March 2, 2021 at 6:00 pm

George Washington Forum | The Art of Living, March 25

Dr. Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, portrait

Dr. Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn

From Ohio University News

The Menard Family George Washington Forum presents Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn discussing “The Art of Living” on Thursday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m.

“Dr. Lasch-Quinn’s talk is part of our mission to bring in speakers to challenge students to look critically at the world in which they live,” said Dr. Robert Ingram, history professor and director of the Menard Family George Washington Forum. “In her talk, she will challenge us all to examine our society’s penchant for instant gratification. And I think she will remind us that many good thinkers have gone before us, and they just might have some relevance for us today.”

In her new book, Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living, Lasch-Quinn delves into the concept of “well-being,” using a lens into the ancient past for some insights for the present.

Some tenants of ancient philosophical thought—Gnosticism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Cynicism, and Platonism—are already undercurrents in contemporary American culture. Lasch-Quinn examines whether ancient muses can provide some solace to the stresses weighing on both individuals and cultures today.

“Do the ancient philosophies represent a counter-tradition to today’s culture, auguring a new cultural vibrancy, or do they merely solidify a modern way of life that has little use for inwardness—the cultivation of an inner life—stemming from those older traditions?” Lash-Quinn asks in her book promotion.

Examining this cultural resurgence, Lasch-Quinn takes a look at pop culture, with its self-help manuals and consumerism addiction, and looks to see if society might be headed in some new directions.

This event is sponsored by the Menard Family George Washington Forum. All are welcome to attend.

Lasch-Quinn is a Professor of History at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a Senior Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.

Her books include Black Neighbors: Race and the Limits of Reform in the American Settlement House Movement, 1890-1945 (1993)—which won the Berkshire Prize—and Race Experts: How Racial Etiquette, Sensitivity Training and New Age Therapy Hijacked the Civil Rights Revolution (2001), as well as three edited volumes. Lasch-Quinn’s writing has also appeared widely in both scholarly and prominent public venues, including The New Republic and The Hedgehog Review. Her most recent book is Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living (2020).

About the Menard Family George Washington Forum

The Menard Family George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics, and Institutions teaches America’s foundational principles in their Western intellectual, political and institutional contexts. It is grounded on the idea that students facing an increasingly globalized world need to understand what characterizes and distinguishes the nation in which they live and the civilization from which it emerged. The Forum helps students become enlightened citizens in a liberal democracy whose roots run deep in Western civilization, but whose ideals and interests transcend the West.

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