UCLA Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions announces fall public events
The UCLA Center for the Liberal Arts and Free Institutions (CLAFI) is offering a series of public lectures and seminars this fall, with topics ranging from the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg to medieval metaphysics.
Directed by UCLA professor emeritus Daniel Lowenstein, CLAFI is designed to facilitate and promote the study of the great works and achievements of Western civilization. In addition to course offerings for undergraduates, the center serves working adults, retirees and other members of the community by bringing leading academics and performing artists to campus for public events.
The center's events are free, but seating for seminars is limited and the public is encouraged to R.S.V.P. in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Parking on campus costs $11.
CLAFI seminars are co-sponsored by the Ojai-based Agora Foundation. Formerly known as Great Books Seminars in Ojai, the foundation offers events that allow non-academics to explore great works of literature in a relaxed setting.
"Our first mission is to serve UCLA students who seek an introduction to the liberal arts as an essential part of their education," Lowenstein said. "We also believe that a liberal arts education doesn't end when you graduate from college. We understand that maturity stimulates the hunger for learning, and we want to provide the public with the opportunity to feed that appetite."
CLAFI'S FALL SPEAKERS:
A scholar whose interests include Abraham Lincoln, literature and politics, Morel is a professor of politics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. His credits include "Ralph Ellison and the Raft of Hope: A Political Companion to 'Invisible Man'" (2004), a collection of essays examining how Ellison's landmark 1952 novel addresses the social, cultural, political, economic and racial contradictions of America; a number of scholarly articles on Southern Catholic writer Flannery O'Connor; and "Lincoln's Sacred Effort: Defining Religion's Role in American Self-Government" (2000), which explores the 16th president's views on religion and morality. (Video: Morel speaks on "Lincoln's Sacred Effort.")
Thursday, Oct. 10
'In a Strange Country': Ralph Ellison and the Challenge of American Inclusion
Saturday, Oct. 12
10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Seminar: A Discussion of Flannery O'Connor
O'Reilly is an educator and administrator at Thomas Aquinas College, a private Catholic college in Ventura County that has a great books–based curriculum. He has been the primary leader of seminars sponsored by the Agora Foundation since 1999. His specialties include medieval Christian philosophers, such as the early Christian theologian Saint Augustine and the influential 13th-century philosopher and theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas. His Oct. 24 lecture takes its title from "The God Delusion," the controversial book by prominent biologist and "New Atheist" Richard Dawkins.
Thursday, Oct. 24
Lecture: Does Religious Faith Delude Reason?
Saturday, Oct. 26
10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Seminar: Readings from Thomas Aquinas' 'Summa Theologica'
One of the nation's foremost Lincoln scholars, Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and a professor of history at Gettysburg College, a Pennsylvania liberal arts college located adjacent to the famous battlefield. Among his books are "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President" (2002), which explores the president's moral and religious beliefs and focuses on the emancipation of slaves, and "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery" (2006), a history of the genesis, issuance and aftermath of Lincoln's epoch-making proclamation. Guelzo's visit, which is part of CLAFI's ongoing series marking the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, precedes the 150th anniversary, on Nov. 19, of the Gettysburg Address. One of the most famous speeches in American history, the address marked the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery just four-and-a-half months after Union armies defeated Confederate troops at Gettysburg.
Thursday, Nov. 7
Lecture: The Battle of Gettysburg
Saturday, Nov. 9
10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Seminar: 'The Waterloo of the Rebellion': Why Was Gettysburg Important?