Insight Seminars 2012-2013

UO Library Insight Seminars 2012-13


Spring 2013 Classes

April Seminar - Modernist Fiction

April 6, 13, 20, 27 -  Saturdays, 9:30-12:00: MODERNIST FICTION, with Prof. Paul Peppis (English).
In this seminar we will read key works of fiction of the "Modernist Movement" of the first half of the 20th century: short stories and novels by James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and Nella Larsen. How did these authors, writing in different places and times, respond to the belief that the 20th century demanded new kinds of fiction, not only new stories about living in a new, modern world, but stories in new, modern forms? Paul won this year’s Herman Award for Distinguished Teaching at the UO.  $99  Location: Knight Library Browsing Room

May Seminar (includes June 1) -The Sonnet & Its Moments - cancelled due to low enrollment

May 4, 11, 18, June 1 - Saturdays 9:30-12:00: THE SONNET AND ITS MOMENTS, with Prof. Leah Middlebrook (Comparative Literature).
A song meets an argument. Their connection is instantaneous, alchemical, and of their union is born ...modern wit! Not your conventional, run-of-the-mill notion of the sonnet, perhaps. But as Leah Middlebrook will demonstrate, the thirteenth-century origins of the sonnet form have something to do with the flexibility, the astonishing durability, and the perennial _modernity_ of this most conventional, most iconic --and yet so often, this most surprising and innovative poem. This Insight Seminar will examine contemporary sonnets alongside earlier examples from the European Renaissance. By the end of the course, you may feel stirred to compose a sonnet or two of your own.  $99  Location: Knight Library Browsing Room


Completed Classes

Fall 2012 Classes

One Day Seminar - Sept 29 - What is Peace?

September 29, Saturday, 10:00-2:00.  WHAT IS PEACE? Prof. Cheyney Ryan (Philosophy, Law) will lead a discussion on conflict resolution, non-violence and peace. Cheyney is the founder of UO’s Peace Studies Program, teaches in the UO Law School’s Conflict and Dispute Resolution Program, and is a fellow at Oxford University’s Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict. Lunch included, $45  Location: Knight Library Browsing Room

October Seminar - The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

October 6, 13, 20, 27 - Saturdays, 9:30-12:00.  THE SWERVE: HOW THE WORLD BECAME MODERN, with Prof. Jim Earl (English).
Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt’s award-winning new book tells of the discovery and impact of the Roman poet Lucretius’s great poem, On the Nature of Things. We’ll read Lucretius and Greenblatt for a stimulating roller-coaster-ride through ancient, medieval, Renaissance and modern history and ideas.  $99   Location: Knight Library Browsing Room

November Seminar (includes Dec 1) - The Friendship: Wordsworth & Coleridge

November 3, 10, 17, Dec. 1 -  Saturdays, 9:30-12:00.  THE FRIENDSHIP: WORDSWORTH AND COLERIDGE, with Jim Earl.
Alan Sisman’s new book by this title tells how two English college students reacted to the French Revolution by inventing a new kind of poetry to improve mankind. Focusing on Nature, Feeling and Imagination rather than reason and ideas, the two poets founded the Romantic movement in England and changed the world. We’ll read Sisman’s book along with the poems.  $99  Location: Knight Library Browsing Room


Winter 2013 Classes

January Seminar - Caravaggio

January 5, 12, 19, 26 -  Saturdays, 9:30-12:00: CARAVAGGIO, with Prof. James Harper (Art History).
The revolutionary instigator of baroque style, Caravaggio (1571-1610) still moves us with his arresting compositions, dramatic lighting, and deep engagement with human psychology. His life was marked by bohemianism, violence, murder, and flight. The context includes counterreformation spirituality, eroticism, naturalism, and Papal court culture. We’ll close with his influence in his own time, and his fame in ours. (By popular demand after last year’s Rembrandt seminar.)  $99  Location: Knight Library Proctor 41 Classroom

One Day Seminar (Feb 2) - Caravaggio & Music

February 2, Saturday, 10:00-2:00: 1-day seminar, CARAVAGGIO AND MUSIC, with Prof. Marc Vanscheeuwijck (Musicology).
Following the Caravaggio seminar, Marc (who taught last year’s popular Bach seminar) will explore the meaning of music in early 17th century art. He’ll discuss the sacred and secular music of the period, including that of Palestrina. Lunch included, $45  Location: Knight Library Browsing Room

February Seminar (includes March 2) - Dante's Purgatorio

February 9, 16, 23, March 2 - Saturdays, 9:30-12:00: DANTE’S PURGATORIO, With Prof. Gina Psaki (Romance Languages).
Dorothy Sayers jibed that “to know Dante and the Commedia only through Inferno is like knowing Paris only through its sewer system.” Get out of the sewer, “course across more kindly waters now,” and climb the mountain of Purgatory. The most human of Dante’s 3 realms, Purgatory is filled with song, kindliness, and hope, with ritual, nature, and art. We’ll spend one Saturday reviewing Inferno, and then get to the good stuff: “Teach me what love is.”  $99  Location: Knight Library Browsing Room

One Day Seminar - March 9 - Playing Through the Black Plague

March 9, Saturday, 10:00-2:00: 1-day seminar, PLAYING THROUGH THE BLACK PLAGUE, with Prof. Marc Schachter (Romance Languages).
After the Black Death Boccaccio penned the Decameron, in which 10 youths flee Florence and tell each other witty, bawdy and tragic tales. 200 years later, Queen Marguerite de Navarre composed a French version, the Heptaméron. Both address the timeless questions of life, love and loss. We'll use the UO Library’s rich holdings in rare books to understand Boccaccio’s reception in the Renaissance.  Lunch included, $45  Location: Knight Library Browsing Room