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Products for grant AQ-234985-16

AQ-234985-16
NEH Enduring Questions Course on Soul, Mind, and Body
Rafael Narvaez Vargas, Winona State University

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=AQ-234985-16

Souls (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: Souls
Director: Rafael F. Narvaez
Producer: Rafael F. Narvaez
Abstract: Do we have a soul? Is it material, like air, or immaterial, like a shadow? Are souls feminine and masculine or do they remove their gender as they exit the body? If souls resemble the body, can they be, say, blue-eyed, or blind, or white, or black? Are there infant souls in the afterworld? Do they grow up? When we sleep, does the soul leave the body to enter into an otherworldly order that we experience as a dream? Can it be trapped there, to be sold on the black market? Where does it go after death? To the bush, the domain of spirits? To the underworld, where it loses its memory? Is there a place reserved for the souls of soldiers and one for those of philosophers? Can the soul be tortured? Are stars souls? Is the soul a bird? Questions and beliefs like these have marked people’s identities, influenced how we see others, and how we divide the world. Spanish colonists, for instance, often thought that “Indians” did not have a soul, which partly explains the savagery of the colonial process. In the West, a body/soul rhetoric has evolved along with features of our civilization, a process that has marked, in particular, the humanities and the arts. (Why is medieval plainchant, for example, devoid of beat? Because beat, the clergy argued, leaps to the feet and to the hip to pollute the soul.) Changes in beliefs about the soul have also marked how we perceive reality, and even how we experience our body. Consider sexuality, for instance, an embodied experience historically regarded as a threat to the soul. The world has seen age-old battles for the control of this body/soul rhetoric; battles that, still waged today, need our attention because they ultimately are about the social construction of reality and of features of civilization itself.
Date: 01/12/2017
Primary URL: http://https://academicminute.org/2017/01/rafael-narvaez-featured-on-the-best-of-our-knowledge/
Primary URL Description: The Academic Minute Website, Best of Our Knowledge section
Secondary URL: http://https://academicminute.org/2017/01/rafael-narvaez-winona-state-university-souls/
Secondary URL Description: The Academic Minute Website
Format: Radio
Format: Digital File
Format: Web

How an Evolving Body/Soul Rhetoric Marked the Development of the Humanities (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: How an Evolving Body/Soul Rhetoric Marked the Development of the Humanities
Author: Rafael F. Narvaez
Abstract: Plato postulated that the human body partakes from a lower material order characterized by change and decay (the order of becoming) and that the soul belongs to a higher and unchanging eternal order (the order of being), a proposition that set in motion a millennial concern with questions about body and soul, and with attendant theories and beliefs about mortality/immortality, materialism/idealism, sacred/profane, being/becoming, etc. Arguably all canonical schools have grappled with body/soul or body/mind questions, including Christianity, Idealism, Materialism, Romanticism, Rationalism, Phenomenology, or indeed Third Wave Feminism. Beyond philosophy and theology, these themes have also marked the arts, literature, and poetry, and canonical artists and writers have provided their own footnotes to Platonic dualism. This paper traces the genealogy of these debates about body and soul and discusses the extent to which an evolving body/soul rhetoric marked the development of the humanities in the West.
Date: 06/08/16
Primary URL: http://http://h16.cgpublisher.com/proposals/103
Primary URL Description: Conference Website
Conference Name: New Directions in the Humanities, 2016. Special Focus: Nature at the Crossroads—New Directions for the Humanities in the Age of the Anthropocene

The Body and the Soul in the Western Tradition And Why These Narratives Matter (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The Body and the Soul in the Western Tradition And Why These Narratives Matter
Author: Rafael F. Narvaez
Abstract: This paper traces important shifts in theories and ideologies about body and soul, and the extent to which these shifts have affected Western intellectual history, focusing particularly on philosophy and the human sciences. Secondarily, I also consider the ways in which these shifts affected intimate aspects of everyday life in the West. In the concluding section, I argue that, historically, social struggles for the control of meanings related to body and soul have been important – precisely because these struggles have not been about mere meanings detached from life, but about aspects of life itself. Understanding the effects that these kinds of ideas and beliefs have historically had is critical in an age such as ours, which is witnessing the rise of various forms of religious fundamentalism and the return of religious war. This project is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (# AQ-234985).
Date: 07/05/2018
Conference Name: Sixteen International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities: Reconsidering Freedom, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Body and Soul in Renaissance Art and Literatur (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Body and Soul in Renaissance Art and Literatur
Author: Rafael F. Narvaez
Author: Leslie Malland
Abstract: The transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance carried important and enduring changes in the way Westerners conceived the body and the soul, shifts in perspective that initially transformed key aspects of (Renaissance) art, including music, as well as literature and philosophy. Renewed interest in anatomy, in particular, forced Renaissance artist and thinkers to reconfigure their ideas of the body and its relationship to the soul. Anatomists searched for the soul by dissecting cadavers; artist dissected the body to better convey the human spirit; and writers dissected the soul through their work; and they thus set in motion paradigmatic upheavals that eventually resulted in changes in the ways Westerners understood the idea of the human, both theoretically as well as at the level of collective beliefs. In this paper, we examine the extent to which the body/soul rhetoric was recast during the Renaissance; how these changes affected the arts and literature of the period, and show that changes in beliefs and preoccupations pertaining to the body and the soul powerfully contribute to shaping cultural products (e.g., artistic and literary) as well as important aspects of everyday life. This presentation is partly sponsored by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (# AQ-234985).
Date: 07/05/2018
Conference Name: Sixteen International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities: Reconsidering Freedom, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia


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