The Sociology Department tries to sponsor or co-sponsor one or two visiting lecturers each academic year. The speakers usually visit classes and interact informally with students and faculty, in addition to presenting a public lecture.
Stanley Hauerwas (Spring 2001)
Stanley M. Hauerwas is Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University Divinity School. Named "America's best theologian" by Time Magazine, Hauerwas also presented the prestigious Gifford lectures for 2001 at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. His Gifford lectures have been published as With the Grain of the Universe: The Church's Witness and Natural Theology (Brazos Press, 2001). Hauerwas' lecture at Hillsdale, "Why the American Way of Death is Not the Christian Way of Death," was cosponsored by the religion and sociology departments.
Eugene Halton (Spring 1999)
Eugene Halton is professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame. He is coauthor of The Meaning of Things and author of Meaning and Modernity and Bereft of Reason. His lecture at Hillsdale was entitled "Brain Suck: Megatechnic America and the Decline of Democracy," and was part of the Visiting Writers Series of the Department of English, cosponsored by Sociology. Halton also gave a performance/presentation entitled "Voices of the Blues Harmonica."
Merold Westphal (Spring 1999)
Merold Westphal is professor of philosophy at Fordham University, and has published widely in nineteenth and twentieth century European philosophy, especially in relation to Christian faith. He gave a lecture at Hillsdale entitled "Postmodern Philosophy and Christian Faith," cosponsored by the philosophy and sociology departments.
Dennis Covington (Spring 1998)
Dennis Covington is professor of creative writing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is an award-winning novelist and journalist, and author of the book, Salvation on Sand Mountain, on snake-handling churches in the South. His lecture at Hillsdale was entitled "Snake Handling and Redemption," and was part of the Visiting Writers Series of the Department of English, cosponsored by Sociology.
David Solomon (Spring 1997)
David Solomon is professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, and is widely published in the areas of ethical theory and medical ethics. He presented two lectures at Hillsdale, cosponsored with the philosophy department. The lectures were "Can Virtues Tell Us What to Do?" and "Why Free Market Medicine is a Bad Idea."
Daniel J. Mahoney (Fall 1996)
Daniel J. Mahoney, professor and chair of political science at Assumption College (Worcester, Mass.), is an authority on the thought of French sociologist and political commentator Raymond Aron, and has worked extensively with classical European sociological theory, especially in connection with politics. Mahoney's lecture at Hillsdale was entitled "Raymond Aron's Tocquevillian Analysis of the Twentieth Century." His visit was cosponsored with the department of Political Science.
Donald B. Kraybill (1995-96)
Donald B. Kraybill was professor of sociology at Elizabethtown College, and director of the Young Center for the Study of Anabaptist and Pietist Groups. He has since been appointed Provost of Messiah College. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Riddle of Amish Culture (Johns Hopkins University Press), and The Upside-Down Kingdom (Herald Press), and is one of the foremost scholarly interpreters of Old Order Amish society and culture. Kraybill delivered Hillsdale's 1995-96 Faith in Life Lectures (co-sponsored by the sociology dept.) on "The Anabaptist Struggle with Modernity."
Joel Best (1994-95)
Joel Best was, at the time of his visit here, professor and chair of the sociology department at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He has since moved to the University of Delaware. He has published extensively on deviance and social problems, and is a leading figure in the social constructionist school of social problems research. He has authored and edited numerous books and articles, including the influential Threatened Children, from University of Chicago Press. Best's talk at Hillsdale was entitled "Manufacturing Victims: Ideology, Institutions, and the Victim Industry." The lecture eventually found its way into Best's book, Random Violence (University of California Press, 1999).
Stephen Watson (1993-94)
Stephen H. Watson is professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, and has published widely on contemporary European thought, ethics, and the philosophy of social science. He is the author of Extensions: Essays on Interpretation, Rationality, and the Closure of Modernism, from SUNY Press. His lecture at Hillsdale was entitled "Interpretation, Dialogue, and Friendship: On the Remainder of Community," and was cosponsored with the philosophy department. The talk was an early version of a paper that has since appeared in the journal Research in Phenomenology, and in his book, Traditions II: Hermeneutics, Ethics, and the Dispensation of the Good (Indiana University Press, 2001).
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