University of Oregon

image: trees and mountain reflected in lakeUniversity of Oregon Insight Seminars 2015-2016
A Program of the UO Libraries

Register Now - See the full schedule of classes below.
Registration for each monthly class is $99.

Public Lecture Series

  • February 1, 2016  (7:00 pm)
    Herodotus: Historian as Storyteller
    The ancients called him a liar and a fabulist, but for Herodotus history consists of stories that explain how and why important events come about. Many of his stories focus on individuals who have to decide between two courses of action. What do those stories teach us? Does Herodotus have an ethical vision? Are there principles that make human behavior right or wrong? It depends on how one reads the stories--for as the Delphic Oracle says, everything's in the interpretation.



February 2016

Herodotus, The Histories  (class full - registration closed)
February 6, 13, 20, & 27
Saturdays  9:30 am - Noon, Knight Library Browsing Room
Jim Earl, Department of English
Herodotus was the first Greek historian, author of the first Greek book in prose, as Homer was the first in verse. He tells the epic story of the Persian Wars—an East-West struggle that seems never to have ended; but that is only the setting for what readers most enjoy in his book, i.e., his lively anecdote-filled accounts of his own travels throughout the ancient world. He is our personal 5th-century BCE guide to the social practices, myths, religions, and politics of the cultures of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Egypt and Africa. 
Book: Herodotus, The Histories. translated by Aubrey de Selincourt, revised by John Marincola (Penguin paperback, ISBN 0-140-44908-6).

April 2016

Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov - Register ($99)
April 3, 10, 17 & May 1
Sundays  2:00 pm - 4:30 pm Knight Library Browsing Room
(note: these classes are on Sundays, rather than Saturdays)
Steve Shankman, Department of English
We will read one of the greatest works of world literature with special attention to what it has to say about the relation of ethical responsibility to the question that particularly tormented Dostoevsky: Does God exist? And if God does not exist, is it true that, as Ivan Karamazov insists, "everything is permitted"? We will read, alongside The Brothers Karamazov, a few short chapters by the contemporary philosopher Emmanuel Levinas titled Ethics and Infinity. Levinas's notion of ethical responsibility was deeply influenced by Dostoevsky, who insists, in The Brothers Karamazov, that "Each of us is responsible, for everything and before the faces of everyone; and I more than all the others."

April/May 2016

Women in Islam  - Register ($99)
April 30, May 7, 14 & 21 
Saturdays  9:30 am - Noon, Knight Library Browsing Room
Anita Weiss, Department of International Studies
Women’s rights and who defines them is hotly discussed and contested throughout the Muslim world. There are certainly rights and restrictions that are based in the textual foundations of Islam, though how they are understood, implemented and enforced varies throughout the world.  Women themselves are emerging – or at least trying to emerge – as new interpreters of the tradition in many parts of the world. They are engaging with modernity in unprecedented ways.  We will begin by addressing the roles of women in Islam, based on our reading of selected Qur’anic verses (suras) and their interpretations. We will also explore various issues pertaining to women and Islam throughout the world, including changes they are facing in the 21st century and their efforts to collaborate with one another across national boundaries.

Further Information




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Created by jenkins on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Feb 1, 2016
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