Archive of  the Previous Lectures, posters & links to recordings

Previous lectures:


Mon., June 12, 6 pm, Lecture Series on

"Humanities in Community"

On second Mondays monthly -- excepting semester and summer breaks -- a Liberal Arts professor/instructor from the UW-Madison or Madison College will explore issues or topics and invite Q&A.

See posters in our archives for descriptions of previous lectures.


Lecturer: Philosophy Professor Steve Nadler, UW-Madison

In July, 1656, Baruch Spinoza was permanently banned by the Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam with the harshest writ of excommunication ever issued by that community. Why was this young man ostracized with such prejudice by the community within which he had been raised and educated?


Spinoza would go on to become perhaps the most radical philosopher of his time, but at the time of his ban he had not yet written anything.


In this lecture, we will examine the circumstances of Spinoza’s excommunication and consider some of the ideas that would later appear in his philosophical writings.



 For downloading, printing and distributing as convenient, you will find two sizes of flyers designed both as handouts to remind friends and as large or small posters for bulletin boards in your neighborhood coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, apartments, etc.

2017, June 12: "Why was Spinoza Excommunicated?"
A lecture by Steven Nadler, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy at UW-Madison

Spinoza: "All things noble are as difficult as they are rare."
Adobe Acrobat document [385.0 KB]

Posters from earlier lectures usually include descriptions on side-2:

2016, Nov. 16: "What Is Our Duty to Refugees?"
A lecture by, Joseph Lynch, Ph.D. UW-Madison, Philosophy Instructor at Madison College

"Do we have an ethical obligation to aid refugees?"
2016-11-14_What is our duty to refugees.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [464.3 KB]
2017, February 13: "Should Epistocracy Replace Democracy?"
A lecture by Farid Masour, Ph.D, Professor of Philosophy at UW-Madison
2017-02-13_ Humanities_Epistocracy-Democ[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [638.1 KB]
2017, March 13: "Vietnam's Red Junglefowl"
A lecture by Mark Berres, Ph.D,, Professor of Animal Sciences at UW-Madison
2017-03-13_ Humanities_Red Junglefowl_1-[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [971.9 KB]
2017, April, 10: "Problems in Higher Education in Wisconsin"
A lecture by Harry Brighouse, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy at UW-Madsion
2017-04-10_green-Humanities_Higher ED in[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.3 MB]
"A Nation of Shopkeepers: Vibrant New Cities and Small Towns"
A lecture by Lindsey Lee, Owner of Ground Zero and Cargo Coffee, MA in Political Science, UW-Madison

Lee: " important economic and social revolution is currently going on in our communities."
2017-05-08_Humanities_Local ECON_1-poste[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.6 MB]

There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music.'  — John Keats