Humanities Center Fall 2018: Goodness, Storytelling, Speakers, Art Exhibitions

Monday, September 10, 2018

A running theme for the Humanities Center this fall will be an examination of Goodness from a liberal arts perspective. A new event is held each Tuesday, 4-5:30 p.m., starting Sept. 25.A running theme for the Humanities Center this fall will be an examination of Goodness from a liberal arts perspective. A new event is held each Tuesday, 4-5:30 p.m., starting Sept. 25.

The return of the fall semester at the University of San Diego means it is time for a new slate of programming at the Humanities Center.

Located in Serra Hall 200, it’s time for new discussions on a variety of topics from multiple angles. This fall, the center is exploring goodness, a trait noted by the university’s co-founder, Mother Rosalie Hill. Members of USD’s faculty will speak on topics centered toward their research or field of study, multiple exhibitions occur in the art gallery and new programs, such as a live, once-a-month storytelling podcast series provide voices to enhance inclusion and diversity knowledge among the campus community.

In only its third year of operation, the Humanities Center has delivered a wide array of information, education and supports Digital Humanities and student and faculty research projects that provide a center on campus that showcases what a liberal arts education, done in the Catholic Intellectual tradition, is truly all about.

The Idea of Goodness series continues the center’s desire to explore the three underlying concepts that constituted the foundation of the University of San Diego at inception: beauty, goodness and truth. In the words of Mother Hill, “beauty will attract them, goodness will lead them, but the truth will hold them.” The concept of beauty was examined throughout Spring 2018. The center examines Goodness from a range of perspectives and disciplines from 4-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 25.

Sept. 25: On the Linking of Beauty, Goodness and Truth: An Introduction and Celebration. Reception follows. Oct. 2: The Good and the Just in the Ancient World. Oct. 9: Philosophical Conceptions of the Good: Kant, Mill and Moore; Oct. 16: Goodness in the Monotheistic Faiths; Oct. 23: The Goodness of God and the Problem of Evil; Oct. 30: Goodness in Eastern Religious Traditions; Nov. 6: Goodness and the Question of Human Nature: Hobbes, Rousseau and Beyond; Nov. 13: Goodness in the Creative Arts: What Makes a Work of Art Good? Nov. 27: What Can the Sciences Tell Us About Goodness?; Dec. 4: On the Very Idea of Goodness: Critical Voices; Dec. 11: The Language of Goodness.

One Wednesday each month this fall, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the center, a live storytelling event curated around different themes. The series, "More Human," enables storytellers to share meaningful experiences or challenges they’ve overcome, providing insight into the human condition. This event is co-sponsored by the Humanities Center and Changemaker Hub. It is facilitated by the student-produced podcast, There’s More. This event will take place on Sept. 12 (“First”), Oct. 10 (“Out”), Nov. 14 (“Roast”) and Dec. 12 (“Present”).

The Illume Speaker Series, comprised of USD’s own renowned faculty scholars, invited thought leaders and prominent public figures to advance the liberal arts on campus and inspire lifelong learning, will have multiple events this fall. Speakers for the College Lecture Series, Knapp Lecture Series and Special Guests all fall under the Illume series.

The Knapp Lecture Series, which opened on Sept. 10 with a talk by Fall 2018 Knapp Chair Erika Doss on "Troubling Memorials: Disgraced Monuments in America," will have another talk on Oct. 8 with Melissa Farley, PhD, discussing “Fracking and Trafficking: Making the Connections Between Climate Change and Prostitution.”

A College Lecture Series, consisting of USD faculty, opens Sept. 17 with Orly Lobel, SJD, the Don Weckstein Professor of Labor and Employment Law in USD’s School of Law, discussing “You Don’t Own Me: How a Decade-Long Court Battle Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side and How Society Creates and Controls Culture.” The other fall College lectures are from Music Professor Chris Adler, PhD, “Dissonance and the Rejection of Modern Music,” on Oct. 15; and Philosophy Associate Professor Mark Woods, PhD, on “Rethinking Wilderness,” on Nov. 12. All three events are on a Monday at 6 p.m. in the Humanities Center.

Illume Special Guest events include Professor and Author William Deresiewicz, PhD, speaking on the higher education topic, “Change Your Mind First: College and the Urge to Save the World,” Sept. 26, 6 p.m., Warren Auditorium; Actor-Author Neil Patrick Harris speaks on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. in Shiley Theatre (Tickets for his appearance are $18.31 and include a copy of “The Magical Misfits”); Author Hank Green, Oct. 4, 7 p.m., Shiley Theatre (Tickets are $28 and include one copy of “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing”); Jodi Picoult, the New York Times best-selling author of 23 novels, speaks Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre (Tickets are $31.24 and include one copy of her new book, “A Spark of Light”); and Elizabeth Minnich, PhD, a senior scholar for the Association of American Colleges and Universities and professor of moral philosophy at Queens College, speaks at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10 in Warren Auditorium on “The Evil of Banality: On the Life and Death Importance of Thinking.”

The Humanities Center will also host two faculty panels, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on separate days, Sept. 18 and Nov. 29, regarding “Frederick Douglass and Karl Marx: 200 Years of Influence (1818-2018).” The Douglass examination panel in September consists of Corey Barnes, PhD, in Philosophy and English Professor Irene Williams. November’s close-up look at Marx will feature Thomas Reifer, PhD, Chair and Professor of Sociology, and Michael Gonzalez, PhD, professor of History and director of USD’s History Graduate Program.

And finally, the Humanities Center’s exhibition gallery, run in conjunction with University Galleries, is currently showcasing Screenings 2: Joan Perlman, through Oct. 18. Los Angeles-based artist Joan Perlman has long been fascinated by the stark visual beauty of Iceland. Perlman has visited the remote, island nation for over two decades. She has exhibited widely and been awarded multiple grants and residencies in the United States and Iceland. Although she is perhaps best known for her large-scale, atmospheric landscape paintings that conjure Iceland’s unusual geological character, Perlman’s most recent projects have been in digital media — primarily video done in collaboration with various sound artists. These works consider the fragile ecological balance that surrounds Iceland in our era of climate change. Her beautifully composed, quietly absorbing works will be shown in succession in the Humanities Center Gallery, the second installment in the new series of multimedia displays entitled Screenings.

For more information on events and programs supported by the Humanities Center, go to its website.

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