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CIIS Public Programs & Performances
1453 Mission St, San Francisco, California 94103
A Conversation with Carolyn Cooke and Brian Thomas Swimme
Questions of #Love and #Death are among the deepest that humans can ask. What can contemporary #literature and #cinema teach us about our erotic connection to the #universe?
Out of thirty million species of life on Earth, Homo sapiens is singular in its need for imaginative works in order to complete the movement from infancy to maturity. When we reflect on the devastation taking place throughout the Earth Community at this time, we need to ask the obvious question: Why have our symbolic works failed so spectacularly?
Part of the answer can be seen in the shift in our universities from communities focused on #awakening the deep qualities of #humanity to training camps for attaining the particular cognitive skills required by our corporations. Departments of #Philosophy throughout America are emblematic of this devolution. Instead of fostering the quest for #truth, our academic philosophers convinced themselves they should make their field «scientific» by avoiding such, for them, embarrassing topics as «wisdom» or «the meaning of life».
The human impulse to reflect upon the deep questions of our existence does not cease because of the hyper-specialization and fragmentation of the modern university. If philosophers are going to abandon this quest, the novelists, filmmakers, and other artists will take up the challenge to provide the works of the imagination necessary for human development.
This conversation event is adapted from a new cross-departmental course also titled Love, Death, and Annihilation in Contemporary Literature and Cinema taught at CIIS by Carolyn Cooke and Brian Thomas Swimme.