Humanities lectures captivate

    At a school notorious for its sciences and research, the humanities are often forgotten. Perhaps many people assume that the humanities here at UCSD are not very prestigious, or many people don’t realize that the humanities and the sciences can actually relate. But whatever the reason, the UCSD Center for the Humanities is trying to change that.

    Denys Horgan
    Courtesy of humanities department

    According to Georgios Anagnostopoulos, director of the humanities program, the goal of the center is “”to support the research of faculty and graduate students in the division of arts and humanities, which is comprised of six departments: history, literature, philosophy, music, theatre and dance, visual arts, and other interdisciplinary programs. So the center, for example, financially supports the research of faculty and awards a number of fellowships per year to assist graduate students to finish their dissertations. It funds conferences, collaborative research, some support for enriching the education of graduate students, and in the future, perhaps there may be circumstances to involve undergraduates in some activities.””

    One way that the center educates UCSD students and the San Diego community is through a new lecture series titled “”… Continuing the Dialogue …”” This series features lectures on various topics given by professors in all UCSD departments, as well as others.

    “”Part of the function of the center is to promote the arts and humanities to the general public and to engage in the dialogue with all the other divisions on the campus, like the social sciences or the medical school,”” said Anagnostopoulos about the role of the lecture series in the goal of the center.

    Although the center is an endowment for the humanities, one of its main functions is to educate the public about the importance and interrelatedness of the humanities with other popular areas of study, such as neuroscience, biology or oceanography.

    On Jan. 15, literature professor Ron Berman held a captivating lecture about the letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his editor, Max Perkins. Sadly, only a scant amount of people, about 75, attended the lecture. But despite the small numbers, it elicited a good response from the audience that asked many great questions, and those in attendance found the lecture humorous and entertaining.

    The UCSD Center for Humanities is in the process of organizing more lectures like this one, and it is trying to get more students and community members to attend.

    With the limited funds it has been allotted and an almost unrecognized presence on campus, the humanities center has been able to raise money and organizing events to incorporate all areas of study.

    The next lecture, titled “”The Secret Love between Interactivity and Improvisation,”” was given on Feb. 13 by music professor George Lewis. Lewis discussed the narratives of computer-based cultural productions (e.g. virtual reality or interactivity) and improvisation that is inherent in these productions but often overlooked.

    In March, the center will have history professor Daniel Vickers and professor Jeremy Jackson from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography give a lecture titled “”The Origins of Overfishing: Sustainability of Marine and Freshwater Species in Historical Time.”” And in April, Antonio Damasio, a renowned professor of neurology from the University of Iowa, will lecture about “”Emotion, Social Behavior, and Spinoza: The Brain Perspective.””

    The series features lectures from all different studies with experts in each field. For more information on the UCSD Center for the Humanities or for the “”… Continuing the Dialogue …”” lecture series, call the center at (858) 534-0999 or visit http://dah.ucsd.edu/humctr.htm.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal