May You Live in Interesting Times
20 September 2018
Anaïs López, Geert Chatrou, Erno Eskens
27 September 2018
4 October 2018
11 October 2018
1 November 2018
8 November 2018
22 November 2018
29 November 2018
6 December 2018
For the 2018 – 2019 Studium Generale KABK programme we attempt to make an inventory of the time we are living in, and propose some primary characteristics. David Sedaris once wrote that it is almost impossible to understand your own time. Like a fish swimming in the water, so obvious that he does not notice it, does not know any better: that’s just what the world looks like.
The title of the series is May You Live in Interesting Times, an English expression taken from a Chinese curse. Although it seems to be a wish – the expression is normally used ironically. With the implication that ‘uninteresting times’ of peace and tranquility are nicer to live in than interesting ones, which from a historical perspective usually include disorder and conflict. In what times are we living now? Philosopher Zygmunt Bauman suggested the concept of ‘liquid modernity’ as a way to describe the condition of constant plasticity and change he observed in social life, identities and global economics within society. Philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn introduced the concept of a paradigm shift. Once a new world view was accepted, you could not really imagine that it had ever been different.
In this Studium Generale we will talk about issues that are at stake at the moment, realising that we live in a liquid modernity and that every worldview could be seen as liquid as well. In every lecture we offer an analysis of sociological, political or scientific conditions and we talk about the possibilities of how to deal with it.
“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones” (1988)John Cage