A Spring 2013 Series of Events


About the 7 Words Series of Events

Later this month, the Romance Studies Department, in collaboration with the Vice Provost for the Arts, the Council for the Arts, the Center for French and Francophone Studies (CFFS), the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI), the Center for Philosophy, Art, and Literature at Duke (PAL), the Program in Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), and the Departments of Romance, Literature, and Music will host a series of events on music and philosophy. The 7 Words series of events consists of a performance of an original composition entitled Seven Words, a videoconference by the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, and a symposium on contemporary philosophy and music.

About the “Seven Words” Concert

A free performance by the Galuppi Quartet and Olivier Dejours will take place on January 29, 2013, in the Duke Memorial Chapel at 8pm. The performance marks the worldwide premiere of an original composition intertwining ancient music, contemporary music, and an unpublished text by philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy. The work explores the genre of the musical palimpsest while proposing a new kind of melodrama, one that investigates the role of the voice in musical composition across the ages. The unique performance provides an opportunity to debate questions of performance, text, music, voice, and stage design. The Galuppi Quartet, which specializes in both ancient and contemporary music, has also developed artistic and pedagogical initiatives in France that have been tested on many stages and in education settings.

8 pm
January 29, 2013
Duke Memorial Chapel
Duke University
Free and open to the public.


About the Videoconference With Jean-Luc Nancy

In an event co-organized by Romance Studies, the Literature Program, and the Franklin Humanities Institute, Jean-Luc Nancy will lecture via videoconference on January 31, 2013, at 4 pm at the FHI Garage (Bay 4, Smith Warehouse, Duke University). Nancy is a seminal contemporary French philosopher in the tradition of Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Derrida. His work questions politics, ontology, and aesthetics and has shown a particular interest in music. He recently collaborated with composer Sergio Perezzani on “Au bord du sens” for the Stuttgart Contemporary Music Festival. Nancy’s texts have also been set to music by Michael Levinas (“Dies Irae”) and Mark André (Noli me tangere). Most of his books have been translated into English.

The videoconference will be in French with a subsequent Q&A period in both French and English. Download the English translation of the paper.

4 pm
January 31
FHI Garage
(Bay 4, Smith Warehouse)

About the PAL Symposium

The Center for Philosophy, Arts, and Literature (PAL) will host a symposium on philosophy and music on February 1, 2013, from 2 pm to 5 pm at the FHI Garage (Bay 4, Smith Warehouse, Duke University). Panelists include François Noudelmann, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII and the European Graduate School, journalist at France Culture, and author of the essay The Philosopher’s Touch: Sartre, Nietzsche and Barthes at the Piano; Professor Jacqueline Waeber, a specialist of Rousseau from the Duke Department of Music; Olivier Dejours, composer, conductor, and former member of Les Percussions de Strasbourg; and Professor of Philosophy Richard Fleming from Bucknell University, author of many works on ordinary language philosophy and on philosophy and music, and particularly on the work of John Cage. The symposium will investigate the role played by music in modern reflections on aesthetics and will encourage debate surrounding the possibilities and limitations of concepts such as musical meaning, music as a form of language, the ineffable, philosophical approaches to music’s expressiveness, performance, and authenticity.

2-5 pm
February 1, 2013
FHI Garage (Bay 4, Smith Warehouse)
Duke University