Whitney Podcasts

Our collection of podcasts is available for download on SoundCloud or iTunes U, under the Yale University Humanities section, or you may subscribe to a RSS Feed that will automatically update whenever new content is released. You may listen to our featured podcasts in streaming mp3 format by following the links below:

Podcast Speaker(s) Date

Sublime Science in the Late Enlightenment: Adam Walker and the Eidouranion





Prof. Golinski discusses the links between public science and aesthetics at the turn of the 19th century by focusing on inventor Adam Walker’s device for projecting astronomical effects on a screen. Called the Eidouranion, this early pre-cinema, with its mix of music and visual effects, made Walker one of the most successful scientific lecturers of his day, in part because of his explicit invocation of the sublime.

Jan Golinski

04/07/2011

Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza





In this lecture, writers Adina Hoffamn and Peter Cole discuss the recovery of a cache of Hebrew manuscripts from a Cairo geniza (repository for sacred text), whose discovery and analysis have shed light on 900 years of Jewish life. NEA, NEH, Guggenheim and McArthur award-winning poet and translator, Peter Cole was the Franke Visiting Fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center in 2006. Adina Hoffman is the author of House of Windows: Portraits from a Jerusalem Neighborhood and My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet’s Life in the Palestinian Century, a biography of Taha Muhammad Ali, from Yale University Press. Her essays and literary criticism have appeared in the Nation, the TLS, the Raritan, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, New York Newsday, World Literature Today, and on the World Service of the BBC. Ms. Hoffman was the Franke Visiting Fellow in 2008. Together Ms. Hoffman and Mr. Cole are the founders and editors of Ibis Editions—a small press that publishes the literature of the Levant.

Adina Hoffman, Peter Cole

04/04/2011

Can a Novelist Write Philisophically? Panel Discussion





In this discussion, Rebecca Goldstein, Harry Frankfurt, and Michael Cunningham discuss the ways in which novelists do and do not write philosophically. The panel is chaired by Amy Hungerford. The featured speakers are novelist and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein, professor of philosophy Harry Frankfurt, novelist and professor of English Michael Cunningham, and professor of English Amy Hungerford.

Michael Cunninghamldstein, Harry Frankfurt, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Amy Hungerford

03/25/2011

The Ancient Quarrel: Philosophy and Literature, Part Two





In the second of her two Tanner lectures, Rebecca Goldstein discusses the overlap and conflict between philosophy and the literary arts, and whether novels can be philosophically justified. Ms. Goldstein’s career bridges the divides between the humanities, the arts, and the sciences. Equally comfortable discussing physics or fiction, she is also an important voice in the current active debates between religion and science. A Koret International Book Award winner, a multiple time National Jewish Book Award winner, a MacArthur Fellow, and a Whiting Foundation Writer’s Award winner, in 2008 she was designated Humanist Laureate by the International Academy of Humanism and was named Humanist of the Year 2011 by the American Humanist Association. Her books include Finding Spinoza, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, Incompleteness, Mazel, and The Mind Body Problem.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

03/24/2011

The Ancient Quarrel: Philosophy and Literature, Part One





In the first of her two tanner lectures, Rebecca Goldstein discusses the overlap and conflict between philosophy and the literary arts, and whether novels can be philosophically justified. Ms. Goldstein’s career bridges the divides between the humanities, the arts, and the sciences. Equally comfortable discussing physics or fiction, she is also an important voice in the current active debates between religion and science. A Koret International Book Award winner, a multiple time National Jewish Book Award winner, a MacArthur Fellow, and a Whiting Foundation Writer’s Award winner, in 2008 she was designated Humanist Laureate by the International Academy of Humanism and was named Humanist of the Year 2011 by the American Humanist Association. Her books include Finding Spinoza, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, Incompleteness, Mazel, and The Mind Body Problem.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

03/23/2011

Art, Aesthetics, and Evolution





Noel Carroll discusses art as socio-emotional contagion: how the emotional arousal brought about by the arts provides important forms of social and emotional education that justify the social costs of the arts over the course of human history. Mr. Carroll is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center. His research interests include aesthetic theory; philosophy of film, literature, and the visual arts; social and cultural theory; philosophy of history; ethics; philosophy of the emotions; and history of early modern philosophy. Mr. Carroll has published more than fifteen books, most recently, Art in Three Dimensions (2010) and On Criticism (2009). He has also written extensively as a journalist and is the author of five documentaries.

Noel Carroll

03/03/2011

Inscribing Food/Talking Life: New Orleans Past





Susan Tucker, Curator of Books and Records at the Newcomb Center for Research on Women at Tulane University, gives the third Franke lecture in 2011 series, “History of Food and Cuisine.” Her talk is entitled “Inscribing Food/Talking Life: New Orleans Past.” Ms. Tucker is the author of Telling Memories Among Southern Women (1988); coeditor of The Scrapbook in American Life (2005), and editor of New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories (2009). More recently, Ms. Tucker is exploring the various forms in which family memories are kept, including the inscription of recipes and other food lore.

Susan Tucker

03/02/2011

Sexual Selection and the Brain: An Origin of Evolutionary Aesthetics





In this lecture, Michael Ryan discusses the relationship between animal aesthetic preferences, sexual selection, and evolutionary biology. Dr. Ryan is the Clark Hubbs Professor of Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research involves animal behavior, focusing on mechanisms of communication involved in mate attraction and corollary evolutionary consequences.

Michael Ryan

02/24/2011

Paleolithic Formalism and the Emergence of Music





Gary Tomlinson discusses the complex co-evolution of human music making in relation to language, technology, and cognitive and imaginative development. Professor Tomlinson is a musicologist and cultural theorist known for his interdisciplinary breadth. His teaching, lecturing, and scholarship have ranged across a diverse set of interests, including the history of opera, early-modern European musical thought and practice, the musical cultures of indigenous American societies, jazz and popular music, and the philosophy of history and critical theory. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur “genius” award.

Gary Tomlinson

02/03/2011

Banquets and Politics in China





Joanna Waley-Cohen delivers the first Franke lecture in the 2011 series, “History of Food and Cuisine.” Her talk is titled “Banquets and Politics in China.” Ms. Waley-Cohen is currently chair of the History Department at NYU, where she has taught the history of China since 1992. Ms. Waley-Cohen has published many books and articles on Chinese law, politics, foreign relations, and culinary culture, and is currently working on two projects: a culinary history of early modern China, focused on consumption, leisure, cooking, and imperial dining practices; and an account of daily life in China around 1800.

Joanna Waley-Cohen

01/31/2011

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