Fall 2023 Events

William of Ockham

“William of Ockham on Memory, Persons, and the Afterlife”

October 26th

 3:30 PM

CN 303A

Susan Brower Toland

St. Louis University

Take a journey into the captivating world of medieval philosophy with Professor Susan Brower Toland from Saint Louis University. Dive deep into the thought provoking ideas of William of Ockham, a philosophical luminary of the Middle Ages, who stood at the center of major intellectual and political controversies.


Susan Brower Toland is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. Her research focuses on later-medieval discussions of topics in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, often with special interest in William Ockham’s contribution to these topics. Susan also has general research and teaching interests in metaphysics, mind, and philosophy of religion. Her work has been published in numerous journals including The Philosophical Review, Mind, Philosopher’s Imprint, and Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy.


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Past Events

Ghosts Among Us


We are excited to feature Professor TJ Dezauche in our Religious Studies Lecture Series. He will present “Ghosts Among Us.”

Japanese ghosts, called yūrei, now appear in media all over the world. Their frightening appearance and horrific powers have thrilled audiences for centuries. But where do these ghosts come from? Are they simply stories told for entertainment?

This lecture will explore the origins of these tragic spirits. We will consider their relationship to Shintō, the native religion of Japan, as well as the relationship between the yūrei and Buddhist pretas, or hungry ghosts. We will ask whether or not the stories of ghosts, particularly those found in Buddhist tradition(s) might offer more than a simple, entertaining thrill. What warnings do the hungry ghosts offer, and what possibilities?

Finally, we will consider how appeasing these spirits and specters might actually be an act of true bravery, not because we would have to face a monster, but because we would have to face ourselves.

April 6th


Science 1117


Recording from TJ DeZauche lecture, "Ghosts Among Us" on April 6, 2022. We lose video for about a minute and half at the 2:30 mark.


Sanaa Riaz

Religious Archetypes

September 8th, 2022

1:00 CN 303A


What are religious archetypes? How do they impact our understanding of religion? Come explore archteypal journeys in an engaging lecture with Dr. Sanaa Riaz.

Prior to coming to the Metropolitan State University of Denver, Dr. Sanaa Riaz served as the Program Chair of the Bachelor of Arts in Social Science in Ashford University’s College of Liberal Arts. She graduated from the University of Karachi, Pakistan with Bachelor’s in History and a Master’s in Archeology and earned her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Arkansas. Learning and teaching languages being her passion besides Anthropology, she also began pursuing a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Prior to joining Ashford University’s Denver campus, Dr. Riaz taught at the Mount St. Mary College, New York; Arkansas State University; University of Arkansas; and at undergraduate institutions in Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Riaz’s research revolves around issues of modernity, tradition, secularism, and social class in religious practice and the education context. She was trained as a Middle East anthropologist and conducted ethnographic research in urban Pakistan. In her Anthropology classes, Dr. Riaz’s mission is to encourage students to critically examine their worldviews and socio-economic and political ethos, and bring themselves one step closer to understanding other cultural normalities. Thus, respecting other points of view and challenging one’s own through academic dialogue is an important feature of her class environment. Dr. Riaz advises her students to read about other cultures as much as possible and to deconstruct the ideologies that drive every activity in their daily lives and of the people around them, whether it’s watching a movie, celebrating an occasion, going shopping, or communicating.


“The Virgen de Guadalupe and the Politics of Gender”

Dr. Adriana Nieto

September 21, 2022

1:00 CN 205


Adriana Nieto, Ph.D., is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Chicana/o Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has been with the university for over 15 years, first starting out as an adjunct professor and then becoming a full-time faculty member in 2009. Her teaching and research interests include Latina spiritualities and practices; women of color feminisms; mental health among Xicanas in early 20th Century New Mexico; Chicana protestants in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands; oral history and water in the ‘West’, with special interest in acequia culture and practices in southern Colorado.

Nieto received her Ph.D. in religious and theological studies form the University of Denver Iliff School of Theology, her master’s in Latin American studies with a focus on gender studies and borderland history from the University of New Mexico and her bachelor’s in Latin American and women studies also from the University of New Mexico.