Submitted Proposals (2016-2017)

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Proposal # Date Panel Title Paper Title
Proposal # 492 2017-08-19 Designing Core Texts Courses for a Globalized World
Proposal # 326 2017-04-06 Reading the Story of Our Understanding of Life
Proposal # 328 2017-02-01 Vere's Capital Dilemma
Proposal # 295 2017-02-01 Report for Tradition and Innovation Seminar Summer 2016
Proposal # 257 2017-02-01 Socrates and Athens, an Uneasy Marriage
Proposal # 318 2017-01-25 Know a Little, but Know it Well
Proposal # 317 2017-01-25 Lyric Testimony and the Recovery of Creative Intuition
Proposal # 314 2017-01-25 Report on Outcomes from Tradition and Innovation Seminar Summer 2016
Proposal # 311 2017-01-25 Honor and the Democratic Experience
Proposal # 309 2017-01-25 The Revival of the Liberal Arts in the Twentieth-Century Recovering Contemplation
Proposal # 307 2017-01-25 Imagination and the Core in the Thought of Louise Cowan Change and Continuity in the Classics
Proposal # 305 2017-01-24 The Revival of the Liberal Arts in the Twentieth-Century Classics, the Liberal Arts, and Receptivity
Proposal # 299 2017-01-24 Two Ways to Open Up Agamemnon to Students
Proposal # 288 2017-01-24 Rereading Ovid's Rapes
Proposal # 287 2017-01-24 Cicero's Pro Archia and the Defense of the Humanities
Proposal # 286 2017-01-24 Zossima's account: the teachings of the Russian Monk as a response to Ivan
Proposal # 285 2017-01-24 Melancholy, Misery, and Malady: Enjoying the 19th Century French Novel
Proposal # 284 2017-01-24 Memory and Forgetting: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Proposal # 283 2017-01-24 Teaching the Core in the South Bronx: Oedipus Tragic Bubble
Proposal # 282 2017-01-24 King Lears Journey to the Enchanted Island: Where Tragedy and Romance Diverge in King Lear and The Tempest
Proposal # 280 2017-01-24 Derek Walcotts Poetics of Belonging in Omeros
Proposal # 279 2017-01-24 "Rooted Cosmopolitianism" in Seamus Heaney's "North"
Proposal # 275 2017-01-24 Classical Education in the 21st Century The Role and Limits of Knowledge in Education: J.H. Newman on the liberal arts ideal
Proposal # 276 2017-01-23 Discovering, Distinguishing, and Demonstrating the Complex Identities of Women in the Narrative of the Life of Henry Bibb
Proposal # 272 2017-01-20 The Essence of Mediation in The Dhammapada
Proposal # 271 2017-01-20 Imagination and the Core in the Thought of Louise Cowan The Aeneid as Founding Text of a Core Curriculum
Proposal # 270 2017-01-20 Lyric Emergency in John Crowe Ransom's
Proposal # 268 2017-01-20 To tell a Story is to Endure: Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape
Proposal # 267 2017-01-20 The Ordinary in the Epic: Daily Ritual in Derek Walcott's Omeros
Proposal # 266 2017-01-20 The Character of Piety in Plato's Euthyphro
Proposal # 262 2017-01-20 A Bridge Between Islands: Crusoe vs. Cruso
Proposal # 261 2017-01-20 Being-Towards-Death in Homer's Iliad
Proposal # 260 2017-01-20 Your People Will (Not) Be My People: Gender, Ethnic Tension, and Religious Identity in Ruth and Judith
Proposal # 259 2017-01-20 Teaching College with the Core Texts Reading and Liberation: The Case for Gargantua and Pantagruel
Proposal # 258 2017-01-19 Samuel Johnson: Great Communicator of the Core?
Proposal # 256 2017-01-19 Bridge over Tybalt Water: The Problem of Faction in Romeo and Juliet
Proposal # 253 2017-01-18 Approaching the Commedia Through Numerology
Proposal # 251 2017-01-18 Aristotle and the History of Economic Thought
Proposal # 250 2017-01-18 Ulysses: The Work of Losing and Finding a Human Voice
Proposal # 249 2017-01-18 The Revival of the Liberal Arts in the Twentieth Century A Return to Rhetoric? Revivals of the Trivium in a Public University
Proposal # 217 2017-01-18 The Divided Soul in Aristotle
Proposal # 245 2017-01-17 Talking with the Ancestors: Scholarly Contextualization and Imaginative Dialog in Bridging Historical Divides
Proposal # 244 2017-01-17 Music in the core
Proposal # 242 2017-01-17 A case study of bringing core texts into practice in China
Proposal # 241 2017-01-17 James Wilson: Judge as Statesman
Proposal # 237 2017-01-17 The Unspeakable Sublime: The 'Silence of God' Trilogy of Ingmar Bergman
Proposal # 231 2017-01-17 Shaftesbury's Defense of Common Opinion
Proposal # 200 2017-01-17 Jane's Ire: Angry Women in the Canonical Attic
Proposal # 229 2017-01-13 The Philosopher, Rhetoric, and the Laws in Plato's Crito
Proposal # 227 2017-01-13 Teaching College with Core Texts Student Enculturation in Crime and Punishment
Proposal # 225 2017-01-12 On Liberty: Would John Stuart Mill Have Supported Gay Rights?
Proposal # 224 2017-01-12 Heavenly and MundanePerspective in Heraclitus and Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi)
Proposal # 222 2017-01-11 Reading St. Benedict's Life and Rule as Core Texts
Proposal # 221 2017-01-11 Teaching Women and the Core: Recovery and Representation Unmasking Female Agency: (Re)interpreting Lady Rokuj for the Medieval Japanese Stage
Proposal # 220 2017-01-11 Pleasure, Prestige and Patronage of Liberal Education in Ciceros Pro Archia
Proposal # 219 2017-01-11 Is Hester Prynne a Feminist Icon?
Proposal # 218 2017-01-11 Re-Orienting Custance: Gender and the East in Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale
Proposal # 216 2017-01-11 Prospero's Human Choice
Proposal # 215 2017-01-10 Teaching Women and the Core: Recovery and Representation Problems with Assigning Margery Kempe and St. Teresa of Avila
Proposal # 214 2017-01-10 Teaching Women and the Core: Recovery and Representation Religion, Race, and Portrayals of American Indian Women in Mary Rowlandsons The Sovereignty and Goodness of God (1682)
Proposal # 213 2017-01-10 Blues as Multi-Dimensional Core Text: Listening Closely to Junior Wells' Hoodoo Man Blues (1965)
Proposal # 212 2017-01-10 Seeing the True as the Beautiful: Using Tolkien to Read Aquinas
Proposal # 210 2017-01-10 Collingwood and Class Overlap
Proposal # 209 2017-01-10 The Logic of Fraternal Correction
Proposal # 208 2017-01-09 William James's "The Dilemma of Determinism" Revisited
Proposal # 206 2017-01-09 Toward 'Rejuvenating' the *Summa Theologiae*: Strategies for Helping New Readers
Proposal # 205 2017-01-09 Teaching Kouzes and Posner's The Student Leadership Challenge in an Introduction to Leadership Class
Proposal # 204 2017-01-09 Why the Question of Motive Matters for Platonic Political Philosophy
Proposal # 104 2017-01-09 Bringing Women into the Scientific Core
Proposal # 98 2017-01-09 : "My love to love is to love but to disgrace it:" Sacred and Profane Love in Shakespeare's "Venus and Adonis"
Proposal # 203 2017-01-06 Cynicism and Education
Proposal # 202 2017-01-06 The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown: The Liberal Arts in Uncertain Times Full of light, high and fair: Tolkiens Vision of the Good City
Proposal # 199 2017-01-05 Jackie's Boy: The Short and Tragic Life of RobertPeace
Proposal # 197 2017-01-05 At the Heart of Atheism: Aquinas on the Two Basic Objections to the Existence of a God
Proposal # 196 2017-01-05 Dialectic's Relation to Rhetoric and Demonstration
Proposal # 193 2017-01-05 The Voice of the Murderer: the Resurrection of Community in Raskolnikov's Confession to Sonya
Proposal # 190 2017-01-05 The Well-Constituted Trivium
Proposal # 186 2017-01-05 Why Rome? Place and the Political
Proposal # 185 2017-01-05 Dreams and Daydreams in Book 20 of The Odyssey
Proposal # 184 2017-01-05 Rhetorical instruction through modern and ancient texts: Crider and/or Cicero
Proposal # 181 2017-01-05 Out of the Cauldron of "The Warmth of Other Suns," Community is Honed
Proposal # 180 2017-01-05 Religion in the state of nature: Hobbes's image of trust as the basis of political life
Proposal # 179 2017-01-05 Augustinian and Daoist Perspectives on Reading Nature Like a Book
Proposal # 177 2017-01-05 Hannah Arendt on Speech and Action: What No Person (or Computer) Can Do for You
Proposal # 176 2017-01-05 A Virtuous Daughter: Friendship and Politics in Cicero's Tusculan Disputations
Proposal # 174 2017-01-05 The Political Philosophy of the Phenomenology of Spirit
Proposal # 172 2017-01-05 A Year-Long Set of Five Courses for International Students
Proposal # 170 2017-01-05 The pursuit of justice as the tyrannical subversion of nature in Seneca's Oedipus
Proposal # 168 2017-01-05 Nietzsche and Tocqueville on The Condition of Equality: To Dance The Tarantella?
Proposal # 167 2017-01-05 Speaking Across Differences: Classic and Contemporary Stoicism
Proposal # 166 2017-01-05 Tennyson's Guinevere: How a university's sexual assault crisis gave relevance to a Victorian moral fable.
Proposal # 165 2017-01-05 The Rape of Tamar: Teaching the Tragic Story of King Davids Family in a Post-Title IX World
Proposal # 164 2017-01-05 The proposed talk is part of the panel entitled "Imagination, The Core" Vergil's Sixth Eclogue
Proposal # 162 2017-01-05 ARENDT, ORWELL AND THE POLITICS OF TRUTH
Proposal # 160 2017-01-05 Dangerous Books: Cautionary Tales in The Tempest and Frankenstein
Proposal # 159 2017-01-05 'The Horror, The Horror' of Teaching 'Heart of Darkness' to Teenagers
Proposal # 158 2017-01-05 On the question of Socrates' Benevolence
Proposal # 157 2017-01-05 Rousseau: Friend or Foe of Liberal Education?
Proposal # 156 2017-01-05 The Beauty of Truth in the Humanities and Natural Sciences
Proposal # 155 2017-01-05 Journey to the Center of Another: Adam Smith on Sympathy
Proposal # 154 2017-01-05 Bridging Divides, Crossing Borders, Building Communities: Cervantes' Other Core Text
Proposal # 153 2017-01-05 Aristotle versus Diotima on Motherly Love
Proposal # 152 2017-01-05 The Heart Sutra, Revelation, and Emergent Spacetime
Proposal # 151 2017-01-05 The Economy of Information in Aeschylus' Agamemnon
Proposal # 150 2017-01-05 Platonic Educations Who Would Read Platos Cleitophon?
Proposal # 149 2017-01-05 Parents as Teachers, Teachers as Parents
Proposal # 148 2017-01-05 Imagination, The Core Unsophistication -- Imaginative Wilderness in Shakespeare's King Lear
Proposal # 147 2017-01-05 Building Community through the Universality of the Human Condition: Suffering and Hope in Kierkegaards Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits
Proposal # 145 2017-01-05 Beauty in Truth: On the Strife of Earth and World in Heidegger's Origin of the Work of Art
Proposal # 144 2017-01-05 Plato and Thrasymachus on Power
Proposal # 140 2017-01-05 Matthew Arnold in the Trenches: An Approach to the Teaching of Core Texts
Proposal # 139 2017-01-05 The Green Light and the Eyes of T.J. Eckleburg: Bridging the Emotional Divide in Fitzgeralds Gatsby
Proposal # 138 2017-01-05 Translating the language of duties into the language of rights: the recognition of a common humanity and respect for human dignity in Confucian Classics
Proposal # 137 2017-01-05 Borromini's Restlessness and the Classical Tradition
Proposal # 136 2017-01-05 Imagination, The Core Hephaistos, the Divine Outsider of the Iliad
Proposal # 135 2017-01-05 "Commerce and Character" Self-Interest Well Understood in the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Proposal # 133 2017-01-05 Philosophy of Mind: Past and Present
Proposal # 132 2017-01-05 Liberal Education for Mortal Communities: Cicero and Chekhov on Living and Aging Well
Proposal # 131 2017-01-05 Dumbing Democracy Down: Alexis de Tocqueville's Appraisals and Solutions
Proposal # 129 2017-01-05 Deception, Passion, and Reason in the Fall of Man
Proposal # 128 2017-01-05 Can Man Transform Nature? "Channels Which Had No Great Name on Earth": The Limits of the Transformation of Nature in Xenophon's Education of Cyrus
Proposal # 127 2017-01-05 Rhetoric and Political Virtue in Plato's Menexenus
Proposal # 125 2017-01-05 Re-creation versus Rectification: Experience, Reason, and the Human's Appropriate Work in Paradise Lost
Proposal # 124 2017-01-05 Homer's Role in the Socratic Education: An Examination of Book Ten of the Republic
Proposal # 123 2017-01-05 Revisiting the Quarrel Between Philosophy and Poetry The Problem of the Good in Plato's Apology of Socrates
Proposal # 195 2017-01-04 The Heart Sutra, Revelation, and Emergent Spacetime
Proposal # 194 2017-01-04 Outsiders in Core Texts Aristotle, Affect, and Social Exclusion in The Mayor of Casterbridge
Proposal # 192 2017-01-04 Musing Dante, Divining Milton and Cultivating Confucius: A Collaboration Between Great Books and Visual Arts
Proposal # 191 2017-01-04 Liberal arts education for everybody? Nietzsche and free college proposals
Proposal # 189 2017-01-04 Preserving Trust in Political Discourse: Reflections on the Debate Between Cleon and Diodotus in Thucydides's Peloponnesian War
Proposal # 183 2017-01-04 From Tragedy to Comedy in Hegel's Phenomenology
Proposal # 182 2017-01-04 Grieving for the World through Core Texts
Proposal # 175 2017-01-04 'I was the first to bring the muse into my country': Willa Cather's My Antonia, the First Modernist American Epic
Proposal # 188 2017-01-03 Rejuvenating and Reinventing the Liberal Arts in Humanistic Liberal Education
Proposal # 178 2017-01-03 Hunters and Imitators: Towards Genuine Community in Plato's Republic
Proposal # 146 2017-01-03 To Dream From The Ruins: An Analysis of Borges' "The Circular Ruins"
Proposal # 122 2017-01-03 Does Aquinas succeed in unifying Eros and Benevolence?
Proposal # 121 2017-01-03 Oppression and Revolution: Wollstonecraft and Freire in Dialog
Proposal # 119 2017-01-03 Outsiders in Core Texts Breaking the Rule: Women Living the Vita Apostolica
Proposal # 117 2017-01-03 "The Crime Don't Matter"?: Building Bridges with Outlaws in "The Stranger" and "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"
Proposal # 115 2017-01-03 Men under the reign of Women in Russian Literature of the XIX century
Proposal # 113 2017-01-03 Teaching classic science texts in Shenzhen (mainland China)
Proposal # 112 2017-01-03 Wojtyla's Rhapsodic Theater: How to Suit Action to the Word
Proposal # 111 2017-01-03 The Non-Action of Rest: The Aristotelian Realism of Michael Faraday's Experimental Researches in Electricity
Proposal # 109 2017-01-03 Pragmatism: An Old Name for Some Hopeful Future Ways of Thinking -- Reflections on William James Less Known Writings
Proposal # 105 2017-01-03 The intersectionality of Being Black, a Woman, and a Professor
Proposal # 173 2017-01-01 : A Noteworthy Event of No Consequence in Plutarchs Life of Themistocles
Proposal # 171 2017-01-01 Rejuvenating and Reinventing the Liberal Arts: Aristotle's Poetics and Classical Education
Proposal # 169 2017-01-01 Three Cross-Cultural Modes of First Year Core
Proposal # 163 2016-12-31 Tocqueville on Equality, Public Opinion, and Freedom of Thought
Proposal # 161 2016-12-31 Revisiting Harrison Bergeron for the social media age
Proposal # 143 2016-12-31 The Revival of the Liberal Arts in the Twentieth-Century
Proposal # 142 2016-12-31 Bridging the Gap: Using Plato to Booster High School Student Achievement
Proposal # 134 2016-12-31 The Structure of Dante's Paradise
Proposal # 130 2016-12-31 Law as the Missing Piece in a Liberal Arts Education
Proposal # 126 2016-12-30 The Orphic Hymns as Imitation Oral Poems
Proposal # 120 2016-12-30 Political Justice According to John Locke
Proposal # 118 2016-12-30 Rejuvenating the Liberal Arts in the Core What was Enlightenment? Reintegrating the Liberal Arts in a Post-Traditional World
Proposal # 116 2016-12-30 Complementarity of the epistemological approaches to exploring Nature
Proposal # 110 2016-12-29 The First Scenes of Shakespearean Plays Taught Through Performative Pedagogy The First Scenes of Shakespearean Plays Taught Through Performative Pedagogy
Proposal # 108 2016-12-29 Table and Tavern or Congress and Courthouse? Friendship and the Pre-Political Foundation of Political Society
Proposal # 107 2016-12-29 Outsiders in Core Texts The Socratic Tradition Continued: Socrates and Sojourner Truth
Proposal # 106 2016-12-29 Crossing Cultures/Crossing Gender: Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book, Cultural Capital and the Performance of Gender in the Core
Proposal # 103 2016-12-29 Outsiders in Core Texts Viola the Refugee
Proposal # 102 2016-12-29 The Laugh of the Medusa in Core: Womens Voices and the Traditional Canon
Proposal # 101 2016-12-29 Questions of Democracy: Rethinking "Demos" and "Kratos" with Herodotus and Mandela
Proposal # 100 2016-12-29 Which core texts should employees at Volkswagen have read before programming software for Diesel engines?
Proposal # 99 2016-12-29 Political Life and Humility in "The City of God"
Proposal # 97 2016-12-29 Locke's Golden Rule
Proposal # 96 2016-12-29 Exiles in Purgatory: Political Lessons from Dante's Encounter with Sordello
Proposal # 95 2016-12-29 Weaving Deceit: Portrayals of Penelope's Weaving Trick in the Odyssey
Proposal # 94 2016-12-29 Two Ways to Open Up Agamemnon to Students Illuminating Agamemnon
Proposal # 93 2016-12-29 Mind the gap: Hegel, faith and politics in the modern world
Proposal # 92 2016-12-29 The Underdeterminacy of the Word: Phaedrus, Cratylus and the Communal Demands of Language
Proposal # 91 2016-12-29 God and King at Agincourt: Henry V and the Political-Religious Divide
Proposal # 90 2016-12-29 A Painful Dream: Alexis de Tocqueville on Race and Slavery
Proposal # 88 2016-12-28 Emerson's Garden
Proposal # 87 2016-12-28 Dante Learning, Learning Dante Reason, Revelation, and Beyond: Transcending Human Knowledge in the Divine Comedy
Proposal # 86 2016-12-28 Plato and Aristotle on Good Character
Proposal # 85 2016-12-28 Build the Wall Vocation, Freedom, and Learning
Proposal # 84 2016-12-28 Beethovens 5th Symphony as Core Text: A Model of Large-Scale Process
Proposal # 82 2016-12-27 The Tragedy of the Commons: A Guidebook for Bridging the Divide between Science and Public Understanding
Proposal # 81 2016-12-27 Natural Law and the Common Good in Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago
Proposal # 80 2016-12-27 Recycling the Core
Proposal # 79 2016-12-27 Clarissa Dalloway & Dark Matter: All the Energy we cannot See in Virginia Woolfs Mrs. Dalloway
Proposal # 78 2016-12-27 The thumotic knot: untangling the concern for honor and reputation from the concern for justice
Proposal # 77 2016-12-27 Commerce and Character If I were rich: on the relation of wealth and pleasure in Rousseaus Emile
Proposal # 74 2016-12-27 Culture, Identity, and Difference in "Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio"
Proposal # 72 2016-12-27 Lovers and Friends
Proposal # 71 2016-12-27 Luther’s Revolting Language: Building and Burning Bridges through Strategic Incivility
Proposal # 70 2016-12-27 What hath Dido to do with Lucretia? Getting to the Core of Perpetua's "Passion"
Proposal # 68 2016-12-27 John Witherspoon's Critique of Eudaemonism
Proposal # 67 2016-12-27 Forking Futures in Physics, Philosophy, and Fiction. Connecting the Quadrivium and the Trivium in the Twenty-First Century
Proposal # 66 2016-12-27 Changing the Paradigm: Barbara McClintock and the Discovery of Transposons
Proposal # 76 2016-12-26 Still another look at Hamlet's much discussed procrastination.
Proposal # 75 2016-12-26 The real origin of species - or was that specious?
Proposal # 73 2016-12-26 Petrus Alfonsi, Disciplina Clericalis, as a Core Text Celebrating a Medieval Multi-Cultural Community
Proposal # 65 2016-12-22 "On the Miracle of the Common Noun"
Proposal # 64 2016-12-21 Honey, please: Emerson and Merleau-Ponty on the Human Condition
Proposal # 63 2016-12-21 Teaching the Big Bang and Cosmological Evolution in the Core
Proposal # 62 2016-12-21 Roman Cultural Values, the Foreigner, and Citizenship in Pro Archia
Proposal # 60 2016-12-21 Commerce and Character Christine de Pizan and the Honorable Principate
Proposal # 59 2016-12-20 Knowledge and Tyranny: Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus
Proposal # 58 2016-12-20 WWAD? Hed Prolly LOL: Establishing an Aristotelian Framework for Analyzing Digital Texts
Proposal # 50 2016-12-20 Commerce and Character Where Right Meets Might: Montesquieu on Commerce and the Right of Nations
Proposal # 57 2016-12-19 Buying and Selling: The Relationship between Morality, Economics, and Politics
Proposal # 56 2016-12-19 Commerce and Human Character Smith on Self-Interest and Moral Character in a Commercial Society
Proposal # 55 2016-12-19 Rejuvenating the Liberal Arts in the Core: Bringing Logic into a Core Class
Proposal # 54 2016-12-19 The Unexpected Heroine
Proposal # 53 2016-12-19 Secrecy in Sense and Sensibility: Jane Austen's How-To Manual for Receiving and Responding to Secrets
Proposal # 51 2016-12-19 Dante Learning, Learning Dante Purging the Problem Problem using Dantes Purgatorio
Proposal # 49 2016-12-19 Robert Penn Warren's Stark Portrait of the People's Will
Proposal # 47 2016-12-19 Why is a Good Man Hard to Find?
Proposal # 46 2016-12-19 Reconnecting Catholicism with the Sciences A Model for Teaching Science-Religion Core Texts
Proposal # 45 2016-12-19 Gold to the Core: The Ages of Man Through the Ages
Proposal # 42 2016-12-19 Let the Punishment Fit the Crime
Proposal # 41 2016-12-19 Because the People are of a Certain Quality: Aristotles Teaching on the Middle Class
Proposal # 39 2016-12-19 Dante Learning, Learning Dante The Stellar Pupil: Dante and the Heroism of the Student
Proposal # 38 2016-12-19 The Good, The Bad, and the Unknown: The Liberal Arts in Uncertain Times Ammianus Marcellinus Res Gestae [History] and how to live in tumultuous Times.
Proposal # 37 2016-12-19 Friendship and Sociability in Montaigne's "Of liars"
Proposal # 34 2016-12-19 Lockes Virtue as the Tyranny of the Mind
Proposal # 33 2016-12-19 Questioning Rhetoric
Proposal # 31 2016-12-19 Subversive Penelope
Proposal # 30 2016-12-19 A Global Approach to Ancient Core Texts: Job and Euthyphro on Moral Obligation
Proposal # 25 2016-12-19 At the Intersection of History and Ethics: Sigenzas Theater of Political Virtues
Proposal # 2 2016-12-19 Helmholtz on Thermal Education
Proposal # 5 2016-12-19 Questions about the historical text: The Work "The Songs" Is It A Source for history?
Proposal # 52 2016-12-17 The Past-Present Relation and Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise
Proposal # 44 2016-12-16 Teaching College with Core Texts: Enculturation in the Liberal Arts Civilizing Enkidus Using Gilgamesh to teach Classroom Conduct.
Proposal # 43 2016-12-15 The People Have Spoken:How and Will St. Bonaventure's "The Mind's Journey to God" be reconfigured in the re-imagined core?
Proposal # 40 2016-12-14 Dante Learning, Learning Dante Teaching Dante's Great Text outside Great Texts Programs
Proposal # 32 2016-12-12 "The Status of Women in Lockes Two Treatises"
Proposal # 29 2016-12-09 Dante Learning, Learning Dante On the Incompleteness of Virgil's Account of Hell in Inferno XI
Proposal # 28 2016-12-08 Dante Learning, Learning Dante A Dantean source 'not known to many'
Proposal # 27 2016-12-08 Slow Looking in the Core: Bruegels Landscape With the Fall of Icarus
Proposal # 26 2016-12-08 Jacques Barzun, The Culture We Deserve
Proposal # 24 2016-12-08 Power of Women/Women of Power: Reevaluating the Concept of Power Using the Letter of St. Hildegard of Bingen
Proposal # 23 2016-12-08 "An air of awful mystery:' Philosophy, Love, and Loss
Proposal # 22 2016-12-08 "Tears for Misfortune": Interpretation Across Cultural Divides in the Aeneid
Proposal # 21 2016-11-30 Gedanklosigkeit; or how can otherwise 'normal' people make such terible choices
Proposal # 20 2016-11-29 Penelope's ability to switch from the princess to the villain based on the distortion of her image
Proposal # 19 2016-11-29 Speculating on Futures for the Common Good in China
Proposal # 18 2016-11-29 Nation Building and Story Telling: The Grimm German Legends as Literary Democracy
Proposal # 17 2016-11-29 Ethics, Aesthetics, Agriculture, and Technology: Wendell Berry's Intellectual Synthesis
Proposal # 16 2016-11-29 Bowling Alone (2000), Democracy in America (1838), and the Future of Community in America
Proposal # 14 2016-11-29 Giambattista Vico: STEM vs. the Liberal Arts
Proposal # 13 2016-11-29 A culture of tolerance and coexistence: Diversity In Islamic Societies (Women and The Interfaith Dialogue)
Proposal # 12 2016-11-29 Examining Paralysis: Diagnosing and Discussing Medical Images in James Joyce's Ulysses
Proposal # 11 2016-11-29 Undaunted Moll Flanders
Proposal # 9 2016-11-29 Giving a Generous Reading: Elizabeth Bennet and the Intellectual Virtue of Candor
Proposal # 15 2016-11-21 Misogyny and Scholarship in the Decameron
Proposal # 10 2016-10-31 Reading for Wealth in the Canterbury Tales
Proposal # 1 2016-09-06 The Shrew and the Prodigal: Medieval Biblical Drama and Shakespeares Taming
 

Proposal Number: 492
Date: 2017-08-19
Paper Title: Designing Core Texts Courses for a Globalized World
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 326
Date: 2017-04-06
Paper Title: Reading the Story of Our Understanding of Life
Core Text:
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life
Abstract:
The theory of evolution, presented in On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, has greatly impacted on our understanding of where we come from and where we will go. While few people have truly read and understood the spirit of this scientific classic one and a half centuries ago, the close reading of it indeed tells us details of the backgrounds, struggles in Darwin's lyrical inner world and his dedication to connect the beauty of life on earth with the laws. The classic itself reveals both the story of life and the story of human's endeavors to read the life story. From the reading, we can notice that there is indeed inseparable relationship between history, religion, science and our life.


Proposal Number: 328
Date: 2017-02-01
Paper Title: Vere's Capital Dilemma
Core Text:
Melville's Billy Budd
Abstract:
Set in 1797, Melville’s Billy Budd raises fundamental questions about capital punishment, duties and obligations of authority, and natural rights of citizens. Melville exposes the tension between the authoritarian form of military justice enacted by Captain Vere and republican principles of justice. Support for the capital punishment of Budd, under obligations imposed by martial law, created Vere"s dilemma. By his subtle representation of Vere’s capital dilemma in Billy Budd, Melville captures the opposition between the protection of natural right within the social contract and the obligations of political justice, even when a philosophic perspective would counsel clemency.


Proposal Number: 295
Date: 2017-02-01
Paper Title: Report for Tradition and Innovation Seminar Summer 2016
Core Text:

Abstract:
Following my participation in the Chicago-Columbia University Tradition and Innovation Seminar in June 2016, Sacred Heart University launched its new required core course, Great Books in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Sixty-six sections were taught in Fall 2016, and 90 sections are being taught in Spring 2017. Forty-Six faculty from disciplines throughout the College of Arts and Sciences have been trained in two-day workshops. Two full-time tenure-track faculty have been hired, along with about 20 adjuncts. The remainder of the instructors were recruited from the College of Arts and Sciences.


Proposal Number: 257
Date: 2017-02-01
Paper Title: Socrates and Athens, an Uneasy Marriage
Core Text:
Plato's Apology
Abstract:
The idea of liberal education as it is ordinarily understood today is predicated on the notion that liberal education is simply good for society, that a society necessarily benefits from the liberal education of its members. But Plato implicitly questions this understanding of the relation between society and liberal education in his Apology of Socrates, wherein he depicts a very grave conflict between a most liberally educated human being and his society. The Apology thus leads us to consider the relation between society and liberal education, not as a harmonious partnership in which each partner benefits himself the more he benefits the other, but as an uneasy marriage, a problematic relationship that must be thought through before clarity about the character and purpose of a liberal education can be found. The aim of this paper is to think through the problem of this uneasy marriage as it appears in the Apology.


Proposal Number: 318
Date: 2017-01-25
Paper Title: Know a Little, but Know it Well
Core Text:
The Idea of a University by John Henry Newman
Abstract:
In his essay “Elementary Studies” in The Idea of a University, John Henry Newman considers what kind of prior education properly prepares a student for the university. He recalls a broader definition of grammar as both a preparation for and an approach to reading. He then provides scenarios of attacks upon the grammatical approach from a young man failing an entrance examination and his indignant father. In this paper I propose to review briefly Newman’s humorous contrast of two approaches to learning, and to suggest how these might still be joint concerns of general and higher education.


Proposal Number: 317
Date: 2017-01-25
Paper Title: Lyric Testimony and the Recovery of Creative Intuition
Core Text:
Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry
Abstract:
Louise Cowan writes, “Without the lyric to testify to this invisible order of being, an entire age gradually becomes insensitive to the numinous” (“Introduction: The Lyric Nostalgia” 15). The poetry of the modern and post-modern periods seems especially aware of both the urgent need to testify to an invisible order and an increasing difficulty in doing so. Howard Nemerov’s “The Goose Fish” asserts the persistence of the experience of this order even as it demonstrates that such wisdom as it yields has become uncanny and unsettling in the modern world, with its lack of a symbolic order to designate transcendent wisdom. The goose fish remains an undeniably real revelation, though requiring, appropriately, the lovers to perceive it and the poet to envision and stage it.


Proposal Number: 314
Date: 2017-01-25
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Report on Outcomes from Tradition and Innovation Seminar Summer 2016
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Following my participation in the Chicago-Columbia Universities' Tradition and Innovation Seminar in June, 2016, Sacred Heart University launched its new required core course, Great Books in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Sixty-six sections were taught in the Fall, 2016, and ninety sections are being taught in the Spring, 2016. Forty-six faculty from disciplines throughout the University have been trained in a series of three-day workshops as well as on-going two-hour expert workshops throughout the semester.


Proposal Number: 311
Date: 2017-01-25
Paper Title: Honor and the Democratic Experience
Core Text:
Democracy in America
Abstract:
Tocqueville argues that the possibility of honor tied to the possibility of difference. This paper will investigate what kind of difference is being referenced by Tocqueville. Does such difference survive democratic life? Has Tocqueville taken the full measure of the call to honor?


Proposal Number: 309
Date: 2017-01-25
Paper Title: Recovering Contemplation
Core Text:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics X, Politics VII.
Abstract:
The justification of educational programs and initiatives by their economic or political utility has become nearly universal. Although the idea that the liberal arts educate for citizenship plays a longstanding role in the Great Books tradition stretching back into the early 20th century, it is an incomplete justification and cannot justify much of what we do and care about. I argue that contemplation should take pride of place in our justifications of the study of the liberal arts. The inward movement of contemplation makes important forms of human community possible. It is also key to human flourishing. The liberal arts can be revived if we offer a part of human flourishing denied elsewhere.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Revival of the Liberal Arts in the Twentieth-Century
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 307
Date: 2017-01-25
Paper Title: Change and Continuity in the Classics
Core Text:
T. S. Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent"
Abstract:
T. S. Eliot"s influential essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent" has probably received more references and commentary since its first publication than any comparable literary statement of its nature. At least one whole volume has been devoted to it alone. In 1960, when Louise Cowan formulated and designed a sequences of courses to replace the usual freshman and sophomore years" required English courses in rhetoric and composition, followed by a survey of English or world literature, she called it "The Literary Tradition," and although its organizing principle was based on the classical genres--epic, tragedy, comedy, and lyric--the four courses were clearly informed by Eliot"s essay and its revitalizing approach to the meaning of the word "tradition." In looking at it once more almost a century after it was written, we may ask ourselves if its notion of a "simultaneous order" and of the ways in which that order is modified by new works is still useful.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Imagination and the Core in the Thought of Louise Cowan
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 305
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: Classics, the Liberal Arts, and Receptivity
Core Text:
Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Sophocles’ Philoctetes.
Abstract:
The study of Classics can be seen as a microcosm of a liberal education. This field, confined solely by two languages and an ever-expanding time span, comprises a huge range of authors, genres, and disciplinary methodologies. The challenge of Classics is also its reward: in constantly encountering new authors working in new historical contexts, one becomes immersed in an ongoing dialogue, as the ancient authors “talk” to their predecessors through their new works. In this paper, I argue that the naturally receptive nature of the discipline of Classics requires its participants to cultivate certain virtues essential to all liberal study, namely a sense of balance and an attitude of humility. As the ancients responded to one another in manifold ways – from playful, to challenging, to reverent, to learned – we, separated by so many generations from these authors, have to approach them attentively and with care, lest we miss the particular nuance of a moment of reception through importing into it any fixed ideas. I will explore this need for balanced attentiveness in one small subset of ancient texts, that of the immediate reception of the Homeric epics by Greek Tragedy, and their varied responses to the Trojan War and the will of Zeus.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Revival of the Liberal Arts in the Twentieth-Century
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 299
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Two Ways to Open Up Agamemnon to Students
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Two team teachers of English 2123: Ancient Texts, Modern Connections explain how they encourage students to work toward a deeper understanding of Aeschylus' Agamemnon. Students study closely short passages from Agamemnon and respond to the passage either in writing or in a PowerPoint presentation to the class. Students' insights into Agamemnon connect the ancient to the modern by dramatizing how the passions that divided cultures in the past, still divide us today.


Proposal Number: 288
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: Rereading Ovid's Rapes
Core Text:
Ovid's Metamorphoses
Abstract:
Returning to the work begun in Amy Richlin’s seminal essay on the unsettling topic of sexual violence in Ovid’s work, "Reading Ovid"s Rapes," this paper takes another look at the rich interpretive problems posed by the incessantly recurring theme of sexual violence in the Metamorphoses. Though the perpetrators are almost exclusively divine, roughly a third of the myths recounted by the Roman poet features some form of sexual assault. When read in the context of conservative Augustan-era marriage legislation like the Lex Julia de adulteriis, Ovid’s insistence on the theme can be read as an indictment of Augustus himself, who after all insisted on likening himself in official imperial iconography to the cult of such gods as Apollo and Jupiter, two of the most egregious assailants throughout the long poem. However, each reiteration of the theme also reveals a series of other important concomitant concerns that arise from cases of sexual violence, including questions pertaining to illegitimate children and other unanticipated repercussions in the victim’s family, that actually reveal Ovid to be more seriously engaged in thinking about the subject than he is commonly given credit for. Taking Ovid to task for the grave issues he tackles can actually provide fodder for productive discussion of topical issues effecting life on campus and in our country today. It is absolutely imperative that certain topics be addressed in productive and adult ways with our students if we expect to raise the level of our public discourse. Far from aestheticizing these topics as mere literary artifacts, Ovid"s complex text demands to be read on a number of levels that are all pertinent to the world in which we live today.


Proposal Number: 287
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: Cicero's Pro Archia and the Defense of the Humanities
Core Text:
Cicero's Pro Archia (Speech for Archias)
Abstract:
Since its rediscovery by Petrarch in the fourteenth century, Cicero’s speech In Defense of Archias the Poet (Pro Archia Poeta) has been valued more for its praise of literature and defense of humanistic study than for how it addresses its specific legal case. This presentation will show how the speech uses the general praise of literature to address its historical situation and how it can be used as a model of inventio for students wishing to elevate an argument. It is especially appropriate as a vehicle for introducing students to contemporary writing in defense of the humanities, for illustrating features of its history, and for helping them understand how to contribute to the discussion.


Proposal Number: 286
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: Zossima's account: the teachings of the Russian Monk as a response to Ivan
Core Text:
Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov
Abstract:
In this paper I consider Zossima's teachings in the Russian Monk as an indirect response to Ivan. That response is not an argument, but rather, a report of a way of life grounded in a very specific type of experience.


Proposal Number: 285
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: Melancholy, Misery, and Malady: Enjoying the 19th Century French Novel
Core Text:
George Sand: Indiana; Balzac: Eugenie Grandet: Flaubert: Madame Bovary
Abstract:
The trajectory of 19th century French literary history takes us from romantic transcendence through realist banality to naturalist determinism. The voyage, while varied, is almost unrelentingly dark – and often, we feel, unfair. Equally exhausted by romantic overstatement and by realist understatement, we wonder what we can learn from these texts. Their innovations in narrative voice and structure are undeniable, but does their value as core texts go beyond their formal contributions?


Proposal Number: 284
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: Memory and Forgetting: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Core Text:
Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Abstract:
I treat this memorial as a core text in my first year interdisciplinary seminar “Memory and Forgetting.” In this paper I will discuss a reading of this material text which addresses both what is remembered and also what is forgotten. Teaching students to think about what is missing is an important critical skill. It is also an important ethical practice.


Proposal Number: 283
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: Teaching the Core in the South Bronx: Oedipus Tragic Bubble
Core Text:
Oedipus Tyrannus
Abstract:
Our core program, “Columbia Core at Hostos Community College,” presents core texts to a diverse community in the hope of making an education perceived to be elite available to a broader audience. That is, the best which has been thought and said is made a general education opportunity for a wide student body. This perhaps re-inscribes an opposition between the elite and the folk. Such a tension has existed in the past, and recent political history has perhaps foregrounded it. But if a core program does echo such an opposition, it might have the benefit of showing the dangers of both the bubble of the demagogue and the common voice of the egalitarian. The core texts, because they so often offer a reflective self-criticism of the structures that brought them into being, offer students models to be emulated and avoided. Oedipus Tyrannus is one such text, its protagonist’s incestuous self-enclosure masked by his demagogic outwardness. This paper will use the text to model strategies for making core texts accessible to multi-lingual students with a broad, often uneven, range of skills.


Proposal Number: 282
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: King Lears Journey to the Enchanted Island: Where Tragedy and Romance Diverge in King Lear and The Tempest
Core Text:
Shakespeare's King Lear and The Tempest
Abstract:
Although one is a tragedy and the other is a romance, King Lear and The Tempest are variations on the same theme because they both attribute the origin of their conflicts to familial ingratitude. While Lear’s plight arises from the ingratitude of his elder daughters, Prospero’s is instigated by the ingratitude of his brother. However, the narrative techniques and plot structures employed to expose ingratitude and its consequences take the two plays in two opposite directions, both literally and figuratively. For example, through their divergent narrative techniques, King Lear’s protagonist has to undergo a harrowing and humbling physical and spiritual journey, suffering the cruelty of both nature and (wo)man to discover what is valuable in life, while The Tempest’s protagonist is carried, through a vast leap in time, from a world where there is no escape to a world where nothing is impossible.


Proposal Number: 280
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: Derek Walcotts Poetics of Belonging in Omeros
Core Text:
Omeros
Abstract:
In his epic poem Omeros, Derek Walcott establishes an intertextual dialogue against and across time and place with core texts like The Iliad and The Odyssey, as well as Dante’s Divine Comedy, while simultaneously forming a new core text with a global perspective. Walcott does this prominently through his poetics of belonging, where St. Lucian and British characters alike examine significant tensions between home and exile, as well as remembering the past and forgetting colonial constructed history. In my paper, I will focus on how the poet achieves a poetics of belonging in Omeros through the Walcott narrator, who holds his African and European ancestry in tension, accepting the English language as a gift of his heritage on the one hand and lamenting the traumas European colonialism inflicted on his African and Caribbean forebears on the other. The narrator interrogates his sense of belonging in the poem, initially leaving St. Lucia, but eventually choosing to return to his home island. He moreover seeks a poetics of belonging by remembering his past, for instance by traveling to the Underworld and visiting the shade of his father, and forgetting colonial history that he argues views the Caribbean in the wrong light.


Proposal Number: 279
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: "Rooted Cosmopolitianism" in Seamus Heaney's "North"
Core Text:
"North," by Seamus Heaney
Abstract:
Heaney's collection "North," as has been noted by critics such as Henry Hart, stands out because of its engagement with Ireland"s violent, mythic past and its connection to the troubles of Northern Ireland. However, other collections of Heaney's poetry demonstrate what Jaime Olson calls "rooted cosmopolitianism," a far cry from dwelling on violence primordial or national. I will explore "Mossbawn: Two Poems in Dedication," a portion of "North," from the vantage of "rooted cosmopolitianism," wondering if a reconciliation with the other poems and themes of "North" is possible.


Proposal Number: 275
Date: 2017-01-24
Paper Title: The Role and Limits of Knowledge in Education: J.H. Newman on the liberal arts ideal
Core Text:
The Idea of a University
Abstract:
The work of JHN provides us with a careful definition of “philosophical knowledge,” as distinguished from its competitors and counterfeits—e.g., professional utility, moral reasoning, etc. As such JHN’s Idea reminds us of the various challenges to promoting the “mental enlargement” that is a good unto itself, a fulfillment of the human capacity for reasoning. More than 150 years later, JHN continues to provide arguments for the renewal of liberal arts education, whose true value can only be estimated in relation to the intrinsic value of the human soul. And, yet, his arguments also provide ample reminders of the limitations of human reason, in relation to the larger vista of human experience: aesthetic, religious, etc.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Classical Education in the 21st Century
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
I will speak to the curricular and pedagogical benefits of GH’s collaboration with UD—namely, the benefits of the MA program to the intellectual and moral ethos of our classrooms and academies. In particular, I would like to emphasize the efficacy of rhetoric as a programmatic frame for our work in classical K-12 schools.


Proposal Number: 276
Date: 2017-01-23
Paper Title: Discovering, Distinguishing, and Demonstrating the Complex Identities of Women in the Narrative of the Life of Henry Bibb
Core Text:
The Narrative of the Life of Henry Bibb
Abstract:
The slave narrative of the 1800's, as a literary work, can be aptly described as a concise and illuminating telling of arguably the darkest time in American history. Today, when students as readers enter these texts, they engage voyeuristically into powerful accounts of chattel slavery. The text of former slave and abolitionist, Henry Bibb, is within this category of moving and influential slave narratives, yet Bibb's text is unique because through the characterizations of the women he encountered in his quest for freedom, Bibb illustrates the complex, demanding plight of both the black female slave and white subjugated American woman. The Narrative of the Life of Henry Bibb is a pioneering work of nineteenth century American literature that explored the commodification of women and should be taught as some of the earliest criticism of the position of women in America as oppressed and repressed individuals in a patriarchal system.?


Proposal Number: 272
Date: 2017-01-20
Paper Title: The Essence of Mediation in The Dhammapada
Core Text:
The Dhammapada
Abstract:
The very concept of mediation implies the discovery or development of a "Middle Way." Because this is a core principle of Buddhism, the teaching of the Buddha, passed down in the Dhammapada, offer insights for students and faculty alike to a mindset conducive to mediation, and strategies for mediating conflicts--from the interpersonal to the institutional. additionally, the practice of interdisciplinarity and integrative thinking emphasize techniques that have long been foundational to Buddhist thought. The Dhammapada not only grants students insight into the core text of a diverse religious tradition, but it is also a guidebook for how to skillfully cross borders and create community.


Proposal Number: 271
Date: 2017-01-20
Paper Title: The Aeneid as Founding Text of a Core Curriculum
Core Text:
Aeneid
Abstract:
Louise Cowan's essays on the influence of The Aeneid in America came after she had designed the Literary Tradition sequence at the University of Dallas. Virgil's epic may have proved a catalyst for her understanding of the transformative role of the poetic tradition for the modern student. To Homer"s deep structure the Roman epic adds an overarching dynamic, the education of the hero. Humanitas, pietas, and lacrimae rerum ("tears for things") will be examined for the crucial roles they play in this process and their possible meaning for curriculum.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Imagination and the Core in the Thought of Louise Cowan
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Louise Cowan’s work centered upon a vision of Western culture as productive of a web of texts essential to the education of young people and the preservation of a living culture. The Literary Tradition Core at the University of Dallas, the book series The Genres of Literature, and her publications on the Southern Critics are manifestations of that vision, concerned particularly with how poetic imagination moves souls toward beauty and truth. This panel presents investigations of her vision and the illumination it provides on core texts, in an effort to recover and discover ideas of wholeness in the person, the culture, and the cosmos.


Proposal Number: 270
Date: 2017-01-20
Paper Title: Lyric Emergency in John Crowe Ransom's
Core Text:
Lyric poetry - Southern and Irish
Abstract:
In her introduction to “The Prospect of Lyric” volume, Louise Cowan emphasizes the irreplaceable nature of lyric poetry, going so far as to advance that “lyric…is necessary to human culture”; she also indicates that the action of lyric is motivated essentially by eros. The failure or frustration of erotic desire emerges thematically in John Crowe Ransom’s poems, many of which feature heroes who find that they “cannot fathom nor perform [their] nature.” Effectively, these characters find themselves delivered into the extra-natural realm sought by the speaker of Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium”; but instead of a peaceful permanence achieved through “the artifice of eternity,” Ransom’s poetry reveals that “once out of nature” the landscape becomes nightmarish and bleak. This paper will explore the crisis of desire embodied in Ransom’s poem “Man Without Sense of Direction,” and will consider the implications regarding the need for lyric poetry in college curricula.


Proposal Number: 268
Date: 2017-01-20
Paper Title: To tell a Story is to Endure: Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape
Core Text:
Krapp's Last Tape (Samuel Beckett)
Abstract:
Throughout his dramatic oeuvre, Samuel Beckett gives ultimate primacy to the act of speaking. Beckett"s dramatic protagonists are disabled, old, bereft, isolated, and dying, but they are still telling stories. As his characters speak, they record despair and horror while insisting that an audience bears witness to their anguish and to their humanity. Krapp's Last Tape embodies both of these concepts simultaneously as its narrator, the play's sole character, speaks a narrative in the present while listening to stories told by his past self. The play, then, makes a powerful argument for storytelling-- for texts-- as the means by which humanity persists and finds meaning in existing.


Proposal Number: 267
Date: 2017-01-20
Paper Title: The Ordinary in the Epic: Daily Ritual in Derek Walcott's Omeros
Core Text:
Omeros
Abstract:
Derek Walcott, the father of Caribbean poetry, bases Omeros (1992), his Nobel Prize winning poem, on Homer’s Odyssey. Daily, quotidian actions, especially those that repeat, form the backbone of the narrative. I argue that through partaking in daily, repetitive actions—daily rituals of sorts—the characters, as well as the narrator, are paradoxically are able to heal from the “wounds” of history. Through fishing or writing poetry daily, for example, these figures are able to transcend the pain of slavery and colonialism, coming to a unique place of healing in the Caribbean present as the epic narrative is retold.


Proposal Number: 266
Date: 2017-01-20
Paper Title: The Character of Piety in Plato's Euthyphro
Core Text:
Plato's Euthyphro
Abstract:
Preoccupation with the concept of piety explored in Plato's Euthyphro too often overshadows the character of piety exemplified in Socrates and counter-exemplified in Euthyphro. This is unfortunate, for careful reading of the contrasting circumstances and character of Socrates and Euthyphro underscores, on the one hand, Plato"s deep skepticism about popularly conceived religion and, on the other hand, profound regard for genuinely holy things (to osion). While Euthyphro's self-professed piety inures him against what we might think of as liberal education, Socrates" reticent piety opens him to greater understanding. Read rightly, I argue, Plato"s Euthyphro ought not to stifle piety, but rather enable its virtuous manifestation as an concomitant of liberal education.


Proposal Number: 262
Date: 2017-01-20
Paper Title: A Bridge Between Islands: Crusoe vs. Cruso
Core Text:
Daniel DeFoe's Robinson Crusoe and J.M Coetzee's Foe
Abstract:
Though literature courses are built upon the backs of authors considered essential to an education in core texts, many of these books are not valued by the average literature student. Whether due to their age, context, place of origin, or language, modern students of literature are not always able to engage with these works in a meaningful way. J.M Coetzee, however, has provided students and instructors of literature with a solution in his novel, Foe. This retelling, or, re-writing of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe illuminates the concerns of Crusoe and his island through a postmodern lens, making the telling of Crusoe’s story accessible and relevant to new students of literature; Coetzee’s novel creates a new way to discuss, understand, and educate by altering the original text, its meaning, its truth, and its purpose.


Proposal Number: 261
Date: 2017-01-20
Paper Title: Being-Towards-Death in Homer's Iliad
Core Text:
The Iliad
Abstract:
This paper is a phenomenological reflection upon the role of death in Homer's Iliad. Life has two options in the face of death, either to flee from it or to stand against it. In order for life to stand firm in the face of death a greater meaning must be found within life. This paper is a consideration of the various meanings of life that the heroes of the Iliad provide and the degree to which these meanings enable the heroes to stand firm in the face of death.


Proposal Number: 260
Date: 2017-01-20
Paper Title: Your People Will (Not) Be My People: Gender, Ethnic Tension, and Religious Identity in Ruth and Judith
Core Text:
Ruth and Judith (Biblical texts)
Abstract:
Varying responses to the ethnic and religious "otherness" in the midst of personal, economic, and political instability are explored in the two Jewish stories of Ruth and Judith. Both accounts highlight and further complicate "otherness" as gender and marital status become lenses through which we see the characters. These accounts are used to sensitize readers to variations in ancient and modern narratives of women in times of dislocation, particularly round the question of "who are my people?"


Proposal Number: 259
Date: 2017-01-20
Paper Title: Reading and Liberation: The Case for Gargantua and Pantagruel
Core Text:
Gargantua and Pantagruel, Franois Rabelais
Abstract:
My biggest challenge in teaching a core literature course is the occasional tendency of my students to hold our texts at an arm"s length, viewing them as part of an establishment-vetted path to an "educated" life that exists in a sphere in which their own voices are mute. Rabelais" Gargantua and Pantagruel is the most powerful text I have found to fracture this conception. Rabelais is the perfect interlocutor for our syllabus, as he is an equal opportunity offender, but also flamboyantly well-read--he assimilates styles and themes from every single one of the texts we visit before reaching him, but flips them in shocking ways. My greatest goal for my students is that our texts help them to question, refine, and liberate their own voices, and nothing achieves that purpose more efficiently (and entertainingly!) than reading Gargantua and Pantagruel.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Teaching College with the Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 258
Date: 2017-01-19
Paper Title: Samuel Johnson: Great Communicator of the Core?
Core Text:
James Boswell, *The Life of Samuel Johnson*
Abstract:
Dr. Johnson offers a great example of one who communicated through the various media available at his time. His written work and his spoken utterances represent in many ways an attempt to understand and express complex interactions between literature and life. The paper will help show how in many ways his activities might be likened to the role of social media in our lives today--but in a fashion that probes deeply into ideas rather than skating over their surface.


Proposal Number: 256
Date: 2017-01-19
Paper Title: Bridge over Tybalt Water: The Problem of Faction in Romeo and Juliet
Core Text:
Romeo and Juliet
Abstract:
Contemporary discourse about "bridging divides" is typically focused on divisions of race, gender, class, or ethnicity. Traditional political science employed the term "faction" to describe this sort of divide. Romeo and Juliet is first and foremost a tragedy of young love, but it is a tragedy set in a context of explosive factional conflict. My objectives in this paper will be to explore the nature of that conflict and to examine the different strategies that are used by the principal characters for bridging the divide between the Montague and Capulet factions.


Proposal Number: 253
Date: 2017-01-18
Paper Title: Approaching the Commedia Through Numerology
Core Text:
The Inferno
Abstract:
This paper deals with the problem of studying Dante’s Commedia with undergraduate students who, while exceptionally intelligent and motivated, are not medievalists, or even majors in any humanistic discipline. In order to help such students appreciate the distance between Dante’s attitudes and their own, the paper proposes an emphasis on the aspect of Dante’s text most alien to modern readers: his fascination with numerology. Understanding Dante’s obsession with numerical patterns can help them to approach other issues, including his providential sense of history, his use of symbolism and allegory, his fondness for polyvalent words and phrases, and even the way that terza rima binds the often paratactic verses of his poem. Precisely because most students find Dante’s numerology so strange, even ridiculous, it is the perfect point of entry into the larger project of shedding the assumptions which they bring to the text from their reading of more recent literature.


Proposal Number: 251
Date: 2017-01-18
Paper Title: Aristotle and the History of Economic Thought
Core Text:
Politics
Abstract:
Aristotle’s thoughts pertaining to economics predates, I will argue, accepted classical and modern economic theory. Examples include: the relation between the size of the market and labor specialization, how “rationality” and “efficiency” are a function procedural deliberation and reordering, the subjective nature of “utility,” the role of private property rights, the role of the welfare state, various functions of money, and solid theories pertaining to international trade. Instead of characterizing Aristotle as simply the possessor of assorted economics ideas, as many current historians of thought assert, this paper will give evidence that he was a systems thinker, with models resulting; all meriting his repositioning in the history of economic thought.


Proposal Number: 250
Date: 2017-01-18
Paper Title: Ulysses: The Work of Losing and Finding a Human Voice
Core Text:
Ulysses
Abstract:
In my paper I propose to examine what James Joyce’s Ulysses can teach us about the ways a human voice, our human voice, can be lost among the torrent of words that make up any text. The words that make up the text of the core do not provide the material to bridge the divides just by being contained within a core text, ipso facto. What a novel like Ulysses can teach us is that words that can be used to bridge not just the divides between communities, but the divides within ourselves, have to be sought and fought for, and, in order to be sought and fought for, they must naturally be the kinds of things that can be lost or misplaced, even when they appear to be in plain sight.


Proposal Number: 249
Date: 2017-01-18
Paper Title: A Return to Rhetoric? Revivals of the Trivium in a Public University
Core Text:
Aeschylus' Eumenides, Sophocles' Philoctetes, Plato's Phaedrus, Isocrates' Against the Sophists, Quintilian's Institutio Oratoria
Abstract:
In many ways, rhetoric formed the backbone of education in the ancient Greek and Roman societies. This is evidenced by dramatic performances, philosophical dialogues, and theoretical treatises on rhetoric from the early fifth century BC onwards. Consequently, I argue that re-centering education on rhetoric could form a starting point for the revival of the liberal arts in higher education. To illustrate this, my paper not only outlines the role of rhetoric in ancient models of education, but it also discuss some initiatives at the City University of New York which are effectively re-incorporating rhetoric and other components of the trivium in a public institution of higher education today.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Revival of the Liberal Arts in the Twentieth Century
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 217
Date: 2017-01-18
Paper Title: The Divided Soul in Aristotle
Core Text:
Aristotle, De Anima, Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Is the soul divided/divisible from the body? In the preponderance of Aristotle's statements about this question, there is no division. His "entelechy theory" discloses the soul as the actualization (entelechy or energeia) of the body. Soul and body are one, not two. Yet, notably in De Anima, Aristotle excepts nous (intellect) from this unchangeable bond. His discussions thus present both sides of a question predominant in our time as strongly as in Aristotle's, stated presently in terms of whether the whole, including human beings, contains anything other than matter.


Proposal Number: 245
Date: 2017-01-17
Paper Title: Talking with the Ancestors: Scholarly Contextualization and Imaginative Dialog in Bridging Historical Divides
Core Text:
Aristotle: Politics
Abstract:
It would seem that the divide to be bridged that is most obvious to those of us who teach core texts is the one between contemporary students and Western authors from before the Enlightenment, especially when it comes to their moral and political discourse. Students may, for example, quickly repudiate Aristotle's opinions regarding slavery in the Politics, while knowing next to nothing about the cultural and economic circumstances of slavery in the Greco-Roman world. Historical contextualization, rejected by Robert Hutchins and the most traditional advocates of studying the "Great Books," is often indispensable in overcoming the separation between "horizons of meaning," to take Hans-Georg Gadamer's phrase, in the study of old books as much as in fields such as cultural anthropology and comparative linguistics. However, the trouble with putting authors in historical contexts is that it facilitates evasion of the explicit claims they may be making, as well as being disrespectful to them, as if one were to say to a student, "it's understandable, John/Jill, that you take that position, considering your background." In the undergraduate study of the Western tradition, the encounter, the dialog,, between ourselves and classic (small "c") authors should not be evaded--especially not for the sake of preventing classroom contention--but brought to the foreground. Such a dialog-centered approach is consistent with the thought of modern theorists such as Gadamer and especially with his thesis that the moment when a text "brings us up short" is the most educationally fertile of moments, and also with Allan Bloom's centering his defense of the study of the Western canon on its presenting an alternative to contemporary culture, and, more recently, with the arguments of Gerald Graff for the value of "teaching the conflicts." Thus, and in sum, at least one of the instructor's responses to the undergraduate rejection of Aristotle ought to be: "What would you say to Aristotle (who is present in this classroom)? What do you suppose, based on his text, would be his response to you?"


Proposal Number: 244
Date: 2017-01-17
Paper Title: Music in the core
Core Text:
Stravinsky's Rite of Spring
Abstract:
Classical works of music pose special challenges to students in core courses. Let alone that many of the students have little familiarity with traditions of classical music, even fewer of them have the skills to read musical scores. In my presentation, I will present some of the strategies we have used in Chicago for developing an arts "core" course for non-musicians that nonetheless involves a "close hearing" of musical works. My focus "text" will be Stravinsky"s revolutionary ballet from 1913, Le sacre du printemps.


Proposal Number: 242
Date: 2017-01-17
Paper Title: A case study of bringing core texts into practice in China
Core Text:
the Annotations to Taijitu
Abstract:
This article is concerned with a school cultural establishment program based on core texts in china, In which a group of scholars and graduate students read, understand, practice and reconstruct before connecting the values and ways of action in texts with daily school management and teaching. This article will discuss the following questions: How we choose a certain text? How we organize the program? Whether graduate students and front-line teachers really realize the importance of core texts? This article introduces the theory of“the Annotations to Taijitu” (written by Zhou dunyi) and reviews the process of integrating the core texts’ educational theory into a primary school through case study.


Proposal Number: 241
Date: 2017-01-17
Paper Title: James Wilson: Judge as Statesman
Core Text:
Wilson's "Lectures on Law" and judicial opinions
Abstract:
James Wilson, perhaps the most consequential American founder of whom no one has ever heard, gives modern teachers of liberal arts a fine early example of the American judge as statesman. Wilson was active from before the Revolution and brought the energy and insight of a philosophical nation-builder to his duties as an original member of the U.S. Supreme Court. His judicial opinions and his "Lectures on Law" display his efforts to give life to the national political and legal community of the new United States. These works demonstrate the value of the liberal arts to life as lived in a turbulent modern American national community.


Proposal Number: 237
Date: 2017-01-17
Paper Title: The Unspeakable Sublime: The 'Silence of God' Trilogy of Ingmar Bergman
Core Text:
The 'Silence of God' Trilogy
Abstract:
Swedish film icon, Ingmar Bergman, is widely regarded as among the greatest cinematic masters in the art of film. His oeuvre is all-the-more remarkable for the fact that he directed, as well as wrote, virtually all his masterpieces. After penning and directing the most robustly religious and mythic of all his 1950s films, The Virgin Spring, a personal ‘crisis of faith’ ensued, and he immediately pivoted toward the apophatic, making three films which scholars have dubbed his ‘silence of God’ trilogy (i.e. Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence.) As a result, his ‘silence’ trilogy can be seen as an artistic reflection on the artistic sublime in a time of personal uncertainty.


Proposal Number: 231
Date: 2017-01-17
Paper Title: Shaftesbury's Defense of Common Opinion
Core Text:
Characteristicks, by Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury
Abstract:
In his Sensus Communis, Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury attempts to defend the practice of raillery as a just form of criticism by distinguishing it from buffoonery. A form of ridicule for its own sake, buffoonery attacks opinions without concern for their truth or falsehood. While this "gross sort of raillery" is unjust, Shaftesbury suggests that buffoonery is an understandable reaction to zealotry and religious persecution. He offers in its place a more urbane manner of speech, one which turns out to be indebted to the Socratic dialogue. We come to see that just raillery seeks to examine opinions without giving offense; and that the just railleur is motivated by a genuine desire for wisdom. Too, Shaftesbury"s Soliloquy is itself an example of Socratic dialogue, taking as its subject the free (but fair) examination of religious opinion.


Proposal Number: 200
Date: 2017-01-17
Paper Title: Jane's Ire: Angry Women in the Canonical Attic
Core Text:
Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
Abstract:
Despite her reputation for being plain and ‘mousey,’ Charlotte Bronte’s protagonist in Jane Eyre (1847) rates very high on the gumption index, making Jane and her creator useful figures for discussing Women and the Core. One can never imagine young Jane meekly asking for more gruel (cf her fellow orphan Oliver Twist, publ. 1837); she, instead, unleashes tiny fists of fury when bullied by her corpulent cousin, setting a pattern for righteous self-assertion that overrides even her inclination to moon over Mr. Rochester. This paper examines examples of anger in the text and glances back at the famous feminist tract it inspired – Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s The Madwoman in the Attic (1979), a tome which may need dusting off as women face the Age of Trump.


Proposal Number: 229
Date: 2017-01-13
Paper Title: The Philosopher, Rhetoric, and the Laws in Plato's Crito
Core Text:
Crito, Plato
Abstract:
Plato’s Crito has provoked varying interpretation, as Socrates seems on the surface to endorse an authoritarian politics sharply at odds with his fiercely independent position in the Apology. Provocatively, Roslyn Weiss has argued that the dialogue speaks to two audiences, the elite few and the unphilosophical many. She contends that the authoritarian sounding arguments are meant ironically, that they are not true but rather designed to make good citizens of those who cannot be good philosophers. In contrast, I would like to argue that these arguments she discusses are intended by Plato to be partly true while also deliberately exaggerated for dramatic and narrative purposes. I will therefore be in partial agreement and partial disagreement with Weiss’s ironic reading. A key claim of my reading will be that the dialogue aims to show the importance of the philosopher being grounded in the city, not simply transcendent or independent of it. In this respect, the philosopher needs to function as a bridge between philosophical and unphilosophical realms.


Proposal Number: 227
Date: 2017-01-13
Paper Title: Student Enculturation in Crime and Punishment
Core Text:
Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky
Abstract:
As one of the few core texts that depict university life, Crime and Punishment is especially valuable for facilitating conversations about the norms and aims of being a college student. This paper analyses the representation of student life in the novel and three ways in which the text can be used to raise questions about college. First, the novel’s depiction of student debates, especially the discussion about Raskolnikov’s article on crime, helps us to reflect on how to conduct fruitful conversations and how to connect them to a wider world. Second, the attitudes of other characters toward student life—positive in the case of Raskolnikov’s family and the former official Marmeladov, negative in the case of the suitor Luzhin and the police investigator Porfiry Petrovich—can occasion a discussion of what society expects from the college-educated both during and after the college years. Finally, the epilogue, with its apparent repudiation of intellectual debate (“Instead of dialectics, there was life”), raises questions about the place of the liberal arts in a good life.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Teaching College with Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 225
Date: 2017-01-12
Paper Title: On Liberty: Would John Stuart Mill Have Supported Gay Rights?
Core Text:
Mill, On Liberty
Abstract:
During the ten years of Parliamentary debates over the WOLFENDEN REPORT(1957), which advocated decriminalizing ‘private’ acts of homosexuality between consenting adults aged twenty-one or older in England, John Stuart Mill’s ON LIBERTY was invoked in defense of decriminalizaton. This paper will use evidence from ON LIBERTY as well as other readings by Mill(including ones from Jeremy Bentham) to argue the degree to which Mill might support more widespread gay rights if he were living today. Assuming that Mill’s ideology would be at least as progressive as it sometimes was during the Victorian period, there are indications in ON LIBERTY and elsewhere that he would likely have supported gay rights as “self-regarding acts" ; nonetheless, he may also have delimited the scope of gay activism within the public rather than the private sector on contested liberal or utilitarian grounds.


Proposal Number: 224
Date: 2017-01-12
Paper Title: Heavenly and MundanePerspective in Heraclitus and Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi)
Core Text:
Chuang Tzu and Heraclitus
Abstract:
We do not need to wait for Plato to tell us the same action can be just and unjust, and the same person beautiful and ugly. In fact, relativity is common sense, and we manage to cope with it in our daily life. However, both Heraclitus of Ephesus (fl. c 500 BCE), a Presocratic, and the Pre-Qin thinker Chuang Tzu (c 370-270 BCE) magnified the relativity of things beyond common-sense understanding, and carried it to extremes in producing such eye-catching, and yet frustrating statements like “nothing is bigger than the tip of autumn hair, and Mount Tai is tiny;” or “immortals mortals, mortals immortals, living the others’ death, dying in the others’ life.” Why did they focus so much on relativity? Is relativity for them all and everything, nothing behind or beyond? Last not the least, does the emphasis on relativity reveal any philosophical insight common to Heraclitus and Chuang Tzu?


Proposal Number: 222
Date: 2017-01-11
Paper Title: Reading St. Benedict's Life and Rule as Core Texts
Core Text:
St. Benedict's Rule and St. Gregory's Life of St. Benedict
Abstract:
In their apparent rejection of the pursuit of liberal learning, political participation, and rational self-government, the Rule of St. Benedict and St. Gregory’s Life of St. Benedict do not seem to lend themselves to inclusion in programs devoted to the classical ideals of liberal education. They appear to be frankly anti-intellectual, anti-dialectical, and anti-political, prescribing a life of obedient submission to a set of rules and the authority of an abbot instead of a life of rational, free self-direction; a life of prayer and work instead of a life of rational inquiry; and a life of withdrawal from the larger political community instead of a life of engaged citizenship. And yet in the past fifty years serious and eminent advocates of liberal education and intellectual values such as Alasdair MacIntyre, Benedict XVI, and Rod Dreher have suggested St. Benedict as a model for the recovery of a fully human way of life in the contemporary world. Inspired by such endorsements, this paper explores these two foundational Benedictine texts in an attempt to show the qualities that strongly recommend them as potential core texts: the enduring value of the way of life they present and the fruitful paradoxes that lie behind their seeming rejections of the values of liberal education and classical ideals.


Proposal Number: 221
Date: 2017-01-11
Paper Title: Unmasking Female Agency: (Re)interpreting Lady Rokuj for the Medieval Japanese Stage
Core Text:
The Tale of Genji (11th century, Japan)
Abstract:
One of the most compelling female figures in Murasaki Shikibu’s canonical eleventh-century novel The Tale of Genji, Lady Rokujō was radically reimagined in plays written for Japan’s medieval Noh theater. Whereas Shikibu’s original narrative (and its female author) emphasized Rokujō’s accomplishment and self-resolve, two early fifteenth-century plays commonly attributed to male playwrights, Aoi no Ue and Nonomiya, recast Rokujō in divergent ways as female predator and/or victim. This paper will discuss how undergraduate students explored and accounted for that interpretive disconnect in a recent course on premodern Japanese literature. Students were challenged to consider the intertextual nature of Japanese literary discourse while situating these two theatrical reworkings within the broader historical context of declining female social status: tracing Japan’s shift from an aristocratic culture in which women wielded considerable cultural capital toward the implicit misogyny evident in later medieval libretti produced to entertain a male-centered, military government.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Teaching Women and the Core: Recovery and Representation
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel addresses the recovery of womens voices, agency, and representations in core texts, and specific classroom strategies, contexts, and controversies related to teaching women and the core. These papers demonstrate how scholars from a wide range of disciplinary and historical specializations might approach teaching women and the core in innovative and productive ways. Moving beyond de-centering and displacing the core, this panel aims to reconstruct and re-establish an inclusive core that makes a place for diverse representations of women and their voices.


Proposal Number: 220
Date: 2017-01-11
Paper Title: Pleasure, Prestige and Patronage of Liberal Education in Ciceros Pro Archia
Core Text:
Cicero's Pro Archia Poeta
Abstract:
Cicero’s speech In Defense of the Poet Aulus Licinius Archias is better known as a manifesto in favor of liberal education and humanitas, than as an effective forensic discourse. In this, the main claim on the Archias' Roman citizenship is closely interlaced with statements about the value of letters, without being a systematic exposition of Ciceronian ideal of literary excellence. Notwithstanding, a close reading helps appreciate how the orator from Arpinum emphasizes the balance between intellectual pleasure and political usefulness of liberal studies.


Proposal Number: 219
Date: 2017-01-11
Paper Title: Is Hester Prynne a Feminist Icon?
Core Text:
The Scarlet Letter & The Letters of Abelard and Heloise
Abstract:
It is tempting to identify Hester Prynne's struggle as one of a progressive feminist making her way in sexist Puritanical society. However, Hester never seems to blame anyone but herself for her crime and punishment. If Hester can be considered feminist, it is not in her choice to overturn society"s gender mores, but more in the idealized love she has for her co-adulterer Arthur Dimmesdale. Her rejection of her legal husband Chillingworth and devotion to her lover Dimmesdale bears a striking resemblance to the medieval heroine Heloise who expresses similarly controversial ideas about love and marriage in her correspondence with her famous lover Peter Abelard.


Proposal Number: 218
Date: 2017-01-11
Paper Title: Re-Orienting Custance: Gender and the East in Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale
Core Text:
Chaucer's Man of Law's Tale
Abstract:
Chaucer's enigmatic Man of Law's Tale (c.1395) hinges on the triumph of its white Christian heroine, Custance, over the forces of Islam, culminating in forced conversion and genocide. Antifeminist and Orientalis elements undergird the tale and have rendered its heroine dogmatic and inaccessible to students, and her actions potentially inflammatory in modern America"s Islamophobic political climate. This paper will discuss teaching strategies for productively re-orienting Custance's narrative geographically and temporally by bringing in similar Arabic narratives to decenter Eurocentric analyses of Custance. A careful reading of this core text can help students better evaluate present day imbrications of gender, race, nation, and religion in popular culture and politics.


Proposal Number: 216
Date: 2017-01-11
Paper Title: Prospero's Human Choice
Core Text:
Shakespeare, The Tempest
Abstract:
In The Tempest, Shakespeare presents Prospero as a man more attached to books and solitude than to anything else. Yet Prospero directs all of the action of the play so as to ensure that his daughter is in position to thrive, and, what is more, once she is taken care of he decides he will leave his island, live among others, and take back his political office—even though he still values his books above all. Prospero shows, in the end, that he thinks that living in a political community is necessary. And he shows this even though he knows that he could choose to remain in solitude, that the community he will rejoin will be far from ideal, and that he in particular is ill-suited to political life.


Proposal Number: 215
Date: 2017-01-10
Paper Title: Problems with Assigning Margery Kempe and St. Teresa of Avila
Core Text:
The lives of Margery Kempe and St. Teresa of Avila
Abstract:
In this paper, I will discuss an assignment that I have given my students in my seminar, "Women in Europe," which involves them performing independent research and writing a paper on a topic related to the context of St. Teresa of Ávila"s life in early modern Spain, or Margery Kempe"s life in fourteenth and fifteenth century England, using the women"s lives as primary sources. Some students get caught up in moral questions and end up pronouncing judgment on Margery"s mental state, or even on whether Teresa was "good" for Spain. Some, however, come up with excellent history papers. My conference paper will address strategies for helping students to create good research questions and analyze challenging and problematic sources about medieval and early modern women.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Teaching Women and the Core: Recovery and Representation
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel addresses the recovery of women’s voices, agency, and representations in core texts, and specific classroom strategies, contexts, and controversies related to teaching women and the core. These papers demonstrate how scholars from a wide range of disciplinary and historical specializations might approach teaching women and the core in innovative and productive ways. Moving beyond de-centering and displacing the core, this panel aims to reconstruct and re-establish an inclusive core that makes a place for diverse representations of women and their voices.


Proposal Number: 214
Date: 2017-01-10
Paper Title: Religion, Race, and Portrayals of American Indian Women in Mary Rowlandsons The Sovereignty and Goodness of God (1682)
Core Text:
Mary Rowlandsons The Sovereignty and Goodness of God (1682
Abstract:
Popular in its own day, New England Puritan Mary Rowlandson’s The Sovereignty and Goodness of God (1682) was lost to literary history until very recently. Due to recovery efforts by feminist scholars in the field of early American literature, Rowlandson’s first-person narrative of captivity among the Wampanoag and Narraganset people is now solidly established in the “canon” of American literature. However, in the classroom students often struggle with Rowlandson’s dehumanizing portrayal of “Weetamo,” a powerful Wampanoag woman and military leader. Students are surprised to learn that the anti-Indian attitudes that prevent Rowlandson from recognizing the power and influence of Native women were informed as much by Puritan religious prejudice as they were by Anglo-European racial prejudice. This paper will address strategies and contexts for teaching Rowlandson, a product of feminist literary recovery, whose worldview and representations of American Indian women are at odds with many students’ present-day feminist sensibilities.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Teaching Women and the Core: Recovery and Representation
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel addresses the recovery of women’s voices, agency, and representations in core texts, and specific classroom strategies, contexts, and controversies related to teaching women and the core. These papers demonstrate how scholars from a wide range of disciplinary and historical specializations might approach teaching women and the core in innovative and productive ways. Moving beyond de-centering and displacing the core, this panel aims to reconstruct and re-establish an inclusive core that makes a place for diverse representations of women and their voices.


Proposal Number: 213
Date: 2017-01-10
Paper Title: Blues as Multi-Dimensional Core Text: Listening Closely to Junior Wells' Hoodoo Man Blues (1965)
Core Text:
Hoodoo Man Blues (1965)
Abstract:
"Blues as Multi-Dimensional Core Text: Listening Closely to Junior Wells" Hoodoo Man Blues (1965)" A compelling argument can be made for the inclusion of music within the panoply of genres essential to the imaginaries of cultures throughout the world. Within the Africana milieu — particularly in North America — musical Gattungen such as Spirituals, Blues, and Jazz have received considerable attention. Among so-called "core texts," Blues is deserving of particular consideration. Like Spirituals and Jazz, it lends itself to engagement as a unique form that develops in several distinctive social settings. Moreover, listening to / reading of individual exempla sheds light on performative aspects of Blues and the ways in which Africana survival strategies are mediated via its lyrics and performance. This paper will offer selected musings on Blues as "core text" utilizing Junior Wells" classic album Hoodoo Man Blues, as an illustrative case study.


Proposal Number: 212
Date: 2017-01-10
Paper Title: Seeing the True as the Beautiful: Using Tolkien to Read Aquinas
Core Text:
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae; J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Abstract:
In Summa Theologiae, Aquinas situates his rich description of virtues and vices within a broader context of a well-developed metaphysics of human nature and moral psychology, which makes the Summa especially well-suited for teaching moral philosophy. Unfortunately, students often have a hard time seeing the brilliant content behind the apparently dusty, dry, and complicated façade of Thomas’ writing style. What they need is some form of mediation – something that would bring Thomas to life in their imagination. In this presentation, I want to share my experience of successfully using another core text -- Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings -- in order to elucidate and to bring to life the deep insights into virtue, vices, and human moral psychology that are found in the Summa.


Proposal Number: 210
Date: 2017-01-10
Paper Title: Collingwood and Class Overlap
Core Text:
Collingwood, R.G., "An Essay on Philosophical Method"
Abstract:
Collingwood argues that philosophy is distinct from the other sciences on the basis of the particular approach it takes to its concepts. Within the standard sciences, the species of a genus are sharply differentiated from one another and equally participating within the genus. Within philosophy, the species of a genus instead "overlap" in the sense that the species cannot be well-defined and differentiated within the scope of the genus. The presentation explores Collingwood's views on the matter.


Proposal Number: 209
Date: 2017-01-10
Paper Title: The Logic of Fraternal Correction
Core Text:
Summa Theologiae
Abstract:
Most students struggle to relate what they learn in a logic course to the reading of texts and the decisions they make in everyday life. To address this twofold difficulty, I have my logic students read Thomas Aquinas' treatment of mercy and fraternal correction with an eye to understanding the arguments he presents and their relevance to my student"s lives. In this paper, I discuss the way I weave these readings into my logic course and detail how they and the other standard logic material helped one of my students end a toxic relationship that an erroneous view of mercy and correction had motivated my student to sustain.


Proposal Number: 208
Date: 2017-01-09
Paper Title: William James's "The Dilemma of Determinism" Revisited
Core Text:
William James's "The Dilemma of Determinism"
Abstract:
Although William James's 1884 lecture "The Dilemma of Determinism" is widely regarded as a classic in American philosophy, it is seldom studied by contemporary philosophers or taught to undergraduates. My paper explicates this text, comments on its gracious prose, and suggests how to teach it to undergraduates. Indeed, I attempt to show that James's keenest insight still occupy the cutting edge of thought about free will and moral responsibility.


Proposal Number: 206
Date: 2017-01-09
Paper Title: Toward 'Rejuvenating' the *Summa Theologiae*: Strategies for Helping New Readers
Core Text:
Thomas Aquinas, *Summa Theologiae* - Treatise on Happiness within Prima Secundae
Abstract:
A great way to "rejuvenate the Core" would be to expand the reading by undergraduates of Thomas Aquinas"s theological masterpiece, the *Summa theologiae*. Many instructors hesitate to adopt that text in their courses on account of the difficulty students have reading it. New readers struggle to understand it not least on account of its dependence upon various technical distinctions within Aristotle"s philosophy and Christian theology. My paper will outline ways to assist undergraduates to read with discernment one part of Thomas"s *Summa theologiae* of wide general interest: namely, its discussion of the “ultimate goal of human life” within the initial chapters of Part 2.1.


Proposal Number: 205
Date: 2017-01-09
Paper Title: Teaching Kouzes and Posner's The Student Leadership Challenge in an Introduction to Leadership Class
Core Text:
The Student Leadership Challenge
Abstract:
Students often come into a leadership class with their personal (often very lofty) leadership goals as well as a broad definition of what it means to be a leader. Teaching Kouzes and Posner's The Student Leadership Challenge helps students to build a solid foundation on what it means to be a leader in the college environment. This base also helps them marry their service goals with practical steps they can take to see tangible results of their leadership efforts.


Proposal Number: 204
Date: 2017-01-09
Paper Title: Why the Question of Motive Matters for Platonic Political Philosophy
Core Text:
Republic
Abstract:
Plato's Socrates offers various conflicting accounts of his activity, which has led to competing conceptions of why Socrates converses with others. We survey the prominent views on the question of Socrates' motive and adumbrate the conception of political philosophy each stance entails.


Proposal Number: 104
Date: 2017-01-09
Paper Title: Bringing Women into the Scientific Core
Core Text:
Bacon's New Atlantas, Descartes' Discourse on Method, Mary Wortley Montagu etc.
Abstract:
This paper presents some of the ways that core programs can incorporate texts about women in Western scientific culture from 1600 to the present. Beginning with the Scientific Revolution, we can analyze the development of a new overtly masculine language—mechanical, rational, and objective—to describe nature. We see this in core texts such as Bacon’s New Atlantis and Descartes’s Discourse on Method, in which the scientist’s role is to subdue a feminized and passive nature. Despite the limited opportunities for women to engage in the scientific culture of the Enlightenment, women, such as Mary Wortley Montagu, who endorsed vaccination in her influential “Letters,” played a crucial role in promoting new scientific ideas.


Proposal Number: 98
Date: 2017-01-09
Paper Title: : "My love to love is to love but to disgrace it:" Sacred and Profane Love in Shakespeare's "Venus and Adonis"
Core Text:
Shakespeare's "Venus and Adonis"
Abstract:
As many critics have argued, Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis is often classed in a genre of Italianate erotic poetry intended solely as racy entertainment. Indeed, the poem often dances dangerously close to the scandalous, and (as at least one critic has argued) the pornographic. However, a reconsideration of the poem within the Renaissance tradition of “Sacred and Profane Love,” and the Italian “Two Venusus” indicates a more educational thrust of the narrative poem. Written to a young Wriothesley, Shakespeare’s poem elevates the erotic as essential to the nature of man, and castigates the cold, pious modesty of Adonis as unnatural, and in fact morally threatening.


Proposal Number: 203
Date: 2017-01-06
Paper Title: Cynicism and Education
Core Text:
Alcibiades I
Abstract:
Education is the dominant theme of the Alcibiades I. Much of the first part of the dialogue consists in Socrates attempt to show Alcibiades his need for a knowledge of justice in order to rule. To do this he must overcome Alcibiades easy going cynicism about justice. Their conversation reveals particular psychological obstacles to a philosophical education more so than providing compelling arguments for the importance of justice.


Proposal Number: 202
Date: 2017-01-06
Paper Title: Full of light, high and fair: Tolkiens Vision of the Good City
Core Text:
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Abstract:
In The Lord of the Rings, the scholar/knight Faramir delivers a brief speech describing why he is fighting to save his city in a time of great turmoil. Through characters like Faramir and Gandalf, J.R.R. Tolkien expresses a vision of the Good City that is linked with education, history, wisdom, and mercy. Is this an echo of sentiment originating in Augustine's City of God, or an Edwardian defense of liberal education in the face of industrialization, totalitarianism, and modern warfare?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown: The Liberal Arts in Uncertain Times
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 199
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Jackie's Boy: The Short and Tragic Life of RobertPeace
Core Text:
Jeff Hobbs' THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE
Abstract:
Jeff Hobbs' memoir-biography of his Yale roommate Robert Peace can serve as a bridge across many divides: race, intellect, economic, geographic, to name a few. Peace's brilliance as a poor black student from the Newark ghetto on a full ride to Yale establishes the contrasts. His sad end leaves the reader anywhere along these divides to ask "why" and "how"? And now that Peace is only one of many, we are also now needing to ask: "What can be done"?


Proposal Number: 197
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: At the Heart of Atheism: Aquinas on the Two Basic Objections to the Existence of a God
Core Text:
Thomas Aquinas, 'Summa theologiae'
Abstract:
It has been said that when presenting objections Thomas Aquinas argues in favor of his opponents" positions more strongly than they themselves could. This may be especially true in the "Summa theologiae", where Aquinas boils objections down to the root ones, i.e., those from which all disagreements with his position ultimately sprout. When it comes to the existence of a God, Aquinas presents only two objections, which could be characterized as the "problem of evil" and "naturalism." In this paper I unpack those objections as well as Aquinas"s replies to them, with a view to identifying the basic obstacles on the path toward asserting that a God exists.


Proposal Number: 196
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Dialectic's Relation to Rhetoric and Demonstration
Core Text:
Aristotle, Topics
Abstract:
Heidegger claims that dialectic bears little or no relation to demonstration. Alfarabi identifies dialectic as the "training art"--appearing to mean training for demonstration. What relation dialectic has to rhetoric and esp. demonstration in Aristotle's thinking is far from obvious. This paper will explore at least Aristotle's views on the matter.


Proposal Number: 193
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: The Voice of the Murderer: the Resurrection of Community in Raskolnikov's Confession to Sonya
Core Text:
Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky
Abstract:
The Voice of the Murderer: the Resurrection of Community in Raskolnikov's Confession to Sonya In Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, a purely active will speaks in the voice of the murderer, Raskolnikov, when he confesses to Sonya. The will of the ideologically radicalized student vacillates between active and passive as he begins the painful return to life out of the death of purifying violence. I will argue that this crucial chapter shows Dostoyevsky’s criticism of 19th century radical politics in concentrated form, as well as his profound hope for the resurrection of community out of the violence of righteous judgment.


Proposal Number: 190
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: The Well-Constituted Trivium
Core Text:
"The Marriage of Philology and Mercury," by Martianus Capella
Abstract:
Those interested in the recovery of liberal education are likely to envision the seven liberal arts as coexisting in a happy accord with one another, each achieving a too-easy harmony with the rest. At least two theorists of the liberal arts (Martianus Capella [360-428 CE] and Marshall McLuhan [1911-1980 CE]) have, however, seen the relationship of the trivium--that is, grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric--as being fraught with conflict and instability; the language arts are, in their estimation, at "war within the word" (Kuhns). Wile all of the arts, of course, are necessary for a well-rounded liberal learning, achieving their appropriate balance might be an especially important concern among those who have in recent years committed themselves to the renewal of liberal arts education. Drawing from Capella, McLuhan, and contemporary scholarship on the revival of liberal arts and "classical" learning, this paper will explore what a rightly-constituted trivium would be and the need for institutions and educators to strive for their proper balance in trivium-based programs.


Proposal Number: 186
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Why Rome? Place and the Political
Core Text:
Book V of Livy's Ab Urbe Condita
Abstract:
Through a reading of Furius Camillus' argument for rebuilding Rome after the sack by the Gauls, I explore the question of whether a political community is necessarily tied to a particular location, and what the basis is of the attachment to that location. Livy presents the great statesman and ‘second founder of Rome’ Marcus Furius Camillus persuading the Romans to stay in Rome by means of a series of arguments which, I will argue, are properly read as the articulation of a defense of the political community as necessarily always particular and bound to a place. Ultimately, Livy is showing that the civic devotion requisite to political life requires an account of why this particular place is deserving of devotion, and that this question can be answered only by an appeal to the gods.


Proposal Number: 185
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Dreams and Daydreams in Book 20 of The Odyssey
Core Text:
The Odyssey by Homer tr. Robert Fagles
Abstract:
In Book 20 of Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus lays down to sleep in the hallway of his house near the bedroom where Penelope lies. Their repose brings both waking thoughts and sleeping dreams of one another. This paper will close read their thoughts and dreams that hover in the space between them.


Proposal Number: 184
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Rhetorical instruction through modern and ancient texts: Crider and/or Cicero
Core Text:
Cicero's De inventione
Abstract:
Teaching written and oral communication is often stymied before it begins when students find themselves unable to understand the basic idea of argumentation to say nothing of their inability to develop cogent arguments. Modern approaches often restrict discussion of argument to thesis construction, which misses both the beauty of the argumentative process and the chance to conceive of the process more completely and, hence, to comprehend it fully. This paper will examine one ancient and modern approach to the topic: Scott Crider's The Office of Assertion: An Art of Rhetoric for the Academic Essay and Cicero"s De inventione. (ACTC Rejuvenating and Reinventing the Liberal Arts Initiative.)


Proposal Number: 181
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Out of the Cauldron of "The Warmth of Other Suns," Community is Honed
Core Text:
"The Warmth of Other Suns"
Abstract:
Remembered stories of their culture and history were the only baggage carried by millions of Africans who journeyed the Middle Passage towards a horrific and brutal slave system. This link to the past helped forge community among different tribal and linguistic groups in strange and brutal lands. In the hands of Isabel Wilkerson, oral history once again forges communal bonds in "The Warmth of Other Suns" as she tells the stories of Negroes who trekked the Great Northern Migration. And to those millions who went North, South, East, and West, any place but South, each evolution of the wheels of “the Chicken Bone Express” sang freedom from discrimination and yearning to be somebody. This essay explores the rituals of storytelling, which even in a social-mediated world, links person to person, building vast global communities of people who share their lives seeking solace, validation, and harbors from aloneness and racism.


Proposal Number: 180
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Religion in the state of nature: Hobbes's image of trust as the basis of political life
Core Text:
Hobbes's Leviathan
Abstract:
Hobbes's Leviathan features a notoriously brutal account of the "state of nature"--Hobbes's image of what things woud look like for an aggregate of men absent a common power. Hobbes's state of nature is not a historical speculation, but rather an "inference made from the passions" used as a means to justify present political authority. Traditionally, the passions that have been highlighted in interpretations of Hobbes's state of nature are fear of death and the desire for self-preservation. In this paper, however, I put forth an alternative interpretation of the state of nature in which religion, or what Hobbes calls the "fear of powers invisible, is both the overriding concern in the state of nature and the basis of political life that emerges from the state of nature. is both the overriding concern in the state of nature and the basis of political life that emerges from the state of nature.


Proposal Number: 179
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Augustinian and Daoist Perspectives on Reading Nature Like a Book
Core Text:
Augustine, On Christian Doctrine; Lao Tzu, Tao te ching
Abstract:
On Christian Doctrine (397CE) is St. Augustine of Hippo’s guidance to would-be preachers of Holy Scripture. Stanley Fish’s analysis of some passages from this interesting work shows Augustine’s thoughts on seeing things as signs and reading Nature as a kind of book of revelation. The gist of it is that any thing can be emptied of its “thinglyness” and turned into a sign of God’s word, a vehicle of divine revelation. I explore relevant comparisons between the potential emptiness of worldly things in Augustine, and the emptiness of wu forms in Taoist thought, as manifest in the Tao te ching (late 4th century BCE).


Proposal Number: 177
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Hannah Arendt on Speech and Action: What No Person (or Computer) Can Do for You
Core Text:
Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition
Abstract:
In this essay I discuss the concepts of ‘labor,’ ‘work,’ and ‘action’ in Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition, and apply them to what increasingly appears to be an imminent societal problem: rising unemployment due to technological advances (e.g., self-driving cars, software that writes news stories, computer vision that identifies tumors). What might a future look like in which there are not enough jobs for everyone who wants one? Arendt’s concepts of ‘labor,’ ‘work,’ and ‘action’ are valuable resources for these considerations, I argue, because her division of the vita activa into these three realms clarifies both what technological automation might be able to do for us (i.e., do in our stead) and what it can never do for us. Specifically, I argue that, while ‘labor’ (meeting bodily needs) and ‘work’ might be mostly turned over to systems of automation, the realm of ‘action’ – the realm of disclosing oneself through deeds and through speech – is something that each person can only do for themselves, and that most contributes to a life of psychological and political freedom.


Proposal Number: 176
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: A Virtuous Daughter: Friendship and Politics in Cicero's Tusculan Disputations
Core Text:
Tusculan Disputations
Abstract:
This paper seeks to address the problem of women's voices by considering the relationship of Cicero to his daughter Tullia. In particular, I will analyze in which Tullia enabled Cicero to see what it means for a Roman to be a true philosopher. Cicero lost Tullia due to complications in childbirth. Her death played a role in the rapid publication of his dialogues at the end of his life, especially the Tusculan Disputations. Cicero believed that Caesar's personal ambitions instrumentalized or at worst destroyed the social bonds of friendship which bound members of the Roman elite together. Cicero wished to recover an understanding of philosophical friendship so that Caesar's followers would return to virtuous friendships which benefited the common good. For Cicero, Tullia was a paragon of virtue, and she helped him to realize that friendship serves as the bridge between the philosophical and political life. Therefore, I will argue that Tullia allowed Cicero to show Caesar's followers how intimate friendships among virtuous people could reconstitute social bonds.


Proposal Number: 174
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: The Political Philosophy of the Phenomenology of Spirit
Core Text:
Hegels Phenomenology of Spirit
Abstract:
In this paper I will discern the political philosophy embeded in Hegel´s Phenomenology of Spirit. I will argue that the intention of Hegel is to defend the philosophical life while waging a war against revealed religión. I will further point out that the Phenomenology of Spirit is not so much a Bildungsroman as it is a theological-political treatise. Finally I will say that the main purpose of such treatise is to emancipate human beings from the shackles of ecclesiastical tutelage while addressing potential philosophers as new leaders for a new cosmopolitan, enlightened age.


Proposal Number: 172
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: A Year-Long Set of Five Courses for International Students
Core Text:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics and Pascal Pensee 323
Abstract:
The Pre-Collegiate Program in Yangon, Myanmar provides a set of five year-long core courses to enable high school graduates to transform their learning from rote memorizing to questioning and engaged thinking. In the modern world history course students read passages from Montesquieu, Adam Smith, and Benjamin Franklin through to Thomas Friedman and Kishore Mahbubani. The most senior professor selected texts from ancient Buddhist and Greek philosophy and also from Burmese and Western literature so that students learn in the two directions of applying abstract ideas and drawing inferences from specific characters and situations. An example of integration is contrasting Pascal’s Pansee number 323, that questions whether we love the whole person or merely attributes, with Aristotle’s discussion of three types of friendship.


Proposal Number: 170
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: The pursuit of justice as the tyrannical subversion of nature in Seneca's Oedipus
Core Text:
Seneca, Oedipus
Abstract:
Seneca's Oedipus offers a reflection on the relationship between human action and the inevitable, sometimes horrific, deviations from the otherwise awe-inspiring order of nature. The title character, the unwitting investigator of his own crime, presumes to become the agent by which these deviations are righted. However, the chorus suggests that this seemingly pious attempt to restore the natural order actually subverts it in a tyrannical way, because men like Oedipus attempt to access and reestablish the natural order on their own terms. The chorus calls on us to think about how the divine power of mercy, rather than the human imposition of justice, renders the beautiful natural order accessible to us, and thus to think about how grave is the harm caused by righteous anger--two important themes in Seneca's philosophy.


Proposal Number: 168
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Nietzsche and Tocqueville on The Condition of Equality: To Dance The Tarantella?
Core Text:
Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Tocqueville's Democracy in America
Abstract:
Nietzsche and Tocqueville offer complementary critiques of Equality. While Tocqueville seems optimistic that traditional political, social and religious institutions may help combat the dangers to which the equality of conditions gives rise, Nietzsche is not. What is it about Tocqueville and Nietzsche’s understanding of Equality that may lead to the former’s resigned recognition of its ascendance and the latter’s cry for a radical reshaping of our political, social and religious horizons?


Proposal Number: 167
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Speaking Across Differences: Classic and Contemporary Stoicism
Core Text:
Epictetus, Encheiridion; Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Abstract:
The works of Stoic philosophers have shown a remarkable power to speak to people across differences of race, gender, and culture: W. E. B. Du Bois wrote of moving "arm in arm" with Marcus Aurelius "across the color-line"; Elizabeth Carter, an 18th century bluestocking, was the first to translate the complete works of Epictetus into English; the contemporary Turkish writer Elif Batuman has recently written of her love for Epictetus. How can we account for the power of Stoic thought to bridge racial, gender, and cultural differences? How can classic works have contemporary meanings? I will try to show how these questions bring out both the genuine insights and the limitations of Stoic views of the self.


Proposal Number: 166
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Tennyson's Guinevere: How a university's sexual assault crisis gave relevance to a Victorian moral fable.
Core Text:
Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Guinevere from 'Idylls of the King'
Abstract:
“Guinevere,” one of the poems in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, can be read as Tennyson intended: monogamous Christian marriage was the backbone of social order, and women’s role was to uphold the moral order by leading “sweet lives in purest chastity.” Our campus, Baylor University, has been roiled by a national scandal involving sexual assault, Title IX violations, and multiple lawsuits involving disturbing elements of 21st -century college life. In the process of helping our students understand the importance of Tennyson’s vision for the Victorian context, we allowed them also to acknowledge and examine their discomfort with Tennyson’s inflexible excoriation of Guinevere as the “disease” that brought down Camelot. This led to a fruitful discussion of personal boundaries, shaming, and modern understandings of forgiveness, a necessary, but difficult and so metimes dangerous, discussion in an academic setting dominated by Title IX problems.


Proposal Number: 165
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: The Rape of Tamar: Teaching the Tragic Story of King Davids Family in a Post-Title IX World
Core Text:
David and Bathsheba Epic: II Samuel 11-18
Abstract:
In the aftermath of King David’s illicit affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, the prophet Nathan foretells the epic and tragic demise of the personal family of the King David— In the aftermath of King David’s illicit affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, the prophet Nathan foretells the epic and tragic demise of the personal family of the King David— fratricide, attempted parricide, incest, murder, and multiple inter-familial rapes ensue. Crucial to the epic is the rape of David’s daughter Tamar, by David’s own son, Amnon. Baylor University, a self-consciously religious institution, is currently going through a national scandal over sexual assaults, Title IX violations, and reported rapes. The scandal has led to the termination of the President and the head football coach, as well as precipitating an announced Title IX investigation of Baylor by the Department of Education. In reaction to the scandal, the Board of Regents has mandated that any and all student discussions with faculty about possible or alleged sexual harassment or sexual assaults must be reported to the Baylor administration. In our senior level capstone course on King David and King Arthur, how do we teach, discuss, and interact with Baylor students about the Rape of Tamar and the implications of sexual violence on our students’ lives?


Proposal Number: 164
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Vergil's Sixth Eclogue
Core Text:
Vergil, Eclogue VI
Abstract:
Vergil's Sixth Eclogue is a mysterious poem, the subject of numerous attempts to solve its puzzles. It presents itself as the poet's ars poetica, and it exemplifies how his imagination works through allegory, symbolism, and myth to construct a cosmos. The difficulty is to understand the function of each of the parts, the principle of order that holds them together, and the significance of the cosmos as a whole. This talk offers another attempt at a solution.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The proposed talk is part of the panel entitled "Imagination, The Core"
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 162
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: ARENDT, ORWELL AND THE POLITICS OF TRUTH
Core Text:
Hannah Arendt, 'Politics and Truth'; George Orwell, 'Politics of the English Language'
Abstract:
Oxford Dictionaries recently declared that the 2016 word of the year is ‘post-truth’. But what does it mean to say that we live in a ‘post-truth’ era? In this essay I propose to explore that question, arguing that the definition advanced by the editors of the Oxford Dictionaries illicitly conflates ‘facts’ with ‘truth’. Once we have clarified that confusion, however, we’re left with the question of what, if any, political significance we can attach to truth-telling. Following Hannah Arendt, I argue that as a general rule the truth-teller stands outside the realm of politics, but in societies where lying, deception and the misuse of language have become the norm in politics rather than exceptions, the mere act of truth-telling and speaking clearly does, indeed, take on political importance. In order to flesh out this position I turn to Arendt’s work (specifically, "Politics and Truth”) as well as George Orwell’s “Politics of the English Language”. I discuss the implications of this conclusion for helping us to think about the obligations of citizenship in contemporary post-truth societies.


Proposal Number: 160
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Dangerous Books: Cautionary Tales in The Tempest and Frankenstein
Core Text:
Confessions, The Tempest, Frankenstein
Abstract:
Can books be dangerous? If so, should students read them? Shakespeare's The Tempest and Shelley's Frankenstein both narrate cautionary tales of dangerous encounters with texts. As an adolescent, Frankenstein is introduced to the arcane texts that kindle his fateful obsession with reanimation; Prospero withdraws from his worldly responsibilities to master the magical books that allow him to manipulate the other characters in the play and nature itself. In this paper I use Augustine's Confessions--an example of a successful "literary conversion"--as a lens to examine how reading morally neutral texts can lead to immoral consequences. The solution to the problem--and one of utmost importance to journeyman readers in core courses and to the society they live in--is not that some books should be avoided or banned, but rather that they should be read critically, in community and in context.


Proposal Number: 159
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: 'The Horror, The Horror' of Teaching 'Heart of Darkness' to Teenagers
Core Text:
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Abstract:
Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" has delighted and baffled readers for over a century, and perhaps no other text is referenced as often on the High School AP Literature exam. How can Conrad's rumination on imperialism, race, and human nature inform our discussion on contemporary issues like the Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Black Lives Matter Movement? Through close reading of the primary text and Socratic discussions with college-bound AP senior students over a three week period, I will examine students' interaction with and reaction to Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," focusing on the novella's relevance to the world over one hundred years after its release.


Proposal Number: 158
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: On the question of Socrates' Benevolence
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
Certainly Socrates presents himself as caring for others. In the Euthyphro, Socrates claims to be benevolent or philanthropic (literally a lover of human beings or humanity “philanthrōpia” 3d), a claim that is in line with his self-presentation in the Apology as well as in a number of other private discussions.


Proposal Number: 157
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Rousseau: Friend or Foe of Liberal Education?
Core Text:
J.J. Rousseau, Discourse on the Arts and Sciences
Abstract:
The book that made him famous, Rousseau's Discourse on the Arts and Sciences is--infamously-- an uncompromising critique of the motives behind, and the moral consequences of--the pursuit and the growth of human knowledge, of the "Enlightenment." The Discourse raises fundamental questions about the project of "liberal education,"and is therefore of capital importance to us. Central to liberal education is the perplexity--and an issue that Rousseau can help us think about--is what is "liberating" about it? Rousseau's paradoxical text, if at first glance appearing as a praise of ignorance, proves on closer inspection to be a defense of philosophy, and of genuine education, against pretenders and imitators of these true ends.


Proposal Number: 156
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: The Beauty of Truth in the Humanities and Natural Sciences
Core Text:
Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of a Scientific Discovery; John Keats,
Abstract:
This paper proposes ways of putting scientific texts and humanities texts in conversation in CORE courses to explore the aesthetics of truth. In his preface to The Double Helix (1968), James Watson states that part of what characterized the pursuit of the structure of the DNA molecule was the "belief that the truth, once found, would be simple as well as pretty," an emphasis that shows up in Francis Crick"s What Mad Pursuit (1988) as well. Crick"s title even comes from the John Keats (1795-1821) poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn," which ends, ""Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"--that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." Using these texts by Watson, Crick, and Keats, along with such additional texts as Ian Glynn"s Elegance in Science: The Beauty of Simplicity (2010) and Judith Wechsler"s On Aesthetics in Science (1978), I shall explore some ways of understanding the Keats poem"s assertion that beauty is truth.


Proposal Number: 155
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Journey to the Center of Another: Adam Smith on Sympathy
Core Text:
Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Abstract:
In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith describes sympathy as the imaginative process that enables a person to enter into the perspective and share the sentiments of another. This paper explores Adam Smith’s understanding of the border that separates individuals and how sympathy enables one to cross this interpersonal divide. The role that this emotional border-crossing plays in Adam Smith’s account of moral action will also be examined. I conclude with a discussion of why Adam Smith’s TMS is more effective at introducing undergraduates to philosophical ethics than the core texts typically employed (such as Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Kant’s Grounding of the Metaphysics of Morals, and Mill’s Utilitarianism).


Proposal Number: 154
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Bridging Divides, Crossing Borders, Building Communities: Cervantes' Other Core Text
Core Text:
Cervantes 'The Trials of Persiles and Segismunda'
Abstract:
In his 'Trials of Persiles and Segismunda, Cervantes' titular protagonists, future king and queen of a northern country suffering from a protracted civil war, leave home to make the long journey to Rome. The pilgrimage affords the young couple travelling incognito without power or money -- and, therefore, at the mercy of others -- a first-hand education in the ways of the world. They encounter, in general, two kinds of communities; those attentive to logos and the human voice, on the one hand, and those that either ignore or reject them, on the other. In the novel, the former are all remarkably similar, while the latter have only in common their reliance on and adherence to violence of all kinds, as I will discuss.


Proposal Number: 153
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Aristotle versus Diotima on Motherly Love
Core Text:
Aristotle's Ethics, Plato's Republic and Symposium
Abstract:
It’s a common-place among readers of the Republic to point out that women are “more attached to ‘one’s own’ (to idion),” namely, to children and the hearth, than men are. On these grounds, women are by nature are only questionably qualified to become philosopher-rulers in Socrates’ best city, since Socrates plans for children to be raised in common, and each ruler to think as little of ‘one’s own’ as possible. But in Aristotle’s account of friendship, I see contradictory evidence to this claim. For Aristotle, the mother is the paradigm of friendship based on excellence, because of her specific but self-less love for the child. His example is the mother who sends her child away to be nursed; she love the mere existence of the child, which in itself is a good for her, and is “satisfied if she see the child is faring well,” even when she is not loved in re turn. I argue that a love of what one has made or engendered as ones’ own self, as in the case of poets’ “exaggerated” attachment to their poems—the very sort of intellectual offspring Diotima gives pride of place in the Symposium—is indeed a problem-riddled kind of love (can you imagine a poet letting someone else claim his poem?). But mothers with their love of what is out of their self as another, separate self, lack this sort of propertarian attachment. Therefore, women’s love of children is not of itself a natural barrier to the strange communal arrangements that Socrates proposes for his male and female guardians, for good or for ill.


Proposal Number: 152
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: The Heart Sutra, Revelation, and Emergent Spacetime
Core Text:
Heart Sutra
Abstract:
"Form is emptiness, emptiness is form ..." These lines resonate with a Buddhist Studies scholar and with a relativity physicist. Why? Can distinct disciplinary and cultural backgrounds enhance our understanding? This paper explores the issue of space and time in divergent and yet complementary religious, philosphical and scientific interpretations and the artwork of research biologist, painter and Buddhist Iwasaki Tsuneo. Co-delivered with Dr. Don Salisbury.


Proposal Number: 151
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: The Economy of Information in Aeschylus' Agamemnon
Core Text:
Aeschylus Agamemnon
Abstract:
The nostos of Agamemnon serves as a poignant comparison to Odysseus’ successful return in the Odyssey – where Penelope cleverly guards her husband’s estate against suitors, Clytemnestra welcomes a particularly vengeful suitor to her bed. Where Odysseus returns to find a holdout of active loyalists welcoming his arrival, Agamemnon’s boule and henchmen do not raise a limb to aid their endangered master. Where Odysseus receives vital intelligence on the circumstances of his arrival, Agamemnon arrives in the dark. Aeschylus’ Agamemnon explores the disintegration of an economy of information necessary for political control, in demonstrating the silences and inaction of those who have remained behind with Clytemnestra at Argos. The phulax on the rooftops of the palace and the boule assembled to greet their returning king know full well of Clytemnestra’s infidelity, but are silent or vague about t his betrayal. Even his captive prophetess, Cassandra, able to part the barriers of ignorance, remains silent until the time for meaningful action has passed. This exploration hopes to explicate this phenomenon, and show how Aeschylus places this information and the roles of those who are supposed to uncover and transmit it, into the hands of Clytemnestra, the new regent of Argos.


Proposal Number: 150
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Who Would Read Platos Cleitophon?
Core Text:
Plato's Cleitophon, Republic
Abstract:
The Cleitophon is Plato’s shortest work by far, and scholars have tended to regard it among the dubia or at the very least incomplete. At any rate, the serious study of what must’ve been a short (and cheap) scroll is suspicious, and perhaps rightly so. But if we assume its authenticity and completeness, then who did Plato write it for? What sort of person did Plato hope to attract with a dialogue of a few pages, most of it a rebuke of Socrates, who is granted but a few somewhat nagging and servile words? Who would (or should) read Plato’s Cleitophon?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Platonic Educations
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Plato wrote educative dialogues portraying education. But the reader seeking such an education doesn't always sympathize with the presuppositions and motives driving the person(s) educated therein. Given this gap between the reader and the dramatis personae, how we can hope to be educated by an education intended for someone whose disposition we don't share? The papers in this panel explore various aspects of this problem: Socrates' education of his interlocutor(s), the dissonance between what Socrates says philosophy is and how he lives it, and the role a dialogue's reputation plays in the readers it attracts.


Proposal Number: 149
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Parents as Teachers, Teachers as Parents
Core Text:
Plato, REPUBLIC, APOLOGY
Abstract:
In the light of my own experience as a teacher and a parent of college-age children, I would like to reconsider the problem of "liberal" pedagogy as articulated in Plato's REPUBLIC, where the father is dismissed from the scene early in the dialogue and where in the city in speech, family relationships are obscured and obliterated in the name of justice. Socrates is of course entirely aware that the family provides a context for any sort of education, as is made abundantly clear in the APOLOGY. But rather than seek to treat the family as a kind of obstacle to genuine liberal education, I argue that we should realistically consider what it means for all of us--teachers and students alike--to pursue education understanding ourselves as "relational" beings, embedded in familial relationships from which we cannot and indeed should not extricate ourselves. I do not mean for this to be an argument for "patriarchy," but rather for a richer conception of the role education plays in a society whose fundamental building block is, or at least ought to be, the family.


Proposal Number: 148
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Unsophistication -- Imaginative Wilderness in Shakespeare's King Lear
Core Text:
Shakespeare's King Lear
Abstract:
Unsophistication -- Imaginative Wilderness in Shakespeare's King Lear The middle act of Shakespeare's King Lear is largely set on the so-called heath (a term which never appears in the play itself). Featuring un-domesticated, swirling time, space and nature, Shakespeare's poetry there invokes an unsophisticated man. This chaotic wilderness is both destructive and creative, too -- for those who can endure it. In the wild heath scenes, Shakespeare represents the terrible labor of the imagination in history.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Imagination, The Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will reflect upon the centrality of the imagination in core texts. Panelists will discuss the imagination in Homer's Iliad, Virgil's Eclogues, Shakespeare's King Lear, and Borromini's architecture.


Proposal Number: 147
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Building Community through the Universality of the Human Condition: Suffering and Hope in Kierkegaards Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits
Core Text:
Soren Kierkegaard Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits
Abstract:
In this paper, I will focus on Kierkegaard’s text, Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits. In this text, Kierkegaard maintains that the human condition is defined by one enduring quality, a quality that binds together all humans, regardless of time and place or culture and creed: to be human means to suffer, and even more, to find hope and joy in that suffering. No matter what we learn from studying the events of human history, Kierkegaard says, there is always one thing that each generation and each individual must learn anew, from the beginning and for themselves: how to be human, how to find hope and joy in suffering. In this paper, I will first explain what Kierkegaard means by his definition of the human condition, what he means by suffering and how we are to find joy in suffering. Second, I will use Kierkegaard’s definition of the universality of the human condition to develop the conference theme. Can Kierkeg aard’s definition of the human condition help us to bridge divides and build community in our present world, a world that sometimes focuses on progress at the expense of tradition and a world that seems both evermore interconnected and evermore disconnected?


Proposal Number: 145
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Beauty in Truth: On the Strife of Earth and World in Heidegger's Origin of the Work of Art
Core Text:
The Origin of the Work of Art
Abstract:
In his well-known text, Heidegger attempts to turn around an aesthetic tradition that has informed more than two centuries of thinking about art and artworks, namely the one founded on an understanding that grounds the meaning of a work of art in subjective experience. Instead, Heidegger posits in the artwork not only an advent of truth seemingly independent of the subject's apprehension, but invests in that truth a contention between appearance and withdrawal that complicates any thinking of truth as full presence. And, as Heidegger says, in this belongs the beautiful. I would like to frame a few questions raised by these claims, particularly ones having to do with the nature of such strife-beset beauty and what that might mean for thinking about art within the post-aesthetic, but decidedly non-Heideggerian contexts of today.


Proposal Number: 144
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Plato and Thrasymachus on Power
Core Text:
Republic I
Abstract:
What is power? In this paper I try to explore Plato’s notion of power in the first book of the Republic as opposed to Thrasymachus’ concept of power. Although Plato doesn’t develop explicitly a notion of power it is possible to find it in his arguments along the dialogue.


Proposal Number: 140
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Matthew Arnold in the Trenches: An Approach to the Teaching of Core Texts
Core Text:
Arnold, Tolstoy, Thoreau
Abstract:
Matthew Arnold’s “touchstone” literary methodology promised to identify great works of literature if critics would only evaluate new texts by comparing them with lines and expressions possessing the “very highest poetical quality” written by the “great masters” (e.g. Horace, Dante, Shakespeare). While Arnold’s method proved unable to infuse objectivity into the haphazard practices he observed in his contemporaries’ literary criticism, his approach may nevertheless offer a powerful pedagogical tool in teaching 21st-century undergraduates. By adopting Arnold’s focus on and appreciation for literature representing “primary human affections,” “great human action,” and transcendent ideas, students may be encouraged to inhabit the literature they read and connect self-identified “touchstones” with their lived experiences.


Proposal Number: 139
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: The Green Light and the Eyes of T.J. Eckleburg: Bridging the Emotional Divide in Fitzgeralds Gatsby
Core Text:
The Great Gatsby
Abstract:
This essay examines Fitzgerald’s novel through the lens of T.S. Elliot’s notion of the Objective Correlative and offers pedagogical strategies for teaching its rich emotional content. While a certain object achieves an “enchanted” quality—and is perhaps the most accessible for students—Elliot’s definition also includes “a situation” and “chain of events.” In addition to a few objects, the essay also explicates numerous situations and a major chain of events to help students unpack circumstances and develop a rich understanding of the emotionality of the characters.


Proposal Number: 138
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Translating the language of duties into the language of rights: the recognition of a common humanity and respect for human dignity in Confucian Classics
Core Text:
The Analects, Mencius
Abstract:
Confucian thoughts have long been seen as obstacles to China’s transition to democracy and to regime which respects human rights. However, if it is true that “human rights” is not a Confucian idea as such, the recognition of a common humanity and the respect for human dignity, both essential characteristics of human rights, are clearly articulated in the Analects, Mencius and other early Confucian texts. The paper will demonstrate how, by putting emphasis on the duties expected of individuals in their political and social roles, Confucian thoughts suggest “rights” of the beneficiaries of these duties. Though different from the liberal ideal of universal and equal rights of all individuals, the Confucian concept of “rights” gives an alternative insight into what it means to be human and what makes a good society.


Proposal Number: 137
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Borromini's Restlessness and the Classical Tradition
Core Text:
Pascal Pensees and Borromini's architecture
Abstract:
In my paper I will discuss how Borromini's architecture expresses the replacement of the space suggested by the traditional idea of the intelligible cosmos with the infinite space generated by the imagination. I will argue his architecture is very much in line with some insights of Pascal into the imagination and the hidden God.


Proposal Number: 136
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Hephaistos, the Divine Outsider of the Iliad
Core Text:
Illiad
Abstract:
Hephaistos’ position in the Olympian hierarchy seems ambivalent throughout the Iliad. Twice in the Iliad Hephaistos mentions being hurled violently from Olympos, apparently on two separate occasions – ejected once by Zeus and once by Hera. This paper will explore the relationship between Hephaistos’ “outsider” status among the gods, the distinctive, poetic imagination he manifests in his craft, and his particular affinity with the hero of the epic, Achilles.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Imagination, The Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will reflect upon the centrality of the imagination in core texts. Panelists will discuss the imagination in Homer's Iliad, Virgil's Eclogues, Shakespeare's King Lear, and Borromini's architecture.


Proposal Number: 135
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Self-Interest Well Understood in the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Core Text:
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Abstract:
Using Tocqueville's famous formulation of self-interest well understood as the basis of democratic morals, the paper explores how closely Franklin's work adheres to Tocqueville's formula.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: "Commerce and Character"
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 133
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Philosophy of Mind: Past and Present
Core Text:
Phenomenology of Spirit (Hegel), Meditations on First Philosophy (Descartes)
Abstract:
Contemporary philosophy of mind typically acknowledges Cartesian dualism as the primary starting point of the problem of mind in modern philosophy, but readily dismisses and/or trivializes both Cartesianism and other historical positions as viable contemporary solutions or as relevant subject matter. Teaching philosophy of mind at an introductory level needs to focus primarily on an inclusive range of diverse, contemporary theoretical points of view, but I also argue that this approach must be enhanced by a substantial appreciation of philosophy of mind in its historical depth. I present an alternative sketch of a 21st century philosophy of mind course, one which not only studies contemporary positions in philosophy of mind, but also the likes of Hegel, Fichte and Descartes. Two main conclusions I draw are as follows: (1) my alternative sketch avoids being anti-modern and also avoids being dismissive of the history of philosophy (2) my alternative sketch supports the idea that philosophy of mind needs metaphysics – or at least robust critiques of metaphysics - and tends to reject the idea that philosophy of mind can flourish without metaphysics.


Proposal Number: 132
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Liberal Education for Mortal Communities: Cicero and Chekhov on Living and Aging Well
Core Text:
Anton Chekhov, "A Boring Story"; Cicero, On Old Age (De Senectute); reference to Tolstoy, "Death of Ivan Ilyich"
Abstract:
Chekhov's "A Boring Story" depicts the state of Russia"s scientific elite in the person of a highly educated medical professor who has not aged well and has no access to Tolstoy's cures for alienation: faith in the natural goodness of the common people and in the meaningfulness of life. In De Senectute Cicero's Cato the Elder uses the classical tradition to teach us to accept old age as a stage of life and death as an insignificant event in a meaningful universe. Reading the two together allows us to consider the liberal arts tradition itself as a dialogue between ancients and moderns about what it means to live and die well and what types of beliefs are available to us in human communities.


Proposal Number: 131
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Dumbing Democracy Down: Alexis de Tocqueville's Appraisals and Solutions
Core Text:
Democracy in America (Selections)
Abstract:
In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville spent nine months touring the United States, interviewing hundreds of diverse people, trying to understand the country's strengths and weaknesses. He published his observations in a collection of essays, Democracy in America. Tocqueville's astute insights carry a foreboding resonance for American democracy today. In particular, Democracy in America anticipates how problems of division and fragmentation are peculiar to democratic societies and yet, ironically democratic societies retain the social and political capital to offer meaningful solutions such problems. This paper examines how Tocqueville’s interpretations of public associations in civil life, particularly education and religion, anticipate potential models of integration and stability in a culture of competing pluralisms.


Proposal Number: 129
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Deception, Passion, and Reason in the Fall of Man
Core Text:
Paradise Lost
Abstract:
This paper is a reflection on the respective falls of Adam and Eve in John Milton's Paradise Lost, where I pay particular attention to the thought processes of the characters before each eats of the tree. I argue that Milton plays the role of theological psychologist through the narrative of his poem, wherein he demonstrates that the soul moves to sin due to a variety of reasons. As such, he manages to illuminate the relationship between the human faculties of free will and reason. This essay fits the theme of bridging divides, as I work to examine causality through the lens of epic poetry.


Proposal Number: 128
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: "Channels Which Had No Great Name on Earth": The Limits of the Transformation of Nature in Xenophon's Education of Cyrus
Core Text:
Xenophon's Education of Cyrus
Abstract:
Xenophon's Education of Cyrus has been said to present an idealized version of the founder of the Persian Empire known to us from Herodotus's Histories. One of the most interesting changes Xenophon makes to the story of Cyrus's life is his account of how Cyrus takes the city of Babylon by damming a river. Xenophon's changes to the historical account are intended to suggest the limits of the human capacity to transform nature through political projects.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Can Man Transform Nature?
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Classical, medieval, and modern thinkers have all considered the question of whether man can transform nature. Among the ancients, for instance, Herodotus's Histories describes the efforts of rulers to constrain and rebuke physical nature, damming rivers and whipping the waves for their transgressions; Xenophon's Education of Cyrus outlines the efforts of a ruler to alter the nature of his subordinates; Seneca's Oedipus characterizes the titular character's imperial rule as a rebellion against the order of nature. If the question of whether man can transform nature is a signal difference between classical, medieval, and modern thought, then the clarification of this question is of great importance for understanding that difference.


Proposal Number: 127
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Rhetoric and Political Virtue in Plato's Menexenus
Core Text:
Menexenus, Laches
Abstract:
The bulk of Plato's Menexenus is taken up by a funeral oration, presented in private by Socrates to the young man for whom the dialogue is named. That funeral oration raises, among other questions, that of the relation between political virtue and rhetoric, between moral nobility and aesthetic beauty. To die for one's country is thought noble; the speech praising that deed, beautiful. What is the connection between these two -- moral nobility and aesthetic beauty -- and what can be learned about each through an examination of that connection?


Proposal Number: 125
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Re-creation versus Rectification: Experience, Reason, and the Human's Appropriate Work in Paradise Lost
Core Text:
Paradise Lost
Abstract:
In Milton's Paradise Lost, Adam and Eve each collapse the fruitful tension between different kinds of knowledge in characteristic ways. Adam tends toward an excess of rational knowing, as we see in his conversation with the angel Raphael, and Eve towards the experiential, as we see in her conversation with the serpent. The two humans were intended to understand reality through the harmonious tension between the experiential and the rational, a tension that is dependent on divine providence, but they each choose to overemphasize one part. By understanding this, we understand why recreation is changed from a labor in itself into a break from appropriate work.


Proposal Number: 124
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: Homer's Role in the Socratic Education: An Examination of Book Ten of the Republic
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
The ramifications of Socrates’ view of Homer and the poets in the Republic leads us directly to the core of the question about what the best way to live is and what education is needed to achieve it. Because of the great importance of these questions, this paper will attempt to unknot what Socrates believes the poet’s role to be in the education for a life worth living. We will do so by first examining Socrates’ investigation in Book Ten into whether Homer and the poets truly have knowledge of the most important things. We will then provide evidence to show that through his seemingly incriminating inquiry, Socrates actually indicates that Homer avoided ways of life antithetical to the good. In turn, this reveals that Socrates is showing Homer’s virtue while behaving as though he is exposing Homer’s weaknesses. We will then take up the question of Homer’s role in education and what he teaches mo re directly. Here, we will argue that Socrates presents Homer’s poetry to both display erotically-driven men and to draw men into living a more erotic life. Through an examination of the Homeric characters presented in the myth of Er, we will argue that Socrates shows eros both to be able to turn a soul away from human life (through the examples of Ajax and Agamemnon) and turn a soul towards the quiet life of contemplation—which is to say a life worth living (through the example of Odysseus). We will then conclude by discussing how Socrates’ discussion of Homer ultimately shows how the Greeks needed a poetic “Homer” to be able to have a philosophic “Socrates.”


Proposal Number: 123
Date: 2017-01-05
Paper Title: The Problem of the Good in Plato's Apology of Socrates
Core Text:
Plato's Apology of Socrates
Abstract:
The following essay seeks to illuminate the character of Socrates’ understanding of what is good for himself. In the first third of Plato’s Apology of Socrates, Socrates makes several avowals of ignorance, most of which indicate that he knows of nothing that is “noble and good.” We are especially interested in how important a role the conjunction “and” plays in that formulation. When Socrates investigates the politicians, poets, and artisans, he argues that each of them are ignorant, but in spite of this, that each still says “noble” things, but not anything “good.” Socrates on the other hand, seems to quietly intimate that while he knows of nothing “noble and good,” he may know of what is “good.” That is to say, he knows that being as he is profits him, and furthermore, that his way of life is superior to all others. The last third of the dialogue oscillates between Socrates loudly trumpeting his nobility, and subtle indications that each of his noble deeds, far from being sacrifices for others, are in fact good for Socrates, either theoretically or prudentially. Based on this evidence, some thoughtful political theorists have concluded (along with evidence from other dialogues) that Socrates is concerned primarily with his own good, and only helps others incidentally. However, this conclusion does not seem adequate, as many of the same theorists also conclude that Socrates’ intention in the dialogue is not to defend his life, but to sacrifice his life so that philosophy and future philosophers will live. How can it be that Socrates is, on one hand, only concerned with his own good, and, on the other, willing to sacrifice his own life? The most coherent way to explain this tension is to say that Socrates’ concern for others, even a self-sacrificial concern, is compatible with what he understands to be good for him.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Revisiting the Quarrel Between Philosophy and Poetry
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel seeks to illumine aspects of the relationship between philosophy and poetry as it is presented by the Greeks. Our papers will touch on the following questions: are either of the two ultimately, or necessarily subordinate to the other? What is the difference, if any, in how great philosophers and poets communicate their understanding? Do poets and philosophers indicate competing visions of the good life? What are the philosophical dimensions of poetry? What are the poetic dimensions of philosophy? Papers will explore works by Plato, Homer, and the tragedians.


Proposal Number: 195
Date: 2017-01-04
Paper Title: The Heart Sutra, Revelation, and Emergent Spacetime
Core Text:
The Heart Sutra
Abstract:
"Form is emptiness, emptiness is form..." These lines resonate with a Buddhist Studies scholar and with a relativity physicist. Why? Can distinct disciplinary and cultural backgrounds enhance our understanding? This paper explores the issue of space and time in divergent and yet complementary religious, philosophical and scientific interpretations and the artwork of research biologist, painter, and Buddhist Iwasaki Tsuneo. Co-delivered with Ivette Vargas-O'Bryan


Proposal Number: 194
Date: 2017-01-04
Paper Title: Aristotle, Affect, and Social Exclusion in The Mayor of Casterbridge
Core Text:
The Mayor of Casterbridge; Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
The Mayor of Casterbridge opens with Michael Henchard, a frustrated itinerant hay-trusser, auctioning his wife and child in a drunken rage. In remorse, he renounces alcohol for twenty-one years, and subsequently rises to become mayor of the county town. His swing from alcoholic excess to strictly regulated sobriety is only the first manifestation of a temperament that veers unpredictably between the extremes of self-assertion and self-negation. The subtitle of the novel describes Henchard as a "man of character", and one of its key themes is the Aristotelian notion of the cultivation of character within society. Throughout, Hardy deploys the terms and ideas of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, particularly in relation to anger and temperance: Henchard lives by extremes, in contrast to his main commercial rival, and his stepdaughter, both of whom consciously moderate their emotions and ambitions. Ultimately, Henchard's habit of excess leads to his downfall and relegation from the community as an outcast. The reading offered here opens up questions about the relationship between personality and affective response, as the novel explores the need to negotiate the complex territory of one's own emotional range as a condition of class mobility and personal happiness within society.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Outsiders in Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
The papers in this panel vary in topics and approaches, but share a focus on "outsiders" from core texts in literature, philosophy, religion, and politics. They analyze the not always clear-cut relationships between outsiders and insiders in society, and respond to questions such as the following. Where are the boundaries between the societal center and the margins and peripheries? What kinds of forces are outsiders up against? To what extent and through which means do outsiders react to the center? To what extent are they actively engaged in shaping the center? Indeed, in which respects are "outsiders" also "insiders"?


Proposal Number: 192
Date: 2017-01-04
Paper Title: Musing Dante, Divining Milton and Cultivating Confucius: A Collaboration Between Great Books and Visual Arts
Core Text:
Dante's Inferno, Milton's Paradise Lost, Confucius' Analects
Abstract:
This presentation will tell the story of a collaboration that crossed disciplinary and pedagogical boundaries and will be accompanied by slides of student artwork. In the first three courses in our Great Books Colloquium, students study the Oresteia, the Divine Comedy and Paradise Lost while in introductory to intermediate Painting and Drawing courses Art students learn the basic visual vocabulary of oil painting, collage, and mixed media. The collaboration was thus experiential, and its goal was to involve both Great Books and Art students in exploring the visual imaginations of Aeschylus, Dante and Milton. Great Books students were able to offer their insights into the themes, language and events presented in the scenes and cantos to the painting students, who then used their expertise in the aesthetic components of the painting medium to translate the language into a visual context. Through this exercise, humanities and art students entered into a centuries old tradition of interpreting and illustrating classical works of literature.


Proposal Number: 191
Date: 2017-01-04
Paper Title: Liberal arts education for everybody? Nietzsche and free college proposals
Core Text:
On the Future of Our Educational Institutions - Friedrich Nietzsche
Abstract:
Nietzschean critique of modern higher education still rings a familiar note: university study underwent simultaneous expansion of access and contraction of content. Many contemporary issues, including limited learning, fiscal disaster, neglecting education, or maintaining inequalities, can be traced back to the tensions identified by Nietzsche when he accused universities of spreading themselves too thin. While controversial Nietzschean solution is more liberal education to less people, the most powerful alternative today seems more vocational preparation to everybody; neither solves the problem of increasing the amount of valuable higher education. In my paper, I would like to use current calls for free tuition in public colleges, academically supported by recent books by Christopher Newfield and Sara Goldrick-Rab, to ponder if universal liberal education is both possible and desirable - with Nietzsche and against him.


Proposal Number: 189
Date: 2017-01-04
Paper Title: Preserving Trust in Political Discourse: Reflections on the Debate Between Cleon and Diodotus in Thucydides's Peloponnesian War
Core Text:
Thucydides's The Peloponnesian War
Abstract:
In Book III of The Peloponnesian War, the immediate concern of the debate between Cleon (“the most violent man in Athens” and a demagogue) and Diodotus is whether Athens should relent from its decision made on the previous day to punish the Mytilenians for their revolt against the Athenian empire. To make his case, Cleon impugns the character of Diodotus and calls for revenge against the Mytilenians in the name of justice. In response, Diodotus (whose name means “gift of the gods”) takes a long-term view of the situation not only with regards to Athens’s standing in international politics, but with respect to the precariousness of the city’s trust in its political leaders and discourse, arguing rhetorical tactics such as Cleon’s ultimately rob the city of the chance to receive good counsel. Given the coarsening of political discourse in the United States - particularly with respect to echo-chamber consumption of news and social media that evades genuine dialogue and rational argument - it is worth considering how Diodotus’s arguments about preserving trust in political discourse point to an enduring need for a liberal education to provide students with the texts and the intellectual skills that allow them to take a comprehensive view of political life that can speak to the controversies of the moment without undermining the possibility of true political dialogue in the future.


Proposal Number: 183
Date: 2017-01-04
Paper Title: From Tragedy to Comedy in Hegel's Phenomenology
Core Text:
Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
Abstract:
In the Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel conceives of both ancient Greek tragedy and comedy as crucial moments in the development of religious consciousness and community. Traditionally, much more emphasis has been placed on Hegel’s understanding of tragedy than comedy, but what is of particular interest in this context is that Hegel holds Aristophanic comedy to be the logical fulfillment of Greek tragedy. Comedy is also conceived as the final stage of Greek religious life, and, according to Hegel, its limitations provoke further development in religious consciousness. This paper will consider the relation between tragedy and comedy in light of Hegel’s analysis.


Proposal Number: 182
Date: 2017-01-04
Paper Title: Grieving for the World through Core Texts
Core Text:
Cormac McCarthy, The Road; Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Vegetable, Miracle
Abstract:
The 2017 ACTC conference proposal speaks to the power of the liberal arts to address suffering and loss: To realize that the worst of humanity can be counteracted by the best is to commit to liberal arts education in core texts. To commit to the openness of core texts – their huge traditions of conversation, substance, invention, and appreciation – is to construct the antithesis of a closed, divisive world, to work for a free and open world…. A liberal arts core text education, especially in college, constructs communities out of the diversity of traditions and human beings. A community of liberal arts education using core texts is committed to comparisons, across genres, disciplines, eras, languages, cultures, and civilizations. It is committed to reflection and the long view. A community of liberal arts, core text education knows that the future is made through today by drawing on the resources of the present and past, of all of humanity, of the eternal or the tested. It knows that today’s problems – be they violence, demographics, economics, politics, arts, sciences, or technology – are addressable. What can a communal chorus of human voices say to these human problems and potentials? Encountering the reality of environmental degradation with undergraduates brings with it a grief for the world we are losing that is better acknowledged than left unspoken. I have found that in reading post-apocalyptic texts like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which vividly portrays the end of human civilization, it is important to counter-balance that narrative of impending doom with one that allows for hope, and happiness. In my Honors Research Writing course, Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle plays that role. I use these two texts to address the larger question of grief at seeing the natural world destroyed. As Aldo Leopold famously said, “One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” So as we train students to be literate in science and versed in cultural criticism, we have a duty to leave space to explore the emotional impact of the knowledge they gain. The human community described in the conference invitation is at the center of these pre- and post-apocalyptic narratives. We recognize what we are losing, sometimes, only after we have lost it irrevocably, and yet hope shadows the project of reading about environmental devastation, hope that we will avert further damage, and preserve the best of what has been.


Proposal Number: 175
Date: 2017-01-04
Paper Title: 'I was the first to bring the muse into my country': Willa Cather's My Antonia, the First Modernist American Epic
Core Text:
My Antonia, by Willa Cather
Abstract:
If there exists an American epic, Willa Cather wrote it: her novel My Antonia, published in 1918. Though she identifies Virgil’s Georgics and The Aeneid as her models, her method was clearly modernist: I would call it Joycean except for the fact that Ulysses had not yet been published. What Cather does in her Nebraska novels, in My Antonia especially, is rewrite the myth of Aeneas and the founding of Rome as the making of America on the Nebraska frontier by immigrants, Cather’s epic heroes, mostly female, who demonstrate models of virtue and agency well worth considering, in their own time and cultural context as well as in our own. Several of these heroes we will examine as I make the case that not since Cather wrote My Antonia has there been a more urgent need for her novel to be read and taught widely and well.


Proposal Number: 188
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Rejuvenating and Reinventing the Liberal Arts in Humanistic Liberal Education
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
The challenge set out in the Prospectus for an ACTC NEH Institute on Rejuvenating and Reinventing the Liberal Arts in Humanistic Liberal Education is summed up in the following observation: little if any appreciation of the history of invention or innovation in the liberal arts seems to be taught or practiced in undergraduate liberal arts education. The general picture that emerges is haphazard attention to the liberal arts, per se, and could be briefly described as liberal education without liberal arts. My contribution to this debate looks at our own Modern Liberal Arts programme at the University of Winchester, UK. We have tried to make knowledge and understanding of the history of liberal arts part of our first year modules; we have incorporated some of the moral ambivalence that accompanies both past and present conceptions of liberal arts education as part of our second year; and we have challenged ourselves to respond to this in the third year by enquiring into the notion of modern that grounds our BA Modern Liberal Arts. In short, we are conceptualizing a modern liberal arts education as one underpinned by the ancient and modern pursuit of first principles, with its contemporary form of modern metaphysics. We are working with the considerable challenges that attach to the project of Liberal Arts: Know Thyself.


Proposal Number: 178
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: Hunters and Imitators: Towards Genuine Community in Plato's Republic
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
In Book II of Plato’s Republic, Socrates’s project of constructing a city in speech gets up off the ground when Glaucon interrupts, insisting that Socrates place those wretches populating the initial city up on couches and at tables as is conventional. At this point, we pass beyond the healthy city, founded on necessity, to a feverish city, one that takes upon itself the task of satisfying non-necessary desires. In assessing this transition, one must not overlook the new occupations, the many hunters and imitators introduced by Socrates into the city in order to satisfy those non-necessary desires of its citizens. In this paper, I will comment on the significance of getting the citizens up off the ground and onto couches and at tables as is conventional, and then I will comment on the non-necessary occupations introduced into the city, arguing that with these occupations we get the introduction of culture, which raises life in common beyond that of mere association for the sake of meeting necessity and serves to form it into a genuine community of spirit.


Proposal Number: 146
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: To Dream From The Ruins: An Analysis of Borges' "The Circular Ruins"
Core Text:
Jorge Luis Borges' short story The Circular Ruins, and Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams
Abstract:
Sometimes literature works like a great seamstress, threading through the meaning of dreams to bind them to wish fulfillment in waking life. Borges’ “The Circular Ruins” is one such example of literature sweating at the loom to create a dream tapestry in which man dreams man into existence. Who’d dare such a thing! For a ‘thing’ like the materialization of dream man demands a helluva of a warp and woof. But Borges knows how to stretch our imaginations lengthwise and crosswise as he weaves us through this dream that manifests into a wished-for reality where man manifests man. Of course, deconstructing these Borgesian threads to discover the unsettling particularities of this dream necessitates careful not clumsy hands. Perhaps a Freudian thimble will be the analytical tool needed to gain insight into “The Circular Ruins” without getting pricked by the critical needle.


Proposal Number: 122
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: Does Aquinas succeed in unifying Eros and Benevolence?
Core Text:
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Commentary on Lombard's Sentences
Abstract:
Aquinas reconceptualizes two classical forms of love, Diotima’s eros and Aristotle’s benevolence, as instances of his distinction between love of concupiscence and love of friendship. While he convincingly argues that any act of love involves both of these aspects, he is less convincing in his attempt to give a generic account of love that applies to both aspects.


Proposal Number: 121
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: Oppression and Revolution: Wollstonecraft and Freire in Dialog
Core Text:
Wollstonecraft's A Vindication on the Rights of Women, Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Abstract:
A key text of core curricula Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication on the Rights of Women is often utilized as counterbalance to the male dominated social science texts located therein. As a result, she often serves as a lone voice and is scripted to the edges providing a window solely into her own cultural context and, as described by students, not wholly relevant to today’s society. However, Wollstonecraft’s message serves a much deeper purpose with significantly more resonance within core as a whole, when she is put in dialog with Freire’s Pedagogy of the oppressed. By cross-connecting ideas, oppression models, social constraints, and the commitment to change, Wollstonecraft and Freire provide a new and effectively revolutionary lens through which core can be structured and experienced.


Proposal Number: 119
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: Breaking the Rule: Women Living the Vita Apostolica
Core Text:
Rule of St. Clare
Abstract:
Christian monasticism represents one answer to the fundamental question: "How do I live the Christian life?" For many people, the answer to this question involved a withdrawal from the world in order to devote themselves fully to their Christian vocation, a vocation that often required vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. These Christians claimed Jesus and his apostles—hence the use of the term vita apostolica, or apostolic life—to describe this particular approach to the Christian life. When monks came together to live in a community, they usually adopted a "rule" or a set of guidelines that governed their life together. Did this patriarchal paradigm include or exclude women, implicitly or explicitly? Could women live the vita apostolica and come together in community, and on their own terms? In a time when many women’s religious communities lived according to rules written by men, St. Clare of Assisi boldly penned her own rule, or set of guidelines for her community of women. This paper examines the groundbreaking Rule of. St. Clare (or Clare’s Rule) against the backdrop of the hugely popular and widely influential Rule of St. Benedict and St. Francis’ The Early Rule, and further explores St. Clare as an “outsider” or “oppressed insider” within the Christian monastic tradition.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Outsiders in Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
The papers in this panel vary in topics and approaches, but share a focus on outsiders from core texts in literature, philosophy, religion, and politics. They analyze the not always clear-cut relationships between outsiders and insiders in society, and respond to questions such as the following. Where are the boundaries between the societal center and the margins and peripheries? What kinds of force are outsiders up against? To what extent and through which means do outsiders react to the center? To what extent are they actively engaged in shaping the center? Indeed, in which respects are outsiders also insiders?


Proposal Number: 117
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: "The Crime Don't Matter"?: Building Bridges with Outlaws in "The Stranger" and "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"
Core Text:
The Stranger by Albert Camus and "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor
Abstract:
Literature often builds readers" empathy for characters who do not "fit" into society, but how should readers react to characters who have committed horrible crimes? This paper will explore ways to help students overcome their initial distaste for Mersault from Camus’s The Stranger and The Misfit from O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” while not dismissing the gravity of the characters’ crimes. As the students develop more complex understandings of the characters, they come to see their own visceral reactions reflected in secondary characters. As a result, they gain insights about what makes these criminal characters so threatening and why society reacts to them so strongly.


Proposal Number: 115
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: Men under the reign of Women in Russian Literature of the XIX century
Core Text:
The Dead souls, Eugene Onegin, Woe from Wit
Abstract:
Women neither had education nor employment in Russian gentlefolk. Their social roles were limited by roles of a wife or a mother. All power and resources belonged to Men. Nevertheless Russian Literature is full of vivid examples where women were leading Men"s actions and were decision-makers. From Griboyedov to Chekhov, from Pushkin to Gogol Men were under the reign of Women.


Proposal Number: 113
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: Teaching classic science texts in Shenzhen (mainland China)
Core Text:
Silent spring (chapter 6)
Abstract:
It is a part of a common core program in The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Shenzhen (the program was developed in CUHK). Nowadays, awareness of environmental protection is not a novel idea and the top students in mainland China know much about general science through extensive reading after class. Considering these facts, a four-step teaching strategy was adopted to learn this text: 1) lecture (pre-class)2) online discussion forum (pre-class), 3) text related discussion (in-class) and 4) watching short video and further discussion (in-class). The methodology of each step and the students’ feedback will be introduced in detail in this paper. The different behaviors between students in Hong Kong and mainland China will be briefly discussed.


Proposal Number: 112
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: Wojtyla's Rhapsodic Theater: How to Suit Action to the Word
Core Text:
Karol Wojtyla's Jeweler's Shop
Abstract:
Boleslaw Taborski says that Wojtyla"s drama is unique because it "creates its own dramatic reality" insofar as the world of external events is not so much expressed by the dramatist directly as absorbed into the "inner space," the psychological space, of the protagonist, where it exists timelessly, in projections into past or future (that is in the memory of the hero or in his prophecies), supported by the author"s knowledge of history, or even theology. Wojtyla"s drama, the Jeweler’s Shop, presents three accounts of love and marriage providing different paths into the promises and perils of “spousal love.” Through the dramatic reality pouring forth from inner life of each protagonist the audience may come to see various meaningful wholes in which the experience in understood and narrated - psychological, ethical, and theological. I wish to explore a question concerning how well such drama both conveys a philosophical idea/theological vision as well as represents a compelling dramatic narrative, drawing in a student reader and engaging philosophical reflection.


Proposal Number: 111
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: The Non-Action of Rest: The Aristotelian Realism of Michael Faraday's Experimental Researches in Electricity
Core Text:
Michael Faraday's Experimental Researches in Electricity
Abstract:
Michael Faraday’s Experimental Researches in Electricity is remarkable not only for its many discoveries of electrical phenomena, but also for its method of investigation. For humanists, Faraday’s Researches allows us to study the rhetoric of a scientific language, much the same way we might study the language of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species or of Einstein’s Relativity: The Special and General Theory written for a popular audience. To this end, my presentation will highlight Faraday’s Aristotelian rhetoric as explored in Kenneth Burke’s A Grammar of Motives, now a classic in the study of rhetoric for its attempt to transcend the categories of dramatic rhetoric. In the end, I will suggest what Faraday has to offer the humanist searching for an alternative to the rhetoric of scientific materialism and to the scientist overly-biased towards what many consider an impartial mathematical language.


Proposal Number: 109
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: Pragmatism: An Old Name for Some Hopeful Future Ways of Thinking -- Reflections on William James Less Known Writings
Core Text:
William James, Lectures I & II Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking, The Will to Believe, and The Dilemma of Determinism
Abstract:
The title of this presentation is a play on James’ 1907 Harvard series of lectures: “Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking.” In my ACTC 23 presentation this year, I hope to draw attention to some of the features of William James’ philosophical, psychological, and literary thought which may be of particular relevance to our current life situation culturally, economically, and socio-politically, as well as, relative to the state of liberal education. Throughout the mainstay of his life and work, James was committed to the basic goals of the pragmatic movement, seeking the resolution of apparently interminable ideological disputes through an exploration of their actionable aims, rules, and consequences. Epistemologically he offered a critique of absolute evidentialism, in favor of a restricted volitionalism, and applied this framework to enduring first things questions, such as those of God and individual freedom. In short, I believe there is much in James’ thought that can be helpful to contemporary socio-political cultural discussions generally, but especially helpful with respect to deliberations regarding the future viability of liberal education.


Proposal Number: 105
Date: 2017-01-03
Paper Title: The intersectionality of Being Black, a Woman, and a Professor
Core Text:
Souls of Black Folk, Vindication on the Rights of Women, The Art of War
Abstract:
There is no shared experience of teaching for women of color in higher education. Yet there is one ruling narrative of how to discuss texts, themes and texts’ applications to our students’ worlds. As a black woman who teaches core texts the discussions on writers such as Plato or Sun Tzu naturally concern our present day as much as they do our past -- such as the role of our elected officials and who is perhaps owed more than others (Republic) or the methods of resistance or defense and which ones may work more than others and/or are more acceptable than others (The Art of War). To that end there"s a worthy space that can and should be recognized by our colleagues and our students for women and women of color who simultaneously teach core texts whilst embodying the very concerns many of these writers have e.g. the double-consciousness of Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk, the rights of girls to education in Wollsto necraft’s Vindication, or the threat(s) to personal or governmental integrity in Plato’s Trials or Republic. My interest is in both exposing such challenges and in imagining the opportunities for what to do to possibly lessen if not eliminate said challenges.


Proposal Number: 173
Date: 2017-01-01
Paper Title: : A Noteworthy Event of No Consequence in Plutarchs Life of Themistocles
Core Text:
Plutarch's Life of Themistocles
Abstract:
The purpose of his biographies, as Plutarch himself informs us, is not the communication of historical facts, but rather the cultivation of the understanding of character. In some cases, Plutarch relays events that seem merely disruptive of the flow of the narrative, bearing no consequences in the history. Why Plutarch includes such events is, in some cases, admittedly difficult to tell; but in others, a careful consideration of such an event, in relation to the key themes of the biography, sheds a richer light on the meaning of the biography. In this paper I examine a brief episode in the life of Themistocles that illustrates how reflection on an inconsequential event can help us better understand the important themes of the biography.


Proposal Number: 171
Date: 2017-01-01
Paper Title: Rejuvenating and Reinventing the Liberal Arts: Aristotle's Poetics and Classical Education
Core Text:
Aristotle, Poetics
Abstract:
The Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts is offering a new program, currently in its pilot year, designed for K-12 teachers using Great Books, liberal arts curricula. The purpose of the program, in part, is to rejuvenate the classical approach to liberal arts, an approach in which the liberal arts are not treated simply as disciplines, but genuinely as arts, such as those that constitute the Trivium and the Quadrivium. Because this rejuvenation responds to, and even integrates, contemporary approaches and knowledge, it is at the same time adaptive and innovative. In this paper, I will discuss how K-12 teachers have engaged the liberal arts as arts through the study of Aristotle"s Poetics in our online course, The Ancient World.


Proposal Number: 169
Date: 2017-01-01
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Three Cross-Cultural Modes of First Year Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Three schools that enroll students after high school have three very different sets of core courses to achieve fairly similar learning goals: that students will become fearless in tackling new ideas, learn to think critically and creatively, think across disciplines, and listen well in discussion. At Mercer University about 10% of the entering students fill their general education requirement by taking a seven-course sequence in Great Books of the Western tradition. Widespread faculty interest in teaching core courses is created by requiring all faculty members to teach one course per year in any department outside of their discipline -- e.g. a violin-playing mathematician teaches introduction to music. The Pre-Collegiate Program in Myanmar (Burma) provides eleven months of core courses to enable high school graduates of high schools that teach science through memorization to enter liberal arts colleges as effective participants. The courses include Touchstones Discussion, a course integrating philosophy and literature from Buddhist and Western traditions, two social science courses, an environmental biology course, and weekly community service. In the view of impartial observers, all three core programs are more successful than comparable programs in creating critical thinkers and cooperative leaders.


Proposal Number: 163
Date: 2016-12-31
Paper Title: Tocqueville on Equality, Public Opinion, and Freedom of Thought
Core Text:
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Abstract:
In his Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville examined the relationship between equality of conditions, public opinion, and freedom of thought in American civil society. This paper will begin to think through that relationship in light of this year"s ACTC conference theme. It would seem that community-building through the liberal arts would require a genuine openness to examining, and perhaps tolerating, a diversity of opinions about the most important things. However, if Tocqueville is any guide, many aspects of modern egalitarianism and American public opinion might fundamentally threaten such efforts.


Proposal Number: 161
Date: 2016-12-31
Paper Title: Revisiting Harrison Bergeron for the social media age
Core Text:
Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut
Abstract:
This paper examines what Harrison Bergeron can teach students today in an age where social media often dictates the discussion, the Liberal Arts continuously face backlash and debate surrounding safe spaces and political correctness garner national headlines.


Proposal Number: 143
Date: 2016-12-31
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Revival of the Liberal Arts in the Twentieth-Century
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will address the history of the 20th century liberal arts revival after the rise of the modern research institution in the 19th century. After examining the philosophy behind the rejection of the liberal arts model, it will look at the various forms the liberal arts has taken in the 20th century: Civ courses, Great Books seminars, and Christian culture programs.


Proposal Number: 142
Date: 2016-12-31
Paper Title: Bridging the Gap: Using Plato to Booster High School Student Achievement
Core Text:
Plato's Gorgias and Phaedrus
Abstract:
As an English teacher at a Title 1 high school, many of my low-income students lack the background to engage authentically with many texts found within the Core. Combining this with the demands of state testing leaves little time to get these students the background needed. This paper will explore the ways in which I effectively utilize Plato in the English classroom to boost interest and thus achievement in rhetoric/composition, philosophy, and literature.


Proposal Number: 134
Date: 2016-12-31
Paper Title: The Structure of Dante's Paradise
Core Text:
Dante Divine Comedy
Abstract:
The Paradiso is often viewed as the least dramatic and compelling of the three canticles that comprise Dante"s Divine Comedy. In this paper I seek to correct this impression by arguing that the Paradiso has an inherently dramatic and dynamic structure. The paper will focus on the middle of the text and Paradise, the circles of the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, to argue that they are structured by a transformation of the natural virtues into the theological virtues. The paper will argue that the transhumanization that is the work of Paradiso, not only completes this medieval text, but points us to modern possibilities.


Proposal Number: 130
Date: 2016-12-31
Paper Title: Law as the Missing Piece in a Liberal Arts Education
Core Text:
Iliad, Republic, and Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England
Abstract:
The goal of a liberal arts education is justice, which is achieved in society through law. In order to apply the ideals and lessons from core texts to their communities, readers must have a working understanding of their laws. This paper uses the theory of William Blackstone and analyzes the metaphors of Homer to investigate how a liberal arts education can help students comprehend the rudiments of the law and thereby work for justice.


Proposal Number: 126
Date: 2016-12-30
Paper Title: The Orphic Hymns as Imitation Oral Poems
Core Text:
The Orphic Hymns
Abstract:
The Orphic Hymns are a set of 86 liturgical poems written some time during the first four centuries CE in the Homeric or Epic dialect of Greek. While they are usually overlooked as literary artifacts, they exhibit compositional features that not only elucidate the beliefs and practices of the syncretic religious cult to which they belonged, but also display an intriguing imitation of the oral formulaic composition of Homer. Oral formulaic composition is a method of composing extemporaneous metrical poetry in preliterate cultures, but literate poets may imitate the features of oral formulaic composition even in literate works to harken back to earlier tradition and, I will argue, to achieve particular psychological and artistic effects. These texts represent an often neglected bridge between orality and literacy, between voice and writing, and between the divine and the corporeal.


Proposal Number: 120
Date: 2016-12-30
Paper Title: Political Justice According to John Locke
Core Text:
The Essay Concerning Human Understanding and The Two Treatises on Government
Abstract:
In modern culture there are two competing definitions of justice. One, focuses on the rights of minorities, or those who have been oppressed, sometimes at the expense of the rights of others, while the other sees justice as the equal securing of rights for all. This paper explores the grounding for the definition of political justice found in the writings of John Locke and concludes that it is the impartial securing of individual natural rights. As such, it is most consistent with the principles of the American Founding, and the one that should be preferred.


Proposal Number: 118
Date: 2016-12-30
Paper Title: What was Enlightenment? Reintegrating the Liberal Arts in a Post-Traditional World
Core Text:
Kant, "What is Enlightenment?" and Foucault, "What is Enlightenment?"
Abstract:
Notwithstanding calls to rejuvenate the liberal arts, there is much contemporary evidence to point to their vibrancy. Technical mastery of the human spirit-- the ability to influence beliefs, anticipate preferences and manipulate behavior-- has scarcely been higher, and none of that would be possible without liberal arts education. But the untethering of the liberal arts from humanistic education has introduced uncertainty as to how our graduates will use the knowledge and skills they are acquiring. And yet the anti-humanist legacy of the Enlightenment, coupled with the realities of higher education, make it harder for the transformative potential of the liberal arts to be realized in ways that serves the common good.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Rejuvenating the Liberal Arts in the Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 116
Date: 2016-12-30
Paper Title: Complementarity of the epistemological approaches to exploring Nature
Core Text:
Joseph Needham, The Shorter Science & Civilisation in China
Abstract:
Exact sciences, which feature high precision in measurements and analysis, are a manifestation of an analytical thinking approach and reductionism in modern science. On the contrary, the exploration of Nature in the East such as the application of the Five-Element theory exhibited an associative thinking or a co-ordinative thinking approach and holistic view of Nature. Though modern science is beyond doubt dominant in contemporary society, Chinese medicine served as an example of the eastern science has attained a prominent success and a completely different perspective in understanding Nature. Comparing the two approaches reveals their complementarity and, more importantly, inspires an insight into the epistemology of the investigation of Nature.


Proposal Number: 110
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: The First Scenes of Shakespearean Plays Taught Through Performative Pedagogy
Core Text:
King Lear, and The Tempest,
Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The First Scenes of Shakespearean Plays Taught Through Performative Pedagogy
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
In many ways, the part of any Shakespearean play that most strongly bridges a divide between the world of the text and the world of the audience is any Act I, scene i. The first scene of the first act builds a very special kind of community between text, audience, readers and actors. It serves as a portal through which we can view the larger themes and sociopolitical concerns of the play. As such, simply reading the words on the page or consulting critical commentary provides a limited scope if we wish for our students to engage the full human voice(s) in Shakespeares canon. Instead, as this paper will argue, a performative / improvisational approach to Shakespeare allows students and faculty to work through textual ambiguities, subtexts, and inferences in a way that decenters the classroom so that student performance choices allow for immediate engagement with the text and leave room for fresh readings scholars have not yet considered. A performative approach empowers students to forge connections between plays like King Lear and The Tempest and their own lived experience. Questions that feel urgently timely today are revealed to be timeless as the class discovers answers through their own choice of physical and vocal interpretation.


Proposal Number: 108
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Table and Tavern or Congress and Courthouse? Friendship and the Pre-Political Foundation of Political Society
Core Text:
Cicero's De Officiis
Abstract:
As the convulsions of recent revivals of tribalism shake our Western cosmopolis, the question of how political communities are formed and maintained in unity returns to the fore. Too many modern political thinkers made legitimacy and justice their primary concern in developing their theories of founding, and as a consequence citizens have learned to stand on their rights, but not to stand by their neighbors; they have learned what they are due, but not what they owe. Writing in a post-constitutional Rome, in the shade of Caesar and his Cerberus, however, the fallen statesman Cicero finds that his most political act is not to instruct his son in a theory of justice, but in how to be human, and how to establish the seeds of a community that can lead to a new political dawn. His instruction on the value of friendship in particular helps lay the ground for a recovery of a political community that any body politic needs to serve as a foundation to its legal and political framework.


Proposal Number: 107
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: The Socratic Tradition Continued: Socrates and Sojourner Truth
Core Text:
The Trials of Socrates
Abstract:
Socrates presents a modern conundrum where he is considered a classic text for the liberal arts even though our current national climate is one that hinders curious and independent thought. Sojourner Truth"s speeches are texts that should be moved into the core as she continued the Socratic tradition in posing questions to those wielding power in order to undo the oppressive structures of slavery and patriarchy.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Outsiders in Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
The papers in this panel vary in topics and approaches, but share a focus on "outsiders" from core texts in literature, philosophy, religion and politics. They analyze the not always clear-cut relationships between outsiders and insiders in society, and respond to questions such as the following. Where are the boundaries between the societal center and the margins and peripheries? What kinds of forces are outsiders up against? To what extent and through which means do outsiders react to the center? To what extent are they actively engaged in shaping the center? Indeed, in which respects are "outsiders" also "insiders"?


Proposal Number: 106
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Crossing Cultures/Crossing Gender: Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book, Cultural Capital and the Performance of Gender in the Core
Core Text:
Sei Shonagons Pillow Book, Souls of Black Folk, Vindication on the Rights of Women
Abstract:
Sei Shonagon’s Pillow Book, a miscellany-style journal comprised of poetry, random lists, short narratives, confessionals and other ephemera stands apart even amidst a reading list that includes Galileo’s Sidereal Messenger, Marx’s Communist Manifesto, Freud’s Civilizations and Its Discontents, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government or Rousseau’s The Social Contract. One might ask what, in a course that addresses the relationship between the individual and society, The Pillow Book has to offer students as they examine these relationships in connection to their present day lives? Everything. Sei’s text exposes the way in which social and political power itself is bound up in performance and play, and her heightened sensitivity to the ways class, gender and cultural capital intersect provide students with a fresh lens to examine more traditional core text choices, and also help to reveal the importance of less commonly taught--but equally trenchant-- ones, such as DuBois’ Souls of Black Folk and Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women. This paper argues that when core text courses embrace writers traditionally held at the periphery and make their voices central to the course, they create an opportunity for students to interrogate “classic” texts more authentically, and see the ways those texts intersect with their own lived experience.


Proposal Number: 103
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Viola the Refugee
Core Text:
Twelfth Night
Abstract:
Viola has been well regarded as one of Shakespeare"s greatest characters: smart and sensible, energetic and innovative, generous and superior to all other characters in Twelfth Night. This paper interprets her qualities in the context of her situation and action as an accidental and refugee-like presence within the Illyrian society. She is, simultaneously, a sister dealing with the loss of her beloved twin brother; a servant carrying out the desire of a powerful master; and a disguised young woman navigating among the natives in order to create a new life for herself in this new land. The multiplicity of her roles mirrors crucial characteristics among newcomers, including refugees, to a wealthy and well-entrenched society.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Outsiders in Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
The papers in this panel vary in topics and approaches, but share a focus on "outsiders" from core texts in literature, philosophy, religion, and politics. They seek to analyze the not always clear-cut relationship between outsiders and insiders, and address questions such as the following. Where are the boundaries between the societal center and the margins and peripheries? What kinds of force are outsiders up against? To what extent and through which means do outsiders react to the center? To what extent are they actively engaged in shaping the center? In which respects, indeed, are "outsiders" also "insiders."


Proposal Number: 102
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: The Laugh of the Medusa in Core: Womens Voices and the Traditional Canon
Core Text:
Helne Cixous The Laugh of the Medusa
Abstract:
While teachers and Core Texts departments have made important efforts to include more women on our syllabi, we are still faced with the challenge of integrating women’s voices into a canon that was historically built and preserved upon texts by men. As a result, women’s voices are often assigned the corrective or responsive position vis-à-vis to the rest of the syllabus: the “alternate” or “other” voice at the end of the semester otherwise male voices, or the feminist critique of what came before. This paper will consider some classic theoretical considerations of the relation between women’s voices and the canon (e.g. Helène Cixous’ “The Laugh of the Medusa”) as they pertain to Core Text pedagogical goals of initiating students into the world intellectual heritage. It will also offer (and solicit) some preliminary ideas for texts by women, syllabus structures, or lesson plans might move beyond either tokenism or sheer critique of the tradition, toward a more nuanced or sophisticated integration of women"s voices into the Core.


Proposal Number: 101
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Questions of Democracy: Rethinking "Demos" and "Kratos" with Herodotus and Mandela
Core Text:
Herodotus, "The History"
Abstract:
Democracy is commonly conceived today as the rule of the people, i.e. the popular control of government power through majority rule. But this concept of democracy is challenged by two texts (one classic and one contemporary) that illuminate each other: "The History" of Herodotus; and "Long Walk to Freedom" by Nelson Mandela. Through close readings of both texts, I will argue that the power of democracy--the "kratos" in "demokratia"--is not primarily the power-over-others held by a sovereign government, but the power-to-act generated by the organized solidarity of citizens in a polity; what is essential to democracy in the original sense is not majority rule, but the expanded power to act generated by citizens who, in the words of Herodotus, are "willing neither to rule nor to be ruled," and for whom, in the words of Mandela, "majority rule was a foreign notion." I wil l conclude by offering two examples of this democratic power-to-act or "people power": the popular movement that expelled Isagoras from Athens and opened the way for the democratic constitutional reforms of Cleisthenes in 508/7 BC; and the popular movement led by Nelson Mandela in South Africa, which led to the end of the Apartheid regime in 1991.


Proposal Number: 100
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Which core texts should employees at Volkswagen have read before programming software for Diesel engines?
Core Text:
Kant, Groundlaying toward the Metaphysics of Morals
Abstract:
Engineers at Volkswagen broke all rules of conduct when they coded the defeat device that switched off the exhaust treatment of their Diesel cars unless the car was on a testing facility. There are a quite a number of core text that should have been read by the employees to prevent them from cheating, but the one of especial relevance is Kant"s "Groundlaying toward the Metaphysics of Morals". Could such a misconduct have been prevented if European engineers had attended a mandatory "Engineering Ethics" course in their higher education? Anyway, action is required in Europe: Responsible engineers need to know which core texts to read and to reflect about.


Proposal Number: 99
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Political Life and Humility in "The City of God"
Core Text:
The City of God
Abstract:
This paper examines how Augustine presents humility as the first step towards combating the corruption of political life. According to Augustine, humility may, in this world, prove useful to anyone who embraces it, but its greatest utility extends beyond any earthly boon. Humility allows one to recognize the true order of things, and as a result, permits one to avoid vice and grow in virtue. In other words, it helps one order the soul properly. Political change, therefore, starts in the soul. Augustine"s message is especially pertinent today, when the rhetoric of political change has proven effective for both political parties.


Proposal Number: 97
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Locke's Golden Rule
Core Text:
Two Treatises of Government
Abstract:
Locke bookends his discussion about the Law of Nature in Chapter II of his Second Treatise between two citations from Robert Hooker. The first citation suggests a natural duty for human beings to love others in the form of the golden rule: it is no less their Duty, to love others than themselves (II.5). The second citation suggests that the desire for communion and fellowship prompts human beings to enter into political society. However, Locke gives a very different account of one's natural obligations and the origins of political society between these two citations.


Proposal Number: 96
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Exiles in Purgatory: Political Lessons from Dante's Encounter with Sordello
Core Text:
Divine Comedy
Abstract:
At the end of Purgatorio 6, Dante launches into a 75-line speech about the political situation in Italy, lamenting the misery and misrule he sees. As fascinating as the speech is, however, it seems worthwhile to investigate the occasion for such a remarkable outburst. It seems that the speech is prompted by Virgil"s embrace of Sordello, but Dante"s speech is the conclusion of a canto in which much more has happened, and the fuller context illuminates Dante"s motives and the ways in which his perspective on political things is being changed by his journey. In particular, the beginning of the canto sets up Dante to see Sordello as an occasion for reflection on the relationship between earthly citizenship and eternal things.


Proposal Number: 95
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Weaving Deceit: Portrayals of Penelope's Weaving Trick in the Odyssey
Core Text:
Homer's Odyssey
Abstract:
In Homer's Odyssey, three different characters tell three different audiences of a trick that prudent Penelope has played upon her suitors in order to delay an unwanted marriage to one of them. In my essay, I examine the context of each telling, and in particular the part it plays in the dynamic between teller and audience. I show that in each version Homer presents to his audience a different way in which Penelope's weaving and unweaving holds together three particular kinds of relationship, each of which is central to her character.


Proposal Number: 94
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Illuminating Agamemnon
Core Text:
Aeschylus' Agamemnon
Abstract:
During our reading of Aeschylus' Agamemnon, students divide into groups to study closely one of four key passages and to ferret out answers to questions about point, irony, speaker's pain and surprising things in passage. Each group explains its passage to the class, and afterwards, students write down how this exercise has shown them something new about Agamemnon.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Two Ways to Open Up Agamemnon to Students
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Two team teachers of English 2123: Ancient Texts, Modern Connections explain how they encourage students to work towards a deeper understanding of Aeschylus' Agamemnon. Students study closely short passages from Agamemnon and respond to the passage either in writing or in a PowerPoint presentation to the class. Students' insights into Agamemnon connect the ancient to the modern by dramatizing how the passions that divide cultures in the past, still divide us today.


Proposal Number: 93
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: Mind the gap: Hegel, faith and politics in the modern world
Core Text:
Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion
Abstract:
In his Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion Hegel suggests that "the idea which a man has of God corresponds to that which he has of himself, of his freedom". This difficult speculative idea opens up a reading of Hegel which is not well known. My paper explores this idea in relation to faith and politics in the modern world, and in relation to the sorts of questions this raises for our teaching and for our students as they seek to navigate and understand the uncertain world around them.


Proposal Number: 92
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: The Underdeterminacy of the Word: Phaedrus, Cratylus and the Communal Demands of Language
Core Text:
Cratylus and Phaedrus
Abstract:
In a passing statement in Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates remarks that the written word (logos) is an image (eídōlon) of the living, breathing word of one who knows. While Phaedrus only lightly touches upon the issue, other dialogues, perhaps most indispensably Cratylus, more fully penetrate the status of “the word” and its implications for language. As a supplement to Phaedrus, Cratylus contributes a conception that serves as a defining hermeneutic not only for Plato’s corpus, but in every use of human language. Beginning with the “word as image,” this paper shall demonstrate how the “underdeterminacy of the word” places communal demands upon all initiatives toward successful communication, including every act of listening, reading, speaking, and writing.


Proposal Number: 91
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: God and King at Agincourt: Henry V and the Political-Religious Divide
Core Text:
Shakespeare's Henry V
Abstract:
Often regarded as Shakespeare"s great and noble king, the character of Henry V succeeds because he recognizes the difficult task of good kingship. A good king must rule politically, conducting wars and other human enterprises, while also directing his subjects to higher, and often contradictory, religious concerns. Henry understands that successful rule requires an attempt to bridge the divide between political and religious claims, while also realizing that the two worlds are not fully compatible. Good kings must focus on politics and temporarily guide their subjects to political tasks, but must also permanently point them towards eternal matters of the soul.


Proposal Number: 90
Date: 2016-12-29
Paper Title: A Painful Dream: Alexis de Tocqueville on Race and Slavery
Core Text:
Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville
Abstract:
This paper shows that Tocqueville’s view of race relations, specifically between blacks and whites, is both pessimistic and hopeful, and poses a significant challenge to all who take interracial moral and political struggles seriously. Tocqueville opposed slavery on grounds that it contradicts both Christian beliefs and secular conceptions of human rights, and he understood the grave damage it inflicts on race relations in any society. Democracy in America particularly identifies the United States as a country that may never fully overcome the stain of chattel slavery and thus achieve racial harmony. Still, Tocqueville does not express absolute pessimism in this work, for he also proposes some ways by which America can mitigate its racial tensions, as long as it remains committed and clear-sighted.


Proposal Number: 88
Date: 2016-12-28
Paper Title: Emerson's Garden
Core Text:
Nature
Abstract:
In his 1841 essay “Spiritual Laws” Emerson suggests that sustained innocence is possible as he refutes the Christian doctrine of original sin. According to Emerson, those who believe in original sin have “the soul’s mumps, and measles, and whooping-coughs” (126): “Our young people are diseased with the theological problems of original sin, origin of evil, predestination, and the like. These never presented a practical difficulty to any man,—never darkened across any man’s road, who did not go out of his way to seek them” (126). Emerson persistently underplays or denies the significance of these theological problems in Nature as he assures his readers that they are born into the same dominion that Adam enjoyed at his creation.


Proposal Number: 87
Date: 2016-12-28
Paper Title: Reason, Revelation, and Beyond: Transcending Human Knowledge in the Divine Comedy
Core Text:
Divine Comedy
Abstract:
The liberal arts aid us and our students in opening up and evaluating new sources of knowledge. This paper explores the transitions experienced by the pilgrim Dante as he encounters new sources of knowledge regarding matters both earthly and divine. Of particular interest is the Dante’s attempt at a description of the Divine Beatitude and the transmission of this knowledge through poetic image. We are reminded in this scene of the tension between certitude and the limits of human understanding – a problem as relevant in a post-modern world as in a post-Scholastic one.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Dante Learning, Learning Dante
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will focus on Dante's Commedia. It will explore various aspects of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. On one hand, it will investigate the way that Dante learns over the course of his journey. On the other hand, it will investigate how Dante might speak to our students. Thus, it will attempt to facilitate a conversation about how and why Dante might speak across the ages to our world, today.


Proposal Number: 86
Date: 2016-12-28
Paper Title: Plato and Aristotle on Good Character
Core Text:
Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
This paper focuses on similar accounts of the moral stage of good character in Plato"s Republic and Aristotle"s Nicomachean Ethics. Both thinkers view this stage as necessary to becoming a relatively decent person and necessary if one is to advance further to the highest moral state -- that of virtue. But what is good character and why did both these giants of morality believe good character was essential to one"s journey to virtue?


Proposal Number: 85
Date: 2016-12-28
Paper Title: Vocation, Freedom, and Learning
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
This paper examines the notion of vocation in relation to freedom and education. Beginning with Plato's Republic, it explores how modern reason, considered as non-secular, might yield a modern notion of vocation around the dialectical and educational relationship of master and slave.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Build the Wall
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
What's going on? First Brexit in the UK, then Trump in the USA. Are these events signs of a retrieval of an anti-intellectual, anti-educational, anti-expert culture about which liberal education should be very worried? This Panel exlplores these question, in the first instance by reference to the cave in Plato. Have the philosopher kings stayed too long outside the cave? Have they been seduced by power and privilege and lost contact with those they govern? Are the prisoners rejecting the wild philosophical ramblings heard when the rulers return to the cave? Are the prisoners now chanting 'build the wall' by which to keep out the elite class of educators and its values and traditions? If so, should liberal arts and core texts, and the education they stand for, be concerned?


Proposal Number: 84
Date: 2016-12-28
Paper Title: Beethovens 5th Symphony as Core Text: A Model of Large-Scale Process
Core Text:
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Opus 67 (Beethoven, Ludwig van)
Abstract:
One of the often-heard concerns of faculty is students’ inability to write cogently and develop complex ideas in a large-scale format like the essay or the traditional research paper. In the age of Twitter and YouTube, many students are becoming more and more accustomed to reading, writing, and communicating in 140 characters or less and consuming popular music whose subjects generally deal with base emotions and simplified themes explicated in four minutes or less. Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Opus 67, is one of the most recognized and performed works in the Western classical canon that, while a musical work, is an ideal core text in that its technical processes model clear, effective, concise applications of large-scale process, thematic organization, and development. In this paper I propose an examination of the Symphony’s aesthetics, philosophical and architectural underpinnings, and its interdisciplinary relevance as a necessary core text that reinvigorates the Liberal Arts Core.


Proposal Number: 82
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: The Tragedy of the Commons: A Guidebook for Bridging the Divide between Science and Public Understanding
Core Text:
Garrett Hardin The Tragedy of the Commons
Abstract:
A sea of cultural relativism has swamped clear public understanding of the importance and value of basic science. The fragmentation of human social existence by technology has steadily eroded confidence and comprehension of the conclusions produced by scientific experts. Wicked problems such as poverty, global climate change, population and others have continued unabated due to this tribalism. To close this divide between knowing and understanding, a change in human values and morality must shift us away from technical solutions, and produce rational collaborations for an improved future.


Proposal Number: 81
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: Natural Law and the Common Good in Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago
Core Text:
Gulag Archipelago
Abstract:
This paper examines the successes and failures of common good theory and practice in Solzhenitsyn"s Gulag Archipelago using the natural law. While the three volume work itself is too long to discuss in depth, I will predominately focus on the specific chapters of "The zeks as a nation" and "The forty days of Kengir."


Proposal Number: 80
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: Recycling the Core
Core Text:
Bohumil Hrabal - Too Loud a Solitude
Abstract:
The narrator of *Too Loud a Solidtude* works in a recycling plant and rescues core texts from destruction and oblivion. He carries them home and turns them into new forms of art. The text gives a new twist to the constant importance of core texts and their wisdom in times of forgetfulness and constant search for something new.


Proposal Number: 79
Date: 2016-12-27
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 gift 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 on her part 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: 78
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: The thumotic knot: untangling the concern for honor and reputation from the concern for justice
Core Text:
Plato's Republic and Menexenus
Abstract:
I propose to show the complexity of the relation between the concern for reputation and the concern for justice due to the thumotic or spirited passions. In this regard, I will compare three Platonic voices: the unreflective and thumotic identification of these concerns in the exhortation of the Athenian war dead in the Menexenus, Glaucon's reflective yet thumotic distinction between these concerns in Republic Book II, and finally Socrates's reflective and non-thumotic distinction between the concern for reputation and the concern for justice in Republic Book IV. Core texts such as these are of decisive importance to showing the danger of thumotic passions in political life, and thereby to open students up to views or ways of life foreign to one"s own. One example of this kind of problem in today's world of war and the migrant crisis is how Islamic nations in the middle east and Islamic communities, particularly in western Europe, may become more open, pluralistic, and less culturally isolated from their western neighbors.


Proposal Number: 77
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: If I were rich: on the relation of wealth and pleasure in Rousseaus Emile
Core Text:
Rousseau's Emile
Abstract:
Rousseau interrupts the story of Emile with an essay on “true taste in the choice of agreeable leisure” in which he imagines himself as a rich man and how he would differ from other rich men in pursuing pleasure. Rousseau shows how far his own soul is from those of the rich who disgust him, even as he admits that in becoming rich he would be no less disdainful of the miseries of the poor. His short essay on true pleasure captures his critique of the Lockean assumptions about happiness and wealth and his devastating account of the soul of the modern bourgeois.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Commerce and Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Frank Rohmer panel


Proposal Number: 74
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: Culture, Identity, and Difference in "Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio"
Core Text:
"Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio"
Abstract:
"Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio," a novel written by Amara Lakhous and winner of Italy's prestigious Flaiano and Racalmare-Leonardo Sciascia awards, is a murder mystery centered on a small culturally mixed community living in an apartment building in Rome. In the text, Algerian-born Lakhous channels his academic experience in philosophy at the University of Algiers and in cultural anthropology at the University la Sapienza, Rome, to explore issues of culture, identity, and difference. Furthermore, Lakhous constructs complex representations of gender, race, class, ethnicity, and disability to illustrate what it means to be a magnanimous human being in a highly globalized, yet increasingly fragmented, world.


Proposal Number: 72
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: Lovers and Friends
Core Text:
Aristotle's "Ethics" and Kierkegaard's "Fragments"
Abstract:
When Aristotle writes of friendship in his Nicomachean Ethics he seems to give lesser place to the relation between lover and beloved in the face of the greater relation of friendship between the virtuous. Lover and beloved seem to be an unequal and changing amalgam of a friendship based on pleasure with a friendship based on utility. Even taken together, they do not seem to add up to the stability and quality of a friendship based on virtue. To endure, the relation between lover and beloved must needs transform into the true friendship of virtue; which would require the birth of an equal quality of virtuous character in both parties, and the death of the inequality of lover and beloved. It is this birth and death that seems be what should be striven for in an enduring marriage. This account of Aristotle, if correct, sheds much light on a puzzling move in Kierkegaard’s Philosophical Fragments, wherein he argues that fo r love to be triumphant it must be between “equals,” especially in the love between God and humanity. Such equality makes sense to our egalitarian modern ears, but it doesn’t make as much sense in SK’s use of lover and beloved as his dialectical categories. Marriage, however, if understood as the birth or possession of virtue in both parties, could then happily be understood as the mutuality of both lover and beloved, especially in the case where God is the primary lover. This juxtaposition of Aristotle and Kierkegaard would bring new meaning to why Christ would no longer call his disciples servants, but rather, friends (John 15:15).


Proposal Number: 71
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: Luther’s Revolting Language: Building and Burning Bridges through Strategic Incivility
Core Text:
Luther's Bondage of the Will
Abstract:
Students encountering Bondage of the Will are often bewildered by Luther’s crude attacks on the gentle and erudite Erasmus. Why does Luther compare his adversary to a pig, a demon, a senile old man, a drunk, or even “Seriphian frogs and fishes”? By looking closely at Luther’s insults, we can uncover the way in which he deploys incivility strategically. Not only does Luther draw social boundaries and reinforce group cohesion, he also unsettles the norms of scholarly interchange. Luther deliberately injects profane abuse into what is meant to be refined debate in order to sabotage his adversary’s attempt to remain unsullied by the messy conflict.


Proposal Number: 70
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: What hath Dido to do with Lucretia? Getting to the Core of Perpetua's "Passion"
Core Text:
Primary: Passion of St. Perpetua; Secondary Book: IV of The Aeneid and "The Rape of Lucretia" from Livys History of Rome
Abstract:
Many faculty lament the lack of women"s voices preserved from the Ancient World, but the Passion of St. Perpetua provides a corrective and pairs well with other frequently taught core texts such as Virgil’s Aeneid and Livy’s History of Rome. Perpetua herself is a complex figure who can spark discussion on civic as well as religious ideals. To some, Perpetua is Dido – the dangerous woman driven by passion who neglects her civic duty, serving as a “foil” to the piety of “good Aeneas”; to others, she is noble Lucretia, eager to die an honorable death rather than sacrifice her virtue in the eyes of her community. This paper will explore these connections and look at ways to guide students past simple dichotomies.


Proposal Number: 68
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: John Witherspoon's Critique of Eudaemonism
Core Text:
John Witherspoon's Lectures on Moral Philosophy
Abstract:
In his Lectures on Moral Philosophy, John Witherspoon lays out a two-part critique of eudaemonism—the belief that morality can be justified as a means to happiness. First, Witherspoon argues that the mind directly recognizes the idea of morality and the idea of the pursuit of one’s own interest or happiness as two related, but distinct ideas. Second, he argues that morality cannot be based on the pursuit of happiness, because the happiness that derives from moral conduct is often itself based precisely on that conduct’s moral character. Witherspoon offers an alternate understanding that sees morality as a distinct entity grounded in the nature of God.


Proposal Number: 67
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: Forking Futures in Physics, Philosophy, and Fiction. Connecting the Quadrivium and the Trivium in the Twenty-First Century
Core Text:
Albert Einstein, Relativity. The Special and the General Theories and Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths.
Abstract:
Many core text courses avoid using core science texts or make a perfunctory bow in the direction of the natural sciences while emphasizing works from the humanities or narrative social sciences. A theme that can work to bridge the divide between the humanities and natural sciences is the nature of time. Deep exploration of the nature of time dates at least to Augustine. However, an interesting development in the twentieth century was the concept of different paths through time. This concept arguably begins with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and the famous twin paradox. The two twins, one of whom travels at immense speeds in comparison with the other, end up passing very different time spans in the interval between the event when they separated and the event when they met again. Later in the century Richard Feynman developed an approach to quantum calculations that summed an infinite number of possible paths that a particle might take between two event points. By the end of the twentieth century Feynman’s diagrams had morphed into parallel universes that contained, in toto, every series of events that could have happened as well as some that could not happen in a universe like ours. Chronologically between Einstein and Feynman a few authors like Jorge Luis Borges developed fictions in which different paths through time were essential to the story. In this paper I propose to discuss Einstein’s Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, a book for the educated layperson, and Borges’ story “The Garden of Forking Paths” (Supplemented by his essay “A New Refutation of Time”) to show the possibilities and problems involved in combining a scientific and a humanistic view of a common theme. In the process we will look at the often-paradoxical relationship between the subjective view required by the humanities and the objective view demanded by the sciences.


Proposal Number: 66
Date: 2016-12-27
Paper Title: Changing the Paradigm: Barbara McClintock and the Discovery of Transposons
Core Text:
The Discovery and Characterization of Transposable Elements: The Collected Papers of Barbara McClintock.
Abstract:
Barbara McClintock was a prominent biologist, most widely known for her work with transposons. Transposons are DNA sequences in chromosomes that can change position within the genome and in doing so, can create or reverse mutations. Although the current study of transposons is an important part of understanding genetics and genetic diseases today, their discovery was largely ignored by the scientific community for about 30 years after McClintock first discovered them. This work uses the core text of Barbara McClintock's primary literature to examine both the social factors as well as the scientific factors that contributed to the resistance of the scientific community to accept McClintock’s work.


Proposal Number: 76
Date: 2016-12-26
Paper Title: Still another look at Hamlet's much discussed procrastination.
Core Text:
Hamlet
Abstract:
As against the thinking of many critics, the view here is that the ghost demands are immoral and provide Hamlet with no rational grounds to act on at all.


Proposal Number: 75
Date: 2016-12-26
Paper Title: The real origin of species - or was that specious?
Core Text:
Plato Cleitophon/Aristotle Categories
Abstract:
Teaching an innovative and experimental core text program to London high school students raised questions of intellectual autonomy and imagined community. Teaching the responses generated further questions about the words we use and the way we use them. Or did it? This paper addresses how teaching was led to classical alternatives with differing authority in the work of Plato and Aristotle.


Proposal Number: 73
Date: 2016-12-26
Paper Title: Petrus Alfonsi, Disciplina Clericalis, as a Core Text Celebrating a Medieval Multi-Cultural Community
Core Text:
Petrus Alfonsi, Disciplina Clericalis
Abstract:
The Early twelfth-century work by a Jewish convert to Christianity in Aragon passes on homey wisdom through the mouths of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish interlocutors. At times, the author names or cites Greek philosophers and learning. While the Greek content of the lessons is not terribly authentic, the references are an eloquent witness to a culture that celebrated the ownership of the classical heritage by a community formed from the three Abrahamic religions.


Proposal Number: 65
Date: 2016-12-22
Paper Title: "On the Miracle of the Common Noun"
Core Text:
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Human beings are peculiar in that they can perceive universal essences with their mind's eye. These essences are the equivalent of common nouns. In this paper, I aim to suggest that the ability to perceive universal essences and use common nouns is the cornerstone of knowledge and freedom. I will conclude that the freedom to know presupposes a moral and rational universe.


Proposal Number: 64
Date: 2016-12-21
Paper Title: Honey, please: Emerson and Merleau-Ponty on the Human Condition
Core Text:
Emersons Experience, Montaigne, To Philosophize is to Learn How to Die,
Abstract:
In “Experience,” Emerson takes “the evanescence and lubricity of all objects, which lets them slip through our fingers then when we clutch hardest, to be the most unhandsome part of our condition.” In what way is the instability or impermanence of objects reflective of the human condition? Emerson’s comment is curiously echoed by Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological reflections on honey: " While it undoubtedly has a certain consistency and allows itself to be grasped, [honey] soon creeps slyly from the fingers and returns to where it started from. It comes apart as soon as it has been given a particular shape and… reverses the roles by grasping the hands of whoever would take hold of it.” Taken together, Emerson and Merleau-Ponty suggest that we are not just unhandsome in that we think we can grasp that which cannot be held. Our condition mirrors that of the honey. We allow ourselves to be grasped only (and inevitably) to “creep slyly” from while somehow adhering to people and things. Neither fully grasping, nor fully grasped, we live our lubricity (as Montaigne suggests) through the practice of philosophy.


Proposal Number: 63
Date: 2016-12-21
Paper Title: Teaching the Big Bang and Cosmological Evolution in the Core
Core Text:
The Primeval Atom, by Fr. Georges Lemaitre. St. Augustines Confessions (Book XII on Platonic and Christian Creation). Thomas Aquinas and Big Bang Cosmology, by William Carroll
Abstract:
Most students, and even contemporary academics, narrowly equate the term "evolution" with Darwin's theory of biological evolution. Consequently students" perceptions of the relation between faith and science often pit biologists against theologians. Yet scientific work both before Darwin (in geology) and after (in big bang cosmology) point to a broader understanding of this term as encompassing geological, biological, and cosmological evolution. The post-20th century scientific worldview holds that the entire natural world is itself in an overall process of evolution: a cosmic evolution. This vastly more general understanding of evolution presents a correspondingly weighty challenge to those universities, educators and courses whose objective is to explore the integration of faith and science. This paper presents results from one specific module (on Cosmological Evolution) of a larger undergraduate core course titled "Reconnecting Catholicism with the Sciences." The primary core text for this module is The Primeval Atom, by Fr. Georges Lemaitre, a Catholic priest who developed what would later be termed The Big Bang. Besides this seminal work of Lemaitre, the topic of Cosmological Evolution is studied in other primary texts, such as St. Augustine"s 4th century Confessions (Book XII on Platonic and Christian Creation) as well as the 20th century neo-Thomist William Carroll"s work on Thomas Aquinas and Big Bang Cosmology.


Proposal Number: 62
Date: 2016-12-21
Paper Title: Roman Cultural Values, the Foreigner, and Citizenship in Pro Archia
Core Text:
Pro Archia
Abstract:
Cicero,in his Pro Archia, defends the poet Archias against the charge that he is not a Roman citizen. However, Cicero diverges from the main charge to defend the usefulness of literature, especially in the public sphere. Further, he states that Archia"s background as a Greek poet not only does not make him un-Roman, it also provides him with skills that make him a desirable citizen. For the writings of poets like Archias can make the achievements of the Romans accessible both to the entire Mediterranean world, and to future generations.


Proposal Number: 60
Date: 2016-12-21
Paper Title: Christine de Pizan and the Honorable Principate
Core Text:
The Book of the Body Politic.
Abstract:
Modern philosophy is focused on much of what Machiavelli wrote in The Prince. Whether it is Taming the Prince by Hobbes and Locke, or extending the radicalism of Machiavelli’s relativism by Nietzche—Machiavelli’s The Prince dominates. But readers would be well served to look at Christine de Pizan’s The Book of Body Politic which was written just before The Prince to see what a good alternative to Machiavelli already existed.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Commerce and Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Panel Description: This panel will address the impact of commerce on personal and national character and on politics among nations through an examination of Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws, Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations, Rousseau’s Emile, Franklin’s Autobiography, and Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Panelists will especially address how commercial passions shape human aspirations and perceptions in such a way as to create a distinctive spirit of a given polity and impact its relations with other nations.


Proposal Number: 59
Date: 2016-12-20
Paper Title: Knowledge and Tyranny: Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus
Core Text:
Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus
Abstract:
Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus presents us with a man of singular knowledge: Oedipus solves the riddle of the sphinx and thereby rescues his adopted city from oblivion. Yet Sophocles pronounces this timely benefactor a tyrant. Why? The answer has to do with the character of the riddle. This paper explores the significance of the riddle, the kind of knowledge Oedipus uses to solve it, and the insights these afford in understanding the man who is Oedipus. All of this in turn helps us grasp more deeply the role that boundaries and their crossing play in the human situation.


Proposal Number: 58
Date: 2016-12-20
Paper Title: WWAD? Hed Prolly LOL: Establishing an Aristotelian Framework for Analyzing Digital Texts
Core Text:
Aristotle's Rhetoric
Abstract:
This paper discusses the use of Aristotle’s Rhetoric as a framework for examining the choices and strategies of various digital and social media sources. Using Aristotle’s definition of rhetoric as “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion,” students in core curricula writing courses discover how the digital media they encounter each day is rife with the application of both rhetorical devices and structures as well as the use of artistic proofs. In viewing digital texts through this lens, students begin to question if persuasion is still at the center of these new forms of rhetoric and if Aristotle’s structure and logic apply when the medium is vastly different. Students also begin to recognize the Internet as analogous to the public squares of Ancient Greece. In turn, students begin to produce writing that that is active, public, strategic, and rhetorical. In othe r words, writing that models itself on Aristotle’s most basic principles.


Proposal Number: 50
Date: 2016-12-20
Paper Title: Where Right Meets Might: Montesquieu on Commerce and the Right of Nations
Core Text:
The Spirit of the Laws
Abstract:
In the Spirit of the Laws Montesquieu makes the familiar optimistic argument now part of liberal international relations theory and practice that commerce produces enlightenment, moderation, and interdependence among nations, but he subtly insinuates the most serious doubts about this optimistic assessment of commerce and its impact on national character and policy. A careful reading of The Spirit of the Laws reveals that the geographic borders and human cultures bridged by commerce are neither driven by nor necessarily lead to a world of greater cooperation, freedom, and justice. Rather, Montesquieu presents the paradox of commerce leading to enlightenment and moderation intellectually and morally while presenting the gravest dangers both from and to commercial nations created by the impact of commerce on human character and the politics among nations.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Commerce and Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 57
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Buying and Selling: The Relationship between Morality, Economics, and Politics
Core Text:
Aquinas, Summa Theologiae
Abstract:
To the extent that economics and politics programs accept the fact/value distinction, or consider themselves "social sciences," they think of their subject matters as being outside of ethics. Economics and politics, in this view, are descriptive, not normative, and simply tell us what will happen under certain conditions of buying and selling, and how regulation will affect free market conditions. Yet buying and selling are matters of justice, and justice it itself a moral virtue; thus, it is impossible to separate such transactions from ethical concerns. This paper takes up Aquinas's position on the relationship between morality, economics, and politics in buying and selling.


Proposal Number: 56
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Smith on Self-Interest and Moral Character in a Commercial Society
Core Text:
Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Abstract:
Self-interest is a hallmark of all commercial societies. This paper will explore the problem of self-interest and the common good through a reading of Adam Smith"s Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments. I will argue that his theory of self-interest is integrally connected to a deeper understanding of one"s duties and obligations in a commercial society.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Commerce and Human Character
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 55
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Rejuvenating the Liberal Arts in the Core: Bringing Logic into a Core Class
Core Text:
Aristotle's Organon; Aquinas' Commentary on Aristotle's Ethics
Abstract:
In many circles, ‘Liberal Arts Education’ means little more than reading perennially significant texts. While this is obviously a part of such an education, the connection to the seven liberal arts (especially the Trivium: Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric) is increasingly being lost. This is especially true in settings where students are not even required to take logic courses as prerequisites to philosophy (or other Liberal Arts disciplines), but it is increasingly true in a broader context as students are not being effectively taught how the seven liberal arts inform their reading of great works. In this paper, I argue that this loss is fundamentally crippling the effectiveness of Liberal Arts Education, and I suggest ways to bring the Trivium into our courses on the great works. I particularly speak to those who, like myself have been teaching in programs without extensive pre-requisites in the logic.


Proposal Number: 54
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: The Unexpected Heroine
Core Text:
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Abstract:
Close analysis of the character of Enkidu in The Epic of Gilgamesh reveals that, like Gilgamesh, he qualifies as a hero. However, in contrast to Gilgamesh, Enkidu is more similar to a heroine, according to Mary Ann Jezewski’s criteria in Traits of the Female Hero: The Application of Raglan's Hero Trait Patterning. Applying Jezewski's criteria, I will explore Enkidu’s place among quest heroes and heroines. In doing so, I will show that he is unique insofar as he is both hero and heroine at the same time.


Proposal Number: 53
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Secrecy in Sense and Sensibility: Jane Austen's How-To Manual for Receiving and Responding to Secrets
Core Text:
Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility
Abstract:
Every Jane Austen novel includes at least one man with a secret because the men possess something the women do not: the liberty to move from place to place on their own, to conceal information about themselves, and to present themselves in different ways depending on their location, their companions, and their motives. All three of Sense and Sensibility’s important male characters have a secret. In novels as in life, secrets invariably come to light eventually—and most often painfully. The secrets in Sense and Sensibility come to light differently, but in each case, Elinor Dashwood is the receiver. Using the mind of the most prudent and rational character in the novel, Austen gives us step-by-step instructions for the proper way to receive and to respond to secrets.


Proposal Number: 51
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Purging the Problem Problem using Dantes Purgatorio
Core Text:
The Divine Comedy
Abstract:
“The Problem Problem”—the idea that academics often over-interpret texts in search of vacuous hidden meanings—poses a pedagogical challenge for core classes and across the liberal arts. I propose that teaching students to read hermeneutically-rich texts like the Commedia can provide a response to this problem. The Purgatorio is especially well-suited to help shape its readers’ interpretive abilities because of the cantica’s emphasis on purging and transforming the vision of the penitent people Dante the pilgrim meets, such as envious, who have their eyes wired shut so that might learn to see more clearly. Reading Purgatorio (and others texts like it) can empower contemporary readers to traverse “the problem problem” and enable them to better glean the insights that the Commedia and other core texts offer.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Dante Learning, Learning Dante
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will focus on Dante's Commedia. It will explore various aspects of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. On one hand, it will investigate the way that Dante learns over the course of his journey. On the other hand, it will investigate how Dante might speak to our students. Thus, it will attempt to facilitate a conversation about how and why Dante might speak across the ages to our world, today.


Proposal Number: 49
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Robert Penn Warren's Stark Portrait of the People's Will
Core Text:
Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men
Abstract:
Democracies purport to embody in some sense the rule of the people. A choice quickly comes to hand. One is marked by consent, representation, and the observation of limits on political authority. The other is taken by those animated by the idea that the will of the people exists, is knowable, is wise, and thus should be followed by those entrusted with political authority. Political leaders are in this view clairvoyants, readers of the peoples’ mind, handmaidens of a larger sovereignty. But it is hard to know who is the more potent political power – the sovereign people or those who read, articulate, and then purport to implement the people’s awesome will. Is this latter, populist interpretation the highest or the lowest meaning of the democratic regime? Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men (1946) is a study of this question. Loosely based on the career of Huey Long, Penn Warren’s novel rema ins strikingly contemporary.


Proposal Number: 47
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Why is a Good Man Hard to Find?
Core Text:
"A Good Man is Hard to Find" by Flannery O'Connor
Abstract:
The Grandmother in Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" is a good citizen of the southern United States, but this is different from being a good person in the fuller sense. It is not until she meets the Misfit that she realizes that there is a distinction to be made in this regard. I argue that O'Connor's story serves a good means of getting at the Aristotelian insight that being a good citizen is usually different from being a good person.


Proposal Number: 46
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: A Model for Teaching Science-Religion Core Texts
Core Text:
Religion and Science, Chapter 4, Ways of Relating Science and Religion, by Ian G. Barbour (1997) The Relationship of Science and Theology: A Letter to Jesuit Father George Coyne, by Pope John Paul II (1988) Address of Benedict XVI to Members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, by Pope Benedict XVI (2008) Neils Stensen (1638-1686): The Scientist Who Was Beatified, by Hans Kermit (2003) The Theory of the Earth, by James Hutton (1788) Principles of Geology, by Charles Lyell (1830)
Abstract:
This paper will “tell the story” of a team-taught course called “Reconnecting Catholicism with the Sciences.” The course was developed as an upper-level synthesis course for students at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. It was co-taught in Spring 2015 and Spring 2016 by a physicist and a professor with dual training in science and theology. The readings for the course include original technical texts, historical writings, and philosophical and theological core texts addressing key themes in the relationship between science and religion. The texts range from contemporary writings, such as Ian Barbour’s four models for relating science and faith and Papal addresses on various aspects of the relationship between science and faith, to core scientific texts in the fields of geology, biology, and cosmology from the 17th century on. The texts and class discussions help students understand the historical development of the sciences, as well as how the mutual relationship between science and theology can inform existential and ethical questions regarding the nature and purpose of human life.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Reconnecting Catholicism with the Sciences
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will describe how issues in science and religion were addressed in an upper-level synthesis course entitled Reconnecting Catholicism with the Sciences. The course was co-taught in Spring 2015 and 2016 at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX, and the panel will consist of the two professors who developed and taught the course. Sister Damien Marie Savino, FSE, in a presentation entitled A Model for Teaching Science-Religion Core Texts will focus on the overall structure and objectives of the course and some of the key core texts used. The other professor, James Clarage, will focus on one of the modules in the course in a presentation entitled Teaching the Big Bang and Cosmological Evolution in the Core. Emphasis was placed in the course on reading original scientific, philosophical, and theological texts which demonstrate to the students the issues at stake in the science and religion dialogue and the ways in which science and religion can collaborate in an authentic way. The course also addressed how science and theology can mutually illuminate questions regarding the nature and purpose of human life.


Proposal Number: 45
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Gold to the Core: The Ages of Man Through the Ages
Core Text:
Plato's Republic; Ovid's Metamorphoses
Abstract:
When Socrates expresses his reluctance to share with Glaucon the Noble Lie to be told the guardians of Callipolis, he explains that his story is hardly believable, in part because it is a foreign tale, specifically a Phoenician tale. In ultimately sharing his story of men born from the earth and ranked according to the mettle and substance of their souls, Socrates participates in a cultural tradition of expressing a hierarchical valuation of humans in terms of the metals gold, silver, iron, and bronze that spanned the broader Mediterranean basin, appearing not only in earlier Greek works, like Hesiod’s “Works and Days,” but also in the Bible. In promulgating this Noble Lie, Socrates simultaneously drew on its history and influenced its future, lending the weight of his authority to it and the permutations of the idea that appear in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, in medieval alchemical texts, in Kaballistic texts, and even in the modern psychological analyses of Carl Jung and the novels of Aldous Huxley. This paper will trace the idea of the ages of man through the ages as a potentially productive common theme to highlight in the classroom and will explore its enduring significance in human’s self-perception.


Proposal Number: 42
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Let the Punishment Fit the Crime
Core Text:
Medea by Euripides, The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
Abstract:
Medea is often vilified as an emotional, unstable woman, incapable of being a proper heroine. However, several stories in Boccaccio’s Decameron present women who in some respects resemble Medea, but may also clearly be considered heroines. The Decameron thus enables readers to reinterpret Medea's "emotionally unstable" behavior and see her, not only as a heroine, but also as a human being. In fact, her actions are arguably justifiable and part of human nature.


Proposal Number: 41
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Because the People are of a Certain Quality: Aristotles Teaching on the Middle Class
Core Text:
Aristotle's Politics
Abstract:
Aristotle’s teaching on the best regime in his Politics leads many to overlook what he actually teaches is the best practicable regime: the city grounded on a large middle class. In this context, Aristotle argues for regime stability as a key good for the life of the people, and he contends that the best achievable means for bringing that stability about is through a flourishing middle class. The virtues of the middle class are mainly found in their avoidance of the extremes of the wealthy or impoverished; having a large middle class allows the city to avoid falling into factious disputes or tyranny. The paper concludes with a reflection on the connection between Aristotle’s teaching on the middle class with his discussion of moderation and self-restraint in The Ethics.


Proposal Number: 39
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: The Stellar Pupil: Dante and the Heroism of the Student
Core Text:
The Commedia
Abstract:
“I pray you gentle father dear, / to teach me what love is” (18.13-14), Dante asks Virgil as they pause in their climb up Mt. Purgatory; Dante, “goaded by new thirst,” wants to know the truth about love. Such scenes, frequent in the Commedia, reveal Dante as a model student—a thirsty student who attends to the world around him and asks profound questions about that world. Is there something heroic about being a student? I contend that there is and that the Commedia is an ideal medium for showing students the nobility of their own work.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Dante Learning, Learning Dante
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will focus on Dante's Commedia. It will explore various aspects of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. On one hand, it will investigate the way that Dante learns over the course of his journey. On the other hand, it will investigate how Dante might speak to our students. Thus, it will attempt to facilitate a conversation about how and why Dante might speak across the ages to our world, today.


Proposal Number: 38
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Ammianus Marcellinus Res Gestae [History] and how to live in tumultuous Times.
Core Text:
Ammianus Marcellinus "Res Gestae (History)"
Abstract:
Ammianus provided one of the most vivid histories of the fourth century C.E. He witnessed numerous Roman defeats, the death of an emperor on Roman soil, religious tensions between pagans and Christians, infighting among various Christian groups, barbarians within the gates of Rome, and Roman successes. By examining two episodes from Ammianus’ Res Gestae, this paper will explore ways that Ammianus suggests living through the “Bad” times. He provides us examples for enduring when – in the midst of prosperity – things can simultaneously look bleak.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Good, The Bad, and the Unknown: The Liberal Arts in Uncertain Times
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Panel Rationale: We are living in anxious and tempestuous times. Economic, political, and social concerns dominate the news and social media. Partly as a consequence, uncertainties have affected higher education in general and the Liberal Arts in particular. The Liberal Arts tradition has always had its skeptics, but recent trends seem to have emboldened the critics and called into question what the liberal tradition can offer. As the conference announcement observes, Friend and foe alike seemed to say that liberal education was subject to external forces that it could not control: technological revolutions including instant messaging, college costs coupled to underemployed graduates, massive demographic upheavals, and epistemological fragmentation furthered by increasing specialization. Then, in this decade, in a world where violence, xenophobia, isolationist retreat, or exploitative opportunism appear to be answers, the voice of liberal education has seemed shouted down or, even, shut off. Indeed, the last decade left those advocating Core Texts struggling for traction.The bold response to the crises affecting the liberal education tradition is that core texts have everything to offer to society. Indeed, this panel argues that the liberal tradition embedded in Core Texts can speak eloquently at time when we seem to be experiencing The Good, The Bad, and the Uncertain. The texts we propose examining speak eloquently to the human situation. They help to endure during the bad times, contextualize uncertain futures, take good times in stride, and cross boundaries. They further assist in reflecting upon appropriate responses in all situations. In the words of the conference announcement, the liberal tradition and core texts embolden us: To realize that the worst of humanity can be counteracted by the best is to commit to liberal arts education in core texts. To commit to the openness of core texts their huge traditions of conversation, substance, invention, and appreciation is to construct the antithesis of a closed, divisive world, to work for a free and open world. What voice do our institutional missions, our administrators, and the faculty who have built programs give to the hope of liberal education?


Proposal Number: 37
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Friendship and Sociability in Montaigne's "Of liars"
Core Text:
Michel de Montaigne's ESSAYS
Abstract:
When it comes to understanding Montaigne’s teaching on friendship, we naturally tend to turn to “Of friendship,” where he details the “truly perfect” friendship he had with Étienne La Boétie. Yet there are other chapters in his book where he deals—albeit more obliquely—with friendship, and if we are to understand what Montaigne has to offer us on this issue, we must attend to them as well. In this essay, then, I will focus my attention on the ninth chapter of the Essays, “Of liars,” and the sense in which Montaigne seems there to be developing an account of a “second-best” type of friendship, which, on the one hand, is by all accounts inferior to the one he had with La Boétie, but which, on the other hand, is available to the rest of us.


Proposal Number: 34
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Lockes Virtue as the Tyranny of the Mind
Core Text:
John Locke: Some Thoughts concerning Education ; And, Of the Conduct of the Understanding
Abstract:
In these two texts Locke is providing two different educations for two different purposes. Some Thoughts is an education in reverence to authority and prejudice for virtue of the gentleman, and The Conduct is the education to free the understanding from all reverence to authority and prejudice of one’s own culture for the philosophic. The education of the gentleman is one of heroic virtue, while the education of the philosopher is one of truth. The latter must shape the former to resist tyranny.


Proposal Number: 33
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Questioning Rhetoric
Core Text:
Phaedrus
Abstract:
In both the Republic and the Phaedrus Socrates questions the political teaching of the sophists. In the Phaedrus Socrates challenges Phaedrus’s understanding of rhetoric as art rather than knowledge. Socrates seeks to persuade him that knowledge of the soul is essential to rhetoric; the true rhetor must understand the soul in order to persuade. Thus Socrates questions the teaching of the sophists about rhetoric and seeks to persuade Phaedrus that rhetoric must be used responsibly and for the benefit of those to whom he speaks.


Proposal Number: 31
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Subversive Penelope
Core Text:
The Odyssey
Abstract:
Language is used as a semiotic code used to denote a particular reality, which indicates deeply structured and culturally understood context of meaning. Because words can turn external realities into binary categories (for example, how salt and pepper can also be read as salt and not-salt), we learn how things go together in a socially meaningful way. From a sociological perspective utilizing queer theory, these meanings often manifest in concepts that diametrically oppose one another, creating binary pairings that shape our way of thinking and acting. By conceptualizing heroism as a binary governing The Odyssey, I plan to show how Homer"s "Circumspect Penelope" can be read as "Subversive Penelope" due to her precarious existence between the binaries of “hero and not-hero”.


Proposal Number: 30
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: A Global Approach to Ancient Core Texts: Job and Euthyphro on Moral Obligation
Core Text:
Book of Job and Plato's Euthyphro
Abstract:
A global approach to intellectual history requires transcending national or regional boundaries, as well as exploring the connections between cultures across space and over time. But what if the texts we study were not influenced by or otherwise connected to one another, which is often the case when we study ancient worlds. I will argue that a global intellectual history is often best conceived, to borrow a phrase from Nelson Goodman, as a history of “world making.” Such a history focuses on attempts to cognitively encompass a given world. This does not mean considering “worlds” apart from their social or political contexts. Indeed, an important goal of this sort of global history consists of exploring how worlds come to be, how they subsist, and how some displace others. I will illustrate this approach to global history by exploring the relationship between the ethical worlds reflected in two ancient texts: the Book of Job and Plato’s Euthyphro.


Proposal Number: 25
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: At the Intersection of History and Ethics: Sigenzas Theater of Political Virtues
Core Text:
Carlos de Sigenza y Gngora, Teatro de virtudes polticas
Abstract:
Political philosophy in particular wrestles with the question of historicism—to what extent human life is in fact conditioned by circumstance—since its teachings must address the problems faced by specific political communities, along with the related question is how we should use historical context to interpret the texts of thinkers writing in styles and contexts alien to our own. Nowhere are these difficulties more apparent than in the work of New Spain’s greatest thinker, Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngoa, who practiced modern empirical science and critically analyzed historical texts—yet was also an ardent advocate of the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe; a loyal subject of the Spanish Crown, he yet defended Mexico’s particular greatness, by describing Aztec kings are models of the scholastic virtues. While the vast majority of work on Sigüenza treats him in historical terms, I will examine him as a philosopher, asking to what extent his theoretical positions and his style of writing were in fact shaped by his environment—and what his philosophy says about history, ethics, and politics. By interpreting his only extended work of practical philosophy, the Theater of Political Virtues, I hope to shed light on the best way to both approach the interpretation of obscure texts, and the actual relationships between political philosophy and history.


Proposal Number: 2
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Helmholtz on Thermal Education
Core Text:
Hermann von Helmholtz, "On the Conservation of Force" (1862-63)
Abstract:
For Hermann von Helmholtz, liberal education should be geared toward the cultivation of an individual’s relationship with a larger whole, such that the young citizen can reconcile himself and his way of thinking with the communities provided by civil society and by scientific institutions. Just as the scientist must learn how to study the heart not only in itself but more importantly as part of the greater human organism, so thermodynamics, as we will see, is uniquely capable of turning the young student of nature into a global citizen. This is because the laws of thermodynamics force us to rethink the Newtonian assumption that "action" or "force" must be embodied in an individual substance; Helmhoktz notices with astonishment that the principle of the conservation of energy compels us to think about the action of nature as a whole. This shift in thought and its utility for the community-driven mentality of a citizen establishes thermodynamics as an indispensable component in a liberal arts education.


Proposal Number: 5
Date: 2016-12-19
Paper Title: Questions about the historical text: The Work "The Songs" Is It A Source for history?
Core Text:

Abstract:
This work is considered as one of the most important heritage works in Arabic literature, which includes news, stories, and tales about poetry and poets, singers and Arabic music, some researchers has evaluates this work as one of the proponents of the school of Baghdad in the literature that focuses on self-values in Poetry not the poet, the author is Abu al-Faraj al-Asbahaani who lived in the tenth century and originally from Iran. Work "The Songs" the greatest reference for every researcher in the Arab civilization, we could considered as an encyclopedia in history, literature, criticism and music, includes rich information about poetry, singing schools, poets, singers and musicians, criticism, and news of lighthearted kings and writers in history, It is a real pictures of the social life of the Arabs in pre-Islamic, Umayyad and Abbasid periods. But why some of the Arab historians and narrators among the history refuse to trust in his books of history? Why these historical problems around it? Is it a good source for the history? Is some of its stories can be rejected? We asking questions in this paper which discusses the spirit and ideas of work "The Song" , the relationship to the historical writing of that era, in an attempt to study the history of Islamic art and the history of Islamic civilization in general.


Proposal Number: 52
Date: 2016-12-17
Paper Title: The Past-Present Relation and Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise
Core Text:
Theological-Political Treatise by Spinoza
Abstract:
In the Theological-Political Treatise, Spinoza explicitly demands a historical account of Scripture, and the TTP is often considered one of the first attempts at historical criticism of the Bible. Yet, given the deeply ahistorical character of Spinoza"s metaphysics, the place of history, and even of temporality, in Spinoza"s thought is uncertain. I will argue that it is in fact this ahistoricity which allows Spinoza to assert the continuity between past and present that underlies his historical study of Scripture, and that in doing so he inverts the earlier view of history as historia magistra such that it is the present that allows the interpreter to understand the past rather than the past that allows him to understand the present.


Proposal Number: 44
Date: 2016-12-16
Paper Title: Civilizing Enkidus Using Gilgamesh to teach Classroom Conduct.
Core Text:
Gilgamesh
Abstract:
This paper will relay an ethnographic description of a classroom discussion of Gilgamesh, which took place within a 2016 summer bridge program at Carthage College. Examining this brief moment in an ethnographic light illuminates both how the expectations of the college classroom are communicated to precollege students, and how students, likened to Enkidu in the wild, are minds needing to be civilized, in order to succeed in their new educational environment.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Teaching College with Core Texts: Enculturation in the Liberal Arts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
One of the key barriers to college success is the problem of learning the culture of college. First-year students must make a complex academic, social and cultural transition, which includes learning the new norms, values and expectations of the College classroom (Pell Institute 2006). The papers in this panel will examine how core texts can and have been used to bridge this cultural divide, how core texts communicate the values of the Liberal Arts, the role that core-text programs play in acculturating students into college life.


Proposal Number: 43
Date: 2016-12-15
Paper Title: The People Have Spoken:How and Will St. Bonaventure's "The Mind's Journey to God" be reconfigured in the re-imagined core?
Core Text:
St. Bonaventure's Mind's Journey to God
Abstract:
After 18 years. our university is re-vamping its core. This paper, through interviews with key core participants, will examine how the St. Bonaventure"s text, among others, will have a role in the 21st version of the core. The paper will attempt to synthesize the process, provide a look back and peek forward.


Proposal Number: 40
Date: 2016-12-14
Paper Title: Teaching Dante's Great Text outside Great Texts Programs
Core Text:
Divine Comedy
Abstract:
Teaching Dante"s Divine Comedy in a general education literature course of non-majors, and to more reluctant readers, requires pedagogical efforts that may look different than those used to teach this text in an Honors or Great Texts context. In this paper, I discuss ways I"ve found to help students to really latch on to Dante by discussing the work in context, but also as it applies to contemporary students" concerns. For example, I had a fascinating class discussion this semester with my students about prisons and Dante, comparing prison = punishment thinking with prison-for-rehabilitation thinking by considering the difference between the sufferers in the Inferno and in Purgatory. This paper aims to promote collaboration with other instructors about ways in which struggling or disinterested students can immerse themselves in learning Dante.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Dante Learning, Learning Dante
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will focus on Dante's Commedia. It will explore various aspects of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. On one hand, it will investigate the way that Dante learns over the course of his journey. On the other hand, it will investigate how Dante might speak to our students. Thus, it will attempt to facilitate a conversation about how and why Dante might speak across the ages to our world, today.


Proposal Number: 32
Date: 2016-12-12
Paper Title: "The Status of Women in Lockes Two Treatises"
Core Text:
John Lockes Two Treatises of Government
Abstract:
I will explore whether Locke thinks fundamental differences exist between men and women. I will also examine how Locke understands the moral and political status of women in comparison to men in his Two Treatises of Government. In his Two Treatises, Locke preserves a notion of differences between men and women in arguing that they are fundamentally equal. For Locke, the general equality of men and women undergirds his criticism of patriarchy and his conception of marriage, and their equality also leads to decent government and family life, which Locke sees as part of the human good.


Proposal Number: 29
Date: 2016-12-09
Paper Title: On the Incompleteness of Virgil's Account of Hell in Inferno XI
Core Text:
Dante's Inferno
Abstract:
Virgil" offers an account of the structure of Hell in Inferno XI. But, Virgil is silent about the heretics in this account. This is especially surprising given that Virgil and Dante are sitting among the heretics as Virgil gives his account. My essay will explore the possible reasons for and the potential significance of Virgil"s oversight.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Dante Learning, Learning Dante
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will focus on Dante's Commedia. It will explore various aspects of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. On one hand, it will investigate the way that Dante learns over the course of his journey. On the other hand, it will investigate how Dante might speak to our students. Thus, it will attempt to facilitate a conversation about how and why Dante might speak across the ages to our world, today.


Proposal Number: 28
Date: 2016-12-08
Paper Title: A Dantean source 'not known to many'
Core Text:
Dante's Commedia
Abstract:
I plan to discuss the influence of Boethius on Dante and the Commedia, beginning with the end of the Paradiso, alluding to the Convivio and similarities between the personal/political lives of Dante and Boethius, and ending with a suggestion of how we might understand Dante's extreme view of traitors (in the Inferno) in Boethian terms. In terms of the conference theme, my presentation seeks to identify Dante's bridging of divides, crossing of borders, and building of community in his reading of Boethius--and seeks to help modern readers of Dante see this particular bridge, border-crossing, and community so that we can participate more fully in the community that is the literary tradition.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Dante Learning, Learning Dante
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
I've been asked to be on the panel with the above title that has been organized by Samuel A. Stoner, Assumption College.


Proposal Number: 27
Date: 2016-12-08
Paper Title: Slow Looking in the Core: Bruegels Landscape With the Fall of Icarus
Core Text:
Pieter Bruegels Landscape With the Fall of Icarus
Abstract:
It is commonly assumed that vision is immediate. It seems direct, uncomplicated, and instantaneous—which is why it has arguably become the master sense for the delivery of information in the contemporary technological world. Spending time looking at images, looking slowly, dissecting and analyzing how an image is constructed and contemplating its meaning reveals the complexity of visual language. This close looking, like close reading or close listening, prepares students for critical thinking and writing. Some artworks do this better than others. This past Fall term, we taught Bruegel’s painting Landscape With the Fall of Icarus (1558). We selected this painting because formally it is a very accessible work but conceptually it is quite complex. The seeming insignificance of Icarus’s fall can be taken as an allegory for the world’s indifference to tragedy, but can also be seen as an indictment of our daily myopia: the plowman thinks only of his field. What kind of perspective should we properly take of the world: the grand or the detailed, the global or the local? My paper will share how faculty across disciplines taught the painting and how a visual text effectively teaches many of the skills we hope our freshman will practice in the course.


Proposal Number: 26
Date: 2016-12-08
Paper Title: Jacques Barzun, The Culture We Deserve
Core Text:
The Culture We Deserve
Abstract:
Barzun's The Culture We Deserve is a book encompassing a series of essays on cultural decline in various aspects. "Ours...is a period of specialization in which the "torrent of information" compiled is unnecessary, in which college students are diverted to the "minutiae of analytic methodism," in which the over-production of art has made us into "gluttons who gorge and do not digest."(Publisher's Weekly description). I want to explore the use of this book to awaken a new awareness in undergraduate students about the meaning and value of education.


Proposal Number: 24
Date: 2016-12-08
Paper Title: Power of Women/Women of Power: Reevaluating the Concept of Power Using the Letter of St. Hildegard of Bingen
Core Text:
Hildegard of Bingen: Mystical Writings, edited by Fiona Bowie and Oliver Davies
Abstract:
Women during the Middle Ages are portrayed as powerless because they did not possess “power” in the modern sense of political or economic authority. However, this presentist concept of power ignores a third possibility that existed in the Medieval period, a period in which the Catholic Church was the dominant institution – religious power. Some women, albeit constrained by a patriarchal society, exercised that power, and St. Hildegard of Bingen was one of them. Through a collection of Hildegard’s writings, Hildegard of Bingen: Mystical Writings, edited by Fiona Bowie and Oliver Davies, students are exposed to this woman’s powerful writings, especially her letters, and they learn to appreciate the past on its own terms and understand that the concept of “power” has different meanings depending on the culture and the historical period.


Proposal Number: 23
Date: 2016-12-08
Paper Title: "An air of awful mystery:' Philosophy, Love, and Loss
Core Text:
Plato, Phaedrus and Phaedo; Freud, Mourning and Melancholia; Emerson, "Experience."
Abstract:
Aristotle famously declared that philosophy begins with wonder. I argue that, for Plato, philosophy has a more fundamental origin in the experience of loss. While, in the Phaedo, Socrates initially characterizes philosophy as “practice for dying and death,” I suggest that it is ultimately identified with the practice of mourning. The love of wisdom seeks not to possess (or to repossess) its object, but to embrace it in its absence. In Freudian terms, it marks the difference between mourning and melancholia.


Proposal Number: 22
Date: 2016-12-08
Paper Title: "Tears for Misfortune": Interpretation Across Cultural Divides in the Aeneid
Core Text:
Aeneid
Abstract:
I propose to return to Aeneas's reaction to the depiction of the Trojan war in Juno"s temple in Carthage, which famously raises the question of interpretation. I will discuss the significance of the cultural contexts of both the work of art and its interpreter (Aeneas) and argue that Aeneas is not necessarily misinterpreting the work, as scholars have argued. I will relate this passage to both the interpretation of the Aeneid itself and to the question of interpretation in general.


Proposal Number: 21
Date: 2016-11-30
Paper Title: Gedanklosigkeit; or how can otherwise 'normal' people make such terible choices
Core Text:
Kant; The Critrique of Judgment, Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, and Between Past and future
Abstract:
In her controversial study of the Eichmann trial, Arendt employs the notion of "inability of think from the perspective of the other". In the essays contained in Between past and future she uses the same notion, and refers to Kant"s Introduction and First part of the Critique of Judgment. Can we clarify this idea and employ it to a study of current issues in environmental politics and the recent election?


Proposal Number: 20
Date: 2016-11-29
Paper Title: Penelope's ability to switch from the princess to the villain based on the distortion of her image
Core Text:
The Odyssey, by Homer
Abstract:
Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, is the chief source of suspense, as neither the reader nor Odysseus know if she has married a suitor or is faithfully awaiting his return. Agamemnon believes that she is virtuous still, while the suitors warp her image into that of a desirable object. Thus her role, and furthermore, her image, would change if she were to give in to the suitors: Penelope would then be the villain, instead of the princess, and this serves to prove that her actions influence other"s perceptions of her image. Though inaction could be nearly as dangerous as giving in to her suitors, it could instead confirm that Penelope is neither the princess nor the villain.


Proposal Number: 19
Date: 2016-11-29
Paper Title: Speculating on Futures for the Common Good in China
Core Text:
Hao Jingfang's 2012 novelette
Abstract:
Hao Jingfang’s “Folding Beijing” recently won a Hugo Award for Best Novelette and appears in Ken Liu’s seminal collection, Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction, thereby establishing its literary credentials. In the novelette, Hao leverages her educational background in physics and economics at China’s premier universities to imagine a future Beijing where the city’s infrastructure enables it to rotate so different segments of its massive population have access to the city in shifts. This paper demonstrates how speculative (or science) fiction core texts in general, and “Folding Beijing” in particular, embody liberal arts interdisciplinarity as they diagnose social challenges and provoke us to imagine sophisticated solutions. A close reading of the text alongside Hao’s interviews articulate how deftly “Folding Beijing” bridges cultures, socioecono mic classes, and the work of writing fiction and creating public policy.


Proposal Number: 18
Date: 2016-11-29
Paper Title: Nation Building and Story Telling: The Grimm German Legends as Literary Democracy
Core Text:
Grimm: German Legends
Abstract:
The Grimm brothers have contributed one of the most well-known bodies to the canon of world literature. Their famous fairy-tale collection Kinder- und Hausmärchen (1812/1814) have not only achieved universal appeal throughout cultures and times but have become a curricular favorite at the college level, be it for German language training or, outside the field of German Studies, for literary analysis in translation. While the Grimm brothers’ next project, the Deutsche Sagen of 1816/1818 (German Legends) are not as widely-known, they offer canonical appeal similar to that of the fairy tales. Furthermore, their connection to history, old lore and their rootedness in regionalism make them model texts to explore the formation of German-speaking communities that ultimately contributed to the establishment of a German national spirit throughout the 19th century and helped create a (somewhat) unified German nation in 1871. In this presentation I will show how the legends are a significant resource for democratic identity during a time when Germany tried to find its voice as a nation, leading to its first democratic government in 1848. Even though this attempt failed miserably, the initial overcoming of political and cultural divides among Germans was a tremendous achievement. Grimm’s Legends both foreshadowed and helped guide this process. I claim that for this purpose the legends have much more relevance than the fairy-tales, even though their status as core text is eclipsed by the fairy-tales. To support my claim, I will briefly show how I have utilized the legends in a class on German mythology and how, in that context, they offer considerable advantages over the fairy-tales.


Proposal Number: 17
Date: 2016-11-29
Paper Title: Ethics, Aesthetics, Agriculture, and Technology: Wendell Berry's Intellectual Synthesis
Core Text:
Wendell Berry: Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition
Abstract:
Canonical core texts require appropriate complementary examples of how students could interpret and integrate their interdisciplinary insights in a modern context. In Wendell Berry’s Life Is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition we find a remarkable model for this kind of intellectual synthesis, for a truly liberal arts vision of thinking outside disciplinary boxes. Barry unites disparate intellectual issues and contemporary problems within a larger ethical and aesthetic framework; he models in both theory and practice how a public intellectual can contribute to the development of a new societal discourse. This discourse is not subordinated to current political thinking; it makes an effort to deepen and preserve the ideal of a public space, where critical thinking, compassion, and our common humanity can be explored and applied to our most pressing problems.


Proposal Number: 16
Date: 2016-11-29
Paper Title: Bowling Alone (2000), Democracy in America (1838), and the Future of Community in America
Core Text:
Robert Putnam. (2000). Bowling Alone; Alexis de Tocqueville. (1838). Democracy in America.
Abstract:
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election the United States now seems to be more atomized and polarized as ever. This polarization has run parallel with a decline in community and a “sorting” in American society. The focus of this paper will be to trace possible linkages between the analyses and arguments laid out in the arguments of Robert Putnam in Bowling Alone (2000), Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America (1838), and the future of community in America.


Proposal Number: 14
Date: 2016-11-29
Paper Title: Giambattista Vico: STEM vs. the Liberal Arts
Core Text:
De nostri temporis studiorum ratione (On the Study Methods of Our Times; 1707)
Abstract:
The relevance of the great books and the model of the liberal arts education has been under sustained attack in the modern academy. In recent years, significant pressure has been applied to assert Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math as the predominant model of education in K-12 and higher education systems as the appropriate foundation for a modern workforce, often at the expense of the study literature, history, philosophy and other liberal arts disciplines. This paper examines Giambattista Vico’s text De nostri temporis studiorum ratione (On the Study Methods of Our Times; 1707) to explore 1) how Vico’s anti-enlightenment arguments against an over-emphasis on the rational-analytical model might inform a contemporary argument against the over-emphasis of STEM in our own time and 2) how Vico’s “poetic” (philological/philosophical) approach to the humanities and social sciences might inform a r approchement between advocates for a STEM educational model and a liberal arts model in the pursuit of wholistic education of both good citizens and good workers.


Proposal Number: 13
Date: 2016-11-29
Paper Title: A culture of tolerance and coexistence: Diversity In Islamic Societies (Women and The Interfaith Dialogue)
Core Text:

Abstract:
This paper aims to define what the tolerance in the Islamic vision، Its impact on Muslim communities, it's an attempt to describe the values of coexistence exceptionally towards women and the believers of other religions. The model here is the United Arab Emirates community where we will discuss laws and regulations and trends of the state and the behavior of citizens. Is United Emirates represent a separate case from the rest of the Muslim world? Do we have a special experience? Does what we offering and striving to reach it, is just a claim and propaganda. or it's a truth and existing?


Proposal Number: 12
Date: 2016-11-29
Paper Title: Examining Paralysis: Diagnosing and Discussing Medical Images in James Joyce's Ulysses
Core Text:
Ulysses by James Joyce
Abstract:
James Joyce's Ulysses reflects themes of social, political, cultural, and religious stagnation through the image of paralysis steeped in medical terminology. Through the language of medicine, Joyce's work invites discussion and exploration of the cultural vacuum left in Ireland during Home Rule. Students engage in conversation which question the divide between science and religion, the emergence of women's voice in healthcare issues, and the influence of nationalism on xenophobia, to name a few of the ethical and philosophical discussions generated by the text. What results from analysis and close reading of Ulysses is that students build their own communal voice to confront human problems and potentials.


Proposal Number: 11
Date: 2016-11-29
Paper Title: Undaunted Moll Flanders
Core Text:
Moll Flanders
Abstract:
In Daniel Defoe"s novel, Moll Flanders (1722), a model of reportorial realism, amiable, resourceful Moll recounts her myriad escapades in brisk, cogent plain style. The dozens of pseudofactual episodes illustrate how "external forces that one could not control" influence everyone"s life. Informed by a branch of mathematics: probability theory, mathematician Leonard Mlodinow"s perspicuous book, The Drunkard"s Walk (2009), postulating indeterminism, persuasively maintains that "unpredictable random forces and our reactions to them account for much of our particular path in life." This thesis corresponds to the theme of chance and choice, which is conveyed all through astute and undaunted Moll"s zigzag career.


Proposal Number: 9
Date: 2016-11-29
Paper Title: Giving a Generous Reading: Elizabeth Bennet and the Intellectual Virtue of Candor
Core Text:
Pride and Prejudice
Abstract:
At the crux of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet, who has always prided herself on her perception, learns how gravely she has misjudged the two men vying for her affections. The discovery forces her to revisit earlier interchanges and reinterpret them in a new spirit of candor—a word which, as Austen uses it, means not honesty or frankness but rather the opposite of prejudice—fair and unbiased judgment, and even generous judgment. To exercise candor is to be disposed to give someone the benefit of the doubt, to give them a benevolent reading. I will argue that in Pride and Prejudice Austen is teaching her readers, alongside Elizabeth, this crucial intellectual virtue—a virtue that the great texts both require and inculcate.


Proposal Number: 15
Date: 2016-11-21
Paper Title: Misogyny and Scholarship in the Decameron
Core Text:
Boccaccio, Decameron
Abstract:
The Decameron features several male scholars who immerse themselves in texts of law and philosophy, yet prove incapable of conducting themselves decently in relationships with other human beings--particularly with women. Boccaccio is deeply critical of students and scholars who emerge from the misogynistic culture of medieval academia and consider themselves learned, but in fact misapply intellectual categories and use their learning to justify their mistreatment of women. This paper will offer a gendered reading of academic scholarship in the Decameron that illuminates its historical context and speaks to issues of feminism and misogyny in the liberal arts today.


Proposal Number: 10
Date: 2016-10-31
Paper Title: Reading for Wealth in the Canterbury Tales
Core Text:
The Canterbury Tales
Abstract:
In the context of a polarizing debate over the virtue of poverty, marked by the extremes of the Church"s abuse of wealth and the Franciscans" condemnation of all property ownership, Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales. I argue that he responds to the issue of poverty by creating a radically diverse community of pilgrims who are judged not by their material wealth, nor even, it seems, by their piety, but by the stories they tell: the Canterbury Tales responds to the problem of poverty by offering poetic wealth. Although Chaucer sends his tale-tellers into the ring to fight on the value of poverty, he does not resolve the debate conventionally. Rather than giving an answer, he offers a literary structure in which the reader must negotiate the characters" arguments himself in order to morally profit; as such, the Canterbury Tales is a lesson in reading for wealth.


Proposal Number: 1
Date: 2016-09-06
Paper Title: The Shrew and the Prodigal: Medieval Biblical Drama and Shakespeares Taming
Core Text:
Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and the Parable of the Prodigal Son
Abstract:
At 4.3.4-14 of The Taming of the Shrew, Kate almost directly quotes the Parable of the Prodigal Son, taking on the role of the Prodigal, and at 2.1.32-36, she may inhabit the role of the resentful older brother in the parable. My contention is that Shakespeare is working with an inherited tradition of medieval biblical dramas and playfully inverting the plot, taking Kate from the resentful older brother (or sister) to the younger one. In so doing, Shakespeare bridges a divide between medieval and early modern conceptions, and this illuminates this play, often troubling for modern audiences, in new and striking ways.