Lecture Series

Villanova Center for Liberal Education presents:
The Robert M. Birmingham Luncheon Series


"A Conversation With..."


Michael Hollinger, Villanova University, Theatre Department

Tuesday, September 22, 2015, St. Augustine Center, Room 300

12:00-1:30, Lunch will be provided

A full-length play is a feat of engineering designed to enthrall human beings over a span of hours – an almost unthinkable task in our over-stimulated age.  So how do playwrights go about capturing and holding that rarest of commodities, our attention?  Here’s how one playwright goes about it, moment by moment.

Thursday, October 22, 2015-St. Augustine Center, Room 330

How should we make sense of the fact that a major twentieth-century American poet appropriated, in the central work of his career, the racist performance tradition known as blackface minstrelsy? The Dream Songs were John Berryman’s response to what he saw as a dead end in the history of modernism; they were also conceived and published within the period of some of the most intense violence of the Civil Rights Era. Berryman’s minstrelsy suggests the deep connection between those twinned crises.



Thursday, November 12, 2015-St. Augustine Center, Room 300

12:00-1:30, Lunch will be provided

Venezuela remained for years one of only a handful of Provinces in Colonial Spanish America without printing press. The lack of a printing press until 1808, however, did not prevent the Venezuelan public from reading, transcribing, or exchanging ideas during the Age of the Atlantic Revolutions. Between 1789 and 1808, several popular rebellions and political movements against colonial rule erupted in Venezuela, and shortly after the 1808 Spanish Monarchical crisis, Venezuela became one of the first South American nations to declare independence from Spain. What kind of information, ideas, and experiences fed the political imagination of Venezuelans? How did Venezuelan access these sources of information? My project explores these questions through the study of the circulation of information and the formation of political communities in Venezuela during the Age of Revolutions.

Value of the Center

“The opening of the Center marks a turning point for the University. Now, for the first time in the University’s history, the liberal arts, which form the heart of Villanova’s academic mission, will be presented to our students in such a way as to enable them to see the interconnections between the many disciplines of the arts.”

John A. Doody, Ph.D.
Director of the Center
Robert M. Birmingham Chair in Humanities
Professor, Philosophy

More Information

For more information on the Villanova Center for Liberal Education, please contact Dr. John Doody, Director of the Center, at 610.519.4691.