In preparing my syllabus for a seminar on photography and philosophy, I’ve been thinking about how the arts and the other academic programs intersect at Wesleyan. The recent lectures and concerts of Music and Public Life were a great example of such intersections. And in general, I’m just so impressed by the variety and quality of creative work on campus. Here’s just a sampling as we begin the week before the Thanksgiving break.
Tomorrow, Monday November 12, English Prof. Lisa Cohen will be giving a talk at the Center for Humanities entitled “Minerals Alone Escape It: Mourning Time.” She will read “from work in progress, a multi-genre project about the temporalities of friendship, illness, grief, and activism in the context of the AIDS crisis. A book in three parts and three genres, it also dramatizes three different historical moments, their echoes and discontinuities.” Lisa’s recent and very successful book, All We Know, also has three parts — delicate, incisive biographies of Esther Murphy, Mercedes de Acosta and Madge Garland. Lisa brings art and research together in stunning ways.
Speaking of bringing art and research together, I am very much looking forward to Rinde Eckert‘s play “The Last Days of Old Wild Boy,” which presents a man who, having been raised by wolves, has “risen” to heights of culture and success. But he wants to go back to the wildnerness of his early years… What does it mean to go back to one’s animality, to one’s wild youth? Rinde is a musician, composer, playwright and (by all accounts) an extraordinary artist. This play has been commissioned by the Center for the Arts and has benefited from the involvement of students and faculty. Performances from Thursday-Saturday.
Tomorrow (Monday) night Benh Zeitlin ’04 Michael Gottwald ’06, and Dan Janvey ’06 of Beasts of the Southern Wild will be at the Goldsmith Family Cinema at the Center for Film Studies at 8 pm to talk about about their extraordinary movie. Check out the exhibition about the film in the Rick Nicita Gallery there.
And on Wednesday, New York Times jazz and pop music critic Ben Ratliff will be talking in the Daltry Room (Rehearsal Hall 003) at the CFA.
Let’s not forget the drawing workshop, a great place for those who want to develop their figure drawing practice. Students gather every Monday, 4:30-6pm in Art Workshops 105.
The arts…intersecting with almost everything we do at Wesleyan.