14 episodes

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

Liberal Learning for Life @ UD Liberal Learning for Life @ University of Dallas

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

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

    The Two Questions of a Liberal Education with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela

    The Two Questions of a Liberal Education with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela

    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.

    • 13 min
    Prayer Books, YouTube, and Devotion Then and Now with Dr. Christi Ivers

    Prayer Books, YouTube, and Devotion Then and Now with Dr. Christi Ivers

    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

    • 15 min
    Flannery O’Connor, Race, and Classical Education with Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson

    Flannery O’Connor, Race, and Classical Education with Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson

    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/

    • 22 min
    Phenomenology and the World Outside our Heads with Dr. Chad Engelland

    Phenomenology and the World Outside our Heads with Dr. Chad Engelland

    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

    • 24 min
    Lord of the Flies IRL with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela, Dr. Mark Petersen, and Dr. David Upham

    Lord of the Flies IRL with Dr. Shannon Valenzuela, Dr. Mark Petersen, and Dr. David Upham

    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/

    • 1 hr
    Toni Morrison, Prophecy, and Memory with Dr. Kathleen Marks

    Toni Morrison, Prophecy, and Memory with Dr. Kathleen Marks

    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

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

Meaghan Kane ,

Craving a dose of the good, true, and beautiful?

Look no further. UD alum, family, and friends will certainly enjoy the Liberal Learning for Life podcast. Authors, figures, and ideas from the UD Core and tradition, presented in a fresh way- a lovely conversational format with Dr. Michael West - are sure to enrich our own thoughts and perspectives. Thank you for giving me a dose of nostalgia, hearing my beloved professors’ voices. I have subscribed and I plan to tune in often.

Chelsea Gibson ,

Rejuvenating dose of the UD core

This podcast is such a gift to anyone who is passionate about the benefits of a good, true, liberal arts education. UD alum, parents, friends and fans will find it particularly satisfying but anyone on a quest for knowledge who loves truth and beauty will enjoy it!

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