"Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another - physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in delusion." This quote from The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison will be our departure point for an exploration of beauty at this week's discussion. Our aim shall be to discuss the darker side of conceptions of beauty, a bit of the history behind the term, and its place in modern consumer society as it affects our conceptions of the self and others. We will use three points of reference to guide our inquiry. First, a short article describing the debate around the place of beauty in ancient Greek culture: http://www.salon.com/2015/01/03/the_secret_history_of_beauty_how_the_greeks_invented_western_civilizations_biggest_idea/ Second, a short piece by Susan Sontag on the necessity of the term "beauty" and its place in our experience and language: http://www.amacad.org/publications/fall2002/sontagweb.pdf Third, a short exploration of Morrison's novel and racialised conceptions of physical beauty: http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/projects/counterpoints/PDF/A14.pdf After reading the short pieces, I'd like everyone to consider this question: Is the idea of physical (or aesthetic) beauty one we could (and if so, SHOULD) live without? Meeting will be at Circa Thirteen/Epoch Coffee on Anderson Lane at 8pm. Drinks, food, and revelry to follow afterward. See you all there!
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