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Wednesday, May 15 • 3:15pm - 4:15pm
Gender Expectations and Improvising Philosophy (2 presentations)

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TITLE: Good Girls Aren't Funny: How Gender Expectation Effects Creativity, Authenticity & Awareness
PRESENTER: Holly Mandel

Change is in the air. It is a pivotal moment for a cultural reorganization that shakes the foundations of the very structures of our world that have been in place for generations, even centuries. For women, it holds the potential for a complete tide shift and burgeoning new world. While there are many factors and causes that we can all point to externally, perhaps the most insidious is also the most overlooked. Meet the “Good Girl”, a socio-historic remnant that lives within women and culture itself, whose motives and value system are based around being safe, secure, hesitant, and pleasing others. It is not the bold, fearless, confident part of women that is required to lead, innovate...or to improvise. Improvisation – and performance and creativity in general - are about taking risks, being vulnerable, questioning what is true, and on the edge. Being real, willing to make mistakes, look ugly or silly or lost. Not merely bearing the unknown but embracing it, inviting it. It requires honesty, courage, and freedom. And...it means not caring one iota about getting it ‘right’ or ‘perfect’. Through her work at The Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles as a teacher, director and performer; her experiences at her own school in NYC, Improvolution; teaching at PACE University & UCLA; her original workshop series, BUSTING THE GOOD GIRL; her time as a consultant for companies as diverse as Comedy Central, Walt Disney Studios, American Express and Google, Holly has been tracking the tendencies and the impact of ‘the Good Girl – the rules and roles she exhibits, the strategies and motives that drive her. Using improvisation, she has also discovered the recipe to move beyond her influence; to free women and unleash their authentic, creative selves, liberated from the rigid ‘shoulds’ of the ‘Good Girl’.

TITLE: Improvising Philosophy
PRESENTER:Johan Siebers

Although philosophy has produced ideas with which to articulate creativity, novelty, not-yet being, movement and difference, it has always done so from a position that is as far away from improvisation as possible, namely the space of theory and contemplation, of the careful systematisation and testing of thought. But when we are dealing with creativity and spontaneity, in other words with improvisation, it is easy to see that no general or formal, abstract theory of it could ever be developed because in that case we would no longer be dealing with creativity, spontaneity, improvisation. If we want to philosophize about improvisation in the sense of get close to what happens in improvisation, to the truth potential of improvisation, we have to do so – in an improvised way. If improvisation becomes a practice of life and a moment of truth, philosophy as the examined life has to find ways to become improvisational itself, if it is to be one of the ways in which we might become aware of existence as what is happening, becoming and unfolding. Is it possible to improvise philosophy and in this way to un-learn, un-do, un-know, to find a way to the process of spontaneous becoming that carries us along, to step into the stream and find out in a new way what it might mean to learn, to act, to know, to communicate?

avatar for Holly Mandel

Holly Mandel

Good Girls Arent Funny
Holly Mandel (USA) GOOD GIRLS AREN'T FUNNY creator; founder of Improvolution Improv School in New York City; The Groundlings Theater Company alumna and Senior Instructor and Director; Pace University professor; founder and Executive Director of iMergence.Holly has worked extensively... Read More →
avatar for Johan Siebers

Johan Siebers

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Middlesex University London
Johan Siebers (UK) Johan Siebers is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Middlesex University. His main research interests are in process philosophy, philosophy of communication and rhetoric, critical theory and utopian thought. He has published widely about creativity... Read More →

Wednesday May 15, 2019 3:15pm - 4:15pm BST
Seminar 2 (RV103) Ravensfield, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London, NW4 4BT

Attendees (7)