A wall in Belfast, August 31, 2008

(Photo: C. M. Grund)

Welcome to the homepage for the  PHILOSOPHY meets POPULAR CULTURE  initiative

The  PHILOSOPHY meets  POPULAR CULTURE initiative seeks to promote serious discussion and investigation of popular culture in light of philosophy  -  and philosophy in light of popular culture.

This site, launched on October 7, 2008 and continually updated, is envisioned as a facilitator for this enterprise. The initiative has Danish origins, but this homepage and its associated functionalities are open to anyone who wishes to engage seriously with the topic. The language of the site is thus English.

Please take some time to explore the functionalities provided  by tabbing through the menu bar.  You will find invitations to submit material to the site (please see "Docs and Pics") and to participate in its Facebook page. (If you do not come directly to our Facebook  page, please do a search for "Philosophy Meets Popular Culture.")

Best wishes from the Editorial Staff, info@philpopculture.dk

Cynthia M. Grund, cynthia@philpopculture.dk: Webmaster, Editor-in-Chief                                    

Kean Andrew Bruhn, kean@philpopculture.dk                                

Carsten Fogh Nielsen, carsten@philpopculture.dk                    

THIS WEEK: December 26, 2011 - January 1, 2012

September 2011-December 2011

13-seminar series on Topics in the Aesthetics of Music and Soundat the University of Southern Denmark at Odense, starting September 8, 2011. The series includes several presentations that are relevant to those interested in the Philosophy Meets Popular Culture Initiative. Audience participation by Skype is also welcome! Please see here for details.

April 2011

For speakers of Danish living in the vicinity of Odense, Denmark, Folkeuniversitet i Odense is sponsoring a series of four lectures entitled Kunst, Filosofi og Populærkultur (Art, Philosophy and Popular Culture) April 5 - May 3: please see here.

March 2011

University of Southern Denmark at Odense, Campusvej 55, Odense, Denmark

Thursday, March 17, 2:15 p.m.-4 p.m. in U70. Guest lecture (via Skype)

Soul from Plato to Motown with Joel Rudinow, author of Soul Music: Tracking the Spiritual Roots of Pop from Plato to Motown (2010, The University of Michigan Press). 

Soul music – a style of popular music that originated in America and flourished during the middle of the 20th century – combines African American gospel music with the blues - sources that are said and sincerely believed by many to be “spiritually incompatible.”  What does it mean for different styles of music – especially styles as closely and intimately related as gospel music and the blues - to be “spiritually at odds” with each other?  Can music have “spiritually therapeutic” effects? Can music have “spiritually toxic” effects? Exploring this labyrinthine nest of questions takes us into:

● Some of America’s most intriguing cultural history, deconstructing the mythology of the blues as the “devil’s music”;

● One of music theory’s deepest controversies: music’s mysterious capacity to move and direct emotional energy, apparently without rational mediation;

● An effort to recover and restore a body of ancient wisdom from Pre-Socratic Greek philosophy (Pythagorean tuning theory) as applied to a crucial and central element of blues tonality (the tritone – or “devil’s interval”), and in this connection, a re-examination of Platonic “formalism” and its limitations, and a re-appreciation of some crucial dimensions of Plato’s philosophy.

● Finally, at the heart of the labyrinth, a critical examination of clinical applications of music in medicine, which I argue are presently hampered by explanatory hypotheses too heavily invested in psychopharmacology, and would be better advanced by a shift of emphasis toward the metaphysics of energy.   

Joel Rudinow teaches philosophy and popular culture at Santa Rosa Junior College in northern California, where he also moonlights as a musician.  He is co-author of Invitation to Critical Thinking (now in its 6th edition) and Ethics and Values in the Information Age (both published by Wadsworth/Cengage).  His philosophical essays have appeared in Analysis, The British Journal of Aesthetics, Critical Inquiry, Educational Leadership, Ethics, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Philosophy and Literature, The Philosophical Quarterly, and Sophia.  His most recent book is entitled Soul Music: Tracking the Spiritual Roots of Pop from Plato to Motown, published by the University of Michigan Press.

Seminar program/poster available here.

February 2011

The calendar for the spring of 2011 is starting to fill up with events of relevance to thePHILOSOPHY meets POPULAR CULTURE  initiative.  Please feel free to contact the Editorial Staff if you have any events you would like to post.

January 2011

The schedule for actitvities  within the PHILOSOPHY meets POPULAR CULTURE  initiative   for 2011 is still very open. Members are encouraged to contact any or all of us on Editorial Staff (see above) with ideas and suggestions for seminars and the like. 

Here's hoping that all members of the PHILOSOPHY meets POPULAR CULTURE  initiative  have had a pleasant holiday season, are having a good wind-up of the fall semester 2010 (ends January 31 here in Denmark) and are looking forward to a productive and happy spring semester 2011.

Best wishes, Cynthia

November 2010

Theme Day: Music for the People!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The University of Southern Denmark

Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark

12  noon  1 p.m. in Cafeteria 4, 

Lunchtime Concert

Janus Araghipour, solo piano. 

Bach: Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D-minor

Chopin: Etude op 10 nr. 1

Chopin: Nocturne op 48, nr. 1

Beethoven: Sonata nr. 32 op. 111, 1st movement

Scriabin: Vers la Flamme op. 72

Bartok: 15 Hungarian Peasant Songs

2 p.m. – 3 p.m. in U82

Seminar: “Be a Part of the Crowd; Join Glee Today! - Groups, Culture and the Glee of Show-Choir” with Kean Andrew Bruhn, cand.mag.,SDU & Line S. Kristoffersen, BA, SDU,members of The Philosophy Meets Popular Culture Initiative www.philpopculture.dk

3:15 p.m. – 5 p.m. in U73

Seminar: The Beauty of Technical Imperfection: Choral Members´ Perceptions of Aesthetic Issues in Performance with Sigrún Lilja Einarsdóttir,  PhD student in Sociology at University of Exeter, England; Research specialist, Bifröst University, Iceland.  

For detailed program, please see: HERE.


April 2010

New Book: Designing New Media: Learning, Communication and Innovation

Cynthia M. Grund and Jesper Pilegaard have a chapter in this book, which has just been released in April, 2010: Grund, C. M., & Pilegaard, J.  "The Real, the Virtual. . . and the Practical." i Philipsen, H., Agerbæk, L., Kampmann Walter, B., & Strange, B. (red.). Designing New Media: Learning, Communication and Innovation Copenhagen: Academica. The book is entirely in English and may be bought at http://www.gyldendal-akademisk.dk/Books/9788776757489.aspx; it may be perused in  its entirely at http://flipper.gyldendal.dk/9788776757489

March 2010

Thanks to all who helped to make the Nordplus Master's Course on MUSIC, MEANING and GESTURE March 22-26, 2010 at IFPR- SDU-Odense a success. A summary report together with photographs will soon be available at www.nnimipa.org.

Thanks to all who participated in Philosophy meets Popular Culture and Aesthetics at the annual meeting of the DPA March 5-6, 2010:Cynthia M. Grund chaired a session on Philosophy meets Popular Culture and Aesthetics for the annual meeting of The Danish Philosophical Association March 5-6 (see http://www.dpu.dk/site.aspx?p=13614). 

February 15, 2010: Televised documentary "Music and Meaning: Duets and Dialogues" with WILLIAM WESTNEY and CYNTHIA M. GRUND.

During    the   week  of   February 15-February 22, 2010, ALT-Aabenraa Lokal TV will be airing "Music and Meaning: Duets and Dialogues" with H.C. Andersen Guest Professor William Westney and Cynthia M. Grund, Research Director for The Aesthetics of Music and Sound (AMS). To view the documentary on ALTV's homepage, please click here.  This program includes interviews with Westney and Grund, gives an overview of the activities of AMS,  tells the story behind William Westney's connection with the Institute of Philosophy, Education and the Study of Religions at The University of Southern Denmark (SDU), and includes clips from the conference held at SDU-Odense on November 6, 2009: Art and/or Entertainment? The Fifth Anniversary Conference on Philosophy and Popular Culture.

January 5, 2010: Televised concert  with WILLIAM WESTNEY.

The     Philosophy    meets   Popular   Culture Initative  wishes  everyone a very Happy New Year and is pleased to bring you a New Year's concert. ALT-Aabenraa Lokal TV has broadcast a concert with H.C. Andersen Guest Professor William Westney  recorded   on November 24, 2009 at Alsion, Sønderborg.  To view the program as a pdf-file, please click here. To see and hear the concert, please click here. The broadcast is of the concert in its entirety and divided into two parts.  The first part contains music by  Haydn, Fauré, Liszt, Harburg/Arlen, and Arlen  as well as  the first piece by Gershwin. The second  part contains the Gershwin/Wild Fantasy on Porgy and Bess and the Burgmüller encore.

     Harburg/Arlen, Arlen, the first piece by Gershwin, and the Gershwin/Wild Fantasy on Porgy and Bess are very relevant for those pondering the distinction Art &/or Entertainment, the theme of our November 6, 2009 conference at SDU in Odense.

News Archive for postings before 2010, please see here. .