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Night of Ideas occurs simultaneously each year in over 20 cities across the globe. Denver’s Night of Ideas will delve into topics including the sounds of environmental restoration, climate change, existential crises, free speech, religious nationalism, Hinduism and ideological fault lines across geographic space.

Listen to short presentations by scholars from across disciplines, and then choose whose table to join for dinner. Change tables through the night and learn with each group, or take a deep dive into a single topic for the whole evening.

This event is free and open to the public so there is no RSVP required, but they do help us a lot with planning! RSVP at

Tivoli Adirondacks (Room 440)

900 Auraria Parkway

6:30pm, February 27th, 2024

Co-Sponsored by the Alliance Française Denver, Consulat Général de France à Los Angeles, and Villa Albertine

Click here to add this event to your calendar


Film Screening and Discussion (w/ live piano accompaniment)

A Fool There Was (1915) was previously thought to be be the oldest surviving vampire film. Recently, MSU Denver’s Dr. James Aubrey rediscovered the reel for an even earlier film, The Vampire (1913) in the archives of the George Eastman Museum. Join us for a one-of-a-kind screening on the original 35mm film, with live piano accompaniment by students at MSU Denver Music program. Both films will be screened, and Drs. Aubrey and Vincent Piturro will lead a discussion after each.

SIE Film Center

6:30pm, March 4th, 2024

No RSVP needed, just show up to the theater 15 minutes prior to the showing and let the ticket desk know you’re with Dphi! But, if you’d like to reserve a space for yourself and your friends early, just email [email protected].

Sponsored by MSU Denver Film and Media Studies

Click here to add this event to your calendar!


Film Screening and Discussion

Martyrs (2008) sees a woman who, after having been kidnapped and tortured as a child, goes to kill her supposed captors, and with her friend discovers the dark truth behind the torture.

WARNING: At it’s premiere, Martyr incited audience walkouts due to its graphic and disturbing content.

After the film, we will be joined for a discussion by Dr. Jean Michel Rabate, who will also deliver his keynote lecture “Lessons from Horror” the next day on Auraria Campus.

SIE Film Center

6:30pm, March 6th, 2024

No RSVP needed, this event is free and open to the public! Just show up to the theater 15 minutes prior to the showing and let the ticket desk know you’re with Dphi!


Keynote Lecture

“We live in a culture in which cruelty is not only accepted but endorsed. Those who worry about horror, violence, and mass murders, force viewers to perceive ethical stakes hidden by the cruel spectacles that surround us. Nevertheless, I will analyze examples suggesting that we can learn from Horror; exploding the values underpinning basic social institutions like the family or questioning the food we eat (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), colonialist violence and the genocides perpetrated in the name of civilization (Cannibal Holocaust), and the mixture of pain and pleasure Lacan called jouissance (Martyrs). These issues will find a theoretical site by combining insights derived from Jean-Luc Nancy’s posthumous book Cruor and Touria Mignotte’s exploration of the unconscious in Cruelty, Sexuality, and the Unconscious in Psychoanalysis.”

-Jean-Michel Rabaté

Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, co-editor of the Journal of Modern Literature,  and co-founder of Slought Foundation in Philadelphia. Since 2008, he has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has authored or edited over fifty books on modernism, psychoanalysis, philosophy and literary theory. 


900 Auraria Pkwy, Room 420

2:00pm, March 7th, 2024 

Click here to add this event to your calendar!


Generative AI and the Future of Film: Screening and Conversation with Trailblazing Director Paul Trillo

“…Thank You for Not Answering is an evocation of loneliness and isolation. A reedy voice-over from an A.I.-generated vocal model trained on Harry Dean Stanton’s voice reads a script written by acclaimed director Paul Trillo, a voice mail on an answering machine, mourning the loss of possibilities and memories, perhaps of the ruins of a relationship. Set over a cascade of A.I. imagery: flashes of flooding subway cars, phone booths in the desert, elegantly dressed people at parties, and apartments lit up at night, the vibe is part Edward Hopper, part David Lynch. “One day, the entirety of our lives will be at our backs and the what-if of it all will still haunt me…”

Join acclaimed director Paul Trillo and Dr. Adam Graves for a discussion on Artificial Intelligence and the future of film after the screening.

Click here to catch the film trailer, and read more in the New Yorker here.

Online Event – Visit to join!

March 25th, 2024


Click here to add this event to your calendar.



Join us for performances of Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream during Spring Fling!

Tivoli Bandstand

11am and 1pm

April 17th, 2024

Sponsored by the Denver Center for Performing Arts

Click here to add this event to your calendar!




Untitled is a one-night opportunity to give a platform to local creatives and scholars, connect them with Denver Art Museum visitors, and highlight diverse perspectives of DAM exhibitions. Join Drs. Craig Svonkin and Becky Vardebedian in a museum tour from the perspectives of literature and philosophy respectively, and catch other tours from other local artists and scholars throughout the evening.  You can find full details on the other tours of the night here!

Denver Art Museum


April 26th, 2024

Limited free tickets are available! RSVP Here!

Sponsored by the Denver Art Museum

Click here to add this event to your calendar!




Sulgi Lie (University of the Arts Berlin) – Das lächerliche Ernste (The Ridiculously Serious)

March 1st, 2023 – 6:30pm

SIE Film Center

Hong Sang-soo turns his back on comedy in this ‘trilogy’ with Kim Minhee. His interest has shifted from masculine to feminine and from comedy to melodrama. Patriarchal society and female suffering are explicit but “Grass” is not a narrowing of gender and genre; it articulates an existentially relevant topos– Death.

See a trailer and more here.

While reservations are not required, we ask that you do use this form to RSVP beforehand so we can guarantee you a seat in the case of a full theater.

*Tickets are free for guests of Dphi. Find us at the check-in counter on the day of the show!*



Big Ideas. Wine. Cheese. And ‘MORE’

March 2nd, 2023 –  6:30-8:00pm

Tivoli Adirondacks (Room 440)

Come for a night of discussion, wine, & cheese. We’ll be covering a wide range of topics, related to the theme ‘More?’,  from water scarcity in the West and increasing data-driven surveillance technology in everyday life, to the theory of “emergence” in light of developments in Artificial Intelligence.

After all, we live in an era of more-ness: companies want more data, governments seek more control, and everyone seems to need more water!

The conversations will be guided by scholars from across disciplines, including philosophy, history and modern languages, and MORE…


This event is free and open to the public so there is no RSVP required, but they do help us a lot with planning!

Co-Sponsored by the Alliance Française Denver, Consulat Général de France à Los Angeles, and Villa Albertine




Share your questions with philosophers, computer scientists, and ChatGPT itself.

March 8th, 2:00-3:15pm

ChatGPT was launched as a prototype on November 30, 2022, and quickly garnered attention for its detailed responses and articulate answers across many domains of knowledge. What questions does this ‘artificial intelligence’ raise when it comes to conceptions of creativity, consciousness, and understanding? Log in and chat with experts in Computer Science and Philosophy. ChatGPT will also join the panel to answer your questions for itself.

To join this event, visit LIVE.DPHI.ORG


“Aristotle: Ecology, Agriculture, and Sustainability”

Sophia Connell
April 5th, 10:00am
Virtual Event — visit to join!
Aristotle declares that animals are for the sake of human beings in his Politics. This supports the influential anthropocentric interpretation of his teleology. However, Aristotle’s zoological works focus primarily on the good for each type of animal. This paper explores a midway position between the overarching anthropocentric and biocentric readings of Aristotle’s natural teleology. It does so by bringing to light the many discussions in both his zoology and anthropology which explain the interrelationships between animals and their environments. There are also accounts of numerous interspecies interactions both combative and cooperative. In this context, although humans are superior in Aristotle’s view, other living beings clearly have their own aims and goods which humans must manage and respect.
Speaker Bio:
Sophia Connell, PhD, University of Cambridge, is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. She works broadly to consolidate and improve philosophical engagement with Aristotle’s biological corpus, particularly the Generation of Animals, Parts of Animals and Historia Animalium. Her books include Aristotle on Female Animals (2016) and Aristotle on Women (2021). She is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle’s Biology (2021). She is currently working on a book on Aristotle’s views about animals, plants and their environments. Sophia is also known for her historiographic work on women in early analytic philosophy. She is working to uncover the female logicians and philosophers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries who have been unfairly marginalized in our recent histories. Recent publications in this area include papers on G.E.M. Anscombe, Mary Midgley, Dora Russell and Alice Ambrose and a Special Issue of the British Journal for the History of Philosophy entitled ‘Lost Voices: Women in Philosophy 1880-1970’ (2021). Her current research in this area includes the philosophical theories of Sophie Bryant, Grace De Laguna and Alice Ambrose.



April 12th, 2:00pm

CAVEA (JSSB 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.

Join us for a discussion with SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Affiliate and Philosopher of Science Carol Cleland, Astrophysicist & Planetary Scientist Kamran Sahami, and Rhetorician & Religious Studies researcher Roger Green

Co-Sponsored by MSU Denver Honors Program



Explore the intersection of Punk Music, Politics, and Community.  80s/early 90s DC hardcore, selective service, the Revolution Summer, and a coda on toxic masculinity in punk.

April 13th, 6:00pm

Mutiny Information Café (2 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209)

Roy Cook


  • Roy Cook is Professor at the Department of Philosophy and at the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Minnesota. Roy is a longtime Punk musician and enjoyer.


Abe Brennan


  • American sketch artist residing in Denver, Colorado. Inspired by the punk rock music scene in his teenage years, he became a touring musician for a lengthy period of time. The social implications in punk and hardcore play a role in his drawings, providing both subject matter and a means to interrogate interpersonal relations, political systems, cultural issues, and socio-economic status. Abe has been a member of many bands, including Wretch Like Me, Joy Subtraction, and My Name


Sean Morris


  • Moderator Sean Morris received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he teaches courses in the history of analytic philosophy, logic, and the philosophy of science. Dr. Morris DJs for the Ajax Dinner Book Club radio program for AKRFC 88.9



How can universities better support Indigenous students through curriculum and programming?

April 20th, 1:00pm


Laurie Arnold


  • Assoc. Professor of History and Director of the Native American Studies at Gonzaga University


Michelle Villegas-Frazier


  • Director of the Native American Retention Initiatives/Student Affairs at University of California, Davis Campus


Karen Driver


  • Senior Advisor to the President of Native American Affairs at the University of Minnesota



Co-Sponsored by MSU Denver History

The Riddle of Turandot

WHEN Thursday, May 4, 2023, 5 – 10pm
WHERE Chambers Grant Salon at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House inside the Denver Performing Arts Complex
CONTACT EMAIL [email protected]
EVENT TYPES Arts & Cultural
AUDIENCE Current Students, Faculty Members, Prospective Students, Staff Members
EVENT SPONSOR College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, Other

This May, Opera Colorado presents Puccini’s Turandot, one of opera’s biggest blockbusters. For all Turandot’s popularity, this opera, set in a fabricated version of ancient China, has been scrutinized for problematic representations of Asian culture. Come join us for a discussion with director Aria Umezawa about Turandot, Asian representation, and what it means to present an opera like Turandot in 2023. Aria will also share information about her career as a director, producer, writer, and advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion. A reception with food and drink will follow, and all attendees are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal of Turandot that evening (all FREE). RSVP for your spot!



Blood Quantum is an award-winning 2019 Canadian horror film that depicts the effects of a zombie uprising on a First Nations reserve whose residents are immune to contracting the plague because of their indigenous heritage, but must still cope with the consequences of its effects on the world around them, including white refugees seeking shelter on the reserve.

University professors will lead a discussion on the topic of Tribal Sovereignty following the film screening. Refreshments will be available!

JSSB CAVEA (890 Auraria Pkwy) Room 420

Wednesday, September 6th – 3pm

Click Here to add this event to your calendar!




What is Tribal Sovereignty, and why is it important when building Native programing in higher education?

Join Nora Pulskamp (Director, Native Student Programs at University of Redlands) and Heather Torres (Director, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute) for this discussion.

JSSB (890 Auraria Pkwy) Room 400

Wednesday, September 13th – 11:30am

Click Here to add this event to your calendar!




A free live performance of Macbeth, followed by a discussion with the directors, cast, and university professors.

Monday, September 25th – 11am

Tivoli Bandstand (900 Auraria Pkwy, outside the southeast corner)

Click Here to add this event to your calendar!




Vivek Chibber is an academic, social theorist, editor, and professor of sociology at New York University, who has published widely on development, social theory, and politics. Chibber is the author of The Class Matrix: Social Theory after the Cultural Turn and Confronting Capitalism. Dr. Chibber will discuss how and why the category of class has been eclipsed by other forms of ‘identity’ in American political discussions.

“A lucid and compelling account of the essential nature of capitalism, and how its shackles can be removed by a revived labor movement animated by a commitment to solidarity and the common good.”
—Noam Chomsky

Thursday, September 28th – 11am

Tivoli Turnhalle

(900 Auraria Pkwy) Room 250

Click Here to add this event to your calendar!


Click Here to visit for the livestream



Join Dr. Kate Schmidt (Philosophy) Dr. Judith Strathearn (Africana Studies, Gender and Womens’ Studies, Literature), and Dr. Craig Svonkin (English) to discuss our favorite banned books and the topic of censorship.

Wednesday, October 4th – 11am

St. Cajetan’s (101 Lawrence Way)

Click Here to add this event to your calendar!


Click Here to visit for the livestream




Scenes from a marital breakdown between a screenwriter and his wife, as both become enmeshed in the behind-the-camera struggles of a director and producer as they film an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey.

Restored and digitized in 4K from the original 35mm negative.

About the guest lecturer:

Jean-François Duclos is professor of French at MSU Denver. As part of his current research on surveillance, he studies tailing scenes, also called following scenes, from various works of fiction.

Tuesday, October 24th – 6:30pm

SIE Film Center (2510 E Colfax Ave)

Click Here to add this event to your calendar!

Free to Auraria Campus students, faculty, and staff. Just email [email protected] to reserve a ticket!




Scenes from a marital breakdown between a screenwriter and his wife, as both become enmeshed in the behind-the-camera struggles of a director and producer as they film an adaptation of Homer’s The Odyssey.

Restored and digitized in 4K from the original 35mm negative.

About the guest lecturer:

Jean-François Duclos is professor of French at MSU Denver. As part of his current research on surveillance, he studies tailing scenes, also called following scenes, from various works of fiction.

Tuesday, October 24th – 6:30pm

SIE Film Center (2510 E Colfax Ave)

Click Here to add this event to your calendar!

Free to Auraria Campus students, faculty, and staff. Just email [email protected] to reserve a ticket!



Monday, November 6th – 12:15pm

Student Success Building, Room 400


Co-Sponsored by the MSU Denver 1Book/1Project/2Transform



George M. Johnson is an Award-Winning Black Non-Binary writer, author, and activist located in the NYC area.

They are the author of the New York Times Bestselling Young Adult Memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue discussing their adolescence growing up as a young Black Queer person in New Jersey through a series of powerful essays. The book is a Teen Vogue Recommended Read, a Buzzfeed Recommended Read, a People Magazine Best Book of the Summer, a New York Library Best Book, and a Chicago Public Library Best Book. All Boys Aren’t Blue is also the second most banned book in the U.S. for 2023, according to the American Library Association.

Tuesday, November 7th – 11:00am

Tivoli Turnhalle (Room 250) 900 Auraria Pkwy

Click Here to add this event to your calendar!


Sponsored by the MSU Denver 1Book/1Project/2Transform



The most ambitious film ever directed by William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist), SORCERER is often considered the last great masterpiece of the 1970’s, but its initial release was overshadowed by Star Wars, which hit screens around the same time. A loose adaptation of the French novel The Wages of Fear, SOCERER follows four desperate men who join forces to transport highly explosive cargo through a godforsaken Colombian rain forest. A gritty, existential thriller, SOCERER raises universal questions about the nature of fate while also reflecting the sense nihilism that marked this era of American life. Rediscover this once forgotten masterpiece with scholars from D-phi (Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry).  The screening will be followed by a Q&A.



Marshall Smith (Sociology, PhD, co-host of the film podcast, Collective Nightmares)

Adam J. Graves (Philosophy, PhD, and director of Dphi)

Thursday, November 9th – 6:45pm

SIE Film Center (2510 E Colfax Ave)

Click here to add this event to your calendar!

Click here for the full Denver Film Festival Guide!

Free to Auraria Campus students, faculty, and staff. Just email [email protected] to reserve a ticket!



  • February 28th. 5:00-5:45 (online): What is Happiness?  A Panel Discussion with Denver Public Schools GT program (all students are welcome to join). Panelists include Profs. Elizabeth Goodnick, Brian Hutchinson and Adam Graves. Please email [email protected] for event link.

  • March 3rd (2:00 p.m) Jordan Student Success Building, Room 400: Young Adult Fiction: Reading and Discussion with Authors. Moderated by Jill Adams; Panelists include Samantha Cohoe and other authors.

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)

Aristotle’s On the Soul

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)

Politics, Alienation and the Uncanny: A Michael Haneke Film Retrospective

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)

April 11: CACHE

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!

Fermi’s Paradox and Human Nature

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.

Understanding the Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Violence in the Public Imagination

September 21-23 (3 Day Conference)

Public consciousness regarding the Holocaust and other genocides has reached a critical juncture in American society. A recent survey on Holocaust awareness revealed a fundamental lack of knowledge about the Holocaust among 18 to 39-year-old Americans. At the same time, incidents of Holocaust denials, anti-Semitism, racialized violence, and significant ignorance and disregard for the Genocide visited upon Indigenous communities persist in public discourse. With the regular and troubling misuse of historical comparisons by public officials and a newly invigorated ideologically driven attack on public education, we have reached a critical moment.


Keynote Address – Susan Neiman, PhD (Einstein Forum, Germany)

Sept 22, 5–7 PM

Tivoli Turnhalle

Click here for more information on the conference!

Like all of our events, this event is free and open to all.

How We See the Skies

Honors Colloquium Panel

“For if anyone should come to the top of the atmosphere or should get wings and fly up, he could lift his head above it and see, as fishes lift their heads out of the water, so he would see things in that upper world; and, if his nature were strong enough to bear the sight, he would recognize that that is the real heaven.” -Plato

Across civilizations and over millennia, humans have viewed the sky with admiration and wonder. The sky has not only inspired curiosity about the nature of reality but has also served as a mirror for reflecting upon the human condition and our place within the universe. Drawing upon the expertise of an interdisciplinary group of scholars and scientists, How I view the skies” will explore the fascinating and varied relationships humans have had and continue to have with the sky. Join Dr. Erica Ellingson, Dr. Scott Landholt, and Dr. Adam Graves for a discussion this discussion in archeoastronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, photography, meteorology, history of science, and philosophy.

“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” Across cultures and millennia, humans have viewed the sky in wonder and awe and inspiration and curiosity.” -Immanuel Kant

 November 9th @ 9:30 am JSSB Room 440 in the CAVEA

This event is free and open to all.

Denver Film Festival

Film Screening and Discussion with Director and Local Experts

Click here for film details!

This event is open to the public, and free for Auraria Campus-Affiliated attendees, just email [email protected] to RSVP!

Sat, Nov 12th, 7:00 PM @ AMC House 10


Denver Film Festival

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

Trailers and more here!




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

Trailers and more here!

Image preview



Pandemics Across the Ages

Coronavirus in Historical Context – A Streamed Panel Discussion

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.”

May 14, 4:00-6:00pm

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)


Arc of Justice

Panel Discussions and Documentary Screening


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.

Ferurary 26th
CAVEA, Student Success Building
Room 420 
890 Auraria Pkwy Denver CO 80204
This event is free and open to the public. If you are planning to attend, please RSVP by clicking on This LinkYou are still welcome to attend without an RSVP, but the count ahead of time would really help us out!

The Evolution of Pixar

Film Screenings and Discussion


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.

March 3rd
7:00 – 8:30pm
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Phipps IMAX Theater 
2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205
This event is free for free for students, faculty and staff. RSVP by email to [email protected]. Tickets available at the Phipps IMAX Theater • $12 member, $15 nonmember $8 Students.

Philosophy as a Way of Life

Reflections on the Art of Living


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

January 30th
Tivoli Building – 900 Auraria Pkwy – Room 442 
This event is free and open to the public.

Simon Critchley – CANCELED

Lecture and Discussion on Tragedy, the Greeks, and Us


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.. 

The Thin Red Line

Introduction by Local Philosophers and Film Screening


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.”

February 13th

SIE Film Center 
2510 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
This event is free for free for students, faculty and staff. RSVP by email to [email protected]. Tickets can be purchased here.

Hong Sangsoo

Film Screenings and Discussions

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:





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.” ( ).

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).

Challenger: The Final Flight

A Conversation with the Director of the Popular Netflix Series


Language Barriers and Bridges

A Streamed Multidisciplinary Panel Discussion



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, Ph.D.

Building Community in an Hour of Chaos: John Lewis’ Lessons for Post-Election America


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

Poesis Oasis

A Virtual Poetry Exhibit


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)

(2) Direct message your video or audio recording to our Instagram (@dphidenver) or Facebook (@dphidenver)

(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

Atom Egoyan

A Philosophy and Film Retrospective

A screening and discussion of Atom Egoyan’s latest film.  Guest of Honour is a classic Egoyan puzzle, which focuses on a complex father-daughter relationship and features superb performances by David Thewlis, Laysla De Oliveira, and Luke Wilson.  Email [email protected] to RSVP and receive free virtual tickets.


Cosponsored by Sie Film Center – Email [email protected] to RSVP free virtual tickets

11.19.20 – 6:00pm




Screening and Discussion with Directors


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.

October 23rd, 47pm

Comcast Media and Technology Center, Tivoli Student Union

The Photons and Philosophy

Interdisciplinary Art tours at the Denver Art Museum’s Untitled Event

Tours are offered periodically throughout the evening, led by philosophers Vijay Mascarenhas and Adam Graves.

October 25, 6–10pm

Denver Art Museum


A Doll’s House

Performance and Talkback with Professors and Authors James Reid and Candace Craig.

October 26h, 6pm

Denver Center for Performing Arts, Newman Building

Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania


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!

November 3, 4pm

BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212

D-phi Conversations at the Denver Film Festival

DIVINE LOVE – November 5th


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.

Screening – 4:00pm, Regal UA Denver Pavilions
Discussion – 6:45pm, McNichols Building

ZUMRIKI – November 6th


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. 

Screening – 2:00pm, Regal UA Denver Pavilions
Discussion – 4:30pm, McNichols Building


They Shall Not Grow Old

Film Screening and Discussion

On behalf of Veteran and Military Student Services, English & Cinema Studies, History, and The Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry, we’d be delighted to have you, your family, and your colleagues for our kickoff event to Veteran’s Week at MSU. We’ll be screening the universally acclaimed They Shall Not Grow Old, Peter Jackson’s documentary that brings 100 year old film footage back to life in stunning color to tell the story of WWI and the soldiers who lived it. Following the screening, Film Studies’ Dr. Piturro and History’s Dr. Maestrejuan will lead a discussion with the audience on the film’s techniques, import, and relevance. Prior to the screening, a reception with hors d’oeuvre will be held in the King Center. Full schedule is in the attached flyer, and pasted below.
We’re looking forward to seeing you there!
Monday, November 11th – King Center Concert Hall
5:00pm – Reception
6:00pm – Screening begins after short introduction
6:30-7:30pm – Discussion


iNation: Democracy in the Era of Social Media & Fake News

An Interdisciplinary Symposium

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.

Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Location: CAVEA, 890 Auraria Pkwy, Room 420

(This event is free and open to the public)

Click here to view the symposium schedule

Symposium Schedule:





Opening Remarks



“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



Plenary Lecture: 

“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



Keynote Lecture: 

“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



Desire, Faith and Fidelity in Anna Karenina

Performance & Discussion

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.

Date: Friday, February 8th @6:00pm

Location: Denver Center for Performing Arts, Directors Room (enter through the lobby of the Stage Theater)

(Free tickets available to students- email [email protected]. General admission starting at $30 available here)


The Lady Eve: Exploring Cavell on Film

Film Screening and Discussion


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)

Date: Saturday, Febuary 23, 2019, @4:00pm

Location: SIE Film Center

(Free tickets are available for students- email [email protected] for more. General admission available here)

Peas and Carrots: The Rembrandt Room

Performance & Discussion

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.

Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 @ 8:00pm

Location: Buntport Theater Company, 717 Lipan St, Denver, CO 80204

(Free tickets are available for students- email [email protected] for more. General admission available here)


Aristotle on Biology & Human Nature

Panel Discussion

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.

Panelists include:

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

Date: Thursday, April 11th, 2019 – 5:00-6:30pm

Location: Student Success Building 400, 890 Auraria Pkwy, Denver CO 80204

(This event is free and open to the public)


Defining (Extraterrestrial) Life

A Philosopher’s Contribution to Astrobiology

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.

Date: Thursday, April 19th, 2019 – 12:45-1:45pm

Location: Tivoli Turnhalle, 900 Auraria Pkwy, Denver CO 80204

(This event is free and open to the public)



Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion and Performance at DCPA

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.


Speakers include:

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

September 18th, 5pm

Studio 11, Robert and Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education

Denver Center for Performing Arts

1101 13th St, Denver, CO 80204


 The Future of Europe

…and what it means for the Transatlantic Partnership

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

Universe 92

The Peas & Carrots at Buntport Theater

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.

October 10th, 810pm

Buntport Theater



Martha Nussbaum


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.

Lecture Date:

Thursday, 9/27


St. Cajetan’s (Auraria Campus)

101 Lawrence Way
Denver, CO 80204

Co-sponsored by the MSU Denver History Department (With additional support from MSU Denver’s Office of Sponsored Research & Programs)

You can ask your questions over livestream by commenting on this post (requires Facebook account)


Martha Nussbaum

Expert Panel Discussion


On the evening preceding Martha Nussbaum’s lecture (detailed below), a panel of experts will discuss her enduring contributions to various fields, including moral philosophy, aesthetics, political thought.
Rick Furtak is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Colorado College.  His philosophical interests include the moral psychology of the emotions, the relations between philosophy and literature, and the tradition of existential thought (especially Søren Kierkegaard and his legacy).

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.

Sarah Pessin is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Denver.  Her research areas include Jewish philosophy, Neoplatonisms (including the transmission of texts from Greek into Arabic, Hebrew and Latin medieval traditions), comparative Jewish, Islamic and Christian medieval philosophy and modern Jewish philosophy (Buber, Rosenzweig, Levinas)
Michaele L. Ferguson is Associate Professor of Political Science and Faculty Associate in the Women and Gender Studies Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the author of Sharing Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2012) as well as numerous articles and a co-edited volume on feminist and democratic theory.
Andrew R. Muldoon is Associate Professor in the Department of History at MSU Denver. He specializes in colonial South Asia, the British Empire, modern Britain and modern Ireland and is fluent in all aspects of modern British and Irish history, politics and culture.

Panel Date:

Wednesday, 9/26


Tivoli 444, LoRaine Good Room

900 Auraria Pkwy

Denver, CO 80204



Wounds to Scars

Acts of Remembrance in Word & Image

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.

Samuel Clare Knights

Readings and Discussion

 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


Shakespeare in the Park

Performance and Talkback with the Director and Cast




Screening and Discussion

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 received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Full video coming soon.



On Ambition and Guilt

 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.

Creating Local Change

D-phi co-hosted this discussion on activism and the individual’s role in their community with former Senator Linda Newell and Jack Wylie


All That Jazz

Film Screening and Discussion

All That Jazz is a 1979 American musical drama film directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay, by Robert Alan Aurthur and Fosse, is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on aspects of Fosse’s life and career as a dancer, choreographer and director. In 2001, All That Jazz was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

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 and Philosophy: Love, Madness and Immortality

Film & Lecture

Join philosopher Adam Graves as he conducts a post-film discussion to unravel the intricacies of Alejandro Iñárritu’s existential Best Picture Oscar Winner. 

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.

Date: October 4th, 7:00pm

Location: 2510 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206

($15 Tickets are available here. Free tickets are available for students – email [email protected] for information)


In The Margins

Dance Performance and Artist Talk

Join us for In The Margins, an exploration of the complex culture of the Indo-Caribbean diaspora led by sugar bound artist Suchitra Mattai and her sister, Sumitra Mattai. Whether you chose to engage with sugar bound through dance, discussion or both, each participant will come away with a much deeper understanding of the work on view (and maybe some impressive new dance moves). Join us to enjoy one or all of the following components of this unique event:

Date: Friday September 21st

4:30 pm • Indian Dance Workshop with Sumitra Mattai
6:00 pm • Semi-classical/Bollywood style dance performance by Sumitra Mattai
6:15 pm • Artist talk with Suchitra Mattai, Sumitra Mattai and Jacqueline A.
McLeod, Ph.D., J.D., Professor of History & Africana Studies, MSU Denver

Location: 965 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO 80204

(This event is free and open to the public)



Screening and Panel Discussion


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)

Date: November 5th, 2018


Denver Pavilions

500 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80202


McNichols Civic Center

144 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80202

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.

Behind the Curve

Screening and Panel Discussion


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)

Date: November 6th, 2018


Denver Pavilions

500 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80202


McNichols Civic Center

144 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80202

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 Multidisciplinary Discussion

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.

Click here to learn about the MSU panelists…

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.

Humanities in Charlottesville, After ‘Charlottesville’

Tragedies and the Humanities

Victor Luftig, Professor and Director of the Center for the Liberal Arts, University of Virginia, joined us to speak about the role the humanities can play in times of crisis for our schools and communities.

This year Prof. Luftig had prepared to teach, in addition to a couple of his usual literature courses, a class called ‘Global Resistance and Student Activism’; and the little center he has run since 2000 was going to run some of its usual programs for K-12 teachers, perhaps with some additional emphasis on political questions.  Then the events of August 2017 in Charlottesville required some considerable adjustments.  Prof. Luftig will discuss what he has learned during these months—from collaboration with the Southern Poverty Law Center, conversation with his academic colleagues, and most of all the leadership of students– and what’s ahead.


Trust, Anger, Resentment

On Blame and the Economy of Disesteem

Dr. Jay Wallace joined us for a presentation and discussion his most recent works. Dr. Wallace writes in moral philosophy, and his interests extend to all parts of the subject (including its history), and to such allied areas as political philosophy, philosophy of law, and philosophy of action. His research has focused on responsibility, moral psychology, and the theory of practical reason. Recently he has written on promising, normativity, constructivism, resentment, hypocrisy, love, and regret and affirmation (among other topics). Current research projects include a study of the relational elements in moral theory, The Moral Nexus, which is forthcoming from Princeton University Press.



Noam Chomsky

Legacy, Linguistics, and Higher Education

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


Voices and the Voiceless

The Question of Advocacy

One irony of our current “age of information” is that people seem to be presented with news and perspectives that only reinforce their presuppositions and views. Another is that the dawn of global communication has perhaps only served to reinforce the systematic exclusion of certain voices. Their stories often go untold and their lives are undervalued. In short, their voices are silenced. When is it our duty to speak for them and what sort of moral dilemmas does doing so raise? D-phi presented a discussion of the complicated nature of advocacy and the power of art in making other voices heard.

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.


Reconsidering the Humanities

Humanities in our Modern World

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.

Panelists included:
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.



Performance and Talkback

Amir has spent his adulthood downplaying his upbringing to build the perfect life. But as a high-profile court case and his wife’s Islamic-inspired art show reveal just how little his culture is understood by the people around him, their misconceptions become too much to bear. The expectation to be true to yourself and to fit into mainstream society collide in this 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

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.


Politics and The Silver Screen Part II

Film Series & Discussion

The Esquire Theater joined us for another gripping and timely film series, each followed by an expert-led discussion on the film and its historical and literary contexts. Our panelists included Dr. Rebecca Gorman (Chair, English), Dr. Jim Aubrey (Film Studies), and Dr. Pitturro (English).

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)

1984 (1984)

Do the Right Thing (1989)


Religion and Violence

Where Faith and Violence Coincide

A day-long multi-disciplinary exploration of the relationship between violence and religion, featuring a variety of national and international experts in law, political science, psychology, and religious studies.                                       

Religion and Violence Full Schedule

Race & Justice

Discussion with Mayor Hancock & Author Claudia Rankine

D-phi partnered with The City of Denver, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, MSU Denver, Denver Public Library, and NEA Big Read on this discussion.




Screening and Panel Discussion with Philosophers and Experts


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?


On the Beach at Night Alone

Panel Discussion and Film Screening


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.

After a screening, an expert panel discussed the film with the audience. The panel included:

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


Edar Allen Poe is Dead and So Is My Cat

Performance and Talkback

A guy lives in his sister’s basement, recording podcast episodes dedicated to his hero, the Gothic writer Edgar Allan Poe. Much to his sister’s dismay, he takes very little interest in anything else. But change is on the way, coming in the unlikely form of a thrift store suit. Edgar Allan Poe Is Dead and So Is My Cat is a fantastical comedy with a dash of the macabre. This play is the first full-length production of Buntport’s 17th season, a season that hopes to examine and play with theatrical conventions. Come escape the news cycle and laugh.
In addition to their original full-length plays, Buntport consistently creates all sorts of fun events, involving talented locals from all mediums. Every month offers a variety of entertainment opportunities, such as The Great Debate, buntporTED talks, Siren Song, The Narrators, and Joan and Charlie Discuss Tonight’s Theme. Season 17 will also see a new live sit-com from the company that created Magnets on the Fridge, Starship Troy, and The Unauthorized Story of a Fictional Television Show.

An expert talkback followed the performance



The Tragedies of David Lean

A Philosophical Film Retrospective

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.

Films included:

Brief Encounter

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.


Democracy in Principle and Practice

From Ancient Athens to Contemporary Colorado

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.

Click here to learn about our panelists…


Frank Talks

A Conversation with former US Representative Barney Frank

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.


Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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.

Creating Monstrosity: Frankenstein Behind the Scenes at the DCPA

Recorded October 13th, 2016 at the Denver Center for Performing Arts



Ben Nichols

The Last Pale Light in the West: On Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian

 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!



Out of the Past

Fate, Philosophy, and American Film Noir

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



The Tyranny of Language


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


Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

Romeo and Juliet


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.



From Computer to Consciousness?

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.

Click here to learn about the panelists…

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.