BGSA Conference: On Philosophy & Poetry

2nd Annual BGSA Conference: On Philosophy & Poetry
January 29-30, 2016

Each year the Braniff Graduate Student Association organizes a conference that reflects the unique interdisciplinary nature of the Braniff Graduate School and its emphases on classical education and contemporary scholarship.Braniff 2016 Conference

This year's conference centered on Philosophy & Poetry. It featured a keynote address by poet laureate of Virginia, Ron Smith, and included presentations on Plato, Aquinas, Milton, Spenser and others from graduate students across the country and overseas. The conference took place at University of Dallas, located in Irving, TX.

Conference Schedule 

Friday, January 29

Location: Lynch Auditorium

Introductory Remarks, 6:00-6:45 p.m.

  • Rhett Forman: Institute of Philosophic Studies: Literature, University of Dallas
  • Gregory Roper: Department of English, University of Dallas
  • Jonathan Culp: Department of Politics, University of Dallas

Poetry Reading, 7:00-7:45 p.m.

Master of Ceremonies: Natalie Smith, Institute of Philosophic Studies: Politics, University of Dallas 

Saturday, January 30

Location: Upstairs Haggar

Registration, 8:30-9:00 a.m.

Continental breakfast will be available.

Panel 1: The Premodern Approach, 9:00-10:30 a.m.

Panel Moderator: Fred Erdman, Institute of Philosophic Studies: Philosophy, University of Dallas

Hephaestus’s Net: Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium

  • Derek Duplessie, Department of Philosophy, Tulane University
  • Response: Joshua Parens, Department of Philosophy, University of Dallas 

The Myth of Er as Complement to Dialectic

  • Peter Moore, Department of Philosophy, University of Kentucky
  • Response: Pavlos Papadopoulos, Institute of Philosophic Studies: Politics, University of Dallas 

On Poetic Knowledge as Underlying Philosophy

  • Michael J. Bolin, Department of Philosophy, Wyoming Catholic College
  • Response: Philip Solórzano, Institute of Philosophic Studies: Philosophy, University of Dallas 

Panel 2: Early Modernism, 10:45-11:55 a.m.

Panel Moderator: Angela Lill, Institute of Philosophic Studies: Politics, University of Dallas

Desire, Perception, and Self-Knowledge in the Chastity Legend of Spenser’s Faerie Queene

  • Brandon Muri, Department of English, Grand Valley State University
  • Response: Amy Freeman, Institute of Philosophic Studies: Literature, University of Dallas

First to Himself He Inward Silence Broke: Adam’s Dialectical Contemplation in Paradise Lost

  • Aparna Ravilochan, Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago
  • Response: Leta Sundet, Institute of Philosophic Studies: Literature, University of Dallas

Lunch: 12:15-1:15 p.m.

Lunch Break

Panel 3: Romanticism, 1:20-2:20 p.m.

Moderator: Rachel Byrd, Braniff Graduate School: English, University of Dallas

Novalis and Hymns to the Night

  • Jingjing Zhao, Department of English, University of Auckland

The Poetics of American Common Law

  • Jake Crabbs, John Marshall Law School
  • Response: Cole Simmons, Institute of Philosophic Studies: Politics, University of Dallas 

Panel 4: Plato and the Poets, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Moderator: James DeMasi, Institute of Philosophic Studies: Literature, University of Dallas

Plundering the Cave: The Influence of Plato’s Republic on Coleridge’s Biographia

  • Stephen Barnes, Department of English, University of Mary Hardin–Baylor 

Between germs and soap bubbles: Ezra Pound’s phantastikón in “Psychology and Troubadours”

  • Eloissa Bressan, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Aix-Marseille
  • Response: Fr. Stephen Gregg, Institute of Philosophic Studies: Literature, University of Dallas

Keynote Address, 4:00-5:15 p.m.

Ron Smith: Poet Laureate of Virginia

About the Keynote Speaker

Ron Smith

Ron Smith is the Poet Laureate of Virginia. He is the author of Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery, runner-up for the National Poetry Series Open Competition and the Samuel French Morse Prize, and subsequently published by University Presses of Florida. His other books— Its Ghostly Workshop, Moon Road: Poems 1986-2005, and the forthcoming The Humility of the Brutes— are published by LSU Press. His poems have appeared in many periodicals, including The Nation, New England Review, Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Puerto del Sol, and in anthologies in the US, Italy, Canada, and the UK.  Smith holds degrees (B.A., M.A., M.H., M.F.A.) in philosophy, English, general humanities, and creative writing and has studied writing at Bennington College in Vermont, British drama at Oxford, and Renaissance and modern culture at the Ezra Pound Center for Literature in Merano, Italy. He is a winner of and now Curator of the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize. He has taught at several universities and is currently the Writer-in-Residence and the George O. Squires Chair of Distinguished Teaching at St. Christopher's School, in Richmond, Virginia. He is also Poetry Editor for Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature.

Watch Ron Smith read Its Ghostly Workshop

 

Participants

Michael Bolin

Michael Bolin studied liberal arts at Thomas Aquinas College in California, and pursued graduate studies in philosophy at the University of Dallas. Since 2009, he has taught undergraduate philosophy and various interdisciplinary courses in mathematics, natural science, and theology at Wyoming Catholic College, where he is currently assistant professor of philosophy.

Stephen Barnes

Stephen Barnes is Associate Professor of English at the University of Mary Hardin–Baylor (UMHB) in Belton, Texas.  He is a graduate of the University of Dallas’s Institute of Philosophic Studies (Literature 2006).  During the 2008-09 academic year, Barnes was a Fulbright Scholar at Daugavpils University in the Republic of Latvia.  His research interests and publications include articles on the works of Frost, Dostoevsky, Faulkner, and Wendell Berry, among others.

Eloisa Bressan

Eloisa Bressan graduated with a BA in Classical Literature and an MA in Modern Philology from the University of Padua, Italy. She has been a doctoral student and instructor in Comparative Literature at the University of Aix-Marseille, France, with a research focus on Provence in The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Eloisa is a contributor to Make It New, the magazine of the Ezra Pound Society. Her publications include “Reading A Walking Tour in Southern France: A geographical approach” (Make It New, 2.1, June 2015) and “Le vortex gréco-provençal dans Les Cantos d’Ezra Pound” (Loxias, 46, August 2014).

Jake Crabbs

Jake Crabbs is a third year law student at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. He has been a participant in the John Marshall Restorative Justice Clinic and is currently an extern for Judge Sanjay Tailor of the Circuit Court of Cook County. After he received his Bachelors Degree in the Liberal Arts from St. John's College, in Annapolis, Maryland, he taught English for two years at the Jeongsang Language School in Seoul, Korea.

Jonathan Culp

Jonathan Culp received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from St John’s College, Annapolis and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Boston College. He is Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Dallas and also the director of the undergraduate International Studies minor. His research focuses on the relationship between the virtue of justice and the human good in Plato’s Republic, a subject on which he is currently writing a book, and he has also published an article on David Hume's treatment of the same question.

Derek Duplessie

Derek Duplessie received his B.A. from St. John’s College (Santa Fe) in 2011, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Tulane University. He is the 2015-2016 graduate fellow at the Murphy Institute and teaches courses in the history of philosophy at Tulane as a graduate instructor. His interests include Greek philosophy and poetry, political philosophy, and history of modern philosophy.

Rhett Forman

Rhett Forman is a PhD Literature student in the Institute of Philosophic Studies at the University of Dallas. He earned his BA at St. John’s College and has also studied at the University of Costa Rica and at the Ezra Pound Center for Literature in Dorf Tirol, Italy. He is Series Editor for Make It New, the magazine of the Ezra Pound Society. His research interests include Modernist poetry and liberty in the epic.

Amy Freeman

Amy Freeman is a third year doctoral student in Literature at the Institute of Philosophic Studies, University of Dallas. She holds a B.A. in University Scholars from Baylor University. Her research gravitates toward medieval Western literature and spirituality, including the Rule of St. Benedict, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, and the works of Walter Hilton

Fr. Stephen Andrew Gregg, O. Cist.

Fr. Stephen Andrew Gregg, O.Cist., is a doctoral student in Literature in the Institute of Philosophic Studies. He earned a B.A. from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, majoring in Latin and in Mediaeval Studies. After entering the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, he studied philosophy and theology at the University of Dallas, completing the S.T.B. at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome and a License in Patristic Theology and Sciences at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, also in Rome. He teaches in the English Department of the University of Dallas, and teaches English and other subjects at the Cistercian Preparatory School.

John Douglas Macready

John Douglas Macready is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dallas. His work focuses on critical issues in social and political philosophy with specific attention paid to human dignity as it relates to larger human rights issues such as statelessness, racism, genocide, and mass incarceration. His dissertation, “A Fragile Nobility: Hannah Arendt and the Political Meaning of Human Dignity” excavates the principle of conditionality from Hannah Arendt’s political philosophy in order to elucidate her understanding of human dignity. He has published book reviews and articles in Borderlands, Film-Philosophy, Purlieu: A Philosophical Journal, and Ramify: The Journal of the Braniff Graduate School, and contributed chapters to Philosophy Imprisoned: The Love of Wisdom in the Age of Mass Incarceration (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), and A Companion to Woody Allen (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Peter Moore

Peter Moore is currently a fifth year doctoral student at the University of Kentucky. His main area of research is ancient Greek philosophy, with a focus on Plato. Peter has studied Modern Greek language and literature both at the University of Athens and at Boston University.

Brandon Muri

Brandon Muri is an award-winning journalist and former high school Latin instructor from the state of Michigan. Brandon received his bachelor’s degree from Hillsdale College and a Master of Arts degree in literature from Grand Valley State University. His thesis on Edmund Spenser grew from an interest in the signifying power of allegory that began with an Ahab-like obsession with Herman Melville as an undergraduate. He is currently applying to doctoral programs with an eye to continuing his research in Spenserian allegory.

Pavlos Papadopoulos

Pavlos Papadopoulos is a doctoral candidate in Political Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophic Studies, University of Dallas, where he teaches in the Philosophy Department. He holds an M.A. in Politics from the University of Dallas and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis. Pavlos has served as an editor of Ramify: The Journal of the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts. His research interests include classical political philosophy, the theoretical and practical conception of authorship in the history of philosophy, and the history, theory, and practice of liberal education.

Joshua Parens

Joshua Parens is Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Institute of Philosophic Studies, and Dean of the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts at the University of Dallas. He is the author of Maimonides and Spinoza: Their Conflicting Views of Human Nature, and of two books on Alfarabi: An Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religion: Introducing Alfarabi and Metaphysics as Rhetoric: Alfarabi’s “Summary of Plato’s Laws.” With Joseph C. Macfarland, he is the editor of Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook. His expertise includes Islamic and Jewish medieval philosophy, early modern philosophy, metaphysics, political philosophy, and Spinoza.

Aparna Ravilochan

Aparna Ravilochan is a second-year PhD student at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought. She received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Santa Fe in 2012 and a Fulbright award to work as an English teaching assistant in Malaysia in 2013. She currently works on Aristotle, ancient science, and the history and philosophy of math and science.

Cole Simmons

Cole Simmons is a doctoral candidate in Political Philosophy at the University of Dallas, where he teaches in the Politics Department. He holds an M.A. in Politics from the University of Dallas and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis. He is a current Rumsfeld Fellow.

Ron Smith

Ron Smith is the Poet Laureate of Virginia. He is the author of Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery, runner-up for the National Poetry Series Open Competition and the Samuel French Morse Prize, and subsequently published by University Presses of Florida. His other books—Its Ghostly Workshop, Moon Road: Poems 1986-2005, and the forthcoming The Humility of the Brutes—are published by LSU Press. His poems have appeared in many periodicals, including The Nation, New England Review, Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Puerto del Sol, and in anthologies in the US, Italy, Canada, and the UK.  Smith holds degrees (B.A., M.A., M.H., M.F.A.) in philosophy, English, general humanities, and creative writing and has studied writing at Bennington College in Vermont, British drama at Oxford, and Renaissance and modern culture at the Ezra Pound Center for Literature in Merano, Italy. He is a winner of and now Curator of the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize. He has taught at several universities and is currently the Writer-in-Residence and the George O. Squires Chair of Distinguished Teaching at St. Christopher's School, in Richmond, Virginia. He is also Poetry Editor for Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature.

Philip Solórzano

Philip Solórzano is a doctoral student in Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophic Studies, University of Dallas. He graduated with a BA from Thomas Aquinas College.

Leta Sundet

Leta Sundet is a graduate student in Literature at the Institute of Philosophic Studies at the University of Dallas, where she teaches in the English department. She received her M.A. in Theology and Letters and her B.A. in Liberal Arts from New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, ID. Her current research interests include Jane Austen and Isak Dinesen.

Jingjing Zhao

Jingjing Zhao is a third-year PhD student in English at Auckland University, New Zealand. Originally from China, Jingjing earned a master's degree in Theology, Literature and Arts from Glasgow University. In the spring of 2016 Jingjing will be an exchange scholar at Ohio State University.

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