The TED Talks of the Crossroads
By BY CAROLINA ASTRAIN - CASTRAIN@VICAD.COM
Feb. 6, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.
Updated Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:06 p.m.
Ever feel intellectually starved among the mass of football and gun enthusiasts of your rural hometown?
It's not that they aren't smart or anything, they would just rather partake in some good, old-fashioned gossip over that dreary extensive philosophical discussion you've been dying to have with someone else other than the voice inside your head.
It's just not their style.
Usually when I'm in a mood and in need of some sort of witty repartee, the surrounding cities call to me and I follow.
But this weekend, there's no need to hop onto any highway toward a busy metropolis to get out of your daily skin.
Your mind can feast on an engrossing discussion hosted by the University of Houston-Victoria's Society for Critical Exchange.
Starting Friday, the exchange will commence their fourth annual installment of the Winter Theory Institute.
The topic: the New Public Intellectual, does such a person exist?
English and philosophy professors from across the country are traveling to our humble, Gulf Coast community to argue, construct and surmise if such an individual persists in today's society mired in social media and television.
Jeffrey Di Leo, UHV's dean of arts and sciences and genius behind the university's American Book Review reading series, serves as the executive director of the exchange.
About 13 other intellectuals will join the philosopher-in-residence in a three-day discourse over the link between the blogger and the public intellectual.
Look at how the rise of digital communication radically changed the meaning and role of such persons and how cuts to higher education may have deflated the intellectual's credibility over time.
Unfortunately, the deadline to reserve your spot was Wednesday morning, but maybe you can work your charm and snag a seat at one of the free public talks scheduled for this weekend.
I'll bring my monocle if you bring yours.