Home » Future Students

Future Students

The Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality: Modern Imaginary Worlds as Sites of Creativity

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 7:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101
Michael Saler
Professor of History, University of California, Davis

Today, millions of people throughout the world literally “inhabit" imaginary worlds, often in the company of others, for extended periods of time. But are fans of Sherlock Holmes, the Lord of the Rings, or Worlds of Warcraft merely escaping from reality, or are they learning to see that reality itself is partly an open-ended fiction amenable to revision? This talk will examine the history of imaginary worlds as a source of modern enchantment, encouraging both entertaining escapism and social engagement.

Michael Saler is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches Modern European Intellectual History. He is the author of The Avant-Garde in Interwar England: ‘Medieval Modernism’ and the London Underground (Oxford UP, 1999) and As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality (Oxford, 2012). With Joshua Landy, he co-edited The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age (Stanford UP, 2009), and he is the editor of The Fin-de-Siècle World (Routledge, 2014). He writes for the Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and is currently working on a history of the modern imagination and its relation to contemporary fantasy and science fiction.
 

Visualizing Mass Communications and State Institutions in Wartime China (1937-45)

In China, the study of history has always gone hand-in-hand with the study of geography. When studying China’s modern history, however, focus has shifted toward large-scale processes, such as revolution, and large-scale sociological transformations, such as changing class relations. More recently, however, some historians are starting to bring geography back in.

Religious Diversity in the Heart of Iowa

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 7:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101
Timothy Knepper
Professor of Philosophy, Drake University

 

Timothy Knepper, Professor of Philosophy, Drake University

While Christianity may be the most common religion practiced by Iowans, it is not the only one.  Drake University’s “Religions of Des Moines Initiative” is exploring, documenting, and placing Christianity in dialogue with others, including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, all of which have practitioners and places of worship in Des Moines.  The Initiative’s goal is to develop and practice a philosophy of religion that is diverse.

Timothy Knepper is a professor of philosophy at Drake University, where he chairs the Department of Philosophy and Religion and directs The Comparison Project, a public program in comparative philosophy of religion. He teaches and publishes in the philosophy of religion, comparative religion, late ancient Neoplatonism, and mystical discourse. He is the author of books on the future of the philosophy of religion (The Ends of Philosophy of Religion, Palgrave, 2013) and the sixth-century Christian mystic known as Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (Negating Negation, Wipf & Stock, 2014). He is currently working on an edited collection on "Comparative Grammars of Ineffability," a textbook on "Global Philosophy of Religion," and a photo-illustrated book on the "Religions of Des Moines.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Prairie Studies and the Department of Religious Studies.