COWAN CENTER FOR EDUCATION™

 

 

 

PROGRAMS

CERTIFICATIONS

OVERVIEW

PRESS


Friends and Colleagues,

Here we begin our catalog of newly digitized recordings from the archives of the Dallas Institutes’ Cowan Center programs. Fortunately, for all of us, from the first Dallas Institute public program in the fall of 1981, the Founders were careful to record their proceedings. Over these next weeks, then, we will list a new lecture every day (or as close to it as we can come). Most will be talks by Dr. Louise and Dr. Donald Cowan, but we’ll also post lectures from other speakers who were luminaries in their own right. While we are all missing the joy of a literal human community, we hope that these Olympian voices out of the past will inspire us and keep our hearts ready until we meet again.

With gratitude and warm regard,

Dr. Claudia MacMillan
Director, The Louise and Donald Cowan Center for Education™


To conclude our daily doses of the great minds that people the Institute’s past, we present here our oldest extant series (I believe), Dr. Louise Cowan lecturing on “American Novels” in 1975. These talks were probably given to her ladies’ group at the University of Dallas. And I apologize beforehand for their quality. We did the best we could in the transmission to digital files, but forty-five-year-old cassette tapes don’t hold up as well as one would like. However, we are posting these talks regardless of their quality.  As always, Dr. Cowan’s insights are stirring and provocative, so we thought you might be able to bear the distortion.

This series will conclude our online catalog for now. Hopefully, you have enjoyed and been enriched by their voices in this strange, timeless time.

June 17, 2020 (final)

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: FAULKNER'S GO DOWN, MOSES DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 13, 12-02-75)
THE AMERICAN NOVELS: FAULKNER’S GO DOWN, MOSES DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 13, 12-02-75)

June 16, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: FAULKNER'S GO DOWN, MOSES DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 12, 12-02-75)
THE AMERICAN NOVELS: FAULKNER’S GO DOWN, MOSES DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 12, 12-02-75)

June 15, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: CAROLINE GORDON'S GREEN CENTURIES DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 11, 11-22-75)
THE AMERICAN NOVELS: GREEN CENTURIES DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 11, 11-22-75)

June 12, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: CAROLINE GORDON'S GREEN CENTURIES DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 10, 11-22-75)
THE AMERICAN NOVELS: CAROLINE GORDON’S GREEN CENTURIES 

June 11, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: ON HENRY JAMES CAROLINE GORDON (PART 9, 11-10-75)
THE AMERICAN NOVELS: ON HENRY JAMES CAROLINE GORDON (PART 9, 11-10-75)

June 10, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: THE AMBASSADORS DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 8, 11-10-75)
THE AMERICAN NOVELS: THE AMBASSADORS DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 8, 11-10-75)

June 9, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: MOBY DICK DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 7, 10-28-75)
THE AMERICAN NOVELS: MOBY DICK DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 7, 10-28-75)

June 8, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: MOBY DICK DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 6, 10-21-75)
THE AMERICAN NOVELS: MOBY DICK DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 6, 10-21-75)

June 5, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: MOBY DICK DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 5, 10-21-75)
THE AMERICAN NOVELS: MOBY DICK DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 5, 10-21-75)

June 4, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: THE SCARLET LETTER DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 4, 10-13-75)
THE AMERICAN NOVELS: THE SCARLET LETTER DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 4, 10-13-75)

June 3, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS: THE SCARLET LETTER DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 3, 10-13-75)

June 2, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 2, 10-7-75)

June 1, 2020

THE AMERICAN NOVELS DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 1, 10-7-75)

Today we begin a series of lectures that Dr. Louise Cowan delivered to her women’s group in 1974 at the University of Dallas. This was a group of high society Dallas women that grew to more than 200 strong in the years that Dr. Louise taught them. A remarkable thing in itself. Dr. Cowan’s love of Dostoevsky is well-known to any who have heard her speak on his novels. Her insights into Russian literature are so profound that in the late 90s, Dr. Caryl Emerson from Princeton made a pilgrimage to Dallas to meet Dr. Cowan–having been introduced to her theory through Will Russ’ essays. At that time, Dr. Emerson encouraged Dr. Louise to write her “Russian theory,” explaining that it was distinct and was needed in Russian criticism. Unfortunately, Dr. Louise wasn’t able to do that, but she leave us with some of her wisdom here. We apologize beforehand for the quality of some of these recordings. Some recordings are also incomplete, but we felt that what Dr. Cowan says here is too important not to post what she has. Finally, Dr. Cowan apparently gave two lectures at each of her women’s group sessions, one before and one after lunch. That is why there are Part 1 and Part 2 written on some of the talks with the same date. I hope you enjoy these as much as we have.

May 29, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 15, 12-10-74)

May 28, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 14, 12-03-74)

May 27, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 13, 12-03-74)

May 26, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 12, 11-26-74)

May 22, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 11, 11-26-74)

May 21, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: THE IDIOT DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 10, 10-28-74)

May 20, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: THE IDIOT DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 9, 10-28-74)

May 19, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: THE IDIOT DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 8, 10-22-74)

May 18, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: THE IDIOT DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 7, 10-22-74)

May 15, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 6, 10-14-74)

May 14, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 5, 10-14-74)

May 13, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 4, 10-08-74)

May 12, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 3, 10-08-74)

May 11, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: INTRODUCTION DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 2, 10-01-74)

May 8, 2020

A CLASS ON DOSTOEVSKY: INTRODUCTION DR. LOUISE COWAN (PART 1, 10-01-74)

Those who have studied Dr. Louise Cowan’s literary genre theory know how central the Divine Comedy was in her imagination as she conceived her “genre wheel.” As Dr. Louise claims at the beginning of this first lecture, “I think Dante can get us over a few of our dark spots . . . and get us out of some of the dark woods that we manage to get ourselves into.” In honor of the “dark spot” in which we currently find ourselves, here is Dr. Louise Cowan on “The Divine Comedy: the Soul’s Pilgrimage.”

May 7, 2020–class 6

DANTE: A SOUL’S PILGRIMAGE, CLASS 6 DR. LOUISE COWAN (4-05-1988)

May 6, 2020–class 5

DANTE: A SOUL’S PILGRIMAGE, CLASS 5 DR. LOUISE COWAN (3-22-1988)

May 5, 2020–class 4

DANTE: A SOUL’S PILGRIMAGE, CLASS 4 DR. LOUISE COWAN (3-15-1988)

May 4, 2020–class 3

DANTE: A SOUL’S PILGRIMAGE, CLASS 3 DR. LOUISE COWAN (3-8-1988)

May 1, 2020–class 2

DANTE: A SOUL’S PILGRIMAGE, CLASS 2 DR. LOUISE COWAN (3-1-1988)

April 30, 2020–class 1

DANTE: A SOUL’S PILGRIMAGE, CLASS 1 DR. LOUISE COWAN (2-23-1988)

The first major public program that the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture offered was in the fall of 1981. It was called “Recess Is Over: The Crisis in Public Education.” The Dallas Institute was a learning organization from the beginning, and nothing was more important to the founders than educators in our schools. Along with their colleagues, Dr. Jacques Barzun and Dr. Mortimer Adler, Dr. Gail Thomas and the Cowans led a stellar group at Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas. Beginning today, a few talks at a time, we will be presenting the recorded proceedings from that conference here. Enjoy!

April 29, 2020

Recess is Over: The Crisis in Public Education – Public Discussion Chaired by Dr. Adler (1981)

April 28, 2020

Recess is Over: The Crisis in Public Education – Dr. Louise Cowan (1981)

April 27, 2020

Recess is Over: The Crisis in Public Education – Dr. Linus Wright (1981)

April 24, 2020

Recess is Over: The Crisis in Public Education – Dr. Alonzo Crim (1981)
Recess is Over: The Crisis in Public Education – Dr. Willis Tate (1981)

April 23, 2020

Recess is Over: The Crisis in Public Education – Dr. Mortimer Adler (1981)

April 22, 2020

Recess is Over: The Crisis in Public Education – Dr. Jacques Barzun (1981)

April 21, 2020

Recess is Over: The Crisis in Public Education – Welcome from Dr. Gail Thomas (1981)
Recess is Over: The Crisis in Public Education – Dr. Donald Cowan (1981)

According to Dr. Louise Cowan in her 2012 introductory essay to The Prospect of Lyric, the “lyric retains still a dim awareness of the way things were before time was, in the original pattern of being.” It is the origin of all the other kinds of poetry, then, she writes, and it is mysteriously the “fragile indicator of whether or not the air in a society is fit to breathe.” In these lectures given in 1997 and 1998, one can hear Dr. Louise Cowan developing her lyric theory. Lyric is “necessary to human culture,” she concludes, providing a “protection of the channel between word and thing, between heaven and earth, elevating the human to the workings of the spirit.”

April 7, 2020

April 8, 2020

April 9, 2020

April 10, 2020

April 13, 2020

April 14, 2020

April 15, 2020

April 16, 2020

April 17, 2020

April 20, 2020


March 30, 2020
In 1989, Dr. Louise Cowan taught one of her many classes on Moby-Dick:

March 31, 2020

April 1, 2020

April 2, 2020

April 3, 2020

April 6, 2020 with the final session of Melville’s Epic Voyage


Here’s our first offering for March 27, 2020: