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The Providence College Humanities Forum

The Humanities Forum is an opportunity for members of the Providence College community to engage regularly in intellectual life outside class, deepen their appreciation for the humanities, and explore diverse perspectives from on and off campus. All are welcome.

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Fall 2019

On Translating Homer

Friday, September 6, 3 p.m. Ruane 105

Emily Wilson
Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania

A member of the Penn faculty since 2001, Emily Wilson has earned numerous fellowships and awards over the course of her career. Her research covers a range of subjects including tragedy, epic, poetics and literature, literature and philosophy, the reception of classical literature, especially in the Renaissance, gender, and genre. In 2017, Wilson became the first woman to  translate Odyssey, Homer’s epic poem, into English. A translation of Iliad is in progress.

Scales to Scalpels: Striking a Harmonic Balance Between Music and Medicine

Friday, Sept. 13, 3 p.m. Ruane 105

Lisa Wong
Associate Co-director, Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School

Lisa Wong is a physician, musician, and author who is an expert on both music and medicine as means to facilitate healing. A practicing pediatrician and Harvard Medical School faculty member, she wrote Scales to Scalpels: Doctors Who Practice the Healing Arts of Music and Medicine, in 2012.  Wong is an accomplished violinist, violist, and pianist who is a leader in Massachusetts and Boston-area arts advocacy organizations. She will be accompanied by Licia Carlson, Providence College Professor of Philosophy.

Mischlinge Exposé: Shining Light on the Stories of Mischlinge (half-Jews) and German Jewish Converts in Germany Before, During, and After the Holocaust

Thursday, Sept. 19, 3 p.m. Ryan Concert Hall

Carolyn Enger
Pianist and Multimedia Artist

Based in the New York City area, Carolyn Enger travels the country sharing the stories of Mischlinge (a derogatory Nazi term for those neither fully Jewish nor fully Aryan), such as her father, Horace J. Enger, and godmother, Rosemarie Steinfeld. Her multimedia presentation includes the music of German-Jewish-born and Israeli composers, along with first-person video and audio testimony, all combined to describe her family’s remarkable story. Presented in cooperation with the Jewish-Catholic Theological Exchange.

Cycles of Life: Bicycle Tours from Brooklyn to Montreal in 1968 and 2018

Friday, Oct. 4, 3 p.m. Ruane 105

Paul A. Gilje
George Lynn Cross Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Oklahoma

Paul Gilje is an expert on the American Revolution and early republic who aims to integrate social, political, and cultural history in his work. An award-winning teacher and noted researcher, Gilje’s work includes Liberty on the Waterfront: American Culture in the Age of Revolution, which won two national prizes, including the Best Book Award of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. He is past president of that organization, and is currently working on a book about the year 1800.

A Righteous Peace: Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and the End of Slavery

Friday, Oct. 18, 3 p.m. Ruane 105

Film Screening: Lincoln

Friday, Oct. 25, 3 p.m. Ruane 105

A 2012 film directed by Steven Spielberg

A two-part series hosted by Michael Vorenberg, Associate Professor of History at Brown University

A Brown faculty member since 1999, Michael Vorenberg is a leading expert on subjects related to Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and American society in the nineteenth century. His book Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment was a finalist for the Lincoln Prize and was an important source for Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film Lincoln.

Was Vatican II a Failed Council? An Answer from Lambert Beauduin

Friday, Nov. 1, 3 p.m. Ruane 105

Denis McNamara
Associate Professor and Associate director of the Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Mary of the Lake

With academic expertise in the theology of liturgical art and architecture, classicism, and sacramental aesthetics, Denis McNamara is an accomplished scholar and author. His books include Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago and Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy, and he has published numerous articles and reviews. McNamara is a member of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Society for Catholic Liturgy.

When Montezuma met Cortés: The True Story of the Meeting that Changed History 

Friday, Nov. 8, 3 p.m. Ruane 105

Matthew Restall
Director of Latin American Studies, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Latin American History, Anthropology, and Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Pennsylvania State University

A prolific scholar who has written or co-written 16 books and more than 50 published articles, Matthew Restall is a Colonial Latin American historian with expertise in Yucatan and Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, Maya History, the Spanish Conquest, and Africans in Spanish America. Restall has been a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow, in each case studying Mexico’s indigenous and African histories. Presented in cooperation with the Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies.

The Psychological Importance of Fatherhood

Friday, Nov. 15, 3 p.m. Ruane 105

Paul Vitz
Senior Scholar and Professor at Divine Mercy University and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at New York University

A converted Catholic psychologist, Paul Vitz says that his scholarship – focused on the integration of Christian theology with psychology – “requires breaking from…modern secularism and post-modern relativism.” His current research focuses on the nature and importance of fatherhood, the psychology of hatred and forgiveness, and the psychology of virtues. His books include The Cult of Self-Worship and Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious.

Abraham Lincoln and the 19th Century American Intellectual Culture

Friday, Nov. 22, 3 p.m. Ruane 105

Allen Guelzo
Luce Professor of Civil War Era Studies and Professor of History at Gettysburg College

A leading and prolific Abraham Lincoln scholar, Allen Guelzo has won the Lincoln Prize twice (for books published in 2000 and 2005) and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Prize (2008). His 2013 book Gettysburg: The Last Invasion was on the New York Times best-seller list for eight weeks. Appointed to the National Council on the Humanities in 2005, Guelzo is also a member of the American Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. A sought-after commentator, he regularly provides insights on his areas of expertise in the national news media.