The Bat of Minerva

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The Bat of Minerva, a regional cable television show based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, engages people in conversation about their lives and ideas.[1] The late night show is produced and directed by philosopher Peter Shea,[2] who interviews participants from behind the camera.[3] The director describes the show as a place to provoke discussion among adults and obtain pleasure from conceptual conversation.[4] Past guests of the show have included scholars, artists, journalists, and thoughtful people in many different life situations, such as an assistant zookeeper, a historical re-enactor, an attorney, a furniture business owner, and a gardener. The name of the show harkens to Hegel’s observation that “Only when the dusk starts to fall does the owl of Minerva spread its wings and fly.”

Programming history[edit]

Peter Shea founded The Bat of Minerva in 1995.[5] The show has since run a regular Sunday midnight spot on Metro Cable Network Channel 6 in the Twin Cities. Some distinguished past guests include Eugene McCarthy, Morton Subotnick,[6] Juliet Schor,[7] Stacy Alaimo,[8] Leigh Fondakowski,[9] Lawrence Venuti,[10] Leonard Marcus,[11] and Juhani Pallasmaa.[12]

In 2006, The Bat of Minerva began to collaborate with Institute for Advanced Study at University of Minnesota to interview scholars and artists visiting or associated with the Institute.[13] The Institute archives the show on its website for public viewing.[14]

In 2010, The Bat of Minerva videotaped the University of Minnesota course “Oil and Water: The Gulf Oil Spill of 2010” and offered the lectures online through the Institute.[15] In 2011, The Bat of Minerva held a special interview series in response to the March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the 2011 Mississippi River floods.[16] In 2012-13, Peter Shea did a series of interviews on Minnesota food producers, interviewing farmers, activists, food shelf operators, restaurant owners and workers, and others concerned with the production of food in southwest Minnesota.[17] Shea has also begun a series of interviews with prominent electronic musicians.[18]


  1. ^ Retrieved on 12 January 2012.
  2. ^ Retrieved on 12 January 2012.
  3. ^ Retrieved on 12 January 2012.
  4. ^ Retrieved on 12 January 2012.
  5. ^ Retrieved on 12 January 2012.
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-12-15. Retrieved 2015-04-09.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Peter Shea has interviewed Fondakowski several times.
  10. ^[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Shea has interviewed Marcus twice.
  12. ^
  13. ^ 2006-2007 Annual Report, Archived 2015-09-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ 2010-2011 Annual Report,[permanent dead link]. Retrieved on 16 January 2012.
  15. ^ Retrieved on 12 January 2012.
  16. ^ 2010-2011 Annual Report,[permanent dead link]. Retrieved on 16 January 2012. For the Japan in Crisis series, see For the Mississippi River Flooding series, see
  17. ^ The interviews are mapped at
  18. ^

External links[edit]