The Importance of the Liberal Arts | Benedictine College

The Importance of the Liberal Arts

Notre Dame Professor to Address Benedictine College Students

Published: Monday, October 05, 2015


Dr. Mark Roche, the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Professor of German Language and Literature and Concurrent Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame,will give a special lecture on the value of liberal arts on Tuesday, October 20, at 7 p.m. in the McAllister Board Room, located on the fourth floor of the Ferrell Academic Center on the Benedictine College campus. Roche is the author of eight books, including Why Choose the Liberal Arts? andThe Intellectual Appeal of Catholicism and the Idea of a Catholic University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Roche teaches courses in German language, literature, and culture as well as in intellectual history, philosophy, and film. He also offers broader courses, such as the two-semester Humanities Seminar, which takes students in the Fall from Homer to Dante and in the Spring from Machiavelli to Woody Allen. His College Seminar, which is oral-intensive, explores great questions and draws on the arts, humanities, and social sciences. In 2013 Roche received the Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and in 2006 the Kaneb Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

His publications have been on German literature and on philosophy, film, and higher education. His book, Why Choose the Liberal Arts? (University of Notre Dame Press, 2010), received the 2012 Frederic W. Ness Book Award from the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Another one of his books, Why Literature Matters in the 21st Century (Yale University Press, 2004), was chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine.

From 1997 to 2008, Roche served as the I. A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. He arrived at Notre Dame in 1996 after having served 12 years at the Ohio State University, including the final five years as Chairperson of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. He received a bachelor’s degree in the History of Ideas from Williams College in 1978, a master’s degree in Philosophy from the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen in Germany in 1980, and a doctorate in German Literature from Princeton University in 1984.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.