Symposium to discuss ‘Arcadia’

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Linda Smith
Assistant News Editor

After seeing the opening-night performance of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, my friends and I were left thinking. It was not that the play was incomprehensible, but rather so comprehensive that we yearned to know more of the backstory behind it.

The University of Dallas community is invited to a panel titled “The Genius of Place: A Symposium Exploring Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia.” The symposium aims to serve just that purpose, by delving deeper into the many subjects present in the play.

“The play talks about the chaos theory, the second law of thermodynamics, and the conflict between rationalism and romanticism,” assistant professor of drama Stefan Novinski said. “The different speakers and topics will help to deepen students’ understanding of the world of the play while providing great interdisciplinary study.”

Four faculty speakers will discuss aspects of the play corresponding to their fields of expertise. Art professor Lyle Novinski’s talk is titled “Genius Loci at Work”; math professor Dr. Paul Phillips will discuss “Math Rules. (But) I repeat myself”; psychology professor Dr. Robert Kugelmann will talk about “‘The action of bodies in heat’: Love in a deterministic universe”; English professor Dr. Debra Romanick-Baldwin will conclude with “Et in Arcadia ego.”

Whether or not students have seen the play, they will get something out of it. Novinski stated that “if you have seen the play, you will get a much deeper explanation. If you haven’t seen it, it will prepare you and give you a greater base knowledge for the play.”

Further, Novinski said that this is a “phenomenal play that should be done at UD, because it takes a UD education to understand and be interested in the conversation between science and literature that is available in this play.”

 

The symposium will be held Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in the Art History auditorium.

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