Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture 30 Years of Enlightenment

4 03 2011

Monday, February 28th the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture held its annual open house.  This year had a particular wonderful feeling as it marked the 30th year of the Dallas staple.

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.

On Monday evening, Dr. Cowan , Dr. Gail Thomas  and

Dr. Joanne Stroud talked about the  past, present and future of the Institute.

Dr. Gail Thomas explains the beginning origins of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.

Dr. Louise Cowan, an icon of our city, introduces her dear friends, students and fellow founding members Dr. Joanne Stroud and Dr. Gail Thomas.

Dr. Cowan discussed the initial ideas behind the Institute that her and her late husband, Dr. Donald Cowan had.

Dr. Cowan is a bold woman that has never shied away from trying to expand the Institute and that includes going all the way to Washington D.C.

Dr. Cowan talks about the Epic City we live in.

Dr. Joanne Stroud talks about what is so special about the Institute.

Dr. Thomas talks about the wonderful programs at the Institute.

Louise talks more about Dallas.

Gail talks about all the incredible diversity at the Institute and how that has added so much to the overall appeal of the group.

Dr. Thomas talks about how important the city of Dallas can and will be to not just the state or the country, but the world.

Dr. Louise Cowan wraps up the evening by showcasing why lively and intelligent discussion is the key to further growth for us all.

As part of its 30th anniversary celebration, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture has announced it will be bringing top national and international experts to the Dallas Arts District and matching them with some of the city’s best minds for THE DALLAS INSTITUTE FESTIVAL OF IDEAS. On March 26, 2011, local audiences are invited to the Dallas Museum of Art for a day of original listening, thinking, and speaking – all aimed toward an intelligent, thoughtful exploration of four subjects of vital importance to the future of the city and the nation. The Festival will run from 10AM to 4PM.

The inaugural DALLAS INSTITUTE FESTIVAL OF IDEAS in 2008 was a groundbreaking event for the city of Dallas, and we are thrilled that our second Festival will help to celebrate the Institute’s first 30 years,” said Dr. Larry Allums, executive director of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. “Our goal is to generate an abundance of conversation and dialogue between our extraordinary speakers and audiences. With the overall thrust of the Festival focusing on ‘The Future,’ I have no doubt that there will be a wealth of bold, exciting, unique ideas flowing through the Dallas Arts District that day.”

The Dallas Institute is committed to highlighting and drawing on the wealth of knowledge and innovative thinking to be found within Dallas and North Texas. As part of that emphasis, a feature of the 2011 Festival of Ideas is the Institute’s partnership with universities in the area. Together they have formed extraordinary program teams that will place out-of-town keynote guests side-by-side with some of our best minds to focus on “The Future of…” four areas: American Power, Journalism and the Media, Medicine and Health Care, and Religion.

For the plenary symposium from 10 – 11:30AM, the featured guests and Dallas panelists will be moderated by “Ringmaster” Lee Cullum, the highly respected journalist and commentator for National Public Radio and The Dallas Morning News and host of “CEO” for PBS. Cullum is also a regular commentator on “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”

Featured topics and speakers for THE DALLAS INSTITUTE FESTIVAL OF IDEAS include:


Politics, global conflict, the economy: will the U.S share power or continue to lead?

Keynote Speaker – Stephen Krasner. Krasner is the Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations at Stanford University and former director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. Krasner is also deputy director and senior fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute and senior fellow of the Hoover Institution.

Panelists – Seyom Brown, Lee Cullum and James Hollifield

University Partner: Tower Center for Political Studies, SMU


The public trust: how will journalism’s innovations inform us and affect our lives?

Keynote Speaker – Ken Auletta. Auletta, author and media columnist for The New Yorker, has been described by Business Week as “the James Bond of the media world,” and the Columbia Journalism Review ranked him as America’s premier media commentator. His book Googled: The End of the World As We Know It, is a New York Times bestseller.

Panelists – Christine Allison, George Getschow, Robert Mong, Shawn Williams

University Partner: Mayborn School of Journalism, UNT


For the benefit of the sick”: Medical advances, medical ethics, and the business of healthcare.


Keynote Speakers – Ruth Faden and Tom Beauchamp. Ruth Faden is the Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Executive Director of The Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute at Johns Hopkins University. She is also a Senior Research Scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. Dr. Faden is the author and editor of numerous books and articles on biomedical ethics and health policy.

Tom Beauchamp serves as Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar, Kennedy Institute of Ethics. Beauchamp’s research interests are in the ethics of human-subjects research, the place of universal principles and rights in biomedical ethics, methods of bioethics, Hume and the history of modern philosophy, and business ethics. Beauchamp is currently editing a 1,000-page book of original articles—The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics.

Panelists – Fabrice Jotterand, Lynne Kirk, David Markham and John Sadler

University Partner: UT-Southwestern Medical Center

The Future of RELIGION

Religious faith in a world both secular and sacred: prospects for conflict and concord.

Keynote Speaker – Mark Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer, author of three books, is presently the “Beliefs” columnist for The New York Times and freelance writer for many other publications. A lecturer in English and Political Science at Yale University and a teacher of creative writing at Wellesley College, Oppenheimer was the recipient of the 2010 Dallas Institute’s $50,000 Hiett Prize.

Panelists – Juan Rendon, Daniel Russ, Brian Schmisek, and Shaik Zia

University Partner: The School of Ministry of the University of Dallas

The FESTIVAL will be a city-wide event, open to the public. Tickets include the full day’s events, buffet lunch, free parking, and access to Museum exhibitions. Members: $90, non-members: $110, students and teachers: $65. For ticket information, contact Margaret Illingworth, (214) 981-8803, millingworth@dallasinstitute.org, or register online at www.dallasinstitute.org.

Sponsorships start at $1000 and are available at the following levels: $1000 (Community Supporter); $5000 (Program Supporter); $10,000 (Underwriting Donor); $15,000 (Supporting Sponsor); $25,000 (Presenting Sponsor). For sponsorship information, contact Caitlin Hinton, (214) 981-8822, or chinton@dallasinstitute.org.

Sponsors as of February 24 include: KERA, D Magazine, Pegasus News, White Rock Lake Weekly, Dallas South News, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Betty and Russell Bellamy, Bess and Ted Enloe, Joy and Ron Mankoff, Mac Burt, Gay and Bill Solomon, and Nelda Cain Pickens.

University and Event partners include: Dallas Museum of Art, Event One Meetings, SMU Tower Center, UNT Mayborn School of Journalism, UT Southwestern Medical Center, and University of Dallas School of Ministry.

The Dallas Institute is located at 2719 Routh St., Dallas, Texas 75201. For information, call (214) 871-2440, or visit www.DallasInstitute.org.




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