Singular Voices, Dual Lives

Pictured top down, left to right: Vladimir Nabokov, Leonardo Da Vinci, Johann Sebastian Bach, Alexander Borodin

Course Description

Singular Voices, Dual Lives: Nabokov, Leonardo, Bach, Borodin

   To what extent have artists exhibited extraordinary knowledge and ability in science and engineering? Do these necessarily infuse their art, and if so, how? Artists in the fields of literature, art, and music include Vladimir Nabokov (writer and lepidopterist), Leonardo da Vinci (artist and engineer), Alexander Borodin (composer and chemist), and J. S. Bach (composer, performer, and acoustician). Each achieved a self-sufficiency enabling the articulation and activation of work that reveals an inimitable signature; in short, an entrepreneurial streak runs through their lives, fueled by their individual voices and the remarkable ingenuity resulting from their dual professions. In-class and out-of-class activities focus on student scholarly and creative work, with special attention paid to original source documents, e.g., Leonardo's Notebooks. Students will have the opportunity to realize projects in the arts and sciences, thus experiencing firsthand the satisfaction and challenges faced by Bach, Borodin, Nabokov, and Leonardo in their desire for knowledge, discovery, and creative expression.

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