Each academic year, Augustana adopts a unique theme: a common ground and jumping-off point from which Augustana faculty, staff, students, and our wider community can engage in diverse learning experiences through multi-disciplinary lectures, events, courses, and other activities. The Annual Theme for 2016-17 is ‘Colour.’
Like light passing through a prism, colour enters our lives in ways both predictable and unexpected. From a biological perspective, colour influences the perpetuation of species and is often crucial to their survival, and changes in colour are often used as indicators of chemical reactions. Political parties, governments, sports teams, and other groups frequently use colours—and the varied cultural associations they have accrued—to create a sense of identity and define “insiders” and “outsiders.” Colour is also intimately connected with constructions of racial and ethnic categories and continues to be used as a marker of “difference” and a basis for racism. In many disciplines, colour is an aesthetic consideration. Artists, authors, and film directors use colour as a motif in their work, and musicians compose pieces inspired by colour. Lastly, underpinning all of these facets of colour is the fact that what we see of colour is not an external reality but a subjective reaction based on the brain’s calculations and our own perceptions. The 2016-2017 theme of Colour invites the Augustana community to explore the multifaceted ways in which colour filters into an array of disciplines.