Spring Chorale Concert

Sunday, April 23, 2017
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM (ET)
ROB ROB Marshall Auditorium
Event Type
Merriam, Nancy


Scapegoating and Structural Violence 

Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 3:00pm
Marshall Auditorium, Haverford College
Free and Open to the Public

3:00 p.m.: Pre-concert conversation
Between current and former chairs of Philosophy at Haverford: Associate Professor of Philosophy Jerry Miller and Distinguished Visitor Richard J. Bernstein, Vera List Professor of Philosophy, Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research

4:00 p.m. Performance:
Michael Tippett’s 1942 Oratorio A Child of Our Time

Performed by the Haverford/Bryn Mawr Chorale and Orchestra, Professor of Music Thomas Lloyd, conductor, with soloists Clara Rottsolk, Veronica Walton BMC’19, and Alexandra Bernas HC’19 sopranos; Emily Drummond BMC’17 alto; Jon Garrison, tenor; and Mattias Lundberg HC’20, bass.

The English composer Michael Tippett composed both the text and music for the oratorio A Child of Our Time as a dramatic and philosophical musical response to the story of Herschel Grynspan and the events leading up to Kristallnacht and the Holocaust.

An important part of the work are arrangements of five African-American spirituals, as the composer saw parallels between the oppression of Africans in America under chattel slavery and (in his own lifetime) lynchings and the plight of the Jews in Nazi Germany. The oratorio also draws parallels to themes of atonement in Christianity and Jungian psychology’s emphasis on embracing both “the shadow and the light” of the human personality.

Philosophers J. Reid Miller and Richard J. Bernstein will have a conversation about the philosophical underpinnings of scapegoating and structural violence confronted by the oratorio and the relevance of these considerations to our current situation. Both have written recent books probing the normalization of violence at different times and places as a means of social and political control (Bernstein in Violence: Thinking Without Bannisters, and Miller in Stain Removal: Ethics and Race)

Scapegoating and Structural Violence is part of a year-long series of events initiated by Haverford President Kim Benston to examine the structural violence in the United States and its effect on issues of racial, economic, and social justice.

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