Free Mind Season 2

Upcoming episodes explore Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich Nietzsche, higher education, modern progressivism and more 

The Benson Center podcast explores topics in Western philosophy, politics, literature, and history with adventurous disregard for academic fashions and intellectual trends. Host Shilo Brooks, Benson Center Associate Faculty Director and Faculty Director of the Engineering Leadership Program in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, invites listeners to pull up a chair in an intellectual laboratory where great questions and great books are explored in the spirit of truth-seeking, and conversations are had in a candid style free of scholarly jargon. New episodes in season 2 air the second Tuesday of each month through May 10, 2022. Visit The Free Mind podcast website to learn more, listen and subscribe.

Premiering Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022: "The Political Thought of Alexander Hamilton"

In this episode, Bradford Wilson and Brooks explore Hamilton’s life and intellectual legacy. They discuss Hamilton’s unusual upbringing, the enduring importance of his political thought, and the fateful contributions he made to the form and structure of the American economy. Wilson is Executive Director of the James Madison Program at Princeton University and fellow at Princeton’s Butler College. He’s also been an Erskine-Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch New Zealand, authored several books, and recently edited a two-volume edition of the Political Writings of Alexander Hamilton with his colleague Carson Holloway. 

Premiering Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022: The Disciplinary Corporation”

This episode features a lecture by Kevin Williamson, correspondent at National Review and author of several books, including his most recent book, Big White Ghetto. Williamson, who cohosts the Mad Dogs and Englishmen podcast, has worked as a newspaper editor in India and the United States, served as the theater critic for The New Criterion, and taught at The King’s College, New York. The Benson Center was delighted to present Williamson’s investigation into how progressive business elites have created disciplinary corporations. These corporations demand political and ideological conformism to progressive ideals in exchange for employment, education, and access to technology.  

Premiering Tuesday, March 8, 2022: “An Introduction to the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche"

Jeremy Fortier and Brooks explore the thought and writings of 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. They discuss Nietzsche’s popular appeal, his complicated legacy, his criticism of the Western Tradition, his style of writing, and the basic problems his philosophy confronts. Fortier is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the department of Political Science at the City College of New York and author of the 2020 book, The Challenge of Nietzsche, published by the University of Chicago Press. 

Premiering Tuesday, April 12, 2022: “History of the Benson Center”

Robert Pasnau and Brooks discuss the Benson Center's creation and how its mission to foster free inquiry, heterodox ideas and diverse political perspectives has affected life at CU Boulder and across the nation. Robert Pasnau directed the Benson Center from 2011 to 2019 and is presently Professor of Distinction in the department of Philosophy.

Premiering Tuesday, May 10, 2022: “Allan Bloom and Higher Education”

Paul Ulrich and Brooks explore Allan Bloom’s 1987 book, The Closing of the American Mind. They discuss Bloom’s view of American higher education, the souls of American students, and the effects of popular music on the formation of the American mind. Ulrich is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Intellectual Foundations Program at Carthage College. Ulrich also developed the Western Heritage course at Carthage, and was director of the college’s honors program for many years. 

Season 3 of The Free Mind podcast premieres June 1, 2022 and will feature Daniel Mahoney on cancel culture, Alexander Duff on Martin Heidegger, and Deirdre McCloskey on capitalism and virtue.

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