Jan 17, 2021  
Catalogue 2020-2021 
    
Catalogue 2020-2021
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PHIL 293 - Wagner and Philosophy


0.5 unit(s)
This Intensive provides a philosophical introduction to Richard Wagner’s monumental four-part music-drama, The Ring of the Nibelung (1876), one of the most revolutionary – and controversial – creations of modern culture. After an initial survey of the mythical and philosophical background to the work, we dedicate one week to analyzing each of the Ring’s four parts, which explore the conflicts between love and power, freedom and fate, human law and primeval nature. Screenings are arranged outside of class, and students have access to the entire cycle through Vassar’s subscription to the Metropolitan Opera on Demand. In the final week, students present on their individual research into the Ring’s complex reception history, in thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, George Bernard Shaw, Thomas Mann, Theodor Adorno, Alain Badiou, and Roger Scruton. No prior musical knowledge is assumed, though students learn to identify the work’s principal themes and their transformations. Christopher Raymond.

Prerequisite(s): One course in Philosophy or Music or German Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Second Six-Week Course

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2020/21.

Course Format: INT



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