Emory Report
October 26, 2009
Volume 62, Number 8

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Carlos Reads Fee: $25 for Museum members; $35 for non-members; includes book. Space is limited and pre-registration is required by calling 404 727-6118.
For more information, visit carlos.emory.edu.


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October 26, 2009
Carlos Reads
Book club engages with the classics

By Priyanka Sinha

Fervent English and philosophy majors may recall many nights toiling over ideas on beauty and truth. In fact, for many the prospect of reading treatises like Plato’s “Republic” seems, if not an outright laborious feat, slightly intimidating. The Carlos Museum’s new series of book club discussions called “Carlos Reads” might be a breath of fresh air.

“’Carlos Reads’ is way cool — you get access to Emory professors and academics, for not much cost and with a commitment of just a few weeks at a time. It seems to me to represent a real service the museum and the professors are providing to the community,” notes participant Emily Looney, editorial director of Emory’s Web.

“Carlos Reads” supports one of the museum’s goals — to place ancient works of art in their larger historical and cultural context. “The objects in our collection can be better understood if we explore the cultures that created them; reading works from antiquity, or by contemporary authors who write about or are inspired by antiquity are ways in which we can do that,” says Elizabeth Hornor, director of education at the Carlos Museum.

The first undertaking was Herodotus’ “Histories,” which was led by Professor of History Cynthia Patterson. “When Elizabeth came up with the idea of 'Carlos Reads' and suggested Herodotus' grand prose epic about the conflict between the Persian Empire and the Greek city-states, I could not have been happier to be part of the inaugural group,” she says. Patterson led 23 participants during the discussions.

The next “Carlos Reads” series begins on Monday, Nov. 9. Over four Monday evenings, Professor of Philosophy Richard Patterson will guide readers through Plato’s “Republic” examining the philosopher’s attempt to answer the questions "What is justice?" and "Why should we be just?" through an examination of human nature, politics, the role of art in society, and the foundations of all reality.

During spring semester, when an exhibition of Indian gold jewelry will be on view at the Carlos Museum, readers will have the opportunity to read the “Bhavagad Gita” with Charles Howard Candler Professor of Religion Laurie Patton, whose new translation of the sacred Hindu text was just published by Penguin Books.