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ND institute to host conference on beauty

Amanda Gray | Friday, January 22, 2010

Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study will host its first of annual conference starting today through Jan. 23, director Vittorio Hösle said.

The conference, held in McKenna Hall, will focus on beauty emphasized in lectures by international speakers from many diverse fields, Hösle said.

“Beauty is neglected in modern discussion,” Hösle said. “The question is how we will be able to reflect on beauty.”

Figures like internationally known Russian artist Maxim Kantor and mathematician Robert P. Langlands will lecture on beauty in visual arts and mathematics, respectively, according to the program. Kantor will also speak Jan. 26, 27 and 29 on printmaking and Russia.
The topic of the conference is derived from the Institute’s seal — “Verum, Bonum, Pulchrum,” meaning truth, goodness and beauty, Hösle said.

The next two conferences will focus on goodness and truth, and a fourth conference will focus on religion.

The conference, as well as the Institute itself, is increasing the interdisciplinary and international nature of Notre Dame’s campus, Hösle said.

“The Institute [for Advanced Study] has an aim to foster research with two points; that it’s interdisciplinary and that is should look at the normative and descriptive,” Hösle said. “That is, we should learn how the world is and how it ought to be.”

The Institute is a recent installation on campus, with original planning starting in the fall of 2008 and the formation of the actual offices in July of 2009, Hösle said. The Institute will begin selecting fellows and graduate students after the conference.

“This year we will bring in eight fellows and two graduate students,” Hösle said. “Next year we will increase, adding 14 fellows and four graduate students. We will select those whose projects are in line with the Institute.”

Hösle said undergraduates would eventually be hired.

“We will possibly hire some undergraduates to work for the fellows and experience scholarship,” Hösle said. “We want to attract undergrads so they can be exposed early on to discussions.”

He said an increase in international knowledge would be necessary as time goes on.
“The 21st century will be a global one. We have to increase international knowledge. We need students to speak different languages,” Hösle said.

To find more about the Institute for Advanced Study and the Annual Conference, including a schedule of events, visit sri.nd.edu/institute-for-advanced-study or call 574-631-1305. Registration is required for meals, but the sessions are open to anyone who would like to attend.