The Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) will hold
its spring forum, “Who Owns the Arts?” Jan. 29 in the
Cox Hall Ballroom. The event, which is geared toward faculty, will
engage participants in dialogue about creativity, artistry, society,
property rights—and how they all interconnect.
“Everybody is pleased and excited about the opening of the
Schwartz Center, so talking about the arts seemed like the perfect
subject,” said Martine Watson Brownley, Goodrich C. White
Professor of English and CHI director. The newly completed center’s
grand opening is scheduled for Feb. 1, three days following the
“And with all the new technologies out there, from Napster
to corporate ownership, there are a lot of questions about who owns
the arts,” Brownley said.
The focus group moderators and their subjects are: Steve Everett,
music (Disposable Art); Elena Glazov-Corrigan, REALC (When Art Is
Disowned); Rosemary Magee, Emory College (Imaginative Properties);
Rudolf Makkreel, philosophy (The Art World as Mental Property);
Laurie Patton, religion (The Problem of Religious Offense); Walter
Reed (The Work of Original Genius in Mass Marketing); Judy Rohrer,
art history (Architecture, Ownership and Collective Representation/Memory);
and Leslie Taylor, theater studies (What Thieves These Artists Be:
Borrowing, Stealing and Quoting, in the Act of Creation).
Following a brief reception beginning at 4:30 p.m., attendees will
break into their focus groups and discuss their subjects from 5–6:30
p.m. Last year, forum participants moved from table to table at
assigned times. This year, Brownley said, participants will stay
at one table (though moving around will be an option). The change
was made, she said, because last year’s attendees preferred
staying in one place and continuing conversations, rather than bouncing
around from discussion to discussion. Dinner will end the evening
at 6:30 p.m.
The upcoming forum is the second in what CHI hopes will be an annual
series. Last February, the subject matter was “The Humanities
and Terror,” and the forum leaders were the members of the
executive committee that helped create the center. This year, CHI
worked with the Humanities Council to choose focus group moderators.
“Our imaginations aren’t divided by disciplines,”
said Magee, who was a forum participant last year and this year
will lead a focus group for the first time. “I’m looking
for connections between arts and sciences and the natural externalization
of our imaginations.”
The event is free. Last year’s forum attracted more than 60
faculty participants from throughout the University. As of mid-January,
56 Emory faculty had signed up for this year’s event. To participate,
contact CHI at 404-727-6424.
“To me, one of the core values of an entity like the CHI is
that it not only raises deliberation within humanities but across
the disciplines,” Magee said. “We need to have more
dialogue about that. I think people are open to and hungry for it.”