Lecture Series

Fall 2019

To register for lectures over the phone, please call (619) 260-4815.

Sleep: Why We Need It and How to Get More of It

Thursday, September 19, 10-11:30 a.m.

What happens during the 1/3 of our lives that we spend asleep? Join Veronica Galván, PhD, from the Department of Psychological Sciences, to talk about the different characteristics of sleep, some of the surprising functions of sleep, and how to maintain good sleep habits in a conversation about this mysterious state of consciousness.

Alcalá Park by Design

Wednesday, October 16, 10-11:30 a.m.

In 1942, Bishop Charles Francis Buddy commissioned Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill, of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, to help build a Catholic university on a mesa in Linda Vista Heights. In 1946, Mother Hill and other members of her Society decided that the design should be an adaptation of Spanish Renaissance architecture, and she later stated that “Spanish Renaissance has been in style in California for 200 years and will be in style for 200 more.” The maintenance and preservation of such a style requires close attention, knowledge of period art and furnishings, and sometimes, a firm hand in the handling of myriad requests that could encroach upon “the look.” Mary Whelan, Executive Director of University Design & Collections, will share some USD history, her challenges of maintaining USD’s Spanish Renaissance design and flavor, and a glimpse of the future of buildings on the campus.

Fires, Floods, Wars, and Great Disasters: How Did the Bible Physically Survive Its Earliest Years?

Wednesday, October 30, 10-11:30 a.m.

Most of the literature of the ancient world no longer exists. Those few original documents and copies of early works that do remain are the valuable, irreplaceable heritage of civilizations. The Bible is one of the great survivors, although no “originals” of its many books have ever been found.

The story of the material survival of the Bible will be our subject in this vividly illustrated lecture, offered by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies’ Florence Gillman, PhD, S.T.D. It is an intriguing tale of some careful preservation, many accidental finds and much literary and archaeological detective work – tasks that continue among biblical scholars today. The search is always ongoing for older and more original copies.

In tracing the Bible’s survival we will move through stories of fires, floods, volcanic eruptions, ancient libraries, remote desert monasteries, manuscripts buried in jars, caves and Irish bogs, and Viking raids. Yes, the Bible did survive, but what a story of a precarious existence!

The Penitente Brotherhood: Expressions of Roman Catholicism from the Hispano Southwest

Wednesday, November 13, 10-11:30 a.m.

Join Alberto López Pulido, PhD, from the Department of Ethnic Studies, for a presentation exploring the religious community of La Fraternidad Piadosa de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno - more popularly known as Los Hermanos Penitentes. We examine the unique sacred and communal expressions of La Hermandad or brotherhood who have served as guides and leaders to Hispano communities for centuries. We reflect and explore important Penitente contributions and challenges in relation to the rich and diverse tapestry that comprises American Catholicism.

Avenging Angel: The Lone Gunman in American History and Popular Culture

Wednesday, November 20, 10-11:30 a.m.

A man firing a weapon has long fascinated and terrorized Americans. Often working alone, hence the name "lone gunman," the image of a man with a pistol or rifle first appeared in American literature more than two hundred years ago. In novels and short stories, this figure helps settlers on the eastern seaboard march westward. By the twentieth century, this fictional hero who fought for American society, yet was not part of it, now may inspire loners who see themselves as defending, and fighting for, a way of life that only they can appreciate or understand. The origins of the lone gunman requires an understanding of how myth, history, and popular culture now intersect with tragic consequences. Join Michael Gonzalez, PhD, from the Department of History, to learn more.