October 28th, 2010
Photograph by Zain Shah.
Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance Dana Tai Soon Burgess opened his new performance Charlie Chan and the Mystery of Love last Friday to much anticipation thanks to a feature story in The Washington Post. In this autobiographical piece, Dana’s choreography reveals a glimpse into his childhood in Santa Fe, where he grew up watching and admiring Charlie Chan on television. The fluid movements of his dancers were exquisite and brought to life this profound coming-of-age story. Dana’s play received rave reviews this week by The Post’s Sarah Kaufman, who concluded that “with this work, [Dana Tai Soon Burgess] deserved to be crowned poet laureate of Washington dance.”
July 15th, 2010
Jody Schlagel, Richard Schlagel, and Dean Barratt.
Recently I had lunch with Elton Professor of Philosophy Emeritus Richard Schlagel and his wife Jody. Professor Schlagel, with Jody’s support and stylistic critiques, just authored a new book, Seeking the Truth: How Science has Prevailed over the Supernatural World View. This sweeping intellectual history compares the world views of science and religion and traces them back to the ancient Greek philosophers and the early threads of the Judaic and Christian religions. He talks about the origins of today’s science disciplines—chemistry, geology, evolution, physics—and then argues that modern scientific inquiry is clearly a fundamental doctrine underlying democratic societies and an educated citizenry.
Over lunch, the Schlagels and I discussed how Seeking the Truth offers a perspective consistent with the doctrine of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences: An educated individual must have a broad knowledge of the humanities, the arts, the sciences, and the social sciences.
I highly recommend this book and the many others written by our talented faculty.