Lydia Goehr, Columbia University - LICA Seminar Series 2009

Date:18 June 2009
Time:4.30 pm

LICA Seminar Series 2009.

Speaker: Lydia Goehr, Columbia University.

Venue: Lancaster University, Bowland North Seminar Room 10

Title: Broken strings, Dismembered Bodies: Paragonal Theses on the Embodiment and Disembodiment of Music

Broken strings, Dismembered Bodies: Paragonal Theses on the Embodiment and Disembodiment of Music

This talk explores different dimensions of a history of philosophy and the arts in which musical instruments have been broken or their players dismembered or otherwise disembodied. It considers several paradoxical theses: a thesis of music's disembodiment that demonstrates just how embodied the art of music is; a metaphysics of music that prefers a music that isn't heard; a musical view of the world in which the eye is awarded priority over the ear; and a celebrated conception of purely instrumental music that forgoes an interest in the instruments by which it is produced. The talk takes a strategically indirect approach: it asks what we can learn about music by looking at the painting, poetry, and philosophy that has competed with it.

Lydia Goehr is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. In 2005, she received a Columbia University Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching and in 2007-8 received The Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC)'s Faculty Mentoring Award (FMA). She is a recipient of Mellon, Getty, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and in 1997 was the Visiting Ernest Bloch Professor in the Music Department at U. California, Berkeley, where she gave a series of lectures on Richard Wagner. In 2002-3, she was the visiting Aby Warburg Professor in Hamburg and a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. In 2005-6, she delivered the Royal Holloway-British Library Lectures in Musicology in London and the Wort Lectures at Cambridge University. In 2008, she was a Visiting Professor at the Freie Universität, Berlin (Cluster: "The Language of Emotions"). She is the author of The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music (1992; second edition with a new essay, 2007); The Quest for Voice: Music, Politics, and the Limits of Philosophy [essays on Richard Wagner] (1998); Elective Affinities: Musical Essays on the History of Aesthetic Theory [essays on Adorno and Danto] (2008), and co-editor with Daniel Herwitz of The Don Giovanni Moment. Essays on the legacy of an Opera (2006). With Gregg Horowitz, she is series editor of Columbia Themes in Philosophy, Social Criticism, and the Arts, Columbia University Press.

Who can attend:Anyone

Further Information

Organising departments and research centres:Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
  • Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)
  • The LICA Building, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK