Other Events


May 12, 2017

Faith and Imagination Series: Jeffrey Kosky, Washington & Lee University

Title: “Portraits of Enchanting Secularity: Notes on faces, prayers, and criticism for those disenchanted with disenchantment”

Ever since Max Weber, in 1917, famously characterized “the fate of our times” with the memorable phrase “the disenchantment of the world,” it has been customary to equate modernity, secularity, and disenchantment. One form this disenchantment takes is a cold, critical spirit that pervades modern life in general and academic writing in particular. But a significant number of people, both inside and outside the university, have grown “disenchanted with disenchantment” and are seeking alternatives to it.kosky-May
This lecture takes portraits made by the contemporary painter Y.Z. Kami as an entry point for a set of considerations that aims to break the connection of disenchantment and modern secularity. Culminating in an exhibition provocatively entitled “Endless Prayers,” Kami’s painting of faces explores counter-moods such as serenity and peace, or counter-states-of-minds such as prayerfulness and contemplativeness, or counter-ways-to-be such as tenderness and vulnerability. These ways of being in the world are largely dismissed by our commonly disenchanted disposition; they are similarly absent from the professional critics’ consideration of modern art. The lecture concludes by identifying a need for another form of criticism and suggesting that religious texts and authors might provide a valuable resource from which those secular critics interested in learning how to cultivate a spirited response other than that of the disenchanted critic might benefit.


November 3, 2016

FMatthew_Mutteraith and Imagination Series: Matthew Mutter, Bard College

Title: “‘What is Joy?’: Yeats, Paganism, and the Passions”

W.B. Yeats claimed that the governing tension of his poetic imagination could be characterized as a competition between the “swordsman” and the “saint.” His writing figures yeats03this tension in multiple ways—Oedipus v. Christ, Homer v. von Hügel, Michael Angelo v. Saint Catherine of Genoa, Cuchulain v. Patrick, “antithetical” v. “primary,” self v. soul—but the principal fault-line for Yeats is between pagan and Christian. This lecture will explore the consequences of this tension for Yeats’s vision of the emotional life. Yeats pits the vehement pagan “passions” against the spiritual Christian “affections,” yet the energy underwriting all passion for Yeats is the state of “joy.” Through a close reading of Yeats’s “Vacillation,” this lecture will attempt to answer the elusive question that drives the poem: “What is joy?” In doing so I hope to articulate the stakes of a broader question: how do competing religious and secular imaginaries impact our understanding of the shape and value of the emotions?

For a summary of the presentation, please click here.


Kierkegaard and the Present Age

November 14-16, 2013

An international conference hosted by Brigham Young University. This interdisciplinary conference celebrates the bicentennial of Søren Kierkegaard’s birth by examining Kierkegaard’s significance for our current moment.


Yunah Hong visit and film screenings

Thursday Nov 7

12:00pm, JFSB B092.

She will give a presentation entitled “Searching for Anna May Wong and Other Creative Asian-American Women.

3:30 pm, JFSB B003

She will screen two new films, “Anna May Wong” and “Between the Lines.”

4pm-6:30pm. JFSB B192 (the Education in Zion Theater from).

A reception for these films will be held.




Jazz and the Art of Civic Life


Thursday, February 7th

11:00 — 4010 JFSB
Informal discussion with American Studies students and faculty

3:30 – 5:00 —4186-88
Informance (jazz performance and discussion) for Humanities College faculty.


Friday, February 8th

11:00 — 4010  JFSB
Open House

4:00 – 6:00 — B002 JFSB
Informance (jazz performance and discussion) for students on jazz, leadership, and citizenship