Monthly Archives: September 2015

A Second Great Age of Revolution: Emerson and the World

Jean Mudge

Mudge-front-coverToday we’re living through a second great Age of Revolution that begs the question: What does Emerson’s revolutionary message have to say to the world now?  The famous uprisings that set the stage for Emerson in the first Age of Revolution were the American and French Revolutions.  Bloodied and often brutalized in these wars, citizens yet emerged with an established political framework and a sense of high promise. In America, leaders had originated documents of an exciting new democratic order, presenting a balance of power in government with the potential, by wider enfranchisement, of an ever-increasing popular voice. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were indispensable foundations for Emerson to build upon the freedoms that they proclaimed. Continue reading

Why forests matter for the Sustainable Development Goals on zero hunger

Vira-front-coverAs the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit convenes in New York this weekend to adopt the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, the contribution of forests and tree-based systems to the “Zero Hunger Challenge” needs to be recognised. About one in nine people globally still suffer from hunger, with the majority living in Africa and Asia. The world’s forests have great potential to improve their nutrition and ensure their livelihoods. In fact, forests could be essential to global food security, particularly when considering the importance of diverse, nutritionally-balanced diets. Continue reading

From Stage to Page: Studying the Performance of Music

Fabian-front-coverWhy study the performance of music? Is it not the composer who creates “the music” that listeners of Western classical music enjoy hearing? Does the performer matter? What can an instrumentalist, conductor or singer contribute to “the music” left behind by the composer and immortalised in the notated score? Well, if performers didn’t matter, why do we remember their names, attend their concerts and buy their recordings? Continue reading