Episode 5: Professor George Mentore on the Project of Anthropology

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This week we sat down with Professor George Mentore of the Department of Anthropology. Professor Mentore specializes in socio-cultural anthropology, with an emphasis on philosophical anthropology. At the University of Virginia he has taught a variety of courses, including “Amazonian Peoples,” “Desire and World Economics,” “Anthropology of God,” and “Power and the Body.” Some of the questions covered in this episode include:

  1. How would you describe the project of anthropology? What distinguishes anthropology from history, philosophy, or psychology?
  2. What is ethnography? Where do ethnography’s limits lie? How do you prove to others the validity of studies rarely replicated?
  3. What are the ethics of observation? How does one ethically study the Other?
  4. What is the “fold”?

And many, many more!

 

Thank you again, Professor Mentore!

Episode 4: Professor Michael Puri on Musical Meaning, Virtuosity, Romanticism, and Listening

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This week we sat down with Professor Michael Puri of the McIntire Department of Music. Professor Puri specializes in music theory and analysis, 19th- and 20th-century classical music (especially Ravel, Wagner, and Debussy), critical theory, memory studies, and hermeneutics. At the University of Virginia he has taught a variety of courses, including all levels of music theory, as well as seminars on nineteenth-century music, program music, French music at the fin de siècle, and Schenkerian analysis. 

Some of the questions covered in this episode include:

  1. What is the value, if anything, of music that is intended to be flashy? Or on the flip side, is there detriment to appreciating a work of art only because it sounds good, or is pleasing?
  2. What is the distinction between “program music” and “absolute music”? What were some of the debates surrounding “program music,” and why was it so contentious?
  3. What caused such a major change in the purpose for which composers composed, from celebrating the “glory of God” in Bach’s time, to expressing and celebrating oneself in the Romantic Era?
  4. Has this trend of music to that began with the Romantic celebration of the individual (“express yourself”) gone too far? Are musicians are so focused on self-expression that they forget to consider art in other regards than “how it makes them feel”?
  5. What are some tips for listening to music? How can one become a more engaged, thoughtful listener?
  6. In 2011 you came out with a book on Ravel called Ravel the Decadent: Memory, Sublimation, and Desire. Can you describe the project of this book? What made you want to write about Ravel?

And many more!

(Also, here is the piece that Professor Puri references in his interview, Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuithttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKgcHjq1xKQ)

 

Thank you again Professor Puri!

Episode 3: On Art, Money, and Appreciation with Professor Douglas Fordham

This week we sat down with Professor Douglas Fordham of the McIntire Department of Art. Professor Fordham is the author of British Art and the Seven Years’ War: Allegiance and Autonomy, and he is also a co-editor of Art and the British Empire. Professor Fordham has also had the privilege of giving public lectures at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the British Museum in London.

Some of the questions covered in this episode include:

  1. What do you find to be your main goal as an art historian?
  2. What does Damien Hirst’s new exhibition Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable add or take away from Hirst’s career, and the ways in which we view him as an artist?
  3. What would you have to say about modern art and its value to society?
  4. The seventh section of your class “Art and Money” dwells on “evolving tensions between the local, the national, and the global in fine art.” As an observant of the art scene, as well as of current social, cultural, and political tension both in the U.S. and abroad, what do you see emerging that’s unique (or not unique) to this current frame of time?
  5. Who is an artist that hasn’t gotten the level of recognition that he/she should have received?

And many more!

 

Thank you again Professor Fordham!

Episode 2: Professor Karl Shuve on Religion and History

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This week we sat down with Professor Karl Shuve of the Department of Religious Studies.  Professor Shuve is a historian of the religions of the ancient and late antique Mediterranean world. He focuses particularly on the development of Christian culture and thought. In the fall semesters he typically teaches a class on The Rise of Christianity, and in the spring semesters he leads a seminar on Sex, Gender, and Religion.

Some of the questions covered in this episode include:

  1. What are some of the challenges that come with being a historian of the ancient world?
  2. How can we construct theories of gender and sexuality for cultures that existed a long time before us and may have had entirely different understandings or conceptions of gender and sexuality?
  3. What are some of the implications of doing a scholarly historical study on sacred texts?

And many more!

 

Thank you again Professor Shuve!

Episode 1: An Afternoon with Professor Elizabeth Barnes

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This week we sat down with Professor Elizabeth Barnes of the Corcoran Department of Philosophy. Professor Barnes works on metaphysics, social philosophy, and feminist philosophy, and is particularly interested in the areas where these subjects interact. She recently wrote a book on disability called The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability, and is the editor of Philosophy Compass, an online journal of research from across the entire discipline. In the fall semesters she typically leads a 3000-level seminar on the Philosophy of Sex, Sexuality, and Gender, and in the spring semesters she leads another 3000-level seminar on Feminist Philosophy.

Some of the questions covered in this episode include: 

  1. How would you describe the project of philosophy? In other words, what is philosophy?
  2. What is the relationship between philosophy and legality?
  3. How can we use philosophy to navigate through complex social issues such as sexual consent and racialized sexual preferences?
  4. What is the “Mere Preferences Argument” for racialized sexual preferences*, and why do some philosophers find this argument problematic?

And many more!

 

Thank you again Professor Barnes!

 

*Here is the full article by Robin Zheng referenced in the episode: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/b7b55f_e8fdabf9c90c43afa8ff93a1d220940b.pdf