The Heart and Soul of a Humanities Agenda: Dirt, Death, and Creativity

Dr. Richard Max Ilgner
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John Kenneth Galbraith called the Canadian educator and novelist, Robertson Davies, "one of the most learned, amusing and otherwise accomplished novelists of our time." In 1981 Davies, after stepping down from his educator's job as Master of Massey College at the University of Toronto for twenty years, published a novel, The Rebel Angels, in which the humanities curriculum at a university is so to speak the main character and theme of the book. It is Davies' plea for the importance of curiosity-driven research as the heart and soul of the university. Only it can enable creativity and innovation to stay alive and well, so that all sectors of society and the planet can benefit. Not only that, but Davies offers convincing psychological insights into the source of intercultural violence.

Keywords: An Agenda for the Humanities, Maximizing Research and Innovation, Inquiry into Intercultural Conflict
Stream: Science, Environment and the Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Richard Max Ilgner

Head and Professor, Department of German and Russian, Memorial University

I have a background in Medieval German and English and Renaissance Italian. I have taught a world myth course regularly (special emphasis on shamanism and the Faust legend). My main work has been Goethe and also the interplay of ecology and creativity. My work has taken me to universities in Japan, Germany, France, Great Britain, as well as here in the United States and Canada. I have published books, dozens of articles, and given well over a hundred presentations on these topics. My work has been supported by grants both internal to my university and by the DAAD (German government).

Ref: H06P0053