are: Acts of worship (Rub" al-"ibadat), Norms of Daily Life (Rub" al-"adatat), The ways to Perdition (Rub" al-muhlikat) and The Ways to Salvation (Rub" al-munjiyat). From the eyes of Muslim scholars like al-Ghazali, the principles of all that issues from the text is important for those who seek knowledge and right action, according to their inherent capacities and potential. This paper discusses the structure of the text and the purpose of its writing in light of the contemporary context of the university educational crisis. Equally, it argues the ethical responsibility of the university, not just to make a highly important contribution to goodness by supplying the intellectual foundations of morality in an atmosphere conducive to the maintenance of good habits, as Hutchins argued. But to contribute systematically to the cultivation of morals in an intellectual environment. So that the learning community could act as a group of people inviting to all that is good, whatever the field of learning activity is.


Proposal Number: 96
Date: 2014-12-28
Paper Title: Inclusion and Diversity in Franciscan Renaissance Art
Core Text:
Celano's Second Life of St. Francis; Bonaventure's Major Life of St. Francis
Abstract:
The biographies of St. Francis by Celano and Bonaventure detail the Saints interactions with the disenfranchised of the Italian commune: the poor, the sick, the outsider. This essay will examine how Francis experiences are depicted in Franciscan Renaissance Art and how such depictions encouraged the viewer toward mercy and tolerance.


Proposal Number: 95
Date: 2014-12-28
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Tradition and Innovation Project Report
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Report of our activities on campus following the Summer 2014 Tradition and Innovation Seminar.


Proposal Number: 94
Date: 2014-12-28
Paper Title: How Ought One to Read Scriptures? Teaching Averroes Decisive Treatise
Core Text:
Averroes' Decisive Treatise
Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Medieval Political Philosophy: An NEH Summer Institute
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 93
Date: 2014-12-28
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Qualitative Narrative Assessment
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 92
Date: 2014-12-27
Paper Title: Alternate History of Consciousness
Core Text:
Durer's Self portrait, Caravaggio's Crowning of Christ, Descartes Meditatons
Abstract:
Everyone knows that Descartes laid the foundation for mind/body dualism, and thus the resulting naturalistic world view. Yet the pictorial art from the Renaissance provides alternate understanding of consciousness to that of Descartes, which would not find philosophical articulation until the twentieth century. This paper lays out early aspects of this alternate history of consciousness by undertaking close readings of one painting by Caravaggio, and another by Albrecht Durer. Though these close readings this paper will show that the painters were aware that they were making a case for an innovative understanding about what it means to be human. By undertaking these close readings an instructor can communicate the roots of the rival philosophical understandings of consciousness that arose in the twentieth century.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Teaching Philosophy through Artwork
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Art and philosophy have long been intertwined parts of a liberal education. But, art can do more for philosophy than illustrate its ideas. This panel will demonstrate that artworks and communicate important philosophical truths, and even make arguments for those truths. These papers will undertake detailed readings of artworks in order to show just how artworks can make these points, and each paper will reflect upon the broader approach to teaching philosophical points with art.


Proposal Number: 91
Date: 2014-12-27
Paper Title: Socrates
Core Text:
Plato, Xenphon, Aristophanes ans Aeschines
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 90
Date: 2014-12-26
Paper Title: Against Dryness: Real People and Reading Don Quixote in Light of the Liberal Arts
Core Text:
Don Quixote
Abstract:
Iris Murdochs 1961 appraisal of literatures philosophic and political role in the Anglo-American imagination is cutting and keen, but also powerfully relevant to those of us seeking to understand what it means to be a learner and an educator in the liberal arts today. She calls upon us to find real people in our literature (and for writers to write such entities), because it is here that freedom, true freedom, can be found. In this paper, I will offer a reading of Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote as a way of supporting, not simply Murdochs thought, but the idea that what a liberal arts education can offer us are ways of rejecting the consolations of literary form and of anemic visions of personhood, while also driving us to seek valuable visions of personal freedom. In order to get at such support, I will answer the questions, What is a real person? and What is moral character? through the insights of Cervantes serpentine novel.


Proposal Number: 89
Date: 2014-12-26
Paper Title: Modern Science and the Quadrivium
Core Text:
Husserl's Crisis of the European Sciences
Abstract:
While we find it difficult to squeeze in the Quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and harmonics) into a Core Curriculum largely designed around the Humanities, there are philosophical reasons why it is even more difficult to accommodate the Modern Sciences. I will discuss key differences between Platos view of the nature and role of the mathematical sciences in philosophical or liberal education (Republic 521a-535a) and the modern attitude articulated by Galileo, Bacon, and Descartes (especially Discourse 6). I will then look to Husserl for a way to reconcile ancient and modern perspectives on the nature of the mathematical sciences. I will also show how Husserls project of de-sedimenting the history of philosophy and science can help integrate mathematical and laboratory sciences into a Liberal Arts curriculum.


Proposal Number: 88
Date: 2014-12-24
Paper Title: Persuasion on the Stage: Aeschylus' Oresteia
Core Text:
Aeschylus' Oresteia
Abstract:
The art of persuasion has been central to liberal education since the times of Isocrates. Yet, even before the sophists came to Athens, ancient Greek poets and dramatists had acknowledged the power and importance of persuasion (in Greek, peitho) to human affairs. This paper in particular examines how the Greek playwright Aeschylus used and developed the theme of persuasion in his trilogy, the Oresteia. For in these plays, peitho (whether occurring in verb form, invoked as a goddess, or enacted by the characters) moves the plot and structures the entire tragic drama.


Proposal Number: 87
Date: 2014-12-24
Paper Title: Ennoblement and Crisis in Core Pedagogy
Core Text:
Euthyphro
Abstract:
In this paper, I compare two pedagogical approaches to teaching Core texts. I call the first the ennobling approach. According to this approach, the purpose of teaching Core texts is to introduce students to positive, normative concepts like the good and the beautiful, to provoke them to search for the content of these concepts, and, by virtue of this, to make them more sensitive to these concepts in their everyday livesto ennoble them. I call the second the crisis approach. According to this, the purpose of teaching Core texts is to undermine students already-existing commitment to positive, normative conceptsthat is, to show them that their belief in concepts like the good and the beautiful do not rest on sufficient reasons, or are contradicted by other beliefs that they hold. The effect of this approach is not to ennoble students, but to put them in a state of crisis. I show how each of these approaches can be found in Platos Euthyphro. And I argue that the crisis approach is preferable to the ennobling approach. I suggest that students experience of their own ignorance in relation to their normative concepts, is a greater incentive for them to think and learn about them, than is the promise that they will achieve certainty about them.


Proposal Number: 85
Date: 2014-12-23
Paper Title: The Liberal Arts, the Mind, and the Soul: Hugh of St. Victor's Didascalicon
Core Text:
Didascalicon Book I
Abstract:
Hugh of St. Victor (c. 1096-1141) was a prolific Augustinian canon and early scholastic theologian. One of his best-known works, the Didascalicon, articulated how secular liberal learning is the best training for the contemplative Christian life. Arguably the Didascalicon is one of the most important works on the liberal arts from the Middle Ages as it bridges the thought of Seneca, Augustine, and Cassiodorus with Thomas Aquinas and even John Calvin. This paper examines the arguments of book one of the Didascalicon as a little read core text that both shaped and defined the meaning of a liberal arts education.


Proposal Number: 84
Date: 2014-12-23
Paper Title: See the Poem, Be the Poet, See the Poem Again
Core Text:
Homer's Iliad
Abstract:
Students often take for granted the existence of works of art, as if the poets or painters behind them were not real humans who struggled to compose their pieces or who made difficult choices along the way. By asking my students to imitate Iliad (as far as is possible in English, with the emphasis on diction and figurative language rather than on meter), I force them to be the artist and to appreciate more fully those struggles and choices. This paper will include excerpts from student work.


Proposal Number: 82
Date: 2014-12-23
Paper Title: Kant on the Great Books and the Challenge of Liberal Education
Core Text:
Immanuel Kant's Critique of The Power of Judgment
Abstract:
Immanuel Kant is a champion of liberal education as education for freedom, and he acknowledges the powerful role that the Great Books play in liberating students from prejudice and freeing them to think for themselves. In his Critique of the Power of Judgment, however, Kant recognizes that liberal education in and through the Great Books is not a simple or straightforward process, and he argues that such education depends on a special mode of influence he calls succession. My essay explores Kants account of succession and argues for successions fundamental importance in and for liberal education. However, it also emphasizes that the question of how it is possible to achieve succession in our thinking and teaching poses a significant challenge to liberal educationa challenge that is too often overlooked today because of our concern with external threats to liberal learning.


Proposal Number: 81
Date: 2014-12-23
Paper Title: Memory is the Mother of All Wisdom. --Aeschylus
Core Text:
Memory and the Mediterranean, Fernand Braudel
Abstract:
It is a challenge to find among the classical texts of the social sciences any writing that could be called beautiful, stirring, remarkable. Memory and the Mediterranean is just such a book. It is at once a prose poem and an amazing work of interdisciplinary scholarship. The author takes us back millions of years before traditional written history to the geological processes that created the sea as it was when the earliest Humans found it, living in the hills above the sea, making their stone tools, burying their dead coated in ochre, slowly and patiently manipulating to their advantage the plants and animals that they found in the hills and coasts of Anatolia and North Africa.


Proposal Number: 79
Date: 2014-12-23
Paper Title: Mathematics and Science as Liberal Arts
Core Text:
Plato's Republic & Nicomachus: Introduction to Arithmetic
Abstract:
In this paper I address the question: What does it mean to study mathematics and science as liberal arts in the 21st century? This question is two-fold. One the hand, an account is needed for the relevance of the classical Quadrivium in the contemporary world, in which the content of ancient arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music seems to be superseded by the novel discoveries of modern mathematics and natural science. What is the relevance of studying dated theories, or earlier steps in the scientific progress? While many still admit the worth of liberal arts as study of the Great Books of literature, philosophy, theology and history, a doubt persists that in math and science only the results, the body of knowledge determined by the state-of-the-art, is relevant. On the other hand, if genuine liberal education includes mathematics and science, it should reach out for including their development to that state-of-the-art. This poses at least the following questions: How are modern mathematics and science studied as liberal arts? How to do justice simultaneously to their increasingly specialized and technical content and the spirit of liberal education? While the paper addresses mathematical liberal education in contemporary context, its discussion is anchored in Platos account of the Quadrivium in books VI and VII of The Republic and the classical interpretations of this account by Nicomachus of Gerasa and Proclus.


Proposal Number: 75
Date: 2014-12-22
Paper Title: Aristotle on the Metaphysical Status of the Human Mind
Core Text:
Aristotle, De Anima (On the Soul) III.4
Abstract:
This paper addresses the question of whether, for Aristotle, human mind is separable from the body. First, I explore three prominent views on what Aristotle means by "separability" in De Anima III.4. Second, I assess whether Aristotle"s argument for separability rests upon (mistaken) empirical claims or upon his view that the proper objects of thought are universals (and are, thus, neither indexed to specific times nor places). Finally, I analyze the "Anaxagorean puzzles" which Aristotle introduces at the end of De Anima III.4 and I weigh the merits of the thesis that, for Aristotle, mind (or some component of mind) is immortal insofar as, upon death, it severs from the body.


Proposal Number: 74
Date: 2014-12-22
Paper Title: Back to the Future: Erasmus and Machiavelli in 2040
Core Text:
Erasmus On the Education of a Christian Prince and Machiavellis The Prince
Abstract:
All too often critics of expensive liberal arts education ask why college students need to study classic texts. In this paper I use a hypothetical situation in 2040 to show how I format an in-class debate on the use of Erasmus On the Education of a Christian Prince and Machiavellis The Prince, in which Albert Zimbe, the black president of a fictitious African country and a liberal arts graduate, faces a demagogic opponent, John Ngabe, who plans, if elected, to abolish the constitution and declare himself president-for-life. Because Zimbes consultants warn that he will assuredly lose the election, should Zimbe fix the election to save democracy? The paper will review how students role-play three sets of Zimbe advisors: advocates of Erasmus; advocates of Machiavelli; and undecideds who, based on the presentations of the first two groups, will recommend whether he should fix the election and suppress Ngabes rebellion or accept the will of the voters, even if that means his life.


Proposal Number: 73
Date: 2014-12-22
Paper Title: Morrison's *The Bluest Eye* as a Core Text . . . in Aesthetics
Core Text:
Toni Morrison, *The Bluest Eye*
Abstract:
This year"s conference theme asks whether "What is art?" is a big question in Core programs. At Champlain College it is, and Toni Morrison"s *The Bluest Eye* is a required text in a Core course, on aesthetics, that is built around that question. This paper will consider the merits and demerits of using a relatively contemporary work of fiction, as opposed to more traditional works of philosophy, as a Core text on aesthetics, and will argue that, in the case of Morrison"s novel, the former outweigh the latter.


Proposal Number: 71
Date: 2014-12-21
Paper Title: The Exploration of Human Nature in the Similes and Catalogues of Men in Homers Iliad
Core Text:
Homer's Iliad
Abstract:
The similes Homer uses in the Iliad often contain a surplus of information, far more than needed to set the tone or give a visual image of the scene to the listener. Homer employs these similes to suggest universal and general aspects of humans and human existence. In the first ten similes in the poem (all in Book II) Homer covers the full range of possible referents. In doing so, he poses the question of what human nature is and begins to proffer possible or partial answers; in contrast, in the catalogues of Greek ships and Trojan allies Homer conveys a different type of information about humans by referring to their particularity, rather than their common nature. The similes and the catalogues of ships and men represent two poles around which Homers presentation of the nature of humanity and of humans revolves: the universal and the particular.


Proposal Number: 68
Date: 2014-12-19
Paper Title: CORE and Information LIteracy: The Role of Librarians in CORE
Core Text:

Abstract:
This paper will address the role of information literacy in a Core program at a liberal arts college


Proposal Number: 67
Date: 2014-12-19
Paper Title: The Destruction of Justice and forgiveness in Dostoevsky's "Notes from Underground"
Core Text:
Notes from Underground
Abstract:
This paper examines Notes from Underground, in which Dostoevsky draws out in parody form the absurd implications of a form of extreme rationalism held by certain thinkers of the 1840s in Russia. He attacks their philosophy of education, which is premised on the idea that humans are purely rational creatures who can be led to act in strict adherence to virtue if they are simply taught that such virtue is in their interest. In this novella Dostoevsky also criticizes determinism, which was a foundational tenet of this philosophy of the 1840s. Dostoevsky saw that such a philosophy was both flawed and dangerous on account of its morally enervating implications and its eventual destruction of concepts such as justice and forgiveness, which are indispensable for humane life as such.


Proposal Number: 66
Date: 2014-12-19
Paper Title: The Federalist Papers as a "Lesson of Moderation"
Core Text:
The Federalist Papers
Abstract:
Political works in general are often an underappreciated and underutilized part of a core texts curriculum; this is especially true of modern political works, whose greater attention to technical detail makes them more difficult to teach. However, just as it is precisely in examining the practical proposals of Platos Republic that one learns to lower ones political expectations, so one encounters a coherent teaching about the limits of human nature in both the practical and the theoretical elements of modern works like the Federalist Papers. Through a rhetoric of both political and philosophical realism, Publius helps his readers to imagine, and therefore realize, their own limits. This lesson of moderation reins in the readers passions and expectations, enlisting them in reasons service, effectively inculcating what Publius considered to be virtue.


Proposal Number: 65
Date: 2014-12-19
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: College of Charleston Tradition and Innovation Report
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 63
Date: 2014-12-19
Paper Title: The Philophical Foundations of Melville's Billy Budd
Core Text:
Billy Budd
Abstract:
The paper I delivered at last year"s conference dealt with Melville"s use of Plato, Locke Hume, Kant and Spinoza. It seems to me that the principal philosophers at play in Billy Budd are Locke, again, Hobbes, Paine, Rousseau, Calvin and Schopenhauer, as I will try to show in the paper I am proposing now.


Proposal Number: 62
Date: 2014-12-19
Paper Title: Schiller and the Freedom of Love
Core Text:
Schiller's
Abstract:
Friedrich Schiller turns to the matter of love in the final pages of On Grace and Dignity distinguishing it from respect on the one hand and desire on the other. As he challenges the apparent asceticism of Kants presentation of duty, Schiller engages a Platonic treatment of the erotic and beautiful. In contrast to the Kantian aesthetics of disinterest and the Kantian morality of duty, Schiller points to the freedom of love as the union of faculties. This paper examines the distinctions between grace and dignity, respect, love, and desire that he draws in On Grace and Dignity in order to explore the distinctive way in which Schiller brings reason and sensuousness together.


Proposal Number: 53
Date: 2014-12-19
Paper Title: On Building a Core Texts Program from Scratch (OR) Making the Anabasis 'relevant
Core Text:
Xenophon's Anabasis
Abstract:
Xenophon's Anabasis is one of the foundational texts of the Western tradition, perhaps the first serious 'travel narrative.' It is, however, much more; it provides a test case on how to build a community under stress. Contemporary undergraduate students, though, often find it dry and uninspiring. This paper shows how when the Anabasis is taught in conjunction with Andre Norton's callsic science fiction work, Star Guard (loosely based on Xenophon's work), students are able to see the issues at stake in Xenophon more clearly and compare his examples and beliefs with Norton's while drawing their own conclusions.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Tradition and Innovation Workshop
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Participant in Tradition and Innovation project


Proposal Number: 55
Date: 2014-12-18
Paper Title: A War Not of Parchment, But of the Sword: The Federalist vs. The Social Justice Movement
Core Text:
The Federalist Papers
Abstract:
There is ongoing debate as to what weight should be afforded to The Federalist when interpreting the Founding and contemporary state of the American Republic. Present day readers, whatever their stance on that issue, might take pause at Alexander Hamiltons use of a curiously contemporary phrase in no. 7. Within that number, he made mention of social justice. Social justice is defined today as justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. My paper will briefly examine this contemporary understanding of social justice as well as the context in which Hamilton used the term, thus showing that the social justice movement of today is anathema to the understanding of justice held by the American Founders.


Proposal Number: 54
Date: 2014-12-18
Paper Title: Pedagogical Poetics in Platonic Philosophy
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
Traditionally, the interdisciplinary character of the liberal arts has been understood as fundamental to this course of study, with each discipline being considered as a part of a whole. In particular, one did not focus on a particular discipline, say philosophy, at the expense of ignoring another, such as literature. Pedagogically speaking, this interdisciplinary character would suggest the principle that to understand a particular text one first must know how to read it, which requires an understanding of how its written. To demonstrate this principle at work, I propose to sketch a brief and preliminary exploration of how understanding the literary character of Platos Republic is key to both understanding the purpose of this work as well as how to approach teaching it.


Proposal Number: 52
Date: 2014-12-17
Paper Title: Art, Liberal Art, and the Art of Self-Making
Core Text:
The Principles of Art (R.G. Collingwood)
Abstract:
The role that the arts play in a liberal education is as ambiguous as it is important, for there are a number of distinct, vital functions that they serve, and these are reflected in various distinct meanings of the word art itself. This paper explores briefly some of these distinctions, focusing primarily on the nature of art in the aesthetic sense, its role in liberal education and, by extension, in the self-creative life.


Proposal Number: 51
Date: 2014-12-17
Paper Title: Emersons Loss
Core Text:
Emerson's "Experience"
Abstract:
Emersons Experience was written after the death of his only son, Waldo. The essay seems heavy with grief, and yet Emerson mentions Waldo only once, and in a curious passage: In the death of my son, now more than two years ago, I seem to have lost a beautiful estate, - no more. Scholars have argued that Emersons failure to mention Waldo by name, and these seemingly cold and even cruel remarks about his death, suggest that Emerson is simply speechless in the face of his loss. Others have argued that Experience isnt about loss at all, but instead represents an attempt by Emerson to locate himself within the philosophical tradition through the mistiness of his prose. I propose to situate the meaning of Experience in a way that differs from both of these. My paper will explore the idea that perhaps Emerson is not distant from his grief, but that his grief is embodied in the text and enacted in the simultaneous presence and absence of Waldo. Reading Experience alongside Emersons journals and his poem Threnody, I suggest that the essay is itself a work of mourning in which Emerson learns to navigate the silence and depths of the loss Waldo invisibly represents. It is not an essay about, but an essay in the kind of loss that is at once material and spiritual, personal and universal.


Proposal Number: 49
Date: 2014-12-17
Paper Title: Intimations of Eternity in Psalm 89
Core Text:
The Bible
Abstract:
The history of the interpretation of Psalm 89 offers a good example of time as history overtaking time as the moving image of eternity, but eternity appears overtly in this Psalm as an attribute of the soul of someone making a joyful noise. Psalm 89 is suggestive about eternity in reference to life and death and covertly suggestive through its reference to music. This is because music raises the question how we perceive time and how listening to tunes, tones and beats constantly focuses us on perfection. Students implicitly recognize this in their love of dancing.


Proposal Number: 47
Date: 2014-12-16
Paper Title: Bonhoeffer and the Singularity: Why the Body Matters Before It No Longer Does
Core Text:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer's
Abstract:
In the eyes of many futurists, the human body becomes an unfortunate but ultimately passable roadblock on the way to cognitive transcendence. The march toward a technological Singularity has rendered the physical form superfluous to human experience. The theological and ethical systems of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, however, speak against an understanding of humanity that defies its own creaturely boundaries. Particularly in his Ethics and various other texts, he suggests that our common limitation, even physical limitation, is precisely that which makes us most human, under-girding the communities of depth that make human flourishing a real possibility.


Proposal Number: 46
Date: 2014-12-16
Paper Title: Reading the Declaration of Independence at an HBCU
Core Text:
The Declaration of Independence
Abstract:
Reading the Declaration of Independence with the help of the new book, "Our Declaration" at an HBCU presents challenges and opportunities. Students are asked to begin with the Declaration, and then reach out to grapple with the issues of its main author, Jefferson, as a slave-owner. Students will also be asked to explore the topics in this class with more recent writings (Dubois, Appiah, West, and others to help develop a broad range of awareness of the issues and the topics and their reach in modern culture.


Proposal Number: 45
Date: 2014-12-16
Paper Title: Liberal Arts, Political Science: Contrasting Classical Realism and Neorealism in Search for Predictive Utility
Core Text:
The works of Han Fei Zi, Kautilya's Arthshastra, and Machiavelli's The Prince
Abstract:
A key assumption of all social sciences, including my own field political science, is that human behavior is principally rational. Humans generate hierarchies of preferences, influenced by biology, culture, and experience, and then we attempt to fulfill our preferences based upon cost/benefit/risk analyses, limited in our ability to do so perfectly both by the constraints of time and our own biology and by our access to information, constraints which sometimes force us to give in to expedients like patterned behavior. What is sometimes neglected, however, is the role that emotions play in transforming rationality in a way that is predictable, a mistake rarely made by our peers in the humanities, arts, communications, or psychology. This is one of the reasons the classical treatises of politics are so essential for modern sociologists, economists, and political scientists who are sometimes over-dependent on the easily quantifiable they force us to deal with the whole human, not merely the calculating black box, but the emotional mammal and the artistic genius. No contrast does more to illustrate this than the contrast of classical and neoclassical realism, with post-world war neorealism. Therefore I propose to briefly treat on contrasts and practical utility of three early realists Kautilya, Han Fei Zi, and Machiavelli and their complex understanding of econometric reasoning and that of neorealist thinkers, particularly discussing their utility in explaining and predicting political stability and violence and their defense of the arts and humanities as educational preparation for political leadership.


Proposal Number: 43
Date: 2014-12-15
Paper Title: Philosophy, or How to not know something
Core Text:
Consolation of Philosophy and Abbott, Flatland
Abstract:
There is no figure more important in transmitting the ideals and content of liberal arts education in the Middle Ages and beyond, than Boethius, who hoped -- ambitiously -- to translate the opera of Plato and Aristotle into Latin. Boethius also wrote treatises on music, rhetoric, astronomy, arithmetic, and, above all, the consolations offered by philosophy itself. But perhaps Boethius -- obscure, narrow, and difficult is not relevant to moderns student, especially in the first year of Core courses. "No," I respond resoundingly: Lady Philosophy's "persuasive powers" and "sweet-tongued rhetoric" combine genre (dialogue) and epistemology (the opportunities of ignorance) the way for students to approach difficult issues on which they feel they have no purchase. In this presentation I'll examine how Boethius 'teaches' the compatibility of free will and providence and, so, unwinds their perplexities.


Proposal Number: 42
Date: 2014-12-15
Paper Title: Desire and Domination in Machiavelli's Prince
Core Text:
Machiavelli's Prince
Abstract:
My paper focuses on Chapter 9 of Machiavelli's "The Prince." How is the Machiavellian city constituted by the conflicting desires of the two humors of body politic: the people and the great?


Proposal Number: 41
Date: 2014-12-15
Paper Title: Vico and the Rhetoric of Disciplinarity
Core Text:
Giambattista Vico's
Abstract:
Giambattista Vico critiqued the Cartesian separation of Arts and Sciences in his work, "The Study Methods of Our Time." (1709). For Vico, Cartesian method was not able to deal in probabilities, and, therefore, stifled creativity. While Vico supported rhetorical eloquence as a Cartesian corrective, rhetorical study also provides a useful meta-analysis of the Arts and Sciences that make their disciplinarity a permanent question.


Proposal Number: 30
Date: 2014-12-15
Paper Title: The vast contributions of a family to Mathematics and Physics - The Bernoullis
Core Text:
Mathematical Exercises
Abstract:
James Bernoulli challenged the European mathematicians in 1690 to find the equation of a hanging flexible cable suspended in equilibrium at two points, known as the catenary. The following year his younger brother, John, presented the correct solution. James is credited with the first published attempts to construct an integral calculus and established what is today known as the Bernoullian Inequality. John Bernoulli was the first to introduce g to denote the acceleration effect of gravity and ultimately arrived at the well-known formula v^2=2gh. Daniel Bernoulli, the son of John, was arguably the most accomplished of the Bernoullis and received much recognition for his publication of the Mathematical Exercises. In his four-part manuscript Daniel first tackled faro, a game of chance, followed by the study of the flow of water from a hole in a container, while reserving the third and fourth parts to examining the Riccati Differential Equation and a geometry question concerning figures bounded by two arcs of a circle. Daniels research in the areas of Astronomy and Physics awarded him a total of ten Grand Prize of the Paris Academy.


Proposal Number: 22
Date: 2014-12-15
Paper Title: Everything you need to know you can find in rock 'n' roll
Core Text:
Stairway to Heaven: Modern pop music
Abstract:
This paper looks at using contemporary music as texts for interdisciplinary study of race, class, and gender in a general education curriculum. It draws on nearly a decade of interdisciplinary general education experience using YouTube music videos to illustrate core themes in humanities education and the liberal arts.


Proposal Number: 40
Date: 2014-12-12
Paper Title: The Child as Solitary Scientist: Defending Ibn-Tufail's Hayy Ibn Yaqzan for Undergraduate Study
Core Text:
Ibn-Tufail's Hayy Ibn Yaqzan
Abstract:
I examine Ibn-Tufail"s account of truth, its relationship to our natural capacities to deduce from experience the transcendental order of things. I defend the text"s centrality for undergraduate education.


Proposal Number: 39
Date: 2014-12-11
Paper Title: What is Art? The Question Posed by Duchamp's "Fountain"
Core Text:
Duchamp's Fountain
Abstract:
The first reaction to Duchamp"s "Fountain" is generally one of either amusement, confusion, or scorn. The more one thinks about it, however, themore one realizes that it is one of the most important works of art ofall time, posing in a powerful way the question "what is Art?" In this paper I will explore the value of the "Fountain" in discussions of aesthetics.


Proposal Number: 38
Date: 2014-12-11
Paper Title: Mill's Aristotle: Made in his Own Image
Core Text:
J. S. Mill, Utilitarianism
Abstract:
Studying core texts is valuable in teaching students how to inquire systematically and recognize what is essential in an argument from what is superficial. In his On Liberty, Mill refers to Socrates as the source of the judicious utilitarianism of Aristotle, evidently implying that Aristotles moral philosophy is utilitarian. Indeed, in his Utilitarianism, Mill uses the language of Aristotle in many ways, speaking of happiness as that which is desired for its own sake and insisting that it is a whole involving pleasure and virtue. Ultimately, however, Mills analysis of human action ends up being a psychological theory of how we are motivated rather than a moral theory of how we ought to act.


Proposal Number: 36
Date: 2014-12-10
Paper Title: Choosing Texts and Assessing Learning: How Does Galileos Starry Messenger Fit with Dana Johnsons Melvin in the Sixth Grade?
Core Text:
Galileo's "Starry Messenger" and Dana Johnson's "Melvin in the Sixth Grade"
Abstract:
As a result of a core curriculum revision at Saint Marys College of California, the Collegiate Seminar Program redesigned its four course sequence to reflect learning goals and outcomes which seek to preserve the heart of the Western conversation, while at the same time addressing the very real concerns for the development of student learning and the inclusion of more intercultural and global voices. The first course intentionally focuses on critical thinking, reading, and shared inquiry by including texts which facilitate these strategies and draw away from chronology. This is done in order to include a broader range of global and intercultural voices. We will explore how texts as diverse as Starry Messenger and Melvin in the Sixth Grade can satisfy criteria for the choices: accessibility to freshmen, relevance to modern life and contemporary questions, and importance in human history. How do specific shared texts and close reading contribute to students developmental path in a discussion? We will examine their development through assessment of the skills practiced with these texts, specifically through self-reflection on the learning outcomes of shared inquiry, critical thinking and written and oral communication. How can sustained discussion, informal writing, and practice in reflection help students understand a challenging text more fully?


Proposal Number: 33
Date: 2014-12-10
Paper Title: The City/Soul analogy in Republic Bk. 5
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
It is conventional to argue that the city/soul analogy that dominates the argument of the Republic in Books 2-4 and 8-10, disappears in Books 5-7. In this paper, I argue that the city/soul analogy is still very much operative in those middle books of the dialogue.


Proposal Number: 31
Date: 2014-12-10
Paper Title: Daniel Bernoullis Epidemiological Paper RevisitedAgain
Core Text:
Daniel Bernoullis epidemiological model revisited
Abstract:
In 1766, Daniel Bernoulli published a paper entitled An attempt at a new analysis of the mortality caused by smallpox and of the advantages of inoculation to prevent it. From this paper, a new field called mathematical biology evolved. Bernoullis model was originally intended to determine the gain in life expectancy at birth if smallpox were to be eliminated as a cause of death, however his model is now often quoted as the first dynamic model of epidemics. In this paper, we will discuss the implications of Bernoullis model for training undergraduates as researchers.


Proposal Number: 28
Date: 2014-12-10
Paper Title: Teaching Science Through Core Text: The Case of the Ego and the Id
Core Text:
The Ego and the Id (Freud)
Abstract:
Scientific disciplines are difficult to study through traditional core texts, in part because advances in science are often reported in concise articles using technical language. An unfortunate consequence of this is that issues of science are often omitted from core courses and the recruitment of science faculty to teach in them is hampered. In this paper, I suggest an approach based on work of Freud, specifically, The Ego and the Id. The approach is to use core texts to raise questions of central importance, using the core text, and integrate knowledge of science into the discussion of such great questions.


Proposal Number: 29
Date: 2014-12-08
Paper Title: Journey of Ibn Battuta: Art of cultural and civilizational communication
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 27
Date: 2014-12-07
Paper Title: Power, Grief and Beauty: Exploring Visual Culture with the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) in Core Classes
Core Text:

Abstract:
BUs Core Curriculum includes a visual component that utilizes the ancient world collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The goals of the MFA tours are for students to explore the content, style, function and context of works of art associated with Core texts. This paper will examine questions and content which help students to adjust from close readings of narrative texts to close readings of visual texts. Examples will offer special attention to works from the Near East and Classical Greece.


Proposal Number: 26
Date: 2014-12-06
Paper Title: Dante's Divine Comedy -- A Core Text that models the use of Core Texts from the past
Core Text:
Dante's Divine Comedy, Virgil's Aeneid, Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, classical mythology in general
Abstract:
In questioning how to incorporate core texts from the past into contemporary education, we can learn from how Dante, whose Divine Comedy, IS a Core text for us now, used Core texts of his own day effectively and in a way that gives us a model of how to use core texts today. Dante is well known for his use of Virgil, as his guide and as a great influence, but scholars have begun to look more closely at how exactly Dante incorporates the work of Virgil into his Comedy. Dante also uses Homer"s works, both the Iliad and the Odyssey, and how he does so is both interesting and telling. Finally,Dante makes use of classical mythology, in general, effectively transforming it, or, one could say, baptizing it for his own purpose.


Proposal Number: 25
Date: 2014-12-05
Paper Title: What does it mean to be human?: Lessons of inclusion from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Core Text:
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Abstract:
The notion of inclusion is an important discussion topic often found in human rights courses but when asked about the unnaturally created, students were quick to dismiss the "monster" in Mary Shelley"s Frankenstein as an "other". The question of what lessons about ourselves can we learn from the treatment of the "monster" was dismissed as unfair to ask. What does Frankenstein teach us about what it means to be human?


Proposal Number: 24
Date: 2014-12-01
Paper Title: Slaughterhouse-Five, Science Fiction, and Four Levels of Reading
Core Text:
Slaughterhouse-Five
Abstract:
Student interpretive arguments of Kurt Vonneguts Slaughterhouse-Five not only differ but also are often diametrically opposed. This paper will use Adler and Van Dorens argument for four levels of reading in How to Read a Book along with a close reading of passages from Slaughterhouse-Five to come to an understanding of how this novel in particular raises contradictory interpretations.


Proposal Number: 23
Date: 2014-11-27
Paper Title: Entering Upon That One Path: Bacons Knightly Quest for Knowledge
Core Text:
Francis Bacon -- The Great Instauration
Abstract:
The frontispiece of Bishop Thomas Sprats A History of the Royal Society depicts Sir Francis Bacon -- but far from the close, naked, and natural style Sprat extols as the conduit of clear scientific prose, Bacons writing is obviously dependent on extended metaphors and tropes to describe his scientific visions. This paper will turn to a possibility mentioned briefly by Stuart Peterfreund: that of Bacons use of the literary trope of the quest to provide an intellectual, political, and even religious rationale to justify the acceptance of the grand schemes and procedures that he envisioned in "The Great Instauration." The budding seventeenth-century scientist was faced with the dilemma of engaging in scientific inquiry in the face of theological notions that compelled the acceptance of Godly sovereignty and inscrutability and the reliance upon political approval. He thus adopts the attitude and sometimes even the language of the quest, a process of search for both interior and exterior knowledge to position himself literally as the champion of the New Science, and thus achieve two potentially conflicting ends: defining the straight and narrow path to truer and purer scientific knowledge, and, in his words, maintaining that realm of knowledge for both the wisest and most learned of kings and within the limits of duty in respect of things divine.


Proposal Number: 21
Date: 2014-11-24
Paper Title: Divine Indifference: Job and the Challenge of Human Justice
Core Text:
Book of Job
Abstract:
Compelling, disturbing, and deeply mysterious, the Book of Job questions the connection between justice and divine order. The Voice from the Whirlwind expresses no interest in justice, an indifference paralleled by the unhelpful complacency of Jobs three friends, who insist that life works the way it ought to. But readers cannot simply disregard the charges raised by Job, whose remarkable poetry make inequities both morally and emotionally unacceptable. Without being explicitly directed toward any specific response, readers may reasonably conclude that justice is not a concern of Gods but is nonetheless essential and depends entirely upon human commitment and human action.


Proposal Number: 20
Date: 2014-11-23
Paper Title: From Athens to the Grant Study: Moral Philosophy Meets Behavioral Science
Core Text:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics; George Vaillant, Adaptation to Life
Abstract:
George Vaillant"s "Adaptation to Life" (1977) is a classic of contemporary behavioral science; Aristotle"s Nicomachean Ethics is one of the founding texts of ancient Greek moral philosophy. Both texts implicitly address the same topic, but each does so in ways that fundamentally contradict the claims of the other. Given this, it"s a useful (and entirely Aristotelian) exercise to read the two books in tandem, using the one to challenge and correct the claims of its rival. The resulting inquiry leaves us with a better sense of the strengths and weaknesses of both behavioral science and moral philosophy, and leaves us with some difficult questions, as well.


Proposal Number: 19
Date: 2014-11-18
Paper Title: Martin Luther, Educational Reformer: An Examination of The Duty of Sending Children to School.
Core Text:
The Duty of Sending Children to School.
Abstract:
Martin Luther will forever be remembered as a church reformer, and his theological writings are core texts that can be used a variety of courses. Historians, theologians, philosophers, and scholars of religion can all profit from his writings. However, Luther was also an educational theorist. He was, after all, "Doktor Luther, university professor." It should not be surprising, therefore, that as a university man, Luther wrote about the nature of education in his day, and how it should be reshaped for emergent needs. This paper will examine his The Duty of Sending Children to School and seek to point out why it should be read by modern American students preparing to become teachers in public schools.


Proposal Number: 18
Date: 2014-11-12
Paper Title: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Life and Prose Style as Art
Core Text:
The Cost of Discipleship
Abstract:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer"s life and writing illustrate a remarkable parallelism. As the Nazi paralysis of Germany advanced, so did Bonhoeffer"s faith, style, and writings complement one another. His Cost of Discipleship perhaps best conveys this phenomenon. His life became a model for martyrdom and courage, as did his writings. The Cost of Discipleship is clearly the cogent example, as its author paid that ultimate price, leaving his writing as its literary and artistic reminder.


Proposal Number: 15
Date: 2014-11-12
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 5
Date: 2014-11-12
Paper Title: The Lives of Others: William James and the Ethics of Humanism
Core Text:
William James, "On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings," and its sequel, "What Makes a Life Significant?"
Abstract:
"Humanism" in the subtitle has a double reference: first, to the term James used as the widest designation of his philosophical outlook: the many-faceted exploration of the fact that all knowledge, values, and meanings are essentially and ineluctably human interpretations of the world; and second, to the humanities as those disciplines and creative activities that express and illuminate the distinctively human. In these two richly stimulating essays James perceptively analyzes the roots of moral failure in the individual consciousness and the problem of evaluating the significance of a human life--both topics argued in terms of our inner hiddenness from one another. His sensitive appreciation of the complexity of the moral life remains timely, as for example when he discusses the issue of socio-economic inequality. James calls our attention to one of the most important things we can learn from the humanities: what it is to be human beings together in all our individual and cultural variety, and the challenge of developing the moral imagination.


Proposal Number: 14
Date: 2014-11-03
Paper Title: Teaching Philosophy through the Three Ps: Problem, Position, and Proof
Core Text:
Aristotle, Introductory Readings (Hackett); Thomas Aquinas, Selected Philosophical Writings (Oxford); Rene Descartes, Selected Philosophical Writings (Cambridge); Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (Vintage)
Abstract:
Discussion is an integral part of philosophy; yet it is difficult, if not impossible, to discuss a text that students have not read. Daily quizzes may provide students with an incentive to read, but the type of quiz given will likely influence how students read assigned texts and will in part determine how well prepared students are to engage in classroom discussion. My daily quizzes, for each and every reading assignment, ask students to answer the same three P-questions: 1) What is the problem of today"s assignment? 2) What position does the author take? 3) How does the author prove his position? These quizzes, in my experience, not only increase reading compliance, but also help to broaden and deepen class discussion.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Confronting the Compliance Problem: Why Students Don"t Read and What to Do About It
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Faculty teaching from core texts face a number of challenges, not the least of which is reading compliance, or the lack thereof. It is a pervasive problem: regardless of the institution, regardless of academic level, students simply do not read the assigned texts. But what is to be done about it? Can anything be done? The purpose of this panel is twofold: 1) to consider the factors contributing to low reading compliance and 2) to offer strategies to increase compliance.


Proposal Number: 13
Date: 2014-10-30
Paper Title: Evolution and...
Core Text:
Only Connect: The Goals of a Liberal Arts Education by William Cronon; The Pandas Thumb of Technology by Stephen Jay Gould
Abstract:
William Cronon, in his essay Only Connect: The Goals of a Liberal Arts Education, states that education for human freedom is also education for human community. Striving to be free from ignorance, and doing so with humility, empowers us to see connections that make responsible, productive, compassionate action possible. More than any other paradigm, the theory of evolution emphasizes connection within the human species, between all forms of life past and present, and within the academy and thus is an exemplary model for articulating the ideals of liberal education. In his essay The Pandas Thumb of Technology, Stephen Jay Gould asks us to consider our tenuous and fortuitous existence as a species in a manner that is witty, engaging, and readily accessible, thereby setting the stage for further discussions about our connection and obligation to the rest of the natural order.


Proposal Number: 11
Date: 2014-10-07
Paper Title:
Core Text:
Medieval cloister/ medieval garden/ <Regula> of St. Benedict/ <Hortulus> of Strabo
Abstract:
An exploration of the medieval monastic cloister and the medieval monastic garden that serve as exempla for human experience and understanding of community, sustainability, and transcendence. While such exempla exist within a medieval context they may yet resonate in contemporary discussions of such themes. References to two other medieval (written) texts, the <Regula> of St. Benedict and the <Hortulus> of Walafrid Strabo will be included to provide a written context for the material exempla.


Proposal Number: 9
Date: 2014-10-04
Paper Title: Framing A Conversation of Core Texts with BIG Questions to Shape the Soul
Core Text:
Augustine's The Confessions; Dante's The Inferno; Dostoevsky's The Grand Inquisitor
Abstract:
This paper will discuss how framing a seminar conversation of Augustine"s The Confessions, Dante"s The Inferno, and Dostoevsky"s The Grand Inquisitor with BIG Questions: what does it mean to be human? what does it mean to live a life of meaning and purpose? Is there meaning to life? engages students in a vexing examination of the focus, shape, and trajectory of their own lives and world view. The presentation will examine the purpose and value of Core Texts and a Liberal Arts education.


Proposal Number: 7
Date: 2014-09-26
Paper Title: Achilles and the God of Fire
Core Text:
The Iliad
Abstract:
It is hard to examine the behavior of Achilles because he is presented as man and god as his ancestry requires. He is susceptible to love, death, and tragedy, but he is also a superhuman as his resemblance to Hephaestos increases in the later battle scenes. For this reason an ethical appraisal of his actions is difficult and important to construct.


Proposal Number: 6
Date: 2014-09-22
Paper Title: The US Constitution in China
Core Text:
US Constitution
Abstract:
Ms. Franks spent two years teaching high school in China with a core text approach. Ms Franks is an American lawyer, in addition to teaching part time at St. John"s College in Santa Fe, and offered two American Law classes at her Chinese high school, in the course of which the class read the US constitution and other American state documents closely. The resulting conversations reflected ideas considered out of different political perspectives, demonstrating the effectiveness of core political texts as a platform from which to converse even--perhaps especially--on controversial political topics.


Proposal Number: 4
Date: 2014-09-16
Paper Title: Navigating the Tradition: Melville's Appropriation of Dante in _Moby Dick_
Core Text:
Moby Dick; Divine Comedy
Abstract:
Critics have long pointed to Melville"s use of the Bible, the Greco-Roman epics, and British Literature in _Moby Dick_. This paper proposes to look more deeply at a less appreciated source, Dante"s _Divine Comedy_. In so doing, the paper will develop fresh insights into Melville"s text and into his relationship to Dante and the literary tradition. Moreover, once Dantes importance has been established, a concluding, exploratory section of the paper will reflect on how Melvilles engagement with such an abundance of core texts, including Dante, can be used to engage students in the classroom.


Proposal Number: 2
Date: 2014-09-09
Paper Title: Dostoevsky's Artistry: The Elision of the Ultimate Humiliation in
Core Text:
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground
Abstract:
In summarizing the plot of "Notes from the Underground," many commentators do not even make mention of its elliptical sex scene. A few recent commentators, on the other hand, explicitly refer to it as a rape scene. I will discuss how to make the text relevant to today"s students by focusing on a close reading of this scene in order to raise the questions: Is this a rape, and why or why not? And if it is, why does the narrator focus his confession on what appears to be a much less serious insult, eluding the sexual act to such an extent that even close readers may not even realize it has taken place?


Proposal Number: 1
Date: 2014-08-30
Paper Title: Camus and Nietzsche: Two Responses to a "Meaningless" Universe
Core Text:
Camus, Myth of Sisyphus; Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
Abstract:
Both Camus and Nietzsche were atheists, and both saw no meaning in the world beyond what human agents place there by their own choices. Both sought to affirm and celebrate life in the absence of a transcendent source of meaning. Yet there is a large difference between them: Nietzsche affirmed the world as it is with all its brutality, while Camus rebelled against the world as absurd. This difference has important ethical implications.