Zena Hitz

Zena Hitz

Speaker Profile

Zena Hitz is a Tutor at St. John’s College and the author of Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life. Her book explores the meaning and the value of learning for its own sake, through images and stories of bookworms, philosophers, scientists, and other learners, both fictional and historical. She writes and speaks on the human need to learn for its own sake and what it means for educational institutions to take that need seriously. She tweets at @zenahitz, where she is a frequent interlocutor with the rapper-turned-philosopher, MC Hammer.

She studied at St. John’s College, Cambridge University, the University of Chicago and Princeton before teaching philosophy at McGill University, Auburn University, and UMBC. She spent three years living and working in the Madonna House Apostolate and has taught in prison programs and to other non-traditional students. When she is not teaching or speaking she spends time thinking about topics like the moral decline and fall of individuals and communities, as depicted in stories from Genesis to The Godfather. You can watch her presenting at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture here.

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    Close up photo of a person reading and drinking coffee Escape from quarantine Like many professional intellectuals, books were my original escape. I was a strange child with abrasive manners, and real life was lonely and chaotic. I read ceaselessly, anything I could get my hands on. Read More