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BYU Humanities Center Podcast
44 minutes | 16 days ago
Contemplative Studies, and What it Fails to Contemplate, with guest Jacob Sherman, California Institute of Integral Studies
Contemplative studies is an emerging interdisciplinary field in universities. It explores the intersection of what we learn with how we learn, asserting that minds that are aware of their own processes, minds that take a contemplative approach toward learning, not only digest facts but also undergo transformative experiences. In most universities, contemplative study fuses brain science with techniques of Eastern meditation, often inspired by Buddhism. Our guest is Jacob Sherman, a professor of philosophy and religion and chair of the Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Sherman is the author of an article titled “On the Emerging Field of Contemplative Studies and its Relationship to the Study of Spirituality” which was published in the volume The Soul of Higher Education, edited by Margaret Benefiel and Bo Karen Lee. What does Sherman like about contemplative studies, what worries him, and what’s missing? Interview by Matthew Wickman, Founding Director, BYU Humanities Center. Produced and Edited by Brooke Browne and Sam Jacob.
40 minutes | a month ago
Why We Need Needless Things: On the Power of Literary Romance – Guest Scott Black, University of Utah
What is literature? For much of western history, the word simply designated “educated writing” or “discourse,” a meaning it still retains. However, since the turn of the nineteenth century, literature has usually meant “imaginative writing,” and some kinds of literature, like the genre of romance, is more, shall we say, “literary” than others, more rooted in imaginative flights of fancy. Our guest is Scott Black, Professor of English literature and chair of the English department at the University of Utah. Professor Black is the author of Without the Novel: Romance and the History of Prose Fiction, published in 2019 by the University of Virginia Press, and it makes the compelling case that literature, especially in its most playful, most unrealistic, most imaginative, most romantic forms is precisely what we need today. Interview by Matthew Wickman, Founding Director, BYU Humanities Center Produced and Edited by Brooke Browne and Sam Jacob
47 minutes | a month ago
Scotland – and the Arts – in the Modern World: with guest Cairns Craig, University of Aberdeen
Scotland is a small nation that has exerted an outsized influence on the modern world, an influence ranging from politics and economics, to university disciplines, the arts, and even the study of literature. But Scotland also bears a fascinating history within Britain, a history of influence, resistance, and self reflection. The guest of this episode of the BYU Humanities Center Podcast is Professor Cairns Craig, the Glucksman Chair of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen. Over a long and distinguished career, Professor Craig has written widely about Scottish literature, culture and history. He’s the author most recently of The Wealth of the Nation: Scotland, Culture, and Independence published in 2018 by Edinburg University Press. Professor Craig talked to us about what Scotland’s rich history can teach us about the modern world and about the role of the arts in forming our identities, culturally and even nationally. Interview by Matthew Wickman, Founding Director, BYU Humanities Center Produced and Edited by Brooke Browne and Sam Jacob
41 minutes | 2 months ago
Subduing Rage through Ancient Greek Myth: with Matthew Wickman and guest Emily Katz Anhalt, Sarah Lawrence College
What do we need in violent times? Stronger weapons systems? Better intelligence so that we can root out threats before they arise? A more robust police force or rules for governing its use? Emily Katz Anhalt, who teaches classical languages and literatures at Sarah Lawrence College, believes we need stories. And not just any stories — ancient Greek myths. We talked with Professor Anhalt about her book Enraged: Why Violent Times Need Ancient Greek Myths, published in 2017 by Yale University Press. How do ancient Greek myths teach us about the consequences of rage, especially in society? What do they tell us about how to remove ourselves from feelings and situations of rage, or how to channel rage more productively? And how can they help us empathize with those who we perceive as our opponents, those who perhaps stoke our rage? Interview by Matthew Wickman, Founding Director, BYU Humanities Center
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