Artist Sheila Gallagher and philosopher-poet Richard Kearney explore the power of remembrance.
A short sample of our events. Scroll down for a full history!
A conversation with authors Jenny Elder Moke and Samantha Cohoe about the craft and business of writing, from that shiny new idea to seeing your book on shelves for the first time. The authors will discuss their recent novels, and will share key steps in their process that are essential to starting the journey, staying on the path through the murky middle, and celebrating hard-earned publishing victories.Jenny is the author of CURSE OF THE SPECTER QUEEN, a gender-bent Indiana Jones-style YA historical adventure, it’s sequel RISE OF THE SNAKE GODDESS (forthcoming 6/22) and HOOD, A Robin Hood retelling about the Prince of Theives’s daughter (Disney/HYPERION). Samantha is the author of BRIGHT RUINED THINGS, a YA historical fantasy about a rich magical family with secrets their young ward uncovers one dangerous night, and A GOLDEN FURY, about a teenaged alchemist fleeing the French Revolution on the verge of creating the Philosopher’s Stone. (Wednesday Books/Macmillan)
Thursday, February 17th
5:30pm – Panel:
1101 13th Street, Denver, CO 80204 (in room Studio 1 on the third floor)
7:00pm – Performance:
Singleton Theater, at the Denver Center for Performing Arts
“Albee, Absurdism, and Adaptation in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”: Performance and Panel Discussion at the Denver Center for Performing Arts
Panelists include Profs. Rebecca Gorman, Cristina Bejan, and Tish Richard, as well as Sam Wood from DCPA.
This show is currently sold out! If you have already reserved a ticket, it will only be available for pickup at the beginning of the panel discussion. However, if you have not reserved a ticket, there’s still a good chance that we will have one available for you. We will be distributing unclaimed tickets on a first-come, first-served basis at the panel discussion.
Note: Please see the DCPA vaccination and mask requirements here. These apply both to the panel discussion and the performance.
February 3rd, 10-11:30AM (online)
Professor Caleb Cohoe will discuss Aristotle’s psychology and philosophy of mind with a panel of international experts who have contributed to his newly released book, Aristotle’s On the Soul: A Critical Guide (Cambridge University Press, January 2022). In this work Aristotle aims to uncover the principle of life, what Aristotle calls psuchē (soul). For Aristotle, soul is the form which gives life to a body and causes all its living activities, from breathing to thinking. Aristotle develops a general account of all types of living through examining soul’s causal powers. The thirteen new essays in this Critical Guide demonstrate the profound influence of Aristotle’s inquiry on biology, psychology and philosophy of mind from antiquity to the present. Panelists will share their insights on key Aristotelian topics such as form, reason, capacity, and activity and situate Aristotle in his intellectual and scientific context.
Jason W. Carter (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich)
Christopher Frey (University of South Carolina)
Katerina Ierodiakonou (University of Geneva and University of Athens)
Mark Johnstone (McMaster University)
Jessica Moss (New York University)
Krisanna Scheiter (Union College)
Michael Haneke has been called “one of contemporary cinema’s most provocative and incisive filmmakers” (MoMA). His work reveals aspects of alienation and the uncanny in modern European life, shining a light on the marginalized and exposing the contradicts and self-deceptions of bourgeois society. Haneke raises persistent questions about the nature of evil, innocence, and collective guilt. But he is bold enough to leave those questions wholly unanswered and to leave his audience feeling unsettled and out-of-joint. Ultimately, these films disclose uncomfortable truths—challenging us to see ourselves as we really are, rather than as we take ourselves to be.
This retrospective presents some of Haneke’s most highly acclaimed and thought-provoking films. Each film will be introduced and contextualized by scholars from a variety of MSU Denver departments—including philosophy, political science, film studies, modern language, and literature.
Special guests include:
Jean-François (Associate Professor of French Literature)
Sheila Rucki (Professor of Political Science)
Vincent Piturro (Professor of Film and Media Studies)
Craig Svonkin (Professor of English Literature)
Hosted by Adam J. Graves (Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry at MSU Denver)
All shows begin at 7:00pm
SIE Film Center – 2510 East Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Free tickets for members of the MSU Denver Community! No need to reserve tickets, just show up 15 minutes before the event and we’ll purchase one for you!
Monday April 25, 2022, 3:30 pm
Jordan Student Success Building room 420
In 1950, Enrico Fermi initiated a series of informal discussions among his Los Alamos colleagues as to the ubiquity of extra-terrestrial life and the probabilities of contact with alien civilizations. He famously asked, “Where are they?” citing the lack of any physical evidence for extra-terrestrial life, and hence the scientific paradox which still carries his name.
“Are we alone in the Universe?” is arguably one of the oldest and perhaps most universal questions ever asked. Join us and a panel of interdisciplinary experts as they dissect the question of where the extraterrestrial intelligence is and the philosophic and scientific implications the answers to that question have for human life on earth. Experts from CU Boulder, MSU Denver, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, will be here with us.
You will not want to miss this discussion it is sure to be out of this world!
Expert Guests include:
Carol E. Cleland Ph.D. (Department of Philosophy, CU Boulder) Professor of Philosophy Director, Center for the Study of Origins; SETI Institute Affiliate
Research interests and expertise lie in the areas of Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Logic, Metaphysics, philosophy of biology, causation, and space and time.
Ka Chun Yu Ph.D. (Denver Museum of Nature and Science) Assistant Curator of Space Science Research focus and expertise in observational star formation, outflows from protostars, properties of young stellar clusters, and creating planetarium and data visualizations of the known universe.
Kamran Sahami Ph.D. (Physics Department, MSU Denver) Professor of Physics; Planetary and Space Science
Research interests and expertise include Non-Linear Systems, General Relativity, Electro-optics and Physics, and Astronomy Education.
Roger Green Ph.D. (English Department, MSU Denver) Senior Lecturer of English; Film and Media Studies; Literature; Music; Rhetoric
Roger finished his second Ph.D. in Religious Studies & Theology. Areas of research and expertise dive into Political Theology, Literature, Literary Theory, Aesthetics, Ethics, and Composition.
Joion us for two film screenings with the Denver Film Festival! Come watch the films, then take part in a conversation with directors and/or experts on the film!
We offer free tickets for all students, as well as MSU Denver faculty and staff. Faculty are welcomed to invite their classes! Just email [email protected] to reserve your tickets.
Monday, Nov. 8th at 7:00pm AMC 9+CO
(826 Albion St, Denver, CO 80220)
Winner of the Œil d’or award for best documentary at Cannes, Payal Kapadia’s oneiric first feature, A NIGHT OF KNOWING NOTHING, fuses an intensely personal mediation on love and isolation with social reflections on caste and contemporary Indian politics. D-phi has assembled a group of scholars to help us unpack the multiple layers of this intriguing breakthrough film.
Dheepa Sundaram, Religious Studies, University of Denver
Vijay Mascarenhas, Philosophy, MSU Denver
Vincent Piturro, Film and Media Studies, MSU Denver
Adam J. Graves, Philosophy, MSU Denver
Wednesday Nov. 10th at 7:00pm AMC 9+CO
(826 Albion St, Denver, CO 80220)
AHED’S KNEE, the fourth film from the Israeli firebrand director Nadav Lapid (SYNONYMS), offers an unflinching rumination on the moral challenges of creating art amidst complex political turmoil. Join D-phi for a lively discussion of this powerful, politically-charged film.
Alex Boodrookas, History, MSU Denver
Andrea Stanton, Islamic Studies, University of Denver
David Fine, General Counsel, MSU Denver
Adam J. Graves, Philosophy, MSU Denver
Time and again we are told that we are experiencing something entirely new with Covid-19, and it certainly feels that way. Yet for nearly the entirety of human history, up until the last century, infectious diseases were our primary killers. Epidemics regularly ravaged populations, and the sickness, death, grief and dislocation they bring are nothing new. Our panel of scholars will discuss how societies around the world—and close to home—were affected by and coped with the sudden onset of devastating diseases, ranging from Bubonic plague to HIV. Join us and bring your questions for the panel at this first virtual D-phi event!
Moderated by Kimberly Klimek
Panelists (in order of presentation):
Dr. Stephen Leonard (History)
“The 1918-19 Flu Pandemic in Denver and Colorado”
Dr. Adriana Nieto (Chicana/o Studies)
“Pandemic and Its Impact Across US-Mexico Borderlands: A family History”
Dr. Matthew Makley (History)
“The Speckled Monster in North America: Smallpox and Demographic Disaster Among Native Populations”
Dr. Brian Weiser (History)
“Science, Religion, and Social Distancing in 17th Century Europe”
Dr. Katherine Miller (Gender, Women, and Sexualities Studies)
“The HIV Pandemic in India: A Gendered Examination.”
The live stream is free and open to the public. Viewers will be encouraged to submit questions before the event, and in real time via text message for the Q&A following the panel. QUESTION LINE – 314-INQUIRY (314-467-8479)
This event will be a combined panel discussion and documentary screening. The documentary, Arc of Justice, is approximately 25 minutes long. There will be two panels- one to speak before the documentary, and one after. The first panel consists of experts who will speak to the history of housing discrimination and displacement in the Denver area and its subsequent effects on the current market. The CLT model will then be briefly introduced, providing a transition to the documentary screening. The second panel will consist of representatives from Denver-area CLTs to give an overview of current efforts.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to view Pixar shorts from the last 30 years on the big screen, from Luxo Jr. (1986) to Bao (2018). Explore the evolution of Pixar films with Dr. Craig Svonkin, associate professor of English, Metropolitan State University of Denver. Svonkin will look at the technological advances and social and cultural changes that have shaped these innovative films.
James Reid, Professor of Philosophy, MSU Denver
Paul Blaschko, Assistant Director at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Sarah Pessin, Interfaith Chair and Professor of Philosophy & Jewish Thought, University of Denver
Caleb Cohoe, Associate Professor of Philosophy, MSU Denver and Lead Faculty Advisor, Mellon Philosophy as a Way of Life Project
We regret that Prof. Critchley’s lecture has been canceled due to illness. We are working to reschedule his talk, so please stay tuned. Our sincere apologies for any inconveniences..
Due to illness, this screening will be introduced by local philosophers, rather than Dr. Critchley.
The Thin Red Line follows the events surrounding the battle for Guadalcanal in November 1942, as the US Army fought its bloody way north across the islands of the South Pacific against ferocious Japanese resistance. It is war film. “But,” Critchley says “it is a war film in the same way that Homer’s Iliad is a war poem. The viewer seeking verisimilitude and documentation of historical fact will be disappointed. Rather, Malick’s movie is a story of what we might call ‘heroic fact’: of death, of fate, of pointed and pointless sacrifice. Finally, it is a tale of love, both erotic love and, more importantly, the love of compassion whose cradle is military combat and whose greatest fear is dishonor […] The ambition of The Thin Red Line is unapologetically epic, the scale is not historical but mythical, and the language is lyrical, even at times metaphysical.”
Join Dr. Adam Graves and Dr. Boram Jeong for a live lecture and discussion on the films of South Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo
Discussion is LIVE Thursday, July 9 at 7pm MST!
See Sangsoo’s films on the SIE Film Center Stream before the talk!
Limited free tickets are available– email [email protected] to request yours!
Film links and descriptions below:
YOURSELF AND YOURS – https://bit.ly/3fTbbWz
HILL OF FREEDOM – https://bit.ly/2CDlAHH
WOMAN ON THE BEACH – https://bit.ly/2B9rkIC
South Korean director Sang-soo Hong has an idiosyncratic style that is so hard to pin down that American critics have compared him to both Woody Allen and Eric Rohmer—two filmmakers who arguably have little in common aside from their mutual obsession with the mysteries of amorous relationships. Sang-soo’s films also revel in their own intimate and incredibly honest explorations of human desire, the contingencies of love and the mishaps of mutual misunderstanding. As critic Nicolas Rapold writes, Sang-soo is “a chronicler of the human condition and the pleasures and pitfalls of attraction.” ( https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/arts/hong-sang-soo-films-at-cannes.html ).
But what sets Sangsoo apart from some other chroniclers of the human condition is his profound recognition that the challenges which threaten human happiness often have less to do with uncontrollable external circumstances than with one’s own internal and often unpredictable desires; and that the greatest obstacles to human relationships stem from within, from one’s capacity to be surprised and even caught off guard by oneself.
Sang-soo Hong, one of most distinctive and prolific filmmakers of the past several decades, is well-known to international film festival goers. But due to a general lack of distribution, his fascinating body of film remains a vast and unexplored terrain for most American audiences. Sie Film offers viewers a rare chance to experience a range of his work, and to explore its rich and complex themes of desire, contingency, and miscommunication with two philosopher, Boram Jeong (Assistant Professor, CU Denver) and Adam Graves (Professor, MSU Denver).
SU Denver faculty from Linguistics, Modern Languages, Philosophy, English and Anthropology will be discussing the problems and pleasures associated with living in a multilingual world. Come and explore the theoretical and practical dimensions of linguistic diversity.
11.12.2020 – 11:00am
Marc Lamont Hill draws from the life and legacy of John Lewis in order to examine the possibilities of progressive politics in the post-Trump era. He offers concrete tools for building community, forging bonds of global solidarity and dismantling oppressive systems.
Presented by the Office of the President, Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry (D-phi), and co-sponsored by the University’s Department of Africana Studies, Department of History and Department of Political Science
Wednesday, Nov. 18 | 4-5 p.m. MST
Our word for poetry derives from the Greek term “poiesis,” which once enjoyed a much broader meaning than it does today. In Plato’s Symposium, Socrates says that anything “responsible for creating something out of nothing is a kind of poiesis(poetry).”
D-phi’s “Poiesis Oasis” is an online space where we can forge a sense of creative community virtually (or “out of nothing,” so to speak), an interactive place where art and poetry become vehicles for exploring ideas, sharing inspiration and overcoming a sense of isolation via the written and spoken word.
We invite any and all members of the Denver community to participate. All you have to do is:
(1) Record yourself reading a few lines from a favorite poem using your phone (videos must be less than 60 seconds long)
(3) Explain briefly in your message why you selected the poem, or what it means to you, or how it’s helped you find inspiration in a time of social isolation (or anything else you’d like to say about it). Remember to Include the author and title of the poem!
We will then share your video and your interpretation of it on our Instagram page, DphiDenver, with the hashtags #PoiesisOasis, #CheckingIn, and #DphiDenver.
Together, we hope to generate an oasis of words and ideas, from which we can all draw some much-needed inspiration, insight, and a sense collective creativity.
The Poesis Oasis begins 11.1.2020 – Cosponsored by RedLine Arts Center
Cosponsored by Sie Film Center – Email [email protected] to RSVP free virtual tickets
11.19.20 – 6:00pm
Liyana is an award winning and genre-defying documentary that tells the story of five children in the Kingdom of Eswatini who turn past trauma into an original fable. Liyana won the award for Best Documenary at the LA Film Festival and has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Tours are offered periodically throughout the evening, led by philosophers Vijay Mascarenhas and Adam Graves.
Cristina A. Bejan is a historian, theatre artist and poet based in Denver, Colorado. An Oxford DPhil and Rhodes and Fulbright scholar, Bejan’s newest book “Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania” will be released this November. Join Dphi, Dr. Bejan, and Dr. Adam Graves for the launch!
Gabriel Mascaro’ brilliant disco-dystopian drama, Divine Love, depicts a future consumed by an uncanny mixture of piety, eroticism and surveillance-state politics. Join a group of scholars—from philosophers to political scientists—as they explore the relationship between religion, politics, sex and the sacred in Mascaro’s provocative new film.
Nietzsche famously asked his readers how they would conduct themselves if they knew their lives were going to be eternally repeated. In his second feature film, Oskar Alegría’s asks his audience to consider whether repetition is even possible, as he tries to repeat the past by returning once again to the site of his childhood memories. Join a group of philosophers for a stimulating discussion of Zumiriki and the questions it raises about the nature of time, memory, past and place.
This Symposium includes lectures and panels featuring scholars from MSU Denver, the University of Denver, University of Colorado, Boulder. Keynote by Regina Rini, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition at York University, and the 2018 winner of the Marc Sanders Foundation Public Philosophy Award.
(This event is free and open to the public)
“It’s Us: The intractable nature of fake news in a networked and polarized political world.”
Robert Preuhs, Professor of Political Science, MSU Denver
“Anti-Muslim Rhetoric and the Old/New Media: A Case Study”
Andrea L. Stanton, Associate Professor and Chair, Religious Studies, University of Denver
Chaired by Katia Campbell, Associate Professor, Communication Arts and Sciences, MSU Denver
“On a Civics of Responsibility: How Breaking Bread with One’s Political Adversaries Worsens the Online Bubble Problem”
Sarah Pessin, Professor of Philosophy, Director, Center for Judaic Studies, University of Denver
Respondent: Adam Graves, Associate Professor, Philosophy, MSU Denver
“The Memes and Mechanics of Cybersphere”
Steve Beaty, Professor, Computer Science, MSU Denver
Sarah Harman, Executive Director or University Effectiveness and the Center for Advanced Visualization and Experiential Analysis (CAVEA)
Respondent: Sean Morris, Assistant Professor, Philosophy, MSU Denver
“The Digital Polarization Initiative: Civic and Web Literacy in the Classroom”
Elizabeth L. Parmelee, Ph.D., Director of Undergraduate Studies, MSU Denver
Christopher Jennings, Ed.D, Professor, Department of Journalism and Technical Communication, MSU Denver
Chaired by Jeffrey Ogle, Visiting Professor, Philosophy, MSU Denver
1:20-2:00: Coffee/Lunch Break
“Upping Your Election IQ:
How to Fight Misinformation, Disinformation and Lies”
Elizabeth A. Skewes, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, College of Media, Communication and Information, University of Colorado Boulder
Chaired by Samuel Jay, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Communication Arts & Sciences, MSU Denver
“Everyone is Wrong on the Internet:
Disagreement and Error in Social Media Discourse”
Regina Rini, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Moral & Social Cognition at York University, and the 2018 Winner of the Marc Sanders Foundation Public Philosophy Award
Panel Discussion featuring Chris Coleman (Artistic Director of Denver Center Theatre Company), Brian Hutchinson (Chair of Philosophy at MSU Denver), Vicki J. Grove (Senior Instructor, Russian Program, University of Colorado, Boulder), Greg Ormiston (Professor of Russian, University of Denver), and Joslyn Green (Lighthouse Writers Workshop), followed by a performance of Anna Karenina.
Stanley Cavell (1926-2018) was one of the most celebrated American philosophers of the past century. Outside of the academy, he was perhaps best know for his insightful interpretation of Hollywood classics, which had profound impact upon our understanding of the significance of film. This screening of one of his favorite screwball comedies, The Lady Eve, will be followed by a discussion with his four most accomplished students and friends.
Timothy Gould (Metropolitan State University of Denver)
Richard Eldridge (Swarthmore College)
Michael Fischer (Trinity University)
Katalin Makkai (Bard College Berlin)
Marion Keane (Independent Scholar)
The “Peas and Carrots” series is light-hearted talk show-style event focusing on themes related to current Buntport productions, featuring music and interviews with D-phi scholars.
The Rembrandt Room is a dark comedy featuring one woman standing next to one masterpiece for who knows how long. Buntport’s first ever one-person show, this play is a mash-up of historical fact, Greek myth, and Buntport fiction.
This panel will feature an international group of leading experts on Aristotle and his philosophy discussing the legacy and relevance of Aristotle’s views on biology, human nature, and life processes.
Klaus Corcliius, Chair of Ancient Philosophy at University of Tübingen, Germany
Christopher Frey, Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of South Carolina
Rachel Parsons, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Louisiana State University
(This event is free and open to the public)
Keynote Lecture by Carol Cleland, Director of the Center for the Study of Origins and Full Professor in the Department of philosophy at the University of Colorado Boulder. Cosponsored by MSU Denver’s Undergraduate Research Conference.
(This event is free and open to the public)
Celebrate the Tony Award-nominated play “that deeply touches so much rich emotion about history and the theater, anti-Semitism, homophobia, censorship, world wars, red-baiting and, oh, yes, joyful human passion” (Newsday). Evoking the Jewish experience through traditional songs and dancing, this stirring production will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the art and experiences we often take for granted.
Pulitzer-winning playwright Paula Vogel tells the emotional true story of Sholem Asch’s groundbreaking play, The God of Vengeance, and the passionate artists who risked everything to share it. Many European productions of the provocative Yiddish story were highly successful in the early 1900s – even with a same-sex romance at its center. But when its Broadway debut was deemed “indecent,” it begged the question of who gets to decide what is considered art and what deserves to be censored. Follow the explosive tale through scandals, war and rewrites as a defiant, dedicated few refused to let it be silenced.
Join us for a topical panel discussion with academic leaders that explores the themes and issues of Indecent, followed by a performance of the play.
Douglas Langworthy, DCPA’s Director of New Plays
Cristina A. Bejan, Historian and Theatre Artist
Anahi Russo Garrido, Professor of Gender Studies
Carrie Colton, Professor of Theatre
A discussion with members of the German Marshall Fund, and two European Ambassadors to the U.S., Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio and Slovak Ambassador Ivan Korcok
Carly Leonard, a Neuroscientist at CU Denver, joins the cast at the Buntport theater for a post-performance conversation about the challenges of finding meaning in our increasingly techno-centric world.
The Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry is excited to host one of the most distinguished philosophers and public intellectuals of our time, Martha Nussbaum.
In recognition of her prolific work in in areas including ancient philosophy, political philosophy, feminism, ethics, and animal rights, Martha Nussbaum was awarded the Kyoto Prize in 2016, and delivered the prestigious Jefferson Lecture in 2017. In addition to a multitude of other awards, Nussbaum has honorary degrees from over 60 universities around the world.
Martha Nussbaum will lecture on themes from her newest work, The Monarchy of Fear. The book, a thorough examination of the current political crisis, focuses on what so many pollsters and pundits have overlooked, a truth at the heart of the problem- the political is always emotional.
Co-sponsored by the MSU Denver History Department (With additional support from MSU Denver’s Office of Sponsored Research & Programs)
James Reid is Associate Professor of Philosophy at MSU Denver. His research is interdisciplinary, drawing from philosophical, scientific, and literary sources, and is devoted to problems in the theory of meaning, value, and significance, and finding appropriate ways of talking about the importance of what we care about.
Above: A full recording of Drs. Gallagher and Kearney’s striking presentation
A one-day only stunning multimedia performance of philosophy, art, and healing. The performance touched on themes of visual art and stories of remembrance as acts of healing.
Richard Kearney is The Charles B. Seelig Professor in Philosophy at the Boston College Philosophy Department. He is the author of over 20 books on European philosophy and literature (including two novels and a volume of poetry) and has edited or co-edited 14 more. As a public intellectual in Ireland, he was involved in drafting a number of proposals for a Northern Irish peace agreement (1983, 1993, 1995).
Sheila Gallagher is an Associate Professor of Fine Art at Boston College where she teaches courses on drawing, painting and contemporary art practice. Her work takes many forms including video, flower installations, smoke paintings and computer-aided drawing. Widely exhibited in the United States, Gallagher’s work has been shown at such venues as The Institute of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Dodge Gallery, NYC, and Wellesley College.
Their Twinsome Minds project (a phrase from Finnegans Wake) is a multimedia performed talk with text by Richard Kearney and moving images by Sheila Gallagher. The performance mines what is often lost behind official historical accounts and acts of commemoration, and proposes a transformative work of interpreting the past for a new generation. Their Guestbook Project promotes the power of digital storytelling as a means of healing divisions.
“Peace takes practice. Peace takes creativity. Peace takes engagement.”
The event took place at MSU’s Center for Advanced Visualization and Experiential Analysis, which boasts 180 degrees of projection screen and state of the art audio systems.
Above: Full video of Knights’ reading and the following discussion
PEN America Best Debut Short Story author Samuel Clare Knights joined D-phi for a reading of his work and a conversation about the nature of language and his linguistic inheritance.
Samuel Clare Knights was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. He holds a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Denver and an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. He lives in Colorado and listens to the Grateful Dead every day. “The Manual Alphabet,” a beautiful story told partially in sign language, is about a hearing boy born to deaf parents. – From Catapult
A screening and expert discussion on Lynch’s early film at MSU Denver’s CAVEA.
James D. Reid holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and is currently associate professor of philosophy at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has taught ethics and the history of philosophy, with special emphasis on Greek and German intellectual traditions, at Chicago, the Colorado College, the College of William and Mary, and the United States Air Force Academy. His research is interdisciplinary, drawing from philosophical, scientific, and literary sources, and is devoted to problems in the theory of meaning, value, and significance, and finding appropriate ways of talking, more richly and compellingly, about the importance of what we care about. He is currently working on several book-length projects, including a monograph on the ethical import of the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, a book on philosophical poet Novalis (forthcoming, Northwestern UP), and, with Benjamin D. Crowe (Boston University), a translation of Heidegger’s The Question Concerning the Thing (forthcoming, Rowman & Littlefield). He is the co-editor of Thoreau’s Importance for Philosophy (Fordham UP, 2012). He contributed several entries to Cambridge’s forthcoming, multi-volume Heidegger Lexicon, edited by Mark Wrathall. His book on Rilke, poetry, and philosophy, which includes a fresh translation of the Duino Elegies, was published by Northwestern University Press. Dr. Reid has also recieved support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Full video coming soon.
Above: Full video of pre-performance discussion.
To get what he wants, Macbeth will let nothing stand in his way – not the lives of others, the people of Scotland or his own well-being. As his obsession takes command of his humanity and his sanity, the death toll rises and his suspicions mount. Shakespeare’s compact, brutal tragedy kicks off the grand reopening of our theatre-in-the-round in a visceral re-imagining from director Robert O’Hara. This ambitious reinvention of the classic tale reminds us that no matter what fate is foretold, the man that chooses the dagger must suffer the consequences.
Known for his audacious artistic vision, Director Robert O’Hara is “shaking up the world, one audience at a time” (The New York Times). He has won the 2010 NAACP Award for Best Director, two Obie Awards, an Oppenheimer Award and the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Drama. This is his first production at the DCPA.
Professor Alan Sumler introduced the film, shown at the Esquire Theater. Sumler has a Ph.D. (ABD) in Classical Philology at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He teaches in the Philosophy department at MSU Denver, and the Modern Languages department at CU Denver.
Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), a dark and audacious comedy directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, follows the story Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), a washed-up Hollywood actor famous for having once played a winged superhero, who is now struggling to redeem himself on Broadway by adapting, directing and staring in his own highbrow play. Riggin’s play (that is, the play within the film) is an adaptation of Raymond Carver’s well-known short story, “What We Talk About When we Talk About Love.” But Carver’s short story is itself a modern-day retelling of the Symposium, Plato’s famous dialogue concerning the relation between love, madness, and the winged-soul’s quest for immortality. In this highly acclaimed and multi-layered film, Iñárritu brilliantly—and hilariously—weaves together timeless themes from both Carver and Plato, subverting our expectations and challenging our ordinary assumptions about the meaning of love.
Adam J. Graves, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at MSU Denver, where has taught courses on ethics, phenomenology and the philosophy of film. His publications focus on questions of selfhood, the theory of interpretation and the nature of human agency.
(This event is free and open to the public)
PITY is a fascinating, nihilistic comedy about an upper class lawyers who, after enduring a family tragedy, develops a perverse dependency upon the compassion of others. Join the Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry’s panel of philosophers and psychologists as they try to decipher what this minimalist film tells us about the relation between happiness and suffering, the complexity of human emotions, and the perversions to which they are subject. This event was made possible by a collaboration with the Denver Film Festival.
Dr. Rebecca Vartabedian (Philosophy, Regis College)
Dr. Randi Smith (Psychology, MSU Denver)
Dr. James Reid (Philosophy, MSU Denver)
Dr. Vincent Piturro (Film Studies, MSU Denver)
(Moderated by Dr. Adam Graves)
As always, D-phi will secure entry for students, free of charge- email [email protected] for free tickets!
Tickets are also available for purchase here.
Conspiracy theories are nothing new, but they seem to play an increasingly prominent role in our social and political experience. So what makes conspiracy theorists tick? Why are conspiracy theories so popular in the so-called age of information? And what do they tell us about knowledge, belief, human nature and society? Come join D-phi’s expert panel of philosophers, psychologists and social scientists as they help us unpack fascinating questions raised by the timely documentary BEHIND THE CURVE. This event was made possible by a collaboration with the Denver Film Festival.
Dr. Karen Adkins (Philosophy, Regis College)
Dr. Bethany Fleck (Psychology, MSU Denver)
Dr. Jere Surber (Philosophy, University of Denver)
Dr. Desiré Anastasia (Sociology, MSU Denver)
Dr. Christopher Jennings (Communication, MSU Denver)
(Moderated by Dr. Adam Graves)
As always, D-phi will secure entry for students, free of charge- email [email protected] for free tickets!
Tickets are also available for purchase here.
A philosopher, a historian, a political scientist, and an English professor walk into a bar.
No, this isn’t the opening to an old joke. This is the opening to an evening of
multidisciplinary discussion of one of the oldest and most fraught of theoretical
concepts: Evil. The concept of “evil” may not mean the same thing across scholarly
disciplines, and may be a suspect term for scholars who wish to historicize and
contextualize the concepts and terms they work with. But while scholars post-Nietzsche
and post-Wittgenstein might be wary about the usefulness of a seemingly metaphysical
or universalizing concept like evil, the concept continues to play a significant
communicative, symbolic, and ethical role in the wider culture. Please join Professors
Amy E. Eckert (Political Science), Adam Graves (Philosophy), Andrea Maestrejuan
(History), and Craig Svonkin (English) for a multidisciplinary discussion of EVIL.
Craig Svonkin is an Associate Professor of English at Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Executive Director of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. His publications include “From Robert Lowell to Frank Bidart: Becoming the Other; Suiciding the White Male ‘Self’,” New Directions in American Literary Scholarship: 1980-2002 (co-authored with Emory Elliott), “Melville and the Bible: Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale, Multivocalism, & Plurality,” “If Only L.A. Had a Soul: Spirituality and Wonder at the Museum of Jurassic Technology,” “A Southern California Boyhood in the Simu-Southland Shadows of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room,” and “Manishevitz and Sake, the Kaddish and Sutras: Allen Ginsberg’s Spiritual Self-Othering.”
Amy E Eckert writes “I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. My interests in teaching and research lie in international relations and, more particularly, in international ethics and international law. For the past several years, I have been working on and teaching about the just war tradition, which provides us with a set of norms that apply to the waging of war. My latest work applies these norms to the new realities of privatized war. Educational Biography: Graduate School of International Studies (now known as the Josef Korbel School of International Studies), University of Denver, Denver, Colorado Ph.D., with distinction. Fields: International Politics, International Law; Concentration: Human Rights Dissertation Topic: Society and Spherical Justice in Rawls’s Law of Peoples Sturm College of Law, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado J.D. University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana B.A. cum laude, Government and International Studies”
Andrea Rene Maestrejuan writes “After contemplating careers as a veterinarian and a scientist in biotechnology, I have woven my interests in science and technology with my passion in history to analyze the creative pursuits of inventors.” Dr. Maestrejuan teaches History of Science and Technology, Economic History, World History, European History, and areas of research include intellectual property rights, inventorship, production of scientific and technological knowledge.
Adam Graves writes “My Ph.D. (UPenn, 2007) is in Religious Studies (with a concentration on Modern Religious Thought and Philosophy of Religion). I wrote my dissertation on the role of intersection of religious and philosophical thought in the work of three important twentieth-century philosophers: Heidegger, Marion and Ricoeur. I am currently elected an officer in the Society for Ricoeur Studies. I enjoy teaching a range of subject within philosophy (ethics, phenomenology, existentialism, history of modern philosophy) and the field of religious studies (introduction to western and eastern religions, the history of Christian thought, religion and culture, etc.).” His areas of research include Modern European philosophy of religion, with particular interest in phenomenological philosophy (Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Derrida, and Marion); the development of hermeneutic theory from Schleiermacher to Gadamer, Ricoeur and Vattimo; methodological issues in the study of religion; sociological and philosophical accounts of secularization; the theological and philosophical sources of modern theories of autonomy.
Above: A selection of questions from our hour with Prof. Chomsky
Noam Chomsky discussed his legacy, issues in higher education, linguistics, and philosophy.
Read more about Professor Chomsky on his website
Click here to learn more about the CAVEA, where the event took place.
A full video of the event will be available soon
Musician and comic author R. Alan Brooks, documentary filmmaker Alan Dominguez, and Carol Quinn of MSU Denver’s Philosophy Department joined Cafe Cultura‘s poets Tanaya Winder, Franklin Cruz, and Alexis Vigil, with a live acoustic set by Blisss.
Above: Reconsidering the Humanities, thanks to the MSU Denver Educational Technology Center
D-phi hosted an involved Q&A with students and faculty which investigated the role of the humanities in our modern world.
Zena Hitz, Professor of Philosophy at St. Johns College, Annapolis, author of The Crisis of the Intellectual Life
Arthur Fleischer, Economics Chair at MSU Denver, author of The National Collegiate Athletic Association: A Study in Cartel Behavior
Kimo Quaintance, Education Strategist at IQ Gemini, international expert on emergent technologies and disruptive innovation
Click the names to learn more.
After the performance D-phi hosted a talkback, including questions from the audience, with the cast and director of Disgraced, along with MSU Denver Chair of Political Science Dr. Robert Hazan at the Denver Center for Performing Arts.
The films screened and discussed:
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Norma Rae (1979)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
D-phi partnered with The City of Denver, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, MSU Denver, Denver Public Library, and NEA Big Read on this discussion.
Following a screening of the film, D-phi hosted a discussion on the nature of consciousness, AI, and games, with:
Jere Surber, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Denver
Bruce Young, of ‘Fiery Rain of Go Stones,’ a Denver GO club
Dr. Vijay Mascarenhas, Associate Professor of Philosophy, MSU Denver
Invented in China nearly three millennia ago, Go is believed to be among the oldest board games in the world. It’s also said to have more board configurations than there are atoms in the universe. As such, Go—with its 19×19 grid—enjoys a reputation as the ultimate battleground for human versus artificial intelligence. On March 9, 2016, a seven-day tournament designed to test that premise took place in Seoul, South Korea. The Google DeepMind Challenge Match pitted a legendary Go master against an AI program—and director Greg Kohs (Song Sung Blue, DFF31) was there to capture the action. This entertaining, eye-opening documentary takes viewers from the DeepMind coding terminals in London, down the halls of Oxford and the backstreets of Bordeaux, to the site of the five-game competition in an attempt to answer the questions of our time: Where does the line between human and artificial intelligence begin and end—and what can computers teach us about ourselves?
Art imitates life in this haunting drama about an actress reeling in the aftermath of an affair with a married filmmaker: it’s based on director Hong Sang-soo’s own relationship with star Kim Minhee, which caused a media frenzy in their native South Korea. Kim won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at this year’s Berlinale for her role as Younghee, who returns to Gangneung after escaping to Hamburg in an attempt to pick up the pieces—only to find herself spending one too many late nights making one too many startling confessions.
No stranger to mining his own experience for his films, Hong (Night and Day, DFF31; see also The Day After, playing in this year’s festival) confronts his personal life with a newfound emotional directness here—drawing an incredibly raw and vulnerable performance from Kim in the process. It’s one of the more remarkable director-actor collaborations in recent cinema.
Boram Jeong, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Univeristy of Colorado Denver
Hye Seung Chung, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies, Colorado State University
David Scott Diffrient, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies, Colorado State University
An expert talkback followed the performance
Philosophers Adam Graves and Sean Morris discussed the moral and aesthetic dimensions of Lean’s masterpieces.
David Lean is perhaps best known for his larger-than-life cinematography. His widescreen Technicolor spectacles, such as The Bridge on the River Kwai, contain some of film’s most iconic images—images of such monumental proportion that they tend to dwarf the characters who appear almost imperceptibly in their all-encompassing frame. He once commissioned Panavision to manufacture a custom 482mm telephoto lens, aptly known as the “Lean lens,” just to capture a single scene: Omar Sharif’s character emerging from a mirage shimmering over the vast Jafr mudflats in Lawrence of Arabia.
Bridge on the River Kwai
Lawrence of Arabia
Each of these films tells a tale of profound unfulfillment: unconsummated love in Brief Encounter, unfulfilled duty in Kwai, and frustrated ambition in Lawrence. And each film provides a unique occasion to contemplate good and evil, virtue and vice, innocence and guilt, and to reflect upon the power of film to illuminate the nature of human existence.
Adam Graves is associate professor of philosophy at MSU Denver, specializing in phenomenology and hermeneutics (the theory of interpretation). He is currently teaching an Honors Seminar on the representation of evil in film.
Sean Morris is associate professor of philosophy at MSU Denver and works in logic, the foundations of mathematics and the history of analytic philosophy. From time to time he dabbles in questions relating to the good life as they arise in classic films.
aptations in general.
Above: Full Video of Democracy in Principle and Practice
D-phi organized a group of experts for an informative and thought-provoking conversation about the history and contemporary significance of democracy. What are the origins of democracy? How has the concept and practice of democracy evolved over time? How do elections differ from one place to another? How have changes in technology, media and demographics impacted the nature of democracy in our own time and in our own state? These questions, and many more, were addressed by our panel of political scientists, state officials, historians and philosophers.
Above: Full recording of our talk with former Representative Barney Frank
Barney Frank represented the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts for more than three decades. He chaired the House Financial Services Committee from 2007 to 2011, during which time he co-authored the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act, arguably the most significant piece of financial regulation legislation passed since the great depression. Frank is widely considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States. Barney Frank joined us for a conversation on his life in politics at Auraria Campus.
Above: D-phi’s 2016 collaboration with Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, a vingette of their Romeo and Juliet
The Denver Center for Performing Arts’ “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot” performed an abridged version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream outside the Tivoli Building, followed by an interview with the director and actors.
Above: A short montage of D-phi’s first event. Music credit: Davy Brown by by Ben Nichols. Video by Devin Strauch
Lucero’s frontman, Ben Nichols, performed and discussed “The Last Pale Light in the West,” a solo album based on Cormac McCarthy’s classic American novel, Blood Meridian. The performance was preceded by a lecture by MSU Denver Historian, Matthew Makely, who offered a historical analysis of the original sources and events that inspired McCarthy’s book.
Link to full event here!
Above: Full video of Dr. Pippin’s presentation and the following discussion
After a screening of the classic 1947 film, Out of the Past, at History Colorado, distinguished University of Chicago professor Robert Pippin spoke with us on the themes of fate and agency in American Film Noir.
Learn more about Robert Pippin at his University Page
Click the link to visit History Colorado’s website
D?-phi and The Denver Center for Performing Arts partnered to bring a conversation with the cast after a performance of Tribes, a critically acclaimed play that examines family, belonging, and language.
Learn more about Tribes and the DCPA here
The Denver Center for Performing Art’s “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot” performed an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet outside the Tivoli Building. The play was followed by a conversation with the troupe’s talented cast and director, moderated by English Department chair Cindy L. Carlson.
You can learn more at Shakespeare in the Park here
Full video of event coming soon
Above: A short sample of the conversation in the Phipps IMAX theater at the DCPA
A talkback with the audience at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Phipps Imax Theater took on the topics of modern developments in artificial intelligence, the nature and consequences of consciousness, and issues of morality involving AI’s.
Full video coming soon.
Dr. Steve Beaty is a professor of Computer Science at MSU Denver with a background that includes research on artificial intelligence techniques such as genetic algorithms and neural networks.
Dr. Marco J. Nathan is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Denver. His research focuses on the philosophy of science, with particular emphasis on topics in molecular biology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and economics.
Dr. Candice Shelby is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado Denver. She recently published the book Addiction: A Philosophical Perspective, with Palgrave Macmillan. She often writes and teaches on the philosophy of mind, including potential differences in the manner of performance (if indeed there are any) between static computers and robots.
Dr. Jere Surber is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Denver, where he specializes in 19th and 20th century European thought. He teaches the very popular course “Philosophy and Video Games” and is completing a book on this topic for Bloomsbury Press.
Dr. Steven Lee is the Department Chair & Curator of Planetary Science at the DMNS. His research focuses on the interaction between the surface and atmosphere of Mars — primarily by mapping the patterns of wind-blown dust deposits across the planet.
Dr. Adam J. Graves is Associate Professor of Philosophy at MSU Denver and founder of the Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry. His research focuses on phenomenology, philosophy of religion and freedom of the will.