I joined Arts One in 1999 and have remained with the program ever since, while cross-appointed with the UBC School of Music. Arts One has been a tremendously rewarding and enriching place in which to teach and to think, providing me with wonderful opportunities to get to know both students and colleagues, and to continue exploring an ever-growing world of ideas with their help.

I initially came to Arts One as a pianist with a strong interest in the relationship between music and the history of science, and my personal and professional interests have since expanded to include philosophy, intellectual history, and the humanities more broadly. I love the way in which our books and authors change with each new theme; at the same time, I am delighted whenever I see Homer and Hamlet on a reading list (especially, on the same reading list).

If you are interested in the kinds of explorations that Arts One has inspired me to pursue, you can check out the ‘publications’ link provided above: I have written on music and science in the age of Galileo; on the étude and the essay (along with Arts One itself); on Rousseau, Nietzsche, and Foucault, and their geneologies of inequality, morality, and sexuality; and, most recently, on the sociology and genealogy of music in the hands of Max Weber. All of these pieces bear the imprint of Arts One, with several growing directly out of our seminar and tutorial discussions.

If you are interested in how I introduce a book like Rousseau’s Discourse on Inequality for one of our regular lectures—not to mention, sneaking in some Blade Runner references—you can check out this link to our Arts One digital site:


If you were interested in a discussion of some musical topics, you could check out a brief segment I did for my colleague, Professor Edward Slingerland (Asian Studies), and his MOOC on the Foundations of Chinese Thought. This was my ‘Iron Chef’ moment—Ted asked me to talk about music in light of Confucius’ Analects, 14.39, with ‘playing chimes’ and ‘feelings of frustration’ as my main ingredients. I added some Bach, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff, and this is what I came up with:

Tap for YouTube link to  Dr. Brandon Konoval on Emotion in Music