Origins are at the very center of the academic landscape: a set of principles, a body of texts, an ancestral language, or a group of objects and practices from which fields of inquiry develop and grow. This lecture series, ST132 offered on Tuesday evenings in Lovejoy 100 from 7:00-8:15 for 1 credit, non-graded, will allow students from across the College to develop new perspectives on their own fields and compare methodological foundations across the disciplines. While broad in its conception, the lecture series will encourage detailed and critical reflection on the social, historical, political, and cultural contexts that inform our understanding of who we are as humans, where we come from, and where we think we might be going — the trajectories we choose to follow in an increasingly interconnected global landscape.

At the origins of human cognition is a desire to impose an order over the chaotic manifestations of reality. The whole of our knowledge consists of collecting differences that can help us distinguish between objects, and attempt to organize them into coherent systems. Our lecture series will focus on this particular aspect of the Humanities Theme, placing the struggle between order and chaos at the heart of our desire for knowledge, investigating how it unfolds in different historical and disciplinary contexts