Why Movies Matter


Daniel Morgan (Cinema and Media Studies, UChicago)

In Conversation with Agnes Callard (Philosophy, UChicago)

Thursday, June 4, 5:00-8:00 p.m. Central Time

Livestream on Crowdcast: click here to register for the conversation

At this event, we will discuss the following questions (and more):

  • Why do we love movies?
  • How do we remember movies?
  • What makes Casablanca such a classic movie?
  • Does it matter whether we watch them in theaters?
  • Is there a distinction between “high” and “low” to be made within movies?
  • Movies vs TV: is there still a difference?

Links for signing up for all spring Night Owls events (including ones that have aired already) on Crowdcast here! You can also find the details for this week’s writing contest below. This is the third Night Owls conversation Dan and Agnes have had together—as a guest, Dan is to Night Owls as Alec Baldwin is to SNL!

Bonus Night Owls!

Click here for a video message from Professor Agnes Callard!

Bonus Night Owls: Thursday, June 18, 5-8 pm CST

Agnes Callard will be interviewing UChicago students for the final Night Owls of the Quarter, which will be about your experience with a full quarter of online learning.

Current UChicago students–any class year, any major–who would like to volunteer should email agcallard@uchicago.edu by noon on 6/5.

In your email, please include your name, year and major, as well as anyone who you would like to have on a panel with you.

We’re excited to hear from you!

Essay Contest #8

What Do Movies Do For Us?

Movies are arguably the preeminent art form of our time, combining music, visual art, acting and storytelling into one all-encompassing experience. They pull tens of billions of dollars every year in profits, something that can be said of no other art form at any point in history.

Everyone has movies that are dear to their heart; a childhood memory, a movie that represents a relationship, an artistic inspiration. We at Night Owls would like to ask: what makes these movies special, and what makes the art form in general special? What makes a good movie, and how does this differ from what makes a good book or good play? What place do movies hold in your own life? Possible topics of reflection include:

 

  • The place of movies in modern life
  • The unique features of movies over other art forms
  • Movies that hold personal significance to you
  • Qualities that make a good movie
  • The future of movies

Please submit your reflections by Wednesday, June 3, at 3pm CST to ChicagoPhilosophyNightOwls@gmail.com.

Is Language a Game?

 

Chris Kennedy (Linguistics, UChicago)

In Conversation with Agnes Callard (Philosophy, UChicago)

Thursday, May 28, 5:00-8:00 p.m. Central Time

Livestream on Crowdcast: click here to register for the conversation

 

At this event, we will discuss the following questions (and more):

  • Is civilization a game we play with words?
  • Should you respond to what I said, or what you think I meant?
  • In a conversation, is someone keeping score—and should they?
  • Can you make something happen just by saying words?
  • Can we ever demand that others believe what we say?
  • Which is more important: what’s said, or what’s left unsaid?

Links for signing up for the rest of our spring Night Owls events on Crowdcast here! The week after this: “Why Movies Matter”!

What does it mean to be a kid?

Abe, Macabee, and Izzy (University of Chicago Laboratory School Students)

In Conversation with Their Mother Agnes Callard (Philosophy, UChicago)

Thursday, May 21, 5:00-8:00 p.m. Central Time

Livestream on Crowdcast: click here to register for the conversation

 

At this event, we will discuss the following questions (and more):

  • Are there things kids understand better than adults?
  • How do kids imagine the future?
  • Do kids feel free?
  • Could someone have a good life if they stayed a child for all of it?
  • Which philosophical questions interest kids?
  • Is the child the father of the man?

Links for signing up for the rest of our spring Night Owls events on Crowdcast are live on this page! There have been more than 2,000 viewings of online Night Owls events so far this spring: come join the conversation!

Essay Contest #7

You were a kid!

We were all kids, once, however surprising it may be–and perhaps even more surprisingly, we were each the very same person, at least in some ways, then, as we are now. This week, in 800 words or fewer, tell us a story from your childhood that captures who you are. Feel free to reflect on continuity, change, and the passage of time in your essay, but no need. It could also just be a great story. We are looking forward to reading your short, revelatory memoirs!

Essays are due Wednesday, May 20 at 3 pm CST, to Chicagophilosophynightowls@gmail.com.

A Defense of Plagiarism

Brian Frye (Law, University of Kentucky)

In Conversation with Agnes Callard (Philosophy, UChicago)

Thursday, May 14, 5:00-8:00 p.m. Central Time

Livestream on Crowdcast: click here to register for the conversation

At this event, we will discuss the following questions (and more):

  • What is plagiarism?
  • Is it (always?) immoral?
  • Can you own an idea?
  • What is the difference between copyright laws and plagiarism rules?
  • Who benefits from strict plagiarism rules in academia?
  • Should grades be abolished?

There have been more than 1,700 viewings of online Night Owls events so far this spring: come join the conversation!