Symposium Celebrates Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”

Feb. 9, 2009

Event: The Department of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin will host the symposium "Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: Celebrating the Best Within Us."

When: 4-6:30 p.m., March 4.

Where: Avaya Auditorium (ACE 2.302). A campus map is available online.

Background: Presenters will offer perspectives on the Russian-born philosopher's magnum opus, "Atlas Shrugged," both as philosophy and literature. Sessions will include question-and-answer periods, and a reception with the speakers will be held immediately afterwards. The event is free and open to the public.

Presentations include:

  • 4 p.m.: "Ayn Rand: Evidence of a Life" by Jeff Britting, associate producer of the Academy Award nominated-documentary film, "Ayn Rand: Evidence of a Life;"
  • 4:15 p.m.: "The Benevolent Universe Premise in Atlas Shrugged" by Allan Gotthelf, visiting professor of history and philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh;
  • 5 p.m.: "John Galt as the Hero of Atlas Shrugged: Leader and Lover" by Shoshana Milgram, associate professor of English at Virginia Tech;
  • 5:45 p.m.: "The Appeal of Atlas Shrugged to Young People" by Onkar Ghate, senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

The symposium is sponsored by the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism and Anthem Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism, both held by Tara Smith, professor of philosophy. Smith is the author of "Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist."

For more information, contact: Jennifer McAndrew; Tara Smith, professor, Department of Philosophy, 512-471-6777.