Find out what two participants of the GEAR UP KY Academy@UK are saying about some of the classes offered in MCL!

Summer Cottrell

Maison Nichols

Justin Cornelison's blog

Follow Justin Cornelison, UK Phd student in ethnomusicology, as he researches the folk music and dance group Modzhakhili this summer in Gori, Georgia:

Rene Girard and the Scapegoat

Rene Girard, Violence and the Sacred

According to Girard, order and peace within a community depend on the proper maintenance of cultural distinctions. Human desire, however, acts as a mechanism giving rise to rivalry, violence, and disorder, which erase the distinctions upon which order and peace are founded. Girard views Greek tragedy as the genre that best exemplifies the tendency of violence to erase social distinctions:

The tragedians portray men and women caught up in a form of violence too impersonal in its workings, too brutal in its results, to allow any sort of value judgment, any sort of distinction, subtle or simplistic, to be drawn between "good" and "wicked" characters (47).

Girard makes interesting use of Shakespeare to support the counterintuitive idea that it is the erasing of distinctions in society, not their presence, that gives rise to violence:


…Oh, when degree is shaked

Which is the ladder to all high designs,

The enterprise is sick! How could communities,

Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,

Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,

The primogenitive and due of birth,

Prerogatives of age, crowns, scepters, laurels,

But, by degree, stand in authentic place?

MCLLC Spring UK Core Courses

Looking for a good UK Core Course? Check out the upcoming list for Spring 14. And if you want something taught in one of the 10 languages we offer, check out the course catalogue on MyUK.


All MCL UK Core Courses Taught in English

Instructor: Jeff Rogers MW 9:00-9:50 + 1 lab UK Core Inquiry Humanities
What is a German film? And what makes it German? From Run Lola, Run to Inglorious Basterds, we'll watch and discuss some of
the most exciting international films of the past 15 years.

Instructor: Caldesi-Valeri MW 11:00-11:50 + 1 on-line hour a week UK Core Inquiry Humanities
The Greek myths studied both from the standpoint of their meaning to the Greeks and Romans and from the standpoint of their use
in later literature and in everyday life.

Instructor: Jeffrey Peters MWF 1:00-1:50 UK Core Inquiry Humanities
Investigates the crime thriller in French cinema during the 1940s and 1950s. Including comparisons with Hollywood films and a
consideration of the influences of Expressionism, Surrealism and Existentialism.


Any of you who might be interested in exploring the idea of synaesthesia in Sophocles might want to look at the following:

Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain on Synesthesia by Richard E. Cytowic and David Eagleman. I recommend it only because David Eagleman is one of the authors. His book Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain is a fabulous read. I've been recommending it to all of my friends. He is informative on the subject of neuroscience and has a wonderful writing style The book on synaesthesia is so described on Amazon:

Aristotle on the Corinthian messenger in Oedipus



On Monday we will discuss Aristotle's great contribution to an understanding of Sophocles' Oedipus.

First and most importanr is Aristotle's distinction between simple and complex plots:

"Some plots are simple, others are complex. By "simple" plot, I mean one in which as it develops in a consecutive and unified manner... the shift in fortune (metabasis) comes about without peripety (peripeteia) or recognition; by "complex" one in which the shift (metabasis) is accomplished consecutively but with peripety or recognition or both." (Poetics1452a12ff.)

Next, Aristotle defines peripety:

Peripety is the shift of the action toward the opposite pole..., as, for example, in the Oedipus, the messenger who has arrived, when it seems that he will make Oedipus happy and relieve him of his fears towards his mother by revealing who he is, brings about the oposite." (Poetics, 1452a23ff.)

 What Aristole means will require some explication! He is making an extraordinarily important point, which is often misunderstood.


While going through Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" I noticed in Act 3, Scene2  this little speech from Robin Goodfellow:

My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,

For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,

And yonder shine's Aurora's harbinger,

At whose approach, ghosts wand'ring here and there

Troop home to churchyards. Damned spirits all,

That in crossways and floods have burial.

The play is supposed to be set in ancient Athens, but, of course, it's not. It's interesting that Shakespeare has knowledge of the practice of burying suicides in crossroads. Crossroads as liminal areas, places betwixt and between, places of filth and dirt, have a long, long history.

Images courtesy of Martin Liebermann:".





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