Category: Great Ideas

Esposito introducing Bible lecture with Elie Wiesel

This past Tuesday, September 9th, Prof. Michael Zank of the Department of Religion lectured to students in the first-year Humanities about the Hebrew Bible. His talk was introduced with some very moving comments by Prof. Stephen Esposito (Classics), the course coordinator. Prof. Esposito has agreed to let us republish his introduction here on the Core […]

Daodejing & bright vs. dark

This semester, CC102 has delved into the Daodejing and all the wonderful concepts it illuminates. Andrew Klufas, a student in Professor Nelson’s class, sent in an video of interest: What’s The Brightest Thing in the Universe? It’s creator, Vsauce, makes popular and informative videos on Youtube. Here, we see how Core Science meets Core Humanities: There is […]

David Green on Core and the canon

Prompted by Dean Sapiro’s lecture on Mary Wollstonecraft to question why there are so few women authors in the Core Humanities, Prof. David Green had his CC 202 students this week  momentarily put aside Pride and Prejudice and the question of whether happiness in marriage is a matter of chance to consider the criteria for […]

What would Plato Tweet?

With cerebral momentum from yesterday’s post on why philosophy won’t go away, let’s move on to another question raised by the same author, Rebecca Goldstein: what would Plato Tweet? Goldstein likens the modern social media attention-seeking frenzy to the ancient Greek striving for kleos, which, as students will remember from CC101, is somewhat equivalent to “glory”. […]

Alumnus Ben Howe & his Core-themed brewery

Ben Howe (CAS ’07), an entrepreneurial Core Curriculum alumnus, has opened a nano brewery and appropriately named it Enlightenment Ales! To our delight, the titles of his individual ales are, in our minds, very much Core-themed: Cosmos, Illumination, Enlightenment. As Ben describes on the company website, the nano brewery makes Bière de Champagne. For the laymen in brewery […]

Gulliver’s Kingdom Theme Park

CC202 started off the academic year with Gulliver’s Travels – an apt text for students who start the semester feeling like giants in one class and like Lilliputians in another. Michael John Grist describes, on his website, what used to be a Gulliver’s Kingdom Theme Park in Japan: Gulliver once rested in the shadow of […]

Voltaire & the Republic of Letters

CC202 has just moved on from Candide. Voltaire strikes even the casual reader as a captivating persona, with wit and intelligence. However, Voltaire’s role in the “Republic of Letters” is certainly worth a mention. To escape arrest, Voltaire lived at Cirey for fifteen years. He wrote a steady stream of letters to stay connected with his friends in […]

Ian Mckellen reading The Odyssey

Ian Mckellen’s voice is excellent. The Odyssey is excellent. Ian Mckellen’s voice reading the Odyssey is even better! This is essentially Mckellen impersonating Homer himself. Are there any other exciting audiobooks of Core texts you have stumbled upon? Let us know!

Paintings come alive in Tagliafierro’s ‘Beauty’

Italian animator Rino Stefano Tagliafierro breathes life into dozens of classical paintings in his captivating short, Beauty: The film, Tagliafierro writes, is “a path of sighs through the emotions of life. A tribute to the art and her disarming beauty.” Among the numerous paintings are works of Rubens and Rembrandt, whom we study in CC202, and Vermeer, who […]

Odysseus to Telemachus

Welcome back after the break! In relation to CC101′s study of The Odyssey is a poem by celebrated Russian poet laureate Joseph Brodsky, titled Odysseus to Telemachus: My dear Telemachus, The Trojan War is over now; I don’t recall who won it. The Greeks, no doubt, for only they would leave so many dead so far […]