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Ducharme Lecture Series

The Ducharme Lecture series is an annual lecture series fostering integration of knowledge in the liberal arts curriculum. The series is named for Robert Ducharme, Professor Emeritus of English.

2018 Spring Ducharme Lecture

Kurt Blaugher, Ph.D. & David McCarthy, Ph.D.

Lecture Topic: Batman's Quest: Saving Gotham and Healing the Soul
March 21, 2018 at 4 p.m.

Knott Auditorium

David and KurtKurt E. Blaugher has been the director of theatre at Mount St. Mary’s University for thirty years, producing plays from across the dramatic spectrum. He has also taught nearly all of the courses in the humanities sequence of the Core Curriculum. His current work with David McCarthy, Saving the World and Healing the Soul, combines his interests in both classic storytelling and popular culture. Dr. Blaugher received his B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College, his M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, and his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

Saving the World and Healing the SoulDavid M. McCarthy is the associate provost at the Mount. He has written a variety of books, articles, and essays in the areas of moral theology and social ethics, and he was the founding editor of the Journal of Moral Theology. Along the line of Saving the World and Healing the Soul, he has published essays on Vietnam War films, The Wire, and Mad Men. Dr. McCarthy received his B.A. from High Point University, and his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Duke University.

Dr. McCarthy and Dr. Blaugher’s book deals with heroes and heroines of popular culture, and the stories we tell about their successes and failures as they make their respective “quests;” quests that are as much to heal their souls as to save their worlds. Their Ducharme Lecture, titled “Batman’s Quest: Saving Gotham and Healing the Soul,” will discuss the Christopher Nolan “Batman Trilogy,” and the journey Bruce Wayne makes as he takes on the mantle of the “Dark Knight,” protects Gotham, and, by the end of the trilogy, finds personal healing, love, and peace. Particular attention will be paid to his interactions with some of his most iconic adversaries and love interests.

Past Lectures

Christopher Bellitto, Ph.D.

Video: Luther and Church Reform: Catholic PerspectivesBellitto1
November 1, 2017

Dr. Christopher M. Bellitto is Professor of History at Kean University in New Jersey, where he teaches courses in ancient and medieval history. A specialist in church history and reform, he is the author of ten books, including the companion volumes Renewing Christianity and The General Councils. His articles have appeared in academic journals in the United States and Europe; he has won grants from the Fulbright Program and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Bellitto also serves as Academic Editor at Large of Paulist Press and series Editor in Chief of Brill's Companions to the Christian Tradition. A public speaker and media commentator on church history and contemporary Catholicism, he appears frequently in print, on radio, and television.

Maureen Corrigan, Ph.D.

Maureen CorriganVideo: The Greatness of Gatsby
March 15, 2017

Maureen Corrigan is the "critic in residence" and the Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University, and the scholarly curator for the American Writers Museum in Chicago (2017 opening). Corrigan's book So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be and Why It Endures, published in 2014 by Little, Brown, has gained her considerable national attention. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.A. in English from Fordham University.

Michelle Francl, Ph.D.

Ducharme Lecturer Michelle FranclVideo: In the Thicket of this World: Doing Science as a Person of Faith
November 2, 2016

Michelle M. Francl is a professor of chemistry and chair of the chemistry department at Bryn Mawr College, where she has been on the faculty since 1986 and an adjunct scholar at the Vatican Observatory. She is a quantum chemist who has published in areas ranging from the development of methods for computational chemistry to the structures of topologically intriguing molecules.

Martin Malone, Ph.D.

Malone_MartineVideo: The Liberated Imagination: Toward an adequate understanding of complexity
February 22, 2016

Dr. Malone is a university professor of sociology and former chair of the Department of Sociology and has taught at Mount St. Mary's University since 1985. He holds a bachelor's degree from New York University, a master's degree from Southern Illinois University in anthropology, and a doctoral degree in sociology from Indiana University.

Sarah Ruden, Ph.D.

Ruden_SarahVideo: Augustine as a Guide through the Perils of Modernity: The Confessions on How to Think, Read, Write, and Live
September 23, 2015

Sarah Ruden holds a doctoral degree in classical philology from Harvard University and a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. She has taught Latin, English, and writing at Harvard, Yale, and the University of Cape Town, and has been a tutor for the South African Education and Environment Project, an education-enrichment nonprofit in Cape Town. She is a poet, translator, essayist, and popularizer of Biblical linguistics.

Associate Professor Jessy Jordan, Ph.D.

Jessy JordanVideo: The Liberal Arts in an Age of Distraction: Cultivating Humanity in the Digital Ruins
April 29, 2015

Dr. Jordan earned his doctoral degree in philosophy from Baylor University in 2008. His areas of specialization are Iris Murdoch, value theory and metaethics. He was drawn to the Mount because of its distinctive Catholic liberal arts mission. A great deal of his teaching time is thus happily spent teaching courses in the core curriculum; however, he has also taught electives such as philosophy and literature, contemporary Catholic philosophy, contemporary value theory and metaethics.

Dr. Leon R. Kass

Leon KassVideo: The Other War on Poverty: The Search for Meaning in America
October 2, 2014

Leon R. Kass, M.D., Ph.D. is the Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus of Social Thought and in the College at the University of Chicago, and the Madden-Jewett Chair at the American Enterprise Institute. He was the chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics from 2001 to 2005. He has been engaged for more than 40 years with ethical and philosophical issues raised by biomedical advances, and is known as an opponent of human cloning, life extension and euthanasia, and as a critic of certain areas of technological progress and embryo research. He is a proponent of liberal arts education, via the "Great Books."

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