The Bellarmine Forum Wants You to Slow Down

The Bellarmine Forum has returned with a “call to slow action.”

The signature program of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts re-launches this September after a brief hiatus, and this year’s Forum invites the LMU campus community to creatively consider its theme, “The Values of Time.” Through a diverse set of offerings – classes to take, events to attend, places to visit – the 2016 Bellarmine Forum is a semester-long experiment in slow time, and each member of the LMU community has a chance to be a part of it.

English professor Paul Harris and philosophy professor Brad Stone are the directors of the Forum, which formally launches on Wednesday, Sept. 14 with an opening lecture and reception in William H. Hannon Library.

“The culture of speed has deeply impacted university life,” Harris wrote in a statement of guiding principles about the Forum. “The university needs to reassert its identity as the place where we discipline the mind and spirit through extended contemplative, cognitive, creative practices.”

Stone and Harris have designed a range of opportunities to reflect on how our values do – or don’t – align with how we spend our time. Some students will participate in Bellarmine Forum-affiliated courses, which take place at the same class time to facilitate joint seminars and service opportunities. Some faculty and graduate students will engage a Bellarmine Forum research seminar that develops new research on slow time. These courses and research are the heart of the Forum, creating a collaborative community of scholars who can explore ideas across disciplines.

The Bellarmine Forum also invites all faculty, staff, and students to cultivate slow time in their academic and professional lives. A series of public events will unfold all semester, including lectures and a Slow Arts Festival. The Forum has also created “Slow Time Zones” on campus, art installations that encourage playful and contemplative experience of time.

The Forum will also offer a SLOW LMU initiative, a community of faculty and others at LMU who are interested in creating a slower, more mindful culture on campus. Members of SLOW LMU will commit to finding ways to “take time for each other and make time for ourselves” this fall, trying out contemplative practices in the classroom or in daily life, attending Bellarmine Forum events, or penciling in time each week to do nothing. SLOW LMU will offer a digital discussion board to exchange ideas all semester. In gratitude for their commitment, members of SLOW LMU receive a poster and a copy of LMU’s 2016 Common Book, “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki.

Read the full event schedule, discover the Slow Time Zones, and find out how to join the SLOW LMU community on its website: