hosts summer Emerson Institute
chair Russell Goodman has received a grant from the National
Endowment for the Humanities to host a summer institute in 2003
for college professors and university teachers on Ralph
Waldo Emerson at 200: Literature, Philosophy, Democracy.
the last 25 years, many new insights and writings about Emerson
have surfaced. Philosophers such as Stanley Cavell, literary
critics like Barbara Packer and political theorists such as
Cornel West have all written about Emerson.
Emersons works never went out of fashion, theres
been a tremendous renewal of interest in Emerson over the last
30 years, said Goodman. In English and philosophy
departments and in politics, people have been thinking about
why his individualism is necessary in some way for democracy.
In a lot of ways, he is the definitive American thinker.
about Emerson include Cavells "This New Yet Unapproachable
America," "Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome,"
"Thinking of Emerson," and "Being Odd, Getting
Even," Packers "Emersons Fall, and "The
Trancendentalists" (in The Cambridge History of American
Literature vol. 2) and Wests "The American Evasion
of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism."
institute, which will be held at St. Johns College in
Santa Fe, coincides with the bicentennial of Emersons
birth on May 25, 1803. Participants will be studying particular
essays by Emerson, such as Self-Reliance and The Divinity School
Address, and will consider Emersons influence on the thought
of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.
third week, Barbara Packer of UCLA will present four lectures
on Northern Intellectuals and the Mexican War. She will consider
Emersons opposition to the war and to slavery, which made
it possible in the new territories, and the misgivings of soldiers
like Ulysses S. Grant.
week moves into political philosophy, led by Thomas Dumm, professor
of Political Science at Amherst College and Cornel West, professor
of Religion and African-American Studies at Princeton. The institute
wraps up with a fifth week on Cavell and Emersonian Perfectionism.
or call 277-4024.