Past Lecture Series

God and the Search for Happiness

Dr. Zena Hitz
September 19, 2023

Zena Hitz (PhD, Princeton) is an expert in ancient philosophy & author of Lost in Thought, and A Philosopher Looks at the Religious Life. Hitz is also a Tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis and the founder and president of the Catherine Project. Hitz writes for general audiences about freedom, education, happiness, the decline of our institutions, faith, hope, and love. Hitz’s scholarship is in classical philosophy, especially questions about law, character, friendship, and the human good.

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Last fall’s lecture series explored the end of the university: What, if anything, is the purpose or goal of the university? What should it be? Is the university headed toward closure and collapse? What does its role in and relation to economic crises, political battles, and cultural conflicts have to do with all this? Finally, how do visions of the university’s telos relate to its future – disintegration, renewal, or something else?

Why Does Racial Inequality Persist?

Dr. Glenn Loury, Brown University
September 13, 2022

A prominent social critic and public intellectual writing mainly on the themes of racial inequality and social policy, Dr. Glenn Loury has published more than 200 essays and reviews in journals of public affairs in the US and abroad. Loury has given the prestigious Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Stanford (2007), the James A. Moffett ‘29 Lectures in Ethics at Princeton (2003), and the DuBois Lectures in African American Studies at Harvard (2000). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society and a member of the American Philosophical Society. In this lecture, Dr. Glenn Loury asks why does racial inequality persist? An academic economist, Professor Loury has published mainly in applied microeconomic theory, game theory, industrial organization, natural resource economics, and the economics of race and inequality.

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The Epistemic Commons

Dr. Hrishikesh Joshi, Bowling Green
October 4, 2022

Dr. Hrishikesh Joshi works on issues at the intersection of philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE). He is interested in distributive justice, public choice theory, and the moral and epistemic upshots of partisanship and political polarization. Currently, he is working on a book project that applies PPE tools to analyze the ethics of speaking one’s mind. Joshi also works in ethical theory and metaethics, particularly on moral worth, personhood, and the sources of normativity. Dr. Joshi is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University.

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Deflection, Value-Capture, and the Permanent Crisis of the Humanities

Dr. Chad Wellmon, University of Virginia
October 25, 2022

Dr. Chad Wellmon is a Professor of German Studies, with appointments in History and Media Studies, at the University of Virginia. He is also the co-director of UVA’s New Curriculum and Principal of Brown College.

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Liberal Learning and Love of Truth

Dr. Jennifer Frey, University of South Carolina
November 8, 2022

Dr. Jennifer Frey earned a B.A. in philosophy and medieval studies (with a classics minor) at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. Before teaching at the University of South Carolina, she was a junior fellow in the Society of the Liberal Arts at the University of Chicago and a Collegiate Assistant Professor of the Humanities.

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The End of Moral Philosophy

Dr. Vanessa Wills, George Washington
November 29, 2022

Dr. Vanessa Wills is a political philosopher, ethicist, educator, and activist based in Washington, DC. She is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The George Washington University. Her areas of specialization are moral, social, and political philosophy, nineteenth-century German philosophy (especially Karl Marx), and the philosophy of race. Her research is informed by her study of Marx’s work and focuses on how economic and social arrangements can inhibit or promote the realization of values such as freedom, equality, and human development.

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