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9/9: St. John’s College presents the Fall 2013 Dean’s Lecture and Concert Series

Originally Posted on admin, September 9, 2013

Santa Fe News

St. John’s College presents the Fall 2013 Dean’s Lecture and Concert Series

September 9, 2013
Contact: Gabe Gomez

SANTA FE—St. John’s College presents the Fall 2013 Dean’s Lecture and Concert Series, beginning on Friday, September 6, with “The Active Struggle Against Evil: Solzhenitsyn’s Response to Marx and Tolstoy,” with Daniel J. Mahoney, Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship at Assumption College. Unless otherwise noted, all lectures take place in the Great Hall at the Peterson Student Center, at 7:30 p.m. 

Mahoney’s lecture examines Solzhenitsyn’s defense of the “active struggle” against political evil as an essential part of his philosophical Christianity. The Russian writer’s defense of moral and political agency is shown to be a self-conscious response to the historical determinism of both Marx and Tolstoy as well as to Tolstoy’s pacifistic appropriation of Christianity. Mahoney is the author of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Ascent from Ideology and is co-editor of The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947–2005. His newest book, The Other Solzhenitsyn: Ruminations on the World’s Most Misunderstood Writer and Thinker, is forthcoming from St. Augustine’s Press in 2014. The lecture is part of The Carol J. Worrell Annual Lecture Series on Literature.

On Friday, September 13, poet, essayist, and translator David Hinton presents “Another Universe: Ancient China, Mind, and Landscape.” Drawing on his new book, Hunger Mountain: A Field Guide to Mind and Landscape, Hinton explains how the ancient Chinese picture of the cosmos is fundamentally different from the picture that has dominated our Western tradition, and has produced the distinctive form of Chinese culture. However distant this culture may seem, it feels remarkably contemporary in our secular and scientific age. In this picture, the cosmos is a living and harmonious whole, constantly self-generating—and, so, female in nature—and humans are an integral part of that whole. With its focus on the interweaving of consciousness and landscape, this worldview is what we now call “deep ecology.” The lecture will include a slide presentation and readings of poetry and essays fromHunger Mountain.

Hinton is the first translator in over a century to translate the four seminal masterworks of Chinese philosophy: Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, Analects, and Mencius. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, numerous fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the PEN Translation Award from the PEN American Center. Hinton is St. John’s College’s inaugural Rohrbach Lecturer.

On Friday, September 20, Adam Schulman presents “The Anger of Achilles and its Source: A Reading of Book One of the Iliad.” Why is “anger” the first word of the first great book of Western civilization? (“Anger—sing goddess the anger of Peleus’ son Achilles.”) Why did Homer choose to write an epic poem about the anger of Achilles? Why should anger be an important theme, if not the central theme, of all of classical literature? How might reflection on anger form at least the starting point, if not also the core, of a liberal education?

Schulman is a faculty member at St. John’s College, Annapolis. He holds a PhD in the history of science from Harvard University. This lecture is part of The Carol J. Worrell Annual Lecture Series on Literature.

On Friday, September 27, there is an Evening Concert with Krzysztof Zimowski on violin and Jacquelyn Helin on piano. They will play Sonata no. 1 for violin and piano in G major, op. 78, by Johannes Brahms; “Mythes” for violin and piano by Karol Szymanowski; and  Sonata no. 1 for violin and piano in F major, op. 80, by Sergei Prokofiev.  Zimowski is the concertmaster of the New Mexico Philharmonic and Helin is a well-known local pianist who has given numerous solo concerts at the college.   

On Wednesday, October 2, Jay Smith presents “Hobbes’ Mortal God” at 3:15 p.m. in the Junior Common Room at the Peterson Student Center. What role does Hobbes’s theological critique play in his political science? And why does Hobbes call his sovereign a “Mortal God”?  To begin to respond to these questions, the lecture looks at the last parts of “The Leviathan”— the parts dealing with his (re)interpretation of scripture and his critique of “The Kingdom of Darkness.”

Smith is a faculty member at St. John’s College, Santa Fe. He earned his BA from St. John's College and holds a doctorate in philosophy from Fordham University. Before joining the St. John’s faculty in 2001, Smith worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and as an environmental consultant.

On Friday, October 4, Robert Berman presents “Self-Knowledge: The Key to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.” Given the desirability of self-knowledge so natural to philosophy, it should come as no surprise that it plays a role in a philosophic book such as Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.  Yet self-knowledge does not appear in the nearly comprehensive catalogue of topics covered by the Phenomenology, which ranges from perception to the search for explanatory scientific laws; from the struggle of life and death and the lord-servant relation to the misery of asceticism; and from observation of nature to membership in political, moral, and religious community. This lecture proposes that self-knowledge stands out as the key to understanding why Hegel’s phenomenological investigation encompasses such a broad range of topics and what unites them as parts of the argument as a whole.  

Robert Berman is a professor of philosophy at Xavier University of Louisiana. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the New School for Social Research. He is the author of numerous papers on Hegel and is currently completing a book on Hegel’sPhenomenology of Spirit.

On Friday, October 11, Joshua Kates presents “Holism:  Philosophy, Language, and Things.” Kates explores a major perspective in twentieth-century philosophy: holism, shared by Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Donald Davidson. Kates clarifies the fundamentals of this standpoint, along with its considerable power, and then lays out some of the problems or puzzles it raises, especially ones that pertain to interpretation and to the imaginary.

Joshua Kates is the author of two books on Jacques Derrida, Essential History: Jacques Derrida and the Development of Deconstruction and Fielding Derrida: Philosophy, Literary Criticism, History, and the Work of Deconstruction. Kates has articles current and forthcoming in differences: a Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies and diacritics. Since 2005, Kates has been an associate professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington. He was a tutor at St. John’s College, Santa Fe, from 1991 to 2005.

Melissa Franklin presents “Finding the Higgs Particle: Sweet Dream or Nightmare?” on Friday, October 25, at 3:15 p.m., in the Great Hall. This lecture focuses on how the Higgs boson was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider and why scientists were looking for it for so long. Franklin describes how the accelerator and the detector work, and then discusses what happens next and how it affects the physicists working in particle physics and the rest of the world.

Melissa Franklin is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University and chair of that department. She is an experimental particle physicist who studies proton-proton collisions produced by the Large Hadron Collider. She has worked on the Collider Detector at Fermilab since 1983 and is a collaborator on the ATLAS experiment. She is presently studying the properties of the Higgs boson.

Coming in November and December: 

Friday, November 1 
“Rousseau’s Chemical Apprenticeship” presented by Christopher Kelly of the Boston College Department of Political Science.

Friday, November 8 
Evening Concert with the Manhattan Piano Trio, playing Haydn, Piano Trio in E-flat major, Hob. XV:31; Brahms, Piano Trio no. 2 in C major op. 87; and Smetana, Piano Trio in G minor, op. 15. 

Friday, November 15 
“Film as Liberal Art: Reading Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather.” St. John’s faculty members will explore Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather at 3:15 p.m. in the Great Hall. 

Friday, November 22 
Janet Dougherty, faculty at St. John’s College, Santa Fe, presents “The Age of Chronos and the Age of Zeus.” 

Friday, December 6 
Evening Concert with Ellen Hargis, soprano; Carla Moore, violin; Margriet Tindemans, viola de gamba; and Jillon Stoppels Dupree, harpsichord. Celebrate the season with French and English carols, Spanish Villancico, and Scarlatti and Telemann Christmas canatas. 
All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information please call 984-6000.