Sunday, February 22, 2009

Figures of Speech (and Art?)

When it comes to narrowing down all of the wild and fascinating lectures offered every week into three blurbs, sometimes I don’t even know where to start. This week’s attempt includes:

“Evaluating Climate Change Institutions: Justice or Legitimacy?”
on Tuesday February 24, 4:30 in Betts Auditorium, Architecture Building – Continuing the Princeton Environmental Institute’s “Ethics and Climate Change” lecture series, Prof. Robert Keohane of the Woodrow Wilson School will explain why the idea of justice, a fluctuating moral compass that can never achieve universal uniformity, is so common in policy discussion but still almost entirely useless as a standard by which to judge the politics of climate change. Keohane will investigate the effectiveness of legitimacy, the idea that an institution should prove why it should lead and others should follow, as an ethical substitute for justice in the context of environmental policy. Go because you’re not entirely sure what this means (I definitely don’t), and stay to find out because it actually sounds pretty cool.

“Global Health and Development: Prospects in a New Administration”
on Wednesday February 25, 4:30 in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall – Michael Gerson, former Bush administration policy advisor and longtime senior speechwriter for the same, talks health, development, religion, foreign policy, and democracy in this lecture sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School and the Office of Graduate Career Services. As a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a “Newsweek” contributor, Gerson knows his stuff. Go because anyone who writes a book called ““Heroic Conservatism: Why Republicans Need to Embrace America's Ideals (And Why They Deserve to Fail If They Don't)” is probably a little combative; stay because it’s always fun to watch combative people get upset about something they really care about.

“Small French Paintings: Bonnard and Vuillard” on Friday February 27, 12:30 in the Art Museum – Visiting the Art Museum isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you try to think of interesting lectures at Princeton, but it is definitely one of my favorite places to explore. In the intimate gallery talk presented by Caroline Harris, curator of academic and education programs, you’ll get to know the museum a little bit better (which is a lot more than many students). Go because you know nothing about small French paintings; stay because (knowing Prof. Harris) you will come out of there feeling (and sounding) like a connoisseur.


Anonymous said...

"Visiting the Art Museum isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you try to think of interesting lectures at Princeton." I understand what you mean, that the quiet nature of an art museum makes it an unlikely location for a talk; however, your phrasing not only borders on the illogical, it seems to question how interesting/intelligent an art talk could really be. It's difficult to consider all of the possible ways you may be offending the public, but as a journalist, that is your duty.

Anonymous said...

I think Anonymous is reading way too much into that one phrase. All the author was trying to get across is that it was rare for a segment normally focusing on big McCosh 50-style lectures to focus on something located at the Princeton Art Museum, a more intimate setting. Why do some of us feel the need to just criticize all the time? In the spirit of leaving positive comments, great Figures of Speech this week! Sounds like some fascinating events are going on around campus.