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