Submitted Proposals (2017-2018)

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Proposal # Date Panel Title Paper Title
Proposal # 336 2018-03-27 Wilson’s ‘The Odyssey’ in the Gen Ed Classroom
Proposal # 334 2018-03-26 The Natural Naïveté of Man? Schiller, Oscillation, and Human Wholeness
Proposal # 332 2018-03-23 Children of Good Fortune: Poetry and Political Optimism in Austen's Emma
Proposal # 324 2018-03-12 One and Two Two for One: Hera and Thetis in the Iliad
Proposal # 323 2018-03-12 Raskolnikov's Visions
Proposal # 317 2018-03-06 Exploring How Science Questions. What about those human polyps on Jupiter?
Proposal # 236 2018-03-02 Rousseau and the Philosophy of Music
Proposal # 313 2018-02-28 Shakespeare's As You Like It: Discord and Harmony Marriage and Social Mobility in Shakespeare's As You Like It
Proposal # 312 2018-02-28 Astronomy in Plato: the Role of ‘Science’ in Plato’s Republic and ours
Proposal # 311 2018-02-28 John Wisdom’s “Parable of the Invisible Gardener” and the nature of religious belief.
Proposal # 147 2018-02-26 BU Co-Sponsor's Panel: From Classroom to Convergence Culture Dante's Paradiso: How Much Is Enough?
Proposal # 308 2018-02-25 "'Rich girls don't marry poor boys': Acquisition and Class in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby​."
Proposal # 307 2018-02-22 Poetic Justice: Understanding the City through the Phaedo's Myth of the Afterlife
Proposal # 305 2018-02-20 Postsecularism: Epics & Epochs The Re-Enchantment of the Future in Sci-Fi Re-Tellings of the Ramayana in Breaking the Bow
Proposal # 303 2018-02-19 Plato and Thucydides on the problem of eros
Proposal # 302 2018-02-17 Odysseus' Inner Suitor
Proposal # 301 2018-02-17 Sponsor's Panel: Seeing Through the Eyes of Core Texts
Proposal # 297 2018-02-16 Sponsor's Panel: Assumption The Inquiries of Croesus
Proposal # 18 2018-02-16 Modern Confrontations between Philosophy and Poetry Schiller on the Art of Heroic Reading
Proposal # 300 2018-02-15 “The Duchess of Malfi: Humor and Tragedy Make Strange Bedfellows”
Proposal # 299 2018-02-14 Saving Gilgamesh: Cultural Heritage Preservation and Service Learning
Proposal # 298 2018-02-14 Seeing through the Eyes of Core Texts Teaching Plato's Minos
Proposal # 294 2018-02-09 Calixthe Beyala, an “Afro-French” Critique of Universalist Historical Paradigms and Racism in Post-Colonial Societies
Proposal # 292 2018-02-02 Modern Confrontations Between Philosophy and Poetry The Natural Naïveté of Man? Schiller, Oscillation, and Human Wholeness
Proposal # 290 2018-01-30 Turning the Light of Consciousness Around: Yogācāra and the Phenomenology of “Mind-Only” in the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra
Proposal # 282 2018-01-29 Translating Homer - Does Gender Matter? Report from the Women in Core Conference
Proposal # 281 2018-01-28 Eros and Knowledge: “The Portrait of Mr. W.H.” and Platonic curiosity
Proposal # 280 2018-01-28 Achilles' Rage Against Death and Time in Homer's Iliad
Proposal # 279 2018-01-27 Hamlet’s Prophetic Soul and the Power of Poetry
Proposal # 277 2018-01-27 Before Texting, There Was Texting: The Power of the Text in The Kreutzer Sonata
Proposal # 276 2018-01-27 On Kinds of Lyric: The Opacity and Transparency of Poetry
Proposal # 275 2018-01-26 The Virtues of Banter
Proposal # 274 2018-01-26 Postsecularism: Epics & Epochs The Future of an Illusion: Nietzsche, Hesse, and Post-Secular Possibilities
Proposal # 270 2018-01-26 The paradox of finding one’s direction by welcoming divine madness
Proposal # 267 2018-01-26 The Play’s the Thing: Teaching Confucian Ritual
Proposal # 265 2018-01-26 Bonding with my Students through Conrad's "Youth"
Proposal # 262 2018-01-26 Grappling with Strangeness through Creative Rewriting
Proposal # 261 2018-01-26 Core Texts and the Convergence of New Media
Proposal # 260 2018-01-26 Rhetoric, Ancient and Modern, in Rousseau's Emile
Proposal # 259 2018-01-26 Tyrannical Eros and Philosophical Wonder
Proposal # 258 2018-01-26 #TimesUp: Scheherazade, Courage, and the Fight to Stop the Abuse
Proposal # 257 2018-01-26 The Tower of Babel: Unison or Harmony?
Proposal # 256 2018-01-26 Abstr“Silence Breaker: How Madonna Filippa Faced Down Sexual Discrimination and Won the Day.”
Proposal # 255 2018-01-25 Music as a Liberal Art
Proposal # 254 2018-01-25 Reacting to Suffering: Job and the Refugee Crisis
Proposal # 253 2018-01-25 Hacking Augustine: Teaching Confessions in a Digital Age Hacking Augustine: Teaching Confessions in a Digital Age
Proposal # 252 2018-01-25 With God(s) On Our Side: A Pedagogical Analysis of the Sources of Moral Truth in the Iliad
Proposal # 251 2018-01-25 The Character of Philosophy in Boethius' Consolation
Proposal # 250 2018-01-25 Hacking Augustine: Teaching the Confessions in a Digital Age
Proposal # 248 2018-01-24 Harmony and Strife in Camus's The Stranger
Proposal # 247 2018-01-24 "Simon Schama's Citizens as a Core Text Using Core Texts"
Proposal # 244 2018-01-24 Ancient Solutions to Modern Political Problems Situating Justice in "The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant"
Proposal # 243 2018-01-24 : “Ancient Solutions to Modern Political Problems” Freedom: Ancient and Modern
Proposal # 234 2018-01-23 Dante's Penultimate Lesson: Matelda's Role in the Education of a Christian Poet
Proposal # 241 2018-01-22 Hannah Arendt's parvenu versus pariah dichotomy in the context of a liberal arts approach for refugees in Dutch Higher Education
Proposal # 238 2018-01-22 One and Two in the Core Convenerunt in Unum
Proposal # 233 2018-01-20 On the Order of Learning: Liberal and Professional Education
Proposal # 232 2018-01-20 Plato’s Stargazer and the Rhetoric of Philosophy
Proposal # 231 2018-01-20 Hardly a Shrew for the Age of #MeToo: Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl:
Proposal # 225 2018-01-19 "The Last Laugh" The Nomoi that Nurtured the Men at Marathon: Discourse and Display in Aristophanes and Plato"
Proposal # 222 2018-01-18 Governing the Political Animal Politics as the Artful Formation of Identity: Plato's "Statesman" and the Mythic and Mystic Chords of Memory
Proposal # 221 2018-01-18 Divine Craftsmen in The Timaeus and the Popol Vuh
Proposal # 220 2018-01-18 Dante's Penultimate Lesson: Matelda and Charitable Eros at the Top of Mt. Purgatory
Proposal # 187 2018-01-18 One and Two in the Core Venus' Venom & The Soul of Mirrors
Proposal # 165 2018-01-18 One and Two in the Core Love and Strife – Two Forces, One Cosmos in Shakespeare’s King Lear
Proposal # 151 2018-01-18 One and Two in the Core The Two Theaetetuses
Proposal # 88 2018-01-18 Dialogues in Xenophon's *Cyropaedia*
Proposal # 17 2018-01-18 Modern Confrontations between Philosophy and Poetry Poets, Heroes, and Philosophers in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling
Proposal # 16 2018-01-18 "Reading the Garden": Why Columella and Strabo Matter
Proposal # 218 2018-01-17 The Last Laugh: Readings of Aristophanes's Clouds and Lysistrata and Machiavelli's Mandragola The Miseducation of Lucretia: The Satisfaction of Desire in Machiavelli's Mandragola
Proposal # 213 2018-01-17 The Lover and the Founder: Imagining Ancient and Modern Questing with Vergil
Proposal # 212 2018-01-17 The Cervantine Leitmotif of Discovery
Proposal # 209 2018-01-17 Publius and Brutus and The Beginning and The End
Proposal # 208 2018-01-17 “In Shining Daylight Destroy Us”: Definition as the Hero’s Reward
Proposal # 207 2018-01-17 Extravagant Generosity in Plotinus, Nietzsche, and Levinas
Proposal # 204 2018-01-16 No Thinking Without an Image: A Lonerganian Reading of Aristotle's De Anima
Proposal # 203 2018-01-16 Public and Private Space in E.M. Forster’s Howards End and Zadie Smith’s White Teeth: the “secret life” of otherness revealed
Proposal # 201 2018-01-16 Bonding with my Students through Conrad's "Youth"
Proposal # 200 2018-01-16 GULLIVER’S TRAVELS: DOES THE “OTHERNESS” OF CLASSIC TEXTS MAKE ONE BETTER OFF, OR WORSE?
Proposal # 199 2018-01-16 Equality and Authority in Augustine and Tocqueville
Proposal # 198 2018-01-16 Oedipus Tyrannus and the 5th Century Polis
Proposal # 197 2018-01-16 Governing the Political Animal (Frank Rohmer, chair) Xenophon on Human Nature and the Natural Environment in the Education of Cyrus
Proposal # 196 2018-01-16 Emile Has Two Daddies: Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Natural and Conventional Fatherhood
Proposal # 195 2018-01-15 Seeing the Likeness, Telling Great Lies
Proposal # 193 2018-01-15 An Earthly Pattern of the Hieros Gamos: Marriage as the Root of Comedy in Homer's Odyssey
Proposal # 192 2018-01-15 Alyosha Karamazov and the Platonic Soul
Proposal # 191 2018-01-15 Introducing the Humanities into Business and Economics Classrooms: Strategies and Tactics Tension in Modeling Human Nature/Condition: Ambiguity in Literature vs. Economics
Proposal # 190 2018-01-15 The Morality of Profit: Teaching and Remembering the Anti-Capitalism of Slavery.
Proposal # 189 2018-01-15 The Morality of Profit: Teaching and Remembering the Anti-Capitalism of Slavery
Proposal # 188 2018-01-15 Classic Reflections on Civility: What it is and isn’t Is it Moral to be Civil? Civil Association in Oakeshott’s On Human Conduct
Proposal # 186 2018-01-15 The Intersection of Business, Economics, Leadership, and Core Texts: Challenges for paradigms, narratives, pedagogy, and the holding of tensions in harmony. “The paradox of on-the-job training in Xenophon’s Oikonomikos, or why do any of us ever get hired?”
Proposal # 185 2018-01-14 The Power of Invisibility in Plato's Republic
Proposal # 183 2018-01-14 The Liberal Arts of Language and Core Texts Defining Your Opponent: Madison’s Federalist Paper #10 and the Logical Power of Definition
Proposal # 182 2018-01-14 No Thinking Without an Image: A Lonerganian Reading of Aristotle's De Anima
Proposal # 181 2018-01-13 Introducing the Humanities into Business and Economics Classrooms: Strategies and Tactics. New Money, New Love: Naval Officers, Economic Security, and Marital Egalitarianism in Persuasion
Proposal # 180 2018-01-13 Aristotle and Buddha on Friendship
Proposal # 179 2018-01-13 Petrarch's Augustinian View from Mont Ventoux
Proposal # 178 2018-01-13 Cicero's influences on early Augustine: Un-original and un-solved formulations of the problem of evil
Proposal # 177 2018-01-12 One and Two in the Core Love and Strife – Two Forces, One Cosmos in Shakespeare’s King Lear
Proposal # 176 2018-01-12 An Aristotelian Reconstruction of Civility
Proposal # 175 2018-01-12 Classic Reflections on Civility: What it is and isn’t Civility and The Sprit of Laws
Proposal # 173 2018-01-11 Core Texts on the Regime as a Core Idea in Political Science The Old Regime and French Revolution
Proposal # 172 2018-01-11 Such Were These Men -- Heraclitus in Athens -- and America
Proposal # 171 2018-01-11 Bacon’s Scientific Humanitarianism and the Quest for Unnatural Freedom
Proposal # 170 2018-01-11 Spoilage, Property & Labor: Transhumanism in Locke’s Two Treatises of Government
Proposal # 167 2018-01-11
Proposal # 166 2018-01-11 Plato and Thucydides on the problem of eros
Proposal # 164 2018-01-10 Journey of Transformation
Proposal # 163 2018-01-10 Shakespeare's As You Like It: Discord and Harmony
Proposal # 162 2018-01-09 “‘I Sit with Shakespeare and He Winces Not’: Discovering Core Texts in W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk”
Proposal # 160 2018-01-09 Poetic Justice: Understanding the City through the Phaedo's Myth of the Afterlife
Proposal # 159 2018-01-09 When and Why Economic Inequality is Unjust: Lockean and Roman Catholic Perspectives
Proposal # 158 2018-01-09 Logos at the Barber Shop
Proposal # 157 2018-01-09
Proposal # 156 2018-01-09 When the Other is Part of One’s Self: Ezra Pound’s Attempt to Balance Self and Society in “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley”
Proposal # 155 2018-01-08 The Second Tetralogy as Comedy
Proposal # 154 2018-01-08 Literary Parallels and Topical Complementarity in Plato's Phaedrus and Laws
Proposal # 153 2018-01-08 On Vanity and Devotional Love in Guy de Maupassant's "Our Heart"
Proposal # 152 2018-01-08 When and Why Economic Inequality is Unjust: Lockean and Roman Catholic Perspectives
Proposal # 150 2018-01-07
Proposal # 149 2018-01-06 Emile Has Two Daddies: Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Natural and Conventional Fatherhood
Proposal # 148 2018-01-06
Proposal # 146 2018-01-05 Alyosha Karamazov and the Platonic Soul
Proposal # 145 2018-01-05 Teaching Anselm Today: A Response to Dawkins
Proposal # 144 2018-01-04 Montesquieu's Notion of the Regime
Proposal # 143 2018-01-04 Reading Together, Thinking Alone
Proposal # 142 2018-01-04 Oedipus, Agave, and Dido
Proposal # 141 2018-01-04 The Gospel in Homer
Proposal # 140 2018-01-04
Proposal # 139 2018-01-04 Aristotle, Evolution, and Us
Proposal # 138 2018-01-04 Why Rome? Place and the Political
Proposal # 137 2018-01-04
Proposal # 136 2018-01-04 St. Augustine on Reading and Self-Understanding
Proposal # 135 2018-01-04 The Intersection of Business, Economics, Leadership and Core Texts Business of Education and Education of Business
Proposal # 134 2018-01-03 Reading by the Light of a Constantly Shifting Star: Teaching Sterne's _Tristram Shandy_ to a Student with Asperger's
Proposal # 133 2018-01-02 Modern Confrontations between Philosophy and Poetry
Proposal # 132 2018-01-02
Proposal # 131 2018-01-02 Plato and Irigaray: the male world of education
Proposal # 130 2018-01-02 Love in Paradise Lost: the case of Adam's initial love for Eve
Proposal # 129 2018-01-02 Enlightened by Starlight -- Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius
Proposal # 128 2018-01-02 Governing the Political Animal The “Great Virtues” in Aristotle’s Politics
Proposal # 125 2018-01-02 For the birds: rereading Ovid’s avian alterations
Proposal # 123 2018-01-01 Agency in the Duchess of Amalfi
Proposal # 122 2018-01-01 C.S. Lewis in a Secular Core
Proposal # 121 2018-01-01 Questions of Eurocentrism in Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"
Proposal # 120 2018-01-01 Fools For The Ages
Proposal # 119 2018-01-01 Unconscious Grace
Proposal # 118 2018-01-01 Out of this world: Experimental approaches to canonical works Dante's Maps to the Stars
Proposal # 117 2018-01-01 The Liberal Arts of Language and Core Texts A Contained Burn in the Constitution: Madison’s Federalist Paper #10 and the Rhetoric of Analogy
Proposal # 116 2018-01-01 Intimate otherness: writing down the ineffable in Apuleius’ Cupid and Psyche
Proposal # 115 2017-12-31 The Aesthetic and the Ethical in Kierkegaard and Austen
Proposal # 114 2017-12-31 Cicero's De re Publica on Statesmanship
Proposal # 113 2017-12-31 Using Confederate Memorial Debates to Teach Core Texts
Proposal # 112 2017-12-31 Writing Women Writing Men: Navigating Ovid’s Heroides
Proposal # 111 2017-12-31 Achilles, Anger, and Aristotle
Proposal # 110 2017-12-31 The Monster and the Savior: Imagining Ancient and Modern Heroism with "Beowulf"
Proposal # 109 2017-12-31 Why do we do evil? Aristotle, Augustine and Shakespeare
Proposal # 108 2017-12-31 Political Philosophy and the Socratic Turn: On Plato's Lovers
Proposal # 107 2017-12-31 Dialogues Over Crime and Punishment
Proposal # 106 2017-12-31 On Nietzsche's Understanding of Women
Proposal # 105 2017-12-31 [The Non-Disappearance of the Discourse of Capitalism]
Proposal # 104 2017-12-31 Hegel and the Pittsburgh School
Proposal # 103 2017-12-31 Po Chü-I on Friendship
Proposal # 102 2017-12-31 The Great Washingtonian-Du Boisian Polemic and its Implications for Communicating the Core
Proposal # 101 2017-12-31 Is There a Universal Innate Human Capacity for Wisdom? A New Slant from an Ancient Text.
Proposal # 100 2017-12-31 Harmony, hope and humanity in Beethoven's music
Proposal # 99 2017-12-31 What Law Wishes to Be
Proposal # 98 2017-12-31 Reconsidering Constellations of Power: Hannah Arendt’s On Violence in the Twenty-first Century
Proposal # 97 2017-12-31 Missing the Metaphor
Proposal # 95 2017-12-31 Missing the Metaphor
Proposal # 94 2017-12-30 “How Teaching Core Texts Informs (My) Research”
Proposal # 92 2017-12-30 “How Teaching Core Texts Informs (My) Research”
Proposal # 91 2017-12-30 Liberal Education and Character Formation
Proposal # 90 2017-12-30 The Assault on Speech in Hobbes's Leviathan
Proposal # 89 2017-12-29 "Shakespeare's Shrewd 'Shrew': Hoodwinking Her Tiercell with an Odyssean Hood"
Proposal # 85 2017-12-29 From Grendel to Mephistopheles: New Visions of the Meaning of Modernity
Proposal # 83 2017-12-29 The Liberal Regime of Moderation
Proposal # 82 2017-12-29 Reading the Akedah: The Perspectival Benefits of Jon Levenson and Søren Kierkegaard
Proposal # 81 2017-12-29 Liberal Arts and the Logos of Man
Proposal # 80 2017-12-29 Tocqueville on (Today's) American Electorate
Proposal # 79 2017-12-29 Core Texts on the Regime as a Core Idea in Political Science The Regime in Plato's Republic
Proposal # 77 2017-12-28 Astronomy in Plato: the Role of ‘Science’ in Plato’s Republic and ours
Proposal # 76 2017-12-28 Leo Strauss as a Guide to the Great Books
Proposal # 75 2017-12-28 Chaucer: Hypertext and Paper
Proposal # 74 2017-12-28 Dead Friends, Dull Pears, and the (Surprising) Allure of a Participatory Metaphysic
Proposal # 73 2017-12-27 A Confucian Path for Embracing Difference and Change
Proposal # 72 2017-12-27 Tocqueville on Imperialism and Democracy
Proposal # 71 2017-12-27 Navigating the Trivium: Question 1 of Aquinas’s Summa
Proposal # 70 2017-12-27 Dead Friends, Dull Pears, and the (Surprising) Allure of a Participatory Metaphysic
Proposal # 69 2017-12-24 John of Salisbury’s Metalogicon and the roots of intellectual self-deprecation
Proposal # 68 2017-12-24 The grammar of linguistic and political possibility in Madison's Federalist Paper #10
Proposal # 67 2017-12-22 Musical Poetics: Rhetoric and Music in the Seventeenth Century and Applications for Modern Liberal Education
Proposal # 66 2017-12-22 The Enterprise of Education: Benjamin Franklin's LIbrary Company
Proposal # 64 2017-12-22 Aristotle and the Ethical Importance of the Ancestral
Proposal # 63 2017-12-22 "Thorough Cultivation": Abraham Lincoln on Education and Labor
Proposal # 62 2017-12-22 How to Study Politics According to Alfarabi
Proposal # 61 2017-12-22 Et tu Brutè? Art thou a Brute?
Proposal # 60 2017-12-22 Managing Philosophy
Proposal # 59 2017-12-22 Reason and the Divine Will: The Foundations of John Locke’s Natural Law
Proposal # 58 2017-12-22 St. Augustine on Reading and Self-Understanding
Proposal # 57 2017-12-21 “How Teaching Core Texts Informs (Our) Research”
Proposal # 56 2017-12-21 Logos in the Barber Shop
Proposal # 55 2017-12-21 Why the World is Not Enough: Aquinas’s Nuanced Reply to Naturalism
Proposal # 53 2017-12-20 Reason and the Divine Will: The Foundations of John Locke's Natural Law
Proposal # 52 2017-12-19 The "Regime" in Montesquieu
Proposal # 51 2017-12-18 Harper Lee's "Watchman," Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," and the College Student
Proposal # 50 2017-12-15 Jean-Dominque Bauby's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: Some Superficial Reflections on Profound Disability
Proposal # 49 2017-12-15
Proposal # 48 2017-12-12 William James and the God of Classical Theism
Proposal # 47 2017-12-11 Triple otherness: Jane Eyre read with Russian students
Proposal # 46 2017-12-09 Hobbes on Happiness
Proposal # 45 2017-12-08 The Liberal Arts of Language and Core Texts.
Proposal # 44 2017-12-08 William James and the God of Classical Theism
Proposal # 43 2017-12-08 "Modern Confrontations between Philosophy and Poetry.” Hegel and Aristophanes: The Comedy of Philosophy
Proposal # 42 2017-12-07 Homer on Trial: Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad
Proposal # 41 2017-12-07 Thoreau and the Nature of Books
Proposal # 40 2017-12-05 Benjamin Franklin and the trial of Samuel Hemphill
Proposal # 39 2017-12-04 Rousseau on the Idea of a Political Regime
Proposal # 37 2017-11-27 Core Texts on the Regime as a Core Idea in Political Science
Proposal # 36 2017-11-26 “How Teaching Core Texts Informs (Our) Research” "How Teaching Core Texts Informs (My) Research"
Proposal # 20 2017-10-24 A Caricature of the Chronicles of Christianity in Gulliver's Travels
Proposal # 19 2017-10-14 Modern Confrontations between Philosophy and Poetry Hegel on Aristophanes
Proposal # 2 2017-08-29 William James and the God of Classical Theism
Proposal # 1 2017-08-24 The Gospel of Homer
 

Proposal Number: 336
Date: 2018-03-27
Paper Title: Wilson’s ‘The Odyssey’ in the Gen Ed Classroom
Core Text:
The Odyssey
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 334
Date: 2018-03-26
Paper Title: The Natural Naïveté of Man? Schiller, Oscillation, and Human Wholeness
Core Text:
Schiller's "On Naive and Sentimental Poetry"
Abstract:
This paper explores the role of the naïve in Schiller’s On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry. With this notion, Schiller complicates Rousseau’s notion of natural man as a simple and unified by being by introducing complex qualities of poets like Homer and Goethe even as he describe a natural aesthetic experience. Schiller contrasts the naïve type with the sentimental, but a closer examination reveals division in both types, leaving oscillation in a divided nature as characteristic of humanity. This view of oscillation and human wholeness leaves Schiller to focus on the beautiful rather than making more use of a Kantian view of the sublime because both exist on a spectrum of aesthetic experience rather than allowing strict separation.


Proposal Number: 332
Date: 2018-03-23
Paper Title: Children of Good Fortune: Poetry and Political Optimism in Austen's Emma
Core Text:
Emma, Jane Ausen; (Poetics, Aristotle)
Abstract:
In his Poetics, Aristotle suggests that the comic poet bows to the people by presenting the kind of end the people "would pray for". Jane Austen, who writes only comedies, seems to evince a strong optimism similar to the kind Aristotle attributes to the people. Yet in Emma Austen complicates her form of comedy by presenting a character both better yet less immediately appealing than the comedic character Aristotle envisions. This paper will discuss Emma's character and explore the strong but circumspect political optimism she illustrates.


Proposal Number: 324
Date: 2018-03-12
Paper Title: Two for One: Hera and Thetis in the Iliad
Core Text:
Iliad
Abstract:
The mythic bifurcation of a single self into a “double,” or twin, figure is a recurring motif in folklore and literature. In the ancient Greek pantheon, when one thinks of doubles, the goddesses Hera and Thetis do not immediately come to mind. However, both are crucial to the action of Homer’s Iliad and, as I hope to show, emerge as structural "doubles" of a single divine imperative in the epic.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: One and Two
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 323
Date: 2018-03-12
Paper Title: Raskolnikov's Visions
Core Text:
Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky
Abstract:
Raskolnikov has four dreams in the course of the novel. Each expresses a stage in his journey from seeing himself as a righteous victim to understanding himself first as a perpetrator, and then as complicit in the illness of his age. This illness is a skepticism: a tossing and turning on a bed of desire, but in an age when no beloved will satisfy, and as Raskolnikov says, "Any way will do."


Proposal Number: 317
Date: 2018-03-06
Paper Title: Exploring How Science Questions. What about those human polyps on Jupiter?
Core Text:
Diderot, "D'Alembert's Dream"
Abstract:
Despite decades of effort the study of the natural sciences and mathematics remains an intimidating prospect for many. Learning science from the great books is often daunting because of the complexity of the issues studied and the techniques used to expound an argument often require specialized training. I'll present some practical examples of approaching this problem that encourage students to engage with foundational problems and questions in the natural sciences.


Proposal Number: 236
Date: 2018-03-02
Paper Title: Rousseau and the Philosophy of Music
Core Text:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Essay on the Origin of Languages
Abstract:
In the Pythagorean-Platonic tradition (transmitted through, among others, Cicero, St. Augustine, Boethius right up to Shakespeare and Kepler), music is ultimately assimilated to logos in the context of a conception of nature as a teleologically ordered, rationally comprehensible whole. With the advent of modern science and the mechanistic-materialistic conception of nature corresponding to it, this ‘rationalist’ conception of music begins to undergo a profound transformation, such that by the time we get to Schopenhauer, Wagner, and Nietzsche, music is not only sharply distinguished from logos but also seen as having a truth-value markedly superior to that of logos. The importance of Rousseau’s Essay on the Origin of Languages for the liberal education of undergraduate students stems in part from the fact that the discussion of music in the essay marks a turning point in the history of Western philosophy of music, insofar as it lays much of the foundation for the radically irrationalist conception of music and its unrivalled revelatory power enunciated by Schopenhauer and company.


Proposal Number: 313
Date: 2018-02-28
Paper Title: Marriage and Social Mobility in Shakespeare's As You Like It
Core Text:
Shakespeare's As You Like It
Abstract:
The brilliant comic dialectic of As You Like It, particularly as played in its pastoral world, brings discordant social ideas into seeming harmony. Two royal women choose their own husbands. A younger brother catapults over the social standing of his elder brother. A tyrant lets go of political power. And all is so much as we like it, we do not mark the play's radical social revision of hierarchy.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Shakespeare's As You Like It: Discord and Harmony
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
(already submitted y Maria Carrig)


Proposal Number: 312
Date: 2018-02-28
Paper Title: Astronomy in Plato: the Role of ‘Science’ in Plato’s Republic and ours
Core Text:
Republic
Abstract:
In Book VII of Republic Socrates and Glaucon discuss the standing and merits of geometry and astronomy in their proposed city. Their conversation on this subject touches on the seemingly modern tension between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ knowledge, the role of aesthetics in science, the effect of scientific training on the soul, and the role of science in the education of the leaders of a free people. This paper attempts to examine these questions in light of Plato’s thought and our contemporary – and increasingly fragmented – academic world.


Proposal Number: 311
Date: 2018-02-28
Paper Title: John Wisdom’s “Parable of the Invisible Gardener” and the nature of religious belief.
Core Text:
John Wisdom, Gods
Abstract:
In a 1950 paper entitled “Gods,” John Wisdom constructs a tale of two people returning to a long neglected garden and finding contrary indications of the existence of a gardener who may exist and who may have maintained the garden, albeit with mixed results. Both observe and acknowledge the same facts, but without observing her they draw contrary conclusions. Is the gardener nonexistent or just unobservable? By analogy the parable raises issues regarding the question of God’s existence, the nature of religious belief and language, and perhaps, our attitude toward the world. I


Proposal Number: 147
Date: 2018-02-26
Paper Title: Dante's Paradiso: How Much Is Enough?
Core Text:
Paradiso
Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: BU Co-Sponsor's Panel: From Classroom to Convergence Culture
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
261, 262, 267


Proposal Number: 308
Date: 2018-02-25
Paper Title: "'Rich girls don't marry poor boys': Acquisition and Class in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby​."
Core Text:
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Abstract:
In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby (1925), Jay Gatsby creates a "Platonic image of himself" and acquires great wealth and property in order to attract the attention of his former lover, Daisy Fay. This paper will examine the roles of class and acquisition in Fitzgerald's often autobiographical writings.


Proposal Number: 307
Date: 2018-02-22
Paper Title: Poetic Justice: Understanding the City through the Phaedo's Myth of the Afterlife
Core Text:
Plato's Phaedo
Abstract:
At the beginning of the dialogue depicting his death, Socrates tells his interlocutors he has switched from philosophizing to writing hymns to Apollo. From this first claim follows a defense of his choice to peacefully accept his death from Athens, and this defense is permeated by poetry and myth. He ends the conversation with a final myth about the afterlife, wherein all things are reconciled, despite the imperfect justice of the city. In so doing, Socrates points to a relationship between poetry and justice, wherein poetry and myth are forms of prayer, allowing individuals to respond to an imperfect city with love, while simultaneously hoping for a fuller actualization of justice.


Proposal Number: 305
Date: 2018-02-20
Paper Title: The Re-Enchantment of the Future in Sci-Fi Re-Tellings of the Ramayana in Breaking the Bow
Core Text:
Breaking the Bow
Abstract:
This essay close-reads an excerpt from the 2012 anthology, Breaking the Bow, Speculative Fiction inspired by the Ramayana (edited by Anil Menon and Vandana Singh) with an eye towards the way in which science fiction, a genre which often perpetuates a view of the future in which science and technology have fully eclipsed religion and the gods, and hyper-rationality is the trusted source of human knowledge, is instead seen as a partly mystical/partly ironic exercise in postsecular storytelling. This uneasy tension between belief and doubt, between the secularism of the present, which circulates as a global discourse, and the power of core religious texts, whose shape-shifting authority persists through re-readings and re-tellings, describes the experience of the postsecular student or scholar open to a range of epistemologies.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Postsecularism: Epics & Epochs
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Core texts such as the epics of Homer, the Ramayana, and the Divine Comedy both reflect and shape an age. By looking at these core texts and reflecting on them we can also imagine a future age through contemporary and vital interpretations of these texts. Though Modernism heralded and anticipated a secular triumph, we are finding a re-enchantment of the earth, of consciousness, and of myth occurring in what could be called the dawn of a post-secular epoch.


Proposal Number: 303
Date: 2018-02-19
Paper Title: Plato and Thucydides on the problem of eros
Core Text:
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War; Plato, Republic
Abstract:
Thucydides (in The Peloponnesian War) and Plato (in the Republic) suggest that human beings oppress, indoctrinate and despoil each other because of eros, linking eros to tyranny and to the problem of faction. They associate eros with how we understand (and misunderstand) the just, the beautiful, the pious, and so on, but differ on the proper ordering of them--for example, is a certain kind of piety necessary to live justly and nobly or is piety a stumbling block to such a life? It is worth considering carefully their contrasting accounts, for both thinkers agree on what is at stake: the proper education of future generations of leaders and citizens.


Proposal Number: 302
Date: 2018-02-17
Paper Title: Odysseus' Inner Suitor
Core Text:
Homer's Odyssey
Abstract:
How can a closer reading of the Suitors change our reading of Odysseus and the Odyssey? This paper argues that Odysseus’ encounters with the Suitors whilst disguised as a beggar – those books often dismissed as ‘the least interesting part of the Odyssey’ (Trahman, 1952) – offer insight into his paradigmatically ambivalent character. The dynamic tension between the hero and his rivals reveals in Odysseus not a restrained figure ready to embrace the nostos, but a man recognizable from the wild adventurer of the Apologoi, who enjoys the freedom from the constraints of domestic ‘bliss’ afforded by his final disguise.


Proposal Number: 301
Date: 2018-02-17
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Sponsor's Panel: Seeing Through the Eyes of Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Assumption


Proposal Number: 297
Date: 2018-02-16
Paper Title: The Inquiries of Croesus
Core Text:
Herodotus' Histories.
Abstract:
When the Lydian King Croesus asks the oracle at Delphi whether he should attack Persia, he is told that if he does he will destroy a great empire. He is also told that he should find allies among the Greeks. His inquiries find that Athens and Sparta are the most powerful Greek cities. The inquiries of Croesus frame some of Herodotus' most significant observations about the histories of Athens and Sparta.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Sponsor's Panel: Assumption
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 18
Date: 2018-02-16
Paper Title: Schiller on the Art of Heroic Reading
Core Text:
Friedrich Schiller's
Abstract:
Friedrich Schiller's "On the Art of Tragedy," "On the Sublime," "On the Pathetic," and "Concerning the Sublime" My paper will explore Friedrich Schiller's account of tragedy. Schiller argues that sublimity is the essence of tragedy and that the experience of the sublime is grounded in rational autonomy. Though Schiller seems to argue for an 'objectivist' aesthetic theory in which spectators of tragedy experience of the tragic hero's autonomy provokes an experience of the sublime, I will argue that we can only make sense of Schiller's theory if the spectator is responding to an experience of his or her own autonomous reason. Thus, the real hero of all tragic art is the spectator who reads his or her own rational autonomy into the hero on stage.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Modern Confrontations between Philosophy and Poetry
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will explore a series of modern reflections on the relationship between philosophy and poetry. One of its tasks will be to discuss the way modern philosophers have articulated the tensions between poetry and philosophy to the extent that there are tensions. A second task will be to investigate whether and how modern philosophers envision the possibility of a synthesis of poetry and philosophy. A third task will be to consider how modern philosophers have reflected on the meaning and significance of art. And, a fourth task will be to reflect on the ways modern philosophers incorporate poetry and art into their own approaches to philosophy. Thinkers to be discussed include Rousseau, Schiller, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche.


Proposal Number: 300
Date: 2018-02-15
Paper Title: “The Duchess of Malfi: Humor and Tragedy Make Strange Bedfellows”
Core Text:
"The Duchess of Malfi"
Abstract:
The use of humor in early English Renaissance tragedies (e.g. by Marlowe), had a significant connection with the Vice figure from Medieval Mysteries and Moralities. This was a drama in ascent, in invention. This drama, in many ways, takes a long last look backwards at its heritage. In this paper, I will look at the use of humor in the work of the late Renaissance tragedian, John Webster’s, The Duchess of Malfi . This is a drama in decline, almost visibly deconstructing itself. Webster looks grimly forward toward what will come to be called the Age of Enlightenment, specifically at the problems posed for two sorts of individuals (the good, represented by the Duchess, and the intelligent, represented by Bosola). His characters are trapped with a new sense of autonomy and justice in an old hierarchical system – a system that has by now become thoroughly decadent and desperate. Bosola/intelligence looks with despair at the new world; Duchess/goodness looks with hope. While both die in their respective challenges to authority, they do so not before taking out that authority. Cardinal/church and Ferdinand/state die also – at the hands of intelligence in the name of goodness. Only Bosola and the Duchess achieve a kind of dignity in the end, in no small measure through the humor they employ. The creative tension in which humor and tragedy are held has much to tell us today as we cope with some of the unintended consequences of The Age of Enlightenment.


Proposal Number: 299
Date: 2018-02-14
Paper Title: Saving Gilgamesh: Cultural Heritage Preservation and Service Learning
Core Text:
Gilgamesh
Abstract:
This paper describes a service-learning Core course that combines study of ancient texts with creating web content for an NGO documenting and raising awareness of cultural heritage destruction in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.


Proposal Number: 298
Date: 2018-02-14
Paper Title: Teaching Plato's Minos
Core Text:
Plato's Minos
Abstract:
In Plato's Minos, Socrates suggests that law wishes to be the discovery of what is. In other words, law gives answers that are meant to preempt questioning and attempting to discover. Socrates's unnamed partner in conversation regards law as the discovery of what is, thereby illustrating the human appetite for answers that remove the need to question and to think. Plato's Minos argues that we must look to law not for the answers but with an eye to discover, just as we must look to texts like the Minos not to end questioning but to begin.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Seeing through the Eyes of Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
(This panel is proposed by Marc Guerra.)


Proposal Number: 294
Date: 2018-02-09
Paper Title: Calixthe Beyala, an “Afro-French” Critique of Universalist Historical Paradigms and Racism in Post-Colonial Societies
Core Text:
Calixthe Beyala, Lettre d’une française à ses compatriotes
Abstract:
In 2000 Calixthe Beyala, a Cameroonian-French novelist who grew up in Douala, wrote a powerful, short text entitled “Lettre d’une française à ses compatriotes” (Éditions Mango, 2000) which exemplifies the insurgent critique of republican universalism while at the same time appealing to a more inclusive discourse of national citizenship. In translation, this highly readable document, which takes the form of an appeal to the broader public for a multilayered understanding of the postcolonial condition and the necessary transformation of political identities in the era of globalization, is a core text that that brings critical historical and philosophical issues to bear on discussions of African-descended and migrant agency and expression throughout the Atlantic world. It will be contextualized and read in conversation with earlier manifestoes such as Aimé Césaire’s “Discourse on Colonialism” and Achille Mbembe’s recent “Critique of Black Reason.”


Proposal Number: 292
Date: 2018-02-02
Paper Title: The Natural Naïveté of Man? Schiller, Oscillation, and Human Wholeness
Core Text:
Schiller's "On Naive and Sentimental Poetry"
Abstract:
This paper explores the role of the naïve in Schiller’s On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry. With this notion, Schiller complicates Rousseau’s notion of natural man as a simple and unified by being by introducing complex qualities of poets like Homer and Goethe even as he describe a natural aesthetic experience. Schiller contrasts the naïve type with the sentimental, but a closer examination reveals division in both types, leaving oscillation in a divided nature as characteristic of humanity. This view of oscillation and human wholeness leaves Schiller to focus on the beautiful rather than making more use of a Kantian view of the sublime because both exist on a spectrum of aesthetic experience rather than allowing strict separation.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Modern Confrontations Between Philosophy and Poetry
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 290
Date: 2018-01-30
Paper Title: Turning the Light of Consciousness Around: Yogācāra and the Phenomenology of “Mind-Only” in the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra
Core Text:
Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra
Abstract:
Through its emphasis on the phenomenological approach of investigating the structures of consciousness, the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra (a third century C.E. text in the Mahāyāna Buddhist tradition) lays an unprecedented foundation for illuminating the inner workings of the mind. Surrounding it is the legend of Indian monk Bodhidharma (c. fifth-sixth centuries C.E.) who retreated into a darkened cave to meditate for nine years facing a wall, only stepping back into the light of day upon turning the light of consciousness around and awakening to the mind’s original clarity. Bodhidharma then transmitted to his lone Chinese disciple Huike the teachings of Zen along with a single text, the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, which expounds the Yogācāra philosophy of mind-only and the practice of “turning the basis [consciousness] around” (Sanskrit: asraya-paravrtti).


Proposal Number: 282
Date: 2018-01-29
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Translating Homer - Does Gender Matter? Report from the Women in Core Conference
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This March, in conjunction with the Association for Core Texts and Courses, Temple University is hosting the Women in Core conference. We invited submissions of papers addressing the variety of ways in which women figure in the core, including texts by women authors or about women characters; challenges and successes in integrating women’s voices in core curricula; questions concerning the canon and the archive; the dynamics of gender identity in the classroom; critical developments in feminism and gender studies; and intersectionality. For this year's ACTC, we propose a presentation addressing some of the key take-aways from the conference. In particular, we will suggest some specific readings of Homer's Odyssey made possible by the new translation by Dr. Emily Wilson, the keynote speaker for our conference. Close readings and a discussion of the merits of this new edition will be based on classroom results from our faculty, who are teaching the Odyssey to what might be the country’s largest audience.


Proposal Number: 281
Date: 2018-01-28
Paper Title: Eros and Knowledge: “The Portrait of Mr. W.H.” and Platonic curiosity
Core Text:
Symposium and Oscar Wilde's "The Portrait of Mr WH"
Abstract:
Oscar Wilde’s story “The Portrait of Mr. W.H.” (1891) offers an extraordinary combination of sleuthing, literary criticism, and homoerotic tension as it explores the possibility that all of Shakespeare’s art can be traced to his obsession with one beautiful male body – the boy actor Mr. W.H. But it is also concerned with the pursuit of knowledge itself, particularly as that knowledge, embodied in the frustratingly elusive Mr W.H., seems to ebb and flow in a strange mixture of curiosity and desire. In this essay, I will argue that Wilde’s fixation on the problem of knowledge reaches back to another work likewise obsessed with the intersection of knowledge and desire: Plato’s Symposium. In addition, I will argue that Plato functions as a sort of “North Star” for Wilde, even while Wilde uses Plato to both orient and disorient the reader towards a new comprehension of the relation between knowledge and eros.


Proposal Number: 280
Date: 2018-01-28
Paper Title: Achilles' Rage Against Death and Time in Homer's Iliad
Core Text:
Iliad by Homer
Abstract:
In Homer’s Iliad, Achilles denies Priam’s son Lykaon’s request to spare his life, answering that Patroclus, a better man than Lykaon, has died too, and that even he Achilles, mighty and noble and goddess-born, must also die. Achilles’ anger at the killing of his friend Patroclus is a resistance against the power of death and time over human life. Grief at the death of Patroclus and a refusal to reconcile himself to the loss of his dearest friend drive and nourish in him a wrath that can be sated by neither the slaying of Hector, the slaughter of countless Trojans, the denial of burial to Hector, nor even repeated outrage upon Hector’s corpse. While Achilles’ deeds exceed the bounds of justice, the infinite character of his anger reflects his awareness of the irreparable nature of the loss he has experienced and the magnitude of the loss of his own life soon to come.


Proposal Number: 279
Date: 2018-01-27
Paper Title: Hamlet’s Prophetic Soul and the Power of Poetry
Core Text:
Shakespeare's Hamlet
Abstract:
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is, among other things, a meditation on how the poetic word contributes to the articulation of how we ought to be in this world with respect to the next. Hamlet is certainly philological, yet this paper contends that besides the verifying and interpreting of the ghost’s words, he is primarily motivated by the image of his father’s spirit as pained yet saved. The evidence of the afterlife, the possibility of damnation, the salvation despite imperfections—all strike the heart of the prince as an image that he must analyze—without the leisure to which he is used in his philosophical studies at Wittenberg—and speak about before the spirit of Denmark is forgotten. I argue that it is through Hamlet’s “prophetic soul” that he can come to cooperate in the Divine plan for himself and for Denmark, both the personal and political trajectories.


Proposal Number: 277
Date: 2018-01-27
Paper Title: Before Texting, There Was Texting: The Power of the Text in The Kreutzer Sonata
Core Text:
Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata
Abstract:
Artistic texts have been scrutinized in many literary texts. On the thematic level, some have been credited or blamed for incidents or actions within the literary text; on the ideological level, these scrutinies are (indirect) expressions of the authors’ views on art or texts. In The Kreutzer Sonata, the presence of the artistic text, namely music, is blamed by the protagonist as the source of evil because it deludes its listeners and triggers dangerous passions that, eventually, lead him to murder his wife. He claims that he, as reader or listener, is passive while the text is the agent that instigates all thoughts and feelings constituting his response as reader, a response that is not even his own, but one originating from the author.


Proposal Number: 276
Date: 2018-01-27
Paper Title: On Kinds of Lyric: The Opacity and Transparency of Poetry
Core Text:
"Pied Beauty," "Carrion Comfort" et al. (lyrics of Gerard Manley Hopkins)
Abstract:
The years 2017 and 2018 together mark two great events: the Protestant Reformation and the publication of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poems, respectively. The near-coincidence is poignant, for (at the risk of gross overgeneralization) since the Reformation, English-language poetry has been almost entirely a Protestant phenomenon, and most lay-readers of verse would be hard pressed to name even a handful of noteworthy Catholic lyricists in the past 500 years, with Hopkins as the obvious outlier. Setting aside Hopkins’ religious commitments, his best-known works are exemplary of what Louise Cowan, in her genre theory, might deem lyrics of “consummation,” the rarest of the three categories into which ideal lyrics might fall. While his lesser known works—the “terrible sonnets,” for instance—exemplify the much more common lyrics of “lamentation” and “anticipation,” as Cowan would have it, his poetry helps us understand “lyric transparency” (a counter to Peter Lamarque’s concept of “narrative opacity”) I will explore in this paper the distinct nature of lyric and how it, at times (specifically in verse that gives voice to loss and absence), it seeks to make itself transparent, a mere lens through which meaning might be discovered; Hopkins’ verse is the core text under consideration.


Proposal Number: 275
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: The Virtues of Banter
Core Text:
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Abstract:
Between civilized conversation that never moves beyond the superficial, and the jealous barbs tossed out to tear down a rival, banter reigns as one of the most prized modes of discourse for developing a relationship in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Focusing on Elizabeth Bennet, the novel’s heroine, who demonstrates a mastery of banter, this paper will explore the virtues of the art: the underlying intellects at work, the humor on display, and the humility and vulnerability that ultimately allow the parties engaged to get to know one another and to grow as persons. These positive attributes will be juxtaposed with less stimulating forms of conversation displayed by other female characters in Pride and Prejudice, including Jane Bennet, Georgiana Darcy, and Caroline Bingley. The paper will conclude with a discussion of how students today might benefit from considering the role of banter in building relationships.


Proposal Number: 274
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: The Future of an Illusion: Nietzsche, Hesse, and Post-Secular Possibilities
Core Text:
Nietzsche's The Gay Science, Hesse's Glass Bead Game
Abstract:
We are now living in a second Axial Age. We are moving between two ages, from the theistic age of the previous two millennia to the ludic age to which The Glass Bead Game belongs and has appeared for us like a relic from the future, an as-of-yet-uninterpreted holy scripture from a synod of a dawning century.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Postsecularism: Epics & Epochs
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Core texts such as the epics of Homer, the Ramayana, and the Divine Comedy both reflect and shape an age. By looking at these core texts and reflecting on them we can also imagine a future age through contemporary and vital interpretations of these texts. Though Modernism heralded and anticipated a secular triumph, we are finding a re-enchantment of the earth, of consciousness, and of myth occurring in what could be called the dawn of a post-secular epoch.


Proposal Number: 270
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: The paradox of finding one’s direction by welcoming divine madness
Core Text:
Plato's Phaedrus
Abstract:
While a core text can be called a tangible inheritance, a fixed point in the flux of Western culture, the Phaedrus, through its engagement with Eros, challenges the very idea of writing and the book as a tangible inheritance. This paper proposes to treat the interpretation of this text as requiring a dialectical conversation between the tangible and intangible aspects of cultural inheritance.


Proposal Number: 267
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: The Play’s the Thing: Teaching Confucian Ritual
Core Text:
The Analects of Confucius
Abstract:
This paper argues that a fruitful way of approaching the Analects is to engage with its teachings on ritual, defined as “morally and socially appropriate behavior as recognized by one’s community”. This thematic focus leads to deep discussion of concrete topics—for example, the difference between traditional Confucian mourning practices and contemporary corporate bereavement leave policies—as well as more theoretical explorations of the relationship between communal authority and individual autonomy, and the definition of key terms such as “religion”. Moreover, concentrating on ritual can raise intensely personal questions for students. Challenging people from more individualistic backgrounds to question the extent to which their innermost lives are shaped by social conditioning, and pushing their classmates from more communal cultures to articulate values they may have unconsciously absorbed, leads to animated discussion and debate which, in turn, enhances their understanding of the text itself.


Proposal Number: 265
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: Bonding with my Students through Conrad's "Youth"
Core Text:
Joseph Conrad, "Youth"
Abstract:
When teaching Conrad’s “Youth” several years ago, I discovered how youth and age intertwine—in the story and in life. In the midst of discussion, the students and I recognized that we were exactly the same age as the two Marlowes in the story, sensing our identity with each other in the character: an intimation of mortality, the unity of life, and perhaps even the “hidden harmony” spoken of in the conference theme. I will connect this experience with Northrop Frye’s idea of the “identity” of different characters and works when they embody a common archetype, that identity enabling our appreciation of difference. As well, I will reflect on the corrective that “Youth” offers to our own youth-obsessed culture, reminding us that a true idolizing of youth involves celebrating its continuity with age and so encountering at any stage of life our human wholeness.


Proposal Number: 262
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: Grappling with Strangeness through Creative Rewriting
Core Text:
The Book of Genesis; Plato's Republic
Abstract:
This paper reports on several semesters’ worth of asking students to produce open-form texts in response to (1) the Book of Genesis and (2) Plato’s Republic. For this assignment, students must determine everything from scope and topic to genre and format, often choosing to imitate or rewrite some aspect of the original text. What is especially promising about this prompt is that it helps students think about their own creative efforts in relation to what Plato and the biblical narrative suggest about the nature of creativity. Even more importantly, like translation and adaptation, rewriting points to the inexhaustibility of core texts and teaches us about the possible sources of our intellectual or emotional resistance to their "otherness."


Proposal Number: 261
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: Core Texts and the Convergence of New Media
Core Text:

Abstract:
From the first printing of the Gutenberg Bible to wax cylinder recordings of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, to early editions of Shakespeare’s plays online, Core texts have always been at the forefront of new media. Historically, experiments with new media platforms often returned to older texts in order to develop new methods of communicating familiar works onto new platforms. This paper will offer a short history of how Core texts converge with new mediums in order to explore how to engage with Core texts in a digital and multi media general education course.


Proposal Number: 260
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: Rhetoric, Ancient and Modern, in Rousseau's Emile
Core Text:
Emile, Jean Jacques Rousseau
Abstract:
In a late digression, Rousseau compares ancient modes of rhetoric to modern modes. This paper examines Rousseau's own use of both the ancient and modern rhetorical approaches within the body of *Emile* with an eye to understanding Rousseu's overall project a little better.


Proposal Number: 259
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: Tyrannical Eros and Philosophical Wonder
Core Text:
Plato's Charmides; Plato's Symposium
Abstract:
I make use of Diotima’s account of the birth story and the daimonic in-between-ness of eros himself, in order to describe the nature of Socratic philosophy and distinguish it from the tyrranical orientation to the beautiful portrayed by Charmides and Critias as seen in Plato's Charmides. I argue that the lower rungs of Diotima’s ladder are goods that appeal to an acquisitive eros, whereas the beautiful that is beheld at the top of the ladder is contemplated in its pure being and as such, it is not properly the object of an acquisitive eros, but is the object of wonder and perplexity – the true philosophical passion and the true beginning of philosophy. Wonder and perplexity are integral to a Socratic ideal of self-knowledge and moderation. But if we look at critical moments in the Charmides, we see that neither Critias nor Charmides show an ability for genuine wonder or perplexity, and that this notion of eros -- as wonder fueled by perplexity -- is totally alien to them.


Proposal Number: 258
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: #TimesUp: Scheherazade, Courage, and the Fight to Stop the Abuse
Core Text:
Arabian Nights
Abstract:
Many of our incoming students know very little about Islam and the Middle East; and what they “know” is often wrong--their perceptions about Islam and women is particularly ill-informed. In the frame-tale of the Arabian Nights, Scheherazade courageously puts her life on the line to stop an angry and abusive Sultan. Scheherazade provides a powerful “two-for-one” literary model and cultural corrective. First, she offers us an example of an intelligent, educated, and resourceful protagonist who stands up to a violently sexually abusive system and stops it--#TimesUp. Secondly, and most surprisingly to our students, this progressive, champion for women, is a good, Middle Eastern, Muslim woman.


Proposal Number: 257
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: The Tower of Babel: Unison or Harmony?
Core Text:
The Bible, Genesis 11: 1-9
Abstract:
In my paper, I will examine what the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel has to say about the political nature of human beings. In particular, I will consider the following question: If it is in some sense natural for human beings to desire to create political order, how and why do political orders go bad? Or, to rephrase the question, when is unity good for human beings and when is it not?


Proposal Number: 256
Date: 2018-01-26
Paper Title: Abstr“Silence Breaker: How Madonna Filippa Faced Down Sexual Discrimination and Won the Day.”
Core Text:
Day 6, Story 7, Decameron by Boccaccio
Abstract:
Sometimes our female students feel as if they are fighting the battle against sexual discrimination alone. To any one of them reading story after story of sexual harassment in all walks of life, it can be liberating for them to read and discuss a story such as Boccaccio’s Decameron, Sixth Day, Story Seven. Madonna Filippa is arrested for adultery and faces death due to a law that only targets the female half of the adulterous pair. But instead of acquiescing to her fate, Madonna Filippa addresses the all-male court in a brilliant defense of her actions and a scathing indictment of the discriminatory law: a woman using her words to put an end to discrimination—Renaissance literature still has something to teach us.


Proposal Number: 255
Date: 2018-01-25
Paper Title: Music as a Liberal Art
Core Text:
Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Politics
Abstract:
What does it mean to approach music as a liberal art? Is there a truth to music? Through a reading of parts of Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Politics, I will attempt to show the place of music in liberal education. Plato and Aristotle articulate, in particular, the ethical dimension of music, and how music can cultivate certain kinds of dispositions or passions in people; this is an understanding that tends to be overlooked in both aesthetic and cultural studies approaches.


Proposal Number: 254
Date: 2018-01-25
Paper Title: Reacting to Suffering: Job and the Refugee Crisis
Core Text:
Book of Job
Abstract:
The Book of Job can serve as a "star" to orient students asked to ponder the question of human suffering in a Core Text seminar course. On its own, the text enables the reader to explore the multiple reactions that anyone experiencing profound physical, spiritual or emotional anguish might go through: shutting down, expressing rage, demanding clarity, and ultimately, at least in Job's case, finding peace through acceptance of what has been endured. While students vary in whether they can accept Job's reaction to "the voice in the whirlwind", they can all grow in their understanding of how human beings relate to suffering by locating the question is a real world issue with which they can become intimately aware through a shared class experience: the global refugee crisis. The Book of Job becomes a guide to orient students who engage in the class activity of welcoming and engaging with refugee families arriving in Chicago. By bearing witness to the suffering of new friends whose lives have been torn apart by war and persecution, students both experience and participate in bringing hope into being --- and thereby come to a richer and more personal understanding of Job.


Proposal Number: 253
Date: 2018-01-25
Paper Title: Hacking Augustine: Teaching Confessions in a Digital Age
Core Text:
Augustine's Confessions
Abstract:
This session promotes strategies to enhance student learning through the use of technology in the classroom by showcasing a mobile app book version of a core text required of all students at our university, St. Augustine's Confessions. The pedagogical value of such a multidisciplinary, multi-authored text is enhanced by the further development of our companion resource website, and we address both the value of creating either or both in consideration of the needs of other programs. Fundamentally, the app book touches on an educational debate around the use of electronic devices in a liberal arts setting. Beyond the specific demonstration of a text and material central to our own program, our session discusses the usefulness of departmental consolidation of essential resources on a website that serves to enhance engagement with core content, including teaching templates and downloadable to promote a unified vision of texts central to their mission and connects with our program’s development of a digital humanities committee.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Hacking Augustine: Teaching Confessions in a Digital Age
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
[With Noël Dolan] This session promotes strategies to enhance student learning through the use of technology in the classroom by showcasing a mobile app book version of a core text required of all students at our university, St. Augustine's Confessions. The pedagogical value of such a multidisciplinary, multi-authored text is enhanced by the further development of our companion resource website, and we address both the value of creating either or both in consideration of the needs of other programs. Fundamentally, the app book touches on an educational debate around the use of electronic devices in a liberal arts setting. Beyond the specific demonstration of a text and material central to our own program, our session discusses the usefulness of departmental consolidation of essential resources on a website that serves to enhance engagement with core content, including teaching templates and downloadable to promote a unified vision of texts central to their mission and connects with our program’s development of a digital humanities committee.


Proposal Number: 252
Date: 2018-01-25
Paper Title: With God(s) On Our Side: A Pedagogical Analysis of the Sources of Moral Truth in the Iliad
Core Text:
Iliad
Abstract:
One of the initial observations that first-time readers make when encountering the Iliad is that the Olympian gods differ profoundly from most monotheistic conceptions of God: instead of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient God, the Olympian gods are frequently capricious, jealous, and duplicitous. I argue that this basic observation has radical moral implications for how we teach the Iliad to today’s undergraduate students. I have found that many undergraduates, whether aware of it or not, approach the Iliad with an implicit deontological framework—i.e., they tend to think that moral decision-making is essentially a rule-based procedure wherein a rational agent identifies, and then acts upon, coherent and universal standards of right and wrong. Within the context of war especially, this moral framework is usually rooted in the theological belief that a monotheistic God also shares these universal standards and supports one (good) side over another (bad or evil) side. However, the Olympian gods’ arbitrary and impulsive decisions to support a given side in the Trojan War disrupts Post-Enlightenment, Kantian-based moral philosophy’s attempt to posit a systemically coherent ethical theory. For characters in the Iliad, then, the whims of the gods preclude any possibility of a rational human agent in the Kantian mold from mapping his dilemma onto a ready-made, universal ethical framework. As a result, students gain not a content-based insight (e.g., cultural relativism or postmodern anti-foundationalism), but rather a methodological insight: that a core text like the Iliad can be an invaluable tool for critically analyzing deep-seated assumptions about how we discern moral truth in the contemporary world.


Proposal Number: 251
Date: 2018-01-25
Paper Title: The Character of Philosophy in Boethius' Consolation
Core Text:
The Consolation of Philosophy
Abstract:
Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy—a work of unparalleled stature and longstanding popularity—enthralls readers with its account of political intrigue, rapturous poetry, and lucid arguments about fortune’s false promises and happiness’ true qualities. The text’s gripping content rightly deserves readers’ attention, yet as with all carefully composed philosophical dialogues the text’s characters also merit close study. By attending not merely to the characters’ words, but to their actions, affect, deportment, posture, self-description, and tone, philosophical understanding can be enriched through artful depiction of its lived reality. With reference to concrete particulars I will argue that the Consolation not only says what the nature of true philosophy is, but shows it compellingly in the person of Lady Philosophy.


Proposal Number: 250
Date: 2018-01-25
Paper Title: Hacking Augustine: Teaching the Confessions in a Digital Age
Core Text:
St. Augustine's Confessions
Abstract:
This session promotes strategies to enhance student learning through the use of technology in the classroom by showcasing a mobile app book version of a core text required of all students at our university, St. Augustine's Confessions. The pedagogical value of such a multidisciplinary, multi-authored text is enhanced by the further development of our companion resource website, and we address both the value of creating either or both in consideration of the needs of other programs. Fundamentally, the app book touches on an educational debate around the use of electronic devices in a liberal arts setting. Beyond the specific demonstration of a text and material central to our own program, our session discusses the usefulness of departmental consolidation of essential resources on a website that serves to enhance engagement with core content, including teaching templates and downloadable to promote a unified vision of texts central to their mission and connects with our program’s development of a digital humanities committee.


Proposal Number: 248
Date: 2018-01-24
Paper Title: Harmony and Strife in Camus's The Stranger
Core Text:
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Abstract:
Harmony and strife are pervasive themes in Albert Camus's The Stranger. Meursault, the novel's protagonist, has settled into a simple and unreflective life in harmony with nature and his working-class neighborhood in Algiers. When he shatters that harmony by (accidentally?) killing a man on a beach and then refuses to express a remorse he doesn't feel or pay lip service to the pieties of the court, he finds himself at war with society and condemned to death. His violent confrontation with the prison chaplain, who implores him to consider the universality of his condition as a condemned man and the higher justice that may await him, crystallizes Meursault's understanding of his personal harmony with the moral indifference of the universe. Our challenge, as readers, is to decide whether we can and should follow Meursault.


Proposal Number: 247
Date: 2018-01-24
Paper Title: "Simon Schama's Citizens as a Core Text Using Core Texts"
Core Text:
Simon Schama's Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (1989)
Abstract:
Simon Schama's Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (1989) not only reflects its historical context of the end of the Cold War and Gorbachev's perestroika, but it also transcends its specific time and place to stress universal themes of the effects of hubris and oppression via its own careful analyses of important contemporary pundits such as Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Edmund Burke. My paper will show how this detailed and well-written narrative is both a core text of a generation ago and a close reading of core texts from the late Enlightenment period into the nineteenth century.


Proposal Number: 244
Date: 2018-01-24
Paper Title: Situating Justice in "The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant"
Core Text:
"The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant"
Abstract:
“The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant” is an ancient (c. 1850 BCE) Egyptian text containing a long discourse on the nature of truth and justice. A peasant who has suffered injustice articulates various ideas about justice and why leaders should practice it. Many of the peasant’s claims are premised on leaders’ self-interest: to prevent discontent, social conflict, and the corruption of language, and to secure a good reputation and a lasting legacy. Interestingly, the peasant’s arguments are largely conservative: he wants the social order maintained as it is, and he the members of various social factions to fulfill their duties and do what is appropriate for people in their respective positions. The overall tale itself, however, suggests that more revolutionary measures are necessary. I argue that this tale presents unique and valuable ways through modern political problems. For example, the peasant’s arguments can help us work through the contemporary conundrum of equality vs meritocracy. Moreover, the tale’s presentation of the peasant-as-philosopher suggests that those in the lowest and most vulnerable positions may have the best access to a clear understanding of justice, even though the tale also suggests that those in power can appreciate the peasant’s perspective while practicing a different conception of justice than that offered by the peasant.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Ancient Solutions to Modern Political Problems
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Many of our contemporary political debates, however rancorous, maintain the bedrock assumptions of liberalism. Social and political institutions exist to promote and protect the freedom of the rational and autonomous individual agent. Modern critics of liberalism – from all over the political spectrum – generally remain within the liberal framework and debate the relationship between the individual and the state. The philosophies of the ancient world offer many alternative frameworks that can help us to resolve (or even dissolve) these modern disputes. We need not assume the autonomous individual as the basic political unit, and even when we do, we can have an expansive understanding of that individual as situated in multiple forms of human relations (e.g., to family, community, ancestors, god(s), nature). The individual can also understand the proper rule of internal factions (within the self) as at least as important as the proper rule of the external political order.


Proposal Number: 243
Date: 2018-01-24
Paper Title: Freedom: Ancient and Modern
Core Text:
Augustine Confessions
Abstract:
Isaiah Berlin famously described the two kinds of freedom in Modernity as positive and negative freedom. This conception of freedom owes its founding to such modern philosophers as Thomas Hobbes and Immanuel Kant: Hobbes for his famous definition of liberty as the absence of constraint, Kant for his understanding of freedom as the rule of reason leading to autonomy. In the Confessions however Augustine puts forth a distinctly different notion of freedom, suggesting that one is free if and only if one is not ruled by one’s desires and that in fact freedom is a kind of self mastery. In doing so, Augustine highlights and anticipates the separate notions of freedom in Modernity and shows how his conception is robust enough to embrace the strengths of both versions of freedom

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: : “Ancient Solutions to Modern Political Problems”
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Many of our contemporary political debates, however rancorous, maintain the bedrock assumptions of liberalism. Social and political institutions exist to promote and protect the freedom of the rational and autonomous individual agent. Modern critics of liberalism – from all over the political spectrum – generally remain within the liberal framework and debate the relationship between the individual and the state. The philosophies of the ancient world offer many alternative frameworks that can help us to resolve (or even dissolve) these modern disputes. We need not assume the autonomous individual as the basic political unit, and even when we do, we can have an expansive understanding of that individual as situated in multiple forms of human relations (e.g., to family, community, ancestors, god(s), nature). The individual can also understand the proper rule of internal factions (within the self) as at least as important as the proper rule of the external political order


Proposal Number: 234
Date: 2018-01-23
Paper Title: Dante's Penultimate Lesson: Matelda's Role in the Education of a Christian Poet
Core Text:
Divine Comedy - esp. Purgatorio
Abstract:
Although Virgil indicates that Dante has reached a kind of spiritual and moral self-government at the top of Mt. Purgatory, the manner in which Dante manifests eros in his encounter with Matelda indicates that his ability to love is not yet fully Paradisal. By examining this encounter in light of the intratextual referents, it becomes clear that Purg. 28 is a kind of redux of Dante's original plight, and that it meditates powerfully on the concept of love as developed so far in the Comedy. We realize that, beyond personal love and the human will, charity requires God's grace. Virgil is not wrong to announce that Dante has matured, but it takes Matelda's instruction to lead Dante's soul out of a state still critically unready for heaven .


Proposal Number: 241
Date: 2018-01-22
Paper Title: Hannah Arendt's parvenu versus pariah dichotomy in the context of a liberal arts approach for refugees in Dutch Higher Education
Core Text:
We Refugees - Hannah Arendt (1943)
Abstract:
In "We Refugees" (1943) Hannah Arendt gives us a disturbing account of her own lived experiences as a refugee during WW2. Arendt's perspective on what it means to become a refugee is very meaningful, I think, in the context of a communal liberal arts approach for students with and without a refugee background in Higher Education. Especially Arendt's dichotomy of the parvenu versus the pariah asks for responsiveness from both the teacher and all students


Proposal Number: 238
Date: 2018-01-22
Paper Title: Convenerunt in Unum
Core Text:
Piero della Francesca's "Flagellation of Christ"
Abstract:
Piero della Francesca's "The Flagellation of Christ" is a well-known and much admired painting originally commissioned by Federigo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, and in Urbino it still resides. The well-known and much admired art historian, Kenneth Clark, has called it "the greatest small painting in the world," but it is an enigmatic painting, as a cursory look at it will reveal, and consequently it has been the beneficiary of many interpretations, which have been justified on the grounds that it is "polysemous," as no doubt like any great text it is. Thus far, however, an obvious interpretation of it has not been offered. This paper will give it.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: One and Two in the Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 233
Date: 2018-01-20
Paper Title: On the Order of Learning: Liberal and Professional Education
Core Text:
"On the Order or Learning" by Philip Melanchthon
Abstract:
Tensions and conflicts between liberal and professional education are palpable today. This friction is easily found in comments made by politicians, parents,employers, students, and even among colleagues on campus about the principal aim or greatest good of education. This tension is not new. This paper will look at Philip Melanchthon's "On the Order of Learning" (1531) as core text to help students think about education as a harmony of liberal and professional education.


Proposal Number: 232
Date: 2018-01-20
Paper Title: Plato’s Stargazer and the Rhetoric of Philosophy
Core Text:
Plato's REPUBLIC
Abstract:
Many undergraduates are initially averse to the study of philosophy because they believe that it is a practically useless discipline. How should professors address the student concern that philosophy is just impractical stargazing? This paper will analyze the “ship of state” analogy employed by Plato’s Socrates at Republic VI.488a-489d to defend philosophy’s practical usefulness (i.e., Socrates’ suggestion that stargazer is the only true pilot). It will also address the major problems of arguing, as Socrates does, that philosophy consists in the possession of and not in the longing for wisdom about the whole. Problems with rejecting Plato’s rhetorical account, either by conceding philosophy’s uselessness or by dividing philosophy into a useless part and a useful part, will also be addressed.


Proposal Number: 231
Date: 2018-01-20
Paper Title: Hardly a Shrew for the Age of #MeToo: Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl:
Core Text:
Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew
Abstract:
The Hogarth Shakespeare Project offers contemporary authors such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood and others, a chance to “reinterpret” the Bard for contemporary audiences. The prolific Tyler, a Second ‘Sage of Baltimore’ (the hometown she shares with H.L. Mencken) has written a light, slight, good-humored novelistic riff on Shrew which, were it not subtitled as a retelling, might not be recognized as such at all. The characters are winsome and the plot diverting, but Tyler has taken more egregious liberties with her source than Shakespeare was wont to take with his! The chief virtue of Vinegar Girl is, in fact, the reconsideration of Shakespeare’s Taming it provokes and demands by so altogether omitting all acidity and darkness in the source in favor of pure sweetness and light.


Proposal Number: 225
Date: 2018-01-19
Paper Title: The Nomoi that Nurtured the Men at Marathon: Discourse and Display in Aristophanes and Plato"
Core Text:
Aristophanes "Clouds" and Plato's "Republic"
Abstract:
Just as the new nomoi have managed to trounce the old nomoi in their competitive oratory in the "Clouds," the defeated old nomoi say, "But we were the nomoi that nurtured the men who won at Marathon." They seem to think that there is something in what they have displayed that has not been reflected in their argument and that should "count" when they're being evaluated. In this essay, I will look at several moments in Aristophanic comedy and Platonic dialogue where "display" does what discourse doesn't, and perhaps can't.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: "The Last Laugh"
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
J. Walter Sterling already submitted this panel.


Proposal Number: 222
Date: 2018-01-18
Paper Title: Politics as the Artful Formation of Identity: Plato's "Statesman" and the Mythic and Mystic Chords of Memory
Core Text:
Plato's "Statesman"
Abstract:
In contrast to traditional views of Plato as the expositor of an idealism rooted in metaphysical truth, his dialogue "Statesman" reveals a Plato who anticipates contemporary reflections on identity politics and the social construction of reality. While seeing political life as requiring the formation of a unifying identity through the imposition of law and historical memory, Plato reveals that the construction of the fabric of society requires the weaving of imperfect human material into a fabric built around a pattern of historical myth not truth. Thus the philosophic unveiling of the artificiality of socially constructed identity uncovers both how far short existing political orders fall short of justice and how necessary these imperfect regimes are to prevent degeneration into a natural condition far worse.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Governing the Political Animal
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Addressing classical writers on the difficulty of governing human beings, this panel will examine how the nature of human beings makes government at once essential to their survival and excellence and the natural obstacles, both internal and external to the human being, complicating this necessary governance. Thus the panel will give close attention not only to the constitution of governments but to the constitution of the human being. To what extent the ordering of the polity requires virtue in ruler and ruled and to what extent this virtue is grounded in nature or convention will be discussed.


Proposal Number: 221
Date: 2018-01-18
Paper Title: Divine Craftsmen in The Timaeus and the Popol Vuh
Core Text:
Timaeus and Popol Vuh
Abstract:
In both the Timaeus of Plato and the Popol Vuh of the pre-contact Maya creating the cosmos is presented as a technical problem to be solved. The emphasis is not just on imagining a world but also in logically and experimentally finding a way to accomplish the act of creation. In this sense the creator is both architect and craftsman. As we see how the divine craftsmen accomplish their tasks we also see how their solutions shed light on the worlds in which these books were written.


Proposal Number: 220
Date: 2018-01-18
Paper Title: Dante's Penultimate Lesson: Matelda and Charitable Eros at the Top of Mt. Purgatory
Core Text:
Dante's Commedia - Purgatorio
Abstract:
Though Dante-pellegrino has been crowned lord of himself at the top of Mt. Purgatory, the manner in which he expresses eros in his encounter with Matelda indicates that his education is not yet complete. This encounter underscores a lacuna in Vergil’s account of love from the central cantos of Purgatorio, which Matelda is able to fill, namely how to love particular things (most poignantly, other people) without circumscribing that love with jealousy. By encountering eros after his purgation, and with Matelda’s counsel, Dante discovers how to unite eros and caritas. The paper also tries to locate the development of its themes across both the Inferno and the Purgatorio, revealing how important a recapitulation of Dante's crisis the events of Purg. 28 are.


Proposal Number: 187
Date: 2018-01-18
Paper Title: Venus' Venom & The Soul of Mirrors
Core Text:
Lucretius' On The Nature of Things
Abstract:
Lucretius’ On The Nature of Things begins with an appeal to Venus. This is duplicitous, since the bulk of the poem is dedicated to a rejection of gods. Venus, then, serves a double aim: she is both the venom and the antidote of religion (she is both love and strife). This paper will explore the way in which gods (and atoms) are the all-too-human attempt to transform the doubleness of self-reflection into a one-way mirror.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: One and Two in the Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will consider unity and diversity in core texts, both ancient and modern.


Proposal Number: 165
Date: 2018-01-18
Paper Title: Love and Strife – Two Forces, One Cosmos in Shakespeare’s King Lear
Core Text:
Shakespeare's King Lear
Abstract:
This paper will argue that Empedocles’s cosmology forms the ultimate background for Shakespeare’s drama, King Lear. That cosmology famously features the two allegorical figures of Love and Strife. Each takes an alternating lead role in the ongoing historical drama of the unfolding cosmos, as Empedocles sees it. This cosmology held great sway in Shakespeare’s time, and I will argue that Shakespeare situates King Lear in the interregnum between two Empedoclean epochs, one of Strife and one of Love.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: One and Two in the Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will consider unity and diversity in various ancient and early modern core texts.


Proposal Number: 151
Date: 2018-01-18
Paper Title: The Two Theaetetuses
Core Text:
Plato's Theaetetus
Abstract:
After failing to define knowledge in the Theaetetus, Socrates encounters a stranger from Elea, whom he fears is there to show him to be paltry in argument. In the remainder of the Sophist and then in the Statesman, the stranger defines the sophist and statesman as beings distinct from the philosopher; in so doing, the stranger appears to show that Socrates’ admitted appearance as a sophist was unnecessary. Afterwards, as he awaits trial and death, Socrates is made to relive his apparent failure in the Theaetetus by repeatedly recounting the conversation to the Megarian Euclides, who records the version we have. In this paper, the author considers Plato’s decision to discussion the question of knowledge in the context of two purported knowers, with special attention to the Theaetetus’ dual position both before and after the Sophist and Statesman and the two readings that emerge therefrom.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: One and Two in the Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will consider unity and diversity in various ancient and early modern core texts.


Proposal Number: 88
Date: 2018-01-18
Paper Title: Dialogues in Xenophon's *Cyropaedia*
Core Text:
Xenophon's *Cyropaedia*
Abstract:
An important but sometimes overlooked element of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia is that it is rich in dialogues, which disclose more to us about the characters than any record of forensic speech or deed could do. Xenophon even includes two ‘Socratic’ dialogues in his Cyropaedia—one between Cyrus and his Socratic father Cambyses and one between Cyrus and Tygranes, who was trained in his youth by an Armenian Socrates. These lay bare not a mere pretense of justice on Cyrus’ part, but a genuine if poorly developed or thought-through desire to benefit others by being a noble instrument of divine justice (themis). I examine some key parts of the first of these Socratic dialogues, the exchange between Cyrus and his father Cambyses, to see that, and why, Xenophon includes them in his work.


Proposal Number: 17
Date: 2018-01-18
Paper Title: Poets, Heroes, and Philosophers in Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling
Core Text:
Fear and Trembling, S. Kierkegaard
Abstract:
Johannes de Silentio emphasizes the difference between the poet and the hero at the beginning of Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling, and he proceeds throughout the text to be something of a poet of Abraham. Yet Silentio insists in a couple of places that he is no poet, saying instead that he proceeds dialectically. In this paper, I will examine the examples of Abraham and the other heroes in Problema III of Fear and Trembling, and I will show why the dimensions that Kierkegaard wishes to show in them pushes the limits of both philosophy and poetry. Finally, I will examine the possibility that Kierkegaard's distinct kind of philosophical poetry necessarily remains removed from the very spiritual practices it clarifies.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Modern Confrontations between Philosophy and Poetry
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 16
Date: 2018-01-18
Paper Title: "Reading the Garden": Why Columella and Strabo Matter
Core Text:
Columella __ Rei Rusticae__ and Strabo__ Hortulus__
Abstract:
Throughout the medieval generations, one of the most common affiliations with the presence and importance of ‘the garden’ was the monastery, that self-sustaining community of devout men (or women) who embraced the garden as the most suitable setting for prayer and contemplation, for the production of food and medicine, for public study and for occasional relaxation. This paper will explore one of the more unique and compelling monastic texts from the Carolingian era, Hortulus by the ninth-century monk, teacher and poet Walafrid Strabo. The Hortulus remains one of the earliest surviving medieval documents about gardening and while most scholarship to date has delighted in the small collection of verses by the “squint-eyed” monk, poems about being a gardener, about gardening, and about the many the plants and herbs that populated the gardens of monasteries (one assumes) and estates of the time, that same scholarship has also tended to dismiss the text as just that, a charming triviality of little substance except as potential information about Carolingian culinary habits and medicinal lore. Such a reading seems facile and, frankly, insufficient; and thus, this paper will examine the original Latin text as an early medieval meditation on the garden as a metaphor for earthly existence and the condition of the human soul, and on gardening itself as a form of prayer by tending to the creation of the Creator and by learning from creation itself, acknowledging that every living thing has meaning and function, virtuous essence. As part of the analysis of the text, the paper will also examine the relation between Hortulus and literary precursors from the classical and late antique world, including Columella’s De Rustica (Lib. X on gardens), which will help to frame the Hortulus as an example of the Carolingian synthesis of classical Latin topoi into traditional Christian rhetoric.


Proposal Number: 218
Date: 2018-01-17
Paper Title: The Miseducation of Lucretia: The Satisfaction of Desire in Machiavelli's Mandragola
Core Text:
Machiavelli's Mandragola
Abstract:
Does Machiavelli's political re-founding require a domestic re-founding only elaborated in his comic writings? By transforming the tragic nobility of Livy's Lucretia into the comic and ambivalent adaptability of Lucrezia in the Mandragola, Machiavelli invites us to explore the psychological and erotic satisfactions of private life as a condition for his new politics.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Last Laugh: Readings of Aristophanes's Clouds and Lysistrata and Machiavelli's Mandragola
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
In "the quarrel between poetry and philosophy," both ancient and modern, the subversive wit of comedy is up for debate. At times, it appears to defend traditional ways against various revolutions, including revolutions of reason. At times, it appears to launch those revolutions, to subvert old orders and pave the way for radical new possibilities. We explore these ambiguities and the attendant modes of learning and wisdom that comic action, wit, and laughter disclose, through readings of three philosophically charged comedies.


Proposal Number: 213
Date: 2018-01-17
Paper Title: The Lover and the Founder: Imagining Ancient and Modern Questing with Vergil
Core Text:
The Aeneid
Abstract:
The Aeneid was the classical epic best known to the medieval world, yet for the Renaissance it became somewhat overshadowed by the great Homeric poems. It can still strike contemporary readers as familiar, yet Aeneas’ abandonment of Dido clashes with our intuitions about the romantic role of the hero. I will discuss the impact of the Christian, Quixotic, and therapeutic discourses that among others have distanced us from a figure such as Aeneas, and from his conflict between an epic task and a romantic episode. I will invite my readers to consider how teaching this poem can make students more aware and more critical of their own assumptions and might even help renew the possibility of heroic epic in the poetry of our own time.


Proposal Number: 212
Date: 2018-01-17
Paper Title: The Cervantine Leitmotif of Discovery
Core Text:
Don Quixote, Cervantes' theater
Abstract:
Throughout his works, Cervantes portrays individual characters in the act of self-revelation, or “discovery” (“descubrimiento” in Spanish), a motif that Cervantes frequently employs in Don Quixote, other narrative works, and his theatrical interludes. As a literary motif, Cervantine “discovery” includes but transcends the function of rhetorical “discovery,” which refers to finding or discovering arguments for persuasion. While we see Cervantine motifs of discovery within rich rhetorical contexts – both epideictic and judicial – serving for self-presentation and/or self-defense, “discovery” for Cervantes denotes a distinct gesture in which the character bares his or her naked soul to nearby interlocutors. This gesture occurs so frequently in Cervantes that we might regard it as one of the leitmotifs of his works, as I will show and whose interpretations I will discuss with several examples.


Proposal Number: 209
Date: 2018-01-17
Paper Title: Publius and Brutus and The Beginning and The End
Core Text:
Livy, Publius, Brutus and Tocqueville
Abstract:
Given the crises of contemporary American politics some question the continued viability of the established constitutional order. Yet, that order when proposed was vigorously debated by thoughtful people whose arguments may help us to better understand the contemporary crisis insofar as it may be rooted in the outcome of that debate. Drawing on Livy, Publius, Brutus and Tocqueville, this paper will explore contesting visions of republican virtue and seek to spurn thoughtful discussion among participants on the relation of these visions to our contemporary political crisis.


Proposal Number: 208
Date: 2018-01-17
Paper Title: “In Shining Daylight Destroy Us”: Definition as the Hero’s Reward
Core Text:
The Iliad
Abstract:
Zeus pours a mist over the battlefield and occasions the only prayer Homer records from Telemonian Aias. This significant sequence of events reveals the lack of individual definition in the face of mortality and the honor given by the gods to a hero through proper funeral rites.


Proposal Number: 207
Date: 2018-01-17
Paper Title: Extravagant Generosity in Plotinus, Nietzsche, and Levinas
Core Text:
Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra; Plotinus, Enneads
Abstract:
This paper begins by considering the appropriation of the Plotinian metaphor of emanation in two thinkers multifariously distant both from Plotinus and from each other: Nietzsche and Levinas. Although neither of these thinkers makes this appropriation explicit, each provides a theory of embodied, affective generosity in which the logic of emanation – a traditionally vexed element for Plotinus’s commentators – can be seen to be operative. Elucidated by its descent from Plotinus through Nietzsche, Levinasian embodied generosity is my ultimate interest insofar as it provides a theoretical account of the edibility of the human body. According to the ecofeminist philosopher Val Plumwood, our contemporary ecological alienation is explained in large part by the lack of such an account, that is, by an imaginative blind spot to the possibility that we could be food to other beings.


Proposal Number: 204
Date: 2018-01-16
Paper Title: No Thinking Without an Image: A Lonerganian Reading of Aristotle's De Anima
Core Text:
Aristotle, De Anima; Lonergan, Insight
Abstract:
Aristotle claims in the De Anima that there can be no thinking without an image. And yet, part of the business of philosophy, especially metaphysics, would seem to be the leaving behind of any picture-thinking in favor of a movement amidst pure concepts, much like what Plato hints at in the divided line. How can this trans-imaginal aim of philosophy be squared with the Aristotelian axiom that there can be no thinking without an image? I will turn to a 20th century thinker, Bernard Lonergan, for a few clues to answering this question, with special focus on Lonergan’s notion of the image as a pivot between the concrete data of sensation and abstract understanding.


Proposal Number: 203
Date: 2018-01-16
Paper Title: Public and Private Space in E.M. Forster’s Howards End and Zadie Smith’s White Teeth: the “secret life” of otherness revealed
Core Text:
Howards End
Abstract:
This paper will examine the constellated Rainbow Bridge between public and private space, and from Forster to Smith, as depicted in the individual characters of these two novels. Both Forster and Smith are deeply concerned with the rending of each individual story between the public and the private realms, between the machine of power and the inner life. Both authors also show that such rending ultimately makes room for characters to return to their own authentic voices: not perfected, but heard in the public spaces, heard for the value that lives on in secret but is only sometimes revealed, curled within the damage of society, an inexhaustible ore.


Proposal Number: 201
Date: 2018-01-16
Paper Title: Bonding with my Students through Conrad's "Youth"
Core Text:
Joseph Conrad, "Youth"
Abstract:
When teaching Conrad’s “Youth” several years ago, I discovered how youth and age intertwine—in the story and in life. In the midst of discussion, the students and I recognized that we were exactly the same age as the two Marlowes in the story, sensing our identity with each other in the character: an intimation of mortality, the unity of life, and perhaps even the “hidden harmony” spoken of in the conference theme. I will connect this experience with Northrop Frye’s idea of the “identity” of different characters and works when they embody a common archetype, that identity enabling our appreciation of difference. As well, I will reflect on the corrective that “Youth” offers to our own youth-obsessed culture, reminding us that a true idolizing of youth involves celebrating its continuity with age and so encountering at any stage of life our human wholeness.


Proposal Number: 200
Date: 2018-01-16
Paper Title: GULLIVER’S TRAVELS: DOES THE “OTHERNESS” OF CLASSIC TEXTS MAKE ONE BETTER OFF, OR WORSE?
Core Text:
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels
Abstract:
The best understanding of the voyages in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is that Gulliver is a reader, and he is transported, figuratively rather than literally, by books; the second and fourth voyages seem to be the peaks of the work, inspired by ancient texts such as Aristotle’s Ethics and Plato’s Republic. Gulliver is certainly converted to the view that the two peaks are a model, or two slightly different models, to follow, and in the end he imitates the Houyhnhnms—the rational horses—as completely, not to say slavishly, as he can. Unfortunately, his own actions and life seem to belie the idea that the influence of the Horses is entirely beneficial; is Swift suggesting that a study of ancient texts is likely to lead to a bad outcome, or does the failure of Gulliver point to the possibility of a better result for someone else? Can we infer what Swift might have thought about Socratic political philosophy, which involves proceeding with some awareness of what one doesn’t know?


Proposal Number: 199
Date: 2018-01-16
Paper Title: Equality and Authority in Augustine and Tocqueville
Core Text:
Augustine, The Confessions; Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Abstract:
I will discuss how Augustine’s analysis of the power of friendship in The Confessions informs my reading of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Both authors worry about the negative effects of other people on the individual. Augustine analyzes how peer pressure tempts individuals to sin. Tocqueville argues that public opinion in democratic societies has the potential to restrict freedom of thought.


Proposal Number: 198
Date: 2018-01-16
Paper Title: Oedipus Tyrannus and the 5th Century Polis
Core Text:
Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus
Abstract:
The surviving works of the Greek dramatists have been recognized for centuries as major foundational texts, none more than Sophocles’ masterful tragedy Oedipus Tyrannus, which continues to be widely read. To the extent that we as North Americans inherit a European culture that claims Greek Antiquity as its beginning, Oedipus is recognizably our own and familiar to us. Without denying our debt to the Greeks as an important cultural origin, this paper attempts to de-familiarize the play by getting behind later appropriations, such as Freud’s, and situating it within the strange historical and cultural milieu of 5th century Athens. In this way, by appreciating our considerable distance from the play, we might allow its otherness to challenge our expectations and illuminate our assumptions– not unlike Oedipus himself, who grapples with the enigma of his own unexamined origins.


Proposal Number: 197
Date: 2018-01-16
Paper Title: Xenophon on Human Nature and the Natural Environment in the Education of Cyrus
Core Text:
Xenophon's Education of Cyrus
Abstract:
Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus includes a ‘Socratic’ education that takes the form of a conversation between Cyrus and his father Cambyses about the art of ruling. It begins with an observation that may be taken to mean that the gods help those who help themselves and ends with the observation that the gods are under no compulsion to help anyone; in between Cambyses corrects and deepens his son’s understanding of human nature and the natural environment. What emerges is a view of the whole in which god is absent, himself, human life is a violent struggle for survival, and the fate of the world is left in the hands of the statesman.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Governing the Political Animal (Frank Rohmer, chair)
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 196
Date: 2018-01-16
Paper Title: Emile Has Two Daddies: Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Natural and Conventional Fatherhood
Core Text:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau; Emile, or On Education
Abstract:
Why does the Emile, which begins by addressing itself to biological mothers, quickly shift to a discussion of the relationship between Emile and his tutor Jean-Jacques? By providing readers with a non-biological yet still paternal relationship, Rousseau distinguishes himself from Aristotle by identifying the essential elements of paternity as functional and social rather than biological or natural. Jean-Jacques helps to render the paternal relationship consistent with Rousseau’s political principles: equality, consent, and self-interest, all fortified by natural sentiment. With a social rather than a biologically rooted conception of parenthood, Rousseau seeks to protect the strength and freedom of the natural child by minimizing the rights of parents and the duties of children.


Proposal Number: 195
Date: 2018-01-15
Paper Title: Seeing the Likeness, Telling Great Lies
Core Text:
Richard Wilbur's "Lying" and Owen Garfield's "Poetic Diction"
Abstract:
In honor of the late Richard Wilbur, I will explore the archetypical features of metaphor and poetry in relation to the imaginative faculties. I will begin with Wilbur’s poem as an embodiment or demonstration of this line of thought. Poetic diction, as Barfield argues in his prose, elicits the range of thought and feeling associated with words and phrases from within narrative, thus serving as a 'master art' in the development of the individual's voice (mind, thoughts), based on 'having an ear' for the notes and strains of available language.


Proposal Number: 193
Date: 2018-01-15
Paper Title: An Earthly Pattern of the Hieros Gamos: Marriage as the Root of Comedy in Homer's Odyssey
Core Text:
The Odyssey
Abstract:
The comic plot of the Odyssey is rooted in the marriage of Odysseus and Penelope which harmonizes the masculine and feminine principles within the soul and cosmos and lays the ground for the good society on earth. Homer's Penelope demonstrates a heroism of persevering love that is the match of Odysseus' own, facing doubtful ordeals, great grief and suffering, dangers, and the lures of the psychic underworld with courage, ingenuity, greatness of soul, and depth of spirit. The contrapuntally balanced movements of soul undergone by Odysseus and Penelope form the deep structure of the poem. From their like-mindedness--their deeply interior commitment to know together, think together, be together--flows the redeeming energies of the poem, by which an earthly order cursed by deception, vanity, wandering, decline, disfigurement, and every kind of unlikeness retains and displays the divine image.


Proposal Number: 192
Date: 2018-01-15
Paper Title: Alyosha Karamazov and the Platonic Soul
Core Text:
The Brothers Karamazov
Abstract:
Through the narrative of the life of his self-proclaimed hero, Fyodor Dostoevsky conducts a character investigation in which he shows that a good heart—i.e. one which is both courageous and compassionate—is the proper beginning principle of a healthy soul. Still, Alyosha Karamazov is one who needs an intellectual awakening and stands to benefit greatly from it. Alyosha is a sentimental character in the highest sense of the term, and he becomes the hero that the story demands through the deconstruction and subsequent stimulation of his intellect. Through Alexey, Dostoevsky offers a study in Platonic psychology centered around the relation between thumos and logos and supplemented by attention to the Christian virtue of charity, especially.


Proposal Number: 191
Date: 2018-01-15
Paper Title: Tension in Modeling Human Nature/Condition: Ambiguity in Literature vs. Economics
Core Text:
THE FALL, by Camus
Abstract:
This paper looks at the theoretical and tactical strategies used by economists to explain human behavior. This is contrasted with how core texts in literature "think." Emphasis will be placed on how students of economics can benefit, when studying human decision making from the creative tension found in literature.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Introducing the Humanities into Business and Economics Classrooms: Strategies and Tactics
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel session proposes that literature and literary texts have significant contributions to make in the fields of economics and business. Many disciplines assume conditions under which judgments get rendered and decision made. Yet theoria differs widely from praxis, and we know that decisions can be contextual, conflicted and compromising. Literature at its best can expose these tensions and lever readers to a higher plane where reconciliation between extremes can be envisioned and conceptualized. This panel will look at great works of literature to be used in the economics and business classroom, so as to enlighten the student towards a fuller understanding of the probationary nature found in the human condition.


Proposal Number: 190
Date: 2018-01-15
Paper Title: The Morality of Profit: Teaching and Remembering the Anti-Capitalism of Slavery.
Core Text:
Cannibals All!, Or Slaves Without Masters
Abstract:
Business students need to be exposed to the moral argument that early American capitalism made against the institution of slavery. George Fithugh's 1857 book <i>Cannibals All!, Or Slaves Without Masters</i> provides business educators an opportunity to expose their students to the pro-slavery - and, by extension, anti-capitalist - arguments of the antebellum period. The market economy - unwittingly - provided a practical argument against slavery, one that needs to be continually re-assessed.


Proposal Number: 189
Date: 2018-01-15
Paper Title: The Morality of Profit: Teaching and Remembering the Anti-Capitalism of Slavery
Core Text:
Cannibals All!, Or Slaves Without Masters
Abstract:
Business students need to be exposed to the history of capitalism as an anti-slavery force in the United States. Though there are several good ways to do so, assigning students a reading that reveals the economic thought of pro-slavery intellectuals. George Fitzhugh's 1857 book <i>Cannibals All!</i> provides an opportunity to cast starlight on this poorly-known territory, and better introduce the morale purpose of early American capitalism.


Proposal Number: 188
Date: 2018-01-15
Paper Title: Is it Moral to be Civil? Civil Association in Oakeshott’s On Human Conduct
Core Text:
Michael Oakeshott, On Human Conduct
Abstract:
In On Human Conduct, Michael Oakeshott provides an extended discussion on the concept of civil association. In this paper I interrogate the moral status of this form of association. Is civility something we should desire for its own sake or as a means to other goals? That is, is it moral to be civil, or is civil behavior merely one way (perhaps among many) to engage in morally good behaviors. And if we grant any sort of moral status to civility, what does this entail for its content – are there particular characteristics that must be part of civil association, or are the characteristics of this association either arbitrary or subject to the sort of political regime in which they are practiced? Answers to these questions have implications for how a society might police uncivil acts or how it might restore norms of civility when they have been lost or repeatedly violated.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Classic Reflections on Civility: What it is and isn’t
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 186
Date: 2018-01-15
Paper Title: “The paradox of on-the-job training in Xenophon’s Oikonomikos, or why do any of us ever get hired?”
Core Text:
Xenophon, "Oeconomicus"
Abstract:
There is a fundamental irony in our job markets, our economic environment, and even our personal lives. Namely, if companies hired people for their skills and abilities (as they claim), then few people would ever get hired. This is because every company and workplace trains its employees to do things in a particular way. In essence, companies are not necessarily hiring people for their immediate, walk-in-ready-skills (techne, as the Greeks would call it), but rather for their "aptitude" for learning. This is where we arrive at one of the session themes, and indeed the conference themes, and where the training program in Xenophon's text can help us to live with the many inconsistencies we hold when it comes to work, identity, and our personal lives.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Intersection of Business, Economics, Leadership, and Core Texts: Challenges for paradigms, narratives, pedagogy, and the holding of tensions in harmony.
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This session proposes that a larger good can be not only located but discovered at the intersection of business, economics, leadership, and the liberal arts. However, this intersection requires that one be open to challenges to paradigms, narratives, and pedagogy. Indeed, it requires the insights of core texts and the liberal arts in order to hold contradictions in tension. Sometimes resolution of the tension to one extreme or the other is the worst solution of all. Yet, quick and decisive resolutions represent precisely the logos of today. As a source of encouragement, however, the education provided in both the humanities and business represent some of these Heraclitean constellations. They can help us visualize ways of holding tensions together as new ways of thinking, new modes of production, and new forms of syntheses emerge out of the older antitheses.


Proposal Number: 185
Date: 2018-01-14
Paper Title: The Power of Invisibility in Plato's Republic
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
The story of the Ring of Gyges as it appears in Plato's Republic is commonly interpreted as a thought experiment in psychology: What if one possessed the power of invisibility and could thus commit unjust deeds with impunity? Would one always act justly? While this interpretation is not incorrect, its hypothetical nature offers no real insight into the human soul, insight which may be arrived at by examining more closely the specific injustices that Gyges is said to commit and the actual power of invisibility by virtue of which he is able to commit these deeds in the first place. Based on an examination of these elements in the story, I contend that everyone already possesses the power of invisibility by virtue of one's imitative capacity, the capacity to appear to others other that one really is. According to this interpretation, we may begin to see a more fundamental appearance-reality distinction at work in the Republic.


Proposal Number: 183
Date: 2018-01-14
Paper Title: Defining Your Opponent: Madison’s Federalist Paper #10 and the Logical Power of Definition
Core Text:
Federalist Papers
Abstract:
Madison’s definition of faction from the beginning disarms the Anti-Federalists by defining very subtly that which they advocate as a form of faction. The stage has been set by the preceding 9 papers: First, union vaguely defined—along the lines of “we’re stronger together”--is necessary to protect America from foreign attack (#2). Second, “dissension” (or faction) precludes union (#6). Third, only union properly understood can prevent conflict between the states (## 8-10). The key to the logical success of Madison’s argument in #10 is the inclusion of, nay, the elevation of majority faction as or into the greatest enemy of peace. What the Anti-Federalists envision as majority rule in small state democracies re-appears in Madison’s telling as majority faction. The purpose of this paper will be to show the pivotal role of Madison’s definition of “faction” in #10, and how he artfully uses the power of definition to defeat his political opponents.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Liberal Arts of Language and Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
See proposal #45


Proposal Number: 182
Date: 2018-01-14
Paper Title: No Thinking Without an Image: A Lonerganian Reading of Aristotle's De Anima
Core Text:
Aristotle, De Anima; Lonergan, Insight
Abstract:
Aristotle claims in the De Anima that there can be no thinking without an image. And yet, part of the business of philosophy, especially metaphysics, would seem to be the leaving behind of any picture-thinking in favor of a movement amidst pure concepts, much like what Plato hints at in the divided line. How can this trans-imaginal aim of philosophy be squared with the Aristotelian axiom that there can be no thinking without an image? I will turn to a 20th century thinker, Bernard Lonergan, for a few clues to answering this question, with special focus on Lonergan’s notion of the image as a pivot between the concrete data of sensation and abstract understanding.


Proposal Number: 181
Date: 2018-01-13
Paper Title: New Money, New Love: Naval Officers, Economic Security, and Marital Egalitarianism in Persuasion
Core Text:
Persuasion
Abstract:
Jane Austen’s Persuasion includes no fewer than four naval officers. Having risen to social prominence through merit rather than inherited wealth, they generally experienced (or were projected to experience) happy marriages. This paper examines the background and personalities of these officers, plus their romantic or marital relationships. Having benefited materially from warfare and colonialism, these men were also oriented to more egalitarian and more affection-based views on marriage. Alongside the power of new money was a new ideal of marital love.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Introducing the Humanities into Business and Economics Classrooms: Strategies and Tactics.
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 180
Date: 2018-01-13
Paper Title: Aristotle and Buddha on Friendship
Core Text:
NIcomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Aristotle's explanation of perfect friendship in Book VIII of the Nicomachean Ethics can be fruitfully compared with Buddha's stories of friendship in the Pali Canon. Both emphasize the character of the individuals involved. Both consider the best setting for friendship to be a group that lives together. The differences are instructive.


Proposal Number: 179
Date: 2018-01-13
Paper Title: Petrarch's Augustinian View from Mont Ventoux
Core Text:
St. Augustine, Confessions; Petrach, Letter on Mont Ventoux
Abstract:
On April 26, 1334, Petrarch, father of the Renaissance, climbed Mont Ventoux just for the pleasure of doing so. While this is sometimes seen as a mark of the transition to modernity, Petrarch himself spoke of this in Augustinian terms: upon reaching the summit he read a passage from Confessions and reproached himself for marveling at the nature without rather than the truly wondrous nature within. Petrarch's discovery of the interior man speaks to us today and our fear that there is no logos behind the flux of experience, that we are as divided from ourselves and from one another by time and space as one mountain top is from another. And, he does so by pointing, not forward to the post-modern, but back to the medieval.


Proposal Number: 178
Date: 2018-01-13
Paper Title: Cicero's influences on early Augustine: Un-original and un-solved formulations of the problem of evil
Core Text:
Cicero, De natura deorum AND Augustine, De ordine
Abstract:
There is an oft-cited formulation of the problem of evil that contains three propositions which apparently cannot all be true: (1) God is all-good, (2) God is all-powerful, and (3) evil exists. In his De natura deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), Cicero’s characters offer Epicurean, Stoic, and Academic Sceptic positions in varying efforts to reconcile divine providence with the existence of evil, but in the end Cicero is unwilling to fully endorse any one solution. In Augustine’s early writings, and in particular in De ordine (On Divine Providence and the Problem of Evil), Augustine was fighting with the problem as he had received it from Cicero, and thus in his dialogue takes on particular points that echo each of Cicero’s character’s positions. Augustine is famous for his understanding that evil is a privation, and thus that evil does not exist, but he had not yet arrived at that solution when he wrote De ordine.


Proposal Number: 177
Date: 2018-01-12
Paper Title: Love and Strife – Two Forces, One Cosmos in Shakespeare’s King Lear
Core Text:
Shakespeare’s King Lear
Abstract:
This paper will argue that Empedocles’s cosmology forms the ultimate background for Shakespeare’s drama, King Lear. That cosmology famously features the two allegorical figures of Love and Strife. Each takes an alternating lead role in the ongoing historical drama of the unfolding cosmos, as Empedocles sees it. This cosmology held great sway in Shakespeare’s time, and I will argue that Shakespeare situates King Lear in the interregnum between two Empedoclean epochs, one of Strife and one of Love.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: One and Two in the Core
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will consider unity and diversity in core texts, both ancient and modern.


Proposal Number: 176
Date: 2018-01-12
Paper Title: An Aristotelian Reconstruction of Civility
Core Text:
Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
No notion in the *Nicomachean Ethics* corresponds, exactly, to our contemporary concept of civility. I will argue, however, that we find something similar to it in Aristotle’s discussion of the distribution of honor. At the end of my paper I’ll suggest that conceiving of civility as grounded in honor has much to recommend it. Such an interpretation captures our intuitions about what motivates incivility, and it also illuminates how people acting with civility are necessarily relying upon their view of the common good.


Proposal Number: 175
Date: 2018-01-12
Paper Title: Civility and The Sprit of Laws
Core Text:
Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws, My Thoughts
Abstract:
This paper considers civility in the context of Montesquieu’s tripartite distinction between laws, mores, and manners. Politeness and civility go beyond mere justice and make our common lives together pleasant by encouraging us to tolerate others’ faults and hide our own. They are a condition of men’s influence on each others’ thoughts, which is useful to society. At the same time, politeness (part of mores) and civility (part of manners) should not be legislated (subject to law). Both the neglect of civility (represented by Montesquieu by the Spartans) and the exaggeration of it (represented by Montesquieu by the Chinese) are dangerous, leading to despotisms that exaggerate one virtue over the many general virtues. Moreover, a rule to flattering others’ views and hiding one’s own involves a tyranny of opinion—politeness must be balanced against preservation of one’s integrity.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Classic Reflections on Civility: What it is and isn’t
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Civility may be easily confused with something easier: not expressing serious disagreement. Civility rightly understood is required by political communities--particularly by democratic ones--precisely because the citizens both disagree on some matters of real import and also need to discuss and navigate these disagreements if they are to order their lives together well. This requires sometimes expressing disagreement on matters of real contention, and civility seems to be the virtue that displays how citizens may do so well. Civility is a permanent concern for democracies, but American political and academic life today may have a particular need for increased focus on civility. This panel uses core texts to explore a variety of accounts of what civility is and asks how it serves the common good


Proposal Number: 173
Date: 2018-01-11
Paper Title: The Old Regime and French Revolution
Core Text:
The Old Regime and the French Revolution
Abstract:
Conference Panel Proposal

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Core Texts on the Regime as a Core Idea in Political Science
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 172
Date: 2018-01-11
Paper Title: Such Were These Men -- Heraclitus in Athens -- and America
Core Text:
Pericles, Funeral Oration; Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
Abstract:
Such Were These Men: Heraclitus in Athens – and America Pericles and Abraham Lincoln furnish us with contrasting perspectives on human mortality as experienced both on the battlefield and by survivors, across the distance of time, culture, and language, ancient Greek and modern American. Both statesmen accept responsibility for leading their country into war and the task of coming to terms with the horrors that unavoidably attend violent conflict. They both accept the task of assuaging the grief of survivors by embracing the power – and accepting the humbling limitations – of logoi. They stake everything on the power of words, speech, to bind together contraries – life and death, sorrow and consolation, city and family (public and private), past and present and future – while not forgetting the tensions that might seem, in the end, insurmountable. This paper will take as nodal points for this task of binding together, Pericles’ Funeral Oration and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.


Proposal Number: 171
Date: 2018-01-11
Paper Title: Bacon’s Scientific Humanitarianism and the Quest for Unnatural Freedom
Core Text:
New Atlantis
Abstract:
In the New Atlantis, Francis Bacon indicates how the flux of normal politics among nations could be transcended through the transfer of technical knowledge from developed countries to less developed ones, with the hope, it seems, that scientific humanitarianism would ideally unite all of humanity against a common enemy, namely, nature. Due to modern science’s susceptibility to infinite progress, however, no country could ever be fully developed with regard to its technological capabilities, no matter how far it progressed in science and technology. Were the absolute conquest of universal compulsion, or nature, actually realized, it would result in a new realm of unnatural freedom with infinite possibilities for countries aimlessly to develop, revealing the enduring necessity of the political art to navigate politics among nations and within them. I examine in this essay whether Bacon provides any political guidance for us today, as well as into the future, for encouraging the civil possibilities of scientific humanitarianism over the militarization of transhuman possibilities, which scientists are actively pursuing in the areas of biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology (BAIN) and often under the incentives and funding of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).


Proposal Number: 170
Date: 2018-01-11
Paper Title: Spoilage, Property & Labor: Transhumanism in Locke’s Two Treatises of Government
Core Text:
John Locke, Two Treatises of Government
Abstract:
In his discusion of the limitations of the rule of law, Locke writes, “Things in this world are in such a constant flux that nothing remains for long in the same state.” To be sure, Locke’s point might also be understood as underlying the inconveniences of the state of nature due to penury and the ineffectiveness of the law of nature that wills the peace and preservation of all of mankind. As Locke says, labor must be encouraged to transform nature’s penury into opulence, self-preservation into comfortable self-preservation, through the protection of property rights, the invention of money to overcome spoilage, and the constitution of civil government. If labor can transform nature, as Locke indicates, is human nature and human finitude then subject to the transfromative power of labor, that is, is there a Lockean transhumanism?


Proposal Number: 167
Date: 2018-01-11
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 166
Date: 2018-01-11
Paper Title: Plato and Thucydides on the problem of eros
Core Text:
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War; and Plato, Republic
Abstract:
Thucydides (in The Peloponnesian War) and Plato (in the Republic) suggest that human beings oppress, indoctrinate and despoil each other because of eros (or love), linking eros to tyranny and to the problem of faction. At the same time, they also associate eros with how we understand, (and misunderstand) justice, beauty, piety, etc. Not surprisingly perhaps, they differ on the most salutary ordering of these ideas and of the human activities that attend them. It is worth considering carefully their contrasting accounts, for both thinkers agree on what is at stake: the proper education of future generations of leaders and citizens.


Proposal Number: 164
Date: 2018-01-10
Paper Title: Journey of Transformation
Core Text:
Allegory of the Cave, Augustine's Confession, Dante
Abstract:
Our first of three Core classes is called Journey of Transformation. This course involves the concept of change, obvious enough from the title, but profound in terms of the texts involved. Three key texts are Plato's Allegory, Augustine's Confessions, and Dante's Divine Comedy. What is interesting to me is how these texts link with the concept of transformation in the lives of our students and even, perhaps surprisingly, of the faculty teaching in the program. We are all, in fact, on a Journey of Transformation.


Proposal Number: 163
Date: 2018-01-10
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Shakespeare's As You Like It: Discord and Harmony
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
One of Shakespeare's richest and most beloved comedies, As You Like It draws students in to Shakespeare's comic universe as a place of love and pleasure, but also of debate and discord. Escaping to the Forest of Arden, where one has the leisure to play and experiment, can be an evocative metaphor for students' own experiences and for their encounter with and reaction to the complex and unjust world in which they find themselves. What if there were a place where one could explore issues of gender and class, and the questions "What is a good life?" and "Is loving mere folly?" without immediate consequences, through teasing, leisurely discussion, flirting and song? The problems of injustice, envy, selfishness and folly are present in this play as in all of Shakespeare, but the comic dialectic reimagines them as part of the harmony-in-discord of a free civil society.


Proposal Number: 162
Date: 2018-01-09
Paper Title: “‘I Sit with Shakespeare and He Winces Not’: Discovering Core Texts in W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk”
Core Text:
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
Abstract:
For the past few years, W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk (1903) has been included as part of the Core Curriculum at Boston University. This paper will discuss how Du Bois describes his own discovery of core texts in Souls as an experience of “dwelling above the Veil,” or “crossing the color-line,” during a terrible period of racial segregation and violence in twentieth-century America. I will then reflect on the ways that Souls has helped my students to better understand their own commitment to close readings of core texts. Both inside and outside the college classroom, Souls has inspired conversations that can mitigate racism, deepen students’ knowledge of cultural difference, and foster a more harmonious community.


Proposal Number: 160
Date: 2018-01-09
Paper Title: Poetic Justice: Understanding the City through the Phaedo's Myth of the Afterlife
Core Text:
Plato's Phaedo
Abstract:
At the beginning of the dialogue depicting his death, Socrates tells his interlocutors he has switched from philosophizing to writing hymns to Apollo. From this first claim follows a defense of his choice to peacefully accept his death from Athens, and this defense is permeated by poetry and myth. He ends the conversation with a final myth about the afterlife, wherein all things are reconciled, despite the imperfect justice of the city. In so doing, Socrates points to a relationship between poetry and justice, wherein poetry and myth are forms of prayer, allowing individuals to respond to an imperfect city with love, while simultaneously hoping for a fuller actualization of justice.


Proposal Number: 159
Date: 2018-01-09
Paper Title: When and Why Economic Inequality is Unjust: Lockean and Roman Catholic Perspectives
Core Text:
Locke, *Second Treatise of Government*
Abstract:
From the perspectives of both John Locke and of Catholic Social Teaching, certain forms and levels of economic inequality are morally indefensible. My paper will examine similarities and differences within the theoretical justifications for economic inequality within Locke's *Second Treatise of Government* and Catholic Social Teaching, connecting them to wider, underlying views about human dignity and the common good. My primary aim will be to clarify the respective justifications and the wider views on which they depend. A secondary aim will be to invite reflection on their adequacy and their application to our time.


Proposal Number: 158
Date: 2018-01-09
Paper Title: Logos at the Barber Shop
Core Text:
Flannery O'Connor's "The Barber"
Abstract:
One of Flannery O'Connor's early stories, "The Barber" is the tale of a college professor trying to persuade his barber to change his vote in an upcoming election. When persuasion proves ineffective, the professor turns to force. The story pushes us to grapple with the difficult relationship between rational argumentation and political rhetoric. A core text like "The Barber" can help readers see universal themes of human life that ultimately offer a more solid foundation for community than a political order incapable of looking beyond its own principles.


Proposal Number: 157
Date: 2018-01-09
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 156
Date: 2018-01-09
Paper Title: When the Other is Part of One’s Self: Ezra Pound’s Attempt to Balance Self and Society in “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley”
Core Text:
“Hugh Selwyn Mauberley” by Ezra Pound
Abstract:
As a turning point in Ezra Pound’s poetic career, the eighteen poems that comprise “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley” is as relevant today as when Pound penned them in the 1920s. Pound and his alter ego, Hugh, struggle to balance aesthetics and practicality, history and modernity, purity and corruption, tradition and innovation for the betterment of himself and for the society at large. Pound’s ability to recreate this dichotomy using masterful poetics and rhetorical strategies shows just how this contrast can exist within one’s self, often inciting creative genius.


Proposal Number: 155
Date: 2018-01-08
Paper Title: The Second Tetralogy as Comedy
Core Text:
Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy
Abstract:
Because of Sir John Falstaff, much attention has been paid to comedy within the Second Tetralogy. The Tetralogy as a whole, however, is not usually regraded as comedy but as history, even with elements of tragedy. Viewing the four plays as a whole, one is struck by it as a cycle that moves from tragedy to comedy. In this way, it is similar to Shakespeare's mature comedies written at the same time.


Proposal Number: 154
Date: 2018-01-08
Paper Title: Literary Parallels and Topical Complementarity in Plato's Phaedrus and Laws
Core Text:
Plato's Phaedrus, Plato's Laws
Abstract:
This paper explores the literary parallels between the Laws and the Phaedrus, argues for their interpretive significance, and concludes that the two dialogues should be read together as containing Plato's complementary treatments of philosophic authorship.


Proposal Number: 153
Date: 2018-01-08
Paper Title: On Vanity and Devotional Love in Guy de Maupassant's "Our Heart"
Core Text:
Our Heart (Notre Coeur)
Abstract:
Though currently neglected, Guy de Maupassant's "Our Heart" (1890) offers a profound reflection on the relation between vanity and devotional love. In this novel of Parisian high society, Maupassant seeks to answer the question: Why is it that we can never find what we are looking for in love? Why must we always meet with "approximations"? His answer appears to be that whereas simple, old-fashioned women--those who, according to one character, make devoted wives and mothers--lack the art, the charms, and the wit to satisfy man's longing for refined pleasures, modern women--those who practice the art of coquetry and collect admirers like trophies or objets d'art--are too calculating, too worldly, and too consumed by the pleasures of vanity to be capable of devotional love. In short: The conditions that perfect women's charm and attractiveness also prevent them from returning the love they inspire.


Proposal Number: 152
Date: 2018-01-08
Paper Title: When and Why Economic Inequality is Unjust: Lockean and Roman Catholic Perspectives
Core Text:
Locke, *Second Treatise of Government*
Abstract:
From the perspectives of both John Locke and of Catholic Social Teaching, certain forms and levels of economic inequality are morally indefensible. My paper will examine similarities and differences within the theoretical justifications for economic inequality within Locke's *Second Treatise of Government* and Catholic Social Teaching, connecting them to underlying views about human dignity and the common good. My primary aim will be to clarify the respective justifications and the wider views on which they depend. A secondary aim will be to invite reflection on their adequacy and their application to our time.


Proposal Number: 150
Date: 2018-01-07
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 149
Date: 2018-01-06
Paper Title: Emile Has Two Daddies: Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Natural and Conventional Fatherhood
Core Text:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile
Abstract:
Why does the Emile, which begins by addressing itself to biological mothers, quickly shift to a discussion of the relationship between Emile and his tutor Jean-Jacques? By providing readers with a non-biological yet still paternal relationship, Rousseau distinguishes himself from Aristotle by identifying the essential elements of paternity as functional and social rather than biological or natural. Jean-Jacques helps to render the paternal relationship consistent with Rousseau’s political principles: equality, consent, and self-interest, all fortified by natural sentiment. With a social rather than a biologically rooted conception of parenthood, Rousseau seeks to protect the strength and freedom of the natural child by minimizing the rights of parents and the duties of children.


Proposal Number: 148
Date: 2018-01-06
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 146
Date: 2018-01-05
Paper Title: Alyosha Karamazov and the Platonic Soul
Core Text:
The Brothers Karamazov
Abstract:
Through the narrative of the life of his self-proclaimed hero, Fyodor Dostoevsky conducts a character investigation in which he shows that a good heart - i.e., one which is both courageous and compassionate - is the proper beginning principle of a healthy soul. And yet, Alyosha is one who needs an intellectual awakening and stands to benefit greatly from it. Alyosha Karamazov is a sentimental character in the highest sense of the term and he becomes the hero that the story demands through the deconstruction and subsequent stimulation of his intellect. Through Alexey, Dostoevsky offers a study in Platonic psychology centered around the relation between thumos and logos and supplemented by attention to the Christian virtue of charity, especially.


Proposal Number: 145
Date: 2018-01-05
Paper Title: Teaching Anselm Today: A Response to Dawkins
Core Text:
Proslogium
Abstract:
Dawkins dispenses with Anselm rather quickly in his widely read *The God Delusion*. In this paper I discuss Anselm's logic and show that too quick a rejection might miss the possibly of a 'hidden harmony' revealed by Anselm's logic. The *Proslogium* I argue is an important text to teach undergraduates.


Proposal Number: 144
Date: 2018-01-04
Paper Title: Montesquieu's Notion of the Regime
Core Text:
Spirit of the Laws; Considerations on the Romans
Abstract:
Like other theorists of traditional political science, Montesquieu believes that the core work of "the legislator" is to use law to support those tendencies that strengthen a regime and to restrain those tendencies that weaken it. This paper will explore two of Montesquieu's innovations in traditional political science that give a particular twist to the work of the legislator: the notion that the regime will have a "general spirit" and the notion that a regime may have a "particular object."


Proposal Number: 143
Date: 2018-01-04
Paper Title: Reading Together, Thinking Alone
Core Text:
Confessions, Tempest, Frankenstein
Abstract:
Nowadays we think of reading as a solitary activity, but it always takes place in a wider, interpretive—communal—context. Part of the purpose of Core education—indeed a necessary precondition for the sort of navigation envisioned by the Conference theme this year—is to teach students how to benefit from such communities, while learning to formulate and articulate their own contributions. These three texts comprise an example of how to it right and two cautionary tales. Augustine’s constructive engagement with successive interpretive communities shapes his conversion, while both Prospero and Frankenstein eschew them with disastrous consequences.


Proposal Number: 142
Date: 2018-01-04
Paper Title: Oedipus, Agave, and Dido
Core Text:
The Bacchae, Oedipus the King, The Aeneid
Abstract:
Oedipus is said to be the pattern for man’s tyranny and unhappiness. Might the same pattern show up in women? Yes, with appropriate variations. This is the pattern we see with Agave in Euripides’ The Bacchae. The pattern is one of tyrannical solipsism. Oedipus kills his father (reality and the political), and sleeps with his mother (his own private body and its dreams). Agave kills her legitimate son and King of Thebes, and sleeps with the boy/god Dionysus of her dreams. Whether sleeping upstream with one’s mother, or downstream with one’s “baby,” you are effectively sleeping with oneself. Such a desire is tyrannical and involves the death of a political and shareable relation to fathers or legitimate sons. Dido, in the Aeneid, illustrates this female pattern as well. She is queen and political ruler and builder as long as she stays loyal to her dead husband Sychaeus. Once she falls in love with the dream-God Cupid in the form of Aeneas’ boy sitting on her lap (falling in love with Love, as Augustine puts it), she is doomed to fall into the solipsistic and private passions of a mistress rather than married mother. She, too, along with Oedipus and Agave, have become a tyrant and a killer. Rather than killing her son and king as did Agave, or Oedipus’ murder of his father and king, Dido instead instead kills herself as Queen. Of such murders, figurative and literal, are our tyrannies and unhappiness made.


Proposal Number: 141
Date: 2018-01-04
Paper Title: The Gospel in Homer
Core Text:
The Odyssey
Abstract:
Ever since Eusebius much has been written about the praeparatio evangelica, but often in vague terms. Here we will dig down in one specific text to see what, if any, themes emerge which can lend credence to this ancient theory. This paper will explore the Judeo-Christian themes of Homer's Odyssey and speculate on what impact this may have had on the early Christian mission to the Greco-Roman world.


Proposal Number: 140
Date: 2018-01-04
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 139
Date: 2018-01-04
Paper Title: Aristotle, Evolution, and Us
Core Text:
Aristotle, Physics
Abstract:
In Book II, Chapter 8 of his Physics, Aristotle takes up the matter of whether or not there is purpose in nature. On one level, he is reluctant to consider everything that happens as falling under a specific purpose. So he does not believe that the rain that came and spoiled the grain on the threshing floor was sent by Zeus for that purpose. On the other hand, when things happen always or for the most part, he does attribute purpose to them. This is quite clear in the parts and organization of the higher animals. And it is perfectly clear if we turn in our discussion to understanding us, who clearly act for purposes. Tackling this issue of the limits of the evolutionary explanation of things is a very helpful antidote for students raised under the banner of science and under the impression that purpose spells religion which conflicts with science. To get the students to see, as they certainly do, that they and their activities cannot be fully explained by such a materialist account is a great service to them and to our world.


Proposal Number: 138
Date: 2018-01-04
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: 137
Date: 2018-01-04
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 136
Date: 2018-01-04
Paper Title: St. Augustine on Reading and Self-Understanding
Core Text:
St. Augustine, Confessions
Abstract:
Augustine greatly valued reading as a (trans-)formative activity. For Augustine, reading starts as an empirical activity that becomes an interpretative one when inner mental images provide for the meaning of the written word. From there, reading is an invitation to contemplation. The distance that an authoritative text creates – not in space or time but in spiritual terms – reorients the reader by promoting a mental space for self-reflection. The paper seeks to provide a reading of Augustine’s views on reading in book 1-9 of the Confessions.


Proposal Number: 135
Date: 2018-01-04
Paper Title: Business of Education and Education of Business
Core Text:
Augustine's The Teacher
Abstract:
Augustine’s The Teacher argues that “it is God alone who teaches men knowledge”. If God alone is the teacher, what then is the role of the teacher and the business we call education? If God alone is teacher, how then can business students be educated in values that enrich the common good? The linguistic argument developed by Augustine places language as a map of the constellations of thought that guides the teacher and student. It is through shared discourse that language and ideas are clarified and directions are charted. However, shared terminology and economic or managerial models will provide clarity of language, but will not provide truth of how business ought to be conducted. The teacher must be more than an interlocutor to be a model of truth for the business student.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Intersection of Business, Economics, Leadership and Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
See panel proposal from Richard Rawls


Proposal Number: 134
Date: 2018-01-03
Paper Title: Reading by the Light of a Constantly Shifting Star: Teaching Sterne's _Tristram Shandy_ to a Student with Asperger's
Core Text:
_Tristram Shandy_ by Laurence Sterne
Abstract:
Our conference theme reminds us that core texts ideally function as "fixed points" to readers adrift in a disorienting world characterized by a surfeit of information but lacking a unifying "logos" that core texts can supply. However, the growing number of students suffering from the autism spectrum disorder commonly known as Asperger syndrome can become extremely disoriented by core texts that lack well-defined rules or structure. This paper will explore the challenges and successes of teaching Laurence Sterne's novel _Tristram Shandy_ to a class including an Asperger's student bewildered by Sterne's stream-of-consciousness narrative style and disregard for logical sequence or syntax. By focusing the student's attention on the rationale for the novel's many digressions, I believe that I helped the student gain his bearings in a previously unknown sea and thus "learn the wisdom gained from different perspectives."


Proposal Number: 133
Date: 2018-01-02
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Modern Confrontations between Philosophy and Poetry
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 132
Date: 2018-01-02
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 131
Date: 2018-01-02
Paper Title: Plato and Irigaray: the male world of education
Core Text:
Plato's Republic and Irigaray's Speculum
Abstract:
Luce Irigaray’s Speculum de l’autre femme (1974) unsettles a great number of often unquestioned assumptions which lie at the heart of educational theory, practice and management in the Western tradition. She finds gendered presuppositions not only in the Western conception of subject/object, of social relations, of intellect, and of first principles and truth, but also in the specifically educational notions of enlightenment, paideia, reflection, recollection and speculation, in the practice of philosophy, and in the teacher/student relation more generally. But most dramatically, she finds Plato’s cave to be a succinct representation of this male world of education. As such she destabilizes one of the most core of core ideas in one of the most core of core texts.


Proposal Number: 130
Date: 2018-01-02
Paper Title: Love in Paradise Lost: the case of Adam's initial love for Eve
Core Text:
Milton's Paradise Lost
Abstract:
Milton’s Paradise Lost presents something relatively rare in Western literature: a depiction of happy conjugal love. Yet it is not immediately clear that this depiction is backed by a coherent account or understanding of what this love consists in and why it is good. This paper will begin to tackle this question with the case of Adam by examining his narration to Raphael of his own and Eve’s creation, and his subsequent discussion with him of what pleases and what troubles him in his response to Eve.


Proposal Number: 129
Date: 2018-01-02
Paper Title: Enlightened by Starlight -- Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius
Core Text:
Sidereus Nuncius or Starry Messenger (Galileo)
Abstract:
Historically and conceptually, science is frequently very different from what it is popularly presented to be. Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius (or Starry Messenger) is a case in point. In the very early seventeenth century, Galileo Galilei pointed what was at that point called a spy glass at the heavens and through his observations completely changed the understanding of his time of the known world. What I believe was most astounding about his achievement, however, was not only what he technically observed, but what he was able to judiciously conclude from those extremely simple and primitive observations. Galileo’s great achievement I argue was not so much what he “saw” as what he was able to rationally infer and conjecture from what he saw. I contend this places Galileo solidly within the liberal arts tradition as well as that of the empiricist minded sciences.


Proposal Number: 128
Date: 2018-01-02
Paper Title: The “Great Virtues” in Aristotle’s Politics
Core Text:
Aristotle, Politics; Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
What is the connection between Aristotle’s “great virtues” in the Nicomachean Ethics--munificence (megaloprepeia) and magnanimity (megalopsyche)--and his discussion of the political aspects of human life in the Politics? In many ways, the Ethics seems to be a discussion of the individual, but a careful look at the ethics that Aristotle discusses there shows them to be related to the human being’s natural social and political involvement as well--or perhaps primarily. Munificence and magnanimity themselves seem not only to be the peak of ethics, but are decidedly set in a political context. Does the Politics strengthen or reduce the importance of these great virtues?

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Governing the Political Animal
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
See Frank Rohmer for details


Proposal Number: 125
Date: 2018-01-02
Paper Title: For the birds: rereading Ovid’s avian alterations
Core Text:
Ovid’s Metamorphoses
Abstract:
The Metamorphoses of Ovid arguably owe a debt to the Hesiodic catalogue tradition of Hellenistic poetry, including poetic predecessors whom Ovid both emulates and preserves in his Roman epic. Reflection on the bird metamorphosis stories that Ovid includes in his narrative invites comparison to texts in the background of Ovid’s epic as well as the religious experience of ancient Rome. This paper considers the ornithomantic (augury and bird-omens) dimension of the fowl-fables found in the Metamorphoses, and the degree to which they compare to their Greek forbears or adapt to their Roman audience. Ovid’s ability to handle, maintain the integrity of, and still refashion religious and poetic material appropriately for his audience, establishes this core text as a model for seeing the past through the present (and vice versa), inviting readers still today to see Ovid (and other ancient poets) not only as core writers, but also as readers of core texts.


Proposal Number: 123
Date: 2018-01-01
Paper Title: Agency in the Duchess of Amalfi
Core Text:
The Duchess of Amalfi
Abstract:
The duchess of Amalfi, one of the greatest revenge tragedies of all times, has become particularly relevant as revenge tragedy is entering popular culture via Game of Thrones. This paper proposes to examine the agency of the Duchess in the play, particularly in her discussions with her corrupt brothers. This paper will interpret those conversations in light of the concept of agency.


Proposal Number: 122
Date: 2018-01-01
Paper Title: C.S. Lewis in a Secular Core
Core Text:
THE ABOLITION OF MAN; THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH
Abstract:
In this paper, I propose to make the case for including C.S. Lewis, not as a secular author, but in a secular core. In THE ABOLITION OF MAN, he offers a penetrating critique of "the conquest of nature" (as an early modern project, exemplified in the works of Bacon and Hobbes). He offers this critique, not as a "theist," but on behalf of the "Tao," by which he means the universal principles of practical reason or natural law. THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH is both a self-conscious literary extension of the argument of ABOLITION and an expression of an "anthropology," focusing on love and death, that is an alternative to that of his early modern philosophical foils.


Proposal Number: 121
Date: 2018-01-01
Paper Title: Questions of Eurocentrism in Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"
Core Text:
Chinua Achebe
Abstract:
Current debates over core text courses have been confused by a failure to distinguish different levels of Eurocentrism, which is commonly defined as the belief that Euro-American culture deserves to be a privileged object of study because it is superior to other cultures. My first argument is that this kind of Eurocentrism has been a part of some core text courses, and that it is inimical to the aims of liberal education; a common remedy for this kind of Eurocentrism is to broaden the range of texts on the syllabus, so that students learn a little bit about many different cultures. My second argument is that this remedy fails to escape a deeper level of Eurocentrism, which is the attempt to understand texts from non-European cultures in terms of concepts inherited from the European traditions; through a close reading of passages in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, I show that one cannot overcome Eurocentrism merely by learning about other cultures; one must be open to learning from other cultures; it is not enough to acquire erudition about other traditions; one must be willing to engage in a genuine dialogue with them. Such dialogue is not possible without a critical understanding of the history of the concepts we have inherited from Europe, and this critical understanding is best acquired through close reading and critical discussion of core texts of Euro-American traditions. Overcoming Eurocentrism requires a double strategy: it is not enough merely to include more non-European texts on the syllabus; it is also necessary to critically appropriate the terms of thought we have inherited from Europe through close readings of the core texts of the European and American traditions.


Proposal Number: 120
Date: 2018-01-01
Paper Title: Fools For The Ages
Core Text:
Robert Armin's A Nest of Ninnies and Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Abstract:
God bless the fools. Lucky us if we've got the mettle for it. Fact is fools are golden, the real ones, those with guts and the wits to prove it. Real fools remind us to make like sovereigns even if...but who cares. We'll get the last laugh if we're fool enough. Of course, nothing can be as simple as that, semantics certainly won't let foolishness win the day without us explaining what it means to be a fool so we know if we make the cut. Fair enough, so what is a fool? Is there a hierarchy of fools, and if so, how goes the pecking order? Surely, we want to be fools championed not braying asses ridiculed. One way then to begin to explore the question of what it means to be a fool is by first examining Robert Armin's A Nest of Ninnies, in which he strips the fool down to two types: the natural and the artificial. Our instinct kicks against the pricks of anything artificial; we want to be fools au naturel, has a noble ring to it, but not so quick, for might it be best to be both a fool natural and artificial? Sounds less noble but more realistic. A real fool like this, natural and artificial, is best exemplified in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, in that gambling fool of a character R.P. McMurphy. We like this kind of tension in a real fool, don't we?


Proposal Number: 119
Date: 2018-01-01
Paper Title: Unconscious Grace
Core Text:
Heinrich von Kleist, Uber das Marionettentheater
Abstract:
Kleist’s short text apparently extolling the elegance of mindlessness raises interesting questions about the meaning these notions might have for a more comprehensive aesthetics, particularly when they are placed within the context of theories about the place of the human spirit in artistic beauty. Is Kleist proposing we take his dancer’s claims about the superior grace of puppets seriously? What would this say about not only the relation of physical beauty to consciousness, but, perhaps more intriguingly, the relations between bodies and minds and their significance for the arts? I examine these questions with the intention of not only better situating Kleist in relation to the aesthetic theory of his times, but also to suggest what his marionettes may have to show to ours.


Proposal Number: 118
Date: 2018-01-01
Paper Title: Dante's Maps to the Stars
Core Text:
The Divine Comedy
Abstract:
One cold February morning, a email arrived as I prepped my notes on the Inferno; a student had written with a question, attaching a small cartoon by R.E. Parrish in which a figure in medieval garb is interrupted in his writing by an off-panel voice: "Dante, it's dinnertime. Stop writing your fanfics and come eat"--I now work that cartoon into my class every year. Our arrival at the gates of hell is the highlight of the course for me because it is the moment when many students understand what I consider to be the most vital lesson of the class: the texts we are reading are not the destination, just the very first step in their engagement with the ideas and authors we have encountered. I assign a variety of creative projects throughout the year, but when we reach Dante, my students' work tends to take on exciting new dimensions, since they have the ideal guide to what can be achieved using our texts as source material. This paper will explore a variety of creative projects and assignments that use the Comedy as a starting point.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Out of this world: Experimental approaches to canonical works
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel explores non-traditional approaches to teaching within the core curriculum. It welcomes papers that explore a variety of approaches beyond discussion and academic essays: theatrical projects, artistic assignments in any medium, digital adventures--anything goes. These projects and curricula might be in any phase of implementation--completed projects, ongoing experimentation, or planning for the future. The panel itself is intended as a space for experimentation and exploration.


Proposal Number: 117
Date: 2018-01-01
Paper Title: A Contained Burn in the Constitution: Madison’s Federalist Paper #10 and the Rhetoric of Analogy
Core Text:
Federalist Paper #10
Abstract:
In order to discuss how the art of rhetoric might inform a core text, and a core text the art of rhetoric, I will examine Madison’s famous analogy of faction to fire: “Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires.” Analogy is complicated: as logical form, it is suspect since logic prefers stable terms for identity and certain propositions for assertion, yet analogy rests only on a “likeness”; as rhetorical form, it is a simile (perhaps even a metaphor), a figure of speech, yet one with logical force since it presumes that, if the likeness holds, the assertion in the one case holds in the other. Madison’s analogy is also an emotional and ethical proof, I will argue, appealing emotionally both to fear (since fire can be destructive if handled badly) and to wonder (since it can be creative if handled well) and ethically to Madison’s persona as a scientist whose knowledge of nature establishes his authority on humanity. I will examine the form of analogy, its rhetorical effect in Federalist Paper #10 itself, and the relationship between the form and the effect in both Madison’s composition and a class discussion of Federalist Paper #10.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: The Liberal Arts of Language and Core Texts
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
The panel will be composed of a substantial introduction and three papers, each addressing the relationship between the liberal arts of language—grammar, logic and rhetoric—in relationship to a Core text—James Madison’s Federalist #10—and the Core text in relationship to the liberal arts of language. The introduction will examine instruction in the arts of language generally in “basic skills” programs as preparation for reading and writing about Core texts. Then each of the three papers will take up one of the three arts, examining how the art informs and is informed by the text. In discussion, the three panelists will be encouraged to relate the arts to each other in Madison’s text and in themselves.


Proposal Number: 116
Date: 2018-01-01
Paper Title: Intimate otherness: writing down the ineffable in Apuleius’ Cupid and Psyche
Core Text:
Apuleius. Metamorphoses
Abstract:
The tale of Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses (4.28-6.24) has been considered as a charming narrative piece, as well as a mise en abyme of Lucius’ adventures in the whole novel, i.e. a parable of the limits of knowledge and the disastrous consequences of curiosity that reflect the journey of the ass. Apuleius explores through the fictional frame a logos that harmonizes the tension between opposites within the human being, between individual Psyche and divine Desire. The portrayal and interaction of characters reaffirm how human words are incapable of expressing the sublime dimension of true knowledge. This insistence on the ineffability of superior goods can be attributed to the folkloric tone of the narration and apparently undermines its expressive strength. However, it ironically stresses interesting paradoxes of Apuleius’ approach to human soul.


Proposal Number: 115
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: The Aesthetic and the Ethical in Kierkegaard and Austen
Core Text:
Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling, Seducer's Diary, and Austen's Persuasion
Abstract:
In Fear and Trembling Kierkegaard sets up a dialectical war between two sorts of logical categories, which he calls the ethical and the aesthetic: the aesthetic’s need for lack of disclosure and truth-telling inevitably distorts human ethical choices. For Kierkegaard, this split between the ethical and the aesthetic remains largely unresolved, but not all poets write like this. In the poetics of Austen, particularly in her last novel Persuasion which contains many of the elements of seduction and betrayal Kierkegaard finds so interesting in his Seducer’s Diary, every movement has both an ethical and an aesthetic dimension—at the same time. In Persuasion, Austen makes art that Plato himself might be tempted to forgive.


Proposal Number: 114
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Cicero's De re Publica on Statesmanship
Core Text:
Cicero, De Re Publica; Tocqueville's Democracy in America
Abstract:
Cicero's De Re Publica seems to make a forceful argument against abstract philosophy and in favor of attention to the political order. The evidence for this claim is presented especially in the introductory remarks that Cicero makes in his own name at various places within the dialogue. But a closer examination of the dialogue as a whole suggests that his critique of philosophy is not dismissive of the philosophic endeavor as a whole. This paper will examine the tension between philosophy and statesmanship that appears to dominate the work, and seek a resolution of that tension in a higher concern for Cicero.


Proposal Number: 113
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Using Confederate Memorial Debates to Teach Core Texts
Core Text:

Abstract:
Teaching in a core texts curriculum compels participation in an enduring conversation on canonicity, even if only in the solitary task of syllabus design. In my own work on Confederate monument removal, metaphors of landscape as text and arena are used to interrogate contested sites of commemoration. Interestingly (but perhaps not surprisingly), my research on material landscapes is enriched by teaching the intellectual landscape of core texts. In both situations, we must ask –what is worth “reading” and remembering? Such work allows a contribution both within and beyond my disciplinary niche, while also enhancing my core texts pedagogy.


Proposal Number: 112
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Writing Women Writing Men: Navigating Ovid’s Heroides
Core Text:
Ovid, Heroides
Abstract:
The surface lightness of Ovid’s Heroides—imagined and often humorous epistolary poems from fictional heroines suffering from unrequited love—conceals the text’s potentially disorienting effects. Drawing on four examples (Penelope to Ulysses, Briseis to Achilles, Dido to Aeneas, and the possibly inauthentic Sappho to Phaon), I identify some of the letters’ head-spinning features, not least of which is that the heroines are readers of the canonical texts in which they fictionally appear. Although Ovid appears to draw out marginalized characters and to offer critical perspectives on the epic heroes to whom the letters are addressed, ultimately his women can only give voice to their voicelessness. As such, his text is ideally suited for raising questions about whose interpretations are privileged and for destabilizing the very notion of a fixed canon.


Proposal Number: 111
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Achilles, Anger, and Aristotle
Core Text:
Homer's Iliad and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Helen’s beauty was said to have launched a thousand ships. What of the anger of Achilles? Did it not launch the needless death of untold numbers of rank and file Achaean soldiers? Was it not at least partially responsible for the death of Achilles’ companion Patroklos and the near death of Achilles by drowning? This paper will use Aristotle’s moral distinctions from the Nicomachean Ethics to evaluate Homer’s portrayal of Achilles and his anger in Homer’s Iliad.


Proposal Number: 110
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: The Monster and the Savior: Imagining Ancient and Modern Heroism with "Beowulf"
Core Text:
Beowulf
Abstract:
"Beowulf" stands near the source of English literature, and its genre strikes contemporary readers as familiar—a romance featuring heroic warriors and bloodthirsty beasts—and yet also alien, charged as it is with the atmosphere and assumptions of a European world neither classical nor medieval. Using J.R.R. Tolkien's classic essay, "The Monsters and the Critics," I offer a reading of the poem that articulates the transformation in our understanding of heroism that has taken place since skalds first thrilled audiences with the exploits of Beowulf the Geat. I will discuss the impact of the Christian, Quixotic, and therapeutic discourses that among others have distanced us from the figure of Beowulf. I will invite my readers to consider how teaching this poem can make students more aware and more critical of their own assumptions and might even help renew the possibility of heroic epic in the poetry of our own time.


Proposal Number: 109
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Why do we do evil? Aristotle, Augustine and Shakespeare
Core Text:
Augustine's Confessions, Shakespeare's Macbeth and Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethic
Abstract:
In this paper I aim to answer the question ‘Why do we do evil?’ discussing Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, Augustine’s Confessions and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Firstly, I will address the question whether evil can be chosen by itself (Augustine) or just as a lesser or apparent good (Aristotle). Secondly, I will compare Augustine to Macbeth, since they both share what I will call a “nihilistic” understanding of evil.


Proposal Number: 108
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Political Philosophy and the Socratic Turn: On Plato's Lovers
Core Text:
Plato's Lovers
Abstract:
In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates tells his friends about his turn away from the study of nature and to the study of human things. While this portrait is of immense importance, it is also astonishingly brief. This paper will argue that Plato's much less celebrated dialogue, the Lovers, casts welcome illumination on Socrates' autobiographical statement. In the Lovers, we see Socrates attempt to turn two boys away from astronomy and mathematics toward politics and self-knowledge. Socrates reveals that the boys are not drawn to natural science by a love of truth, but, rather because they think it is high or noble. It may be then, that the study of human things is an indispensable pre-requisite for the proper undertaking of natural science. In this way, the Lovers may help us better understand Socrates' motivation for his own turn.


Proposal Number: 107
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Dialogues Over Crime and Punishment
Core Text:
Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
Abstract:
Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment is the gravitational center of readings and interpretations created by different times, places, and individuals. The novel has been read to explore the psychology of resentment and recognition, the limitations of utilitarian thought, the nature of sin and redemption, the effects of poverty and gender roles, and the contested spaces between European and Russian thought. The embodied voices of Dostoevsky’s characters and the world his narrator describes engage readers and students in an ongoing dialogue over the nature of the self and justice. A Bakhtinian approach to selected scenes from the novel reveals the irresolvable tensions between the universal and the particular that drive the traditions of Russian literature and ensure its continuing relevance.


Proposal Number: 106
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: On Nietzsche's Understanding of Women
Core Text:
Beyond Good and Evil
Abstract:
This paper’s goal is to explicate the tensions in Nietzsche’s arguments about women that have led to many disparate conceptions among feminists of what Nietzsche thinks about women. On one hand, many feminists, such as the liberal feminist Susan Moller Okin, argue that Nietzsche’s writings are sexist works. Others, such as ecofeminist Susan Claxton, argue that Nietzsche’s discussions of nature, polytheism, and arguments against Christianity reflect the philosophy of ecofeminists. In this paper, we will turn to Nietzsche’s work Beyond Good and Evil to both identify the roots of these two disparate understanding of Nietzsche’s view of women and discuss in what ways these two dissimilar arguments reflect Nietzsche’s broader understanding of women. Ultimately, this paper will tie Nietzsche’s discussion of women in Beyond Good and Evil to his discussion about the tension between truth and life.


Proposal Number: 105
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: [The Non-Disappearance of the Discourse of Capitalism]
Core Text:
A tradition of discourse; if one text is necessary, Weber's Spirit of Captalism is an implicit motivating center
Abstract:
Recent economic sociologists – most notably Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello in The New Spirit of Capitalism – have posited the “disappearance” of the “discourse of capitalism.” The reasons for this disappearance are various – from the collapse of communism and Fukuyama’s neo-liberal “end of history” to changes in the nature of capitalism (with, for example, what Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake call a Capitalism without Capital). The paper argues that the discourse of capitalism has not so much disappeared as developed from advocacy or critique of an emerging mode of production to the functional analysis of what might be called the ecology (be it psychological, cultural, moral, or environmental) of an established mode of production. The paper will propose a typology of the major works in the contemporary discourse of capitalism.


Proposal Number: 104
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Hegel and the Pittsburgh School
Core Text:
(1) Phenomenology of Spirit (2) Science of Logic
Abstract:
The ‘Pittsburgh school’ of philosophy (McDowell, Brandom, Sellars) has often been described as ‘Hegelian.’ My paper explores the extent to which ‘Hegelianism’ can be accurately attributed to the Pittsburgh school. In doing so, I consider two of Hegel’s main texts, the Phenomenology of Spirit and the Science of Logic (the latter often remains underappreciated in North American Hegel studies). As I examine several aspects of the Pittsburgh-Hegel connection, I also relate this connection to Hegel’s conception of the absolute, and as well to certain fundamental features of his philosophy of religion.


Proposal Number: 103
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Po Chü-I on Friendship
Core Text:
selected poems of Po Chü-I
Abstract:
There is something good that pulls us into “the deluge of data, images, and information” and its “disorienting flux”; that is, friendship—the promise of maintaining distant, old friendships and a readiness to make new ones. As in a Greek tragedy, however, the value ends up undermined by its pursuit. I have about 300 “friends,” according to a website I check daily and that depresses me daily. Looking to the Western sky for orientation (to follow the conference metaphor), one finds many luminous stars—for thinking seriously about romantic love. For help with friendship, there is a relative dearth. My students tell me that romantic partners come and go; they do not feel as pessimistic about their friendships. However, they meet with few core texts to support and enrich this intuition. In the ones they might find (The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and Montaigne’s “On Friendship”), friendship appears as something for the extraordinary. In this context, they would benefit from a short selection of poems by Po Chü-I that express an intense, yet down-to-earth kind of friendship. In truth, a number of T’ang Dynasty Chinese poets might have served. But Po’s poems stand out now, as they did 1200 years ago, for their exceptional clarity, freshness, and surprising subtlety.


Proposal Number: 102
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: The Great Washingtonian-Du Boisian Polemic and its Implications for Communicating the Core
Core Text:
Du Bois, *The Souls of Black Folk*
Abstract:
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois had radically different ideas about political and economic development for African Americans in the wake of the Civil War and Reconstruction and during the height of Jim Crow. Their views on education were also polar opposites--Washington favoring a more practical trade-based training versus Du Bois, who was a passionate advocate of the liberal arts. This talk will examine their differences--and look for ways in which both thinkers' approaches can be of use for the future of core-text teaching. I will also discuss the way in which Carthage College will be featuring *The Souls of Black Folk* as its First-Year Read over the next several years.


Proposal Number: 101
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Is There a Universal Innate Human Capacity for Wisdom? A New Slant from an Ancient Text.
Core Text:
The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch Huineng
Abstract:
Chinese Buddhist Chan Master Huineng (638–713), traditionally regarded as the sixth inheritor in the lineage of Bodhidharma, presents the idea of the inherent nature (zì xìng自性)—an innate human capacity that is altogether whole and complete, vast and great, and possessing no boundaries or discernible characteristics. Huineng suggests that this potential is not fixed, or essentialized, but rather exhibits an immense plasticity through which we construct our perception of the phenomenal and the noumenal world: “People’s inherent nature is basically pure and from it the ten thousand things are created.” According to Huineng, all the writings in the buddhist canon were established only to serve as pragmatic guides to lead practitioners to access and engage their own inherent nature. In this paper, I intend to explore Huineng’s idea of the inherent nature as a universal human potential shared by all people—whose capacity transcends both time and space, language and culture—and to ask how may language serve as a tool for retrieving meaning and, using Gadamer’s suggestion, to foster an open dialogue between the horizon of the reader and one that opened up in the text.


Proposal Number: 100
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Harmony, hope and humanity in Beethoven's music
Core Text:
Sonata no.32 in C Minor, Sonata no. 26 in E-flat major, 'Les Adieux', and the Missa Solemnis
Abstract:
'In the history of western music there is only Beethoven' wrote Theodor Adorno. This paper will explore the meaning of this in relation to the immanently dialectical nature of harmony in Beethoven's music. With reference to Sonata no.32 in C Minor, Sonata no. 26 in E-flat major, 'Les Adieux', and the Missa Solemnis, the paper will look at the ways in which music's 'logical' features - statement, development, contradiction, tension, resolution, whole and part - represent not only the bourgeois totality of Beethoven's time as mediated but also the impulse of humanity and hope in his work. In this way i will argue that Beethoven's musical texts are to be read as critical texts, even as core texts, because they continue to teach us about the freedom and truth that constitutes our aporetic modern experience.


Proposal Number: 99
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: What Law Wishes to Be
Core Text:
Plato's Minos
Abstract:
In Plato's Minos, Socrates suggests that law wishes to be the discovery of what is. In other words, law gives answers that are meant to preempt questioning, searching, and attempting to discover. Socrates's unnamed partner in conversation regards law as the discovery of what is, thereby illustrating the human appetite for answers that remove the need to question and to think. Plato's Minos argues that we must look to law not for the answers but with an eye to discover, just as we must look to texts like the Minos not to end questioning but to begin.


Proposal Number: 98
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Reconsidering Constellations of Power: Hannah Arendt’s On Violence in the Twenty-first Century
Core Text:
Arendt, On Violence; Rousseau, Second Discourse; Du Bois Souls of Black Folk
Abstract:
In her 1970 work, On Violence, Hannah Arendt explores the relationship between power and violence, drawing on her personal experience in World War II as a Jew in Germany witnessing the rise of totalitarian regimes across Europe and on her observation as a professor in the United States of the student movements protesting the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Arendt argues, novelly, that violence is employed by those in power at the point at which they have already lost their power, rather than it being used to entrench their power further, a proposition that reframes the understanding of the balance of political power dating back to the Enlightenment, as exemplified by the works of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and that repositions the on-going discussion of violence in the United States that has lapped from the Twentieth Century into the Twenty-first, thus engaging with works by Du Bois, Huxley, and Coates. Exposing students to Arendt’s brief work challenges them to consider or reconsider the interaction between power and violence, the role of chance or luck in life, and the function of rage and anger as components of the human experience.


Proposal Number: 97
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Missing the Metaphor
Core Text:
Ion
Abstract:
Abrupt and inconclusive, Plato’s Ion has provoked a variety of responses, including irritation at the incorrigibility of the rhapsode and the sophistic pressure Socrates exerts on him. Socrates is more gentle with his interlocutor than is often credited, and through the simile of the magnet and the iron rings, he tries to bring Ion to an understanding of the state of his own self-knowledge as well as knowledge of the world around him. In the end, Ion is too committed to the particular Homeric worldview of which he is so fond, and cannot transcend particular description of himself and the world around him to come to a more universal - and hence, more philosophical - conception of the world, and of himself.


Proposal Number: 95
Date: 2017-12-31
Paper Title: Missing the Metaphor
Core Text:
Plato's dialogue Ion
Abstract:
Abrupt and inconclusive, Plato’s Ion has provoked a variety of responses, including irritation at the incorrigibility of the rhapsode and the sophistic pressure Socrates exerts on him. Socrates is more gentle with his interlocutor than is often credited, and through the simile of the magnet and the iron rings, he tries to bring Ion to an understanding of the state of his own self-knowledge as well as knowledge of the world around him. In the end, Ion is too committed to the particular Homeric worldview of which he is so fond, and cannot transcend particular description of himself and the world around him to come to a more universal - and hence, more philosophical - conception of the world, and of himself.


Proposal Number: 94
Date: 2017-12-30
Paper Title: “How Teaching Core Texts Informs (My) Research”
Core Text:
Descartes' Meditations and Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals
Abstract:
This paper explores how teaching in a core texts curriculum influences research, and in turn, how research informs core texts pedagogy. Specifically, this paper will explore how Buddhist texts, Descartes' Meditations, and Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals are three core texts that have deeply influenced my current research about how improvisation theory and techniques prepare students to engage in critical thinking. More broadly, this paper examines methodologies for integrating research and core texts teaching, and how pedagogy and scholarship are not necessarily bifurcated elements of the academic life.


Proposal Number: 92
Date: 2017-12-30
Paper Title: “How Teaching Core Texts Informs (My) Research”
Core Text:
Rule of St. Clare and the Therigatha
Abstract:
This paper will explore how teaching core texts has expanded my research scope. Traditionally, my research has focused on female monastic communities in Buddhist Thailand, and has included consideration of the Therigatha, the enlightenment poetry of the first Buddhist nuns and, arguably, the only canonical scripture in a major religion attributed to the authorship of women. Teaching in Samford University’s Core Texts Program over the past six years has broadened my research scope to include female monasticism and asceticism in Christian history, and has introduced me to the pioneering work of St. Clare of Assisi: the first woman to write a Rule (set of guidelines governing Christian monastic life) by and for women, aptly titled The Rule of St. Clare. This paper will explore how teaching Core Texts informs (my) research, and how pedagogy and scholarship are not bifurcated elements of the academic life.


Proposal Number: 91
Date: 2017-12-30
Paper Title: Liberal Education and Character Formation
Core Text:

Abstract:
In the current debate on liberal education, regarding its origins, a distinction is drawn between the so called philosophical tradition and the oratorical one. Although both streams put on the table the question of the nature of the human being and its proper and right development, the oratorical tradition is sometimes more associated with a sort of normative content, with a higher commitment to the practice of virtues, or regarding the cultivation of the good life and not just concerning its consideration as a whole (B. A. Kimball, 1986). My own argumentation, in this context, is based on the consideration that liberal education is, in its radical sense, learning for human flourishing. This approach, not entirely unrelated to the orientation of some historically well-known Core Curriculum programmes in which the individual guidance was one of the components –along with others- to implement a liberal education model (D. Bell, 1966), has recently been held by some scholars, departing from the notion of an educational aim (D. R. Denicola, 2012). From another angle, I will argue that liberal education is learning for human flourishing by considering that some intelectual virtues that allow to reflect on the human good are in pursuit of the greatest practical good for human being and the means to achieve it. If the Core knowledges of liberal education are knowledges for life, a liberal education model or a given Core Curriculum programme could also embrace the exercise of these knowledges. As a consequence of this view, it is sustainable that in the philosophical (greek) tradition, knowledge and learning is devoted to the exercise of the good life too


Proposal Number: 90
Date: 2017-12-30
Paper Title: The Assault on Speech in Hobbes's Leviathan
Core Text:
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
Abstract:
In Chapter XVIII of Leviathan, Hobbes grants the sovereign the authority to judge what opinions are either conducive or averse to peace, adding “the actions of men proceed from their opinions, and in the well-governing of opinions consisteth the well-governing of men’s actions, in order to their peace and concord” (XVIII.9). Hobbes thus provides justifications within the liberal tradition for the regulation of speech and subjection to an absolute political authority that seems to preserve equality for the sake of “peace” at the expense of personal freedom. These arguments are the necessary result of Hobbes’s hedonistic moral teaching that reduces human life to the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain, which for him is solely of the body. By understanding the reductive character of Hobbes’s philosophy, we can better see the moral underpinnings of current arguments against free speech that are ultimately hostile to the search for truth that defines a liberal arts education.


Proposal Number: 89
Date: 2017-12-29
Paper Title: "Shakespeare's Shrewd 'Shrew': Hoodwinking Her Tiercell with an Odyssean Hood"
Core Text:
"The Odyssey" (VI. 161-198) & "Shrew" (IV. Sc 5, 36-41)
Abstract:
In keeping with this year's topic, the oft-overlooked origin of Kate Minola's well-known address to Vincentio (IV. Sc V) in the Bard's "The Taming of the Shrew," when recalled, affords a classical foundation upon which to reassess all of Kate's subsequent actions and speeches in Acts IV and V. Paraphrasing Odysseus's flattering words to Nausikaa in Book 6 of "The Odyssey," Kate's address to Vincentio provides much evidence to support the view that Kate's 'transformation' by play's end into the docile subservient spouse to her would-be tamer is neither genuine nor permanent. In a play rife with Falconry metaphors, Kate deftly draws a hood over the head of this Tiercel (and the heads of myriad scholars and critics over the centuries) with this Odyssean allusion that reveals her shrewd apprehension both of her husband's taming 'process' AND precisely how to beat him at it. Reading this 'problem play’ in the context of this allusion to Odyssean verbal manipulation of one (Nausikaa/Petruchio) who is all-to-willing to believe such ‘soft words,’ shines a bright light onto Shakespeare’s method in developing fully this play's themes involving self-identity and role-playing on this World Stage of ours.


Proposal Number: 85
Date: 2017-12-29
Paper Title: From Grendel to Mephistopheles: New Visions of the Meaning of Modernity
Core Text:
Beowulf; Goethe's Faust
Abstract:
In this paper I demonstrate how to challenge this assumption by introducing students to two core texts that have the medieval world as their foundational context: Beowulf, and Goethe's Faust. The former is an archaic text in which medieval and pre-medieval cultural values are shared through a powerful heroic narrative; the latter is a 19th-century literary interpretation of a popular medieval legend. The otherness of the medieval worlds depicted in these two works – their notions of Christianity, magic, and the supernatural; their value systems and philosophical underpinnings; their narrative and dramatic traditions – provides students with fascinating alternatives to and perspectives on the contemporary assumptions of modernity. In particular, Goethe’s reworking of the medieval Faust legend demonstrates how medieval culture can function as a useful perspective for rethinking modern culture.


Proposal Number: 83
Date: 2017-12-29
Paper Title: The Liberal Regime of Moderation
Core Text:
Locke, Second Treatise;Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws; Federalist Papers
Abstract:
Liberal political theory points to the establishment of a political regime governed by the classical virtue of moderation. (This is a paper intended for Tom Bateman's proposed panel on "Core Texts on the Regime as a Core Idea in Political Science.)


Proposal Number: 82
Date: 2017-12-29
Paper Title: Reading the Akedah: The Perspectival Benefits of Jon Levenson and Søren Kierkegaard
Core Text:
Genesis
Abstract:
The Akedah, or the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22, presents a puzzle for religious and non-religious readers alike. What ought to be made of this capstone to the covenant accounts between God and Abraham in Genesis 12, 15, and 17? Jon Levenson, a twentieth-century biblical scholar, and Søren Kierkegaard, a nineteenth-century philosopher, provide dramatically different interpretations of this narrative. Levenson details the historical-literary roots of the text. Rather than a monster, Abraham shines as the exemplar of commitment to YHWH with his decision to follow the divine decree. For Kierkegaard, however, to overcome the monstrosity of Abraham’s willingness to murder his son is to destroy the limit that faith presents. Faith is precisely what cannot be made to conform to human systemization. As much as Levenson might roll his eyes at Kierkegaard and accuse him of prejudiced vision – one that cannot but reveal the fingerprints of Kant – Kierkegaard’s words remain a challenge. In my paper, I will consider how one might read Genesis 22 in light of both Levenson’s and Kierkegaard’s positions. I will suggest that rather than one rendering the other’s position obsolete, these two points of view invite readers to enter into two distinct and equally critical aspects of this foundational chapter of Genesis.


Proposal Number: 81
Date: 2017-12-29
Paper Title: Liberal Arts and the Logos of Man
Core Text:
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics; Aquinas' Discourse on Law
Abstract:
As the conference theme suggests, true core texts stand outside of space and time, and give direction. I argue that this is true because of the orientation in these texts is or touches upon truths outside of a particular time or culture, and thus it is in these texts that man can reach beyond himself, truly know himself, and be free. This is particularly true of a properly ordered Liberal Arts Education, where not only the texts are directive, but the mind of the student is properly disposed.


Proposal Number: 80
Date: 2017-12-29
Paper Title: Tocqueville on (Today's) American Electorate
Core Text:
Alexis de Tocqueville. *Democracy in America*
Abstract:
In "Democracies," a Core course at Champlain College, students encounter Alexis de Tocqueville, who in the 1830s took a dim view of American voters' ability, capacity, and willingness to select worthy citizens to hold positions of political authority. The most distinguished Americans, he argued, did not stand for election, but, even if they did, the electorate would be unable to discern them from their less worthy rivals, and, even if were able to do so, it would be disinclined to vote them into office. To what extent do today's students recognize themselves and their fellow citizens in Tocqueville's picture of the American electorate? By examining their reactions to his claims, this paper will discuss what reading Tocqueville helps students to discover about democracy, about America, and about themselves.


Proposal Number: 79
Date: 2017-12-29
Paper Title: The Regime in Plato's Republic
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Core Texts on the Regime as a Core Idea in Political Science
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 77
Date: 2017-12-28
Paper Title: Astronomy in Plato: the Role of ‘Science’ in Plato’s Republic and ours
Core Text:
Plato's Republic
Abstract:
In Book VII of Republic Socrates and Glaucon discuss the standing and merits of geometry and astronomy in their proposed city. The conversation on this subject touches on the seemingly modern tension between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ knowledge, the role of aesthetics in science, the effect of scientific training on the soul, and the role of science in the education of the leaders of a free people. This paper attempts to examine these questions in light of Plato’s thought and our contemporary – and increasingly fragmented – academic world.


Proposal Number: 76
Date: 2017-12-28
Paper Title: Leo Strauss as a Guide to the Great Books
Core Text:
Plato Republic
Abstract:
Leo Strauss’s influence on greal books or core text programmes has been immense. This paper will look at the way Strauss frames pedagogy through the structure of Plato’s images of the the Sun, the Line and the Cave. I will argue that Strauss crucially misreads Plato here and in doing so frames an account of pedagogy that is both false historically and to the needs and requirements of contemporary pedagogical work. Nonetheless, I will also recognize that his approach is rightly experienced as stimulating and powerful for contemporary students, even as it distorts the proper task of education.


Proposal Number: 75
Date: 2017-12-28
Paper Title: Chaucer: Hypertext and Paper
Core Text:
Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
Abstract:
The 2018 ACTC conference proposal speaks to the distraction we face daily in our classrooms, seemingly worse and worse every year: “The volume and pressure of ever-present information, continually refreshing itself, floods attention, dazzles and distracts and disorients.” We all see some version of this: phones read under the table, FaceTime up alongside electronic texts, or worse: homework blatantly done in class, while we are talking about a completely different subject. With these kinds of interference, class discussion often falters or lumbers along with only token contributions. As Marshall McLuhan has argued, sometimes the medium really is the message. Our conference invitation seems to perceive core texts as special, not subject to the attentional problems that plague the rest of the internet; it asks if “core texts provide contemporary readers the difference necessary to reveal a logos, a hidden harmony of human existence.” But we are at risk of begging the question; the invitation seems to assume that indeed reading core texts enriches readers and deepens knowledge. But what if reading core texts online flattens the experience, makes it blend with the morass of information and misinformation out on the internet? What if the experience of reading online obscures the richness and liveliness of these texts? Over the last ten years, I have moved some courses heavily online, but more recently, not because of the quality of the reading experience but because of inattention during discussion, I have reverted to paper in my literature courses. In some ways, that’s a shame. Project Gutenberg, among other sites, makes over 56,000 texts, the greatest literature in the world among them, free to all denizens of the internet. As with the original Gutenberg press, there are great goods to cheap or free texts for all; many students currently do not buy books because they feel they cannot afford them. And we can binge read obscure Dickens or, indeed, Heraclitus, wherever we happen to be. Students can be taught to annotate online, and searching long novels is easier. Nevertheless, I find that moving back to paper has enlivened conversations. Perhaps because students so rarely focus attention on just one thing anymore, close reading can engage them in ways that have become otherwise uncommon. I will focus on differences in reading Chaucer online and in paper in an undergraduate general education literature course.


Proposal Number: 74
Date: 2017-12-28
Paper Title: Dead Friends, Dull Pears, and the (Surprising) Allure of a Participatory Metaphysic
Core Text:
St. Augustine's Confessions
Abstract:
St. Augustine's enduring classic, Confessions, hardly needs another apologia, even if it ever merits one. In this paper I consider the text's pedagogical value by treating some of the scenes which most often pique students' interest. I take note of Augustine's capacity to weave a set of profound metaphysical claims into the narrative, one hardly familiar to students. This allows me to highlight fruitful opportunities and challenges for student and instructor alike.


Proposal Number: 73
Date: 2017-12-27
Paper Title: A Confucian Path for Embracing Difference and Change
Core Text:
The Analects
Abstract:
The standard Western view of Confucius holds that he rejected difference and change, and instead championed a static traditionalism that promoted sameness and rigid conformity. If true, the Analects, which is deeply rooted in the ancient culture and rituals of pre-Qin China, would offer little to a contemporary reader looking to properly engage, as opposed to fully resist, a changing world of cultural and individual differences. Working from the Confucian saying that excellent human relationships prize “harmony, not sameness” while degraded ones seek “sameness and not harmony,” I’ll argue that the standard interpretation of Confucius as a rigid conformist is false. Instead, I’ll argue that although the Analects does not embrace difference for the sake of difference, it does demand that difference and change be nurtured as a central component of both living excellently and promoting the common good.


Proposal Number: 72
Date: 2017-12-27
Paper Title: Tocqueville on Imperialism and Democracy
Core Text:
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Abstract:
Tocqueville’s condemnation of Americans’ treatment of slaves and Amerindians, which he regarded as just as violent as the notorious Spanish conquests, has led some commentators to conclude that he was a resolute anti-imperialist. But his statements in Democracy in America regarding those two groups never amounted to a critique of expansion and conquest. In fact, he also regarded the frontier as a breeding-ground for the self-reliance that characterized American citizens, and he considered America a model for the French conquest of Algeria. In this paper I intend to explore Tocqueville’s belief that imperial expansion was an inevitable element of modern democracy.


Proposal Number: 71
Date: 2017-12-27
Paper Title: Navigating the Trivium: Question 1 of Aquinas’s Summa
Core Text:
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Q 1
Abstract:
As a core text, Question 1 of Thomas Aquinas’s Summary of Theology can serve multiple needs in a liberal arts curriculum, especially with respect to the classical trivium of grammar, dialectic and rhetoric. It introduces readers to the very idea of “grammar” by challenging them to appropriate a grammar (medieval Latin scholasticism in translation!) that most will initially find alien and not easily relatable. Close attention to each of the question’s ten articles invariably habituates readers into a powerful philosophical language through which they can reflect on and articulate judgments about such realities as reason, faith, knowledge, wisdom and interpretation. In light of its subject matter, Question 1 of Aquinas’s Summa can serve not only as core text, but also as a foundational text for any liberal arts curriculum that aims to embody a healthy secularism through the academic investigation of historical faith traditions.


Proposal Number: 70
Date: 2017-12-27
Paper Title: Dead Friends, Dull Pears, and the (Surprising) Allure of a Participatory Metaphysic
Core Text:
St. Augustine's Confessions
Abstract:
St. Augustine's enduring classic, Confessions, hardly needs another apologia, even if it ever merits one. In this paper I consider the text's pedagogical value by treating some of the scenes which most often pique students' interest. I take note of Augustine's capacity to weave a set of profound metaphysical claims into the narrative, one hardly familiar to students. This allows me to highlight fruitful opportunities and challenges for student and instructor alike.


Proposal Number: 69
Date: 2017-12-24
Paper Title: John of Salisbury’s Metalogicon and the roots of intellectual self-deprecation
Core Text:
Metalogicon
Abstract:
Do each of us really stare at the bag on the back of the fellow in front to avoid confronting our lack of the arts of grammar, rhetoric and logic? So begins John of Salisbury’s Prologue to his Metalogicon and his attack on the bloated gluttony of ignorant and anonymous ‘Cornificius’. Hence, John’s subsequent question is, in a manner of speaking, whether an Epicurean pig taken to market is held by the man or the rope? Yet John’s real problem is as much with himself and his subordination to ‘Him without Whom human weakness is powerless’. John grudgingly berates his own lack of knowledge of the ancients, deficit of style and all round dullness, while being crushingly aware of his responsibility for all matters ecclesiastical in Britain at the time. Truly an intellectual martyr, yet ringing with asides and jokes, how and why was the pre-modern originator of the phrase ‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’ able to dynamise his self-deprecation and assert the grammar of man as literal, figurative and false?


Proposal Number: 68
Date: 2017-12-24
Paper Title: The grammar of linguistic and political possibility in Madison's Federalist Paper #10
Core Text:
Federalist Paper #10
Abstract:
Beginning with the formality of addressing the people and state of New York, though quickly moving to align with the unnamed friend of popular government, Madison's Federalist Paper 10 famously addresses the problem of faction. While it starts prepositionally with the hardly memorable, but aspirationally measurable, phrase, 'Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union.....' it strives, in other places, for a barely defined ideal of public good. This paper contends that Madison as Publius exemplifies a sometimes elusively conjoined grammar of 'directed enquiry' towards a 'great object' that is significantly wider than the term 'faction'. Through attempting to identify the grammatical underpinning of 'The Same Subject Continued' as well as the implications of the idea of faction, the paper assesses the linked scope of grammatical discovery as well as political explanation. The analysis concludes that without the study of the grammar of Federalist Paper #10 we are left with an impoverished notion of political possibility, and, by inference, the human nature it strives to mirror and reflect as art.


Proposal Number: 67
Date: 2017-12-22
Paper Title: Musical Poetics: Rhetoric and Music in the Seventeenth Century and Applications for Modern Liberal Education
Core Text:
Joachim Burmeister, “Musica poetica” (Rostock, 1606)
Abstract:
In the seventeenth century, musical theorists sought to reconcile musical expression with the principles of classical rhetoric and oratory. In his “Musica poetica” (Rostock, 1606), the German theorist Joachim Burmeister proposes a vocabulary and syntax through which a composer or performer could inform, persuade, or motivate an audience. The underlying philosophical approach of musical poetics can be profitably applied to musical study in the modern liberal arts curriculum. In the same way that rhetoric seeks to foster critical thinking and discernment in the learner, musical poetics provides a framework for understanding and evaluating musical works, and a rationale for musicians to develop their eloquence as performers, conductors, or performers.


Proposal Number: 66
Date: 2017-12-22
Paper Title: The Enterprise of Education: Benjamin Franklin's LIbrary Company
Core Text:
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
Abstract:
Early in the Autobiography¸ Benjamin Franklin describes his first two non-commercial enterprises: The Junto and the Library Company. These two projects brought together ambitious men drawn primarily from Philadelphia’s trades and merchant class. They both aimed explicitly at civic and cultural improvement, the Junto through debate and discussion and the Library company through education. This paper considers these two efforts and how Franklin describes them decades later, seeking through that consideration to identify an early iteration of Franklin’s sense of civic education as both practice and curriculum.


Proposal Number: 64
Date: 2017-12-22
Paper Title: Aristotle and the Ethical Importance of the Ancestral
Core Text:
Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics discusses the role of the ancestral in his ethical framework only superficially. Nevertheless, it is possible to infer from his account that there is indeed an ethical behavior proper to the category of the ancestral, and it consists of hitting the mean between an excess—blind ancestor worship—and a deficiency—an arrogant rejection of one’s ancestral tradition. This is of particular importance in the realm of education, for pedagogical approaches toward tradition ought be neither uncritical nor overly harsh.


Proposal Number: 63
Date: 2017-12-22
Paper Title: "Thorough Cultivation": Abraham Lincoln on Education and Labor
Core Text:
Lincoln's Address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society
Abstract:
In an Address to the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Abraham Lincoln asks "How can labor and education be the most satisfactorily combined?" This question is one that Lincoln pondered because he recognized the need for both labor and education in a free society. This paper will investigate Lincoln's thoughts on the relationship between education and labor. In carrying out this investigation, it will consider whether Lincoln could reconcile labor and liberal education.


Proposal Number: 62
Date: 2017-12-22
Paper Title: How to Study Politics According to Alfarabi
Core Text:
Alfarabi’s The Attainment of Happiness
Abstract:
Alfarabi, considered to be the founder of Muslim philosophy, understood that political science is an inquiry of the theoretical virtues into the labor by which man achieves ultimate perfection. It consists of investigation into “the what and the how of the purpose for which man is made,” and also investigation into “the good, virtuous, and noble things.” But politics, according to Alfarabi, must be understood not only through the theoretical virtues, but through the deliberative virtues as well so that one may discover “the most useful and most noble that is common to many.” This paper considers his account of this in The Attainment of Happiness, arguing that his two-fold understanding of politics can enrich the study of politics today.


Proposal Number: 61
Date: 2017-12-22
Paper Title: Et tu Brutè? Art thou a Brute?
Core Text:
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics
Abstract:
Caius Brutus of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar seems to be a morally virtuous, yet imprudent man. According to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics moral virtue and prudence cannot be opposed to each other. If Aristotle is correct, Brutus is either imprudent and not virtuous, or virtuous and prudent. After considering Brutus’s actions in the play we conclude that despite Brutus being called noble and virtuous, an excessive concern for his honor is the cause of his imprudence.


Proposal Number: 60
Date: 2017-12-22
Paper Title: Managing Philosophy
Core Text:
Xenophon’s Oeconomicus
Abstract:
In the Memorabilia, Socrates defends the good household manager as the best general and suggests that he may be of the greatest good for a city. This immediately points anyone familiar with Xenophon’s corpus to his work on household management. The Memorabilia seeks to defend Socrates against his charges of impiety and corruption of the youth, and thereby redeem his memory as something useful for the city. The Oeconomicus presents Socrates involved with someone believed to be a good household manager, and therefore presents a unique opportunity to explore the benefit that philosophy can provide to politics.


Proposal Number: 59
Date: 2017-12-22
Paper Title: Reason and the Divine Will: The Foundations of John Locke’s Natural Law
Core Text:
John Locke’s Essays on the Law of Nature
Abstract:
In his Essays on the Law of Nature, John Locke lays out a compelling argument in defense of the accessibility to reason of a deontological law of nature. Locke argues that a God must exist to account for the creation of the natural world, and that, as Creator, this God would have the authority to prescribe a moral (i.e. natural) law for his creatures. Human beings are capable of discovering this law by deducing the Creator’s will from his actions in creation, especially from his actions implanting certain desires and capacities in the constitution of human nature. Locke’s argument has lost much of its rhetorical force in the Darwinian age, but for those who may credit the growing literature in Natural Theology, it is an argument worthy of renewed attention.


Proposal Number: 58
Date: 2017-12-22
Paper Title: St. Augustine on Reading and Self-Understanding
Core Text:
St. Augustine's Confessions
Abstract:
Augustine greatly valued reading as a (trans-)formative activity. For Augustine, reading starts as an empirical activity that becomes an interpretative one when inner mental images provide for the meaning of the written word. From there, reading is an invitation to contemplation. The distance that an authoritative text creates – not in space or time but in spiritual terms – reorients the reader by promoting a mental space for self-reflection. The paper seeks to provide a reading of Augustine’s views on reading in book 1-9 of the Confessions.


Proposal Number: 57
Date: 2017-12-21
Paper Title: “How Teaching Core Texts Informs (Our) Research”
Core Text:
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Harvard Address and Templeton Address
Abstract:
This paper explores how teaching in Samford University's Core Texts Curriculum influences my research, and in turn, my research informs my pedagogy. Teaching Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has broadened my research, steered my research in new directions, and added depth to current research projects. More broadly, this paper explores methodologies for integrating research and Core Texts teaching, and how pedagogy and scholarship are not necessarily bifurcated elements of the academic life.


Proposal Number: 56
Date: 2017-12-21
Paper Title: Logos in the Barber Shop
Core Text:
Flannery O'Connor's "The Barber"
Abstract:
One of Flannery O'Conner's early stories, "The Barber" depicts a college professor attempting to persuade the patrons of a local barber shop to vote for a progressive gubernatorial candidate. He wants to argue that society is changing and that it is wrong to preserve an unjust way of life. But when his words fall on deaf ears, he turns to force rather than reason to get his point across. Students who read this story are challenged to think about civility and logos in a social climate that is hostile to both.


Proposal Number: 55
Date: 2017-12-21
Paper Title: Why the World is Not Enough: Aquinas’s Nuanced Reply to Naturalism
Core Text:
Thomas Aquinas, 'Summa theologiae' (I, q. 2, a. 3)
Abstract:
In Thomas Aquinas’s treatment of a God’s existence in the 'Summa theologiae', one of the two root objections is “naturalism,” namely, the view that all causes of the phenomena we experience are intraworldly and so we do not need to invoke anything beyond the natural world to explain our experience. Aquinas’s reply to naturalism is brief, but nuanced. He suggests that human thought should be pushed beyond the world owing not only to the changeable character of natural realities, but also to our experience of human failure. This paper explores Aquinas’s reply to naturalism in detail, focusing especially upon his provocative suggestion that that our experiences of thinking and choosing badly ought to spur us to look toward a God beyond nature. It may turn out that for Aquinas, paradoxically, taking seriously error and sin offers the primary pathway out of naturalistic thinking toward the existence of a God beyond nature.


Proposal Number: 53
Date: 2017-12-20
Paper Title: Reason and the Divine Will: The Foundations of John Locke's Natural Law
Core Text:
John Locke's Essays on the Law of Nature
Abstract:
In his Essays on the Law of Nature, John Locke lays out a compelling argument in defense of the accessibility to reason of a deontological law of nature. Locke argues that a God must exist to account for the creation of the natural world, and that, as Creator, this God would have the authority to prescribe a moral law for his creatures. Human beings are capable of discovering this law by deducing the Creator’s will from his actions in creation, especially from his actions implanting certain desires and capacities in the constitution of human nature. Locke’s argument has lost much of its rhetorical force in the Darwinian age, but for those who may credit the growing literature in Natural Theology, it is an argument worthy of renewed attention.


Proposal Number: 52
Date: 2017-12-19
Paper Title: The "Regime" in Montesquieu
Core Text:
Spirit of the Laws; Considerations on the Romans
Abstract:
Like other theorists of traditional political science, Montesquieu believes that the core work of "the legislator" is to use law to support those tendencies that strengthen a regime and to restrain those tendencies that weaken it. This paper will explore two of Montesquieu's innovations in traditional political science that give a particular twist to the work of the legislator: the notion that the regime will have a "general spirit" and the notion that a regime may have a "particular object."


Proposal Number: 51
Date: 2017-12-18
Paper Title: Harper Lee's "Watchman," Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," and the College Student
Core Text:
Go Set A Watchman and Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Abstract:
I will discuss how I teach the intersection of "sex, race, class, and religion" with two Alabama texts written within a few years of each other: Harper Lee's preliminary autobiographical novel _Go Set A Watchman_ and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." I will address their historical contexts, consider their value as core texts, and discuss how students at our institution in Birmingham, Alabama, respond to the tensions of tradition, change, conservatism, liberalism, resistance, protest, counter-protest, and the ethics of "bystanders." Additional resources will be provided.


Proposal Number: 50
Date: 2017-12-15
Paper Title: Jean-Dominque Bauby's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: Some Superficial Reflections on Profound Disability
Core Text:
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Abstract:
A standard move in philosophy is to examine things from the vantage point of some hypothetical or imaginary extreme (such as Plato's cave, Nozick's experience machine, and Rawls' veil of ignorance) in the effort to understand how things here and now are or should be. The permanent and total disability of Jean-Dominique Bauby who had a stroke in 1995 and suffered from locked-in syndrome the remaining fifteen months of his life is also an extreme, and it is one from which we can learn something important about the human condition.


Proposal Number: 49
Date: 2017-12-15
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:


Proposal Number: 48
Date: 2017-12-12
Paper Title: William James and the God of Classical Theism
Core Text:
William James, Varieties of Religious Experience; Aquinas, Summa Theologiae
Abstract:
William James attacks the classical theistic conception of God as having no practical relevance to the believer. He is wrong to do so. Belief in such a God has profound pragmatic implications that James overlooks.


Proposal Number: 47
Date: 2017-12-11
Paper Title: Triple otherness: Jane Eyre read with Russian students
Core Text:
Jane Eyre
Abstract:
Reading Jane Eyre with Russian students means focusing on at least three types of otherness, Charlotte Bronte being English, her being a female writer and her being a 19th century writer. All these aspects have to be taken into consideration as we analyze the novel created on the junction of Romantic and Victorian literature and as we concentrate on the making of a new heroine. Jane Eyre enriches a modern Russian reader in at least three ways, it being an English version of a Cinderella tale, it providing a thorough study of another culture; it being a female writing phenomenon, especially if compared with its counterparts in different cultures and epochs (for instance, with the Russian one).


Proposal Number: 46
Date: 2017-12-09
Paper Title: Hobbes on Happiness
Core Text:
Hobbes's Leviathan
Abstract:
It is commonly believed that Hobbes was a "modern" in the sense that the fundamental desire of humankind is for self-preservation -- in contrast with the "classical" approach, according to which the deepest longing is for happiness. Hobbes is therefore often said to reject the "teleological" approach of the classics. On the contrary, I argue that Hobbes agrees with Aristotle at least to this extent: the purpose of human life, and ultimately even of political life, is happiness -- the successful pursuit of which must be guided by reason and prudence. By exaggerating the gulf between Hobbes and the classics, scholars have sometimes led readers into a contempt for, or even hatred of, the most thoughtful early modern sources of constitutionalism.


Proposal Number: 45
Date: 2017-12-08
Paper Title: The Liberal Arts of Language and Core Texts.
Core Text:
Federalist 10
Abstract:
I will be the moderator


Proposal Number: 44
Date: 2017-12-08
Paper Title: William James and the God of Classical Theism
Core Text:
William James, Varieties of Religious Experience; Aquinas, Summa Theologiae
Abstract:
William James argues that the God of classical theism is a meaningless monstrosity having no pragmatic value. He is wrong. The pragmatic implications of belief in such a deity are in fact profound.


Proposal Number: 43
Date: 2017-12-08
Paper Title: Hegel and Aristophanes: The Comedy of Philosophy
Core Text:
Hegel's Lectures on Aesthetics
Abstract:
The paper seeks to explore the relation between comedy and philosophy through an analysis of Hegel's comments on Aristophanes in his Lectures on Aesthetics, paying particular attention to Aristophanes presentation of Socrates.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: "Modern Confrontations between Philosophy and Poetry.”
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 42
Date: 2017-12-07
Paper Title: Homer on Trial: Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad
Core Text:
Homer Odyssey
Abstract:
Parody, to be effective, must look to the work it parodies through points of contact that make the parody understandable. For this reason Margaret Atwood’s rewriting of the Odyssey inevitably takes us back to Homer’s epic for verification, contrast, and perhaps correction of distortions from one side or the other, especially since in her Introduction to The Penelopiad (xv) Atwood wonders “what led to the hanging of the maids and what was Penelope really up to,” then declares, “I’ve always been haunted by the hanged maids.” Her Penelope is sure “the minstrels” have made least one error: The twelve maids that Odysseus condemned to death must be vindicated. This is the major point of contention between The Penelopiad and the Odyssey, and the one I will examine in this presentation.


Proposal Number: 41
Date: 2017-12-07
Paper Title: Thoreau and the Nature of Books
Core Text:
Walden
Abstract:
“It is not all books that are as dull as their readers,” Thoreau wrote in Walden. “There are probably words addressed to our condition exactly, which, if we could really hear and understand, would be more salutary than the morning or the spring to our lives, and possibly put a new aspect on the face of things for us.” My paper will trace Thoreau’s theory and practice of reading throughout his major works, especially Walden. Toward the end of his life, Thoreau fully embraced books and reading — what he called his “universal liturgy” — as kind of political weapon, that is, as a way to confront even the most intractable social problems in the nineteenth-century, including slavery. Thoreau believed that core texts, in short, have the power to “put a new aspect on the face of things for us.” My paper draws upon research for my current book project, tentatively titled Thoreau’s Liberal Education: Transcendental Higher Learning for the Twenty-First Century.


Proposal Number: 40
Date: 2017-12-05
Paper Title: Benjamin Franklin and the trial of Samuel Hemphill
Core Text:
Benjamin Franklin Autobiography
Abstract:
A central theme in Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography is Franklin’s religious opinions and his disposition towards the churches of his time. One preacher who found favor with Franklin was Samuel Hemphill. Hemphill’s non-dogmatical preaching however led to his being charged with heterodoxy by the Presbyterian Synod of Philadelphia. The three pamphlets Franklin wrote in Hemphill’s defense offer a window into how Franklin aspired to reform the prevailing religious opinions of his time.


Proposal Number: 39
Date: 2017-12-04
Paper Title: Rousseau on the Idea of a Political Regime
Core Text:
Rousseau's Social Contract
Abstract:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s thought ranges over a variety of concerns, including education, art, and the origins and nature of government. This paper will examine Rousseau’s thought in connection to the idea of the regime, which itself covers the constitutional, institutional, and cultural dimensions of political life.


Proposal Number: 37
Date: 2017-11-27
Paper Title:
Core Text:

Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Core Texts on the Regime as a Core Idea in Political Science
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
Political communities are typically described as states, nation-states, governments, constitutions, or countries. These descriptors pass over the greater richness, complexity, and accuracy of the idea of the regime as a way to understanding a political community. Common to ancient and early modern thinkers, the idea of the regime has been eclipsed in our age by other, narrower accounts. This panel will gather together papers on how ancient and modern thinkers understood the regime -- that dynamic combination of institutional structure, political life, and citizen character.


Proposal Number: 36
Date: 2017-11-26
Paper Title: "How Teaching Core Texts Informs (My) Research"
Core Text:
Therigatha and Rule of St. Clare
Abstract:
This paper will explore how teaching core texts has expanded my research scope. Traditionally, my research has focused on female monastic communities in Buddhist Thailand. Teaching in Samford University’s Core Texts Program over the past six years has broadened my research scope to include female monasticism and asceticism in Christian history. This paper will explore how teaching (Core Texts) informs (my) research, and how pedagogy and scholarship are not bifurcated elements of the academic life.

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: “How Teaching Core Texts Informs (Our) Research”
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:
This panel will explore how teaching in the Core Texts Program has influenced our research, and in turn, how our research has informed our pedagogy. Each of us will draw on our discipline-specific expertise, and will expand on how teaching specific core texts has broadened our research, steered our research in new directions, or added depth to current research projects. More broadly, this panel will explore methodologies for integrating research and Core Texts teaching. In short, we will explore how pedagogy and scholarship are not necessarily bifurcated elements of the academic life.


Proposal Number: 20
Date: 2017-10-24
Paper Title: A Caricature of the Chronicles of Christianity in Gulliver's Travels
Core Text:
Gulliver's Travels
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 19
Date: 2017-10-14
Paper Title: Hegel on Aristophanes
Core Text:
Hegel's Lectures on aesthetics
Abstract:

Conference Panel Proposal

Title of panel: Modern Confrontations between Philosophy and Poetry
Six sentence description or abstract of panel:


Proposal Number: 2
Date: 2017-08-29
Paper Title: William James and the God of Classical Theism
Core Text:
William James, Varieties of Religious Experience
Abstract:


Proposal Number: 1
Date: 2017-08-24
Paper Title: The Gospel of Homer
Core Text:
The Odyssey
Abstract: