AWG Events List


For regular updates, please visit AWG’s Facebook page. Here is a list of AWG events since the group was founded in 2011 (for details, look here):



  • “Lisa Sanditz and the Suburban Sublime,” Jennifer Baker (Philosophy, CofC)
  • Public Lecture, “Cover Records as Social Commentary,” Ted Gracyk (Philosophy, MN State, Moorhead)
  • “Why Birds Don’t Make Music,” Ted Gracyk (Philosophy, MN State, Moorhead)
  • Public Lecture, “Participatory Art,” Michael Kelly (Philosophy, UNC, Charlotte)
  • “Participatory Art and Aesthetics,” (AWG meeting) Michael Kelly (Philosophy, UNC, Charlotte)
  • “The Transgender Gaze in Film,” Richard Nunan (Philosophy, CofC ),
  • Discussion of  “Living Takes Many Forms,” by Shannon Jackson and “Microutopias: Public Practice in the Public Sphere,” by Carol Becker
  • Discussion of “Living as Form,” by Nato Thompson and “Eventwork: The Fourfold Matrix of Contemporary Social Movements,” by Brian Holmes.
  • “Participation as Spectacle: Where Are We Now?” by Claire Bishop and “Democratizing Urbanization and the Search for a New Civic Imagination,”  by Teddy Cruz


  • “Metaphor and Metaphysics in Zhuangzi,Tyler Ray (Philosophy and Religious Studies student, CofC)
  • Public Lecture, “The Norms of Nature Appreciation,” Glenn Parsons (Philosophy, Ryerson University, Toronto)
  • Discussion of “Interaction and Nature Appreciation,” by Robert Stecker.
  • “Tibetan Poetry in Exile,” Amberjade Mwekali (Philosophy student, CofC )
  • “Emotional and Ethical Expression in Music,” Jonathan Neufeld (Philosophy, CofC)

2/14 Roundtable: “Narrative, Ethics, and The Lives of Animals”

Roundtable discussion with Jonathan Neufeld (Philosophy), Simon Lewis (English), and Ornaith O’Dowd (Philosophy)

In 1997, J. M. Coetzee’s delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values that would become his novella The Lives of Animals. Typically, the Tanner lectures are philosophical essays presenting arguments on specific ethical or political problems or concepts. Instead of presenting the usual set of arguments, Coetzee delivered two lectures that were two chapters from a novella. The novella’s central character, Elizabeth Costello, herself delivers two lectures on humans’ mistreatment animals (to put it mildly). While she presents arguments and counterarguments, as do other characters in the story, these arguments do not simply stand as arguments—they are also, of course, literary devices that constitute the book as the work of art that it is. Is Coetzee really just making an argument, and just adding color to it with the story? Or does the fact that it is a piece of literature change the status of the arguments in it? Why might we make certain kinds of ethical claims in artistic form rather than in some other form (the form of philosophical argument typically found in the Tanner Lectures, for example)? Is there something about talking about the lives of animals, in particular, that calls for a literary, rather than a philosophical response?

February 14, 12:15-1:30PM Alumni Center in the School of EHHP

Narrative Ethics & The Lives of Animals-page-001Narrative Ethics & The Lives of Animals(pdf flier)

2/4 Lecture: Prof. Thomas S. Grey, Stanford University “Wagner’s Ring Cycle as Eco-Parable”

This coming Monday (February 4), Thomas S. Grey of Stanford University will give a lecture on Wagner’s Ring cycle that examines the themes of “environmental catastrophe” and “ecological consciousness” as they emerge from the reception history of the work. The lecture is sponsored by the Departments of Music and German and Slavic Studies. For more information, please see below or the attached flyer.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will be held in Towell Library (in The Cicstern Yard) from 5pm to 6pm, February 4.

Paper Abstract:

Modern stagings of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung since Chéreau’s celebrated Bayreuth centennial production (1976-1980) have repeatedly suggested the relation of the natural environment to the agency of mankind (including gods and dwarves) as an interpretive key to the whole cycle. Specifically, Alberich’s theft of the symbolic “Rhine Gold” at the beginning of the cycle and his forging from it the magical talisman of world-domination, the Ring, is presented as an allegory of the human exploitation of natural resources in the modern era for industrial, military, or other economic and political ends. In such readings, the gesture of apocalypse that concludes the cycle, Brünnhilde’s valedictory “immolation scene,” resonates with various historical and potential forms of environmental catastrophe.

This paper interrogates the conceptual foundations of this reading of the Ring cycle in the work’s text and music, and in the reception history especially since George Bernard Shaw’s The Perfect Wagnerite (1898). Wagner’s Ring, while obviously grounded in pre-environmentalist attitudes toward nature, actively participates in the construction of an ecological consciousness in Romantic-era artistic discourse contemporaneous with that of the American transcendentalists and other key figures in this history.

Thomas S. Grey is Professor of Musicology at Stanford University. He is the author of Wagner’s Musical Prose: Texts and Contexts (Cambridge, 1995) and editor and co-author of Richard Wagner: The Flying Dutchman (Cambridge, 2000), The Cambridge Companion to Wagner (Cambridge, 2008), and Richard Wagner and His World (Princeton, 2009). Other current interests include music and visual culture, music and the “Gothic,” and American musical theater.

Thomas S. Grey, Musicology Lecture[1]Link to PDF flyer: Thomas S. Grey, Musicology Lecture[1]