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Sir Jonathan Mills to host public lectures at Yale

Composer and former Edinburgh International Festival director to address issues related to “The Role of Culture in the Contemporary World”
September 27, 2018

Sir Jonathan Mills. Photo by Seamus McGarvey

Sir Jonathan Mills will present a series of three public lectures that will collectively address issues related to “The Role of Culture in the Contemporary World.” Mills, who is known for his directorship, from 2006 until 2014, of the internationally celebrated Edinburgh International Festival, has also led prestigious festivals in his native Australia and is recognized around the world for his thought-provoking compositions. Mills holds a bachelor of music degree in composition from the University of Sydney and a master of architecture from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia in 2011 and knighted in 2013. All lectures are free and open to the Yale community.

 

Tuesday, October 2

“Culture and the Gift Economy”

Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, General Motors Room

11:30 a.m. – Buffet Lunch, Noon – Lecture

Register at jacksonlecture100218.eventbrite.com

In a world that seems addicted to measuring every aspect of human activity in terms that are almost exclusively economic, what role can there be for culture? How can the impact of the arts be measured? Are alternative types of value systems required to help explain the importance and worth of culture?

Beginning with the origins of the Edinburgh International Festival, Jonathan Mills, the Festival’s former director, explores the role an arts festival plays in building social and economic confidence at a time of financial hardship and mistrust, in a wide-ranging lecture that touches on the groundbreaking work of anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski and the idea of a “gift economy.”

 

Monday, October 15

“Music and the Sacred Dimensions of Time”

Institute of Sacred Music, Great Hall

409 Prospect St. (Divinity Quandrangle)

4 p.m., reception to follow

Drawing on sacred and secular musical examples from Josquin, Beethoven, Messiaen, and Boulez, the writings of philosopher Henri Bergson, and the poetry of T.S. Eliot, composer Jonathan Mills argues that music has a unique capacity to enable us to experience time as a heightened and emotional phenomenon — and, further, that it may itself become timeless.

 

Monday, October 22

“Culture and Well-being: Connections Between Health and Music”

Yale School of Public Health, 47 College St., Room 106

4 p.m., reception to follow

How can culture contribute to the health and well-being of human society? The sustainable provision of health care is of vital concern for governments around the world. A growing body of neurological and clinical research indicates that participation in cultural activity offers long-lasting benefits for a range of medical conditions. How can the social and economic benefits of the arts be understood and implemented by policy makers, commercial medical insurers, and clinical practitioners? How can the arts improve health outcomes for traditionally marginalized or neglected communities?

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