Lecture Series: Spring '12

Dante Seminar

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sponsors: Susan and Robert Pence, Great Texts Program, Honors College

Christiana Purdy Moudarres (Yale Divinity School): "Bodily Starvation and the Ravaging of the Will: a Medical Reading of Inferno 32-33”

One of the most grisly passages in Dante’s Commedia is the famous “Ugilino Episode,” in the final cantos of the Inferno. By situating Dante’s poem in the context of medieval medical discourse, this presentation transforms previous treatments of the cannibalism in this episode by showing the precise ways in which Dante considers bodily action as revealing a spiritual condition. Dr. Purdy Moudarres shows, in effect, why Dante’s poetry continues to challenge how we imagine human flourishing and its corruptions.

Christiana Purdy Moudarres received her PhD in Italian literature at Yale University with a dissertation entitled, A Sacred Banquet: Medicine and Theology in Dante’s Inferno. Her doctoral work on Dante explores the intersection of science and religion in late medieval culture and was awarded the Charles H. Grandgent Award by the Dante Society of America. While preparing her dissertation for publication with the University of Notre Dame Press, she has served as contributing editor to three volumes on medieval and early modern Italian literature: Table Talk: Perspectives on Food in Medieval Italian Literature (Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011); Foundations of Modernity: New Worlds and the Italian Renaissance (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming); and Dante’s Volume from Alpha to Omega (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, forthcoming). She is currently an MAR candidate at Yale Divinity School and co-organizer of the Dante Working Group for the Whitney Humanities Center.

Ronald Martinez (Professor of Italian Studies, Brown University): "Dante's Anti-Theocratic Triptych in the Inferno (Cantos 19, 23, 27)"

Dante’s maturity as a poet and controversialist is marked by persistent attacks on the avarice and political ambition of a number of sitting popes and other churchmen, and by severe critiques of religious institutions. This lecture considers together three different episodes in Dante’s Inferno that all focus on different aspects of fraud and which, when taken together, present his theologically and imaginatively rich treatment of corrupt church leaders. By considering these three episodes together, Dr. Martinez ultimately shows how Dante understood the poetic craft as reflective of Divine Wisdom.

Ronald L. Martinez is currently Professor of Italian Studies and Chair of the Italian Studies Department at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. In addition to some forty articles on topics in Italian literature from Guido Cavalcanti’s lyrics to Ariosto’s Orlando furioso, he has collaborated with Robert M. Durling on a monograph on Dante’s lyric poetry, Time and the Crystal: Studies in Dante’s Rime Petrose (California, 1990), and on an edition, with translation and commentary, of Dante’s Divine Comedy (Oxford: New York, Inferno, 1996, Purgatorio, 2003; Paradiso, 2011). When residing in Minneapolis, he translated plays by Carlo Goldoni and Carlo Gozzi for professional productions. Martinez is currently writing a study on Dante’s appropriation of medieval liturgy in the Commedia and in other works.

Bella Panel Discussion

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Honoring their convictions about the sanctity of life, Drs. Lori Baker, Douglas Henry, and Thomas Hibbs will discuss the award-winning movie Bella in a panel moderated by Dr. Todd Buras. Join friends and colleagues in hearing about the film, seeing some select clips, and exploring together a poignant, powerful movie that celebrates God's good gift of life.

The Wilken Colloquium

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sponsors: The Center for Catholic-Evangelical Dialogue; Honors College; Canada Research Chair for Interpretation, Religion, and Culture at Trinity Western University

Dr. Stanley Hauerwas (Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity School): The End Is in the Beginning: Creation and Apocalyptic

Terry Teachout (Wall Street Journal drama critic, biographer, playwright, and blogger)

Monday, March 5 & Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Two presentations by Terry Teachout:

  1. Does American Culture Have a Future?
  2. Why Louis Armstrong Still Matters

Laura Blanche Jackson Endowed Memorial Lectureship in World Issues

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sponsors: Honors College, Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC)

David Lampton (Dean of Faculty, George and Sadie Hyman Professor of China Studies, and Director of the China Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University): The United States and China in the Era of the "Pivot" to Asia

David M. Lampton, Dean of Faculty, is George and Sadie Hyman Professor and Director of China Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Formerly he was president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. His most recent book is, The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Minds (University of California Press, 2008, for which he won honorable mention in the Bernard Schwartz book competition of the Asia Society). His articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, The China Quarterly, The Journal of Contemporary China, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other venues academic and popular. Dr. Lampton received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. He has an honorary doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies, is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the American Studies Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and he was the inaugural winner of the Scalapino Prize in July 2010 awarded by the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In March 2011 he was named to the inaugural class of Gilman Scholars at Johns Hopkins University and he consults with the Kettering Foundation and the Aspen Institute. He is working on a book on how Chinese leadership views of internal governance and the outside world have changed over the last forty years.

The Pulse Student Lecture

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Amy Freeman (BA University Scholars, 2013): Our Lady of Land’s End and Redemptive Suffering