2013–2014 Lecture Series: “The Contemporary Face of Suffering”

This year’s Institute series will explore important philosophical, religious, and literary aspects of suffering. From recent public debate about physician-assisted suicide and other end-of-life choices to new academic research on topics such as social suffering and the effects of trauma, there is much to prompt contemporary philosophical reflection about the nature and meaning of human suffering. In this year’s series, individual lectures will focus on topics such as the phenomenology of pain, trauma, and waiting; the relationship between suffering and ethical theory; and the expressive connection between suffering and artistic and narrative forms of representation. This year’s roster of speakers will include notable experts in areas such as the philosophy of religion, bioethics, literary theory, and narrative medicine.

“The Poetry of Suffering and Waiting”

Harold Schweizer, Department of English, Bucknell University

Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 5 p.m.
Boston University College of Arts & Sciences
725 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 211

“Physician-Assisted Suicide and End-of-Life Issues”

Dan W. Brock, Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, Harvard Medical School

Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325
Commentator: Irina Meketa, Department of Philosophy, Boston University

“Susan Sontag and the Representation of Suffering”

Ann Jurecic, Department of English, Rutgers University

Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

“Gratuitous Evils and Organic Unities”

Dean Zimmerman, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University

Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

“Social Suffering and Caregiving: The Ground of Moral Life”

Arthur Kleinman, Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University and Professor of Medical Anthropology in Global Health and Social Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

“‘As One, in Suff’ring All, That Suffers Nothing’: on Hamlet

Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas Professor, The New School

Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 5 p.m.
Boston University, The Castle, 225 Bay State Road

“The Afterlife of Trauma Theory”

Shelly Rambo, School of Theology, Boston University

Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 5 p.m.
Boston University School of Theology
745 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 325

“The Problem of Suffering and the Desires of the Heart”

The Leroy and Rita Rouner Memorial Lecture
Eleonore Stump, Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy,
Saint Louis University

Thursday, February 6, 2014, 5 p.m.
Boston University Photonics Center Colloquium Room
8 Saint Mary’s Street, Ninth Floor

“W. H. Auden on History and Silence”

Susannah Gottlieb, Department of English, Northwestern University

Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 5 p.m.
Boston University Photonics Center Colloquium Room
8 Saint Mary’s Street, Ninth Floor