Category: November 28 (page 1 of 3)

The History of Poetry

In tonights lecture we met with Professor Colangelo who spoke to us about “Voice and Verse: At the origins of contemporary poetry. ” Professor Colangelo started his talk with quotes from poets through out history. One thing that I realized while he was reading these quotes I realized that each poets voice and context carried.

Through all of the lectures we have attended I found this to be the one lecture where it was hard to pinpoint an exact origin of the subject matter. Poetry is a very subjective art form. There are no rules or standards to poetry. The way in which one area which we have learned about that there is no exact date in which an origin can be pinpointed. The reason being that poetry, as an art form can be viewed and interpreted very differently depending on who is reading the poem.

Professor Colangelo’s talk made me think about the idea that each and every person is a poet wether or not they chose to pursue the practice of writing poetry. Any form of expression in its self can be seen as a form of poetry. In some ways this blog post itself could be considered a poem. However, the practice of poetry itself is something that has been perfect and practiced by many great poets. Poetry, however, has no wrong or right approach. Poetry can rhyme, be short, have a rhythm, or can have many hidden meanings.

I think the idea of ones voice is the most important part of poetry. Ones voice is the tone in which they try to express their message or story within their poem. While the text itself could be the same, the tone in which the poem is read can completely change the meaning of the poem. Some poets such as Poe use a very dark voice to convey his message. Poe’s poems all are very complex and somewhat twisted. Poe leaves his readers with a chilling feeling after reading his poems. In contrast to Poe there are poets such as Shell Silverstein whose poems are geared towards a very different audience. Sblverstiens poems are written for children and can be read as almost a song. Silverstein takes very simple daily ideas and converts them into whimsical and light hearted stories. Silverstein’s poems are often memorized and reread by students in a class room setting as a way to introduce them into the practice of poems.

The final thought that stuck with me the most from the lecture is the idea that poetry is timeless. Poet and philosopher Bachelard introduced this idea of poetries timelessness. It stands on the idea that poetry is the coming together of many ideas into one moment. While it is hard to state that anything is timeless considering time is one of the factors in life which mankind has absolute no control over, the timelessness of poetry comes from the fact that the meaning behind certain poems are everlasting. One simple message that a poet wrote hundreds years ago could be read today and interpreted in the same way.

Dr. Aronova talk

When I heard that Dr. Aronova was coming to talk about social constructions and science among other things, I was interested and excited. We talk a lot about how different people, places, times, etc. process different pieces of information that come from different sciences. And we talked about this a lot during her visit. Continue reading

Elena Aronova – Origins of Science and the History of Science

Our last lecture of the semester was presented by Professor Elena Aronova, who traveled all the way from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she is a Professor of History.  Her academic focus has generally centered around the history of science, and in her introduction we learned that her current research is focused on the history of environmental and evolutionary sciences. To present her perspective on origins, she combined her own research in these fields with her reflections on our seminar series despite not working directly on the origin of something. In her work on the history of science, she has spent a lot of time considering the political implications of the different trajectories this history has taken. With this said, Professor Aronova argued that in the origins of science and the history of science, there are three origin stories that intertwine with one another in many ways. The first, is the origins of science, a topic we received an introduction to last week with Janet Browne. This notion of evolution and its development is one, somewhat more obvious and straightforward, way of thinking about origins in the history of science. This origin story completely disrupted societies understanding of human life and its creation, and this disruption led to the start of scientific understanding. The second origin story in the history of science is in the idea of Scientific Revolutions. There’s a history in the varying positions of how to define the or a one, Scientific Revolution, and the point at which its origin was. Finally, the third element Professor Aronova spoke of was the origin of the discussion of the history of science.

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Folk scientists in China

Prof. Aronova brought up the idea of citizen seismology, a specific type of citizen sciences in her articles and her lecture. I have always had a sophisticated impression on the citizen sciences. On the one hand, I believe it is an effective way to spread out the idea and enhance the influence of science to the larger public. In fact, many institutions also have similar science promotion programs, such as Colby’s CAPS program. Continue reading

Science and Politics

Soviet Union and the West/

History of science

A day passes not here at Colby before I can see people acting superior to others because they are taking a number of science classes per semester, having a number of science labs where they will have to write a report each week on some hardcore science class. You are taking those five science classes, I am taking four social science classes so who is better that the other one? Do we need one without the other? These are the questions that I ask myself while trespassing the Colby’s campus every day. One field can’t be important without the other and all fields needs to be embraced.

This week we had Professor Elena Aronova come to Colby to speak about the history of science in the Soviet Union and the West during the Cold War. She talked about emphasize of science in the East and the West as they try to clinch the lead in scientific revolution and supremacy. Neither the Soviet nor the United States would want to be seen as the lesser one in Science. The Society had communist Academy which was Marxist research and study. By the mid-twenties, the Communist Academy was transformed into the Scientific-methodological center. Later the same institute petition for an establishment of the Institute for History of Science. This was in line of fostering the science culture in the East. The successful testing of hydrogen bomb gained more prestige. This was in some way showed some level of technological advancements in the east.

Professor Elena said that the scientific revolution started around the 17th century. She corroborated what we had been talking about origin that most of the things that we might be looking at is more of like an advancement from what has been there before. Professor Elena considered the Darwinian Theory as not really progress but she call it change. She thinks that the effects of the Second World War, Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never be forgotten in our history where thousands of people died from than Bomb attack.

She drew our attention to the scientific revolution and the political evolution that came with this. Each country would want to have power by being technologically advanced by employing a lot of sciences to be seen as advanced. From the scientific supremacy that the two regions wanted to be seen as one which was a head, I was reflecting in the need of people with specific skills in the world today. Countries have different policies on immigrants depending on the kind of skills that the country needs. I was asked the professor Aronova in class if she thought we are still in that state of trying to see who has advanced a lot from the scientific world now between the East and the West. I was thinking of varying amount of time international students taking different courses get to practice here in the US after graduation. The students who graduated from the STEM subjects gets around three years to practice in the stem field, which is mostly Science and computer science and Math which none-stem, international students only have one year to practice what they have learnt. This discrepancy then I think is still the need to advance the country in the scientific field that makes countries to have different policies to meet their needs.

This was an interesting topic to end the lecture series of the year. It has been great getting faculty from different field to come talk to us.


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