Comedian Steve Allen created a television show titled “Meeting of Minds” where guests to a dinner party included some of the most famous, or infamous, people in world history. Imagine possible conversations between Mark Twain and Nelson Mandela on the treatment of minorities. How did the Catholic Church affect the work of Galileo, or influence the attitude of Paul Gauguin, or dictate the path of society in South America as seen in Allende’s historical novels? Even more, we tend to associate historical figures in narrow spheres of influence; can we extrapolate their opinions into a broader context, both within their own eras and beyond? This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the unforeseen connections between five historical figures – two writers, Mark Twain and Isabelle Allende; a politician, Nelson Mandela; a scientist, Galileo; and an aesthetic, Paul Gauguin from different times and places – brought together for an amazing dinner conversation. The goal of this seminar is to synthesize what that conversation will be and to produce a play bringing it to life.  This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study.


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Course Types

Core Interdisciplinary Seminar

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