Spring Faculty Seminar with Lydia Goehr: "Emancipation Narratives in the Arts"

Dear Colleagues:

The Humanities Center invites you to participate in our seventh annual intensive Faculty Seminar, to be held the week after Commencement, May 2-6, 2016, when Pitt faculty in the Dietrich School have no teaching responsibilities. We offer a Faculty Seminar at this time every year.  Graduate students are also welcome.

This year’s topic is “Emancipation Narratives in the Arts.” It will involve issues of theory and history, wit and melancholy, across instances of philosophy, opera, and the arts. The Seminar will take place 11am-1pm, every day from Monday through Friday, in the Humanities Center, 602 CL, followed by informal lunch.

Lydia Goehr will lead this year’s seminar. She is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, where she has won the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award and two major awards for teaching. Her strongest interests are Aesthetics, Critical Theory and Philosophy of History, all with special reference to music. She is the author of The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music (1992; 2d ed. 2007; The Quest for Voice: Music, Politics, and the Limits of Philosophy (1998); Elective Affinities: Musical Essays on the History of Aesthetic Theory (2008), and co-editor with Daniel Herwitz of The Don Giovanni Moment. Essays on the legacy of an Opera (2006).  See the end of this message for further information about the Seminar.

This message comes now for two reasons: 

****We hope you can plan your spring so that you are here for the event.

****We will hold a series of preparatory discussions through the spring term, to begin conversation on its topics. 

We imagine the weeklong Seminar will include some two dozen graduate students and faculty members, not necessarily all from Pitt.


Graduate students who wish to receive credit for participation may enroll in a 1-credit ENGLIT course, "Studies in the Humanities," ENGLIT 2001, which is cross-listed with Cultural Studies.  The organizational meeting will take place noon, Friday, 15 January, in 602 CL. Please let us know if you wish to join this course but cannot make this time.

-Jonathan Arac, Director, Humanities Center

Professor Goehr intends the Seminar to discuss philosophical essays on politics and the arts by T. W. Adorno,  J.P. Sartre,Walter Benjamin, and Arthur Danto, and to engage a variety of operas, art and literary works (from Italy, France, Germany, and England, and the United States). Her current projects, which she will partially present in public lectures, are on the social and artistic history of the Concept of Boheme and on the Contest of the Arts.