From Hegel to Music Nights/Life in the College

22 October 2012

My name is Tristan Wicks, as you are likely to have gathered from the name on this blog, and I am a fourth-year Humanities student. I thought that the best way to go about introducing you to this program would be to tell you what I’ve been reading this last week in the program and give you a few examples of some of the social events put on by the college that I’ve participated in recently.

This past week has been the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and, I can tell you now that his work is difficult but oddly rewarding. The big picture of Hegel is the progress of history. He starts with the Greeks and moves up until his contemporary time (19th century) describing the general spirit of each age. Uh-oh, looks like I just committed a Hegel-study sin: I used a technically loaded term “spirit”. You see, what I’ve learnt about Hegel so far is that particular words have a great deal of implications for systematized thinking. While the philosopher himself often seems ambiguous with his use of particular words, I’ve learnt from reading him how important understanding specific terminology can be for understanding what they’re actually saying but even more how central the actual writer’s purpose can be for getting a handle on their terminology. For Hegel, his purpose seems to lie in the crystallization of the great movements of history to create a more profound capacity for moderns to engage with their present. Powerful stuff but definitely challenging.

As I mentioned, I’d also like to give you an idea about some of the social events that help keep us sane for our Hegel readings in the college and recently we had our monthly music night. Only a couple of weeks ago, the Humanities lecture theatre filled up with students from all four years many of whom performed anything ranging from music, poetry to biblically inspired rap. One of the great things about the program and about the students in it is that we are so moved by what we read that we can’t help but be inspired by it when we create and you can see that everywhere on music night. What’s more is that the atmosphere is a genuinely inviting one and, having performed in the past myself, I can tell you that stage fright completely disappears as the audience actively participates in what you’re performing. Afterward, some of us head over to the campus bar for a drink or two and we get to know people from all of the years if we haven’t already met them during the show.

Anyways, that’s all I have for you know but keep checking in for more posts and I’ll try and keep you up-to-date on everything that goes on in the college.