TOPOLOGICAL STUDIES, Faculty
Major philosophers, artists, and scholars join students on-site and give lectures and lead seminar discussions about the topological significance of the site in question. Thus for example, world-renowned Renaissance scholar Stephen Greenblatt recently lectured at Spannocchia on the transition from feudal to Renaissance consciousness. With the castle as his background, Greenblatt focused on Shakespeare and Leonardo. Travel to Siena and Florence illuminated Greenblatt’s argument, and a trip to Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan to study da Vinci’s Last Supperbrought home for students the main thesis of Greenblatt’s lecture.
Summer 2012 begins our first annual residency in Berlin, where leading Kant scholar Howard Caygill will lecture on the Kant/Hegel divide. From Berlin students travel to Paris. Bringing forward the relation between modern art and philosophy, eminent French philosopher, Sylvère Lotringer, will lecture on the shift from early German modernism to French post-structuralism, using for his lecture points the streets of Paris along with the Louvre, the d’Orsay, the Musée Rodin, and the Centre Pompidou.
In New York City, Bill Brown, co-editor of Critical Inquiry, recently spoke on the question of the contemporary. Brown’s talk was hosted at the J. Pierpont Library and Museum. Originally designed as a 19th-c Madison Avenue palace and recently restored and expanded by Renzo Piano, designer of the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Morgan serves as an example of hybridized architecture and blended urban culture—an effective frame for Brown’s lecture on “The Time of Painting.”
In years past, Fred Wilson, American representative to the 2003 Venice Biennale; James Elkins, internationally acclaimed art historian; Eva Ziarek, Polish scholar and cultural historian; and Paul Armstrong, former dean of Brown University, have given IDSVA talks in New York on subjects having to do with New York’s rise as the epicenter of Modernism and its current condition as a post-industrial site.