The Catholic University of America










The First-Year Experience is excited to announce the sixth annual speaker series for first-year students. The FYE Speaker Series emphasizes The Catholic University of America's liberal arts identity and encourages cohesion within the First-Year Experience with a series of presentations on topics that connect to the first-year curriculum.

The Speaker Series features several special keynote addresses each year. Keynotes require the attendance of all FYE students and instructors. The remaining events build upon course content and extend it beyond the classroom through dynamic, conversational talks led by members of the CUA community, including faculty and graduate teaching fellows. Throughout all the talks, the guiding text is one all first-year students are intimately familiar with: In a Sense All Things: A CUA PrimerThe topic of the talks are wide-ranging - speakers have discussed the role of narrative in our lives, the intersection of rock music and poetry, ethical imagination, philosophy and the Matrix, contemporary political issues, and much more.

To request accommodations for any of these events,
please call 202-319-5220 or email


Spring 2017 Speaker Series

Wednesday, February 8 – 8:00pm, Pryz 321

Stillness and Silence: The Beginning and the End of Academic Life

     -Presented by Carl Vater


Wednesday, February 22 – 8:00pm, Pryz 321

“Growing Up But Not Forgetting”: On Achieving and Maintaining the Heart of a Freshman

     -Presented by Dr. Jonathan Buttaci


Wednesday, March 15 – 8:00pm, Pryz 321

Making “Room for Philosophy in the Courts of Kings”: What St. Thomas More and Katniss Teach Us About Productive Cultural Criticism

     -Presented by Bethany Besteman

Wednesday, March 22 – 7:00pm – Pryz Great Room C

If Rousseau Was Your Roommate

-Special Guest Speaker Dr. Neil Roberts

Associate Professor of Africana Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Williams College


Wednesday, March 29 – 8:00pm – Pryz 327

Hallows and Gallows: Inspiration, Obligation, and Moral Aspiration

     -Presented by Kevin Kambo


Wednesday, April 5 – 8:00pm, Pryz 321

“John’s Donne With It!”: The Reasonable Function of the Hero Figure

     -Presented by Jed Stalker


Wednesday, April 19 – 8:00pm, Pryz 351

We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident: Rights and Why We Have Them

     -Presented by Joseph Thomas

Fall 2016 Speaker Series

Wednesday, September 28th – 8:00pm, Pryz Great Room C

“From Moral Past to Immoral Present? A Current Look at Morality Plays and Whether They Can Be Staged Today”

    -Presented by Benjamin Djain


Wednesday, October 12th – 8:00pm, Pryz Great Room C

“Doing Thinking: On What is a Conversation”

    -Presented by Mary Elizabeth Halper


Wednesday, October 26th – 8:00pm, Hannan 108

“Do Fastballs REALLY Rise? Baseball and Objectivity”

    -Presented by Francis Petruccelli


Wednesday, November 9th – 8:00pm, Pryz Great Room C

““Up Unto the Watch-Tower Get”: Imagination, the Stairway of the Mind”

    -Presented by Jonathan Wanner


Wednesday, November 30 – 8:00pm, Pryz Great Room C

“God’s Forests: Challenges in Evangelization, Stewardship, and Ministry”

    -Presented by Matthew Buszek


Wednesday, December 7th – 8:00pm, Hannan 108

“The Art of Asking: Discovering and Motivating the Question”


          -Presented by Luke Russell




Speaker Series Archive

FALL 2012


FALL 2013 


FALL 2014




Contact Us

McMahon Hall 13