University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

The Art of Intellectual Autobiography

The Bat of Minerva is a regional cable interview show produced and directed by Peter Shea, who received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota and has worked as an instructor at Gustavus Adolphus College and Minnesota State University in Mankato.

On Thoughtful Lives

For about 20 years, the Bat of Minerva has featured thoughtful people–scholars, activists, artists, farmers–talking about their life journeys, trajectories, stumblings. From these conversations, hints emerge about the landscape of the academy and the world outside, the varieties of scholarly and thoughtful lives.  The interviews also communicate a strong sense of the energy or passion or even annoyance which keeps creative people thinking and working, year after year.

Watch the Bat

The Bat airs at midnight between Saturday and Sunday on Minneapolis/Saint Paul regional channel 6, serving the Twin Cities metro area. Over the years, many IAS collaborators, fellows and guests have been interviewed and their conversations with Peter Shea can be viewed in their entirety.

Bat of Minerva Links

Pick from the Archive

Danny Robinson Clark came north to Minneapolis at 19, went to work in the post office, and began to act. He got his big break at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, in August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, and toured with that play and others for several years. Now taking only occasional work, he reflects on how he learned to be an actor: how particular experiences in his childhood and early life made his career possible — and perhaps necessary. This interview, the first in a series, explores his early life and his first meeting with August Wilson. He recalls the diverse kinds of people and mannerisms that fascinated him: speech, language, behavior, race, prejudice, music…

Peter Shea, Danny Robinson Clark, and Ann Waltner discussed this interview, from substance to process–-the ways Shea’s interviewing elicited Robinson’s stories, as well as the stories themselves.