This week, Phish.net will host several events in conjunction with, and as part of, PHL360: Philosophy and the Arts at Oregon State University. The course is taught by Assistant Professor of Philosophy and "huge Phish fan" Dr. Stephanie Jenkins, who has nicknamed the course "Philosophy School of Phish." (See promo video and syllabus.)
Through midnight tonight, enrolled students will be submitting questions to be answered in a Wednesday morning blog post by Ellis Godard (aka "Ellis of Lemuria") - an Associate Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Mockingbird Foundation, who has been involved with Phish.net since 1991 (and who earned a minor in Philosophy, though perhaps too long ago to be helpful.)
Throughout the day on Wednesday, Drs. Godard and Jenkins will lead discussions about these and other questions in a forum thread (possibly two; they'll be sticky'd at the top). We welcome the involvement of enrolled students in what we hope they will find to be a vibrant and inviting community. And we hope our forum regulars are ready to step up their rhetorical game and hone their linguistic chops for some serious scholarship about the band, their music, and we fans.
Finally, on Wednesday evening, Dr. Godard will host a Google Hangout session for student, to wrap-up discussion, answer additional questions, and reflect on Phish.net and students' experiences here.
The class' topic for the week is "Community". Readings include two chapters of Jeanette Bicknell's Why Music Moves Us, as well as "The Everyday Miracle of the Occasional Community" by John Drabinski, part of Steve Gimbel's The Grateful Dead and Philosophy: Getting High Minded about Love and Haight. Bicknell's book ships from the UK and will take weeks, but Drabinki's chapter is online.
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Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.
This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed just about $1,500,000 to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.