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A Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Above: A selection of questions from our hour with Prof. Chomsky 

Noam Chomsky joined us (via webcam) to discuss his legacy, issues in higher education, linguistics, and philosophy.

Read more about Professor Chomsky on his website

Click here to learn more about the CAVEA, where the event took place.

A full video of the event will be available soon


Dr. Cornel West

Race, Democracy, and The Humanities

Above: Dr. West's speech, thanks to the MSU Denver Educational Technology Center

Preceded by a selection of spoken-word artists, musicians, and lecturers, Dr. Cornel West shared his passionate thoughts on race, democracy, and the humanities in the Tivoli building on Auraria Campus.

You can learn more about Dr. West and his work here.



Blood Meridian and Ben Nichols

 Above: A short montage of D-phi's first event. Music credit: Davy Brown by by Ben Nichols. Video by Devin Strauch


Lucero’s frontman, Ben Nichols, performed and discussed "The Last Pale Light in the West," a solo album based on Cormac McCarthy's classic American novel, Blood Meridian. The performance was preceded by a lecture by MSU Denver Historian, Matthew Makely, who offered a historical analysis of the original sources and events that inspired McCarthy’s book.

Click the links to learn more about Ratio BeerworksBen and Lucero 

Link to full event here!



Robots: From Computer to Consciousness

Above: A short sample of the conversation in the Phipps IMAX theater at the DCPA

A talkback with the audience at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Phipps Imax Theater took on the topics of modern developments in artificial intelligence, the nature and consequences of consciousness, and issues of morality involving AI's.

Full video coming soon.

Dr. Steve Beaty is a professor of Computer Science at MSU Denver with a background that includes research on artificial intelligence techniques such as genetic algorithms and neural networks.

Dr. Marco J. Nathan is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Denver. His research focuses on the philosophy of science, with particular emphasis on topics in molecular biology, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and economics.

Dr. Candice Shelby is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado Denver.  She recently published the book Addiction: A Philosophical Perspective, with Palgrave Macmillan.  She often writes and teaches on the philosophy of mind, including potential differences in the manner of performance (if indeed there are any) between static computers and robots. 

Dr. Jere Surber is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Denver, where he specializes in 19th and 20th century European thought.  He teaches the very popular course "Philosophy and Video Games" and is completing a book on this topic for Bloomsbury Press.

Dr. Steven Lee is the Department Chair & Curator of Planetary Science at the DMNS. His research focuses on the interaction between the surface and atmosphere of Mars -- primarily by mapping the patterns of wind-blown dust deposits across the planet.

Dr. Adam J. Graves is Associate Professor of Philosophy at MSU Denver and founder of the Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry.  His research focuses on phenomenology, philosophy of religion and freedom of the will.  


An Evening with Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet Paul Muldoon

 Above: A full recording of Paul Muldoon's visit to the Tivoli Brewery. Thanks to Alex Stadler for this great recording!

The Denver Project for Humanistic Inquiry organized a night of poetry and conversation with one of the most intriguing literary geniuses of our time, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon. A professor at Princeton University, president of the Poetry Society (UK) and Poetry Editor at The New Yorker, he has been hailed as “the most significant English-language poet born since the second world war” (indirect, The Guardian). In recent years, he has championed a rapprochement between poetry and song, publishing a book of “rock lyrics” and frequently performing with his band, Wayside Shrines. Recorded at Tivoli Brewing Co, Denver, CO.

Click here to visit Paul Muldoon's website.


Shakespeare in the Parking Lot


The Denver Center for Performing Art's “Shakespeare in the Parking Lot” performed an abridged version of Romeo and Juliet outside the Tivoli Building.  The play was followed by a conversation with the troupe’s talented cast and director, moderated by English Department chair Cindy L. Carlson.

You can learn more at Shakespeare in the Park here

Full video of event coming soon


Tribes and the Tyrrany of Language


D‌-phi and The Denver Center for Performing Arts partnered to bring a conversation with the cast after a performance of Tribes, a critically acclaimed play that examines family, belonging, and language. 

Learn more about Tribes and the DCPA here


Out of the Past: Fate, Philosophy, and American Film Noir

After a screening of the classic 1947 film, Out of the Past, at History Colorado, distinguished University of Chicago professor Robert Pippin spoke with us on the themes of fate and agency in American Film Noir.

Learn more about Robert Pippin at his University Page

Click the link to visit History Colorado's website

Video of full event coming soon


           Selfhood, Storytelling, and Mexican American Identities

FADE Promotional Poster

In collaboration with the Denver Center for Performing Arts, D-phi hosted a conversation with the director and cast of FADE, along with professors of Philosophy and Chicano Studies from MSU Denver.

To read more about the play, visit the DCPA Website.

Chalane E. Lechuga PhDis an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her concentrations are in race/ethnicity and education, with an emphasis in Latina/o sociology.  Dr. Lechuga’s research examines the racial identities of Latina/o high school students and the relationship between racial identity and academic achievement.  Currently, Dr. Lechuga is working with a local public school district to examine school discipline and racial disparities in exclusionary practices. Further up the educational pipeline, she has researched the recruitment and retention of underrepresented faculty inhigher education. Dr. Lechuga has over sixteen years of experience conducting program evaluation and assessment and leads the comprehensive assessment of departmental student learning outcomes. Dr. Lechuga received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of New Mexico, an M.S. in Sociology from the University of Denver and a B.A. in English and Ethnic Studies (Chicana/o Studies and Black Studies) from the University ofColorado, Boulder.  She was raised on the Northside in Denver an is a proud graduate of Denver North High School.

Sergio A. Gallegos, PhDis an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His concentrations are in Philosophy of Science, Epistemology and Latin American Philosophy.  Dr. Gallegos’ research examines the use of models in science as well philosophical issues underpinning the impact and the transformation of racial identities in Latin America.  Dr. Gallegos received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, an M.Phil. in Philosophy from the same institution and a B.A. in Philosophy from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Dr. Gallegos was born in Switzerland, and raised in Mexico City, where he spent most of his youth.


           The English Patient

The English Patient Poster

As part of a series of events leading up to The English Patient author Michael Ondaatje's lectures and readings, D-phi organized a showing of the Academy Award winning film by the same name. The event was followed by an enlightening discussion led by panelists who offered cinematic, literary, and historical perspectives on the film.


Mystery, Murder, and Mayhem: Crime Writing Panel and Open Mic

Five local Mystery/Crime authors shared excerpts from their work and answered questions from the audience about their muses, writing processes, and the genres themselves. The event was followed by an open mic, where attendees shared their mystery-related stories and poetry.

Event co-sponsored by the MSU Denver English Department, Sisters in Crime Colorado, and the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society.


Sweeny Todd & DeVotchKa

An enlightening conversation at the Denver Center for Performing Arts with choreographer Joel Ferrell, musical director Gregg Coffin, Director Kent Thompson, Actor Kevin McGuire (Judge Turpin) and Actor Samantha Bruce (Johanna) preceded the performance of the classic play.

Learn about what was discussed here!


Politics and the Silver Screen

Esquire Events Poster

In collaboration with the Esquire Theatre, D-phi is hosting a series of four award-winning political films, from searing satires (The Great Dictator and Duck Soup) to riveting thrillers (The Manchurian Candidate and All the President’s Men).  These Hollywood classics will be introduced and discussed by a variety of experts including political scientists, historians, and philosophers, who will shed light on the historical context and cultural significance of each film.  Join us for what promises to be an exciting series of film and conversation!

 Tickets are $8.50 and popcorn is free with Student ID.

Time: All events begin at the 7:00 pm showing.

9/7 - Duck Soup

9/14 - The Great Dictator

9/21 - The Manchurian Candidate

9/28 - All the President’s Men

Location: Esquire Theater, 590 Downing Street, Denver


Democracy in Principle and Practice: From Ancient Athens to Contemporary Colorado

Above: Full Video of Democracy in Principle and Practice

D-phi organized a group of experts for an informative and thought-provoking conversation about the history and contemporary significance of democracy.  What are the origins of democracy?  How has the concept and practice of democracy evolved over time?  How do elections differ from one place to another?  How have changes in technology, media and demographics impacted the nature of democracy in our own time and in our own state?  These questions, and many more, were addressed by our panel of political scientists, state officials, historians and philosophers.

Andre Archie is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University, specializing in the History of Ancient Greek Philosophy and Ancient Greek Political Philosophy.

Judd Choate has been the Colorado’s state election director since 2009.  Prior to joining the Secretary of State’s office, Judd was a practicing attorney and before that a professor of political science at the University of Nebraska.

Floyd Ciruli is the founder of Ciruli Associates, a research and consulting firm specializing in public policy and research. Floyd is also director for the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Denver Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

Caleb Cohoe is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His research interests include Ancient Philosophy and the function of intellectual and practical authority in society.

Robert Preuhs is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His research focuses on issues of representation and democracy through the lens of racial and ethnic politics, state and national political institutions, and public policy. 

Elizabeth Sperber is an Assistant Professor of political science at the University of Denver and specializes in comparative and international politics, with regional expertise in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sherrie Wolff is an international political and elections advisor who has worked on issues pertaining to democratization with Presidents, Prime Ministers and Parliaments in 39 counties.



 Frank Talks: A Conversation with former US Representative Barney Frank

Portrait of Barney Frank

Barney Frank represented the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts for more than three decades. He chaired the House Financial Services Committee from 2007 to 2011, during which time he co-authored the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act, arguably the most significant piece of financial regulation legislation passed since the great depression. The first openly gay member of Congress, Frank is widely considered the most prominent gay politician in the United States. He is a regular commentator at MSNBC and will be joining us for a conversation on his life in politics at Auraria Campus this October.

Time: Monday, 10/10 @ 12:30 pm

Location: Tivoli, 900 Auraria Pkwy, Denver, Adirondacks Room

(Like most of our events, this event is free and open to the public.)


Creating Monstrosity: Frankenstein, Gothic Literature, and Philosophy

 Above: Full video of pre-performance discussion.

After a backstage tour, and prior to a performance of Frankenstein at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, an eclectic panel of experts discussed Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, as well as the play and concept of adaptations in general.


Hand to God: Talkback and Interdisciplinary Discussion

Hand to God Poster

EDIT: Due to circumstances beyond our control, this event has unfortunately been cancelled. Our sincere apologies- see you next time!

In small town Cypress, Texas, sweet but troubled teen Jason is coping with his father’s recent death and is forced to join his mother’s Church-led puppet group. However, things take a turn for the unexpected when Jason’s foul-mouthed, truth-spewing puppet Tyrone begins to take on a life of his own. Irreverent, and occasionally shocking, Hand to God is a raucous comedy that explores faith, grief and humanity.  D-phi experts join the production’s cast and director for a conversation that will explore, among other things, the relationship between religious belief and the psychology of loss. 

Time: Thursday, 11/10 @ 8:00pm

Location: 1080 Acoma St., Denver

(Use the discount code "DphiGod" to get $10 off of the purchase price. There are limited tickets available at $14 with the discount)


Reconsidering the Humanities

Above: Reconsidering the Humanities, thanks to the MSU Denver Educational Technology Center

D-phi hosted an involved Q&A with students and faculty which investigated the role of the humanities in our modern world.

Panelists included:
Zena Hitz, Professor of Philosophy at St. Johns College, Annapolis, author of The Crisis of the Intellectual Life
Arthur Fleischer, Economics Chair at MSU Denver, author of The National Collegiate Athletic Association: A Study in Cartel Behavior
Kimo Quaintance, Education Strategist at IQ Gemini, international expert on emergent technologies and disruptive innovation

Click the names to learn more.


  Voices and the Voiceless: The Question of Advocacy

One irony of our current "age of information" is that people seem to be presented with news and perspectives that only reinforce their presuppositions and views. Another is that the dawn of global communication has perhaps only served to reinforce the systematic exclusion of certain voices. Their stories often go untold and their lives are undervalued. In short, their voices are silenced. When is it our duty to speak for them and what sort of moral dilemmas does doing so raise? Please join us for a discussion of the complicated nature of advocacy and the power of art in making other voices heard.

Musician and comic author R. Alan Brooks, documentary filmmaker Alan Dominguez, and Carol Quinn of MSU Denver's Philosophy Department will join Cafe Cultura's poets Tanaya Winder, Franklin Cruz, and Alexis Vigil, with a live acoustic set by Blisss.

Complimentary food and beverages will be provided by the MSU Denver Philosophy Club and Ratio Beerworks, respectively.

This event is free and open to the public.

Thursday, 4/13 @ 5:30 pm

Tivoli, 900 Auraria Pkwy, Denver, Multicultural Room



Performance and Talkback

Disgraced Banner

Amir has spent his adulthood downplaying his upbringing to build the perfect life. But as a high-profile court case and his wife’s Islamic-inspired art show reveal just how little his culture is understood by the people around him, their misconceptions become too much to bear. The expectation to be true to yourself and to fit into mainstream society collide in this 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

After the performance, join us for a talkback, including questions from the audience, with the cast and director of Disgraced, along with MSU Denver Chair of Political Science Dr. Robert Hazan.

April 20th, 6:30pm

Denver Center for Performing Arts, Speer Blvd, Denver, CO 80204

Discounted tickets ($16) available to guests of D-phi- use code DPHI and select April 20th on the Denver Center for Performing Arts Website

Click this link to view detailed instructions.


  Esquire Theater Film Series & Discussion

Esquire Theater Building Face

The Esquire Theater joins us for another gripping and timely film series, each to be followed by an expert-led discussion on the film and its historical and literary contexts. Our panelists include Dr. Rebecca Gorman (Chair, English), Dr. Jim Aubrey (Film Studies), and Dr. Pitturro (English).

The films to be screened are:


May 3 - The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

May 10 – Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

May 31 - Norma Rae (1979)

June 7 - 1984 (1984)

June 14 - Do the Right Thing (1989)


These showings run one day only at 7:00pm.

Esquire Theater, 590 Downing Street

Popcorn is free with student ID. Tickets available online and at the door. Keep an eye on our Facebook for free ticket giveaways.


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