Professor Deborah Goodwin to Give Inaugural Wahlstrom Lecture

Posted on March 24th, 2015 by

Professor Deborah Goodwin

Professor Deborah Goodwin

Gustavus Adolphus College Associate Professor of Religion Deborah Goodwin will give the College’s first annual Matthias Wahlstrom Lecture at 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 17 in room 101 of Beck Academic Hall. Goodwin’s lecture is titled “The Liberal Arts and Class Warfare” and will be free and open to the public.

The Matthias Wahlstrom Lecture, funded by an anonymous donor, is intended to be an annual lecture by a Gustavus faculty member on the possibilities of the liberal arts in the 21st century. The lecture’s namesake served as the College’s fifth president from 1881 to 1904 and helped transform Gustavus from an academy to a degree-granting college.

During his presidency, Wahlstrom expanded and improved the College’s facilities, which transformed the campus and helped cement its future. Wahlstrom also turned the campus into a place where male and female students were equally welcome by allowing female students to live on campus for the first time.

Goodwin has taught at Gustavus since 2001 and holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in theology from the University of Notre Dame. Trained as a medievalist, Goodwin mainly teaches courses regarding the history of Christianity, including courses in Catholicism, Jewish-Christian relations, theological approaches to the problem of evil, and women’s studies. More recently, she has joined the faculty of the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program to offer a course on Religion and Ecology, which engages students in work in the local community focused on environmental justice and sustainability.

Her talk at the inaugural Wahlstrom Lecture will address questions facing educators in the liberal arts tradition today. How has the tradition become associated with elitism in American education? What are the liberal arts “for,” if not for liberation? What might education for liberation look like at a church-related institution like Gustavus?


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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