Sources of the Self: Arts One 2022/24 Theme

The Arts One Theme for 2022-2024 is Sources of the Self

How do we seek to understand the self, whether our own or that of each other? Is it something we can create or something that we uncover, an identity we claim or one that we can transform? The pursuit of self-knowledge and the search for identity may engage us in exploration that lasts a lifetime; many have found the very concept of a self to be misleading or illusory, an attempt to grasp hold of something that is fundamentally fleeting and perhaps even unknowable. Yet, as profoundly personal as our search for, or questioning of the self may be, this pursuit draws us into negotiation with the social, cultural, philosophical, and historical circumstances in which we live—with our sense of a place in the world. The title of our theme refers to the work of a modern Canadian philosopher, Charles Taylor, but our concern with sources of the self can be traced across a diversity of times and places, and from the earliest forms of literature through to contemporary initiatives and debate. Guided by drama and discourse, poetry and autobiography, novel and film, we will explore the manifold pathways taken for the investigation or cultivation of the self, and inquire where those pathways may yet lead.