6th Annual Braniff Conference in the Liberal Arts | The World is Bare Now: Nature
and Human Flourishing | Nov. 15-16, 2019
Keynote Speaker: Jason Baxter, Ph.D. | Wyoming Catholic College
Dr. Baxter is academic dean and associate professor of fine arts and humanities at Wyoming Catholic
College. His primary research interests include medieval ideas of beauty, the long-lived
legacy of the thought of Plato, and the poetry of Dante. He is also interested in
medieval mysticism, humanism, and the relationship between the Middle Ages and the
Renaissance. Dr. Baxter has been an invited speaker at universities across the country,
speaking on the modern relevance of the liberal arts, as well as topics on Dante,
such as the role of lyric poetry in Dante’s Paradiso and Dante’s theology of love.
Plenary Speaker: Thomas Hibbs, Ph.D. | President, University of Dallas
The first alumnus of UD to be president, Dr. Hibbs has served as dean of the Honors
College and distinguished professor of ethics and culture at Baylor University since
2003. Dr. Hibbs has spent most of his career writing, teaching and designing/implementing
academic programs; he has 30 published academic articles, and two are forthcoming.
He has written, edited or provided introductions for 12 books, including three on
the thought of Thomas Aquinas. He has also written more than 200 movie reviews and
dozens of essays and book reviews for publications such as National Review, Catholic World Report, First Things, The Weekly Standard and others.
The Braniff Graduate Student Association of the University of Dallas is pleased to announce the 6th annual Braniff Conference
in the Liberal Arts. This year the conference tackles the fundamental intersection
of nature, the natural, and human flourishing. Our shared Western heritage is rich
in understandings of the natural world: across epoch, discipline, and cultural boundaries,
great minds have scrutinized the relationship between the natural world and our own
thriving. Nature has been intermittently conceived as threatening and salvific, crude
and refined, a principle of all activity and a limit to be transcended. The natural—and
its concomitant concepts the unnatural and the supernatural—has served as an argumentative
standard by which whole societies have articulated themselves in law, mores, and sentiments.
As our contemporary discourse turns to militarize conceptions of the natural world,
the Braniff Graduate Student Association calls on scholars to present new engagements
with the myriad facets of nature and its relationship to human flourishing--whether
that confirms some previous understanding of nature or interrogates the concept afresh.
This year, the conference will begin with a poetry reading on Friday night, at which
presenters and local poets will be invited to present some of their original work
which engages with the conference theme.
The conference will take place at the University of Dallas, located in Irving, TX.
We invite scholars working in the liberal and the fine arts to submit abstracts of
no more than 500 words that consider nature and/or the natural from the perspective
of their discipline, a particular author, or from an interdisciplinary approach. Preference
will be given to those working in the liberal and fine arts disciplines including—but
not limited to—philosophy, literature, politics, theology, history, psychology, painting,
sculpting, print-making, and cinema, and drawing from the classical, medieval, modern,
or contemporary period. The conference committee will invite select presenters to
submit their essays or poetry to Ramify: The Journal of the Braniff Graduate School of the Liberal Arts.
Please submit abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Abstracts should be prepared for blind review. Please include a separate cover letter
with your name, paper title, email address, and institutional affiliation.
Abstracts are due no later than Friday, August 16, 2019. Presenters will be notified of their acceptance by Monday, September 9, 2019 and
will be asked to submit their full papers, suitable for a 15- minute presentation
(no more than 2500 words), by Monday, October 21, 2019.
- 5th Annual BCLA: Scripture and the Disciplines | Keynote Speaker: Michael Waldstein, Ph.D., Franciscan University of Steubenville
- 4th Annual BCLA: What is Imagination? | Keynote Speaker: Eva Brann, Ph.D., St. John's College
- 3rd Annual BCLA: On Friendship | Keynote speaker: Ronna Burger, Philosophy, Tulane University
- 2nd Annual BCLA: On Philosophy and Poetry | Keynote speaker: Ron Smith, Poet Laureate of Virginia
- Proceedings from the 1st Annual BCLA: On Reason and Revelation, were published by
Ramify. The keynote speaker was Khalil Habib, Philosophy, Salve Regina University