Smart and helpful review of new collection on Paul.
Paul and the Philosophers // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame
Interesting special issue on service Shakespeare.
Ken spoke on Schoenberg’s Moses and Aron at a conference on music and censorship in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, hosted by the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School of Music.
Event was covered by Mark Swed for the LA Times.
I am getting read to teach Twelfth Night and was struck by this reference to music in the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav:
“Presaging the hit song of Summer 2014, Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav famously taught, “It is a great mitzvah to be happy always.” In fact, Rabbi Nachman further observed, a century ahead of his time, sadness can lead to illness; poetically, he explained that this was because the body needs ten different kinds of music to survive, and all are threatened by gloom. Yet Rabbi Nachman himself could not uphold this mitzvah. Throughout his entire short life, he struggled with depression – latter-day diagnoses have ranged from bipolar disorder to more serious mental illness – as well as with physical ailments. It is an impossibility to be happy always.
This year’s Babel conference at UC Santa Barbara is going to be amazing.
I am looking forward to presenting on “Cute Shakespeare” with CJ Gordon, Luke Wilson, and Tommy Anderson.
Small, Soft, Sweet, Sticky … and (Post)Secular?
In “Our Aesthetic Categories,” Sianne Ngai cites Hannah Arendt on the “modern enchantment with ‘small things’ … the art of being happy between dog and cat and flowerpot.” This modern “enchantment,” we would like to suggest, is bound up with the imperfect disenchantments brought about by secularization. The bejeweled reliquaries, aromatic censers, bittersweet aqua vitae, and velvet vestments of medieval Christianity, as well as the Virgin Mary’s breast milk, the sweet baby Jesus’s foreskin, and the adorable softness of little lambs manifested a cult of cute only partly translated into the modern commodity fetish and the autonomous work of art. Our papers explore the coy and tacky, sumptuous and frivolous remnants of political theology as they toddle, blush, flirt, and purr towards their commodified and demystified futures. To what extent is Shakespearean drama an incubator and curator for the haptic and hand-held aspects of cuteness in relation to secularization and its remainders? What role do sex, age, and housekeeping play in Shakespeare’s distillations and domestications of cute? How does religion, especially Catholicism, come to appear cute (sticky and stinky, infantile and overwrought) in the rational nostalgia of secularism, and what does that post-production affect both capture and belittle in Shakespeare’s fairy toys and baseless fabrics? These questions are the starting point of our panel.
Julia Reinhard Lupton, University of California, Irvine
Luke Wilson, Ohio State University
CJ Gordon, University of California, Irvine
Tommy Anderson, Mississippi State University