with David Wood

Centennial Professor
of Philosophy,
Vanderbilt University

more detailed information



Thinking Out
of the Lunchbox

Spring 2009

May 6, 2009
"Democratic Virtuosity: Music and the Public Sphere”
Jonathan Neufeld
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

On July 7, 2001, Daniel Barenboim conducted the prelude to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde as an unscheduled encore at the Israel festival in Jerusalem, bucking an unofficial ban on the public performance of Wagner’s music that had been in place in Israel since 1938. His action ignited a firestorm of debate, beginning with a significant fraction of the audience leaving the performance, and culminating in an official rebuke by members of the Israeli parliament.

What is the relationship between the context of a performance and the sounding of the music itself? What role do modern audiences, in all of their diversity, play in influencing the direction of classical music practice?


April 1, 2009
“Why I Don’t Hate the South”
Houston Baker, Professor of English

How can an African American who grew up under strict segregation claim he doesn’t hate the American South? What does memory provide for emotion? How does family history condition memory? And in what ways are reading and studying essential to creating emotion?

March 4, 2009
“Pathways Out of Poverty, and Toward the American Dream: The Case of Nashville”

Dan Cornfield
Professor of Sociology

The city of Nashville is an important case of the challenges and opportunities of reducing poverty in the service economy of the 21st century.

What are the pathways into and out of poverty, and what concrete, citywide steps can be taken to help more Nashvillians pursue the American dream?

Watch streaming video of Outside of the Lunch Box discussion (Real Player or Windows Media)

February 4, 2009
“Beyond Public”
Mel Ziegler
Professor of Art

Who is our audience and how, as artists, do we engage such a public. Professor Ziegler will address various forms of "public" art and the pros and cons of each. Using his own work he will address, perhaps what may be considered a " Beyond Public" aspect of more common ways of working today that engage "localized" ( which might also be global) constituencies.

Watch streaming video of Outside of the Lunch Box discussion (Real Player or Windows Media)