A charter faculty member and now retired philosophy professor Richard Burke has watched Oakland evolve from promising beginnings as Michigan State University-Oakland with 570 students to a well respected and nationally recognized university serving nearly 19,000 students. Founded on the unwavering goal of educating students with a strong liberal foundation and opportunities for learning outside the classroom, OU continues to encourage liberal ideas, creative thinking, and engaged learning.
In the spirit of OU’s liberal studies tradition, Burke established the annual Richard J. Burke Lecture in Philosophy, Religion and Society. Designed to explore some of today’s compelling issues, the lecture provides an opportunity for serious, thought-provoking discussions between scholars, students and the community.
The lecture has brought highly regarded speakers to OU’s campus including this year’s speaker Shadia Drury. Drury is director of the masters program in social and political thought and professor in the departments of political science and philosophy at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Drury will be presenting “American Exceptionalism?” Drury defines American Exceptionalism as the distinctive form that American nationalism has assumed. She distinguishes between a moderate version of American nationalism and a more radical one. The former provides the country with ideals and aspirations while the latter provides it with the temptation for global dominance — a temptation that beckons to both Democrats and Republicans in different ways.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place on April 15, 2010 at 8 p.m. in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms on OU’s campus. To make reservations call (248) 370-2650 or email email@example.com.
Past presenters have included Holmes Rolston III who discussed “Challenges in Environmental Ethics,” and Richard Falk who presented “The Moral Architecture of the Planet” in 2006. Peter Singer discussed “Changing Attitudes Toward the Sacredness of Human Life” in 2007 and Daniel Dennett lectured on “Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” in 2009.