» Humanomics Alumni Colloquium

2021 Fall

Humanomics Alumni Colloquium

"American Gods and the Bourgeois Era: The Stories We Tell Ourselves"

November 6, 2021

Chapman University Homecoming

Registration is open. Deadline to register is October 15, 2021. 

After two stimulating virtual colloquia in 2020, the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy invites all Humanomics alumni to participate in a one-day colloquium—“American Gods and the Bourgeois Era: The Stories We Tell Ourselves”—on Saturday, November 6, 2021 as part of Chapman’s Homecoming weekend. As in all Humanomics experiences, the aim is to engage with texts from different disciplines, considering the challenges of multiple perspectives, and to deconstruct the perceived tensions the texts. 

We will discuss concurrently Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Deirdre McCloskey and Art Carden’s Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich. Gaiman frames his novel on the mythological stories we tell ourselves to make sense of the world and to give order to our daily lives. We create our culture and our gods, and both are only powerful as long as we believe in them.

McCloskey and Carden frame their economic history around the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of the modern bourgeois world and offer an alternative explanation for our prosperity—the idea of a liberal ethical order to buy low and sell high and make the world rich. 

What gods do we think we empower with commerce? Supposing such gods are only as powerful as we believe them to be, what do we empower and disempower if we tell ourselves the McCloskey-Carden story of the Great Enrichment?

The core of a Humanomics colloquium lies in civil discourse and a commitment to read all materials in advance. Please plan to bring your books to the discussion and to be present and on time for all sessions.

Schedule for the day (Wilksinson Hall 221)

Continental Breakfast: 8:15 – 9:00 a.m.

Session 1: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. American Gods

Session 2: 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich

Break: 11:00 – 11:15 a.m.

Session 3: 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. “What do these texts have to do with one another?”

Lunch (off campus)

If you would like to participate, the Smith Institute will reimburse the cost of your books up to $40. Please submit the book receipts to Carol Campos (cacampos@chapman.edu), Smith Institute's Operations Administrator. 


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2021 Spring

Humanomics Alumni Virtual Colloquium

"The Past in the Present: Structures and Values"

April 24, 2021

Registration is closed.

Following the interest in our first Alumni Colloquium in December 2020, the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy invites all Humanomics alumni to participate in a one-day virtual colloquium—“The Past in the Present”—on Saturday, April 24, 2021. As in all Humanomics experiences, the aim is to engage with texts from different disciplines, considering the challenges of multiple perspectives, and to deconstruct the perceived tensions the texts and our interpretations present to us as a group. 

We will discuss concurrently William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. The books, one fiction and one non-fiction, written by authors from different centuries, races, and life experiences, explore the values and structures of the country, posing serious questions about the possibilities for change in light of the past’s imprint on the present, and the future.

The core of a Humanomics colloquium lies in civil discourse and a commitment to read all materials in advance. Please plan to bring your books to the discussion and to be present and on time for all sessions.

Schedule for the day

Pre-Session Coffee: 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. PST

Session 1: 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. The Sound and the Fury

Break: 10:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Session 2: 10:45 - 12:15 p.m. Caste: The Origins of our Discontents

If you would like to participate, the Smith Institute will reimburse the cost of your books up to $40. Please submit the book receipts to Carol Campos (cacampos@chapman.edu), Smith Institute's Operations Administrator.