Submitted Proposals (2015-2016)

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Proposal # Date Panel Title Paper Title
Proposal # 281 2016-02-23 Wisdom and Friendship With(in) Oneself in the Nicomachean Ethics
Proposal # 93 2016-02-23 Core Texts Behind the Walls Core Science Texts Within the Prison
Proposal # 285 2016-02-09 Mercy-Crossed Justice: Robert Frosts (Narrative) Poetic Approach to Philosophyand Religion
Proposal # 282 2016-02-09 Thoreau's Walden and Depeche Mode's Enjoy the Silence: American Romanticism and the New Romanticism
Proposal # 280 2016-02-09 Breaking new ground: Boole's "Algebra of Logic" in today's mathematics classroom
Proposal # 278 2016-02-09 The Culture of Callipolis: French Structuralism and Plato's Republic
Proposal # 277 2016-02-09 Bringing Africana Women Writers into the Core African Women Writers in America: Introducing Adichie and Bulaway into the Core
Proposal # 283 2016-02-08 The Ambiguity of Corruption in Montesquieu
Proposal # 275 2016-02-01 Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character Piety, Liberty and the Arts in Plato's Euthyphro
Proposal # 273 2016-01-29 Continuity and Tradition: The Labrynthian Sructure of the Phaedo
Proposal # 270 2016-01-25 The Big House as Collective Memory: Tourist Plantations and Toni Morrison's Beloved
Proposal # 260 2016-01-25 Okham's Moral Thought and the Modern World
Proposal # 269 2016-01-23 Timon? or Alcibiades? or Apemantus? of Athens
Proposal # 268 2016-01-22 Concepts of Truth and Politics in Arendt
Proposal # 266 2016-01-22 Oscar Wilde and the Reinvention of Socratic Paradox
Proposal # 264 2016-01-21 Eagle as Image of the Teacher in Dante and Chaucer
Proposal # 263 2016-01-21 In sign of what you are; Studying Coriolanus and Thinking about Public Service.
Proposal # 262 2016-01-21 What role for the "sublime science of simple souls"?
Proposal # 254 2016-01-21 Aristotle on Political Participation and the Contemplative Life
Proposal # 246 2016-01-21 Uncanny Resemblances Past and Future: Caliban, the Monster and the Android.
Proposal # 42 2016-01-21 Ring of Gyges in Touchstones Discussions as a Medium to Develop Critical Thinkers and Collaborative Leaders In a Dictatorship, Using Core Texts in a Touchstones Discussion Process to Nurture Active Learners
Proposal # 261 2016-01-20 Liberal Education and Religious Tradition Dialogue on the Aims of Liberal Education
Proposal # 259 2016-01-20 Is Marshall McLuhan ready for the Canon? And is the Canon ready for Marshall McLuhan?
Proposal # 258 2016-01-20 Parents, Children, and the Celebration of Difference in Don Quixote and Kiffe, Kiffe, Tomorrow
Proposal # 256 2016-01-20 What can we know and how can we know?'
Proposal # 255 2016-01-20 "The Rest Which Has Been Thought and Said: Designing Core Courses and Curricula for Diversity
Proposal # 253 2016-01-20 Lessons from Early Film on the Teaching of Modernist Poetry to High School Students
Proposal # 252 2016-01-20 Changing the Lives of Women through the Core
Proposal # 251 2016-01-20 The Political Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison
Proposal # 250 2016-01-20 Reading Vision and Conversion in The Winter's Tale with the Confessions of St. Augustine
Proposal # 249 2016-01-20 Training for Paideia with Einsteins Relativity.
Proposal # 248 2016-01-20 Architecture and Music: Coleridge's Dome in Air
Proposal # 242 2016-01-20 King Lear and the State of Nature
Proposal # 194 2016-01-20 The Impotence of Dialectic in Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground
Proposal # 247 2016-01-19 The Evolution of Digital Content Delivery in Higher Education
Proposal # 245 2016-01-19 what can we know? and how can we know?'
Proposal # 244 2016-01-19 Caught Between Tradition and Education: The Necessarily Political Problem of Seamus Heaney's Poetry
Proposal # 243 2016-01-19 Beyond Words: Non-Verbal Texts and the Core Using Non-Representational Art as a Core Text
Proposal # 240 2016-01-19 Playing at Being Human in Shakespearean Tragedy and Comedy
Proposal # 239 2016-01-19 Same and Other The Same and the Other in Homer and Plato
Proposal # 236 2016-01-19 The Principle of Liberty to All and Lincolns Constitution
Proposal # 233 2016-01-19 The divine allied to beasts: Asceticism and Animality in Walden
Proposal # 232 2016-01-19 Bearing Witness at the Origins of Western History
Proposal # 230 2016-01-19 Cotton Mather: Man of Science?The Puritan Tradition Transformed By the Enlightenment
Proposal # 229 2016-01-19 Happiness as a Moral End: On the Counsels of Prudence in Kants Groundwork and Jane Austens Persuasion.
Proposal # 228 2016-01-19 Cosmopolitanism and Virtue Cosmopolitanism and the liberal regime in Montesquieus Spirit of the Laws
Proposal # 226 2016-01-19 Are You Judging Me? J.S. Mill on Interpersonal Criticism in a Liberal Society
Proposal # 225 2016-01-19 Community Tradition Under Pressure: Continuity and Change in the Liberal Arts in Times of Stress, Anomie, and Warfare David and Jonathan Through the Centuries
Proposal # 224 2016-01-19 Darwin and the Absence of Evolution
Proposal # 222 2016-01-19 Reading the Great Books
Proposal # 218 2016-01-19 Speech and the Search for Truth in Classical Thought Aristotle on the Problem of Scientific Knowledge
Proposal # 217 2016-01-19 The Socratic Method--Creating Knowledge from Core Texts
Proposal # 216 2016-01-19 Tweet The Odyssey
Proposal # 215 2016-01-19 Plato the Realist
Proposal # 214 2016-01-19 Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character "'Because it was he, because it was I': Montaigne's Essay on Friendship"
Proposal # 212 2016-01-19 Heidegger on Aristotle's RHETORIC
Proposal # 211 2016-01-19 Teaching Sex and Gender in Core Texts at Samford. I will be on the panel Teaching Sex and Gender in Core Texts at Samford.
Proposal # 209 2016-01-19 What is the Good of Science? The Answer of Plutarchs Archimedes;
Proposal # 208 2016-01-19 Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character The Problem of Perspective in Machiavelli's Prince
Proposal # 207 2016-01-19 Why did Aristotle like democracy?
Proposal # 205 2016-01-19 Reading Core Texts through an Eco-critical Lens
Proposal # 204 2016-01-19 Can time be domesticated?
Proposal # 178 2016-01-19 Limerence as Relevance: Sustaining Core Texts through Corps Textuality
Proposal # 241 2016-01-18 Prudence and Intellect (Phronesis and Nous) in Aristotle
Proposal # 202 2016-01-15 Pope Francis's Encyclical *Laudato Si'* as Core Text
Proposal # 201 2016-01-15 SAME AND OTHER The simile spent: the narrative implosion of the self compared to itself (Odyssey 23.233).
Proposal # 200 2016-01-15 Clarissa Dalloway & Dark Matter: All the Energy we cannot See in Virginia Woolfs Mrs. Dalloway
Proposal # 199 2016-01-15 How to Keep Beauty in the Age of Instagram: A Case for the Lyric of Gerard Manley Hopkins as Core Text
Proposal # 198 2016-01-15 Aquinas On the Rule of Philosophers and Kings
Proposal # 197 2016-01-15 Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and the Acquisition of Moral Character
Proposal # 196 2016-01-15 From Zombies to doing mathematics
Proposal # 193 2016-01-15 The Purpose of a College Education: Russell Kirks Decadence and Renewal in Higher Education
Proposal # 191 2016-01-15 Same & Other Nature and art in Emma
Proposal # 189 2016-01-15 Reading and Learning in the Age of the Screen: Problems and Prospects
Proposal # 188 2016-01-15 MacIntyre, Burke and Two Concepts of Tradition
Proposal # 187 2016-01-15 The Road to Character Continues to Run Through Middlemarch
Proposal # 186 2016-01-15 Returns to Tradition: Love and Friendship in Core Texts Eros and Dionysus in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice
Proposal # 185 2016-01-15 Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character Socratic Love of Truth
Proposal # 184 2016-01-15 On Two Socratic Questions
Proposal # 182 2016-01-15 Evil and Friendship in Augustines Confessions
Proposal # 181 2016-01-15 The Absurd Astronomy of Lucretius: A Sympathetic Approach to De Rerum Natura
Proposal # 180 2016-01-15 Politics as a Vocation: Statesmanship as Managing Means, Ends, and Value-Conflict
Proposal # 179 2016-01-15 Playing Games with Core Texts
Proposal # 174 2016-01-15 Toni Morrisons Beloved: A Perfectly Teachable Narrative in an Imperfect Canon
Proposal # 173 2016-01-15 Bringing Africana Women Writers Into the Core African Women Writers in America: Introducing Adichie and Bulawayo into the Core
Proposal # 168 2016-01-15 Friendship and Merit versus Aristocratic Convention in Jane Austens Persuasion
Proposal # 166 2016-01-15 Kant on Freedom and Tradition
Proposal # 165 2016-01-15 Women and the Core: Women as Readers of Plato's Republic V
Proposal # 161 2016-01-13 Reading the Federalist Papers in a Great Books Program
Proposal # 159 2016-01-13 Aeschyluss The Oresteia: Exploring Current Socio-political Themes Through the Ancient Trilogy
Proposal # 158 2016-01-13 Development of a New Good in Aristotle's Ethics
Proposal # 157 2016-01-13 Showing the Other sides to Tradition: tracing the evolution of consciousness through traditional and contemporary texts
Proposal # 156 2016-01-13 Preserving a space for thoughtfulness or excavating the intellectual things that exist? - core texts as an applied liberal arts bridge between curriculum and intellectual articulation in a London secondary school.
Proposal # 154 2016-01-13 Shakespeare On the Nature and Problems of Democracy Plutarch v. Shakespeare: The Case of Coriolanus
Proposal # 153 2016-01-13 Bridging the Gap: Connecting Core Texts to Student Lives
Proposal # 220 2016-01-06 Postmodernity, Ideology and Rationality in the Communist Manifesto
Proposal # 213 2016-01-05 Two Accounts of Truth in Plato's Timaeus
Proposal # 203 2016-01-02 Teaching Holocaust Literature to Students Who Know No Jews
Proposal # 192 2016-01-01 Community Tradition Under Pressure: Continuity and Change in the Liberal Arts in Times of Stress, Anomie, and Warfare. End of the Age: Threats of Eschatological Judgment in the Re-Forming of Community
Proposal # 190 2016-01-01 The Philosophy of Ghosts and Witches
Proposal # 177 2015-12-31 Aquinas's "Unities of Order" as Corrective of Aristotle's Political Mereology
Proposal # 176 2015-12-31 Science and Humanities: Determinism, Free Will and Ethics in Scenes from Russian and American Literature
Proposal # 175 2015-12-31 Core Texts Behind the Walls
Proposal # 170 2015-12-31 Tradition and Renewal: What Makes a Liberal Arts Education Timeless?
Proposal # 169 2015-12-31 Socratic Irony and Criticism of Post-Periclean Athens
Proposal # 160 2015-12-31 Ears Attentive to Wisdom: Plutarch's Philosophy of Listening in Peri tou akouein
Proposal # 151 2015-12-31 Aristotle, Oedipus, and Anger
Proposal # 150 2015-12-31 The Mulan Ballad - Reading Through Assumptions
Proposal # 148 2015-12-31 Logic: Why Analytic, Synthetic, or Sufficient Reason Isnt Enough
Proposal # 147 2015-12-31 Cultivating a dogs heart. Plato on a non-rational motivation for studying texts.
Proposal # 146 2015-12-31 Tradition and Genealogy: Arendt on the Declaration of Independence
Proposal # 145 2015-12-31 Law and Good Government in Huang Tsung-Hsi's Waiting for the Dawn, A Plan for the Prince
Proposal # 144 2015-12-31 Core Texts and Philosophy: How Did Leo Strauss Understand Liberal Education?
Proposal # 143 2015-12-31 King Lear in a German Context
Proposal # 141 2015-12-31 "Damit der Weltlauf keine Lke hat": tragedy and world in Hlderlin and Nietzsche
Proposal # 140 2015-12-31 Corrective and Cunning Reason in Piers Plowman
Proposal # 139 2015-12-31 Conjuring hope in the classroom beginning with Karl Marxs world creator, closing and beginning again with Homers gifts, with Huang Zongxis uncertainties in between
Proposal # 138 2015-12-31 The Rhetoric of Virtue: Persuasion and Law in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Proposal # 137 2015-12-31 Aristotle's Philosophy of Human Affairs Sunesis: The Intellectual Virtue of the Political Philosopher
Proposal # 136 2015-12-31 Aspirational Ladders: Core Texts in the Era of Professional Education
Proposal # 135 2015-12-31 #coretextproblems: How Social Media and Principles of Integrative Learning Can Transform Core Text Learning into Core Life Experiences.
Proposal # 134 2015-12-31 The Role of the Slave Narrative as Core Western Literature
Proposal # 133 2015-12-31 Ancient Excursions and Core Texts: The Challenge of Material Culture in the Document-Based Course
Proposal # 132 2015-12-31 King's Socrates: Continuity and Change
Proposal # 131 2015-12-31 Aristotle's Poetics -- in Real Time
Proposal # 130 2015-12-31 Novus Factus Exercitus: the Roman New Model Army in Titus Livius Books 4-8
Proposal # 129 2015-12-31 A Taste of Greek: Exposing Undergraduate General Education Students to Texts in the Original Language
Proposal # 127 2015-12-31 Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character Kierkegaard's Either/Or: Moral Character and The Aesthete
Proposal # 126 2015-12-31 The Movement of Pity, Indignation, and Envy in the Soul
Proposal # 125 2015-12-31 Encountering the biosphere through core texts
Proposal # 124 2015-12-31 Seeing Red: On the Significance of Thrasymachus' Supposed Blush in Plato's Republic
Proposal # 123 2015-12-31 We Still Do Not Even Have a Name: Shakespeares Caliban, the Southern Americas, and Roberto Fernndez Retamars Critique of Modernity
Proposal # 122 2015-12-31 Shakespeare on the Nature and Problems of Democracy Antonio's Sadness: The Modern Commercial Republic and the Problems of Globalization
Proposal # 121 2015-12-31 Regime Analysis in Bagehots English Constitution
Proposal # 119 2015-12-31 Teaching Sex & Gender in Core Texts
Proposal # 118 2015-12-31 Dantes Ulysses and the Strange Vice of Curiosity (Inferno 26)
Proposal # 116 2015-12-31 "The Price of a Pearl": Teaching Science Though Fiction, and Truth Through Rhetoric
Proposal # 115 2015-12-31 The Catcher in the Rye and the Genre of the Bildungsroman
Proposal # 114 2015-12-31 Same & Other Mind the Mind (Hera in Iliad XV)
Proposal # 113 2015-12-31 The Comfortable People
Proposal # 112 2015-12-31 From music to musicking: Christopher Small as a lens of renewal
Proposal # 111 2015-12-31 Beyond the Core: Mulan as Woman Warrior, Poetic Hero, and Disney Princess
Proposal # 109 2015-12-31 Situating Twentieth Century Jewish-American Letters in the Core A Literature of Love: Saul Bellow in the Core
Proposal # 108 2015-12-31 'Reading' Haydn's Creation Oratorio
Proposal # 107 2015-12-31 Speak To Me Of Humanity: The Use of Music to Understand the Odyssey
Proposal # 106 2015-12-31 Structure, Order, and Nuance Along the Five Ways: Reflections on Aquinass Proofs that a God Exists
Proposal # 105 2015-12-31 Magnitude and Multitude: a Traditional Distinction to be Respected or Overcome?
Proposal # 104 2015-12-31 Supreme Powers: tradition versus reason in Mores Utopia and Achebes Things fall apart
Proposal # 103 2015-12-31 Reading Rousseau and Du Bois Together
Proposal # 102 2015-12-31 Panel: The Great French Triumvirate (Chair, Frank Rohmer) On the Unity of the 'Great French Triumvirate'
Proposal # 101 2015-12-31 Student Success and Core Texts: Where Administrators and Champions of Liberal Learning May Find Common Ground
Proposal # 100 2015-12-31 Pierre or the Ambiguities:An Attempt to Decode Some of the Puzzling Constructions in Melville's most Puzzling Book.
Proposal # 99 2015-12-31 The Enduring Relevance of Sophocles Oedipus Rex: Alpha Males, Modern-Day Oracles, and Celebrities who Fall From Grace
Proposal # 128 2015-12-30 The Rest Which Has Been Thought and Said: Designing Core Courses and Curricula for Diversity
Proposal # 117 2015-12-30 Touchstones Discussions as a Medium for Using Our Intellectual Heritage to Nurture Free Citizens Dont Wait for Plato: Teaching Core Texts in High Schools
Proposal # 98 2015-12-28 Aristotle on the Socratic Equation of Virtue and Knowledge
Proposal # 97 2015-12-28 How Humanists Can Use Their Expertise to Teach Core Sci
Proposal # 94 2015-12-28 Shock, Loss, Grief: The Fall of Troy and the Fall of Saigon
Proposal # 92 2015-12-28 Thinking Beyond Boundaries?
Proposal # 90 2015-12-28 The Moral Landscape of Rashomon
Proposal # 77 2015-12-28 Sisyphus's Happiness: The Imagination Equation
Proposal # 89 2015-12-26 From Princeton to Oxford: F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Medieval Tradition
Proposal # 88 2015-12-26 Teaching about the individual's role in history through Roth's
Proposal # 87 2015-12-26 The Oral Voice in Ancient and Contemporary Texts
Proposal # 86 2015-12-26 Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character The Externalization of Ethical Thinking
Proposal # 85 2015-12-26 Same & Other Love and Strife in Shakespeare's King Lear
Proposal # 84 2015-12-26 Women and the Core: a pitch for Therese of Lisieux's The Story of a Soul
Proposal # 82 2015-12-26 The Tradition of Beating Up Tradition
Proposal # 81 2015-12-26 Classical Philosophy and Monotheism: Alfarabi's "The Book of Religion"
Proposal # 80 2015-12-26 The Great Triumvirate: Montesquieu, Tocqueville, Rousseau Tocqueville and on Religion and Democracy
Proposal # 78 2015-12-26 A Modern Platonic Fable
Proposal # 79 2015-12-22 Choices in Darkness
Proposal # 76 2015-12-22 Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character I know thee not, old man: The Banishment of Falstaff and the Problem of Friendship in Shakespeares Treatment of Falstaff and Prince Hal
Proposal # 71 2015-12-22 Sapphos Fragments: Using Discrepancies in Translations to Foster Writing
Proposal # 70 2015-12-22 Community Tradition Under Pressure: Continuity and Change in the Liberal Arts in Times of Stress, Anomie, and Warfare. Lived Experience Deconstructs the Liberating Arts: Langdon Gilkeys Shantung Compound Story of a Community Under Pressure.
Proposal # 68 2015-12-22 Begin the Conversation
Proposal # 57 2015-12-22 Changing Core Text Programs: Experiences at a Small Liberal Arts College
Proposal # 54 2015-12-22 Between the World and Us: Richard Wrights Poem Between the World and Me as Core Text Revenant
Proposal # 53 2015-12-22 Reconsidering Simone deBeauvoir
Proposal # 45 2015-12-22 Reading Senecas Moral Epistles in the 21st Century
Proposal # 74 2015-12-21 Festschrift for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character Liberal Education and Civil Discourse: Some Insights from Aquinas
Proposal # 73 2015-12-20 Contemporizing The Prince: Teaching Machiavelli in the West Bank
Proposal # 72 2015-12-18 Philosophical and Political Lessons from Homers Epics Odysseus as the "Best of the Achaians" in Homer's Iliad
Proposal # 69 2015-12-18 Evolving to integration: How to fix the liberal arts curriculum
Proposal # 67 2015-12-18 Learning through Dialectic: The Role of the Other in Plato's Dialogues
Proposal # 52 2015-12-15 The Philosophy of Francis Wayland and the Preservation of American Republicanism
Proposal # 51 2015-12-15 Nietzsches Platonic Critique of the Modern State
Proposal # 50 2015-12-15 The Gods of Aristophanes
Proposal # 49 2015-12-15 Thomas More's Concept of Property Rights: The Ciceronian Teaching of Utopia
Proposal # 48 2015-12-15 Aristotle's Politics: A Lesson in the Education of Statesmen
Proposal # 47 2015-12-15 The Philosophy of Francis Wayland and the Preservation of American Republicanism
Proposal # 46 2015-12-15 Cultivating Cato: Heroic Restraint and Modern Sociability in Addisons Cato: A Tragedy
Proposal # 44 2015-12-14 A Robot Runs Through It: Bringing Karel apeks R.U.R. into a Core Texts Course
Proposal # 43 2015-12-12 Discussing Rape Culture in Contemporary American Colleges via Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Proposal # 40 2015-12-11 Unheroic Heroes: Ambiguous Categories in Three Core Texts
Proposal # 41 2015-12-10 Black and White is Not Cut and Dried
Proposal # 38 2015-12-10 Aristotle, Buddha, and the Contemporary American College Student: Wisdom and Morality Across Time and Space
Proposal # 34 2015-12-10 The Ancient and the Modern Come Together
Proposal # 31 2015-12-10 No Rhetoric Can Cheat An Honest Conscience : Educational Implications of Martin Luthers The Bondage of the Will
Proposal # 28 2015-12-10 Thinking Machine?
Proposal # 21 2015-12-10 Building the (Im)perfect Beast: Frankenstein's Monster and the Cyborgs of Transhumanism
Proposal # 17 2015-12-10 Teaching Science in an Unscientific Era
Proposal # 14 2015-12-10 On the Relation Between the Pursuit of Wealth and the Pursuit of Virtue Adam Smith on the Virtues of Religious Liberty
Proposal # 13 2015-12-10 Adam Smith on Economic Inequality
Proposal # 11 2015-12-10 Tradition and Renewal: Why Perpetua Belongs in the Core
Proposal # 5 2015-12-10 William James on God and Morality
Proposal # 39 2015-12-08 Liberal Arts for Teachers
Proposal # 37 2015-12-08 The Great French Triumvirate: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville The Mariner's Compass: Montesquieu's Voyage of Enlightenment in the Persian Letters
Proposal # 36 2015-12-08 Achilles, Greatest of the Achaeans
Proposal # 35 2015-12-08 Visible Parlare: Visual Rhetoric and The Divine Comedy
Proposal # 33 2015-12-07 ISOCRATES AGAINST THE SOPHISTS: Tempering Excessive Promises
Proposal # 32 2015-12-04 Augustine on the Concept of Time
Proposal # 29 2015-12-02 Cosmopolitanism and Virtue Anna Karenina: The Tragedy of the Cosmopolitan Woman
Proposal # 27 2015-12-02 Do hip hop belong in the Core?
Proposal # 26 2015-12-02 for colored girls who are experiencing the PTSDs
Proposal # 12 2015-12-02 'That which produces the general good is always terrible' (Saint-Just): aporetic education in Victor Hugo's Ninety-Three
Proposal # 24 2015-11-30 The Book of Job behind Bars
Proposal # 23 2015-11-25 Seeing the Spiritual in Tintoretto
Proposal # 20 2015-11-17 Nature of Science in Science Core-text Teaching
Proposal # 19 2015-11-16 Tocqueville and Democracy Today
Proposal # 15 2015-11-04 Medieval Chinese Poetry: Structure, Meaning, Relevance
Proposal # 9 2015-09-20 Can we still get them to read? leading our students to the joys and sorrows of a great read.
Proposal # 8 2015-09-16 Ciceros On Friendship in the Age of Facebook
Proposal # 4 2015-08-27 Churchill's Dream
 

Proposal Number: 281
Date: 2016-02-23
Paper Title: Wisdom and Friendship With(in) Oneself in the Nicomachean Ethics
Core Text:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Book X of the Nicomachean Ethics compels us to wonder whether and how the happiest human being can participate in the political community. In a key passage in Book 9, Aristotle suggests that wisdom is the root not only of the highest form of friendship with others, but also with a kind of friendship with oneself that grounds political virtue. In this paper, I will explore this notion of friendship with(in) oneself and its relation to wisdom.


Proposal Number: 93
Date: 2016-02-23
Paper Title: Core Science Texts Within the Prison
Core Text:
The Origin of Species
Abstract:
This paper will describe the linkage of a course in general biology with a course in the history and philosophy of life science, team-taught in the spring of 2016 as part of the Notre Dame-Holy Cross College Prison Initiative. The paper will describe the reading and discussion of a selection of primary sources in the life sciences in this context. In linking this course with a general biology course, students will be exposed in the science course to typical topics and some limited practical laboratory experience. In the history and philosophy of science course they will deal through primary texts with issues of major theory formation in the life sciences, the role of rhetoric in scientific discourse, and the way in which theory, phenomena, and description interact.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Core Texts Behind the Walls
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 285
Date: 2016-02-09
Paper Title: Mercy-Crossed Justice: Robert Frosts (Narrative) Poetic Approach to Philosophyand Religion
Core Text:
Robert Frost's The Death of the Hired Man (1913), A Masque of Reason (1945), and A Masque of Mercy (1947)
Abstract:
Using the genre of narrative poems, particularly the less-familiar masque, Robert Frost probed the essence of justice, mercy, and the divine, with a variety of poetic tropes proposing a paradoxical nature of reality--that is, human thought (rationality) depends upon human embodiment (physicality) while pursuing abstract (disembodied) ideals. In particular, this paper will explore the stories and themes from three of Frost’s most curious and philosophically significant works—The Death of the Hired Man (1913), A Masque of Reason (1945), and A Masque of Mercy (1947). These poems provide a glimpse of Frost in conversation with his predecessors (Ben Jonson, John Milton, William Blake), as well as his contemporaries (W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Archibald MacLeish), even as he explores the timeless themes human suffering, cosmic justice, and the quest for meaning. For Frost, poetry requires a philosophical leap, whereby metaphor produces meaning across the liminal space between spirit and matter: “Greatest of all attempts to say one thing in terms of another is the philosophical attempt to say matter in terms of spirit, or spirit in terms of matter, to make the final unity. That is the greatest attempt that ever failed” (R. Frost, “Education by Poetry”).


Proposal Number: 282
Date: 2016-02-09
Paper Title: Thoreau's Walden and Depeche Mode's Enjoy the Silence: American Romanticism and the New Romanticism
Core Text:
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Abstract:
One of the core texts in understanding both the American Romantic movement and the importance of self is Henry David Thoreau"s Walden. Yet, as important as Walden is for highlighting the major themes of American Romanticism, and as powerful as its writing can be for some students, Thoreau"s ideas can be "brought to life" even more powerfully by connecting it to more contemporary music. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through discussion that centers on the text and the music and video for Depeche Mode"s "Enjoy the Silence," which highlights the same themes as Thoreau. This connection between Thoreau and Depeche Mode, a group that has been associated with the New Romanticism movement in music, emphasizes the way in which music can be used to help students interpret core texts and would make this proposal a great fit with the upcoming ACTC Conference panel, "51. Art and Music: Modern Music Interpreting the Core."


Proposal Number: 280
Date: 2016-02-09
Paper Title: Breaking new ground: Boole's "Algebra of Logic" in today's mathematics classroom
Core Text:
Boole - "Laws of Thought" ; Venn - "Symbolic Logic" ; C. S. Peirce - "On an Improvement to Boole's Calculus of Logic"
Abstract:
In "The Laws of Thought," George Boole sought to stretch the boundary of traditional logic through the deliberate use of algebraic symbolism to represent and manipulate logically valid inferences, thereby breaking the ground for the development of an important new mathematical discipline known today as "boolean algebra." In this talk, we consider how reading "The Laws of Thought" alongside later texts on symbolic logic by John Venn and C. S. Peirce allows students to witness how the process of developing and refining a mathematical theory plays out, and especially the ways in which mathematicians make and explain their choices along the way. We further consider whether and how these three texts can be legitimately used to teach contemporary mathematical ideas (e.g., elementary set theory as a specific concrete example of boolean algebra), and describe a particular "guided reading" approach that some disciplinary mathematicians are using to bring the reading of core texts into their classrooms as a means to mathematically educate students in the broad sense of understanding both traditional and modern methods of the discipline.


Proposal Number: 278
Date: 2016-02-09
Paper Title: The Culture of Callipolis: French Structuralism and Plato's Republic
Core Text:
The Republic
Abstract:
Guided by the method of Anthropologist, Claude Lévi-Strauss, a structuralist reading of The Republic reveals an additional layer of meaning contained in the myths and allegories used by Socrates to describe his invented city. This paper will explore surprising angles that the stories-within-the-story provide to a reading of The Republic, and will discuss the value of structural methods as a tool for teaching core texts.


Proposal Number: 277
Date: 2016-02-09
Paper Title: African Women Writers in America: Introducing Adichie and Bulaway into the Core
Core Text:
The Thing Around Your Neck
Abstract:
This year's ACTC conference description asks, "What works in future programs are real classics that should be added, not out of fashion, but because future students would and should recur to them 50 or 75 years from now?" Two such recent works, we believe, are Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie's story collection The Thing Around Your Neck (though her novels would serve as well) and Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo's debut novel We Need New Names. By telling the stories of Africans who come to America, these texts address questions fundamental to any core program -- i.e. what is home? what is culture? how do individuals, families, and communities change through immigration? Beyond that, these African women writers intentionally attempt to challenge the world"s stereotypical and limited understandings of African realities -- what Adichie refers to as the "single story" about Africa – and offer sharp insights and critiques into questions of gender, power, and equality on both continents in language that is fresh, poetic, and engaging for our students.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Bringing Africana Women Writers into the Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 283
Date: 2016-02-08
Paper Title: The Ambiguity of Corruption in Montesquieu
Core Text:
Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws
Abstract:
This paper explores the meaning of corruption in The Spirit of the Laws in relation to contemporary concern for corruption and the nature of our regime.


Proposal Number: 275
Date: 2016-02-01
Paper Title: Piety, Liberty and the Arts in Plato's Euthyphro
Core Text:
Euthyphro
Abstract:
It is commonly believed that the liberty needed for critical Socratic inquiry opposes the devotion required for piety. But Socrates' testing of Euthyphro reveals that this opinion arises from an excessive devotion to the arts conceived of illiberally.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 273
Date: 2016-01-29
Paper Title: Continuity and Tradition: The Labrynthian Sructure of the Phaedo
Core Text:
Plato, Phaedo
Abstract:
The dramatic dimension of the Phaedo involves the question, not only of whether the soul is in fact immortal, but what can assuage the fear of death apart from this possibility, or how men might accommodate themselves to their mortal condition. The manner in which the Phaedo is structured and ordered furnished, I shall argue, one answer (though perhaps not the only answer) to this question.


Proposal Number: 270
Date: 2016-01-25
Paper Title: The Big House as Collective Memory: Tourist Plantations and Toni Morrison's Beloved
Core Text:
Toni Morrison's Beloved
Abstract:
This paper will present a lesson plan that uses the websites of tourist plantations to explore ways in which dominant narratives of slavery are both challenged and reproduced. The lesson, which is delivered partly online and partly in class, is designed to be used in conjunction with readings of Toni Morrison"s Beloved, a novel which examines the plantation as a space of physical and mental violence that still exists "out there, in the world."


Proposal Number: 260
Date: 2016-01-25
Paper Title: Okham's Moral Thought and the Modern World
Core Text:
William of Okham Quodlibet Questions
Abstract:
This paper will suggest that William of Okham be included in core text programs. His thought is often seen by historians of modernity as foundational for the change that characterizes the modern world. Usually Okham's difficult nominalist logical writings are cited. This paper will argue that to understand the nominalist project and to see the limitations to the claim of Okham as pivotal his moral thought is crucial. It also provides a much more accessible way into Okham's intellectual revolution.


Proposal Number: 269
Date: 2016-01-23
Paper Title: Timon? or Alcibiades? or Apemantus? of Athens
Core Text:
Timon of Athens
Abstract:
I intend to Investigate the responses of Timon, Alcibiades to the willfulness, corruption and ingratitude of Athen and her citizens. Timon moves from a spendthrift philanthrope to a self-banished misanthrope. Alcibiades the soldier acts to restore justice to an ungenerous city. Apemantus the cynic philosopher remains restrained and conversational with both.


Proposal Number: 268
Date: 2016-01-22
Paper Title: Concepts of Truth and Politics in Arendt
Core Text:
Hannah Arendt: Truth and Politics
Abstract:
There are three concepts in Arentd’s essay relevant for today: 1) Power can subvert truth but cannot replace it. 2) Academia today undermine its mission in democratic society by spreading professional schools and social sciences narrow in their outlook, too detached from reality.3) The concept of truthtellers -- independent, impartial, outside of political realm – as indispensable as bearers of truth when it is being subverted.


Proposal Number: 266
Date: 2016-01-22
Paper Title: Oscar Wilde and the Reinvention of Socratic Paradox
Core Text:
Oscar Wilde
Abstract:
In this essay, I will explore how Wilde uses Socratic paradox as a tool for battling opinion, and as a means of exposing a deeper truth about human nature. Socrates was known for his “Socratic method” which, through dialogue form, exposed the unexamined beliefs of his interlocutors as false and based on nothing more than untested opinion. In the Wildean universe, as in the Socratic universe, the problem with opinion is that it seems so certain, so unquestionable, and yet most people have never truly examined it for themselves, trusting instead to what they have heard from parents, teachers, ministers, and society itself—harsh and sometimes brutal in its pronouncements about who is good and who is bad. Through the use of Socratic paradox, Wilde strives to break his reader open to see the world through the lens of paradox, and to reveal the truth of the human soul as a mysterious and troubling paradox with good and evil strands woven throughout, along with the accompanying commandment to love in spite of, and perhaps because of, that mixed nature.


Proposal Number: 264
Date: 2016-01-21
Paper Title: Eagle as Image of the Teacher in Dante and Chaucer
Core Text:
Dante's Pivine Comedy, Chaucer's House of Fame
Abstract:
Although the eagle is most often used as an image of justice and political power, the greatest poets have linked this image also to the roles of teacher and prophet. This image as a sign of the special relationship between teacher and pupil is both problematic (as originating from Ovid and the kidnapping of Ganymede) and apt to be idealized (as when scripture likens God’s care for his people to an eagle training its young to fly in Exodus and Deuteronomy). This paper examines separate yet interconnected instances in which the eagle is featured as a teacher or authority figure in poetry, in illustration of the problematic yet essential relationship between teacher and student. The comparison serves to illuminate how the most important core texts establish a dialogue among themselves, provide their own hermeneutic, and establish a rich ground for reflective learning in today’s classrooms.


Proposal Number: 263
Date: 2016-01-21
Paper Title: In sign of what you are; Studying Coriolanus and Thinking about Public Service.
Core Text:
Shakespeare's Coriolanus
Abstract:
Shakespeare’s Coriolanus abounds with controversial judgments regarding the nature of its leading character. Ultimately, anyone making a serious study of the play must seek Coriolanus’s true nature. In this essay, I argue that one scene in particular helps us achieve clarity in this regard: Act IV, Scene 3 shows us the meeting of two spies, one from Rome, the other from the Volscian state. This scene causes us to think seriously about the depth of Coriolanus’s betrayal of Rome and, therewith, reflect on the character of public service.


Proposal Number: 262
Date: 2016-01-21
Paper Title: What role for the "sublime science of simple souls"?
Core Text:
Rousseau's Discourse and Arts and Sciences
Abstract:
Rousseau’s "Discourse on the Arts and Sciences" often unsettles students in ways that can provoke them to think seriously about how they engage their college studies. For example, as he cast his discerning eye about his age, he challenges his reader to ask: Do I care more about appearing to be smart, than I do about searching for truth? Am I more invested in my reputation than my independence? Am I chasing after wisdom, or simply getting certified by the powers that be? Or, perhaps most discomfiting, in chasing after wisdom, am I sacrificing virtue? In revisiting Rousseau’s critique, I seek to illuminate the model he offers (as well as the caution he urges) for how we, students and teachers alike, might engage core texts to learn both “how to speak well and how to act well”.


Proposal Number: 254
Date: 2016-01-21
Paper Title: Aristotle on Political Participation and the Contemplative Life
Core Text:
Nicomachean Ethics and Politics
Abstract:
In the Politics Aristotle seems to suggest that living well, or the complete life, requires participation in the polis. The best life is then often construed as an understanding of the contemplative-philosophic life that allows for participation in the polis. I argue instead that Aristotle portrays a tension between the contemplative life as the best life simpliciter and the well-lived life that participates in the polis. To do so I consider whether the philosopher can truly possess the practical intellectual virtue of phronesis or a strong affection for one’s own, both of which are requisite for proper political participation.


Proposal Number: 246
Date: 2016-01-21
Paper Title: Uncanny Resemblances Past and Future: Caliban, the Monster and the Android.
Core Text:
William Shakespeare, "The Tempest," Mary Shelley, "Frankenstein," Philip K. Dick, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
Abstract:
Caliban and the Monster provide frames for Shakespeare and Shelley to consider what it means to be human by making it clear what isn't human in terms of appearance. Caliban is a half-human, half-diabolical creature whose appearance and origins fix for him a status of inferiority; the Monster is an amalgam of resuscitated human parts whose physical composition and cognitive similarities generate fear and horror among humans. Their respective creators suggest what it means to be human by pointing to the line between what isn't human and is thus inferior (in Caliban's case) and what is too close to human and is thus terrifying (in the Monster's case). Similarly two characters in Philip K. Dick's seminal science fiction novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" (the basis for Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner")--John Isidore and Roy Batty--set human-ness in a similar frame, with the twist that both damaged human and android are exactly similar to the "fully" human in appearance: Dick's novel proposes a different definition for what it means to be human in playful dialogue with the creatures of his predecessors. All three texts present the instructor with fertile opportunities to reflect on the nature of human-ness at different times, to observe the relationship between core texts and contemporary texts as they explore a common question and to confront the challenge of archaisms (ironic for the example of the Dick's "future," which is, of course, today a shopworn classic) that need to be overcome in order to make sense of them and their time-bound solutions to a timeless problem.


Proposal Number: 42
Date: 2016-01-21
Paper Title: In a Dictatorship, Using Core Texts in a Touchstones Discussion Process to Nurture Active Learners
Core Text:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Under a military dictatorship, liberal arts goals for using core texts can be served by starting with Touchstones Discussions. Since 2003, students from Burmese high schools that demand memorization and forbid questions have come to the Pre-Collegiate Program in Rangoon where our long-term goal is to nurture life long learners and change agents. The Touchstones Discussion Project, created in Annapolis 30 years ago, is our most important learning process for empowering passive students to transform themselves into critical thinkers and collaborative leaders. Once a week, students read a précis presenting a fundamental idea, such as, Aristotle on kinds of friendship, apply his insights to their experiences of having friends, discuss their ideas first in small groups of four and then back in a circle of the whole class, often achieving a focus and intensity of an excellent college discussion.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Ring of Gyges in Touchstones Discussions as a Medium to Develop Critical Thinkers and Collaborative Leaders
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Under a military dictatorship, liberal arts goals for using core texts can be served by starting with Touchstones Discussions to nurture life long learners and change agents. Touchstones Discussions are our most important learning process for empowering passive students to transform themselves into critical thinkers and collaborative leaders. Once a week, students read a précis presenting a fundamental question, such as posed by the story of Ring of Gyges in The Republic, would people act ethically if they were invisible? Students become courageous enough to entertain ideas totally foreign to them and to admit that the discussion is changing their minds.


Proposal Number: 261
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: Dialogue on the Aims of Liberal Education
Core Text:
Several mentioned, but focus is on the pedagogy of a core-text program
Abstract:
This dialogue between a fictional student and me explores the aims of liberal education at a religious university (in this case, a Catholic university). It focuses on a core question: if liberal education aims at the truth, and if religious believers hold certain doctrines to be true, then should a liberal education at a religious institution aim to convince students of the truth of those doctrines? The dialogue unpacks the assumptions embedded within that question about truth, liberal education, and religion itself.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Liberal Education and Religious Tradition
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
What relationship exists between liberal education and religious tradition? Does liberal education take different forms, such that one might speak of a Catholic liberal education as opposed to a Lutheran one, and if so, wherein do the differences lie? Or is liberal education distinct from religious tradition, a form of education that ought to remain largely the same across institutions with differing (or no) religious mission? Or indeed is liberal education fundamentally opposed to religion, cultivating an outlook that champions skepticism, naturalism, or relativism, as the Athenians claimed of Socrates? This session aims to promote a conversation about these questions. We will begin with short reflections from each panelist, using the bulk of our time for a broader discussion.


Proposal Number: 259
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: Is Marshall McLuhan ready for the Canon? And is the Canon ready for Marshall McLuhan?
Core Text:
Marshall McLuhan, *Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man*
Abstract:
Does Marshall McLuhan represent a break from or a continuation of the western and/or world canon? This paper will examine the degree to which modern communication studies can be treated in the context of a core-text program. McLuhan"s perception and portrayal of modern technological man will also be considered as a continuation and/or break with past philosophical and literary portrayals. Also to be considered: what is the relation of modern media to the traditional canon?


Proposal Number: 258
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: Parents, Children, and the Celebration of Difference in Don Quixote and Kiffe, Kiffe, Tomorrow
Core Text:
Don Quixote
Abstract:
Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote begins with the narrator explaining his relationship to Don Quixote (the character or the work – it is not clear which) as that of a parent and a child, specifically that Don Quixote is his stepson. In Kiffe, Kiffe, Tomorrow, Faïza Guène depicts a teenaged daughter of immigrant parents in France who, in trying to come to terms with her Beur identity, attempts banish from her mind all memory of her absent, Muslim father. Both of these texts present the parent-child relationship as the impetus for the celebration of difference. Using Andrew Solomon’s theory of vertical and horizontal identity as they pertain to marginalized groups, this paper argues that the parent-child relationships in both Don Quixote and Kiffe, Kiffe, Tomorrow posit difference and otherness not as divisive or alienating, but as a unifying cultural force.


Proposal Number: 256
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: What can we know and how can we know?'
Core Text:
Hayy ibn Yaqzan from Ibn Tufayl
Abstract:
The 12th century allegoric-philosophical novel Hayy ibn Yaqzan, written by the muslim philosopher Ibn Tufayl from Moorish Spain, describes a journey of knowledge in a way we would nowadays characterize as a deeply psychological bildungsroman. This core text seems to have been a prototype for similar thematic core texts like Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Rousseau’s Émile and what to think of Nietzsche’s Thus spoke Zarathustra? Typical for this genre is that, in contrast with how education as a bio-political instrument tends to educate towards socialization in a pregiven world, this type of texts pleads for coming to knowledge isolated from society. In order to bring back a different kind of knowledge to the civilized world.


Proposal Number: 255
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: "The Rest Which Has Been Thought and Said: Designing Core Courses and Curricula for Diversity
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Panelists from Shimer College and Temple University will discuss issues and outcomes of increasing the representation of minority voices in long-established Great Books programs. Shimer faculty will share their experiences teaching the Black feminist author Anna Julia Cooper in the first-year social science course in Shimer's core curriculum. Temple faculty will share lessons learned over a decade of efforts to diversify the two-semester humanities sequence required of all Temple undergraduates, addressing questions of changing demographics, faculty governance, and co-curricular initiatives.


Proposal Number: 253
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: Lessons from Early Film on the Teaching of Modernist Poetry to High School Students
Core Text:
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot
Abstract:
The current educational climate in U.S. public high schools devalues the cultivation of the imagination in favor of testable objectives, but English curriculums could benefit from reinvigorating a carnivalesque sense of wonder in students, a sense of enchantment that exists in a distilled form in early cinema. This is evidenced by a comparative case study of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915) and French impressionistic films like Jean Epstein’s Coeur Fidèle (1923) and Dimitri Kirsanoff’s Ménilmontant (1926). Both modernist poetry and the films of French impressionism depict a deeply attractive link between mechanization and magic, exploring the tension between the increasingly regimented method for how humans try to understand their world during the Industrial Revolution—the mechanical—and what their minds cannot help but perceive—the magical—with all its charming and horrifying incarnations. The product of this mechanization is a series of images and objects that take on a life of their own, and the sense of enchantment that drew the masses to the theater also lends a revitalizing power to the teaching of literature.


Proposal Number: 252
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: Changing the Lives of Women through the Core
Core Text:
Declaration of Sentiments
Abstract:
Two hallmarks of core education being considered at this year's conference are continuity and change. I will focus on a lack of continuity and the impossibility of change if an important part of the history of ideas continues to be ignored, and that is the movement to grant women the full measure of right as human beings. In many core courses, the great efforts of Gandhi and King are carefully studied and analyzed. But there is no enduring tradition of studying the works of women such as Anthony, Mott, and Stanton or of acknowledging that the women's movement should be considered with the same vigor. I will argue that core courses should pursue the theories and underpinnings of the women's movement and reflect on how they might change the lives of women around the world who have yet to be liberated.


Proposal Number: 251
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: The Political Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison
Core Text:
Toni Morrison's Beloved and her Nobel Prize Lecture; Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas
Abstract:
This paper will argue that a focus on both the aesthetic and political writings of Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison – taught in conjunction with their canonical fictional works – helps students understand the “reach toward the ineffable” Morrison describes in her Nobel Lecture in Literature. The pairing of these two writers may seem, at first, incongruous, for one is a descendant of American slaves, and the other an heir of the British intellectual aristocracy. Yet both Morrison and Woolf address the most disturbing problems of their own societies in language that is breathtaking in its beauty and power, and which can be made even more accessible to students through these authors’ respective “political” writings, many of which were derived from an oral product such as a speech, or a lecture. I will locate my remarks within the context of Oglethorpe University’s first-year Core curriculum, “Narratives of the Self,” and demonstrate that using political writings to contextualize aesthetically “difficult” literature helps students understand Morrison’s conviction that fiction is “unquestionably political and irrevocably beautiful at the same time.”


Proposal Number: 250
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: Reading Vision and Conversion in The Winter's Tale with the Confessions of St. Augustine
Core Text:
Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and Augustine's Confessions
Abstract:
Teaching the Shakespearean romances—texts commonly met with student disdain for their sheer “unbelievability”—often presents unique challenges in the classroom, and The Winter’s Tale is no exception. Leontes’s descent into jealous madness, in particular, can be quickly dismissed as baffling and its redemptive resolution written off as ultimately unconvincing. In order to address these interpretive problems, this paper will suggest placing Leontes’s fitful turning within the cultural context of early modern England"s obsession with conversion stories. Most specifically, I argue that Shakespeare’s play assumes much of its shape and effective power through its investment in spiritual transformation via Augustine’s persistent metaphorical concern for “right-seeing,” or the proper perception of the relationship between created and spiritual realities found in the Confessions. The Winter’s Tale theatricalizes Augustine’s navigation of vision-as-knowing and its related tensions between vision as perceiving bodily realities v. spiritual realities and vision as seeing with the eyes v. the inner eye of the mind in the wrong-seeing performed by Leontes.


Proposal Number: 249
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: Training for Paideia with Einsteins Relativity.
Core Text:
Einsteins Relativity.
Abstract:
The Greek concept of paideia suggests an education or instruction that enables someone to reach his or her full potential. Such an education does not instruct the student in a profession but rather inculcates ways of thinking that open access to many fields. Einstein's Relativity, which grabbles with challenges of space and time, trains the reader to consider not only the physical world but also the effect of an observer's perspective has on what is seen.


Proposal Number: 248
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: Architecture and Music: Coleridge's Dome in Air
Core Text:
Kubla Khan
Abstract:
Ever since John Livingston Lowes's The Road to Xanadu of 1927, Samuel Taylor Coleridge"s famous, even notorious, "Kubla Khan" has been the subject of seemingly endless discussion; but its central site has also inspired everything from a song by the Rock band Rush and the very name of another rock group, the estate in Orson Welles's Citizen Kane and the title of another movie, a boy"s name (in Hindi) and that of a resort in India, as well as of an ambitious online hypertext project, to say nothing of its usual connotation of a pleasant and beautiful place. What seems to have been neglected is the revival in the poem of the Boethian overview of ancient musical theory which died out in the late seventeenth century, according to John Hollander. What is the relationship between architectural planning or garden design and music, and does Coleridge seek to revive the notion of the "three kinds of music" at a time when cosmology was offering a very different picture of the universe?


Proposal Number: 242
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: King Lear and the State of Nature
Core Text:
King Lear
Abstract:
Shakespeare's _King Lear_ explores some of the main characters' attempts to reduce themselves to "essential man". But what is "essential man"? The play presents competing visions of human nature. I argue that Shakespeare anticipates the great 17th and 18th century debates about human nature and humans in the state of nature


Proposal Number: 194
Date: 2016-01-20
Paper Title: The Impotence of Dialectic in Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground
Core Text:
Notes from Underground and, briefly, Introduction to the Philosophy of History
Abstract:
In his short novel Notes from Underground, Dostoevsky gives the lie to the German Idealist obsession with the creative possibilities of dialectic. Through literary devices in the speeches of the central figure and the encounters between the Underground Man and the prostitute Liza, Dostoevsky displays the impotence of the dialectical process. This impotence is in sharp contrast to those who trust in a dialectical process for human progress (e.g. Hegel). This is not the central aim of the book, and so my purpose is to show where dialectic peeks out from between the curtains, not to force it to play the lead.


Proposal Number: 247
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Evolution of Digital Content Delivery in Higher Education
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Content delivery is changing to meet the new models of learning. The growth of competency-based platforms is causing a lot of introspection on how learning is quantified and what students need to be successful at each step in the process. Static documents are no longer enough for modern course design. Interactivity and dynamic elements are bare minimum. Adaptive activities and personalized delivery are the big buzzwords. Is that enough? What comes next?


Proposal Number: 245
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: what can we know? and how can we know?'
Core Text:
Hayy ibn Yaqzan from Ibn Tufayl
Abstract:
The 12th century allegoric-philosophical novel Hayy ibn Yaqzan, written by the muslim philosopher Ibn Tufayl from Moorish Spain, describes a journey of knowledge in a way we would nowadays characterize as a deeply psychological bildungsroman. This core text seems to have been a prototype for similar thematic core texts like Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Rousseau’s Émile and what to think of Nietzsche’s Thus spoke Zarathustra? Typical for this genre is that, in contrast with how education as a bio-political instrument tends to educate towards socialization in a pregiven world, this type of texts pleads for coming to knowledge isolated from society. In order to bring back a different kind of knowledge to the civilized world.


Proposal Number: 244
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Caught Between Tradition and Education: The Necessarily Political Problem of Seamus Heaney's Poetry
Core Text:
poems of Seamus Heaney
Abstract:
Two critics, Irene Gilesnan Nordin and Elmer Andrews, convincingly show that Seamus Heaney"s poetry does not suffer from a more biographical approach. That is to say, the poet"s public statements in interviews, the details of his personal life, and a detailed knowledge of Ireland"s sectarian/political conflicts do not detract from the poems themselves. However, in this paper, while gladly acknowledging their contributions to my understanding, I discuss several poems, including but not limited to "The Schoolbag," "Exposure," "Mid-Term Break," and "North," with an eye to the poet"s own perspective on wonder, an attempt to engage the transcendent, and myth-making, the descent into political things. Ultimately, Heaney shows a developed awareness of what it means to work within and beyond a tradition: one might say he understands the power of a certain kind of core text, grappling with how it stands as a foundation for education, yet holds attendant problems.


Proposal Number: 243
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Using Non-Representational Art as a Core Text
Core Text:
Mozart's Symphony no. 25 & Gao Shan Cha
Abstract:
This paper assesses the value of including non-representational art, in this case Mozart’s Symphony no. 25 and the Taiwanese oolong tea Gao Shan Cha, in an introductory humanities course which also features more traditional core texts such as Sophocles’ Antigone and Petrarch’s Sonnets. Non-verbal texts such as symphonies and teas can encourage students to develop skills of close reading and interpretation which are very different from those required to appreciate poetry and prose, challenging them to articulate sounds, smells, and inchoate emotional responses in words. An additional advantage of this approach is the possibility of pairing representational and non-representational texts in order to present students with a richer and fuller cultural context. Mozart’s symphony can be paired with the poetry of German Romanticism, and Gao Shan Cha enriches a discussion of visual and literary depictions of nature at the close of the Ming Dynasty.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Beyond Words: Non-Verbal Texts and the Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
The panel will explore the potential applications of texts which are not grounded primarily, or even partially, in the written or spoken word. Panelists will discuss how texts such as paintings, sculptures, films, oratorios, ballets, symphonies, buildings, or even teas, can be studied beside exclusively verbal texts like novels, essays, and poems. Questions addressed in this panel will include the following: What is the place of texts which do not rely primarily or even partially on the written or spoken word within the core curriculum? What are the challenges of teaching students to practice close reading in media they may find unfamiliar? How can non-verbal texts be used to enhance students exploration of more traditional core texts?


Proposal Number: 240
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Playing at Being Human in Shakespearean Tragedy and Comedy
Core Text:
A Midsummer Night's Dream; Hamlet; et al.
Abstract:
Literary critics influenced by Louise Cowan’s genre theory have at times maintained that comedy and tragedy differ in that the former (i.e. comedy) often reveals a greater awareness of its own fictive status. Occasionally this self-awareness is evident when a comic character breaks the fourth wall, addressing the audience directly (think: Puck). With Shakespeare’s plays as the test case, this paper will explore the use of the play within a play—a device that appears both in his tragic (e.g. Hamlet) and comic (e.g. A Midsummer Night’s Dream) works—in hopes of discovering how the genres of tragedy and comedy depict our human (humane?) dependence upon artifice and conventions. That is, where the comic imagination is more likely to employ the play-within-a-play device for hopeful ends (i.e. as artful means capable of moving participants into realities that foster human flourishing), the tragic uses the same device to strip away falsehoods and to face a hidden reality, but one that often leaves participants leaning over what Cowan has described as the “tragic abyss.”


Proposal Number: 239
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: The Same and the Other in Homer and Plato
Core Text:
Homer (Odyssey) and Plato (Sophist)
Abstract:
An argument could be made that poetry anticipates philosophy, that, for instance, Homer contains the seeds of what comes to fruition in Plato. This paper will consider the possibility that the five eidetic numbers of Plato"s Sophist are prefigured in Homer"s Odyssey, and that Odysseus is Homer"s imaginative construction of man, whose nature he presents as the interpenetration of being, rest, motion, the same, and the other.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Same and Other
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 236
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: The Principle of Liberty to All and Lincolns Constitution
Core Text:
Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, and Lincolns Speeches
Abstract:
Abraham Lincoln believed that the principle of “Liberty to all,” expressed in the Declaration of Independence, was an “apple of gold to us.” Much has been made of Lincoln’s assertion that the Constitution was made to serve this principle and not the reverse, often reflecting on Lincoln’s most constitutionally questionable actions during the Civil War. But how does Lincoln think the Constitution serves the principle of “Liberty to all” in ordinary circumstances? Lincoln asserts that American prosperity is a result of this principle but that it would not be possible without the US Constitution. Additionally, Lincoln maintains that while there is a correct interpretation of the Constitution, it never simply defends itself. The principle of “Liberty to all” turns out to be the driving force of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”


Proposal Number: 233
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: The divine allied to beasts: Asceticism and Animality in Walden
Core Text:
Walden
Abstract:
Immersing himself in both ancient texts and the natural world, Henry David Thoreau embodied a dynamic relation between tradition and renewal. This paper will explore Thoreau"s complicated meditation on human and animal nature in the "Higher Laws" chapter of Walden. Reflecting on the ancient theme of asceticism in his contemporary context, Thoreau troubles the binary oppositions of purity/impurity, human/animal, soul/body. This paper will analyze Thoreau"s simultaneous attraction to and repulsion from the wild, corporeal, and bestial.


Proposal Number: 232
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Bearing Witness at the Origins of Western History
Core Text:
Histories of Herodotus and Thucydides
Abstract:
At the origins of democracy in the West was the conspiracy story of the Athenian tyrannicides, manifested in paintings, inscriptions, coins, drinking songs, and oral accounts that celebrated the alleged heroes Harmodius and Aristogeiton. Neither Herodotus nor Thucydides bought into this lying narrative – they were two lone voices set against an entire culture attached to the self-serving account of early Athens. The tyrannicide narrative was fundamentally unacceptable to both historians, and brought out their most profound attempts to establish the ground rules for acceptable evidence. I will analyze Herodotus and Thucydides on the tyrannicides as an original example of defining what it means seriously to “bear witness” in history.


Proposal Number: 230
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Cotton Mather: Man of Science?The Puritan Tradition Transformed By the Enlightenment
Core Text:
Cotton Mather Wonders of the Invisible World
Abstract:
While Cotton Mather is usually reduced to the role of villain and religious bigot during the Salem Witch Trials, his full life filled with curious connections and peculiar views of the world which were neither historically Puritan nor precisely that of the Enlightenment Philisophes proves an interesting case study in continuity and change in the intellectual life of the New World and the Puritan worldview. My paper will briefly discuss Mathers larger context beyond the Witch Trials, his correspondence with the Royal Society and his writings on the natural world and sciences to explore new approaches to our view of Mather and the "American" Enlightenment.


Proposal Number: 229
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Happiness as a Moral End: On the Counsels of Prudence in Kants Groundwork and Jane Austens Persuasion.
Core Text:
Kant's Groundwork and Austen's Persuasion
Abstract:
Kant’s Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals has long been a staple in the Western tradition of core texts and courses. In its attempt to provide an absolute rational standard for morality, however, it can be a difficult text for students to engage. Kant argues that happiness cannot be an objective moral end for a rational being because it can only yield a “hypothetical” imperative, not a categorical one. Happiness is too slippery, too dependent on external circumstances. The essay will explore Kant’s moral philosophy by placing it in dialogue with Jane Austen’s development of prudence in the character of Anne Elliot in Persuasion. The novel provides both a context for understanding Kant’s view of the relationship of prudence to happiness and a challenge to his conclusion that “reason of itself and independently of all experience commands what ought to happen” (20). I will suggest that pairing the Groundwork with Austen’s decidedly Aristotelian view of prudence and happiness in Persuasion allows students to more fully appreciate Kant’s radical “cleansing” of the tradition of moral philosophy.


Proposal Number: 228
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Cosmopolitanism and the liberal regime in Montesquieus Spirit of the Laws
Core Text:
Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws
Abstract:
Montesquieu’s work is the locus classicus for the discussion of the commercial regime and even the liberal commercial empire; he justified the immense commercial republic, a “society of societies”, as the enlightened regime which could disseminate that enlightening spirit, as it spread commerce and helped to assimilate peoples throughout the globe. Montesquieuan liberty or the amelioration, softening, and dilution of religion; promotion of science & the arts; and finally commerce as a democratizing way of life are all features of this new regime. The new regime is founded on a political doctrine that encourages a certain kind of tolerant relativism which fosters commerce and is strengthened by it. His transvaluation of values, however, ultimately endangers liberal education by degrading taste and ethical or moral character: Montesquieu"s liberal solution therefore paves the way for the problems (to be discussed by professors Moran and Kremer on this panel) and citiques of Rousseau and Tolstoi.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Cosmopolitanism and Virtue
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will study the relationship between cosmopolitanism and virtue as discussed in core texts of philosophy and literature. Richard Buckwalter will discuss cosmopolitanism and the liberal regime in Montesquieus Spirit of the Laws. Mark Kremer will discuss cosmopolitanism in Rousseaus First Discourse and Julie. Jack Moran will discuss Tolstoys treatment of cosmopolitanism in Anna Karenina. The papers will examine the effects of cosmopolitanism on both civic virtue and intellectual virtue, and will reflect on whether or not cosmopolitanism is good or bad for humanity. The papers will look at the good and the bad in cosmopolitanism. Although it creates religious and national toleration, it also creates indifference to human virtue and happiness. Although the arts and natural sciences advance, there is a crisis of human meaning. All of the papers will thematically develop these conflicts. The relation of these topics to tradition and renewal/continuity and change in education is clear: as education becomes more technical and scientific, and society more global and unconnected to humane learning, there is greater difficulty in explaining the duties and ends of human life.


Proposal Number: 226
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Are You Judging Me? J.S. Mill on Interpersonal Criticism in a Liberal Society
Core Text:
John Stuart Mill's ON LIBERTY
Abstract:
A bedrock tenet of 21st-century liberal societies is that people ought to refrain from judging other people’s personal choices. Although “toleration” has been a pillar of liberalism since the 18th century, only in the late 20th century did restraint from “judgment” out loud become a central component of tolerance. What did John Stuart Mill, theorist of modern liberalism, say about the role and worth of judging out loud? Supporters and critics of liberalism both point to Mill’s argument in favor of the “harm principle” as a seminal justification for tolerance. However, both critics and supporters, alike, I argue, miss components of Mill’s argument that could serve as a springboard into fruitful debate over liberalism"s virtues and excesses.


Proposal Number: 225
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: David and Jonathan Through the Centuries
Core Text:
I and II Samuel (Hebrew Bible)
Abstract:
The relationship between Jonathan and David is a key component of the narrative account of the rise of the monarchy in ancient Israel in the books of I and II Samuel. The story of their perhaps unclassifiable love is readily relatable to Aristotle's philosophical consideration of friendship in the Nicomachean Ethics. What happens, though, when one pairs a careful reading of the biblical text with a contemporary staging of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's seventeenth-century opera, David et Jonathas? What of their relationship--and its politics--remains recognizable?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Community Tradition Under Pressure: Continuity and Change in the Liberal Arts in Times of Stress, Anomie, and Warfare
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 224
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Darwin and the Absence of Evolution
Core Text:
Origin of Species
Abstract:
Where is the work of Darwin NOT present? This paper argues that not only is Darwin's groundbreaking work ubiquitous, but its impact is increasingly expanding. Evidence is provided that Darwin's work demonstrates that a 150 year old work had and still has deep insights on human intervention and domestication. Little did Darwin realize that the unnatural, human selection processes found in synthetic biology. big data, and biotechnology are having a greater, more immediate impact on the stability of genetic variation than could have ever been predicted, largely because of the exponentiation of the role of human intervention on natural processes.


Proposal Number: 222
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Reading the Great Books
Core Text:
Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy
Abstract:
In my paper I investigate a reopening of the Platonic corpus by the German-Jewish scholar Leo Strauss. Scholars had long settled the lines of inquiry into Plato's famous doctrines, but Leo Strauss showed many people a new approach, which brought the excitement that comes with believing that an author (Plato) may have the truth. I hope to show how Strauss' esoteric readings of Plato made such excitement possible and to ask the question whether this excitement is warranted.


Proposal Number: 218
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Aristotle on the Problem of Scientific Knowledge
Core Text:
Posterior Analytics, Metaphysics
Abstract:
Aristotle provides a useful intellectual counterbalance to the prevailing, modern understanding of scientific knowledge that is sometimes marked by a tension—speaking on one hand of science being “settled” and on the other of it being “progressive.” Aristotle presents knowledge as a problem, articulating the requirements of what it would mean to know something scientifically, that is, with certainty. By examining key passages from the Posterior Analytics and the Metaphysics, I hope to show that Aristotle delicately suggests that we may never come to possess the certain knowledge we so desperately long for.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Speech and the Search for Truth in Classical Thought
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will address the various types of speeches ancient thinkers used in their pursuit of wisdom and truth: from sophistry to rhetoric to dialectics to demonstrative syllogisms. What does it mean to know what a thing is? What are our hopes for attaining truth, and are there multiple truths or paths to truth? Do some paths for example, sophistry make greater promises regarding wisdom than are humanly attainable? What is the role of rhetoric in presenting wisdom and wisdoms limits? Works of Plato, Aristotle, and Isocrates will be considered.


Proposal Number: 217
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: The Socratic Method--Creating Knowledge from Core Texts
Core Text:
Plato's Crito and Phaedo
Abstract:
Among the ways we can treat core texts, we can sort them as whether they repackage knowledge (a "study"), apply knowledge (a "subject") or create knowledge ( a "discipline"). I show how to use core texts as disciplinary texts. I use Plato"s Crito and Phaedo to illustrate how the Socratic elenctic/dialectical method selects accepted premises drawn from our common experiences, scrutinizes them for clarity and consistency, and then generates conclusions from them about morally pressing and existentially important issues of life (e.g., integrity and the soul).


Proposal Number: 216
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Tweet The Odyssey
Core Text:
The Odyssey
Abstract:
Students are immersed in smartphones and social media. I devised an assignment that combines that predilection with the core text, The Odyssey. I call it, "Tweet The Odyssey." In this paper, I will demonstrate how students were able to engage the composition process in a new yet familiar way while making clear that they understood the text. The paper will include examples of successful student work and how the assignment may be applied to other core texts.


Proposal Number: 215
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Plato the Realist
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
Plato is typically regarded as the idealist par example of idealist approaches to political philosophical and scientific thought. There is no question of the qualities of his credentials – he literally wrote the book on the subject – but repeated readings of Plato’s political work, and in particular Republic, reveal a realist bent as well, a willingness to regard politics-in-action as a morally relativistic and practical activity. My proposal is simple – to present Plato the realist, not as a dialectic to Plato the idealist, or as an alternative interpretation, but an idealist thinker forced to accept, albeit imperfectly, that politics are a realistic enterprise when they are, well, real.


Proposal Number: 214
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: "'Because it was he, because it was I': Montaigne's Essay on Friendship"
Core Text:
Montaigne's ESSAIS
Abstract:
"Of friendship" is one of the most widely read chapters of Montaigne's Essais, and also one of the most puzzling. There Montaigne, always one to emphasize the diversity, dissimilarity, and imperfection of created things, describes his friendship with La Boétie as "perfect," and as involving "a complete fusion" of their wills. Is this deliberate hyperbole, or the expression of a truly singular experience in his life?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 212
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Heidegger on Aristotle's RHETORIC
Core Text:
Aristotle, RHETORIC
Abstract:
In BEING AND TIME (and earlier), Heidegger relies heavily on Aristotle's RHETORIC for his analysis of "moods." He treats the RHETORIC as if it were a lost continent. He does so in apparent oblivion of the interest in the RHETORIC of Bacon and Hobbes and even Descartes. As a result he fails to grasp the depth of his debt to these intermediary core authors.This paper will explore the effects of Heidegger's oblivion of his own debt to the moderns in attempting to re-appropriate the RHETORIC.


Proposal Number: 211
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: I will be on the panel Teaching Sex and Gender in Core Texts at Samford.
Core Text:
Therigatha (Enlightenment Poetry of Early Buddhist Nuns)
Abstract:
“How to Teach Like a Humanist: Additional Core Texts by Non-Western Women.” This paper will explore the Therigatha, the enlightenment poetry of early Buddhist Nuns, and its contribution to the Core Texts curriculum, with specific attention to sex and gender in non-western contexts. The Therigatha, translated as “Verses of the Women Elders,” is a collection of poetry recounting the enlightenment experiences of early Buddhist nuns. Part of the Pali canon, the sacred scriptures of Theravada Buddhism, and dating back to 600 BCE ancient India, the Therigatha is the oldest known collection of women’s literature. Comprised of 73 poems, the Therigatha gives us a glimpse into the lives of early Buddhist women, their motivation(s) for following the Buddhist path, their struggles and accomplishments along the road to arahantship (enlightenment), and, perhaps most significantly, their evident success at attaining the spiritual fruits of the religion: enlightenment.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Teaching Sex and Gender in Core Texts at Samford.
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 209
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: What is the Good of Science? The Answer of Plutarchs Archimedes;
Core Text:
Plutarch's Life of Marcellus (the passage on Archimedes)
Abstract:
Plutarch’s discussion of Archimedes from his Life of Marcellus is considered with a view to what it reveals about the classical refusal to justify philosophy or science in terms of its practical or technological fruit. While Archimedes’ value to Hiero stems from the practical powers he wields, and Archimedes is to some extent proud of this power, he accords it distinctly secondary status. What explains Archimedes’ view? In revealing that the ancients were to some degree aware of the practical potential of natural philosophy, and of the political salience of this potential, this texts invites us to consider again the presuppositions and implications of justifying science in terms of technological fruit.


Proposal Number: 208
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: The Problem of Perspective in Machiavelli's Prince
Core Text:
The Prince by Machiavelli
Abstract:
In the Dedicatory Letter to The Prince, Machiavelli suggests that it is possible to move between the perspectives of the people and the prince. It is not uncommon to suggest that Machiavelli addresses both of these audiences. However, in this paper I will argue that he not only addresses these audiences but that he adopts their perspectives at various points in the text. I explore not only the content of his teaching to each audience but the manner in which he conveys it.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 207
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Why did Aristotle like democracy?
Core Text:
Aristotle's Politics
Abstract:
Did Aristotle like democracy because the regime allowed people to rule and be ruled in turn, thus promoting human flourishing by allowing the people to practice their virtue? Or did Aristotle like democracy because the regime provided stability as it subverted revolutions by accommodating the people’s claim to rule? To what extent is Aristotle’s preference for democracy based on ethical or pragmatic considerations? For example, was the - typically democratic - system of rotation of offices considered to be advantageous for providing as many people as possible with political experience, or for preventing the usurpation of power into the hands of the few? This paper arbitrates between the different kinds of considerations that Aristotle may have had for preferring to include democratic elements in a regime and, more generally, about the extent to which Aristotle"s approach to politics is an ethical one.


Proposal Number: 205
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Reading Core Texts through an Eco-critical Lens
Core Text:
The Tempest, Laudato Si'
Abstract:
The 2016 ACTC conference proposal asks fundamental questions about the place and status of core texts: What kind of leadership, what kind of cooperation, what kind of understanding of core texts will be required to rejuvenate and to reshape the next generation’s core text, liberal arts education?... What works in future programs are real classics that should be added, not out of fashion, but because future students would and should recur to them 50 or 75 years from now? I propose a paper that looks at core texts discussions within larger social issues, namely, "Reading Core Texts through an Eco-critical Lens." I frame the question as tying together campus-wide conversations about some of the most important issues of the day -- climate change and environmental degradation -- with classroom-based textual analysis. The problem is analogous to gender studies and the confrontation of racism in the tradition. On the one hand, social problems this big deserve specialized attention -- in African-American literature, Gender Studies, environmental ethics -- but on the other hand, analysis of these issues should not be confined to stand-alone courses. It is important to consider integrating analysis of assumptions about the natural world into many more courses -- including Shakespeare. There are some interesting contrasts and commonalities between Pope Francis’s recent encyclical Laudato Si" (as an example) and The Tempest. How do we tie our core texts into larger, essential social issues for our students?


Proposal Number: 204
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Can time be domesticated?
Core Text:
Eudora Welty, selected short essays and Augustine, Confessions
Abstract:
Can human beings be at home in time? In her short essay, “Some Notes on Time in Fiction,” Eudora Welty sharply distinguishes between our experiences of place and time: “Unlike time, place has surface, which will take the imprint of man--his hand, his foot, his mind; it can be tamed, domesticized. It has shape, size, boundaries; man can measure himself against them. It has atmosphere and temperature, change of light and show of season. […] But time is like the wind of the abstract. Beyond its all-pervasiveness, it has no quality that we apprehend but rate of speed, and our own acts and thoughts are said to give it that. Man can feel love for place; he is prone to regard time as something of an enemy.” This paper will consider this distinction and propose a few ways in which time, too, might be domesticated by exactly by our own “acts and thoughts.” In particular, I will consider whether seasonality belongs to place alone, as Welty suggests, to time and place taken together, or whether time, abstract as it is in itself, can be domesticated by means of liturgical or secular imagination.


Proposal Number: 178
Date: 2016-01-19
Paper Title: Limerence as Relevance: Sustaining Core Texts through Corps Textuality
Core Text:
Dante, Vita Nuova
Abstract:
Drawing initial insight from Dante’s Vita Nuova, I will suggest in this paper that sustainable core text courses must move beyond mere relevance (the oldest pedagogical trick in the book) to the multifaceted sphere of limerence (defined by David Brooks as an overarching urge to connect, to click, to transcend). I will attempt to illustrate, using examples from my own World Literature classes, how integrating archetype with embodied reader produces a “corps textuality” of shared story, cognitive surplus, and social capital. Here, the end result is a classroom that has fully overcome the “iconostasis” of supposedly dead classics, emerging instead amidst horizons of life-world application.


Proposal Number: 241
Date: 2016-01-18
Paper Title: Prudence and Intellect (Phronesis and Nous) in Aristotle
Core Text:
Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Much has been written about Aristotle"s comparison of the intellectual virtues of prudence and wisdom (at least three places in Book VI of the Ethics). Less has been written about prudence and intellect. What is the relation between these two virtues, and who would be the recipients worthy of being designated as exemplars of each?


Proposal Number: 202
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Pope Francis's Encyclical *Laudato Si'* as Core Text
Core Text:
Pope Francis, *Laudato Si': On Care For Our Common Home*
Abstract:
Pope Francis"s encyclical *Laudato Si"* defends some striking claims concerning the moral obligations of human beings to care for plants, animals, and ecosystems. My paper situates the Pope"s positions within the field of environmental ethics, comparing his ideas and arguments to those of prominent environmental ethicists. Mindful that the Pope addresses his encyclical to “every person living on earth,” I will try to show the interest and value of the text for readers who do not share his religious beliefs, making a case for its status as both a work of philosophy and a core text.


Proposal Number: 201
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: The simile spent: the narrative implosion of the self compared to itself (Odyssey 23.233).
Core Text:
THE ODYSSEY
Abstract:
MY TALK WILL READ THE SIMILE IN BOOK 23 OF THE ODYSSEY, WHEREIN PENELOPE, IN THE MOMENT JUST BEFORE HER “WHITE ARMS” WILL AT LAST EMBRACE ODYSSEUS, IS COMPARED TO HIM—A “SWIMMER SPENT” BOTH IN THE ABYSS, AND ON THE SHORE, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. IN THIS MOMENT OF SIMILITUDES ALL PRECARIOUSLY ALIGNED, THE SIMILE HAS BROUGHT NARRATIVE TIME TO A HALT. PENELOPE IS ODYSSEUS. WHO IS ODYSSEUS? HOW ARE WE ANY DIFFERENT FROM THEM IN THAT MOMENT? WHAT TRANSCENDENCE MIGHT BE POSSIBLE WHEN A “SIMILE” IMPOSSIBLY COMPARES SOMETHING TO ITS OPPOSITE AND ALSO TO ITSELF?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: SAME AND OTHER
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 200
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Clarissa Dalloway & Dark Matter: All the Energy we cannot See in Virginia Woolfs Mrs. Dalloway
Core Text:
Mrs. Dalloway
Abstract:
While it often feels like Virginia Woolf is giving us the whole “swing, tramp and trudge” of life in London on a June day, she most successfully achieves this by leaving out more of the action of her 1925 novel, Mrs. Dalloway than she puts in. Woolf celebrates the quotidian and establishes the emotional and psychological foundation of her novel through her title character, Clarissa Dalloway, by omitting any significant reaction to the actualities of war, the nature of her sexuality, or, to name only three examples, any response to the death of her sister Sylvia - an accident Clarissa witnesses - and that Woolf mentions only once in the novel. All the detail that is not in the novel offers significant character and narrative development that is equal, I will argue, to what is in the novel. Woolf gives us the galaxy of London through familiar imagery and plot, but we are unable to see many of the forces that are at work, though we can feel them nonetheless.


Proposal Number: 199
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: How to Keep Beauty in the Age of Instagram: A Case for the Lyric of Gerard Manley Hopkins as Core Text
Core Text:
G.M. Hopkins's Selected Poetry
Abstract:
In his poem, “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo,” Gerard Manley Hopkins poses the question: “Is there any … latch or catch or key to keep / Back beauty, keep it…from vanishing away?” His answer, to no surprise, does not suggest an upgrade to one’s storage plan on the iCloud; rather, Hopkins challenges the reader to respond to beauty by resisting the urge to capture it. In a time when archiving images—beautiful or otherwise— has never been easier, Hopkins’s appeal to “give beauty back…to God” deserves our consideration. This paper will focus on Hopkins’s encounters with and response to beauty and will propose that the aesthetic gleaned from his corpus is one worth cultivating in today’s students.


Proposal Number: 198
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Aquinas On the Rule of Philosophers and Kings
Core Text:
Thomas Aquinas's On Kingship; Aristotle's Politics
Abstract:
This paper will argue that Aquinas's On Kingship contains a commentary on Aristotle"s Politics. This discourse, possibly Aquinas's first attempt at commentary on the ethical or political works of Aristotle, expands upon Aristotle's work by reconsidering and even sometimes undermining Aristotle's use of animal and physical examples to establish the political nature of the human being. Thus in this text Aquinas not only reveals to us his own political thought but also exemplifies the process of learning from the complexity of Aristotle"s treatise.


Proposal Number: 197
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and the Acquisition of Moral Character
Core Text:
Several short works by Leibniz
Abstract:
Leibniz was deeply engaged with his contemporaries and with the history of both Western and Chinese thought. Nonetheless, it is not immediately clear how these interlocutors manifest themselves in his own reflections on virtuous action. The aim of this paper is to explicate to what degree Leibniz’s notion of virtuous action is dependent on a doctrine of moral character formed through education and engagement with one’s contemporaries and the past. I will take my bearings from Leibniz’s remarks in “A New Method for Learning and Teaching of Jurisprudence” and suggest that any doctrine of perfectionism and hedonism, which is the focus of most scholars that write on Leibniz’s moral philosophy, must include these elements.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 196
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: From Zombies to doing mathematics
Core Text:
When Zombies attack!: Mathematical modeling of an outbreak of Zombie infection
Abstract:
Mathematical biology has evolved as one of popular mathematics research areas. This text by Robert Smith changed some of the perceptions on what "infectious diseases" we can model while still learning mathematics. In this talk, we will discuss the implications of this model for training undergraduates as researchers.


Proposal Number: 193
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: The Purpose of a College Education: Russell Kirks Decadence and Renewal in Higher Education
Core Text:
Decadence and Renewal in Higher Education- Russell Kirk
Abstract:
Russell Kirk’s Decadence and Renewal in Higher Education, published in 1978, chronicled the the expansion of colleges and universities in the preceding decades and critiqued the loss of mission and academic standards that often accompanied this growth. The book also provided a series of proposals for “renewal” in higher education. Arguing against the cafeteria-style curriculum and the relativism often embedded within it, Kirk argued that “formal education necessarily consists, mostly, of imparting a body of ascertained knowledge and a body of received opinions.” My paper will examine Kirk’s arguments about the purpose of higher education and the role of core texts.


Proposal Number: 191
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Nature and art in Emma
Core Text:
Emma
Abstract:
In honor of the bicentennial anniversary of the publication of Austen’s Emma, I would like to reflect on the novel’s presentation of the tension between nature and art. One way the narrator hints all along that Emma is in error is by showing her – and other characters such as the Eltons who share in this particular weakness – as a wielder of the kind of art which obfuscates nature. This art is devious, but Austen’s design suggests that nature, when attended to, never leads one astray. Austen adheres to this Johnsonian principle faithfully in Emma through the words and deeds of the Knightley brothers.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Same & Other
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will consider the philosophical theme of Same & Other in literary and philosophical works.


Proposal Number: 189
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Reading and Learning in the Age of the Screen: Problems and Prospects
Core Text:
Text and University - Ivan Illich
Abstract:
From professional periodicals to popular media articles, educators have been wondering aloud why students aren"t reading course materials and texts, and sharing strategies for counteracting this lack of engagement. Twenty years ago, Ivan Illich warned about this significant change in students" relation to written texts by undertaking an etiology of reading and historical analysis of the transformation of the book, the page, from an acoustical instrument to an optical instrument of learning. The material-technological realization of this change occurred within the space of a single generation (1130 – 1200). We are likely in the midst of a similar and rapid transformational period where our identity and relation to the world, once defined by the metaphor of the written page, is disappearing for a new identity and social matrix defined by the screen. The implications of this change – its problems for the core text syllabus and pedagogy – as well as prospects for educational renewal and reform, are sketched.


Proposal Number: 188
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: MacIntyre, Burke and Two Concepts of Tradition
Core Text:
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
Abstract:
In After Virtue Alasdair MacIntyre observes that Edmund Burke posits a false dichotomy between reason/transformation on the one hand, and custom/stability on the other. Burke famously emphasizes the importance of preserving the historical mores of society against the onslaught of rationalistic metaphysics, but MacIntyre contends that Burke’s argument is premised on a misunderstanding of the dialectic which governs the relationship between reason and traditional norms. Indeed, MacIntyre suggests that when rationality and conflict disappear from a society’s traditions, they are either dead or on their way to dying. In this essay I will use MacIntyre’s reflections as a departure point for the further examination of Burke’s concept of tradition in Reflections on the Revolution in France, as well as an exploration of the difference between what I propose to call, again following MacIntyre, living and dead traditions.


Proposal Number: 187
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: The Road to Character Continues to Run Through Middlemarch
Core Text:
George Eliot's Middlemarch
Abstract:
Liberal arts education is directed to the student's higher self and not just skill training and as Eliot writes in Middlemarch, "character is not cut in marble - it is not something solid and inalterable. It is something living and changing, and may become diseased as our bodies do." With Mark Brooks" recent book, this paper discusses how literature generally, and Middlemarch specifically, continues to be relevant in developing character and yet changes in our students' reading habits, and accompanying pedagogical changes, has made this connection more tenuous on both sides. Can we trust our students to read? Can they trust us to make reading worthwhile?


Proposal Number: 186
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Eros and Dionysus in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice
Core Text:
Death in Venice and Phaedrus
Abstract:
What does Death in Venice (1912) suggest about the relation of modern thought to tradition? I will argue that Mann's novella suggests that certain aspects of human life are obscured by the way we currently conceive human beings (i.e., as subjects in an objective world), and that the stories of gods, like Eros and Dionysus, are actually closer to human experience and better illuminate certain aspects of human existence. Through close readings of specific passages in the novella, I will argue that Mann dramatizes the failure of a modern thinker to recognize and understand what is going on in his own life precisely because he's lost a classical sense of the divine. The story shows how we can return to and recover our classical heritage in order to better understand human life as we actually experience it.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Returns to Tradition: Love and Friendship in Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
We propose a panel on the theme, Returns to Tradition. While modern literature is commonly seen as breaking with tradition in the pursuit of innovation, we argue that modern thought is equally characterized by a return to tradition, and an attempt to recover the richness of traditional language, in response to the perceived limitations and failures of contemporary forms of thought. Kathleen Tierney will discuss how this kind of return can be effected in the core-text classroom: through close reading of specific passages on eros, evil and friendship in St. Augustine's Confessions, students find a surprising reflection on their own lives and the dark struggle of the moral life. Julie Park will discuss how this return to tradition structures Thomas Mann's novella Death in Venice: through close readings of specific passages in the novella, she will argue that Mann dramatizes the failure of a modern thinker to recognize and understand what is going on in his own life, precisely because he has lost a classical sense of the divine. We would need the participation of a third or fourth panelist who is working on a different version of the same kind of return to tradition in a classical or modern story of love and/or friendship. The panel as a whole will argue that the common opposition of tradition and modernity is too simple to do justice to the complex interweaving of tradition and innovation in modern thought.


Proposal Number: 185
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Socratic Love of Truth
Core Text:
Plato, Euthphro, Phaedo
Abstract:
Passages from Plato's Euthyphro and Phaedo dialogues affirm the role love of truth plays in a well-lived life. Euthyphro explicitly agrees to continue the enquiry, rather than accept his definition on authority, and Socrates tells Crito that false words "infect the soul with evil." My paper examines how the love of truth and moral virtue are inseparable from proper philosophical enquiry.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 184
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: On Two Socratic Questions
Core Text:
Plato's Euthyphro
Abstract:
Though Socrates is famous for posing the question, “What is x?,” he often prefaces it with a less famous, but more fundamental question, “Is x something?” Posed of death in the Phaedo and of thought’s object in the Parmenides, this question always receives an affirmative answer, no matter how questionable such an affirmation turns out to be in the course of the dialogue. I argue that in the Euthyphro Plato shows us that this question must receive an affirmative answer simply because it can be posed. By pushing Euthyphro from his unorthodox views back into the orthodox fear that gave rise to them, Socrates considers to what extent his whole enterprise lies latent in the most orthodox position—to what extent the fear of God presupposes and contains within it the Socratic “something.”


Proposal Number: 182
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Evil and Friendship in Augustines Confessions
Core Text:
Augustine’s Confessions
Abstract:
The philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch argues that modern ethics, emphasizing choice and decision making, ignores the complexity of the inner life and in doing so fails to recognize and to respond effectively to evil. She retrieves the Platonic concept of eros to better understand the darkness of our moral struggle. Keeping Murdoch’s claim in mind, Augustine’s Confessions challenges the inadequacy of contemporary moral thinking, shown most clearly through his reflection on evil and friendship. As Augustine shares intimate passages on stealing pears, Alypius at the games, and the experience of tears and relief in the garden, close reading reveals the complex, dark layers of human experience over a lifetime and how the longing to connect can lead either toward salvation or destruction.


Proposal Number: 181
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: The Absurd Astronomy of Lucretius: A Sympathetic Approach to De Rerum Natura
Core Text:
Lucretius, De Rerum Natura
Abstract:
Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura introduces both the Roman and Renaissance worlds to the Epicurean theory of atoms, and to this date remains a staple of the Western canon, esteemed for its poetry as much as for its scientific insights. And yet, the ‘science’ presented by Lucretius is questionable, at best, and in some cases simply absurd - even by the standards of the late Roman Republic. How, then, could Lucretius be relevant to modern science or the contemporary scientist? This paper examines the general problem of reading ancient scientific texts and the particular case of Astronomy as presented by Lucretius. I suggest that we must keep in mind that science is a mode of inquiry and that the subject of its inquiry is the totality of Being.


Proposal Number: 180
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Politics as a Vocation: Statesmanship as Managing Means, Ends, and Value-Conflict
Core Text:
Max Weber, Politics as a Vocation
Abstract:
Weber’s “Politics as a Vocation,” given at the very end of his life to a group of activist students, offers the closest we have to a positive ethical statement by the great sociologist. At the center of his analysis are two ideal-types of decision-making: The ethics of absolute ends and of responsibility. True political leaders, according to Weber, must have a passion for an ideal, a sense of responsibility for their actions’ consequences, and a sense of balance. A capstone seminar for political science majors used this framework to examine the nature of statesmanship, requiring term papers which applied it to individual cases. This paper will discuss the tensions within Weber’s framework, the difficulty of teaching it to students, and the real insights gained about statesmanship as a result of the students interpreting the theory in examples ranging from Gandhi to Nixon to Franklin Roosevelt.


Proposal Number: 179
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Playing Games with Core Texts
Core Text:
Monet, Impression Sunrise and Van Gogh, The Night Cafe
Abstract:
Goethe warned of giving children great poetry lest they turn it into an object of play, thereby devaluing it. Yet one of the more interesting trends in higher education is the gamification of learning that one finds, for instance, in the Reacting to the Past (RTTP) historical simulations. In this paper I draw on insights from Johan Huizinga and Walter Benjamin to evaluate my students’ and my own reactions to “playing” with the art of Paris from 1888 and 1889 in one of the RTTP games and to weigh both the risks and the benefits of the playing games with iconic works by artists such as Monet and Van Gogh.


Proposal Number: 174
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Toni Morrisons Beloved: A Perfectly Teachable Narrative in an Imperfect Canon
Core Text:
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Abstract:
This paper uses experiential evidence from the classroom as well as recent scholarship on Morrison’s neo-slave narrative Beloved to contextualize and defend its placement at the end of a two-semester curricular list of master narratives authored by white men. While focusing on Morrison’s more universal themes of self-seeking in the midst of trauma, my project traces the ways in which the novel’s characterizations and structural play expand upon notions the self and conflict explored in earlier texts within the curriculum (Homer’s The Odyssey, Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground). Ultimately, my essay argues that because Morrison’s novel offers a postmodern critique of the gendered and racialized limits of “History” as narrative, it is a valuable conclusive text to end a year of study on “Narratives of the Self” comprised of other works whose narrative values and more limited conceptualizations of freedom and oppression tend to be at odds with many twenty-first-century students.


Proposal Number: 173
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: African Women Writers in America: Introducing Adichie and Bulawayo into the Core
Core Text:
Chimamanda Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck, and NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names
Abstract:
This year's ACTC conference description asks, "What works in future programs are real classics that should be added, not out of fashion, but because future students would and should recur to them 50 or 75 years from now?" Two such recent works, we believe, are Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie's story collection The Thing Around Your Neck (though her novels would serve as well) and Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo's debut novel We Need New Names. By telling the stories of Africans who come to America, these texts address questions fundamental to any core program -- i.e. what is home? what is culture? how do individuals, families, and communities change through immigration? Beyond that, these African women writers intentionally attempt to challenge the world's stereotypical and limited understandings of African realities -- what Adichie refers to as the "single story" about Africa – and offer sharp insights and critiques into questions of gender, power, and equality on both continents in language that is fresh, poetic, and engaging for our students.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Bringing Africana Women Writers Into the Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This year's ACTC conference description on the theme "Tradition and Renewal, Continuity and Change" draws attention to the diversification of core texts over the last 25 years, including texts by African-American writers such as Douglass, DuBois, King, and Morrison. This panel will address how we might bring contemporary Africana (diasporic) women writers from the margins into the center of the core, and thus to the center of what our students consider to be core texts. Two such writers are Chimamanda Adichie (Nigeria) and NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), but other contemporary Africana women writers might be considered as well: Gwendolyn Brooks, Audre Lorde, Paula Marshall, Lorraine Hansberry, Ntozake Shange, Edwidge Dandicat, Yvonne Vera, to name a few. What joys and challenges occur when we introduce Africana women's writing into a core program? How might Africana women's texts be appreciated both in their own right and also in conversation with other core texts? How might we see and teach other core texts differently when the literary voices of Africana women are part of the core?


Proposal Number: 168
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Friendship and Merit versus Aristocratic Convention in Jane Austens Persuasion
Core Text:
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Abstract:
In Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Lady Russell alone appreciates the worth of the virtuous and intelligent Anne Elliot. Despite Anne and Lady Russell’s close friendship, Lady Russell’s tastes, ideas, and opinions about people diverge in an essential way from Anne’s because of Lady Russell’s aristocratic sentiments. Anne loves the peace and beauty of the countryside, Lady Russell prefers the charms of refined society in Bath; Anne desires a marriage of genuine feeling and mutual friendship, Lady Russell is more concerned that Anne be matched with someone of suitable rank and respectable means; Anne loves the energetic and sincere Captain Wentworth, Lady Russell mistakes his bold self-confidence for dangerous impulsiveness, and idealizes the flawless manners and perfect equanimity of Mr. Elliot. Yet, in the end, Lady Russell’s love for Anne and sincere concern for her well-being lead Lady Russell to fundamentally alter her opinions, abandoning her preferences for custom in favor of natural goodness: friendship and merit supersede aristocratic convention.


Proposal Number: 166
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Kant on Freedom and Tradition
Core Text:
Kant’s Critique of Judgment
Abstract:
Kant’s notion of autonomy is famously central to his practical philosophy, where it is something predicated of the will of a moral agent: an agent is autonomous when he chooses to act based on a law that is self-imposed; heteronomous when his will is determined by external laws, incentives, or habits. The problem that lurks throughout Kant’s practical writings has to do with the relation between autonomy and tradition: if an individual’s moral disposition has been formed by his exposure to a particular religion or any other particular set of doctrines, does this mean that he is inescapably doomed to heteronomy? In some of Kant’s writings, it seems that this is indeed the case: in his essay, “What is Enlightenment?”, for instance, Kant describes tradition as the “ball and chain” keeping individuals from moral and intellectual freedom. In this paper I will explore the more nuanced treatment of the relation between autonomy and tradition found in Kant’s third critique, the Critique of Judgment, where Kant attempts to reconcile his insistence that “taste” be autonomous with his acknowledgment of the importance of the “models” provided by the texts of our tradition.


Proposal Number: 165
Date: 2016-01-15
Paper Title: Women and the Core: Women as Readers of Plato's Republic V
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
When we consider the place of women in the core, it is important to look at how women have already interacted with core texts in different centuries. Scholars from many different times and places have found Socrates’ proposals for women’s rule and education in Republic V to be laughable or even repugnant, to the point of conscious mistranslation (H. Gauss) or even a refusal to translate the book at all (Leonardo Bruni). On the other hand, individual women have taken this passage as occasion to fall in love with Plato’s work as a whole (e.g. Adela Adams, Julia Ward Howe, the anonymous Roman lady to whom Diogenes Laertius addresses his Lives of the Eminent Philosophers). I will argue that Socrates’ proposals for women in the Republic have two sides: a consideration of the problems inherent in doing justice to women in the polis, and an appeal to women themselves as readers, to take up Socratic virtue. Socrates admits that his plan for both sexes to exercise naked together is problematic, but he has a solution: women will be clothed not in robes, but in excellence (457a). The history of the Republic’s readership shows that more than a few women have been moved by Socrates’ appeal.


Proposal Number: 161
Date: 2016-01-13
Paper Title: Reading the Federalist Papers in a Great Books Program
Core Text:
Federalist #10
Abstract:
This paper examines Federalist #10 by highlighting some of the possible sources and influences on Madison's argument. Of particular interest is the influence of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, rather than the commonly cited Essays of David Hume. In addition to these Scottish sources, we will examine a few of the classic texts in which a rough version of the argument appears, including works by Aristotle and Plutarch. In sum, we'll examine how Federalist #10 draws upon a long tradition of Core Texts.


Proposal Number: 159
Date: 2016-01-13
Paper Title: Aeschyluss The Oresteia: Exploring Current Socio-political Themes Through the Ancient Trilogy
Core Text:
The Oresteia by Aeschylus
Abstract:
Aeschylus’s The Oresteia is the only extant trilogy from the Festival Dionysus, and while so much has been lost from ancient Greek theatre, the written text of the three plays remains powerful. This paper will explore how Aeschylus’s wrestling with fears that defy logic and the conflict between our freedom and our fate resonates with twenty-first century students. The Oresteia is arguably a rite of passage from savagery to civilization: Agamemnon is about a king cut off from his society, The Libation Bearers is about a son on the cusp of adulthood, and The Eumenides is about a rightful ruler returning to a kingdom evolving into a democracy. Aeschylus’s moving from the blood vendetta of the tribe to social justice helps students understand not only American cultural roots but current world social and political structures.


Proposal Number: 158
Date: 2016-01-13
Paper Title: Development of a New Good in Aristotle's Ethics
Core Text:
Nichomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Aristotle concerns himself with the practical application of what is good in Nichomachean Ethics, and is careful to immediately distance himself from Plato’s transcendental conception of The Good early on, in Book I. In its stead, he posits eudaimonia as the ultimate human end, which differs significantly from Plato’s Good in its innate human character and practical applicability and attainability. The entire Ethics rides on this conceptual reassessment, Aristotle’s humanizing of the good. To understand the fundamental basis for his ethics, we must therefore investigate Aristotle’s grounds for replacing Platonic Good in order to found a new human science, both in Book I and throughout the development of eudaimonia in the text.


Proposal Number: 157
Date: 2016-01-13
Paper Title: Showing the Other sides to Tradition: tracing the evolution of consciousness through traditional and contemporary texts
Core Text:
La tragédie du roi Christophe, The Tragedy of King Christopher, Aimé Césaire
Abstract:
Jacques Derrida declared in his essay “Acts of Literature”, “Literature can be the most interesting thing in the world, more interesting than the world”. In the context of guiding students through close readings of works both ancient and less so, Derrida’s words can be taken in the sense of uncovering the potential world embedded in literature by authors in their time. Combining traditional and contemporary texts communicates multiple ways of knowing, of constructing the self, and of apprehending our world. In this spirit, exploring Aimé Césaire’s La tragédie du roi Christophe alongside texts from the Age of the Enlightenment opens students to the histories, told and untold, dominant and submerged. In tracing historical and philosophical discourses, students learn to appreciate the traces of resistance and the renewals borne out of instances of challenge as well as recognize patterns of history, of human emotions, ancient and current, thereby empowering the student to make sense of and navigate these times.


Proposal Number: 156
Date: 2016-01-13
Paper Title: Preserving a space for thoughtfulness or excavating the intellectual things that exist? - core texts as an applied liberal arts bridge between curriculum and intellectual articulation in a London secondary school.
Core Text:
The most likely core text focus to evidence the presentation will be those that articulate leading themes in either theology or philosophy, such as the work of Augustine on the city of god or Plato and the Old and New Testament on the idea of the cave.
Abstract:
The paper assesses the possibility of developing liberal arts pedagogy and content through integrating core texts and their evidenced discussion and interrogation by London school students. The evidence will hopefully be filmed but may also include written summaries of student work in response to core texts. The paper will ask (a) how can core texts for school students create a stronger evidence base of the impact of ‘applied liberal arts’? And (b) what are the implications of the evidence for the conceptualisation and articulation of core texts and the teaching situation they embody?


Proposal Number: 154
Date: 2016-01-13
Paper Title: Plutarch v. Shakespeare: The Case of Coriolanus
Core Text:
Plutarch's Life of Coriolanus; Shakespeare's Tragedy of Coriollanus
Abstract:
An examination of Shakespeare's poetic appropriation of Plutarch, this paper will discuss Coriolanus' apparent hostility to democracy.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Shakespeare On the Nature and Problems of Democracy
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 153
Date: 2016-01-13
Paper Title: Bridging the Gap: Connecting Core Texts to Student Lives
Core Text:
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Abstract:
One of the challenges of any First Year Seminar Program is the introduction to our students of classical texts that differ in both style and content from their previous reading experiences. Helping them see the relevance of these texts to their liberal arts educations requires a bridge between their world (concerned primarily with social media, pop culture and career aspirations) and the "high country of the mind." I am interested in how canonical texts such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - which students find difficult because of its style, vocabulary and 19th-century ideas and assumptions - can be connected to contemporary issues and experiences. My experiments along these lines in my annual Myth and Technology First Year Seminar are part of a pedagogical strategy designed to connect core texts with issues of immediate and vital interest to new students.


Proposal Number: 220
Date: 2016-01-06
Paper Title: Postmodernity, Ideology and Rationality in the Communist Manifesto
Core Text:
Communist Manifesto
Abstract:
To what ends would we put the study of Marxist classics such as the Communist Manifesto? If Marxism represents a culmination of Enlightenment social thought, the study of Marxism is relevant to the question of the exhaustion of enlightenment ideals, particularly the question of rationality in social thought. With this in mind I turn to the question of the rationality of Marxism itself and the case for it presented in the Communist Manifesto, particularly in the light of theory of ideology and its apparent relativism.


Proposal Number: 213
Date: 2016-01-05
Paper Title: Two Accounts of Truth in Plato's Timaeus
Core Text:
Plato, Timaeus
Abstract:
Plato"s Timaeus describes two kinds of truth, one linked to being, the other to becoming. This account is notable, not simply because it seems to disagree with Timaeus"s statements elsewhere (and with, e.g., the Republic), but also because of its broader purpose: Timaeus wants to give a mathematical account of the cosmos that simultaneously leaves room for prudence and virtue. Some people attempt to do the same today by separating the realm of human affairs from the realm of nature, in particular from the physical and mathematical sciences. Timaeus (and Socrates) are likely aware of this way of dividing matters, but they reject it for the distinction between being and becoming--why?


Proposal Number: 203
Date: 2016-01-02
Paper Title: Teaching Holocaust Literature to Students Who Know No Jews
Core Text:
Diary of Anne Frank, Night (Wiesel), Survival in Auschwitz (Levi)
Abstract:
In this paper, I will discuss the challenges and rewards of teaching Holocaust literature to students who have had little to no exposure to Judaism--either as a religion or as an ethnicity. Some students take Literature of the Holocaust to satisfy their general education requirement in literature, but they have no idea what they are getting into. Many of these students are profoundly moved by what they read and the films we watch; others are not. I will describe the strategies that seem to work best to draw disinterested students in, and the ones that have not worked at all.


Proposal Number: 192
Date: 2016-01-01
Paper Title: End of the Age: Threats of Eschatological Judgment in the Re-Forming of Community
Core Text:
Gospel According to Matthew
Abstract:
Eschatological narratives are cautionary tales that warn against complacency in light of impending doom, urging the reader to heighten awareness and preparation while otherwise largely leaving basic assumptions about meaningful life unchallenged. The Gospel According to Matthew utilizes eschatological language where mixed behavior is assumed and eschatological disaster is reserved for those who fail to enact the positive traits, rather than for those who are defined negatively as threats to the community from the outside. Space is thereby created that forces the community to discern how best to live to meet the goals, rather than avoid negative boundaries, of the community.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Community Tradition Under Pressure: Continuity and Change in the Liberal Arts in Times of Stress, Anomie, and Warfare.
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 190
Date: 2016-01-01
Paper Title: The Philosophy of Ghosts and Witches
Core Text:
Transcripts of the Salem Witch Trials
Abstract:
First-year college students are not always comfortable sharing their beliefs about God and religion. But I have found that they love talking about ghosts and witches! This paper will describe how I use a selection from the Transcripts of the Salem Witch Trials to introduce philosophical debates about God and religion near the beginning of a core text course. This lesson in my course stresses the value of (1) sharing personal stories in the classroom, (2) considering the views of different cultures sympathetically, and (3) expressing reasoned disagreement with others.


Proposal Number: 177
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Aquinas's "Unities of Order" as Corrective of Aristotle's Political Mereology
Core Text:
Aristotle's Politics, Aquinas's Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
I will focus on the use that Aristotle makes of an organic analogy of parts and wholes when arguing for the priority of the city to the family in Book One, Chapter Two of the Politics. Thomas Aquinas critiques or retools Aristotle"s presentation of the political parts and wholes in his Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics. The analogy later turns up in that seminal social encyclical of Leo XIII"s, Rerum Novarum (1891). Leo follows Aquinas"s revision although this has not been noticed by all readers of the encyclical. The relationship of the political parts and wholes is of crucial significance in differentiating various political ideologies, and what can seem at first to be a subtle or small difference can have radical results in political theory. It behooves us to continually return to Aquinas"s concept of unities of order as a corrective of radical distortions towards totalitarianism at one extreme or anarchism at the other.


Proposal Number: 176
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Science and Humanities: Determinism, Free Will and Ethics in Scenes from Russian and American Literature
Core Text:
Kant, "Groundwork for a Metaphysics of Morals"; Tolstoy, "Death of Ivan Ilyich"; Chekhov's stories; Richard Powers, Generosity; Paolo Baciagalupi, Wind-Up Girl
Abstract:
Teaching a core course on genetics, ethics, and aesthetics forces one to confront the question of whether actions are a result of nature or nurture. From a Kantian perspective, the question displaces moral discussion by setting up a false dichotomy between two forms of determinism (biological and social). From the point of view of some virtue ethicists, it dissolves moral communities in the universally human. A brief comparison of scenes in which Russian and American authors depict individual choice as morally significant in the face of genetic and social constraints reveals that sustained interaction between humanistic and scientific inquiry forces each to examine their basic assumptions and strengthens the liberal arts as preparation for life and citizenship.


Proposal Number: 175
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Core Texts Behind the Walls
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Teaching inside the correctional institution creates an unusual environment for engaging primary texts. Inmates typically have no access to electronic media and must confine their learning to text-based approaches. Some are serving long sentences with long periods of time to engage in careful study of texts. In this context, classes based on the reading and discussion of primary texts in a seminar format in which the radical model of the discussion seminar is used as the primary methodology gives these students a new empowerment to engage in their own education. It also creates a new kind of community of learning. This panel will present descriptions of the experience of teaching core texts in literature, science, music, and theology in this context, and the transformative experience this kind of teaching can create.


Proposal Number: 170
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Tradition and Renewal: What Makes a Liberal Arts Education Timeless?
Core Text:
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Jane Austen's Emma
Abstract:
As this conference"s theme indicates, liberal arts programs in our time face challenges in a variety of areas, not least in realizing the need to define precisely what constitutes a liberal arts education. Particularly, in virtue of what are works considered timeless, and how can we use that timelessness to shape curriculum? By examining the diverse (in discipline) works of Aristotle and Austen, my paper argues the unifying principle of a good, core education is that it incisively touches on specific and key aspects of the human condition. Then, I argue that the principle(s) here articulated can be used to structure curriculum.


Proposal Number: 169
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Socratic Irony and Criticism of Post-Periclean Athens
Core Text:
Xenophon's Memorabilia
Abstract:
At the center of the Memorabilia, Xenophon presents a series of dialogues between Socrates and actual or aspiring leaders of Athens. The final three are with Pericles" son Pericles, Glaucon, and Charmides. In each of these dialogues, Socrates uses irony to accomplish several objectives. First, he inspires eagerness to engage in discussion; second, for the most part without any direct criticism of his interlocutors or the Athenians, he reveals the nature of their flaws; and third, he causes his interlocutors to become receptive to his teaching.


Proposal Number: 160
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Ears Attentive to Wisdom: Plutarch's Philosophy of Listening in Peri tou akouein
Core Text:
Plutarch, "On Listening to Lectures"
Abstract:
There seems to be an inverse variation between technology and interpersonal communication, for as we avail ourselves more to Facebook, Tumblr, iPhones, iPods or what-have-you, we seem to suffer a proportionate loss in our ability to interact with each other. Technology unquestionably can be a great benefit to man, but it can become terribly dehumanizing. Although Plutarch did not live in the Information Age, he understood well enough the practical moral benefits of interpersonal exchange. Knowing how to speak well and how to listen well provide a foundation for living well. The purpose of this paper will be to examine Plutarch"s thoughts on art of proper listening as both (a) a contribution to the philosophical study of intellectual virtue and (b) an important practical lesson from which teachers and students today can benefit.


Proposal Number: 151
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Aristotle, Oedipus, and Anger
Core Text:
Nicomachean Ethics and Oedipus Tyrannus (Rex)
Abstract:
This paper uses Aristotle's views on anger from the Nicomachean Ethics, and the virtuous and vicious states associated with it, to evaluate Oedipus as he is portrayed in Sophocles's Oedipus Tyrannus (Rex). Are Oedipus's intense and rapid crescendos and decrescendos in anger excessive? For even the expression of intense anger does not necessarily mean that that anger is excessive, if the person"s circumstances warrant it. If Oedipus's expressions of anger are deemed excessive and, further, rise to the level of a state, what vicious state would best characterize his nature?


Proposal Number: 150
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: The Mulan Ballad - Reading Through Assumptions
Core Text:
The Ballad of Mulan
Abstract:
Thanks to the world of Disney, Mulan is a figure well known in our days. Reading the Mulan ballad from the 6th century (in their 12th century versions) closely exposes the differences between the original text and the assumptions we bring with us when approaching it for the first time. The text and its modern day adaptions are thus a great opportunity to practice close reading and to discuss the value of working through a difficult text and overcoming our assumptions.


Proposal Number: 148
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Logic: Why Analytic, Synthetic, or Sufficient Reason Isnt Enough
Core Text:
Aristotle, "Prior Analytics," Boole, George, "Investigation of the Laws of Thought," Meinong, Alexius, "On Objects," Veach, Henry, "Two Logics"
Abstract:
The inspiration for this paper was Judith Grabiner's plenary presentation at last April's ACTC conference (2015, Plymouth, MA) entitled "Space: Where Sufficient Reason isn't enough." Despite the very clever title, what Grabiner's presentation was basically about was the intellectual futility of trying to give a coherent, convincing, and conclusive answer to the question: What is the one true geometry? I agree with Grabiner's basic thesis about geometry. And I agreed with her, even before I heard her presentation. Grabiner's talk, however, got me thinking about a very different formal science: Is not what Grabiner says about geometry, also true about Logic, or more properly speaking, logics? In my ACTC presentation this year what I wish to argue, or at least interestingly suggest, is the idea that there is no one true system of Logic. There is a plurality of systems of logic, all with differing value, virtues, and uses. Students beginning the study of Logic should be originally taught traditional Aristotelian logic but they should also be subsequently exposed to Boolean adjustments to traditional logic, as well as, material, modal, and multi-valued logical interpretations. This perspective, of course, puts me at odds with the much cited classic scholastic text, Henry Veach's Two Logics. In my presentation, I hope to at least sketch the basis of my disagreement with Veach's thesis.


Proposal Number: 147
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Cultivating a dogs heart. Plato on a non-rational motivation for studying texts.
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
In "The Heart of a Dog" Mikhail Bulgakov describes hunger as sufficient motivation for a dog to learn how to read. In comparable terms Plato in books II and III of the Republic gives an account of the soul of the young learner as one characterized by a spirited element, a desire of self-assertion, which constitutes a strong non-rational motivation to study works of literature and lead one's life in imitation of the protagonists of such works. Furthermore, Plato describes the good learner as a well-trained dog, devoted to the things one knows as dogs are faithful to their owner, and fierce in the face of ignorance as dogs against intruders. If Plato is right in his characterization, we should consider more closely the role of non-rational motivation in reading texts. A look back at the motives of reading and learning is essential to discern the way forward towards re-reading a text, promoting texts to other readers and making texts stand as core elements of our education.


Proposal Number: 146
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Tradition and Genealogy: Arendt on the Declaration of Independence
Core Text:
The Declaration of Independence
Abstract:
There are three common stances toward tradition today: "traditionalism," which sees tradition as an authoritative source of ideas that must be deliberately conserved; "anti-traditionalism," which sees tradition as a source of prejudices from which we must free ourselves; and "neo-traditionalism," which sees tradition as a fund of ideas with which we are free to do as we will. I will briefly explain how these three stances toward tradition govern three different approaches to reading the Declaration of Independence (exemplified by Garry Wills, Charles Beard, and Richard Rorty). I will then argue that Hannah Arendt (following Martin Heidegger) worked out a deeper and more incisive concept of tradition, and that her concept of tradition made possible a brilliantly original and illuminating reading of the Declaration of Independence. I will concluded that Arendt"s concept of tradition, and her reading of the Declaration of Independence, can help us rethink and renew the ways in which we approach core texts.


Proposal Number: 145
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Law and Good Government in Huang Tsung-Hsi's Waiting for the Dawn, A Plan for the Prince
Core Text:
Waiting for the Dawn, A Plan for the Prince
Abstract:
Highly acclaimed by Chinese reformers and revolutionary leaders in modern times, and considered as a Chinese classic comparable to Rousseau's Social Contract, Huang Tsung-hsi's Ming-I tai-fang lu (Waiting for the Dawn: A Plan for the Prince,1663) is a major critic of Chinese despotism as well as a proposal of radical revamp in nearly all aspects of the dynastic institution. Though it is disputable whether his criticism of the imperial regime can be classified as "democratic," Huang did suggest there were laws more fundamental than the dynastic laws, hence a certain idea of constitution which alone could justify the legitimacy of a government of the prince. This article will investigate the idea of Law in Waiting for the Dawn, and demonstrate how, by making the distinction between the dynastic laws and the laws established by the ancient "sage-kings" for the common good, Huang articulates, short of a clear idea of a social contract, the key to good government and ideal society in "China's own terms" (expression after W. T. de Bary).


Proposal Number: 144
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Core Texts and Philosophy: How Did Leo Strauss Understand Liberal Education?
Core Text:
What is Liberal Education?
Abstract:
I will argue that Leo Strauss's essay, "What is Liberal Education?," tacitly addresses the tension between continuity and change in liberal education by understanding liberal education in light of, and hence as subservient to, philosophy. By making liberal education a handmaiden to philosophy, Strauss supplies a standard by which the reform of liberal education can be judged. I argue that this standard enables liberal education to avoid both the dogmatism of antiquarian nostalgia and the dogmatism of the love of novelty for its own sake. It almost goes without saying that a fundamental assumption of my essay is that "What is Liberal Education?" should be regarded as a core text in American liberal arts programs, as it is one of the deepest statements on the meaning of a liberal education written in the United States in the last century.


Proposal Number: 143
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: King Lear in a German Context
Core Text:
King Lear
Abstract:
Critics have commented comprehensively on the "wise fool" in King Lear. While the remaining major persona in the play have been analyzed in many ways, it is less common to characterize them as fools, although the Fool does so for Lear. This paper will view Lear, Cordelia, and others through the lens of fool literature written by Thomas Murner, a Franciscan scholar and author from sixteenth century Strasbourg. Murner's Narrenbeschworung (Exorcism of Fools) and Schelmenzunft (Fools' Guild) will offer a distinctive dimension to traditional interpretations of Lear"s characters.


Proposal Number: 141
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: "Damit der Weltlauf keine Lke hat": tragedy and world in Hlderlin and Nietzsche
Core Text:
Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy; Holderlin, "Remarks on Oedipus"
Abstract:
Although in many ways they are quite distant from one another in terms of theoretical outlook, Holderlin and Nietzsche nevertheless can be compared at the level of their respective understandings of the significance of tragic drama. Generally speaking, both thinkers find tragedy to express something fundamental about mortal existence, and both see it as a means of coming to terms with the necessity to affirm the conditions of that existence. Notwithstanding all the other differences that separate them, these points of similarity draw their thinking together into a certain kind of shared focus. In my paper, I examine how these conceptions of tragedy might be extrapolated into the foundations for more extensive statements about the meaning of aesthetic experience, then show how their approaches might have something to tell us about the significance of art today.


Proposal Number: 140
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Corrective and Cunning Reason in Piers Plowman
Core Text:
Piers Plowman by William Langland
Abstract:
My paper will show how Piers Plowman's two dream-within-a-dream sequences emphasize both the limits of our rational thinking, and the limitlessness of an imaginative space in which we can attempt to wrestle with our contradictory, questioning, and desirous natures that reason aims to trick or tame.


Proposal Number: 139
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Conjuring hope in the classroom beginning with Karl Marxs world creator, closing and beginning again with Homers gifts, with Huang Zongxis uncertainties in between
Core Text:
selections from Karl Marx's Estranged Labour, Homer's Odyssey, and Huang Zongxi's Waiting for the Dawn: A Plan for the Prince
Abstract:
This paper inquires if conjuring hope could be one responsibility of a core text program. Thinking what hope means today and thinking how hope could be taught and learnt in the classroom potentially renews the understanding of core texts in the General Education Foundation Programme of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In this paper, I identify how hope might be at work in Karl Marx's "Estranged Labour", Homer's Odyssey, and Huang Zongxi's "Waiting for the Dawn: A Plan for the Prince," and discuss how adjusting the sequence in which these texts are taught may bring out the potential of conjuring hope in the classroom. Written responses solicited from students are also to be discussed as qualitative indicators of hope, giving rise to questions about whether hope could and should be assessed.


Proposal Number: 138
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: The Rhetoric of Virtue: Persuasion and Law in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Core Text:
Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Since the legislator cares for the city as a whole, politics is architectonic, that is, contains an understanding of the whole. However, in chapter 9, book 10, Aristotle remarks on the relationship between rhetoric and politics and seems to suggest that a city implements laws as a last resort after persuasion has failed. In a sense, then, Aristotle places rhetoric above politics (just as he places friendship above justice in book 8) because people would ideally do good deeds by habit and rhetoric alone could persuade them to be virtuous. To discern clearly the relationship between rhetoric and politics, we must consider how they relate to friendship and justice, how sophistry differs from rhetoric and politics, and how the Nicomachean Ethics itself enacts both.


Proposal Number: 137
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Sunesis: The Intellectual Virtue of the Political Philosopher
Core Text:
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
This paper examines the intellectual virtue of sunesis (comprehension or understanding) discussed in Nicomachean Ethics 6. I argue that sunesis is the distinctive virtue that Aristotle himself must possess as a political philosopher, or as an author of political-philosophic texts such as the Ethics and Politics. Proper attention to sunesis reveals the dramatic aspect of the discussion in Ethics 6, which plays out as a struggle between the insufficiently philosophic statesmen who possess phronesis (prudence) and the insufficiently political pre-Socratic philosophers who seek sophia (wisdom).

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Aristotle's Philosophy of Human Affairs
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will consider a number of issues in Aristotle's political philosophy, focusing on the works he called his "philosophy of human affairs" (the Ethics and Politics) while open to his other "human" studies (the Rhetoric and Poetics). If, as Aristotle argues, the human being is by nature a political animal, a philosophic investigation of the human condition must in some sense be a form of political philosophy. But didn't Aristotle learn from his teacher, Plato, that politics is a cave of mere opinion, better escaped from than philosophized about? These papers will consider how, and why, Aristotle inserts himself between the philosophic escape from our political reality and the un-philosophic immersion in it.


Proposal Number: 136
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Aspirational Ladders: Core Texts in the Era of Professional Education
Core Text:
Jane Jacobs, Death and Life of Great American Cities
Abstract:
Humanities and the liberal arts have been seemingly under attack inside and beyond the university for quite some time. This talk will argue that there are often unstated connections between the faculty’s desire to broaden the intellectual reach of their students through a core text program, such as Temple University's Intellectual Heritage Program, and the students's desire for a useful, professional education that will result in employment and, often, class transformation at an urban university like Temple dedicated to that purpose. How do we maintain the dual intellectual and professional missions of a university like Temple in a core texts program founded on the exploration of self and community and filled with readings of great cultural and historic value but often (to students) seemingly little connection to a professional education? In what ways can we change what we do and what texts we do it with in order to speak more directly and concretely to the experiences of students for whom such core texts seem remote, as they move into a market where the application of these texts will remain questionable at best?


Proposal Number: 135
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: #coretextproblems: How Social Media and Principles of Integrative Learning Can Transform Core Text Learning into Core Life Experiences.
Core Text:
Plato's texts on Socrates; Sei Shnagon (The Pillow Book)
Abstract:
This paper will share strategies for designing digital projects and other assessment tools that address the challenges of core text learning for 21st-century students and the faculty who teach them. Bolstered by the principles of integrative learning, well-designed digital media projects can work to further students's critical reading and thinking skills around core texts while simultaneously encouraging them to make extensions into the world around them. From writing BuzzFeed articles to designing Pintrest pages, students in my core text courses have discovered that ancient or "classic" texts and modern social media platforms can be combined to create new spaces for engaging in public intellectual discourse, and that these core texts, when recast in new media, have much to say to the hash tag generation. Whether exploring the intersection of The Crito and Bong Jun-Hoo's Snowpiercer through the genre of the Buzz Feed List, or using Pintrest or Tumblr to articulate the problem of identity in the 21st C and Sei Shonagon's Heian Japan, students can and do connect deeply to enduring works of global literary, theological, philosophical, and scientific thought.


Proposal Number: 134
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: The Role of the Slave Narrative as Core Western Literature
Core Text:
Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Solomon Northrup, David Walker ("Appeal To The Colored Citizens of The World"), Declaration of Independence
Abstract:
If core texts and liberal arts are about creating more informed and critical thinkers and citizens of the globe then there is an urgent need for the inclusion of key African American texts in the canon. Thusly, I propose for the inclusion of African American slave narratives as essential core texts in liberal arts programs. Rather than look at these texts as elective "extras" one might study in an African American literature course the American slave narrative is essential to Western modern thought. This talk will show how much richer the canon would be with the inclusion of these foundational texts that concern the self.


Proposal Number: 133
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Ancient Excursions and Core Texts: The Challenge of Material Culture in the Document-Based Course
Core Text:
Thucydides
Abstract:
Reading the witness of the ancients in their own words, even in translation, is enough to revive the naked corpse of ancient history from its erstwhile survey textbook tomb. But clothing the reanimated subject with the illustration offered by art from the ancient world not only visually stimulates the teaching and learning of the subject; it also engages the broader field of social and cultural history, while challenging the viewer to negotiate the spaces (artistic, traditional, and political, to name but a few) between artefacts, reader, and viewer. We limit discussion in this presentation to an exploration of Thucydides's words on tyrannicide in Books 1 and 6, and its representation on the so-called Elgin Throne (4th c. Athenian marble), currently on view at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.


Proposal Number: 132
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: King's Socrates: Continuity and Change
Core Text:
Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," Plato's "Apology," and Plato's "Crito"
Abstract:
In the "Letter from Birmingham City Jail," Martin Luther King Jr. refers to Socrates 1) as a creator of non-violent tension, 2) as someone who should not be blamed for "precipitating violence," and 3) as an early model of civil disobedience. King makes it clear in his 1961 "Love, Law and Civil Disobedience" that his interpretation of Socrates stems from King's own reading of Plato's Apology and Crito. It will be argued that King's Socrates has much continuity with Plato's Socrates. It will also be argued that King interpretively changes Socrates into a practitioner of a kind of civil disobedience not mentioned by Plato. In his interpretation of Socrates, King's creative mixture of tradition and innovation to attack racism and promote brotherhood will be highlighted.


Proposal Number: 131
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Aristotle's Poetics -- in Real Time
Core Text:
Aristotle's Poetics
Abstract:
Despite its immense influence on Western literary theory, the Poetics often surprises and even disappoints its first time readers. The argument is elliptical, compressed and oddly off topic at times. Scholars suggest that the Poetics is only an outline of a lecture Aristotle once delivered at an unknown time in his career for an unknown reason; some even speculate that the Poetics are notes taken by someone in the audience during his lecture. This paper argues that Poetics represents Aristotle's comments during a dynamic lecture setting, where the audience would interject and raise objections as the lecture was being given. In the paper I examine key passages of the Poetics and try to show that what appears to be gaps and tangents are in fact replies to questions that are not recorded.


Proposal Number: 130
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Novus Factus Exercitus: the Roman New Model Army in Titus Livius Books 4-8
Core Text:
Livy, History of Rome
Abstract:
In Book VIII of his history Livy reports, almost casually, that the Romans had abandoned the phalanx in favor of the manipular army. In fact, he claims that they had actually made this conversion almost six decades earlier, at about the time when the soldiers started receiving pay (405 BCE). Yet for three complete books Livy describes the operations of a Roman military which had completely altered its complexion, something of which he had felt no need to take notice even though these changes profoundly altered the way the army could - and could be expected to - perform. This brief paper will take a look at the creation of the Roman "New Model Army" and the way Livy describes it in action in books V through VII of his text.


Proposal Number: 129
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: A Taste of Greek: Exposing Undergraduate General Education Students to Texts in the Original Language
Core Text:
Enchiridion of Epictetus
Abstract:
Being Human: Ethics and Morality is a first year requirement in Aurora University"s general education core, in which students are introduced to a wide range of texts from both ancient and contemporary ethical thinkers. In order to encourage students to develop an awareness that translation is an interpretive act, I have designed workshops to expose students to a short passage from Epictetus in the original Greek in a simple and nonthreatening way. Students devise their own translations based on the simplified grammatical and lexical information I provide, and begin to understand that every translation should be read with a bit of healthy suspicion. While not every student benefits from these workshops, assessment data shows that many students regard their readings with a greater sense of the nuances imparted or obscured by the translator after these exercises.


Proposal Number: 127
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Kierkegaard's Either/Or: Moral Character and The Aesthete
Core Text:
Soren Kierkegaard: Either/Or
Abstract:
The existentialist philosophers of the 19th and 20th century often view the world and human life as absurd, meaningless, and without stable principles to guide human life. In the face of this unsettling worldview, can we still make a case for a set standard of what constitutes good moral character and a good life? More broadly, can we still make a case for using the wisdom of the liberal arts tradition in our own modern day world, a world perhaps not so different from that of the existentialists, a world often thought to be without absolutes and set guides for life? I will explore these questions using Soren Kierkegaard's text, Either/Or. Kierkegaard's "aesthete" is a good all-purpose stand-in for the discouraged and despairing existentialist, and Kierkegaard's "Judge William" is an example of the self-proclaimed cultivator of moral character and enduring principles for human life. Can Judge William convince the aesthete; can Judge William convince us still today?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 126
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: The Movement of Pity, Indignation, and Envy in the Soul
Core Text:
Aristotle's Rhetoric
Abstract:
Aristotle's Rhetoric clearly founds a tradition that focuses on teaching students the art of speaking and writing persuasively. However, a careful reading of the Rhetoric reveals both that the "art" itself remains questionable and that the investigation into its possibility aims at more than formulaic advice. For example, through examining the passionate response to speeches in a court room, Aristotle gives an account of pity, indignation, and envy, which is much more profound than a simple guide to the manipulation of jurors (Book II.8-11). His account prompts the reader to reflect on the experience of seeing other people succeed or fail, but Aristotle's complicated argument challenges one to reconsider passions that may appear to be immediate or self-evident.


Proposal Number: 125
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Encountering the biosphere through core texts
Core Text:
Thoreau, Journals
Abstract:
Studying life on earth -- the biosphere -- through core texts, Stockton freshmen encounter continuity and change on several levels. They directly observe nature during a series of field walks, which they record in their journals, and they engage with core texts that discuss the living world from Heraclitus and Theophrastus to Darwin and Vernadsky. In Thoreau's Journals, they read reflections on connection, continuity and change of someone who observed a very similar environment to the one they visit and who studied the same texts.


Proposal Number: 124
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Seeing Red: On the Significance of Thrasymachus' Supposed Blush in Plato's Republic
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
In Book 1 of Plato's Republic, after forcing Thrasymachus to concede that the unjust man is unlearned and bad, Socrates claims that he saw something he had never seen before: Thrasymachus blushing. Socrates prefaces this claim, however, by noting that Thrasymachus was agitated and sweating from the summer heat, which some interpreters take to be a suggestion that Thrasymachus did not blush from shame, as Socrates suggests, but rather that he was merely flushed. In my paper, I attempt to explain whether or not Thrasymachus blushed, and (more importantly) I suggest how this small dramatic question sheds light on Socrates's more general treatment of thumos and a philosophic education throughout the rest of Republic. In so doing, I focus on an important connection between Socrates's treatment of Thrasymachus in Book 1 and his image of the cave in Book 7, which may have far reaching consequences for how one understands the nature and limits of a philosophic education and, in particular, the role of respect for tradition in such an education.


Proposal Number: 123
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: We Still Do Not Even Have a Name: Shakespeares Caliban, the Southern Americas, and Roberto Fernndez Retamars Critique of Modernity
Core Text:
Caliban: Notes Toward a Discussion of Culture in Our America
Abstract:
In Shakespeare's The Tempest, an enslaved and dispossessed Caliban (his anagram for "cannibal", a pejorative term derived from the native Carib people and representing the Caribbean) curses his master Prospero, the colonizer, for robbing him of his language. In Caliban: Notes Toward a Discussion of Culture in Our America (1971) Roberto Fernandez Retamar reverses the Shakespearean metaphor to analyze how "the colonizer brings us together, (revealing) the profound similarities existing above and beyond our secondary differences." Tracing the genealogy and afterlife of the story through, among others, Tomas More and Ernest Renan, and its appropriation in Latin America by Jose Enrique Rodo's Ariel (1900), Retamar critiques European modernity and its emulation by Latin American elites, as well as the French ethnographer Octave Mannoni for theorizing in 1950 the psychological inferiority of Caliban (representing the colonized), what he called the "Prospero Complex." This paper will analyze the significance of his essay and ulterior elaborations of it as the century unfolded, drawing attention to contemporary fissures in the representation of Latin America's assumed shared cultural identity, and the dilemmas of language in the naming of the region's neo-colonial condition.


Proposal Number: 122
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Antonio's Sadness: The Modern Commercial Republic and the Problems of Globalization
Core Text:
Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Abstract:
This paper discusses Shakespeare's portrayal of the nature and problems of the modern commercial republic in The Merchant of Venice. It does so by considering the mystery with which the play begins, the sadness of the merchant, Antonio. He is a successful businessman in the city that is, for Shakespeare, the model of a commercial society, yet he feels somehow out of place. His sadness, which is connected with the seriousness with which he takes his Christian religion, points to a fundamental problem with the modern commercial republic.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Shakespeare on the Nature and Problems of Democracy
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel considers what Shakespeare in his plays might teach about the nature and problems of democratic government and society. Shakespeare was aware of two quite different forms of democracy, the ancient aristocratic republic and the modern commercial republic. The former is represented in his plays by Athens and especially Rome; the former is represented by Venice. The panel will include papers on Shakespeare's treatment of all three of these societies.


Proposal Number: 121
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Regime Analysis in Bagehots English Constitution
Core Text:
Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution (1867)
Abstract:
Bagehot's famous work is usually remembered for its account of the workings of parliamentary government, particularly Westminster's fusion of the legislative and working executive powers of government. Beneath his distinction between the dignified and efficient halves of the executive rests a subtle analysis of the English regime; the English constitution is as much about the character of the English people as it is about institutional arrangements. Bagehot assesses the fitness of the structures of government in relation to the people, and vice versa. His analysis was poignant as England moved toward an ever more universal franchise. It remains so for those who understand constitutions as intimately linked to human character.


Proposal Number: 119
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Teaching Sex & Gender in Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Abstract: Sex and gender are integral aspects of human existence and civilization. As such, they must be of critical consideration in Core Texts programs. How do we do more than add women and maybe stir in interdisciplinary Core Text programs for undergraduates? Representing multiple disciplines and varied teaching experiences at Samford, our panelists will provide examples of ways in which students engagement with sex and gender in Core Texts can help them navigate our world today. We will look at sex and gender as intertextual themes across an eight-unit chronological meta-narrative of humanism from Ancient to Contemporary Worlds. We will see how these paradigms and perspectives enrich our understanding of traditional Core texts; and we will discuss ways in which integration of traditional and additional Core Texts menus by male and female authors are necessary for students appreciation of humanism and human rights.


Proposal Number: 118
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Dantes Ulysses and the Strange Vice of Curiosity (Inferno 26)
Core Text:
Dante, Inferno
Abstract:
That Dante should put Ulysses in hell for seeking knowledge and virtue can strike the modern reader as strange. It might even be taken as evidence that the pre-modern world was a dark age of enforced ignorance and superstition. And yet Dante is merely applying the Aristotelean insight that all pursuits can be, in the parlance of natural law, "inordinate" -- and this includes the pursuit of knowledge. But can there be such a thing as "evil knowledge" in the Information Age?


Proposal Number: 116
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: "The Price of a Pearl": Teaching Science Though Fiction, and Truth Through Rhetoric
Core Text:
Francis Bacon's Essays
Abstract:
Francis Bacon's Essays, along with many other core texts, can be read on several levels. This paper discusses the philosopher's use of rhetoric to teach his readers the essential truths of science, politics, and power. The Essays serve as a starting point for a deeper examination of the modern effort to teach political philosophy in a discipline (and world) increasingly shaped by science. I argue that Bacon's use of literary forms demonstrates the value of poetry, in whatever form it may take, for illuminating the lessons of both science and philosophy.


Proposal Number: 115
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: The Catcher in the Rye and the Genre of the Bildungsroman
Core Text:
The Catcher in the Rye
Abstract:
In the opening words of The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger makes pointed reference to the history of the modern novel by invoking the name of David Copperfield and the literary genre which this archetypal nineteenth-century character represents. Although Holden refers to this famous character only to announce his own different approach to autobiography, he inevitably invites comparisons between his story and the whole tradition of the bildungsroman for which David Copperfield stands as exemplar. When Holden begins his narrative by refusing to tell of his birth, his parents, and "all that David Copperfield kind of crap," Salinger is establishing a standard for judging the plight of his twentieth-century protagonist. This prominent allusion to the novel of education thus prepares a context which helps Salinger to illuminate the full extent of Holden's confusion and loss within the depleted world of the novel.


Proposal Number: 114
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Mind the Mind (Hera in Iliad XV)
Core Text:
Iliad
Abstract:
This paper analyzes a 4-line simile in Iliad XV. The simile compares Hera traveling to the mind thinking. The comparison reveals something about the nature of Hera's divinity. It also suggests the likeness (and otherness) of human thought to divine being.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Same & Other
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 113
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: The Comfortable People
Core Text:
Fahrenheit 451
Abstract:
As we observe the present and envision the future of core text education, we might do well to remember a past analysis offered by Ray Bradbury in "Fahrenheit 451." Bradbury"s book warns that the death of books -- as well as leisure, thinking, and happiness--is caused by "the comfortable people." Who are these people? Would Bradbury see them in society today? Would he spot them on college campuses? If so, what remedy or hope would Bradbury offer us?


Proposal Number: 112
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: From music to musicking: Christopher Small as a lens of renewal
Core Text:
John Cage, 4'33
Abstract:
This paper argues that introducing Christopher Small's idea of "musicking" early in the semester helps students build a theoretical foundation for the challenges of avant-gardism and experimentalism in the second half of the twentieth century. By providing "musicking" as a frame, the students become accustomed to interrogating the listener's contribution to an instance of music, from isorhythmic motets to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. With this fluency, the students are better equipped to examine John Cage's 4'33" as a confrontation with the audience and understand this move as part of a continuum of relationships between composers and audiences. In drawing this thematic thread, "musicking" helps connect newer works to the past while offering fresh perspectives on historical texts.


Proposal Number: 111
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Beyond the Core: Mulan as Woman Warrior, Poetic Hero, and Disney Princess
Core Text:
The Ballad of Mulan
Abstract:
The legendary cross-dressing Mulan, as both a filial daughter and a fighting heroine, raises the cross-cultural question of female representation, or the lack thereof, in literary tradition. Having first appeared in the 6th-century Chinese poem The Ballad of Mulan (Mulan ci), her tale has since inspired numerous versions and become a core text of the Chinese curriculum. With a focus on the original poem and its various re-tellings, this paper explores the concept of heroism, the performance of gender, and connections with Western counterparts, from Joan of Arc to The Hunger Games. How teaching the Mulan story can be incorporated into undergraduate liberal arts courses and thus enrich the global perspective of core text education will also be discussed.


Proposal Number: 109
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: A Literature of Love: Saul Bellow in the Core
Core Text:
"The Old System"
Abstract:
Without the hallmark of age, it is often very difficult to justify the presence of certain modern/post-modern authors in the great western cannon. Saul Bellow is one such author, and the regional quality of his work, coupled with its distinctly Jewish-American character, make it even more difficult to see the truly enduring nature of Bellow"s fiction: why his fiction transcends his place and time while at the same time embodying it. A detailed and immersive look at his iconic short story "The Old System" discloses the universal nature of Bellow's fiction, and advocates for his place in the western cannon: both as portraiture of the twentieth century and as portraiture of human nature. Bellow"s fiction is, ultimately, a fiction of love, and provides an important touchstone in any updated core program which seeks to understand our modern context beyond Eliot"s diagnosis of fractured modernity.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Situating Twentieth Century Jewish-American Letters in the Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
As Andrew Heinze argued a decade ago in "Jews and the American Soul: Human Nature in the Twentieth Century," Jewish thinkers and Jewish thought have been vastly important to the development of a twentieth century American consciousness. Twentieth century Jewish thinkers (both American and not) have shaped both the way in which Americans view themselves particularly, and the way in which Americans view the world and human nature generally. Strauss, Bellow, Arendt, Bloom, Kafka, Ginsberg, and many more have developed the American worldview from disparate directions, and with varying degrees of success. As the western core is a necessarily living tradition of thought, it becomes necessary to situate these various Jewish thinkers, and identify those who contribute to the overall continuity and diversity of the great western tradition. How does one determine the enduring power of a Jewish author and work without the hallmark of age? Furthermore, to what extent to these Jewish authors embody their time and place, while at the same time transcending the limitations of a particular age in order to take their place among the greats in a core curriculum?


Proposal Number: 108
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: 'Reading' Haydn's Creation Oratorio
Core Text:
Franz Joseph Haydn's oratorio Die Schpfung ("The Creation)
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 light; 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 Milton"s 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, Haydn"s 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: 107
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Speak To Me Of Humanity: The Use of Music to Understand the Odyssey
Core Text:
The Odyssey
Abstract:
Mumford & Sons' "The Cave" and Florence + The Machine's "Long and Lost" can serve as useful tools to break down the complex ideas of the "Odyssey." Furthermore, the comparison allows us to blend different interpretative models of the epic: traditional disciplinary concerns, cross-cultural concerns, and modern reception. In other words, the epic's influence on 21st century music can help us understand it as an artifact from Ancient Greece as well as an example of Campbell's monomyth. Taking these three roles together, I further speculate that the "Odyssey" can show us what it means to be a core text as it explores enduring human psychological concerns as its basis for heroism, which is reflected in each of the three models.


Proposal Number: 106
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Structure, Order, and Nuance Along the Five Ways: Reflections on Aquinass Proofs that a God Exists
Core Text:
Thomas Aquinas, 'Summa theologiae' (I, q. 2, a. 3)
Abstract:
In an article near the beginning of the "Summa theologiae" (I, q, 2, a. 3), after presenting two foundational objections to the existence of a God, Thomas Aquinas writes that "that a God exists can be proved in five ways." The five proofs that follow are among the most renowned arguments for the existence of God. In this paper I ask some basic questions about this important text in the history of Western thought: What are the basic objections to a God's existence? Is there a basic structure belonging to each proof for a God's existence? Is there an order among the five proofs? What are some oft-overlooked nuances in the proofs? By making a start toward answering these questions, I hope to manifest just how compelling, harmonious, and subtle Aquinas's thinking is in this brief but masterfully crafted article.


Proposal Number: 105
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Magnitude and Multitude: a Traditional Distinction to be Respected or Overcome?
Core Text:
Euclid's Elements, Vieta's Introduction to the Analytic Art, Descartes' Geometry
Abstract:
In Euclid's Elements, a sharp distinction is maintained between number, as a multitude of discrete units, and magnitude, as something continuous which admits of relations of greater and less. Vieta and Descartes find that this distinction hinders their ability to solve certain kinds of problems, and therefore seek to overcome it. Are their attempts successful? complete? salutary?


Proposal Number: 104
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Supreme Powers: tradition versus reason in Mores Utopia and Achebes Things fall apart
Core Text:
Th. More, Utopia; C. Achebe, Things fall apart
Abstract:
The aim of my paper is to contrast opposing views on the power of tradition and reason in social order as depicted both by More’s character Raphael Hythlodaeus for Utopia and by Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. These two core-texts, belonging to very different literary and cultural traditions, offer a privileged point of view for highlighting threads common to both primary texts that transcend their particular circumstances of composition. Particular attention will be paid to the construction of authoritative narratives on moral and legal principles. Thus, the contrast bases on traditional and recent core texts, and allows a significant reflection on the great conversation about the authority and acceptance of social order.


Proposal Number: 103
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Reading Rousseau and Du Bois Together
Core Text:
J.J. Rousseau's Second Discourse and W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk
Abstract:
My essay explores the connections between Rousseau's Discourse on the Origins of Inequality and Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk. After noting these two authors' shared concern with the themes of inequality and slavery, I discuss their fundamental analyses of the human condition. I argue that both Rousseau and Du Bois offer profound reflections on humanity's tendency toward self-alienation while simultaneously probing the ways that education and art might overcome this self-alienation. I conclude that these two thinkers can be productively read together because (1) Du Bois can serve as a lens through which Rousseau's cultural criticism can be applied to contemporary debates about race and (2) Rousseau's concern with the fundamentally problematic character of human nature, as such, can help us to understand the universal import of The Souls of Black Folk.


Proposal Number: 102
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: On the Unity of the 'Great French Triumvirate'
Core Text:
Spirit of the Laws
Abstract:
The paper explores the inner unity of the “Great French Triumvirate,” taking Montesquieu’s Sprit of the Laws as the true turning point from the classic modernity of Hobbes and Locke. Although Rousseau often gets credit for the turn from nature to history and culture, it was Montesquieu who first weakened the demands of universal natural right in favor of history, culture, and climate, thus moderating the claims of the universal rights doctrine in favor of the claims of existing regimes and institutions, including family, property, and religion. Rousseau and Tocqueville advance and fortify the fundamental insight of Montesquieu concerning the reduced strength of universal nature in comparison with history, geography, and culture.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Panel: The Great French Triumvirate (Chair, Frank Rohmer)
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 101
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Student Success and Core Texts: Where Administrators and Champions of Liberal Learning May Find Common Ground
Core Text:
Odyssey, Meno and Euclid, Book 1
Abstract:
In the age of the 6-year baccalaureate, administrators at large public institutions often focus on "Student Success". What can be done to move students through colleges and universities more efficiently, with less "wasted" credits and with fewer casualties along the way? Many efforts to address "Student Success" seem at odds with core texts programs, which often encourage an interdisciplinary educational journey not too narrowly focused on preparation for a specific career. However, "Student Success" programs for first-year students that include the study of core texts may help address both the goals of administrators as well as those of the champions of liberal learning.


Proposal Number: 100
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: Pierre or the Ambiguities:An Attempt to Decode Some of the Puzzling Constructions in Melville's most Puzzling Book.
Core Text:
Pierre or the Ambiguities
Abstract:
Readers of "Pierre or the Ambiguities" are met with a dizzying array of figures drawn from the Bible, the Kabbala, from philosophy, from medieval poetry and painting and the mythological record. As a result, the work was excoriated by most literary critics and met with the widespread suspicion that the writer of "Moby Dick" had gone mad. The intention here is to shed some light on some of these constructions and on Melville"s intentions for employing them.


Proposal Number: 99
Date: 2015-12-31
Paper Title: The Enduring Relevance of Sophocles Oedipus Rex: Alpha Males, Modern-Day Oracles, and Celebrities who Fall From Grace
Core Text:
Sophocles Oedipus Rex
Abstract:
Every semester the community college students in my English composition classes focus on one core text: Sophocles Oedipus Rex. They write eight essays related to this great tragedy, and each semester, the text continues to reveal its enduring relevance. Using Ludeman and Erlandson’s Alpha Male Syndrome Synopsis website, they assess the different types of Alpha males in the tragedy -- Commander, Executor, Strategist, Visionary -- and recommend changes to improve Oedipus's leadership. They compare ancient oracular beliefs to our modern-day oracles, whose whose "prophets" are psychological, biological, and neuroscientific hard determinists. For the final "assessment" exam essay, students "rip from the headlines" an example of a recent great fall, such as Bill Cosby, Aaron Hernandez, or Oscar Pistorius, and use what they learn from Oedipus Rex to argue for or against their subject being determined or free, victim or perpetrator. Sophocles's great play only improves with re-reading, and it has kept its place in the curriculum because it offers students something that is becoming increasing rare in college. It offers them meaning, or truth.


Proposal Number: 128
Date: 2015-12-30
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Rest Which Has Been Thought and Said: Designing Core Courses and Curricula for Diversity
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Panelists from Shimer College and Temple University will discuss issues and outcomes of increasing the representation of minority voices in long-established Great Books programs. Shimer faculty will share their experiences teaching the Black feminist author Anna Julia Cooper in the first-year social science course in Shimer's core curriculum. Temple faculty will share lessons learned over a decade of efforts to diversify the two-semester humanities sequence required of all Temple undergraduates, addressing questions of changing demographics, faculty governance, and co-curricular initiatives.


Proposal Number: 117
Date: 2015-12-30
Paper Title: Dont Wait for Plato: Teaching Core Texts in High Schools
Core Text:
Bede's Life of Cuthbert; Nietzsche's geneology of Morals; and others
Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Touchstones Discussions as a Medium for Using Our Intellectual Heritage to Nurture Free Citizens
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 98
Date: 2015-12-28
Paper Title: Aristotle on the Socratic Equation of Virtue and Knowledge
Core Text:
Aristotle's Ethics
Abstract:
Aristotle, unlike the Socrates of Plato or Xenophon, appears to treat moral virtue as a phenomenon independent of theoretical knowledge. I will argue that an examination of bk. VII of the Ethics shows that Aristotle essentially agreed with the Socratic view that virtue is knowledge.


Proposal Number: 97
Date: 2015-12-28
Paper Title: How Humanists Can Use Their Expertise to Teach Core Sci
Core Text:
Galileo: Starry Messenger
Abstract:
Only occasionally does a core-texts program include materials from the physical sciences. Reasons for the exclusion of texts produced within the physical sciences run from the anxiety of humanists about their abilities to handle science materials to the perceived objective stance of scientific papers that seemingly does not deal with deep human questions. In this paper I will attempt to show how humanists can use their expertise to unpack scientific texts using materials from Galileo Galilei and Albert Einstein. In the process we will see how scientific texts deal with enduring human questions, especially those concerned with what we can know about the world around us and what it means to be a human being.


Proposal Number: 94
Date: 2015-12-28
Paper Title: Shock, Loss, Grief: The Fall of Troy and the Fall of Saigon
Core Text:
The Aeneid & the Iliad
Abstract:
There are striking parallels between the Trojan War and the demise of Troy on the one hand, and the Vietnam War and the Fall of Saigon in 1975 on the other hand. This paper draws several parallels by comparing the Trojan experience described in the Homeric and Virgilian epics to the South Vietnamese experience found in Vietnamese-language publications and archival sources. It discusses the issue of political space and identity, and the profound shock at the sudden loss of this identity for the Trojans and the South Vietnamese.


Proposal Number: 92
Date: 2015-12-28
Paper Title: Thinking Beyond Boundaries?
Core Text:
Kant's Critique of Judgment; Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov
Abstract:
Social, economic, political and certain educational pressures have accelerated the pace at which higher educational institutions are becoming more outcome-focused, with the desired outcomes determined by narrower boundaries. Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and Kant's Critique of Judgment present in an extended, discursive way a range of possibilities for interpreting the "boundaries" and "limits" of human thinking and discourse, and of entertaining what it could mean to think "beyond" those boundaries. But the transformative learning and enrichment generated by this kind of study of these different, difficult core texts should be considered neither as "preparation" to achieve an outcome nor as "healing" for a specific malady of the soul, both of which are ultimately directed toward happiness. Rather, this kind of enrichment should be seen as a fundamental human activity whose end should not simply be considered "itself," and on the other hand, is also distinct from happiness.


Proposal Number: 90
Date: 2015-12-28
Paper Title: The Moral Landscape of Rashomon
Core Text:
Rashomon (film directed by Akira Kurosawa)
Abstract:
Akira Kurosawa"s 1950 film Rashomon takes its plot--a murder mystery--from the 1921 Japanese short story "In A Grove." The movie title and setting is from an earlier story by the same author. More important than the physical setting in the ruined Rashomon gate, Kurosawa embeds the mystery investigation in the central moral question of the earlier "Rashomon" story. That question both challenges and offers hope to the people of postwar Japan, and seems especially pertinent to students of this film in a new century.


Proposal Number: 77
Date: 2015-12-28
Paper Title: Sisyphus's Happiness: The Imagination Equation
Core Text:
Le Mythe de Sisyphe
Abstract:
Equations of any kind—in physics, philosophy, or any field—are the results of extensive ponderings. Einstein’s E=mc2, for example, Descartes’ “Cogito, ergo sum,” and the Hindu precept “Tat tvam asi” (“Thou art That”) are elegant endpoints of such processes. Through examining such equations (and the concept of equation itself), our students (and we ourselves) can better comprehend and accept the arduous process necessary for finding truths, as well as truths themselves. Camus' conclusive equation Camus to Le Mythe de Sisyphe elevates human imagination in much the same way that Blake's, at the end of his massive, struggling Jerusalem, insists upon our finding a “terrible empathy” with those who live (and who therefore suffer). Camus’ insistent truth--“Il faut imaginer Sisyphe heureux”--equates us, if we empower imagination, with the Struggling Human: the only way for us to “be happy,” rolling our own rocks, is to empathize with the Other. To try to rationally understand Camus’ directive isn’t helpful: instead, we have to realize his parable. Having discussions on ideas such as these (equation, imagination, truth, struggle, meaning, empathy, stories) is essential to core liberal arts programs; and Camus’ Mythe is a fine and energizing place to start.


Proposal Number: 89
Date: 2015-12-26
Paper Title: From Princeton to Oxford: F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Medieval Tradition
Core Text:
The Great Gatsby
Abstract:
F. Scott Fitzgerald first became enamored with the Middle Ages while an on-again/off-again student at Princeton University, and after the Great War he got his chance to see the medieval (rather than medievalism) while visiting Europe, particularly at Oxford. This paper will focus on the medieval and Arthurian elements in Fitzgerald"s novels, particularly The Great Gatsby.


Proposal Number: 88
Date: 2015-12-26
Paper Title: Teaching about the individual's role in history through Roth's
Core Text:
The Emperor's Tomb by Joseph Roth
Abstract:
Joseph Roth's short novel set in interwar Austria, "The Emperor's Tomb," contains a deeply-flawed protagonist, Trotta, who is incapable of any action that may have any effect on his own life. Instead Trotta's life is swept up in the turbulent flow of history, and all he can do is yearn for the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which culminates in his despairing retreat into the tombs of the emperors upon the Anschluss of Austria into the Nazi Reich. Roth's provocative and overlooked work would make an excellent addition to any core text program, since it would present students with hard questions about the individual's role in history, particularly relating to an individual who has lost their "homeland" and for times when a great evil is arising. Furthermore, "the Emperor's Tomb" presents a literary and historical exploration of the concepts regarding government and society found in other core texts ranging from the Greeks to Edmund Burke.


Proposal Number: 87
Date: 2015-12-26
Paper Title: The Oral Voice in Ancient and Contemporary Texts
Core Text:
Homer's Odyssey
Abstract:
The Odyssey, a cornerstone of the Oglethorpe Narratives of the Self Core course, is oral in its inception and bears many a trace of orality in its written transcription. The oral has stayed alive longer and more persistently in Africa, particularly in the so-called "epic belt" that starts in West Africa, follows the Atlantic coast down to The Congo and then crosses the continent. Sundiata is one of these epic tales that has stayed alive in West Africa, much as The Odyssey has survived throughout the centuries in Europe and elsewhere. Linking BCE Greece with medieval Africa, a study of these two texts can then be complemented by the study of a work in French and from the Western Hemisphere influenced by the African diaspora, Rue de cases negres (Black Shack Alley) by Martinican writer Joseph Zobel. This paper might fit in with panel proposal #72 Philosphical and Political Lessons from Homer's Epics.


Proposal Number: 86
Date: 2015-12-26
Paper Title: The Externalization of Ethical Thinking
Core Text:
Hobbes' Leviathan, some of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
The teaching of professional rules, procedures, and standards, as well as the existence of ethics committees and legal advisers to achieve desired behaviors for a given profession, produces an unforeseen byproduct of altering the way individuals relate to ethics. The institutionalization of a moral voice, a kind of artificial conscience for the legally defined "artificial person," tends to do the ethical thinking for the "professional" individual who thinks being moral means methodically following the professionally approved rules. Professionalism and the type of methodological reason it requires are becoming a substitute for internal moral reasoning and personal responsibility, despite the belief that we are becoming more morally responsibly through professional behavior.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 85
Date: 2015-12-26
Paper Title: Love and Strife in Shakespeare's King Lear
Core Text:
Shakespeare's King Lear
Abstract:
The cosmic theories of Empedocles form the ultimate backdrop to Shakespeare's King Lear. That is, the play represents a moment of crisis between the end of an age of Strife--ruled by bellicose Roman Gods-- and the beginning of an age of Love, presided over by the Christian divinity. With difficulty, it can be discerned that Shakespeare seemingly suggests that these two dispensations--Love and Strife--oscillate continuously across history. In fact, such oscillation is history.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Same & Other
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will consider the philosophical theme of Same & Other in literary and philosophical works.


Proposal Number: 84
Date: 2015-12-26
Paper Title: Women and the Core: a pitch for Therese of Lisieux's The Story of a Soul
Core Text:
Augustine's Confessions
Abstract:
This paper argues that Therese of Lisieux's autobiography is one text that has great potential to "rejuvenate and reshape the next generation." Through its discussion of sin and mercy, childhood, confession, and evil, it offers a nineteenth-century, female-authored parallel to Augustine's Confessions. It also offers a unique perspective on "greatness." Throughout the text, Therese emphasizes her own "littleness," but she also tells the reader that she has always aspired to be a saint. In the end, Therese of Lixieux became not only a saint, but also one of four female doctors of the church.


Proposal Number: 82
Date: 2015-12-26
Paper Title: The Tradition of Beating Up Tradition
Core Text:
Aristophanes' "The Clouds"
Abstract:
In the light of the comic poet Aristophanes, consider the current farce of administrators cowering before the demands of students who actually take seriously the rhetoric handed down to them. In The Clouds, Strepsiades undertakes study with Socrates in his "thinkery" for the sake of financial and rhetorical power; and then hands down his studies and to his cleverer but unmotivated son, Pheidippides. Pheidippides, however, quickly learns his lessons and finds his motivation, which is to beat the old man paying his tuition. And Strepsiades agrees with the beating! That is, until his son takes also to beating his mother. That is going a bit too far. So father and son burn down together Socrates in his "thinkery." Why is beating up mother going too far? For that, we must look at the tragedy Oedipus the King. What do philosophers and academia have to do with beating fathers, or for that matter, sleeping with mothers? For that we must look at Plato's Euthyphro. When knowledge is viewed as productive and useful, rather than contemplative and useless, tyrannical incest and ancestral murder are sure to follow. What's new?


Proposal Number: 81
Date: 2015-12-26
Paper Title: Classical Philosophy and Monotheism: Alfarabi's "The Book of Religion"
Core Text:
Alfarabi, The Book of Religion
Abstract:
One of the challenges of teaching classical political philosophy is that its treatment of (pagan polytheistic) religion -- an important theme essential to understanding the works of thinkers like Plato and Aristotle -- does not resonate with contemporary students, whose experience is of a monotheistic religion like Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. In this paper, I will examine Alfarabi's "The Book of Religion," where he discusses the relationship between philosophy and religion. In particular, I will focus on two topics: his presentation of the rational or philosophic core of religion and his understanding of the role of the "first ruler," who establishes the religion, and that of his successors, who have to apply its teachings to perhaps distinct and novel circumstances. Above all, with respect to the latter topic, I will examine what Alfarabi says about jurisprudence, which presumes and represents the authority of the religious founding, but does not directly wield political power.


Proposal Number: 80
Date: 2015-12-26
Paper Title: Tocqueville and on Religion and Democracy
Core Text:

Abstract:
The goal of this paper is two-fold. First, it intends to clarify Tocqueville's understanding of the role of Christianity in forming and sustaining liberal democracy. Second, it will discuss Tocqueville's understanding of the difference between the role of religion in the American and French democracies. The paper will therefore primarily be oriented within Tocqueville's Democracy in America, and secondarily within his Ancien Regime.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Great Triumvirate: Montesquieu, Tocqueville, Rousseau
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
The goal of this paper is two-fold. First, it intends to clarify Tocquevilles understanding of the role of Christianity in forming and sustaining liberal democracy. Second, it will discuss Tocquevilles understanding of the difference between the role of religion in the American and French democracies. The paper will therefore primarily be oriented within Tocquevilles Democracy in America, and secondarily within his Ancien Regime.


Proposal Number: 78
Date: 2015-12-26
Paper Title: A Modern Platonic Fable
Core Text:
Plato, "Analogy of the Cave". Leguin, "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas"
Abstract:
"The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula K. Leguin, is regarded as a classic of modern science fiction/fantasy. Its pairing with Plato's "Analogy of the Cave" as the first two texts in a core texts course, creates a synergy that resonates with the students as they discuss them in sequence. The levels on which these texts inform one another, including form, thematic parallels, and affect, will be discussed.


Proposal Number: 79
Date: 2015-12-22
Paper Title: Choices in Darkness
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
The Allegory of the Cave offers an opportunity for students to reflect on their choices. How are choices made? For example, students choice of college majors. Students frequently decide on their major based on expected income. Choices although extensive are limited by environment. A dark cave offers limited choices. What is our responsibility as educators, if students are to make better choices? Do we help guide them to leave their caves?


Proposal Number: 76
Date: 2015-12-22
Paper Title: I know thee not, old man: The Banishment of Falstaff and the Problem of Friendship in Shakespeares Treatment of Falstaff and Prince Hal
Core Text:
Shakespeare's Henry the Fourth, Parts 1 and 2
Abstract:
The rejection of Falstaff, at the conclusion of Henry the Fourth, Part 2, by the newly crowned Henry the Fifth may force a hard choice as to which character earns our deeper allegiance, or it may point to something partial in both characters or in what they shared that rendered their apparent friendship vulnerable to this cold and final dissolution. There is good evidence for seeing in their relationship deep (if imperfect) mutual recognition, exquisite and rare shared pleasures of wit, and a bid for a radical, even philosophic, liberation from conventional pieties and morality. The complete break between them suggests that such powerful and rare companionship, forged on these terms, might be even more vulnerable to dissolution than friendship rooted in more common sources. Is it accidental that Henry’s political ambition and opportunity end their friendship, or is Shakespeare presenting an inherently troubled or tragic vision of a most liberated sort of friendship?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Festschrift Symposium for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 71
Date: 2015-12-22
Paper Title: Sapphos Fragments: Using Discrepancies in Translations to Foster Writing
Core Text:
Sappho's Fragments
Abstract:
This paper discusses the inclusion of multiple translations of Sappho's poetic fragments into a Core curriculum as a starting point for the examination of choices and strategies used by each translator. Sappho, the Poetess of ancient Greece, was a lyricist, inventing meter and manipulating the musical tone of pitch-accented Ancient Greek. Reviewing various versions of the same poetic fragment creates not only an environment that fosters conversation about original intent versus the creation of a new poem, but can establish a link between translation and composition of creative and academic writing. Encountering syntactical variations through translation teaches students, as Baudelaire said, that, "there is in a word, something sacred which forbids us from using it recklessly."


Proposal Number: 70
Date: 2015-12-22
Paper Title: Lived Experience Deconstructs the Liberating Arts: Langdon Gilkeys Shantung Compound Story of a Community Under Pressure.
Core Text:
Langdon Gilkey's "Shantung Compound"
Abstract:
Langdon Gilkey's "Shantung Compound" tells the story of men and women under pressure as they are rounded up into a missionary compound by the Japanese military. Forced to create community from scratch, these strangers (to each other) reveal the strengths and weaknesses not only of Western and World Civilization(s) but also of the Liberal Arts Tradition itself. Gilkey, who lived at the camp, thought deeply about the issues their experience raised. This paper is both an argument for "Shantung Compound" as a core text AND an argument for the type of critical and self-reflective thinking that can only occur from within a Liberal Arts tradition.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Community Tradition Under Pressure: Continuity and Change in the Liberal Arts in Times of Stress, Anomie, and Warfare.
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
In keeping with the overall conference theme, this session intends to investigate through its papers a series of interrelated issues: 1) todays world has and continues to witness gut wrenching changes often in difficult times. 2) the Liberal Arts tradition writ large can contribute much to the on-going discussions over such items as: how to create new meaning; how to survive with ones dignity in tact; how to continue to create and re-create community even under pressure; and how to perpetuate continuity while not becoming so rigidly static and hidebound that military, political, and social change becomes impossible; 3) the Liberal Arts and Core texts can and ought to remain fluid; the texts in this session reflect both the traditional core texts such as Livys History and an argument for the inclusion of new ones such as Langdon Gilkeys Shantung Compound. Finally, the Conference Announcement carried inter alia the following statement, question, and challenge:The world needs slow patient reading. It needs a public informed by the best that has been thought and said in the world. In this world and in the future, how do we not only 'preserve a space' for thoughtfulness and reflection, but increasingly help to make it something appreciated and sought after by a strangely starved yet surfeited citizenry?This session hopes to dialogue, address, and hopefully further illuminate the issues raised by this announcements statement.


Proposal Number: 68
Date: 2015-12-22
Paper Title: Begin the Conversation
Core Text:
AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngosi Adichie
Abstract:
Adichie's Nigerian outsider's view and Ta-Nahisi Coates' insider Black male view constitute material wherewith we can "begin the conversation" on race in the US. Tone differs significantly in each, a crucial factor. Tradition needs overturning, says Coates, and Toni Morrison has dubbed him the new Black philosopher after James Baldwin. But we would profit from listening to Adichie too.


Proposal Number: 57
Date: 2015-12-22
Paper Title: Changing Core Text Programs: Experiences at a Small Liberal Arts College
Core Text:
No set texts, about the current transition from the old core program to the new / current core program
Abstract:
The ACTC Conference theme this year, "Tradition and Renewal, Continuity and Change in Core Text, Liberal Arts Programs," is directly related to one of my primary responsibilities as a faculty member. As Associate Professor of History at MacMurray College, a small traditional liberal arts college of approximately 600 students with a focus on professional programs, I am one of the instructors of our core text general education courses and am currently helping with the transition in the core text courses we offer, the very thing conference attendees will explore and discuss. As a conference presenter, I will talk about my experiences as both a faculty member, helping with my college’s transition from one core text general education sequence to our new sequence, and as a student, when I attended MacMurray under an older sequence. In addition, I will provide an institutional context for these courses, the pedagogies used to teach them, and their place within the broader community of the college, as both the central feature of the general education program and as a common shared experience for all of our students.


Proposal Number: 54
Date: 2015-12-22
Paper Title: Between the World and Us: Richard Wrights Poem Between the World and Me as Core Text Revenant
Core Text:
Richard Wright's "Between the World and Me"
Abstract:
Tradition and continuity can sometimes be excruciating, when dead tongues rattle on interminably and corpses keep rising "Banquo-like" in all-too-recognizable forms (cf. WEB Dubois deeming race our national "ghost at the feast" in his Souls of Black Folk, 1903). Richard Wright's 1935 poem "Between the World and Me" is a classic within the canon of American core texts written to condemn the baleful act of lynching. William Faulkner's "Dry September" (1931), Billie Holliday's 1939 recording of "Strange Fruit" (lyrics written by Abel Meeropol, a New York Jewish leftist), James Baldwin's short story "Going to Meet the Man" (1965) and Toni Morrison's "Beloved" (1987) all belong to this horror-laced anti-lynching tradition. And they have been joined in 2015 by Ta-Nehisi Coates's; National Book Award-winning nonfiction bestseller which he entitled Between the World and Me in direct tribute to Wright's seminal poem. Repeatedly compared in importance and cogency to Baldwin'ss The Fire Next Time (1963), Coates' book-length essay suggests that police violence against black bodies today is a haunting echo of the Jim Crow-era immolations described in Wright's poem. A close reading of Wright's poem may help illuminate the way past racial horrors still entrap us, and why America still needs to hear that black lives matter. Wright's core-text poem and Coates' core-text-in-waiting essay show African Americans suffering the visceral terror of re-victimization, while some whites, in deep denial of their complicity, suffer a fear of retribution that flares forth in just that: more black victimization.


Proposal Number: 53
Date: 2015-12-22
Paper Title: Reconsidering Simone deBeauvoir
Core Text:
The Second Sex
Abstract:
The Second Sex is arguably the seminal text of the Women’s Liberation Movement, now mostly called Feminism. It argues that “Woman” is a socially constructed concept (of course abstracting from the obvious biological differences, which it argues are not important) and uses existential method to make that case. The notion of a fixed nature for the sexes is anathema to Existentialism, but in light of contemporary differences between many mothers/daughters it is a good time to reconsider this argument. I would like to do that.


Proposal Number: 45
Date: 2015-12-22
Paper Title: Reading Senecas Moral Epistles in the 21st Century
Core Text:
Seneca Moral Epistles
Abstract:
Seneca's Moral Epistles, a collection of fictional letters addressed to a friend, introduces the major tenets of Stoic philosophy to his readers by frequent appeals for self-examination and moral progress. Beyond the lessons of his philosophy, the letters are also valuable literary and cultural documents. This paper investigates the form and function of these letters, especially those on the topics of friendship, wealth, fear of death, and slavery. Seneca’s letters may be examined for the rhetorical strategies of the epistolary genre and may be usefully associated with the Epistles of St. Paul, the Letter from Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and even modern self-help guides like The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.


Proposal Number: 74
Date: 2015-12-21
Paper Title: Liberal Education and Civil Discourse: Some Insights from Aquinas
Core Text:
Aquinas, Summa Theologiae
Abstract:
Aquinas claims that it is necessary for the common good that some citizens commit themselves to the contemplative life. I will focus on one possible reason for this, namely the contemplative as liberal educator who prepares students for civil discourse.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Festschrift for Ann Hartle: Liberal Arts and Moral Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
These three panels are dedicated to a discussion of the theme "Liberal Arts and Moral Character," and are organized in honor of Ann Hartle on the occasion of her retirement.


Proposal Number: 73
Date: 2015-12-20
Paper Title: Contemporizing The Prince: Teaching Machiavelli in the West Bank
Core Text:
Machiavelli's Prince
Abstract:
Anyone who teaches Machiavelli’s Prince faces a daunting set of pedagogical difficulties, among them the apparent anachronism and irrelevance of the examples that Machiavelli adduces in support of the advice he gives the Prince. In this paper, I draw on my experiences teaching The Prince to Palestinian students at Al Quds University in Abu Dis, Palestine (aka, “the West Bank”). Dispensing almost entirely with Machiavelli’s own examples, my students and I studied The Prince by testing Machiavelli’s claims against historical material drawn from the Arab-Israeli conflict. This “contemporizing” approach to the text (I would suggest) gave students newfound insight into Machiavelli, the Israeli occupation, Palestinian political culture, and themselves.


Proposal Number: 72
Date: 2015-12-18
Paper Title: Odysseus as the "Best of the Achaians" in Homer's Iliad
Core Text:
Homer's Iliad
Abstract:
Homer’s depiction of the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon emerges as his exploration of the destructive tension between the competing claims of natural right, represented by Achilles, and ancestral rule, represented by Agamemnon, regarding the fundamental question of justice and political authority. On the surface, these competing claims constitute an irreconcilable dispute. My paper explores Homer’s presentation of Odysseus in the Iliad as an alternative to or middle path between the Achilles versus Agamemnon dichotomy. Homer uses Odysseus in the Iliad to explore the possibility of reconciling natural right and ancestral rule in the operation of political community such that the exercise of authority fosters, rather than destroys, the possibility for effective governance as a ground for human flourishing.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Philosophical and Political Lessons from Homers Epics
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 69
Date: 2015-12-18
Paper Title: Evolving to integration: How to fix the liberal arts curriculum
Core Text:
Lewis Thomas
Abstract:
External influences continue to attack and belittle the importance and value of the liberal arts and sciences. The intellectual creep that has eroded an understanding of the value of a broad and diverse educational experience is ongoing, and was mirrored by Lewis Thomas in his 1978 essay "How to fix the premedical curriculum". The changes and challenges posed by medical institutions, as related by Thomas, reflect those that are forcing change upon the current landscape of the liberal arts in higher education.


Proposal Number: 67
Date: 2015-12-18
Paper Title: Learning through Dialectic: The Role of the Other in Plato's Dialogues
Core Text:
Plato's "Meno" and Plato's "Parmenides"
Abstract:
Plato searched for truth via the dialectic method and expressed his philosophical ideas in the form of dialectical dialogues. But why did Plato choose this method and why did he express his ideas in the form of dialogues? In this paper, I explore the idea that Plato chooses dialectics and dialogues because the form of dialectics and dialectical dialogue—discourse between a self and other—exhibits the content of his understanding of the nature of learning and the nature of the object of learning. My hope is that this paper is a starting point for a larger discussion on the importance (or lack thereof) of dialectics in learning, teaching, and scholarship and if an account of the importance of dialectics in these areas is possible without subscribing to Plato’s conception of the nature of learning and its object.


Proposal Number: 52
Date: 2015-12-15
Paper Title: The Philosophy of Francis Wayland and the Preservation of American Republicanism
Core Text:
Francis Wayland's Limitations of Human Responsibility, and Elements of Moral Science
Abstract:
In the mid-19th century, any college-educated American would have been exposed to one of a number of works of moral philosophy written by such prominent academic philosophers as Francis Wayland, Archibald Alexander and Laurens Hickock. Such works of moral philosophy played a crucial role in educating those Americans who went onto prominence in academia and politics, and acted as vessels through which the principles of American self-government were transmitted, and adapted to meet new intellectual challenges. Wayland’s thought, for instance, which sought to challenge William Paley’s utilitarianism, proved to be a profound influence on both Abraham Lincoln and William H. Seward, among many others. Despite their profound importance, these contributions of America’s antebellum moral philosophers are largely forgotten today. But apart from their own merits as statements of a particular philosophy, studying them can help the scholar gauge the ways in which Americans responded to the intellectual and practical challenges of the 19th century, and provided for the continuation of the American Experiment.


Proposal Number: 51
Date: 2015-12-15
Paper Title: Nietzsches Platonic Critique of the Modern State
Core Text:
Friedrich Nietzsche's Schopenhauer as Educator
Abstract:
This paper gives an analysis of the final pages of Nietzsche"s Schopenhauer as Educator, where Nietzsche addresses what the youth can do to remedy the fact that in Nietzsche"s time “most philosophers do not serve the common good” because nature “shoots them like an arrow into the midst of humanity” without first taking aim and insuring they will have a meaningful impact. This paper argues that more than any other place in the essay the closing section of Schopenhauer shows Nietzsche acting as “taskmaster” for his readers, particularly in his presentation of the “duties” of culture he hopes they will adopt and carry out. Chief among these duties is the removal or destruction of the “obstacles” he thinks inhibit the emergence of philosophers in modern times, and no obstacle looms larger than the “modern state” which, in the aftermath of Hegelianism, has begun to understand itself —and not culture or the genius—as “the highest aim of humanity.”


Proposal Number: 50
Date: 2015-12-15
Paper Title: The Gods of Aristophanes
Core Text:
Aristophanes's plays Wealth, Birds, and Peace
Abstract:
My paper will begin by asking a question: According to Aristophanes, who are the true gods of classical Greece? By examining three of his religiously-themed comedies (Birds, Peace, and Wealth), I shall argue that Aristophanes asserts through his works that the Olympian gods lack effectual providence and that the real gods of Greeks ought to be genuinely providential deities. A real god cares for men and demonstrates his care by providing for their needs, either materially (by rewarding good behavior with physical goods) or socially (by answering prayers for peace by ending the wars between men). By this we can see that Aristophanes participates in the sophistic enlightenment of classical Greece and subjects the gods to the critique of Socratic rationalism.


Proposal Number: 49
Date: 2015-12-15
Paper Title: Thomas More's Concept of Property Rights: The Ciceronian Teaching of Utopia
Core Text:
Thomas More's Utopia
Abstract:
Thomas More’s Utopia is enigmatic in many ways, but More’s condemnation of the communism in Utopia is one point on which he is clear and explicit. More’s view that communism is "absurd" and his defense of private property is influenced by Cicero’s twofold conceptions of natural justice, which is composed first, of not harming anyone and of serving the common good in the context of politics, and second, of beneficentia, or kindness and generosity. More believes along with Cicero that neither of these forms of justice are possible in the absence of legal protection for private property. Because the human inclination to self-love incentivizes men not only to acquire property, but also to take pleasure in kindness and generosity to others, the communist institutions in Utopia undermine key political virtues in the citizenry, especially the "good faith" that is essential to the rule of law.


Proposal Number: 48
Date: 2015-12-15
Paper Title: Aristotle's Politics: A Lesson in the Education of Statesmen
Core Text:
Aristotle's Politics
Abstract:
John Adams in his essay Thoughts on Government claims that the liberal education of young citizens is so wise and useful for American society that “no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.” His statement indicates a common sentiment present during the founding era that resonates to this day: the necessity of liberal education in the cultivation of statesmen for the governance of a free society. Such an education, however, requires a framework that suits the particular character of the statesman, and few thinkers in the history of western civilization provide a finer account of this necessary framework than Aristotle. Through an examination of the concluding chapters of Book VII of his Politics, this paper reveals how Aristotle crafts this framework, and how we may learn from it in our attempts to craft statesmanship education for a modern age.


Proposal Number: 47
Date: 2015-12-15
Paper Title: The Philosophy of Francis Wayland and the Preservation of American Republicanism
Core Text:
Francis Wayland's Limitations of Human Responsibility, and Elements of Moral Science
Abstract:
In the mid-19th century, any college-educated American would have been exposed to one of a number of works of moral philosophy written by such prominent academic philosophers as Francis Wayland, Archibald Alexander and Laurens Hickock. Such works of moral philosophy played a crucial role in educating those Americans who went onto prominence in academia and politics, and acted as vessels through which the principles of American self-government were transmitted, and adapted to meet new intellectual challenges. Wayland’s thought, for instance, which sought to challenge William Paley’s utilitarianism, proved to be a profound influence on both Abraham Lincoln and William H. Seward, among many others. Despite their profound importance, these contributions of America’s antebellum moral philosophers are largely forgotten today. But apart from their own merits as statements of a particular philosophy, studying them can help the scholar gauge the ways in which Americans responded to the intellectual and practical challenges of the 19th century, and provided for the continuation of the American Experiment.


Proposal Number: 46
Date: 2015-12-15
Paper Title: Cultivating Cato: Heroic Restraint and Modern Sociability in Addisons Cato: A Tragedy
Core Text:
Addison's Cato: A Tragedy
Abstract:
The austere Stoic figure of Cato would seem an odd subject for a wildly popular play. Yet Joseph Addison’s Cato: A Tragedy captured the imagination of audiences throughout Britain and the colonies in the eighteenth-century; Tories and Whigs embraced the heroic self-sacrifice of the protagonist, and George Washington even ordered the play to be performed for his soldiers at Valley Forge. Why was it so influential? The play portrays the heroism of self-control, showing Cato and his friends achieving a type of “sociable freedom” by cultivating a desire to discipline their desires.


Proposal Number: 44
Date: 2015-12-14
Paper Title: A Robot Runs Through It: Bringing Karel apeks R.U.R. into a Core Texts Course
Core Text:
Rossum's Universal Robots (R.U.R.) by Karel apek
Abstract:
One of the most significant texts in the long history of androids, automata, and other artificial human beings, is Czech writer Karel Capek"s 1921 play Rossum"s Universal Robots (R.U.R.). This text marks the first use of "robot" to mean artificial human being, particularly in the context of techno-science and industrial modes of labor and production. The play premiered in Prague and soon after opened in London, where George Bernard Shaw and G.K. Chesterton held a public debate about the text following a performance. R.U.R. explores complicated intersections of political economy, race, gender, and religion in order to ask and pursue fundamental questions about what it means to be human. This paper combines close readings of exemplary passages from the text with assessment of our including it for three years now in Luther College"s first-year Paideia program. Particular emphasis is given to R.U.R. as a text that brings change and continuity to a core text course as it introduces texts from the field of science fiction while renewing conversations with the book of Genesis, Milton"s Paradise Lost, Shelley"s Frankenstein, and Darwin"s Origin to name a few of the traditional texts to which the play alludes.


Proposal Number: 43
Date: 2015-12-12
Paper Title: Discussing Rape Culture in Contemporary American Colleges via Ovid's Metamorphoses.
Core Text:
Ovid's Metamorphoses
Abstract:
It is no secret to both faculty and students at American colleges that we are currently experiencing what a recent op-ed termed a "Campus Rape Crisis”. Whether this is a recent phenomenon, or one that has permeated campus culture for a long time but only recently has been acknowledged, the fact is that the insidious pervasiveness of sexual assault in college campuses has become one of the most important and difficult challenges that American universities must face today. Based on a close reading of the Apollo and Daphne story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and on the experiences of the author teaching this text to college freshmen, this paper argues that an in-depth discussion of classical literary texts can provide a useful and sufficiently lucid basis for initiating a very necessary, albeit extremely difficult conversation, about the psychological, cultural and even legal aspects of this deeply problematic phenomenon.


Proposal Number: 40
Date: 2015-12-11
Paper Title: Unheroic Heroes: Ambiguous Categories in Three Core Texts
Core Text:
The Epic of Gilgamesh, Beowulf, The Bhagavad-Gita
Abstract:
This paper considers the use of three key texts (Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and the Bhagavad-Gita) across a single Liberal Education curriculum. The point of comparison is the category-blurring quality of characters in each of these works. Each text contains characters who do fit their type, including gods who are not gods, monsters who are not monsters, and heroes who are not heroes. The paper argues that a focus on this aspect of these and other key texts can renew their study in Liberal Education by speaking to a globalized, post-modern world in which categories and boundaries are continually crossed and blurred.


Proposal Number: 41
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: Black and White is Not Cut and Dried
Core Text:
William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner
Abstract:
William Styron"s 1967 novelization of the 1831 Nat Turner slave rebellion sparked a heated controversy over identity, race, history, and morality. The novel, and the critical backlash it caused, make it an ideal core text for examining key issues in American culture. It is also as much about the 1960s as it is about the 1830s, perhaps more so. This paper looks at using the novel in a classroom setting to explore these crucial issues.


Proposal Number: 38
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: Aristotle, Buddha, and the Contemporary American College Student: Wisdom and Morality Across Time and Space
Core Text:
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Buddha's Sigalovada Sutta
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 Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and the Buddha's 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 ago -- and as applicable in the West as they are (and were) in the East.


Proposal Number: 34
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: The Ancient and the Modern Come Together
Core Text:
St. Augustine's
Abstract:
Augustine of Hippo' Confessions, written over 1500 years ago, has long challenged it readers with the abstract and seemingly speculative nature of its last few chapters. Until the last few decades, these claims of the nature of space and time, matter and energy seemed only supported by dogma or religious faith, and their relevance rarely communicated outside the realm of abstract theology. But now, the scientific community finds itself aghast with barely 1 part of 20 of the universe being detectable or explainable, and the growing realization that the space-time continuum is something with definite form and structure. With the ancient and the modern informing each other, we find ourselves challenged to think extradimensionally and consider the meaning of reality and of cause and effect in a completely new light.


Proposal Number: 31
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: No Rhetoric Can Cheat An Honest Conscience : Educational Implications of Martin Luthers The Bondage of the Will
Core Text:
The Bondage of the Will
Abstract:
The Bondage of the Will has been called Protestant Reformer Martin Luther's magnum opus. This paper will examine this book gleaning aspects of Luther's educational philosophy. Luther seemed interested in an education that enabled people to think for themselves -- with clarity about religious, moral, political and other issues. This prompts a key question: can education so inform the conscience as to make it immune to the effects of rhetorical manipulation?


Proposal Number: 28
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: Thinking Machine?
Core Text:
Alan Turing,
Abstract:
Changes being wrought around the world by technology upset laudable continuities. The digital computer provokes the question, "Is it time to discontinue thinking about human persons as the only thinking things on this planet?" Alan Turing's classic article, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" (1950), accessible but enigmatic and wryly amusing, addresses the question whether machines can think. It needs and repays decryption.


Proposal Number: 21
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: Building the (Im)perfect Beast: Frankenstein's Monster and the Cyborgs of Transhumanism
Core Text:
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Abstract:
Shelley"s Frankenstein has long been used as a cautionary tale against the frenzied fever of unlimited and unchecked scientific discovery. This paper will focus on Frankenstein's Monster, contrasting its particular characteristics and circumstances with the promise and potential dread of the Transhumanist chimera to come, when mind and machine come together and redefine what it means to be human.


Proposal Number: 17
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: Teaching Science in an Unscientific Era
Core Text:
Henri Poincare, Science and Method
Abstract:
More than half a century after C. P. Snow's lecture on the two cultures in 1959, we are still in an unscientific era that scientific knowledge is generally recognized as of little relevance and comprehensible only by experts. In 2012 when the universities in Hong Kong made a transition from three-year to four-year degrees, The Chinese University of Hong Kong took a visionary step by introducing a core-text course in science texts into their GE curriculum. This course puts more emphasis on reflection on science and its connection with human values rather than technical subject matter. Excerpts from Poincare's Science and Method will be taken to illustrate how to ignite students's interest in science and build a linkage between sciences and humanities in this course.


Proposal Number: 14
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: Adam Smith on the Virtues of Religious Liberty
Core Text:
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
Abstract:
Adam Smith argued that commerce and the free market are the most effective means to the satisfaction of humans' desire for wealth. But he also knew that the pursuit of wealth is profoundly corrosive of civic and moral virtue. In this paper I intend to examine Smith's claim that religious liberty and institutionalized religion can reverse this process, provided there exists a free market of religions in which a plurality of small religious communities are able to flourish. He believed that when the state does not establish a particular religion, then impartiality, and the virtues of justice, moderation, and prudence are better secured and the vices of intolerance, violence, and hypocrisy are more effectively prevented from emerging or surviving.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: On the Relation Between the Pursuit of Wealth and the Pursuit of Virtue
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will consider the age-old problem of the relation between wealth and virtue. From the time of Plato onwards, moralists have warned that the wealth we pursue has little to do with satisfying our basic needs. Indeed, thanks to our self-deception, we associate wealth with happiness, or tranquility. But neither the pursuit nor the possession of wealth actually produces tranquility; on the contrary, both jeopardize it. Among modern theorists, Rousseau and Smith both deal with this problem with great insight, and with unsettling results. For both, the conditions of our material prosperity are tied to those of our spiritual poverty. Greed, dishonesty, a willingness to exploit others, vanity; these are among the vices that inevitably accompany the promotion of our material well-being. The texts under discussion in this panel will focus our attention on whether, and if so how, it is possible to escape this condition.


Proposal Number: 13
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: Adam Smith on Economic Inequality
Core Text:
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations & The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Abstract:
In his two major works Adam Smith provides a comprehensive theory of the socialization of the individual. He describes a process which aligns the original propensities that characterize the state of human nature and the institutions that underpin commercial society. The paper investigates Smith's account of the interplay between the primal passions and the social order with a focus on two specific concerns: the stability of the social system and the distribution of wealth and income. Smith acknowledges that stark disparities in living standards may constitute a potential source of social unrest and disruption. However, in his narrative of wealth accumulation and endogenous self-regulation, economic inequality eventually takes on the role of a stabilizing force which ensures the material as well as the institutional reproduction of society.


Proposal Number: 11
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: Tradition and Renewal: Why Perpetua Belongs in the Core
Core Text:
The Passion of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity and Companions
Abstract:
At Seton Hall we have three required Core class, the second of which is called "Christianity and Culture in Dialogue." Our first edition of the specialized text we created for the course had few, if any, women writers in it. Several of us, myself included, argued for the inclusion of an important group of core texts by women writers, one of these Perpetua's narrative of her pre-execution stay in a Roman prison in Carthage for her refusal to offer sacrifice for the emperor's son and, essentially, for being a Christian. The inclusion of this text into our core textbook, in its first revision, represents the best of how tradition and renewal work together in the development of a core program in a university.


Proposal Number: 5
Date: 2015-12-10
Paper Title: William James on God and Morality
Core Text:
William James, The Will to Believe
Abstract:
In his famous essay "The Will to Believe," James defends the right to religious faith.James is so busy defending our right to believe that he seems to have overlooked the need to explain why religious faith is actually good for us, in the way that any true belief must be, according to his pragmatic theory of truth. To get some sort of answer to this question, we must dig a little deeper into the collection of essays that takes its title from "The Will to Believe."


Proposal Number: 39
Date: 2015-12-08
Paper Title: Liberal Arts for Teachers
Core Text:
Plato's Republic; Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra
Abstract:
At the University of Winchester we are exploring ways of bringing a liberal arts experience to three different groups of people: to existing school teachers; to their school pupils; and to undergraduates who are considering teaching training after graduation. In my paper I will focus on The Republic and Thus Spake Zarathustra, among other texts, exploring the ways, if any, in which they might be able to inspire teaching as a vocation, and address wider liberal arts areas of interest and relevance.


Proposal Number: 37
Date: 2015-12-08
Paper Title: The Mariner's Compass: Montesquieu's Voyage of Enlightenment in the Persian Letters
Core Text:
Persian Letters
Abstract:
In the Persian Letters Montesquieu begins a voyage of enlightenment that will reach its culmination in the Spirit of the Laws more than two decades later. Montesquieu"s earlier work embodies an attempt to explain the variety of human experience on the basis of empirical evidence, ultimately revealing custom"s own reason and the relativity of truth.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Great French Triumvirate: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will explore the impact of Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Tocqueville on the development of modern philosophy and political philosophy. The panel will especially be concerned with the relationship of reason and custom, reason and revelation, nature and freedom, and freedom and justice.


Proposal Number: 36
Date: 2015-12-08
Paper Title: Achilles, Greatest of the Achaeans
Core Text:
The Iliad
Abstract:
Achilles is generally recognized to be the best of the Achaeans in the Iliad. This recognition is due in part to Homer’s telling readers that he is so. Homer, however, does more than just say Achilles is the best. He also shows that Achilles is so, and he shows Achilles is so in a variety of ways, some obvious and some subtle. This paper examines how Homer shows readers that Achilles is the best of the Achaeans.


Proposal Number: 35
Date: 2015-12-08
Paper Title: Visible Parlare: Visual Rhetoric and The Divine Comedy
Core Text:
The Divine Comedy
Abstract:
In Purgatorio X, Dante and Virgil arrive on the Terrace of the Proud where they encounter scenes carved in white marble that are so extraordinary they defy sensory categories. Confronted with this “art of visible speaking,” Dante does not know which sense to believe. Throughout The Divine Comedy, and especially in this canto, Dante interrupts the poem with reminders of its own insufficiency to convey spiritual vision and so challenges his readers to consider the limitations of the individual senses in the construction of meaning. In this spirit, my paper asks how an interdisciplinary approach can enrich traditions of textual analysis and interpretation and deepen our students’ understanding of core texts and their histories. Using Purgatorio X to introduce this question, I consider the vital role visual art and art historical methodologies can play in the teaching of core texts.


Proposal Number: 33
Date: 2015-12-07
Paper Title: ISOCRATES AGAINST THE SOPHISTS: Tempering Excessive Promises
Core Text:
Against the Sophists
Abstract:
Isocrates’ Against the Sophists treats his view of rhetoric’s subject matter and his teaching. To execute his task, Isocrates employs a strategy that contrasts himself with sophists. Isocrates’ contrast, however, is no minor affair but rather reveals an agon or contest for the soul of students, Athens, and, arguably, Greece. It is a prime purpose of this essay to understand the contrast between Isocrates and sophists and the wide-ranging implications for contemporary educational policy.


Proposal Number: 32
Date: 2015-12-04
Paper Title: Augustine on the Concept of Time
Core Text:
St. Augustine's Confessions
Abstract:
Augustine on the concept of Time. In his efforts to understand the creation of the universe St. Augustine explores the nature of time in his book The Confessions. Selected parts of this book are studied in a physics course on Space and Time at Columbia College Chicago. Dr. Papacosta will provide brief summary of the concept of time prior to St. Augustine followed by a commentary on selected passages from Confessions. St Augustine’s concept of time will be compared with that of William Blake’s in Auguries of Innocence and in Filippo Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto.


Proposal Number: 29
Date: 2015-12-02
Paper Title: Anna Karenina: The Tragedy of the Cosmopolitan Woman
Core Text:
Anna Karenina
Abstract:
This paper argues that the continuing popularity of Tolstoy"s Anna Karenina can be explained through Tolstoy"s depiction of the quandary of the loving woman living within a cosmopolitan society. Unlike his approach in War and Peace, in which he denounces cosmopolitanism through the actions and behaviors of the St. Petersburg Westerners, in Anna Karenina his tact is far more psychological. His aim here is to illustrate the tragic quandary of a loving woman living within cosmopolitan society. She is easily admired by readers as a result of her loving character. However, it is precisely this capacity to deeply love which results in her self-destruction. This scenario, which is both tragic and heroic, seems to pit Anna against the evils of a vacuous cosmopolitan society. The elements of this story are, quite simply, irresistible.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Cosmopolitanism and Virtue
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Panel Proposal: This panel will study the relationship between cosmopolitanism and virtue as discussed in core texts of philosophy and literature. Richard Buckwalter will discuss cosmopolitanism and the liberal regime in Montesquieus Spirit of the Laws. Mark Kremer will discuss cosmopolitanism in Rousseaus First Discourse and Julie. Jack Moran will discuss Tolstoys treatment of cosmopolitanism in Anna Karenina. The papers will examine the effects of cosmopolitanism on both civic virtue and intellectual virtue, and will reflect on whether or not cosmopolitanism is good or bad for humanity. The papers will look at the good and the bad in cosmopolitanism. Although it creates religious and national toleration, it also creates indifference to human virtue and happiness. Although the arts and natural sciences advance, there is a crisis of human meaning. All of the papers will thematically develop these conflicts. The relation of these topics to tradition and renewal/continuity and change in education is clear: as education becomes more technical and scientific, and society more global and unconnected to humane learning, there is greater difficulty in explaining the duties and ends of human life.


Proposal Number: 27
Date: 2015-12-02
Paper Title: Do hip hop belong in the Core?
Core Text:
Souls of Black Folk, Invisible Man, Bluest Eye, Their Eyes are Watching God
Abstract:
Souls of Black Folk, (Du Bois) is modeled after spirituals popular in Du Bois" contemporary era. How does that relate to the modern black music of our era(s), or the past two generations (X and Z/millennials)? Specifically, how does hip hop correlate to the African American intellectual and Core tradition? Pedagogically speaking, how do you bring modern music (jazz, rock and hip hop) into the classroom experience?


Proposal Number: 26
Date: 2015-12-02
Paper Title: for colored girls who are experiencing the PTSDs
Core Text:
for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf
Abstract:
This pivotal text by Ntozake Shange explores the joys and pains, ups and downs of Black womanhood. This paper examines this work through three lenses: Post traumatic slavery syndrome, post traumatic sexism disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. The poems examined in this way, not only tell the story of trauma and disorder, but they also hold the key for healing as well.


Proposal Number: 12
Date: 2015-12-02
Paper Title: 'That which produces the general good is always terrible' (Saint-Just): aporetic education in Victor Hugo's Ninety-Three
Core Text:
Ninety-Three Victor Hugo
Abstract:
Victor Hugo' s works are not only amongst some of the most well-known of the Romantic era, they give us an insight into the period of the French Revolution; its politics, its culture and its terrors. Despite his status as a rather unfashionable author I argue that as a core text Hugo's Ninety-Three presents us with a powerful rendering of the actualities, and thus dilemmas, of attempts to change the world. To read Hugo's 93 is to encounter a perennial difficulty; that of the relation between our ideals and violence. This paper explores the profoundly educational response of Hugo's 93 as a core text to the experience that students have of the equivocation of political life. It shows in what ways the aporias of continuity and change feature in student's experience of modern freedom and how these are given voice by Hugo in and for their educational significance.


Proposal Number: 24
Date: 2015-11-30
Paper Title: The Book of Job behind Bars
Core Text:
The Book of Job
Abstract:
After a performance of the Book of Job in prison, the inmates and I explored the usual questions of God, suffering, just desert, and evil. These questions took on a special poignancy, for some of the inmates had inflicted unjust suffering, and many were experiencing it as a pervasive part of their lives. In this paper I explore the importance of core texts in prison education and detail how teaching texts like the Book of Job behind bars illuminates them.


Proposal Number: 23
Date: 2015-11-25
Paper Title: Seeing the Spiritual in Tintoretto
Core Text:
Tintoretto, Appearance of the Cross to St. Peter (1552)
Abstract:
Did Tintoretto paint spiritual transcendence? Jean-Paul Sartre gave an emphatic negative reply to this question. This paper will present briefly his reasons and then provide an alternative answer based upon viewing of Tintoretto"s use of light in the depiction of sacred persons and scenes.


Proposal Number: 20
Date: 2015-11-17
Paper Title: Nature of Science in Science Core-text Teaching
Core Text:
Isaac Newton, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 19
Date: 2015-11-16
Paper Title: Tocqueville and Democracy Today
Core Text:
Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Abstract:
Alexis de Tocqueville grappled with the pros and cons of American democracy, finding much in it that was good, but also some elements that were troubling. Teaching students about American government, politics and society through de Tocqueville allows them to take a more objective stance toward their country, developing a more critical attitude toward things general considered good, such as equality, individualism, rights, democratic participation and capitalism. Students equipped with this vision, borne of an aristocratic reaction to American democracy, allows them to both defend and improve upon themselves as citizens and their country.


Proposal Number: 15
Date: 2015-11-04
Paper Title: Medieval Chinese Poetry: Structure, Meaning, Relevance
Core Text:
Du Fu, poetry
Abstract:
I will discuss how to make medieval Chinese poetry, particularly of the Tang Dynasty, meaningful and relevant to American undergraduate students. Specifically, an understanding of the structural conventions of poetry from this period provides students with a means to interpret and appreciate it. I will illustrate my points through an analysis of two poems by Du Fu, one of China"s most famous poets. I hope to encourage the inclusion of these non-Western core texts in the undergraduate curriculum.


Proposal Number: 9
Date: 2015-09-20
Paper Title: Can we still get them to read? leading our students to the joys and sorrows of a great read.
Core Text:
Marcel Proust, On Reading
Abstract:
There are, for many of us, those books and those times of reading that transported us, that changed us profoundly. Proust"s essay, itself a wonderful read, defines those books and those experiences. Are these experiences lost to our students? If they are, what does that mean for the Humanities? If they are not, where are those books, and how can we build on them in oiur teaching?


Proposal Number: 8
Date: 2015-09-16
Paper Title: Ciceros On Friendship in the Age of Facebook
Core Text:
Cicero's "On Friendship"
Abstract:
In an age of Facebook and other social media that atomizes individuals instead of linking them, just like data is discreet bits of information, individuals are discrete. The community-building friendship that Cicero understood has been all but erased. However, by a close reading of “On Friendship,” today’s students can develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of true friendship. My paper will discuss ways that I’ve used Cicero’s “On Friendship” to encourage thoughtful and productive discussions on the meaning of friendship and this deeper understanding improves both the students’ lives and those around them.


Proposal Number: 4
Date: 2015-08-27
Paper Title: Churchill's Dream
Core Text:
Winston S. Churchill's Dream
Abstract:
Winston Churchill"s last written work is a dialogue between him and his father (who was dead for 47 years.) This work is a combination of history, fiction, and psychology. It reveals more about Churchill than most of his writings. It is mostly unknown and is useful for any core text program since it is the reflections of one of the most significant people of the 20th century.