Sunday, January 15, 2012

Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters


I've been invited by the artist Terrance Lindall to join the Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters, a group that I'd noticed listed on the website of the WAH Center (Williamsburg Art and Historical Center), but about which I knew next to nothing. Terrance's invitation offered some history:
In 1997, Terrance Lindall created the President's Club at the WAH Center and the "Williamsburg Circle" of scholars, artists, philosophers, curators. theater people, scientists and engineers to put forth new ideas on the intersection of these subjects in the latter part of the 20th Century. Papers were written by members including Adam Oranchak, Travis Stewart, Yuko Nii and others. Terrance wrote his "Epistemological Movement in the Arts" essay for the Circle. The Presidents' Club of the WAH Center held dinners in honor of outstanding figures in the arts . . . .

The Williamsburg Circle (WC) also has a mission:
The WC will allow its members to put forth ideas that sometimes are not acceptable to the mainstream academic communities . . . . Here at the WC, new ideas, no matter how odd at first appearance will find exposure. The Williamsburg Circle serves as a hub for discussion of new ideas about diverse subject matters. It is especially keen to pointing up intersections in areas of study that on first glance appear to be contradictory, especially as applied to art and literature. It is these endless seemingly chaotic and spontaneous, self organizing and dissolving processes that appear in nature around us that give rise to intuitive leaps of creativity and reveal to the receptive, enlightened mind new ideas in science and the arts.

There's also a Williamsburg Circle motto:
"Fidem Fati Virtue Sequemur"

"With courage follow the promise of Destiny!"

Perhaps my destiny is to join this circle and . . . set forth my ideas? Do I have any ideas worth promoting? Most of my ideas arise from interacting with the ideas of others, which makes me good to have around as a conversational partner, I suppose, so perhaps I can be of some use for the Williamsburg Circle. Anyway, I'm quite interested, and Terrance has requested autobiographical details, so I've supplied the following:
I've been asked to compose a brief autobiography, but since I have no car, I'll just write about myself, with references to other modes of transportation. I was born in 1957 to a carless family in the Arkansas Ozarks and grew up walking regularly to my smalltown library to read books of all kinds, though the selection was limited. I left in 1975 on a bus heading for Baylor University and spent four years there in Waco, Texas pursuing my BA in literature and psychology, though I finished only the former, lacking a two-credit laboratory course for the latter. In 1979, I left for Berkeley and graduate studies in the history of science, and I recall a couple of long cross-country train rides during my many years at the University of California, where I received my masters in the history of science and my doctorate in history. I also used the local subway system to visit San Francisco nearly every Saturday, where I would spend the entire day hiking the city, visiting galleries and bookstores and attending poetry readings. By the late 1980s, I ended up in Tuebingen Germany as a Fulbright Fellow, having flown there, of course, and in 1992, as I was on a train headed for a Friedrich Naumann meeting to accept another fellowship, I met my wife, Sun-Ae Hwang, whom I had inadvertently sat down beside in the only seat still unoccupied in the carriage that I had boarded. We married in 1995 and spent a few years flying about the world to postdoctoral positions in Australia and Jerusalem -- on Australian Research Council and Golda Meir fellowships, respectively -- before settling in Korea, where we have used trains to move from university to university in my Gypsy Scholar career as a professor teaching a variety of subjects, including literature, religious studies, theology, history, and political science, along with essay composition and research methods. We currently live with our two children in Seoul, where I regularly take the subway to teach students at Ewha Womans University. In addition to my university teaching, I also work at home, composing a daily blog, editing for a number of academic journals and a university newspaper, and assisting my wife with her translation work, which can be on anything from art to history to literature. As the mode of transporation for this 'local' work, I use my bare or socked feet, which early in the morning get me from my bed to my desk, but in my imagination, I sprout wings and fly off on a variety of wide-ranging and adventuresome intellectual journeys . . .

That ought to suffice . . .

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14 Comments:

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous tom ball said...

there seems to be a lot of interest in Milton there. No doubt that's what attracted their attention to you.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger dhr said...

yep, Tom, those guys seem to be attracted by unclassifiable, non-authorized Miltonists ;-)

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Tom, they were actually interested in me for my ne'er-do-well career as Gypsy Scholar because there's nothing quite like a bad example to make one feel better!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:31 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

So, Dario, the truth is out!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:56 PM, Blogger dhr said...

hee hee hee, it IS the right occasion, for both, to cite the great Marx (Groucho, of course): "I would never join a club that includes members like me."

 
At 5:23 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I considered that for my original post, but the fear of rejection worried me -- rejected, and even by a club that would have me as a member!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:15 PM, Blogger dhr said...

IF for that reason they rejected you as a member, THAT would have shown that you perfectly fit the WCILA mission, so they would HAVE to accept you as a member.

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I accept my rejected acceptance . . . or do I reject my accepted rejection?

I just knew when I wished upon that wishbone that I shouldn't have wished to lose! My whole world has been a pair of dogs ever since . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:38 AM, Blogger Terrance Lindall said...

Dear Illustrious Founding Members of the WC, Welcome.

I had to modify the mission slightly, working out best wordage (from my point of view):

The Williamsburg Circle, reformed in 2012, serves as a hub for discussion of new ideas about diverse subject matters. It is especially keen to point up intersections in areas of study that on first glance appear to be contradictory, especially in the areas of art and literature. It is our experience and observation of the endless seemingly chaotic and spontaneous, self organizing and dissolving processes that appear in nature and society that give rise to questions, in a receptive individual, and sometimes evoke intuitive leaps of creativity, bringing forth new ideas in science and the arts.

 
At 7:24 AM, Blogger dhr said...

ahem, I would suggest to shorten it to WCIAL, rather than W.C. ...

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Jeffery, do you have a link to this specific post?

On my blog, you can click the title of a given post, and thus select the specific post for posting elsewhere, etc.

Thanks.

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Terrance, for the update.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:13 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I am reminded, Dario, of W.C. Fields . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:18 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Carter, if I understand, you want to make a link to this post? To do that, go to the bottom of the post, where the time posted is given (5:50 AM in this case), and click there. That'll give the specific address for you to link to on your blog.

Jeffery Hodges

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