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C. Stephen Jaeger
Art History, Cathedral Schools, Charisma, Enchantment, Films, Great Depression, Higher Education, Liberal Arts, Literature, Odyssey, Religion, Time in Art. Goethe
Our series on the role and value of the liberal arts in contemporary society continues with a conversation with the cultural historian C. Stephen Jaeger, Gutsgell Professor Emeritus in Germanic Languages and Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Illinois, about his research into the transcendental function of charisma in education and the arts and his book: Enchantment: On Charisma and the Sublime in the Arts of the West (Univ. Pennsylvania Press, 2012). "What is the force in art, C. Stephen Jaeger asks, that can enter our consciousness, inspire admiration or imitation, and carry a reader or viewer from the world as it is to a world more sublime? We have long recognized the power of individuals to lead or enchant by the force of personal charisma—and indeed, in his award-winning Envy of Angels, Jaeger himself brilliantly parsed the ability of charismatic teachers to shape the world of medieval learning. In Enchantment, he turns his attention to a sweeping and multifaceted exploration of the charisma not of individuals but of art."