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Professors Study Works from Ancient Greece to Today at Tradition and Innovation Summer Institute

Nagy, Hulme hope to develop strategies, support for new core course

Professors Joe Nagy and Marie Hulme

Two Sacred Heart Catholic studies professors participated in the Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC) Tradition and Innovation summer institute, studying the works of writers and philosophers from ancient Greece to the present.

Professors Joe Nagyand Marie Hulme immersed themselves in core texts and examined works on morality, politics and the human condition. Both Hulme and Nagy attended seminars at the University of Chicago for a week and then headed to Columbia University for a week, learning various ways to teach the texts.

Scholars from both universities led the seminars, which aimed to promote teaching core texts in seminar format, according to Nagy, who also attended the institute two years ago when it took place at Yale University and Columbia.

Another goal was to teach participants close reading, to focus on key passages in depth and to engage in a dialogue with the text, said Nagy.

Hulme and Nagy attended the seminars on behalf of the Catholic Studies Department, which has developed a new core course, “The Human Journey Seminars: Great Books in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.” Nagy served on the committee that designed the course and taught three pilot Catholic intellectual tradition courses this year. Starting in the fall, all Sacred Heart sophomores will take two seminars, reading core texts from Plato, Augustine and Aquinas, to Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day.

Before departing for the seminars, Hulme said she was looking forward to absorbing the great books curriculum, comprising works as diverse as Augustine, Dante and Nietzsche, “in the company of other educators dedicated to examining the writers, philosophers and artists whose works have shaped the enduring ideas and questions of our lives.”

Nagy added that they hoped to “develop strategies for faculty development and support for Sacred Heart’s new course.”