Insight Seminars

image: trees and mountain reflected in lakeUniversity of Oregon Insight Seminars

2014-2015 Season - REGISTER NOW

Enjoy a Taste of the Upcoming Seminars with a Free Introductory Lecture
(Location for All Free Lectures: Knight Library Browsing Room)

  • Believing in Myth - (Jim Earl)- Monday, October 27 (7:00 pm)
    Understanding myth is one of the great intellectual problems of the 20th century. What did it mean for the ancients to "believe in" their myths, which are so obviously and spectacularly unrealistic?  Anthropologists, philosophers and psychologists all want to know. How could anyone "believe in" such stories, and what could they mean today for those who don't believe in them?
  • Taste of Italian Renaissance Villas (James Harper) - Monday, January 5, 2015 (7:00 pm)
  • Taste of History & Art of the Book (James Fox & Marilyn Reaves) - February 2, 2015 (7:00 pm)
  • Taste of Boccaccio's Decameron (Gina Psaki) - Monday, March 30, 2015 (7:00 pm)
  • Taste of The Beatles & Their Time (Carl Woideck) - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (7:00 pm)

Fall Classes

Saturday mornings November 1, 8, 15, & 22
9:30 am- Noon
James Earl (English Department)
Registration $99
What are myths, and how can we understand them? Anthropologists, philosophers and psychologists all want to know. Myth is one of the great intellectual problems of the last century—a natural form of human cognition, but largely unintelligible to moderns. Utterly irrational but weirdly compelling, like dreams they resist interpretation and explanation. Why did pre-modern peoples create them, and how did they understand them? What is the relation of myth to religion, ritual and poetry? We’ll examine Mesopotamian, Greek and Norse myths, like the Descent of Inanna, Prometheus and Pandora, Valhalla and the Twilight of the Gods—and we'll be surprised. Myth is nothing if it’s not surprising.
Class books are available from the UO Bookstore
1. Myths From Mesopotamia, trans. Stephanie Dalley (Oxford World Classics)
2. Hesiod, Theogony and Works and Days, trans. M. L. West (Oxford World Classics)
3. The Prose Edda, trans. Jesse Byock (Penguin)

Winter 2015 Classes - Registration link coming soon

The Italian Renaissance Villa
Saturday mornings January 10, 17, 24, 31
9:30 am- Noon
James Harper (History of Art and Architecture)
Registration $99
In this class we will be discussing different Italian villas each week, including the Medici Villas at Fiesole and Poggio a Caiano, Palladio, Villeggiatura at the Papal Court in the 16th century, and The Roman Villa in the Age of the Baroque.

History & Art of the Book
Saturday Mornings February 7, 14, 21, 28
9:30 am- Noon
James Fox and Marilyn Reaves (UO Libraries Special Collections and University Archives)
Registration $99

Ethnic America After the Gold Rush: The Chinese Immigrants (half-day seminar)
Saturday March 7
9:15am - 1:15pm
Kevin Hatfield (History Department)
Registration $45

Spring (2 class offerings in April)

Boccaccio's Decameron
Saturday mornings April 4, 18, 25, & May 2 (no class on April 11)
9:30 am- Noon
Regina Psaki (Romance Languages Department)
Registration $99
A generation before Chaucer cheerfully began “What that Aprille,” Giovanni Boccaccio opened his Decameron with an unforgettable aphorism: “It is a human quality to have compassion for the afflicted.” As the Decameron opens everybody is afflicted, whether by the Black Death of 1348, or by the pain of love and other desires. The Decameron is one of the most endlessly various, energetic, transgressive, intricate, and laugh-out-loud funny books of the past 2000 years. We’ll spend three Saturdays getting to know the hundred tales in a brand-new translation, and we’ll spend one morning with a few glorious ancient editions in our Special Collections that will show us a little about the Decameron’s reception in history. 

The Beatles and Their Times 
Tuesday evenings April 7, 14, 21, 28
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Carl Woideck (School of Music and Dance)
Registration $99
Over the course of the 1960s, the Beatles evolved from lovable mop-tops to counter-culture icons, and from purveyors of fleeting music for the moment to creators of lasting art. This Insight Seminar will use period audio and lots of fascinating video to explore the music, personalities, and the English and U.S. culture of the Beatles and their times. No technical music skills are needed to fully enjoy this seminar!

Native American Photographs: The Art of Edward Curtis (half-day seminar)
Saturday May 16 – 9:15 am – 1:15 pm
James Fox and Jennifer O’Neal (UO Libraries Special Collections and University Archives)
Registration $45

UO Insight Seminars - A Program of the UO Libraries

Further Information




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Created by jenkins on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Oct 20, 2014