Colloquia

Directed Studies lectures and seminars are complemented by a series of six colloquia throughout the year. Distinguished speakers from in- and outside of Yale are invited to speak on major issues arising from our work in the program, related disciplines not included in the program, and the relationship between Western civilization and the non-Western world. Lectures are one hour long, followed by questions and discussion.

    Seyla Benhabib    Gary Tomlinson  Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Colloquia speakers in recent years include David McCullough (on writing history), Seyla Benhabib (on natural right or “the right to have rights”), Henry Louis Gates, jr. (on W.E.B. DuBois and the Harlem Renaissance), Steven Breyer (on humanities and law), Shelley Kagan (on ethics), David Quint (on the Renaissance imagination), Amy Chua (on Tiger Parenting), David Bromwich (on the moral imagination), Stephen Greenblatt (on a turning point of the western tradition), Garry Wills (on St. Augustine), Gary Tomlinson (on musicology), Robert Fagles (on translation and the Odyssey). Other recent topics include the Origin of Consciousness in Greek art, Christians, Muslims, and Jews in medieval Spain, the American Declaration of Independence, Arabic literature and the Western Tradition, Classical Greek and Chinese epic, Wagner and the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, and Contemporary Reception of Classical Texts and the Project of Directed Studies. List of past colloquia.

Directed Studies Colloquia take place from 4–5:30pm in the auditorium of the Whitney Humanities Center (unless otherwise noted). Refreshments are served beginning at 3:30 in Whitney Humanities Center 108.

Colloquia for this academic year 2015–2016 will feature a series of panel discussions on moments and movements in history critical for understanding the textual tradition we study in Directed Studies. Each colloquium is organized by a member of the Directed Studies faculty and features speakers from Yale and other institutions.

Spring 2017:

Thursday, January 26
“Atheism and the Novel” with James Wood (Harvard, The New Yorker) 
Lindsey Chittenden Hall Room 102, 4pm

Wednesday, February 22
“A Somali Tempest” with Prof. Toni Dorfman (Yale)
Lindsey Chittenden Hall Room 102, 4pm

Wednesday, April 12
“Is Ours a Godless Age?” With Prof. Tony Kronman (Yale)
Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium, 4pm

Fall 2016:

Thursday, Oct 13         
“The Action of the Inferno” with Robert Pinsky (Yale)
Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium, 4pm

Friday, Nov 11
“The Importance of Being Difficult: On Tacitus and Others” with Mary Beard (Cambridge)
Lindsey Chittenden Hall Room 102, 4pm

Wednesday, Dec 7   
“Reclaiming Conversation” with Sherry Turkle (MIT)
Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium, 4pm