Quixotic

In weekly Quixotic meetings, students discuss and debate a cultural object (e.g. a piece of writing, an artwork or a performance). In so doing, they expand their understanding of the diverse areas of knowledge that their peers are interested in. Any student can propose a topic for discussion.

We believe in rationality, tea and a barely controlled maelstrom of ideas.

Core Team: Ingrid Stevens, Philip Sänger, Radu Diaconescu

To propose a topic/cultural object for a discussion, to ask to be included in the mailing list, or for other contacting needs, reach out via
ucf.quixotic (at) protonmail.com .

Because of restrictions related to the Corona pandemic, our meet-ups have been moved to a video meeting room using Big Blue Button on our ILIAS page, which you can join here.

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Upcoming:

Quixotic #23: To be announced

Quixotic #x: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (TBA)
Chaired by: Radu and Philip

Recent meetings:

Quixotic #22: feuer.zeug’s Indie Activist Pornography (Thursday, 18th of November 2021, 20:00, @aka Filmclub in the GHS Biologie)
On Thursday, the Aka Film Club is organizing a screening of indie alternative pornography in collaboration with the Freiburg start-up feuer.zeug. Alongside it, there will be a short talk and the opportunity to ask questions to members of feuer.zeug. We are meeting at 19:15 in front of GHS Biologie. The event is in German.
Hosted by: Aka Film Club

Quixotic #21: The Rise of the Computer-Generated Celebrity (Wednesday, 3rd of November 2021, 18:00, Online using Zoom)
In the last year or so, I’ve kept noticing people on the Internet mentioning Hololive. I got curious, and after looking it up, it turned out to be a “talent agency for virtual influencers”. This means online celebrities that perform on live streams as computer-generated avatars. Celebrities entirely constructed. They’ve rapidly become a huge cultural phenomenon (1.5 billion views on Youtube in 2020, collectively) that is at once very niche, and very big business. Since I knew nothing about this apparently huge and rather unique thing, I figured it could be interesting to dive in and see what the fuss is about. (Reading here. Must be read beforehand. Extra resources here and here.)
Chaired by: Radu

Quixotic #20: Return to the Common Room (Wednesday, 27th of October 2021, 16:00, @Common Room)
After over a year, our little reading & ranting group returns to in-person meet-ups. This Wednesday, we’ll be getting together to reconnect, welcome old and new faces, and gather around a surprise piece of culture brought by Philip to spark some interesting conversations.
Chaired by: Philip
Update: The surprise discussion topic revolved around the controversy in the deaf community regarding cochlear implants, and their belief that it might spell the death of deaf culture. Some resources on the topic are Andrew Solomon’s book “Far From the Tree”, this video and this video.

Quixotic #19: Unusual Poetry (Thursday, 3rd of June 2021, 20:30, Zoom)
For this Quixotic meeting we want to dive into POETRY. Not the stiff kind that you had to memorise and analyse in school though – we want to have a look on the poetry from today (and possibly tomorrow). Poetry has become so much more than simple rhymes on a sheet of paper, and we want to explore a couple of new forms that poetry can take on. Beyond the popular format of poetry slams we will discuss spoken word poetry, sign poetry and expression poetry. If you have a favourite poem that breaks with the traditional style, we highly encourage you to bring it with you so that we can discuss it together. If you feel comfortable, you are also welcome to bring an original work for us to appreciate! To prepare for our discussion, please check out some (or all) of these more popular works and pay attention to the different reactions they invoke in you.
“How to Succeed in Heartbreak” ; “OCD”“When Love Arrives”;“Mrs. Ribeiro”;Amanda Lovelace ; Rupi Kaur 1, 2, 3, 4 ; “Keep Moving Don’t Move” ; “People’s Faces”
Chaired by: Caren

Quixotic #18: The Female Gaze (Thursday, 20th of May 2021, 19:00, BigBlueButton)
Next week’s session will be about the female (or feminine) gaze in cinema or TV. The concept of the female gaze is the antithesis of the concept of the male gaze, which proposes that women in the visual arts and literature are frequently depicted from a male, heterosexual perspective for the viewing pleasure of the male audience. While the male gaze has become firmly established in feminist theory, the existence and the character of the female gaze remains disputed. As input we are using two short video essays, which introduce the concept and also provide some examples. You can find the videos here and here (if you don’t have time to watch both of them, you can also just watch the first one). You are also welcome to bring examples yourself of what you consider to be the female gaze in cinema or TV.
Chaired by: Johanna

Quixotic #17: Movie Night: Adam Curtis’ Can’t Get You Out of My Head (Saturday 24th of April 2021, 20:00, Kast.gg)
Adam Curtis is a one-of-a-kind filmmaker, known for his slightly trippy documentaries stitched together out of archival footage, with topics usually revolving around large-scale cultural and political change.
His latest six-episode series for the BBC, Can’t Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World (2021), explores an argument tying together the corruption of progressive radicalism, the failure of techno-utopianism and a fearful lack of vision for the future.
On Saturday, we will only watch episode 1.
After the film, we will of course be hanging out for a while to talk… and rant. 🙂
Chaired by: Radu

Special: The Big Random LAS Students’ Meet-Up (Wednesday 31st of March 2021, 17:00, Wonder Common Room)
Chaired by: –

Quixotic #16: Why I Hope to Die at 75 by E.J. Emanuel (Monday 22nd of March 2021, 17:00, Big Blue Button videocall on the ILIAS group)
Quixotic is back and this time we are knockin’ on heaven’s door, tackling one of life’s inevitabilities: Death. What is a good and meaningful death? What is its connection to ageing? How has the modern access to constant medical supervision in relatively private circumstances affected our relationship to death? These are just some of the questions we want to explore, with an essay by renown oncologist and bioethicist Ezekiel J. Emanuel as the basis of our discussion. (Reading here. Must be read beforehand.)
Chaired by: Philip

All Past Meetings

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