Weekly Round-Up, 9-9-17

Hello, scholars, old and new. We presume that, after this first week of classes, you are settling into your routine nicely. If not, we hope that the (relative) regularity of the Weekly Round-Up helps to set you at ease. We’ll always be here for you, Corelings. Or at least until the author graduates. Who knows what lies beyond the dark abyss that is life after BU?

  • We have a plethora of activities this semester to which all are invited. Earlier this week, we met our first-years–and welcomed back second-years and alumni–at the Core Welcome Reception at CAS 119. And today, on Saturday, we rounded off the week with the first (of many, we hope!) Adopt-a-Book event, which boasted bagels, muffins, and, of course, free books. To learn more about upcoming Core events, keep an eye out for any mentions in the Epic Times, or check out one of the display cases outside CAS 119.
  • Did you know that Rembrandt’s The Unconscious Patient (An Allegory of the Sense of Smell) almost sold for $500-800 at auction? It is one of a series on the five senses, of which the painting portraying the sense of taste remains missing. (Perhaps it, too, lies in an attic somewhere, unrecognized as a work by the Dutch Old Master by its owners, the artist’s initials hiding beneath “a layer of varnish.”)
  • Over a hundred years ago, Shakespeare’s birthplace was put up for auction before lovers of the Bard rallied for its protection. Now, on the anniversary of the occasion, the estate is being “put on the market” (though fanatics, unfortunately, cannot make any bids).
  • In New York City’s Confucius Plaza, Confucius speaks to us across the centuries. No, he really does–by scanning a code located by a statue of the Chinese philosopher, one may access the Talking Statues project, through which an actor taking on the role of Confucius discusses such themes from his Analects as filial piety, perseverance, and self-cultivation.
  • A sculpture of John Keats now sits on a bench in Chichester in West Sussex, England, where he once spent a brief period of his life. A work by sculptor Vincent Gray, we would very much like to place our hand gently atop Keats’. We don’t mind that it is cold and bronze.

English actress and singer Dame Patricia Routledge gazes lovingly into the metallic eyes of John Keats.  (Via Chichester Observer)

English actress and singer Dame Patricia Routledge gazes lovingly into the metallic eyes of John Keats. (Via Chichester Observer)

There you have it, folks. One weekly round-up, available for your perusal. Remember to return next week for another batch!

Request to the Core Community: Help Save Eevee’s Eye!

Abbey and Eevee. Photo by photojournalist Jackie Ricciardi for BU Today.

Abbey and Eevee. Photo by photojournalist Jackie Ricciardi for BU Today.

A Core scholar’s service dog is at risk of losing an eye. And believe us, this pup is deserving of two eyes, if not more.

Image from Abbey's GoFundMe.

Image from Abbey’s GoFundMe.

We know that the Core community looks out for one another, whether we are alumni long since graduated, current students, faculty, or staff. Abbey Janeira (CAS’20), bio major, Core student and staffer, and friend, has set up a GoFundMe to raise money to cover treatment and medication costs. As of writing, Abbey has received nearly $700 out of the necessary $1550. That’s nearly half of her goal! With your help, Eevee’s eye will be as good as new.

You may remember Abbey from a photo essay in BU Today that was published around this time last year. She has an inspiring story. And from personal experience, all of us Core staffers can attest that she and Eevee are good folks. We know the Core community will do what it can to help Abbey and Eevee.

Want to donate? Here is the link to Abbey’s GoFundMe. If you are available on social media, consider spreading the word by using the link (https://www.gofundme.com/helpeeveeseye). Many thanks!

UPDATE:As GoFundMe does not accept donations of less than $5, Abbey has requested that those smaller donations be sent to her Venmo account (abbeyj1357).

Weekly Round-Up, 9-4-17

Welcome back to campus, scholars! We missed you so, so much. So much that we planned many events to spend some time with you. (More on that later.) For now, here are the (belated) weekly links.

  • Plagued by pre-semester anxiety? Well, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. A gentle pug has some words of encouragement for you.

  • This month only: Michelangelo: Love and Death, a documentary directed by UK actor/director David Bickerstaff, explores the life and career of the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo. Catch the film at selected times before the end of the month at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
  • For the first time, the Analects of Confucius have been written in four script styles in a single work undertaken by Moon Young-oh, calligrapher/professor emeritus at Dongduk Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea. “I wrote it in order according to the evolution history of calligraphy,” he says. (On a related note, in 2001 he took on the Tao Te Ching in square character style.)
  • How does reading impact us? An experience conducted by the University of Toronto made use of The Lady with the Dog to reveal that reading Chekhov’s fiction rather than a fact-based, report-like version turned participants towards self-reflection after finishing the work.
  • Want to learn Akkadian, the language of Gilgamesh? Alternatively, would you like to hear the Epic of Gilgamesh in Akkadian? Of course you do. You’re a Coreling. That stuff is our bread and butter.

That’s all for now! We’ll be back with another installation of links this Saturday, for sure. And be sure to visit us at the Core Office (CAS 119) in the meantime!

(More) Postcards to the Core: from Greece, Summer 2017

Three (!!!) more postcards have arrived in the mail, this time from our friends studying abroad in the Summer Study in Greece program. All of them are addressed to our own Prof. Stephanie Nelson, whose contributions to the program have greatly impacted the trio of the students.



Dear Prof. Nelson,

Thank you so much for your generosity. Without your contribution and support, this program would not have been as special as it was. This trip has meant a lot to me and will be an integral part of my BU experience. I have seen so many amazing sites and made many great friends. Thank you again!

~Kylie McCuiston



Dear Professor Nelson,

Thank you for your contribution to this program and making this trip affordable. We had so much fun traveling all over Greece and seeing the sights. As an archaeology major and classics minor, I got to see all the important sights I’ve always wanted to see.

Thank you so much,
Taylor Mordy



Dear Prof. Nelson,
Thank you so much for your help in the summer program in Greece. We had a great time enjoying Greece because of your generous help and contribution to the porgram. We hope with all our heats that you have a great summer.

Best wishes,
Huiyun Wang


(You may be interested in another postcard from Greece, posted to the blog earlier this summer.)

* Core loves postcards. Whether you’re at home or abroad now, we’d love to get one from you. Our address is easy: Core Curriculum, Boston University, Boston MA 02215.

Postcards to the Core: from Meadville, August 2017


We were thrilled to receive a postcard from Core alumna Suzyn-Elayne Soler this month! It comes to us all the way from Meadville, Pennsylvania. She writes:


Dear Core,

Greeetings from Meadville, PA!

I recently began work in admissions and have been tapped to help with the new honors program. I hope to draw from Core and the wonderful co-curricular opportunities to help shape this program and promote it as something as special as Core!


* Core loves postcards. Whether you’re at home or abroad now, we’d love to get one from you. Our address is easy: Core Curriculum, Boston University, Boston MA 02215.

Weekly Round-Up, 8-26-17

Greetings, scholars! Nervous about the approaching semester? Never fear! Our Core authors will always stand beside you, forever creeping into your mind whenever you try to write papers and complete assignments for other classes. (On their behalf, we’re sorry.)

  • This week in books: More millennials in the United States visited libraries last year than any other generation, citing interests in the communal spaces as well as programming like concerts and book discussions. (And, to top it off, Boston Public Library system is highlighted in this article! Excitement!!!)
  • Did you know that Sigmund Freud escaped to Hampstead, England, on the eve the Second World War, taking up residence not far from the Hogarth Press–helmed by Virginia and Leonard Woolf–which had taken on the task of printing his works in England since 1924?
  • A team of astronomers, Professor Elizabeth Blanton of BU among them, hopes that their studies of galaxy clusters might lead to a better understanding of the properties of dark matter and dark energy. According to Rachel Paterno-Mahler, another member of the team, Galaxy clusters are really good test-beds for learning about the cosmological parameters of our universe, like how much dark energy there is and how much dark matter there is.
  • Yesterday, August 25, marked the anniversary ofFriedrich Nietzsche’s death in 1900.
  • University of Southern California confronts controversy for the spelling of Shakespear(e)’s name on the base of a recently-unveiled bronze statue of Hecuba. “Over the centuries his surname has been spelled 20 different ways. USC chose an older spelling because of the ancient feel of the statue, even though it is not the most common form.” (Nice save, USC.)

Sculptor Christopher Slatoff stands with USC First Lady Niki C. Nikias and USC President C. L. Max Nikias before a towering Hecuba. (via USC)

Sculptor Christopher Slatoff stands with USC First Lady Niki C. Nikias and USC President C. L. Max Nikias before a towering Hecuba. (via USC)

That’ll do it for this week! We hope to see you again very soon.

Weekly Round-Up, 8-19-17

Bon weekend, Corelings! We hope these last few weeks of summer break are treating you well. Now onto the links:

  • ICYMI: The Core minor is now live. This is BIG, folks.
  • A solar eclipse is scheduled for this Monday, August 21. If you are currently in Boston, the best time to witness the event (taking care not to burn your eyeballs) is between the hours of 1:30 PM and 4 PM.
  • Mark Twain once wrote a book asking Is Shakespeare Dead?, in which he basically insinuated that Shakespeare did not, in fact, write his own plays. Joe Falocco, author of Is Mark Twain Dead?, speculates that Twain was butthurt that he could not hang with/be Shakespeare. Sounds reasonable.

Is Shakespeare dead?  We may never know.

Is Shakespeare dead? We may never know. Shakespeare by John Taylor, 1610. (Via Wikimedia Commons)

  • Young Marx, sequel to The Young Pope a play regarding Karl Marx’s time in Soho, is coming soon to the recently opened Bridge Theatre in London. Meanwhile, in Manchester, fans of communism’s favorite drinking buddies Marx and Engels will be sorry to hear that the pub that housed–allegedly–discussions of “communist revolution” is now “closed until further notice.
  • Graphic novel Heretics! by Steven and Ben Nadler, published by Princeton University Press (and going for the princely sum of $44.99), illustrates “The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy,” a tale that includes familiar characters like Hobbes, Spinoza, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton.
  • Wilde About Whitman, the master’s thesis-turned-play by playwright/librettist/performance artist David Simpatico, details the meeting of Whitman fanatic Oscar Wilde and his idol in an event tinto the beginning of Wilde’s career and the end of Whitman’s. It will be read tonight by A Howl of Playwrights at the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, New York.

That’ll do it! Remember to come back next week for more updates in the world of great books!

Weekly Round-Up, 8-12-17

O Corelings, how we pine for you in the air-conditioned, quiet, peanut butter pretzel-stocked Core office. You know, you’re welcome to visit us, alumni and incoming freshmen included. (CAS 119!) In the meantime, here are this week’s links.

  • Just for fun: Photographer Freddy Fabris reimagines famous Renaissance works in a new setting: the garage. Where else can you see mechanics recreating Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam or Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp?

Anatomy lesson. Photograph by Freddy Fabris. (via Sad and Useless)

Anatomy lesson. Photograph by Freddy Fabris. (via Sad and Useless)

That’s all for this week. Be safe, make good decisions, read lots of books, etc.

    Weekly Round-Up, 8-5-17

    Hello, scholars! Today we look at some sizzling hot takes, looted and fairly acquired art, and more. Read on:

    The original silent protest in 1917 in response to the East St. Louis riots. (via Library of Congress)

    The original silent protest in 1917 in response to the East St. Louis riots. (via Library of Congress)

    There you have it! We hope the upcoming week is filled many knowledges and ice cold beverages.

    Here Comes My Ride (It’s Aristotle)

    Phyllis and Aristotle, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1530.

    Phyllis and Aristotle, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1530.

    If you have perused sculpture, paintings, and other forms of art from the Northern Renaissance, you may have stumbled upon imagery of a woman riding sidesaddle on the back of none other than the philosopher Aristotle. Bedecked in fine garments (most of the time, anyway), she is Phyllis, said to be the mistress or wife of one Alexander the Great. Aristotle, looking rather silly and sometimes topping off his look with a bridle, the reins of which Phyllis grasps with a firm and unwavering hand, was Alexander’s teacher. So what brought them into such a strange predicament?

    A manuscript dating back to the 13th century provides some answers. Apparently, Phyllis overheard Aristotle’s advice to his pupil that he should “restrain himself from frequently approaching his wife,” and, furious, she devised a plan to seduce the great philosopher. She was successful, and when he “began to solicit her carnally,” she told him:

    This I will certainly not do, unless I see a sign of love, lest you be testing me. Therefore, come to my chamber crawling on hand and foot, in order to carry me like a horse. Then Ill know that you arent deluding me.

    When he had consented to that condition, she secretly told the matter to Alexander, who lying in wait apprehended him carrying the queen. When Alexander wished to kill Aristotle, in order to excuse himself, Aristotle says,

    If thus it happened to me, an old man most wise, that I was deceived by a woman, you can see that I taught you well, that it could happen to you, a young man.

    Hearing that, the king spared him, and made progress in Aristotles teachings.

    Some quick thinking on Aristotle’s part, evidently.

    Read the full post, “The Slave of Passion,” over on Futility Closet.