Jane Shaw on Empathy and the Arts

Venue: Cantor Auditorium, Stanford main campus.

Host: Cantor Arts Center

Speaker: Jane Shaw, Dean for Religious Life and Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University.

Description: Jane Shaw discusses Empathy, an exhibition she co-curated at the Cantor. “Empathy” entered the English language via aesthetics and psychology in the late 19th century. Today, empathy is discussed not only in the arts and humanities, but also in Silicon Valley, Stanford’s d.school, and the latest neuroscience. We share a deep need to walk in the shoes of another. Empathy traces the meaning and practice of empathy through artistic representations of Buddhist compassion; Christianity’s commandment to love our neighbor; Enlightenment moral philosophy; and Civil Rights-era photography. The exhibition accompanies the “Thinking Matters” undergraduate Stanford course taught by Dean Shaw.