Free Arts and Humanities Web Series

October is National Arts & Humanities Month. Join us for a week-long series of talks on the arts and humanities!

All are invited to these free webinars. To join us, visit and call 1-866-962-6634, passcode 579 955 34# for the audio.

Monday, October 26
9 a.m. PT/10 a.m. MT/11 a.m. CT/noon ET
Kristen Gravitte, Course Mentor | General Education: Composition
What It Means to be Animal in Moby-Dick

From the mid-19th to the early-20th century in America, the status of the animal and the status of the human underwent a major shift brought about by Darwin’s theory of evolution, which simultaneously placed humans into the category of animal and challenged the hierarchy of human over animal. Although literary, philosophical, and cultural resources often went into, and still go into, denying the animal nature of humans, Darwin’s ideas greatly affected the literature of the period. Using philosopher Levinas’ theory of the gaze and ethics, this presentation argues that Melville’s Moby-Dick, which was published before Origin of the Species but while earlier ideas of evolution were still in circulation, treats animals as unknowable Others who nevertheless deserve ethical treatment. This portrayal resonates with current concerns about animals, ethics, and what it means to be human.

Tuesday, October 27
10 a.m. PT/11 a.m. MT/noon CT/1 p.m. ET
Hope Walker, Course Mentor | General Education: Humanities
Locating Hans: “Art Detecting” and Hans Eworth, Netherlandish Painter in Tudor London

The presence of Netherlandish painters in early modern London is recognized by scholars, though the existing historiography typically focuses upon a limited number of such persons, and mainly from among those who worked directly for the English Royal Court. This is primarily because such painters are well documented, both archivally and technically, through the preservation of royal records. This presentation will offer an overview of the process of locating lesser-documented painters within the English and Dutch archives and museum stores using Netherlander Hans Eworth as an exemplar.

Wednesday, October 28
11 a.m. PT/noon MT/1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET
Jill Zasadny, Course Mentor | General Education: Composition
Riepp: The Whirlwind

This presentation has both a historic and rhetorical emphasis and is based on the letters between the two founding Benedictines to this country from Bavaria. Arguably, the stormy relationship they experienced in their interactions still affects Benedictine communities today. Abbot Boniface Wimmer, OSB, and Mother Benedicta Riepp, OSB, collided in letters, in monetary transactions, and in rules of monastic living. In the end, the winner could only be ascertained by what the ultimate goal had been: power and land, or obedience and faithfulness to God.

Thursday, October 29
Noon PT/1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT/3 p.m. ET
Joanna Beth Tweedy, Course Mentor | General Education: The Writing Center
“Cow-catchers, Bumfuzzles, and Chiggers … Oh, My!” — American English Dialects and Their Remarkable Capacity

Among American dialects are vivid, resourceful, highly creative, and metaphoric illustrations of the English language in action. The dialects that have influenced our communication can reveal a lot about who we are, where our roots stretch, and how our linguistic landscapes are mapped. Some dialects are slowly disappearing, and others are rapidly spreading. Find out why, learn which American dialects have infiltrated your tongue, and have some fun in the process!

Friday, October 30
1 p.m. PT/2 p.m. MT/3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET
Craig Brewer, Course Mentor | General Education: Humanities
Everyone Hates Allegory: Why a Forgotten Genre is Still Secretly Popular (and why YOU still love it!)

If anyone today thinks about “allegories,” they might think of bedtime stories with a “lesson.” Today, though, no one wants to read such stories for fun, right? But in fact, allegory is now more popular than ever. Movies are filled with allegorical tales, from the Harry Potter films to Pixar’s Inside Out. Comics, fantasy, and science fiction also continue the tradition. We may ask, however, how these works function as “allegories” if they don’t always have a clear “moral” or if they aren’t preaching simplistic ideas of good and evil? The answer is that most of us misunderstand what allegory is as a genre, and that it’s much broader and far more interesting than we imagine. This talk will look at a few ways—historical and contemporary—that we still produce allegory that speaks to our own emotional, psychological, and philosophical questions. Hopefully, we’ll come to see that allegory is a type of story that asks questions and poses problems that are still relevant, significant, and fun!

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