Solertia Humanities Speaker Series


Solertia Humanities Speaker Series

Solertia—one of the elements comprising the virtue of prudence—is the ability by which someone, "when confronted with a sudden event, can swiftly, but with open eyes and clear-sighted vision, decide for the good, avoiding pitfalls of injustice, cowardice, and intemperance" (Josef Pieper, The Four Cardinal Virtues).

The UCCS Humanities program is proud to inaugurate the Solertia Humanities Speaker Series, which presents an annual talk by an internationally recognized leader in the humanities. In our rapidly changing and often fragmented world, a cultivated appreciation of our collective likeness, shared capacities and common aspirations can lead us to understand and savor the rich depth of human diversity and experience. To the ancient Romans, the concept of humanitas included an education that instilled the virtues of character required to live a fulfilling life: wisdom, justice, courage, and temperance. Solertia is underwritten by the UCCS Humanities Program, the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences Dean’s Office, and the Heller Center for Arts & Humanities.

Tuesday, 9 April 2024, 7:00pm
Chapman Foundations Recital Hall, Ent Center for the Arts
Alberto Manguel presents: Homer Today

The communality of death, the arbitrary dealings of fate, are notions general enough for us to indulge in the commonplace that they are shared by all humankind and belong to all places and all times. For the reader of Homer, however, at a distance of two and a half millennia, certain details in the poems render them magically singular, distil them into something intimately familiar, make them ours. Homer’s poems are not only a compendium of plots devices told over and over since the dawn of language to our present day, but a shifting mirror of the totality of human experience. How astonishing that, in a language we no longer know precisely how to pronounce, a poet or various poets whose faces and characters we cannot conceive, who lived in a society of whose customs and beliefs we have but a very vague idea, described for us our own lives today, with every secret happiness and every hidden sin.

Alberto Manguel is an Argentinian-Canadian writer, translator, editor and critic, born in Buenos Aires in 1948. He has published several novels, and non-fiction, including Packing My Library, Curiosity, With Borges, A History of Reading, The Library at Night, Fabulous Monsters and (together with Gianni Guadalupi) The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. He has received numerous international awards, among others the Guggenheim in 2004, Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters from France in 2014, the Formentor Prize and the Alfonso Reyes Prize in 2017, the Gutenberg Prize 2018 and Officer of the Order of Canada 2018. He is doctor honoris causa of the universities of Ottawa and York in Canada, Liège in Belgium, Anglo Ruskin in Cambridge, UK, and Poitiers in France. Until August of 2018 he was the director of the National Library of Argentina. He held the first the chair of “Europe: languages and literatures” at the Collège de France 2021-2022. He is now the director of the Centro de Estudos da História da Leitura in Lisbon.