Liberal Learning for Life @ UD

Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas

Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas features compelling, pithy and rich conversations with UD friends and faculty.

All Episodes

Welcome, all wonders in one sight! Eternity shut in a span, Summer in winter, day in night, Heaven in earth, and God in man! That’s how the English poet Richard Crashaw speaks about the big event of December: the birth of the infant Christ at Christmas. Fortunately, I’m joined this week by Dr. Theresa Kenney, Professor of English at the University of Dallas, and author of a new book about poetry about the Christ Child: the book is called All Wonders in One Sight: The Christ Child Among the Elizabethan and Stuart Poets. Dr. Kenney and I discuss her book and a range of fascinating issues: why the Council of Trent promulgated new rules about Christian art in the 16th century, why the underappreciated English Renaissance poet, Jesuit Priest and martyr Robert Southwell is so important, and, and why many English Protestants were especially interested in the Gospel of John. I hope you enjoy the conversation. You can find links to the poems we discuss here: Richard Crashaw’s “In the Holy Nativity of our Lord”: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44058/in-the-holy-nativity-of-our-lord 'Learn to love as I love thee' (dialogue between Mary and Christ): https://aclerkofoxford.blogspot.com/2016/01/learn-to-love-as-i-love-thee.html Robert Southwell’s “The Burning Babe”: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45183/the-burning-babe Dr. Kenney’s book: https://utorontopress.com/9781487509064/all-wonders-in-one-sight/ ******************** Free video series, “The Quest”: quest.udallas.edu/ Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Dec 6

26 min

“The Quest” is a documentary-style miniseries produced by the University of Dallas that draws on stories from Scripture, history, and literature to explore the Christian life as a narrative of joyful courage in the gathering darkness of this world. We're joined for today’s conversation by Dr. Shannon Valenzuela, an Affiliate Assistant Professor of English at UD and the series’ writer, director, and producer. We discuss why good art is both true and beautiful, why music is so essential to good film, and how we make friends through the exchange of stories. You can learn more about the series at quest.udallas.edu. ******************** The Quest is Coming! quest.udallas.edu/ Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/trailer Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Nov 2

17 min 26 sec

Does living well mean just following the rules of the moral law? Some philosophers who study virtue propose that living well depends not just on conforming ourselves to rules. They understand living well to depend fundamentally on the cultivation of virtues, which are good habits that contribute toward human fulfilment. We discuss this and more in this episode of the Liberal Learning for Life @ UD Podcast with Dr. Angela Knobel, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dallas, and the author of a new book Aquinas and the Infused Moral Virtues. Buy the book: https://undpress.nd.edu/9780268201098/aquinas-and-the-infused-moral-virtues/ ******************** The Quest is Coming! https://quest.udallas.edu/ Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: https://www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/trailer Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Oct 28

29 min 40 sec

This week we have a conversation between Dr. Shannon Valenzuela of the University of Dallas and Dr. Jackson Crawford, a scholar of Old Norse who offers, in his own words, “real expertise and no agendas.” They discuss the wisdom literature of Old Norse, how is it that we know wisdom when we see it, and what cowboy wisdom might sound like today. They also talk about his consulting work for the movie Frozen and the video game Assassins Creed: Valhalla. ***************************** Jackson Crawford: https://jacksonwcrawford.com/ Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: https://www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/trailer Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Oct 14

35 min 58 sec

Think about objects that you might lose – a cell phone; a book; even a sock. You might be disappointed to lose these, but, assuming you have the money, they can be replaced: you can buy a new cell phone, a new book, a new pair of socks. But what can you do when you lose something that can’t be replaced - a friend, let’s say – when your loss occasions not mere disappointment, but something deeper: grief? That's the problem that the hero of the Iliad, Achilles, faces, and the subject of today’s conversation with Dr. Emily Austin, an alumna of the University of Dallas and an Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Chicago. Dr. Austin has written a book on the subject called Grief and the Hero: the Futility of Longing in the Iliad. Link to buy Grief and the Hero: the Futility of Longing in the Iliad: https://www.press.umich.edu/11647876/grief_and_the_hero ***************************** Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: https://www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/trailer Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Sep 21

29 min 56 sec

Dr. Anthony Nussmeier is Associate Professor and Director of the Italian Program at the University of Dallas. He’s also UD’s point person for an exciting new project that kicks off tomorrow, September 8: 100 Days of Dante, which you can learn more about at 100daysofdante.com/. In our conversation we discuss why you should sign up for 100 Days of Dante, what Dante offers for those of us who aren’t in school anymore, and why in Dante’s time, poetry was considered a vehicle for truth. ******************************** Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/trailer Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Sep 7

23 min 44 sec

Jon Baskin is a founding editor of The Point: A Magazine of the Examined Life and Associate Director for the Program in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism at The New School for Social Research. We discuss why The Point magazine should be read by anyone interested in thinking about their life in a serious, critical way, what Allan Bloom was right and wrong about, and whether it’s really true that technology is necessarily corrosive of intellectual life and encounter. Jon Baskin mentions several articles in our conversation; links below: “The Problem of Force,” by Scott Beauchamp, on his experiences in war in conversation with Simone Weil and the Iliad: https://thepointmag.com/examined-life/the-problem-of-force-simone-weil/ Agnes Callard, on anger in conversation with the Old Testament: https://thepointmag.com/examined-life/anger-management-agnes-callard/ “No Such Thing,” where the death of Margaret Thatcher brings Jonny Thakkar back to Adam Smith and Plato on whether there is such a thing as society: https://thepointmag.com/politics/no-such-thing/ “Lovers in the Hands of a Patient God,” on American love by way of Jonathan Edwards, William James, and Hollywood romantic comedies: https://thepointmag.com/examined-life/lovers-in-the-hands-of-a-patient-god/ “Against Honeymoons,” a good example of taking a seemingly frivolous contemporary phenomenon very seriously: https://thepointmag.com/examined-life/against-honeymoons/ “Steroids, Baseball, America”: https://thepointmag.com/examined-life/steroids-baseball-america/ ******************************** Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/landi…uence Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Aug 11

26 min 1 sec

Dr. Margarita Mooney is an Associate Professor in the Department of Practical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, the director of the Scala Foundation, and the author of a recent book: The Love of Learning: Seven Dialogues on the Liberal Arts. We discuss the importance of contemplation, beauty in education, what happens when we turn all our relationships into tools for social life, and why education involves both forming consciences and preparing students for a lifelong pursuit of truth. About Dr. Margarita Mooney: https://margaritamooneysuarez.com/ About the Scala Foundation: https://scalafoundation.org/ Link to buy The Love of Learning: Seven Dialogues on the Liberal Arts: https://clunymedia.com/collections/education/products/the-love-of-learning Link to her article “Death is a Veil”: https://www.ncregister.com/blog/death-is-a-veil ***************************** Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/landi…uence Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Jul 27

30 min 19 sec

I’m joined this week by Dr. Brandon Brown, the Vice-Chair of Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Indiana University School of Medicine, and an Associate Professor in many departments, including Medical Humanities. We discuss the relationship between Dr. Brown’s work as a doctor and his formation in the liberal arts as an undergraduate at the University of Dallas. He explains what happens when he reads poetry with medical students, the difference between doctors’ formal curriculum and hidden curriculum, and how Aristotle’s insights into habit have helped him to be a better doctor.

Jul 12

24 min 29 sec

I’m joined this week by Dr. Teresa Danze, Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Dallas. We discuss the challenges and opportunities of reading and translating classic texts, in particular Virgil’s Aeneid, the 1st century Latin epic poem that tells the story of Aeneas, the legendary ancestor of the Romans. Dr. Danze explains what translations can and can’t do for us, why the order of our words can be all-important, and why we should listen for the sound of Latin poetry. You can see the texts and translations we discuss here: https://bit.ly/3upnmBk.

Jun 29

32 min 9 sec

Dr. Zena Hitz is a tutor at St. John’s College and the author of an inspirational book called Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life. Dr. Hitz encourages us in our pursuits to live as “everyday intellectuals,” even if we don’t recognize that that’s what we’re doing when we study birds, or go star gazing, or participate in a book club. We also discuss the importance of the virtue of “seriousness” and the relationship between intellectual pursuits and the call to care for one’s neighbors. You can purchase her book here: https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691178714/lost-in-thought ********* Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: https://www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/landing-the-person-action-influence Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

May 17

30 min 26 sec

Fr. Thomas Esposito, a Cistercian monk and Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Dallas, joins us during this time following Easter to discuss the relationship between memory, Passover, and the Eucharist. We also speak about the difference between memory and nostalgia, why so-called “primitives” understood time better than we do, and how time can unite rather than separate people across generations. I hope you enjoy the conversation. Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/landi…uence Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Apr 21

16 min 40 sec

Dr. Ryan Anderson, St. John Paul II Teaching Fellow in Catholic Social Thought at the University of Dallas and President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, joins us to preview an exciting conference coming up at the University of Dallas on April 15 and 16, on “America, Liberalism, and Catholicism.” The conference will feature a range of speakers, including keynote addresses by Patrick Deneen of Notre Dame and Ross Douthat of the New York Times. As Dr. Anderson explains, the central question of the conference is this: what should Catholics think of liberalism as a political philosophy, and as a political project? The conference will be livestreamed on the UD YouTube page, and you can register to be reminded about the conference here: https://bit.ly/3wJ9ww9. And, in case you can’t tune in during those days, we’ll post all of the talks on our YouTube page; you can register to be reminded of these once they’re posted. Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/landi…uence Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Apr 13

10 min 8 sec

I’m joined this week by Dr. Robert Koons, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. We discuss the central question of the Aquinas Lecture he gave at UD in January: “Is St. Thomas’s Aristotelian Philosophy of Nature Obsolete?” In our conversation, we speak about the relationship between the scientific revolution and Aristotle’s understanding of nature, what philosophers mean by hylomorphism, and why, according to Dr. Koons, all natural scientists, whether they’ve read any Aristotle or not, are at least implicitly Aristotelian. ********** Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: https://www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/landing-the-person-action-influence Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: https://udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: https://twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Mar 31

21 min 15 sec

I’m joined this week by Dr. Andrew Osborn, Associate Professor of English at the University of Dallas. We talk about poetry: why Robert Frost’s poem “The Road not Taken” is not at all about individualist self-expression, about the legendary junior poet course that all UD English majors take, and why, when it comes to poetry, it’s sometimes better to attend less to the forest than to the individual trees, and even to the minuscule lichen on those trees. Dr. Osborn mentions several poems, including: William Wordsworth’s “I wandered Lonely as a Cloud”: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45521/i-wandered-lonely-as-a-cloud Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44272/the-road-not-taken Gwendolen Brooks’ “The White Troops Had Their Orders But the Negroes Looked Like Men”: http://contingenton.blogspot.com/2015/10/gwendolyn-brooks-positive-integration.html And the book he mentions, by Mutlu Konuk Blasing, is called Poetry: The Pain and the Pleasure of Words: https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691126821/lyric-poetry ********** Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: https://www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/landing-the-person-action-influence Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: https://udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: https://twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Mar 11

34 min 58 sec

I’m joined this week by Dr. Jeffrey Lehman, Professor of Humanities at the University of Dallas and director of our Classical Education graduate program. He also runs the arts of liberty project, which educates students, teachers, and lifelong learners in the purpose and power of the liberal arts and liberal education. You can learn more about that project at artsofliberty.udallas.edu. In our conversation, Dr. Lehman and I talk about non-western art and texts, how it can be true that the human soul is, in a sense, all things, and the relationship between education, the school, and teachers. He also totally upended my prejudices about the liberal arts as impractical, and the sciences as oriented toward making. Arts of Liberty: https://artsofliberty.udallas.edu/ Free video series: The Person: Action and Influence: https://www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/landing-the-person-action-influence Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: https://udallas.edu/liberal-learning/​ Twitter: https://twitter.com/lib_learning_ud​ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife

Feb 23

22 min 38 sec

This week of January 31 is Catholic Schools Week, and we’re joined by two guests from an organization that is helping schools around the country offer an education that incorporates treasures old and new: it’s called the Institute For Catholic Liberal Education. Elizabeth Sullivan is the Executive Director, and Dr Andrew Seeley is the Director of Advanced Formation. We discuss a range of questions about education and the liberal arts, but my favorite point this week came from Dr Seeley, who explains that it is only an education with a supernatural vision that can understand the human person in its full reality , with a soul, a mind that needs to be nourished and a heart that needs to love. You can learn more about the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education and the book they just published – Renewing Catholic Schools - at catholicliberaleducation.org. Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas: https://udallas.edu/liberal-learning/ Podcast: http://hyperurl.co/7c7v42 Twitter: https://twitter.com/lib_learning_ud Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/liberallearningforlife/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liberallearningforlife/ Online Video Series: https://www.catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu/

Jan 29

21 min 55 sec

We all want to know: what is the nature of reality, and how should a life be lived? In today’s conversation, I’m joined by Dr. Shannon Valenzuela, Content Director for Liberal Learning for Life and Affiliate Assistant Professor of English at UD. We discuss the new online video series that Dr. Valenzuela directed that addresses these questions: it’s called The Person: Action and Influence. By exploring the Catholic moral tradition, Dr Valenzuela explains how this series equips you to understand yourself and your world and to act courageously in our own time. We’re really excited to share this video series with all of you: you can sign up for free at catholicfaithandculture.udallas.edu.

Jan 13

13 min 37 sec

This year, many people have been bringing their experience of church into their homes: “attending Mass” from their couches via YouTube livestream. According to Dr. Christi Ivers, Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Dallas, something similar occurred in Spain in the late 1400s, when the widespread adoption of the printing press enabled the laity to use the images and texts in newly available devotional books to pray in their homes in ways that they previously could only do in a church building. You can see two examples of what these prayer books looked like here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FsGoWD1ZN2QRTkFIW42U5f3_DRgR7DoH/view?usp=sharing

Dec 2020

15 min 42 sec

In this conversation, recorded this past summer, we are joined by Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson, the Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence at the University of Dallas. We talk about the place of literature in classical education; about Flannery O’Connor and racism; and about art as a contemplative vision of imagining apocalypse in the best sense: as an event of revelation. You can read Dr. Hooten Wilson’s article on O’Connor and race here: https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/06/how-flannery-oconnor-fought-racism And you can find more of Dr. Hooten Wilson’s writing here: https://jessicahootenwilson.com/

Dec 2020

22 min 43 sec

Unless your eyes are closed, right now you’re seeing something: it might be the road ahead of you, the dishes in your sink, a jogging trail; an apple; a falling leaf. Is your perception of those objects only in your head? Is your experience reducible to the activity of neurons in your brain? While many philosophers and cognitive scientists would answer “yes,” philosophers in the tradition known as phenomenology would answer “no.” We are not, they would say, self-enclosed consciousnesses desperately trying to find our way into the world; instead, when we really pay attention, when we attend to what is directly given in experience, we find that we are already embedded in the world in the first place. Today’s conversation about phenomenology with Professor of Philosophy Chad Engelland touches on these subjects as well as, among others, Cezanne’s still life paintings, what it means to study “the experience of experience,” and how thinking about a hammer can help us understand the wondrous web of relationships that enmesh objects we encounter every day. The Cezanne painting we discuss can be viewed here: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/435883 And Dr. Engelland’s book “Phenomenology” can be purchased here: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/phenomenology

Nov 2020

24 min 47 sec

This conversation, which was recorded this past summer, is led by Dr. Shannon Valenzuela, Affiliate Assistant Professor of English and Content Director for Liberal Learning for Life. She is joined by Dr. Mark Petersen, Assistant Professor of History, and Dr. David Upham, Associate Professor of Politics. They discuss William Golding’s 1951 novel Lord of the Flies and a recently reported “lord of the flies in real life” story, in which a group of boys were shipwrecked on an island and- unlike in Golding’s novel – did not turn violent toward each other but survived and cooperated until their rescue. They also discuss our longstanding fascination with castaway stories and state of nature stories; the value of studying history and political philosophy; and the importance and power of stories in general. The article that they discuss can be read here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/09/the-real-lord-of-the-flies-what-happened-when-six-boys-were-shipwrecked-for-15-months Learn more about Liberal Learning for Life at the University of Dallas here: https://udallas.edu/liberal-learning/

Oct 2020

1 hr

In this conversation, which was recorded last fall, we’re joined by Dr. Kathleen Marks, a UD graduate and Associate Professor of English at St. John’s University. We speak about Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel Beloved; how prophecy is not about predicting the future but investigating the past; and the impact of legendary professor Dr. Louise Cowan on her students and the world. Learn more about Liberal Learning for Life at the University of Dallas here: https://udallas.edu/liberal-learning/ Learn more about the Cowan Archive at the University of Dallas here: https://udallas.edu/centers/cowan/index.php Finally, you can watch Dr. Marks' lecture, "Toni Morrison's Prophetic Memory," here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoUEvpWPsNQ

Oct 2020

19 min 6 sec

Andrew Moran, Associate Professor of English, speaks about his recently-edited book about the University of Dallas Rome campus called Due Santi and The University of Dallas: Un Piccolo Paradiso. In our conversation, Dr. Moran speaks about why the Rome campus is so important and how the Rome experience offers students an expanded set of options for living; and finally, in preparation for your next trip abroad, Dr. Moran teaches us how to play the “get lost in Venice” game. You can order the book at https://www.duesantibook.com/.

Sep 2020

21 min 58 sec

David Upham, Chair and Associate Professor of Politics, joins us for a conversation that was recorded three days after 9/11 and three days before Constitution Day. We speak about patriotism: what it is, and what is isn’t.

Sep 2020

23 min 10 sec

Christopher Mirus, Associate Professor of Philosophy, joins us to discuss the importance of a researchers’ humanity in their scientific work, what philosophers of science do, and how we should think about the relationship between science and religion.

Sep 2020

27 min 47 sec

Jonathan Dannatt, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, joins us to discuss the role of wonder in scientific research; the importance of writing and reading for success in the sciences; and the curious relationship between building a house and the discipline of chemistry.

Aug 2020

19 min 20 sec

Scott Crider, Professor of English at UD, talks with us about Shakespeare and rhetoric: how rhetoric can help our lives go well (or badly), how we can glimpse these issues in the play Julius Caesar, and how Dr. Crider has found Shakespeare himself to be a liberal education.

Jul 2020

32 min 10 sec

Music and the Liberal Arts with Prof. Kristen Van Cleve by Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas

Jul 2020

18 min 13 sec

In this conversation recorded last fall, Dr. Jodziewicz talks about Frederick Douglass, the 19th-century black American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. Dr. Jodziewicz explains why Douglass matters today and what his life can tell us about the benefits of one of the more unusual educations in the liberal arts.

Jun 2020

21 min 10 sec

Dr. Gregory Roper, Associate Professor of English, joins us for a converation about what Dr. Roper calls "the Nerian Option." We talk about the 16th century Italian St. Philip Neri as the model for youth ministry; as offering not a plan, but a set of attitudes and approaches, focused on joy; and finally, we speculate about how Philip Neri might speak to those of us taking to the streets in acts of protest today.

Jun 2020

37 min 32 sec