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Every Friday at 17.00 a group of students meet for the purpose of pursuing knowledge for its own sake
They call it the Chamber of Clandestine knowledge. A series of student-run courses at KUA campus at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) covering a different academic topic every week.
The society was founded by master’s candidate Félix Schoeller. It is a social body that takes its own edification seriously enough to pursue it outside of the academic context of UCPH. Everything is in English.
”Every week one member will give a lecture about a specific subject. This is not a caricature of academia nor a small-scale TED talk, but a way for us to limit our ignorance about the world we inhabit.”
The meeting time coincides with happy hour at Cafe Modestedet and the operating hours of the KUA’s array of Friday Bars; as such, partaking in the bacchanal of Friday evening is unavoidable, but rather than being a consequence of poor foresight, partaking in the festivities is, in fact, encouraged.
”It is a space in which participants can acquire knowledge, disseminate knowledge and exercise public reasoning. All on a weekly basis and, happily, with a drink in hand,” says philosophy student Kenta Sekine of the weekly lecture series.
Dooley Murphy, who himself gave a stimulating lecture on Chaos Theory, adds: ”A few beers and some casual academia is the perfect way to ring in the weekend. Foremost I like the scope that our platform offers: people lecture on whatever they want to, and for this reason attendees benefit not only from aficionado insight, but also discovering what drives and inspires friends and fellow students.”
The academic benefits of such a relaxed structure brings about the academic merits of the Chamber. Rather than having an academic context which begets social relations, the Chamber introduces both aspects of student life simultaneously.
Instead of pursuing knowledge as an end mediated through the minds of others (professors and texts), the Chamber creates a context in which the pursuit of the minds of ‘friends and fellow students’ is an end mediated by the particular academic interests of the weekly lecturer.
If you would like to join the Chamber of Clandestine Knowledge, meetings take place at the KUA atrium on Fridays at 17.00. Previous lecture topics have included Humanism, Feminism, Chaos Theory, Competitive Street Fighter, Marxism, and the liberating effects on women of the proliferation of bicycles in Africa.
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