A Brief History of Humanism

Humanism was an influence at the very heart of the Renaissance, and sought to restore education that was based on ancient Greek and Latin writings in an effort to renew the best aspects of the civilizations of Greece and Rome. These classical writings were meant to serve as a moral compass for how to best …

Continue reading A Brief History of Humanism

What White People Don’t Know (about Racism)

I thought that I knew what racism was, and I also thought that I was a fair and unprejudiced person. I was wrong. Why is the heart of racism so difficult to discuss? How do we approach the problem of prejudice responsibly and with an eye to change? Conversations about race tend to focus on …

Continue reading What White People Don’t Know (about Racism)

The Artist’s Widow – An Interview

Andrew Wyeth is most famous for the painting featured in this post, entitled Christina's World. Wyeth's detractors claim that the painter staged a "discovery"of hundreds of illicit, decades old paintings of his own making, featuring his muse and lover, Helga Testorf. The following is the transcript of an interview with the widow of the famous …

Continue reading The Artist’s Widow – An Interview

Infectious Disease: Public Safety v. Personal Freedom

The incarceration of Mary Mallon as a host of the infectious typhoid fever pathogen was an event which sparked much debate in the early 20th century. Several health officials spoke against her involuntary quarantine at Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island. She was even released from quarantine in 1910 due largely to the efforts of …

Continue reading Infectious Disease: Public Safety v. Personal Freedom

The Birth of Modern Feminism: 15th Century Europe

In Christine de Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies, written circa 1405, the author places herself in the lead role of an allegorical tale of a philosophical journey in pursuit of truth. She confers with three daughters of God in dialogues that describe a very different sort femininity than was recognized in her time. …

Continue reading The Birth of Modern Feminism: 15th Century Europe

A Modern and Practical Take on Plato’s Philosophy

Plato’s Republic approaches questions about the nature of goodness, how it affects the actions of men, the nature of truth, what motivates us, and the nature of justice. Plato does so with an eye to exploring the socio-political and individual ramifications of these topics, as well as explaining his theories on how they are inextricably …

Continue reading A Modern and Practical Take on Plato’s Philosophy

Theorizing: The Greek Dialectical Method as a Precursor for the Scientific Method

Assertion: The ancient Greek philosophers’ Dialectical Method is the main influence on the premise of the modern Scientific Method. According to the Oxford-English Dictionary, the Scientific Method is defined as “A method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification …

Continue reading Theorizing: The Greek Dialectical Method as a Precursor for the Scientific Method

Art Deco: An Artistic Response to Industrialization

The Art Deco Movement of 1925 - 1940 marks a time of exuberant excess, and is characterized by bright and linear ornamentation in visual art, geometric elegance in fashion, and hard-edged decoration in architecture.  Artists, architects and designers of the time sought to embellish all things tangible, from the largest skyscraper facades to the smallest …

Continue reading Art Deco: An Artistic Response to Industrialization

Analysis of William Waterhouse’s Various Renditions of the Lady of Shallot

  Section 1: The Work and its Historical/Cultural Context Arguably the most famous piece by painter and drafter John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shallot depicts an emotionally evocative scene on an ancient theme: the fabled medieval city of Camelot.  The work's creation in 1888 was inspired by a poem by the same name which …

Continue reading Analysis of William Waterhouse’s Various Renditions of the Lady of Shallot