The Dallas Institute Celebrating 30 Years

24 02 2011

Next week The Dallas Institute is having two awesome events and PSD would like to tell you all about them.

As part of the yearlong celebration of the organization’s 30th year, The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture will hold a “Meet the Founders” Open House on Monday, February 28, 5:30-7:30 pm, at 2719 Routh Street, Dallas, Texas 75201. Special guests Dr. Louise S. Cowan and Dr. Joanne Stroud – two of the six founders – will answer questions about the vision, the mission, and the founding of The Dallas Institute, the programs that have defined it, and the work that it continues.

The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture was established in November 1980 as a nonprofit organization by Drs. Donald Cowan, Louise Cowan, Gail Thomas, James Hillman, Robert Sardello, and Joanne Stroud. Once colleagues at the University of Dallas, these Founding Fellows brought their common spirit to the heart of Dallas to imagine what the humanities might mean for the shaping of a modern city. Programs were offered in education, psychology, civic virtues and city planning, and publications. The Founders’ belief in the vital importance of classic literature and concern for public education led to the creation of The Teachers Academy in 1983, which has had an enduring influence on thousands of teachers, administrators, and students.

We are honored that Drs. Cowan and Stroud will be with us this evening to share their reflections of the birth of the Institute and their perspectives on how it has changed our city, our state, and our nation,” says Dr. Larry Allums , executive director of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. “These two founders have been actively involved in the life of the Institute over the past 30 years, and we look forward to their thoughts about what is ahead for the organization.”

The “Meet the Founders” Open House is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested. Please call Margaret Illingworth, (214) 871-2440. For more information about The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, visit,


Dr. Louise S. Cowan was inaugural holder of the Louise Cowan Chair of Literature at the University of Dallas and is a Founding Fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. She is formerly Chair of the English Department and Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Dallas. She and her husband Donald Cowan were central and instrumental in the creation and building of both the University of Dallas and the Dallas Institute. In 1983 she conceived of and initiated the Teachers Academy at the Dallas Institute, which in July 2009 conducted its 26th consecutive Summer Institute for Teachers, a program that the National Endowment for the Humanities called a “model for the nation” and for which, among other contributions, she received the Charles Frankel Prize in 1991, now called the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest award for work in the humanities. During her long career, she has received numerous awards for her achievements in teaching and advancing liberal education. Dr. Cowan received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and has written widely on the American South and especially Faulkner, the Russian novel, and literary theory, especially in formulating her own theory of the four literary genres, about which she has edited and contributed to three volumes of essays. Publication of the fourth and final volume in the genre series is scheduled for Fall 2010.

Dr. Joanne Stroud is a Founding Fellow of the Dallas Institute, Director of Institute Publications, and Editor of the Gaston Bachelard Translation Series, which consists of seven works on elemental imagination written by the 20th century philosopher of science and which Joanne is on the verge of completing after two decades. The 2002 Bachelard Symposium she chaired in Dallas, “Matter, Dream, and Thought,” attracted international attention. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology and Literature from the University of Dallas and lectures in Dallas, New York City, and Connecticut. She has taught literature and psychology and is author of The Bonding of Will and Desire, the four-volume series Choose Your Element, and Time Doesn’t Tick Anymore.

The next night, The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture will examine “What is a Virtuous Businessperson?” on Tuesday, March 1, 7:30 pm, as the next presentation in the City of Imagination Lecture Series. Keynote speaker will be Christine Perez, managing editor of D CEO magazine. Panelists will include J. Russell Bellamy, vice president in the investment management division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and chairman of the board of The Dallas Institute; and Louis C. Gasper, Ph.D., associate professor of management and director of the Center for Business Ethics of the University of Dallas Graduate School of Management.

This series explores the classic concept of virtue, or the ‘excellence’ of a person or thing,” says Dr. J. Larry Allums, executive director of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. “The concept of virtue was bequeathed to us by the Greeks, venerated in the West until the Enlightenment, and today is largely forgotten. Thus far in the series, we have looked at the meanings of virtue, the virtuous citizen, the virtuous physician, and the virtuous lawyer. Now we visit the concept of the virtuous businessperson, and we are pleased to have such distinguished participants as Christine Perez, Russell Bellamy, and Lou Gasper to provide their insights.”

The City of Imagination Lecture Series is presented by the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility and The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Upcoming presentations in the series include “What is a Virtuous Journalist?” on April 5 and “What is a Virtuous Statesman?” on May 10.

Admission is $10 for members of The Dallas Institute, $15 nonmembers; $5 member teachers/students. To register, visit, or call Margaret Illingworth, (214) 981-8803. The lecture series is held at The Dallas Institute, located at 2719 Routh St., Dallas, Texas 75201.




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