COMMUNITY CALENDAR A PUBLICATION OF ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2013 VOL. 1.13
Beethoven, Debussy, and Shostakovich Atrium String Quartet Friday, February 22, 7:30 p.m. Great Hall, Peterson Student Center
In this Issue: Dean’s Lecture and Concert Series, Concerts
Education is the best provision for the journey to old age.” — ARISTOTLE
DEAN’S LECTURE AND CONCERT SERIES Please join us for the beginning of the spring 2013 Dean’s Lecture and Concert Series. All lectures are free and open to the public. See below for times and locations.
Heidegger on Being and Causation Graham Harman, professor of philosophy, The University of Cairo Friday, January 18, 7:30 p.m. Great Hall, Peterson Student Center Heidegger famously begins his Being and Time by trying to reawaken the question of the meaning of being, which has supposedly been forgotten since Ancient Greece. This lecture claims that Heidegger answers the question of the meaning of being, but that the answer raises numerous unforeseen questions. Heidegger’s philosophy of being leads us directly to another classical problem that he discusses less openly: causation. Graham Harman is a 1990 graduate of St. John’s College, Annapolis, and currently professor of philosophy and also associate provost for research administration at the American University in Cairo. He is the author of several books, most recently The Quadruple Object and Quentin Meillassoux: Philosophy in the Making.
An Evening with the Short Story Edith Pearlman, winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award Worrell Lecture Friday, January 25, 7:30 p.m. Great Hall, Peterson Student Center St. John’s College is honored to welcome Edith Pearlman, winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for her fourth and latest collection, Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories. Mining a long and distinguished writing career, Ms. Pearlman will read from her oeuvre, muse upon the craft of writing, and happily answer the inevitable question, “Where do you get your ideas?” Audiences may be surprised at the answer. Edith Pearlman has published more than 250 works of short fiction and short non-fiction in national magazines, literary journals, anthologies, and on-line publications. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Collection, New Stories from the South, and The Pushcart Prize Collection–Best of the Small Presses. Her first collection of stories, Vaquita, was published in 1996 and won the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature; her second, Love Among The Greats, published in 2002, won the Spokane Annual Fiction Prize; and her third collection, How to Fall, published by Sarabande Press in 2005, won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. Ms. Pearlman is the recipient of the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the art of the short story.
Ms. Pearlman’s short essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, Preservation, Yankee Magazine, and Ascent. Her travel writing— about the Cotswolds, Budapest, Jerusalem, Paris, and Tokyo—has been published in the The New York Times and elsewhere.
Trojan Horse or Troilus’ Whore? Pandering Statecraft and Political Stagecraft in Troilus and Cressida Nalin Ranasinghe, professor of philosophy, Assumption College Friday, February 1, 7:30 p.m. Great Hall, Peterson Student Center Nalin Ranasinghe’s reading of Shakespeare’s rancid comedy Troilus and Cressida explores the role played by Ulysses in engineering Troy’s fall. Although Troilus’ waning love for Cressida was re-kindled by her removal to the Greek camp, this second Hector is soon turned into a “dead man walking” by Ulysses. Only allowed to see Cressida through carefully framed perspectives from afar, Troilus—the last best hope of Troy—concludes that she has been monstrously unfaithful to him and pursues vengeance regardless of risk or responsibility. This device parallels the way Ulysses inclined Achilles towards spurning Polyxena’s love and fighting Hector. While Troilus’ and Cressida’s cynicism seems to differ sharply from Homeric heroism, closer reading suggests that the tragic wisdom of the Iliad is recast by Shakespeare in a less heroic key—one better suited to an age of commodity. Nalin Ranasinghe earned his doctorate from Pennsylvania State University and currently is professor of philosophy at Assumption College. He has written three books on Socrates: Socrates and the Underworld (2009), The Soul of Socrates (2000), and Socrates and the Gods (2012). He also has edited Logos and Eros—festschrift honoring Stanley Rosen—and published essays on Homer, The Bible, Shakespeare, Kant, Nietzsche, Arendt, and Walter Benjamin.
“The Blessed in the Kingdom of Heaven will see the Punishments of the Damned so that their Joy may be more Complete”: Nietzsche and Aquinas James Lehrberger, professor of philosophy Friday, February 15, 7:30 p.m. Great Hall, Peterson Student Center The quotation from St. Thomas Aquinas in the lecture’s title has been made famous by Nietzsche’s having cited it in On the Genealogy of Morals (I, 15). Nietzsche’s purpose in citing this passage was to show that the Christian life is rooted in an unrecognized or self-ignorant spirit of hatred, envy, and revenge against those who are strong, powerful, and magnanimous. In the lecture, professor Lehrberger first will develop Nietzsche’s analysis of the roots of Christian morality which he sees Aquinas as witnessing. Next, he will turn to Aquinas’ teachings on these same topics and then compare and contrast the two thinkers’ teaching: Christian virtues and vices versus strong or weak life values. Finally, he will conclude by showing that, despite their real differences, Nietzsche and Aquinas have far more in common than is generally recognized. James Lehrberger is a Cistercian monk and a Catholic priest who was ordained in 1976. He was educated at the University of San Francisco, the Anselmianum (in Rome), and the University of Dallas, he received his
doctorate from the last’s Institute of Philosophical Studies in 1983. His dissertation—directed by St. John’ alumnus Mark D. Jordan, SF73—was on the anthropology of St. Thomas Aquinas. Upon completing his doctorate, Lehrberger taught at the University Regina Apostolorum in Rome and for many years at the University of Dallas. His published work includes articles on Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas as well as a co-edited volume of essays entitled Saints, Sovereigns, and Scholars: Studies in Honor of Frederick D. Wilhelmsen. His research interests lie in the fields of Aquinas’ thought and in the philosophy of religion, with particular emphasis on the question of faith and reason.
SPRING 2013 COMMUNITY SEMINARS Community Seminars are special opportunities for community members to read and discuss seminal works in the same unique manner as our students. Seminars are discussion-based and small in size in order to ensure spirited dialogue. There are topics to pique every interest, and for many participants the discussion-based learning model is an entirely new experience. Please call 505-984-6117 to register for any of the seminars described below. Teachers with proof of full-time employment may enroll at a 50 percent discount. Community Seminars are free to 11th and 12th grade high school students (limited spaces available).
Icelandic Sagas and Tales Tutor: Julie Reahard Tuesdays, January 15 – February 19, 2013, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., $210 A source of inspiration to authors as diverse as J.R.R. Tolkien and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., the Icelandic sagas describe the life of Icelanders in the Viking age (around 1000 A.D.). Though constructed centuries after the events occurred, the sagas provide a detailed account of Viking life. In reading Egil’s Saga, the Laxdaela Saga, Hrafnkel’s Saga, The Saga of the Greenlanders, Erik the Red’s Saga and a selection of Icelandic tales, we shall encounter a blend of fact and fantasy, extraordinary heroes, and ordinary lives.
Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel Tutor: David McDonald Wednesdays, January 30 – March 6, 2013, 5:00 – 6:30 p.m, $210 In his prologue to Gargantua and Pantagruel—a book of thirsty giants— Rabelais hints that there is a secret meaning to his work, a secret meaning which will make us braver and wiser. What follows is a funny book of boozing, wordplay, mockery, and ribaldry. We will read the first three volumes of the book, and try to find the secret of Rabelais. Even if we do not become more brave and more wise, we will probably laugh. Readings will average about 65 pages in length per week.
“Read not to contradict and confute, nor to find
Rousseau’s Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts Tutor: Topi Heikkerö Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., $35 In 1749 Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778) participated in an essay competition organized by the Academy of Dijon. The Academy had put forth the question whether the development of the arts and sciences had improved public morals. Rousseau’s submission, Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts (published 1750, also known as the First Discourse), somewhat surprisingly, argued that the arts and sciences have corroded both civic virtue and individual moral character. Rousseau won the first prize and was made famous. Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts begins the trajectory of Rousseau’s thought, one main theme of which is the tension between the inherently good human nature and society.
Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi, Divine Flashes Tutor: Michael Wolfe Saturdays, March 23 – April 13, 2013, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., $140 Love where you may, you will have loved Him; turn your face whatever way, it turns toward Him—even if you know it not. Sufis and scholars of Sufism have often wondered if Sufism’s two greatest masters, Rumi and Ibn al-‘Arabi, ever met. They probably didn’t. Nonetheless, their lineages are united in the person of Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi. ‘Iraqi knew and studied under Rumi; he was also a disciple of Ibn al- Arabi’s adopted son and successor. Inspired to bring these two Sufi schools together, he wrote the Divine Flashes, a book that expresses Ibn al- ‘Arabi’s startling metaphysical insights in ecstatic Persian poetry reminiscent of the poetry of Rumi.
talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.” — SIR FRANCIS BACON
EVENING CONCERTS An Evening of Solo Piano Chip Miller, piano Sunday, February 17, 7:00 p.m. Great Hall, Peterson Student Center There is no charge for admission. Pianist Chip Miller will perform works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and others. Last spring, he performed Book II of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier at the college. Dr. Miller began piano studies at the age of four and had his professional debut at age 11. He has received international recognition at the Young Keyboard Artists Association, Music Teacher’s National Association Competition, and the Stravinsky International Piano Competition. Since 2003, he has specialized in the music of J. S. Bach. In the 2010-2011 season, Dr. Miller presented a series of recitals in Austin, Texas, and Boulder, Colorado as an overview of piano literature, including works of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Liszt, Busoni, Ginastera, and Bolcom. These presentations included interpretative biographies and anecdotes of the composers as well as backgrounds of the compositions themselves, giving audiences new and living insight into these masterpieces of art and geniuses of the craft. Dr. Miller received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, his master's from Eastman School of Music, and doctorate from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. His teachers have included Wesley Ball, Landon Bilyeu, Benjamin Yu, Charles Asche, Nelita True, Mark Gibson, Timothy Hester, Horatio Guitierrez, and Ruth Tomfohrde. He has held a private studio for 10 years and has been a guest artist and faculty member at the Austin Waldorf School, the University of Houston, Virginia Commonwealth University, the Interlochen Pathfinder School, and the Interlochen Arts Academy.
“Where are there are two desires in a man's heart he has no choice between the two but must obey the strongest, there being no such thing as free will in the composition of any human being that ever lived. — MARK TWAIN
Beethoven, Debussy, and Shostakovich Atrium String Quartet Friday, February 22, 7:30 p.m. Great Hall, Peterson Student Center There is no charge for admission. The quartet will be performing the Beethoven String Quartet in F Major, op. 18, no. 1, the Debussy String Quartet in G Minor, op. 10, and the Shostakovich String Quartet in F Major no. 3, op. 73. Founded in 2000 in St. Petersburg, the Atrium String Quartet has been coached by such illustrious musicians as Marc Danel and by the Alban Berg Quartet and the Vermeer Quartet. Described as one of the most inspiring, dynamic, and charismatic ensembles on the musical scene, the Atrium Quartet performs with deep emotion, intellect, virtuosity, and technical brilliance. Highly acclaimed by audiences, the quartet has performed throughout Europe and in Russia, the United States, Australia, Japan, and Brazil. The Atrium Quartet has won two of the most prestigious international competitions for string quartet: First Prize and Audience Prize, 9th London International String Quartet Competition in 2003, and Grand-Prix, 5th International String Quartet Competition in Bordeaux in 2007.
LUNCHTIME CONCERT Chopin and Schoenberg Peter Pesic, piano Friday, February 15, 12:15 – 1:10 p.m. Junior Common Room, Peterson Student Center There is no charge for admission. Musician-in-residence and tutor Peter Pesic offers the fourth in his series of pianistic explorations for the 2012-2013 academic year. In this concert, he performs Chopin’s Waltzes, B 46, 64/1, and 34/3 and also Chopin’s Polonaises Kk 4A/2, opp. 71/1 and 44 as well as Schoenberg’s Five Pieces. Peter Pesic is a tutor and musician in residence at St. John’s College, Santa Fe. He attended Harvard and Stanford, obtaining a doctorate in physics. He has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Mr. Pesic is also a visiting scholar at Harvard University.
MUSIC ON THE HILL™ ELEVATED For the first time, St. John’s College will host two jazz -club events this winter. Music on the Hill™ Elevated takes place in the college’s Great Hall. Admission at the door. Small plates and wine for purchase. Julian Waterfall Pollack arranger/composer/pianist Saturday, January 19, 2013 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Lori Carsillo, Bay Area singer Saturday, February 16, 2013 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. For details, visit http://stjohnscollege.edu/events/SF