- Lear deBessonet Puts Her Stamp on ‘The Winter’s Tale’ – NYTimes.com
- Ken Reinhard and Julia Lupton at Recovered Voices Conference
- Paul Kottman and Adriana Cavarero at the Grave of Hegel
- ‘Unhappy Happiness,’ Rabbi Nachman of Breslav – Forward.com
- 2014 Program | BABEL Working Group
- The Experience Project
- The Freud Museum ~ Exhibitions ~ Why War?
- The Internet of Words – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Timeline Photos – University of California, Irvine | Facebook
- With age, the wisdom of staging ‘Lear’ becomes less clear – LA Times
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
From project description: “Religious and spiritual experiences (RSEs) have long been a lively topic of inquiry for philosophers of religion, theologians, and scholars in religious studies. This project aims to make significant progress on key Big Questions concerning RSEs. One innovation of this project is its salient focus on the transformative powers of RSEs, a hitherto underexplored aspect of many RSEs. This focus will take the form of supporting research on transformative RSEs themselves, but also on transformative experiences more generally, with the hope that investigation of transformative experiences more generally might shed insight on transformative RSEs in particular. Research on the transformative powers of RSEs will occur in tandem with research on other of their aspects.”