A tradition of thought extending back to Milton, Sidney, and Aristotle holds that literature imparts wisdom. With respect to the kind of wisdom that governs human conduct, poetry promotes a grasp of reality superior to other ways of knowing in its combination of immediacy, lucidity, practicality, sensitivity to refinements, capacity to shape the affections, and adequacy to the whole.
This conviction guides literary study at every level of the curriculum pursued at the University of Dallas. The program in literature provides a course of study in those authors who best exemplify the capacity of imagination to grasp truth. Teachers and students seek to learn what the best of the poets understand of nature and human experience. In this mutual learning enterprise, students and teachers are related as beginning and advanced students of their common masters, the major imaginative writers.
"After my first visit to UD in the spring of 2005, I came upon my friend and colleague, Alban Forcione, surely one of the five or fewer greatest scholars of Cervantes alive, [and told him] that we had wasted our lives teaching in the Ivy League and that I had found the place at which we could have spent our careers with better effect."
Princeton University Professor of European Literature and French and Italian, Emeritus.
As a senior at UD, Mary was torn between her passions for lyric poetry and for rhetoric and her lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer. While the study of the art of persuasion truly fascinated her, Mary was inescapably drawn to its practice.