Monday, January 24, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Esse quam videri: To be, not to seem. Cicero wrote this in his essay, "On Friendship," and it is the Berklee College of Music motto, emblazoned on visually stunning posters we have around. For a long time, I've pondered this phease's meaning, and mynthoughts have led me to more questions than answers. These questions formed the course I proposed for the National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions grant, and now I invite you to explore what it means to be, what it means to be rather than seem in performance-- both on stage and in everyday life--and what being and seeming might mean in our age of media culture and increasing technological illusion. I also invite you to form your own questions, raised when you consider, "What Is Being?"
Friday, January 14, 2011
What Is Being? LHUM P-410 An "Enduring Questions" Seminar at Berklee College of Music Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
Welcome to the blog for What Is Being? LHUM P-410, an "Enduring Questions" Seminar at Berklee College of Music Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in Spring 2011.
The motto of Berklee College of Music is Esse quam videri, a phrase from Cicero’s essay “On Friendship,” which translates as “to be, rather than to seem.” The course “What is Being?” gives you the opportunity to focus and reflect upon the differences between seeming and being, and think deeply about existence, self, and image. Organized around three interrelated themes: seeming vs. being; performance on stage and in everyday life; and the power of images and illusion in contemporary culture, the seminar requires students to consider realworld issues by exploring in depth the great works of philosophy, literature and psychology. The course includes the reading and discussion of Plato’s Republic, Machiavelli’s The Prince, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Alcott's Behind A Mask. Funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions grant, “What Is Being?” is a unique opportunity for serious seminar-style exploration of a foundational issue in human thought.
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
• synthesize diverse perspectives,
• evaluate a text for its argument and underlying assumptions,
• articulate their own points of view in writing and orally,
• and discuss their ideas in a wider historical and cultural context.
The grant provides books, theater tickets and films for the students, and support for faculty development for the design and teaching of this course.