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University of Chicago Works of the Mind Lecture Series

 

February 12, March 12, April 9, May 7, 1-3pm

Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater

Chicago Cultural Center  >  Events Calendar  >  University of Chicago Works of the Mind Lecture Series

 

Claudia Cassidy Theater

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These lectures are offered on selected Sundays at 1pm October through May at the Chicago Cultural Center.

 

Upcoming Schedule

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

February 12

In sonnet 43 of her Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850) the Romantic poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning asked, “How do I love thee?” then listed them: deeply, broadly, highly, quietly, freely, purely, passionately, faithfully, happily, sadly and eternally. All except the last adverb are expressions of emotions; the last is eschatological.

Alongside Anthropocene theologians and philosophers, psychologists, endocrinologists, physiologists, neuroscientists, evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and other scientists have taken a variety of less romantic materialistic approaches to decipher the nature of love. I will share personal thoughts on the nature and power of love as part of a long life lived and its future in human societies.

Russell H. Tuttle, Professor in Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology, History and Theory of Human Evolution, and the Biological and Social Sciences Collegiate Divisions Directory of the Undergraduate Major in Anthropology The University of Chicago

 

FREE; Space is limited; registration is recommended. Register

For more information, visit grahamschool.uchicago.edu.

 

Responses to Suffering: Greek Tragedy and the Religions

March 12

Suffering is a universal reality and affects us all either on our own or through those we love or in historical or natural catastrophes. Even culture has ways of responding to suffering. Three classic ways will be discussed in the lecture—Greek tragedies, Buddhism and Christianity.

David Tracy, Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Religions; Professor in the Committee on Social Thought

Presented by David Tracy

Andrew Thomas Greeley and Grace McNichols Greeley Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Roman Catholic Studies, Professor of Theology, Professor Emeritus in the Committee on the Analysis of Ideas and Methods & the Committee on Social Thought

Tracey received the 2008 Graham School Excellence in Teaching Award.

FREE; Space is limited; registration is recommended. Register

For more information, visit grahamschool.uchicago.edu.

 

Why Pious Renaissance Scholars Read and Defended the Infamous Roman ‘Atheist’ Lucretius

April 9

The Roman Epicurean poet Lucretius is often celebrated (or condemned) as a key figure in the development of modern secular thought. His scientific epic poem On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura) contains many radical ideas, including a physics based on atoms and vacuum, the first fully mechanical account of nature, ideas of species development and natural selection, and it denies divine creation, Providence, and the immortal soul. Because of the threat these ideas posted to Christianity, Lucretius and Epicureanism were much attacked by early Church Fathers, and throughout the Middle Ages ‘Epicurean’ appeared as a term of abuse, interchangeable with heretic, atheist, even sodomite. When Lucretius’s poem was rediscovered in 1417, the first readers to study his work all knew his sinister reputation, but chose nonetheless to read, copy, and eventually publish this most infamous ancient. Close examination of surviving Renaissance manuscripts reveals that most of the scholars who risked their reputations to read and Lucretius also believed that his radical ideas were completely wrong. The notes and thoughts Renaissance readers scribbled in the margins of their copies of Lucretius reveal how and why comparatively orthodox scholars studied and defended this infamous author, and thus how the book survived to reach more receptive audiences in later centuries.

Ada Palmer, Assistant Professor of Early Modern European History and the College; Associate Faculty of Classics; and Member of the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, the University of Chicago

Presented by Adam Kempenaar

Mr. Kempenaar is co-host and executive producer of the NPR film discussion show/podcast Filmspotting (WBEZ, 91.5 FM). He holds an MA in journalism from the University of Iowa and BAs in film studies (Iowa) and English (Grinnell College).

FREE; Space is limited; registration is recommended. Register

For more information, visit grahamschool.uchicago.edu.

 

Baudelaire, the Poet Proud to be Insane

May 7

The lecture will center on a prose poem by Baudelaire, a work that that mentions two “alienists” — contemporaries of his. Alienists were early psychiatrists. The two mentioned in the poem argued (among other things) that Socrates, Pascal, and Joan of Arc were insane. Why does Baudelaire feel happy in his conviction that he too is insane? Among other things, the talk will include historical aspects of early psychiatry, descriptions of famous people dubbed “insane,” Baudelaire’s own situation, the self-help books (that Baudelaire is making fun of) popular after the revolution of 1848 in France, and the culture surrounding these issues.

Françoise Meltzer, Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor, Chair - Department of Comparative Literature, Professor in the Divinity School and the College, Co-editor of Critical Inquiry, the University of Chicago

FREE; Space is limited; registration is recommended. Register

For more information, visit grahamschool.uchicago.edu.

 

Information and Resources


Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center
Claudia Cassidy Theater
2nd Floor North
78 E. Washington St.

Chicago, IL 60602


FREE Admission


Chicago Cultural Center
Building Hours:

  • Monday–Thursday, 9am–7pm
  • Friday, 9am–6pm
  • Saturday, 9am–6pm
  • Sunday, 10am–6pm

Closed Holidays, except:

    • Lincoln's Birthday (Feb. 13),
      9am-7pm
    • Pulaski Day (Mar. 6), 9am-7pm
    • Easter (Apr. 16), 10am-6pm
    • Columbus Day (Oct. 9), 9am-7pm
    • Veterans' Day (Nov. 10), 9am-6pm

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