Tonight! Brian Conniff on Bruce Springsteen and the Catholic Imagination

Tonight, CAS Dean Brian Conniff will be speaking on the enduring connection between legendary American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen and seminal modernist writer Flannery O’Connor at 5:30 pm in LSC 133.

Brian Conniff has been the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2010. Previously, he served as dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences at Radford University in Radford, Va. Prior to that, he served as a professor and chair of the Department of English at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.

Dr. Conniff’s academic areas of expertise and research are lyric and modern poetry and prison writing. His book “The Lyric of Modern Poetry: Olson, Creeley, Bunting” was published in 1988 and his book entitled “Before the Law: Race, Violence and Morality in Contemporary American Prison Writing” is currently under consideration for publication.

Dr. Conniff has published more than two dozen articles in academic books and scholarly journals including, most recently “John Tracy Ellis and the Figure of the Catholic Intellectual” in Catholic Education; “Answering ‘The Waste Land:’ Robert Hayden and the Rise of African American Poetic Sequence” in The African American Review; and “Live from Death Row as Post-legal Prison Writing” in Literature and Law. He frequently writes book reviews for Religious Studies Review and Christianity and Literature.

During his career, he received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ohio Humanities Council, the Forum on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition Today and Campus Compact among others.

Dr. Conniff earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University and his master’s degree in English literature from The University of Scranton. He earned a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Notre Dame.

Humanities Alumni Panel, Wednesday April 10 at 5pm in DeNaples 405

Join us on Wednesday, April 10th as we bring a group of illustrious Humanities alums back to campus for a special panel on careers, their majors, and life after being a Royal!

Suzy Krugulski (2011, English), Boyds Mills Press, an imprint of Highlights Magazine
Jason Brubaker (2009, Criminal Justice, minor in Theatre), The Irish Repertory Theatre
Frank Castellano (1993, History), Court Administrator, Lackawanna County
Cathy Seymour (1990, Theology), The University of Scranton, Campus Ministries
Stephanie Longo (Italian and French, BA 2003; History, MA 2009), Expert/author of books on Italian American history in NEPA; Director of Marketing & Communications at the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce


Today! Catherine Cornille on Interreligious Empathy at 7pm in Brennan 228

Tonight at 7pm, Catherine Cornille will be presenting on interreligious empathy and dialogue at 7pm in Brennan 228.

Catherine Cornille is the Newton College Alumnae Chair of Western Culture and professor of comparative theology at Boston College. From 2008-2013, she organized the Boston College Symposia on Interreligious Dialogue, bringing together scholars from different religions and various parts of the world to focus on fundamental questions in Interreligious Dialogue. Her research interests include the Theology of Religions and concrete questions in the Hindu-Christian and Buddhist-Christian dialogues. She is the author of The Im-Possibility of Interreligious Dialogue, the founding and managing editor of the book series Christian Commentaries on Non-Christian Sacred Texts, and the editor of The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Inter-Religious Dialogue. She holds a licentiate in theology, a B.A. in Philosophy, and a Ph.D in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), as well as an M.A. in Asian Religions from the University of Hawaii.

Today! James Miller on Democracy at 5:30pm in the Heritage Room

Today, James Miller will present “Can Democracy Work? A Short History of a Radical Idea, from Ancient Athens to Our World,” at 5:30pm in the Heritage Room on the 5th floor of the Weinberg Memorial Library. This event is co-sponsored by the Humanities Initiative and the Schemel Forum.

James Miller is Professor of Politics and Liberal Studies, and Faculty Director of the MA in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism at The New School for Social Research. His latest book, Can Democracy Work? A Short History of a Radical Idea from Ancient Athens to Our World, has just been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

He is the author of six other books, including Flowers in the Dustbin: the Rise of Rock & Roll, 1947-1977, winner of an ASCAP-Deems Taylor award and a Ralph Gleason BMI award for best music book of 1999; The Passion of Michel Foucault (1993), an interpretive essay on the life of the French philosopher and a National Book Critics Circle Finalist for General Nonfiction, which has been translated into nine languages; “Democracy is in the Streets”: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago (1987), an account of the American student movement of the 1960s, also a National Book Critics Circle Finalist for General Nonfiction and recently recommended by Michael Kazin as one of the 5 essential books to understand the roots of the Occupy Wall Street movement (to read the article, please click here); Rousseau: Dreamer of Democracy (1984), a study of the origins of modern democracy; and History and Human Existence – From Marx to Merleau-Ponty, an analysis of Marx and the French existentialists.

The original editor of The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll (1976), he has written about music since the 1960s, when one of his early record reviews appeared in the third issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Subsequent pieces on music have appeared in The New Republic, The New York Times and Newsweek, where he was a book reviewer and pop music critic between 1981 and 1990. Pieces on philosophy and history have appeared in The London Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review. In 2000, the magazine Lingua Franca published his best-known essay, “Is Bad Writing Necessary? George Orwell, Theodor Adorno, and the Politics of Language.”

Besides publishing in such peer-reviewed academic journals as History and Theory and Political Theory, he has contributed to a variety of reference works, from Encyclopedia Britannica and A New Literary History of America, published by Harvard in 2009, to the Dictionnaire de philosophie morale edited by Monique Canto-Sperber in 1996.

From 2000 to 2008, he edited Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, an NEH Fellow twice, and in 2006-2007 he was a Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. A native of Chicago, he was educated at Pomona College in California, and at Brandeis University, where he received a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas in 1976.

American Creed Community Conversation with Dr. Adam Pratt

This Thursday, March 28, H.I. Executive Committee member and Assistant Professor of History, Dr. Adam Prat, will host a community conversation following screening of the documentary film “American Creed” at 6:30 p.m. in the Albright Memorial Library’s Henkelman Room.

In the documentary film, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Kennedy come together from different points of view to investigate the idea of a unifying American creed. Their spirited inquiry frames the stories of citizen-activists striving to realize their own visions of America’s promise across deepening divides. At the heart of this film, Rice and Kennedy lead a moving discussion with first-generation college students about the question: what does it mean to be American today?

American Creed Community Conversations are film screenings and scholar-facilitated discussions that mirror the type of conversation Rice and Kennedy have in the film and are designed to engage Americans in reflection and dialogue about their own part in the American story and in acting to shape that story for the better.

Registration is free and required for all events. To register online, visit or call Jessica Serrenti at the Albright Memorial Library at 570-348-3000 ext. 3023.

The events are made possible through a partnership with the University and the American Library Association’s American Creed: Community Conversations grant program, in partnership with Citizen Film, WTTW Chicago, Corporation of Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment of the Humanities and the National Writing Project. This event is supported by the Humanities Initiative.