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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 15 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

Most Recent Interview

Peter Redfield, Professor of Anthropology, November 2014
Download: audio, small video, or original. Peter Redfield is Professor of Anthropology at UNC. His areas of expertise include Anthropology of Science, Technology and Medicine; Humanitarianism and Human Rights; Colonial History; Ethics, Nongovernmental Organizations and Transnational Experts; Europe; French Guiana; Uganda; South Africa. The day before this interview, he gave a talk at the IAS […]

Pick from the Archive


Download: audio or original.

Peter Shea talks to the retired senator Eugene McCarthy, now deceased, on Good Friday.

One of the most distinguished politicians in Minnesota history, Eugene McCarthy was born in Watkins, Minnesota, in 1916. After a brief stint as a professor, McCarthy turned to politics and represented Minnesota in the House and the Senate from 1949 to 1971, where he gained a reputation as an intellectual.

In 1967 he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the presidency as a direct challenge to Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam War policies. His antiwar position won the support of many liberals and his strong showing in the primaries persuaded Johnson to leave the race. After Robert Kennedy’s 1968 assasination, McCarthy lost the nomination to Vice President–and fellow Minnesotan–Hubert H. Humphrey. McCarthy unsuccessfully ran for president a total of five times. Though he never served in the Oval Office, he is remembered for his strong convictions and integrity.