Brown Bag Lecture
"Improvisation as a Way of Life"


Oct
19
2011

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  • Host Department: Institute for the Humanities
  • Date: 10/19/2011
  • Time: 5:00PM - 6:30PM

  • Location: 202 S. Thayer St, Room 1022, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Description: Many musical improvisors have understood their sounds and practices as addressing larger questions of identity and social organization, as well as creating politically inflected, critically imbued aesthetic spaces. Following a 1964 suggestion by Alfred Schutz that “a study of the social relationships connected with the musical process may lead to some insights valid for many other forms of social intercourse,” the realization that improvisation is not limited to the artistic domain, but is a ubiquitous aspect of everyday life, can lead humanists and scientists toward new models of intelligibility, agency, ethics, technology, and social transformation.

    Arnold I. Davidson is the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, and the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. Executive editor of Critical Inquiry, he is also a director of the France-Chicago Center. His major fields of research and teaching are the history of contemporary European philosophy, the history of moral and political philosophy, the history of the human sciences, and the history and philosophy of religion.

    George Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship in 2002, an Alpert Award in the Arts in 1999, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey. Lewis's work as composer, improvisor, performer and interpreter explores electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, text-sound works, and notated and improvisative forms, and is documented on more than 140 recordings.