Date(s) - 08/16/2016 - 08/19/2016
9:50 am - 10:45 am
The Humanities Center will sponsor three tracks at BYU’s Education Week this year. The classes will feature BYU faculty from the College of Humanities and highlight various topics. Please join us August 16 – 19, 2016 @ 9:50 AM in room 250 SWKT.
Tuesday — Trent Hickman; “The Beatles—Profoundly Influenced by American Music, Movies, Style, and Reading”
Fifty years ago, the Beatles were arguably in their heyday, having just released their albums Rubber Soul and Revolver to widespread acclaim. Indeed, they were seen as the first and most important band in what would be known in the United States as the British Invasion. What many don’t know about the Beatles, however, is that they were profoundly influenced by American music, movies, and style in their own development, so much so that one could argue that their role in the British Invasion was really synthesizing and innovating American forms and presenting it back to the Americans. Understanding how the Beatles took American cultural products and transformed them underscores the Beatles’ lasting popularity and impact.
Wednesday — Nick Mason; “St. Jane and the Saints: Reflections on 15 years of teaching Austen at BYU”
While Jane Austen has long enjoyed an unusually large and enthusiastic global readership, her novels have resonated particularly strongly with American Mormons. In this lecture, I’ll share insights and experiences from 15 years of teaching Jane Austen courses at BYU, touching on everything from evolving courtship norms on campus to the cult status of particular film adaptations to the challenge of reconciling Austen’s literary genius with her “chick-lit” reputation.
Thursday — Nancy Christiansen; “Shakespeare’s Lessons in Lifelong Reading”
We use narratives naturally to weave together the disparate experiences of life into a coherent explanation of reality, an explanation that then guides the ways we respond to the world. When we listen to or read others’ stories, we become exposed vicariously to additional experiences and perspectives that broaden our understanding. If the stories provide accurate depictions of character and cause and effect, then they enable us to develop greater wisdom and empathy; if not, they lead us to respond foolishly and harmfully to others, ourselves, and our world. Of good storytellers, especially those known for their psychological insights, Shakespeare is one of the best, whose primary concern is to increase his audiences’ wisdom by teaching them to be good readers of character and of actions and consequences. In this class, we will examine some of these lessons found in Shakespeare’s plays.
Friday — Matt Wickman; “Literature and the Theory of Spiritual Experience”
Spiritual experience forms a key part of the lives of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It has also become a subject of academic interest, particularly in such fields as sociology, psychology, anthropology, and religious studies and, more recently, neuroscience and evolutionary biology. Religious and secular approaches to spirituality are different, to be sure, and secular learning is no substitute for an experience of the Spirit. But each has things to teach the other.
What, then, does the study of spiritual experience mean for literary studies? And how can literature enrich our understanding of spiritual experience? This session will explore these questions in light of brief analyses of literary texts (especially poems), references to the body of scholarship on spiritual experience, passages of scripture, and example of talks from General Conference (especially those that invoke literary texts).