Believing is Seeing

'Swans' - M.C Escher

We are perhaps familiar with the old adage that 'seeing is believing' - the idea that one needs to see x before one is willing to believe that x exists. Building off work by feminist and critical race scholars, this Olio examines the extent to which it is more apt to say that believing is seeing- that is, it may be the case that one needs to believe that x exists before one can see x. 

This can be easily illustrated with the case of illusions - take the classic duck-rabbit gestalt. It may appear at first as a duck, but if you believe me when I say there is also a rabbit present, you’re more likely to be able to see the rabbit, too! In the same vein, many instances of oppression (political, social, or epistemic) depend on a person trusting their interlocutor that the oppressive act in fact exists. Take, for instance, sexual harassment. Prior to the development of the conceptual resource that allowed us to understand the contours of sexual harassment, many people would have seen sexual harassment as something innocuous, like flirting, or they literally may have failed to see it at all. And the same is true for a number of other issues, like misogyny or racism. In this Olio we’ll ask the question: can you really see when you don’t believe?




Location: Berg'n

899 Bergen St, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Hip, late-night beer hall featuring microbrews & food vendors in a spacious, industrial-chic venue. Classes will be held in the private room.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


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Other upcoming Olios


Jun 19

The (Un)Enlightenment and What it Means to be Modern

Taught by Lev Moscow
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jun 22

OlioHouse | Breaking Bread: An Olio Salon Dinner

Taught by Brian Lewis
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jun 23

Female Power and Desire in Shakespeare after #MeToo

Taught by Christina Katopodis
1 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15

Jun 25

The Artist in an Alternative World

Taught by Ward Regan
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Jun 25

OlioTour | Federal Hall & African Burial Ground

Taught by Jamie Warren
6 p.m. at Federal Hall

Sign Up - $0

Jun 26

Jun 27

The Long History of Selfie Culture

Taught by Ted Barrow
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Jun 29

OlioHouse | Happiness & Hedonism Weekend

Taught by Skye Cleary
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jul 7

Museum Trip | 'The 80s Show' Private Tour

Taught by Charles Riley
2 p.m. at Nassau County Museum of Art

Sign Up - $20

Jul 13

OlioHouse | Considering The Tyranny of Choice

Taught by Michael Haltenberger
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Jul 25

Frida's Fragrance: Art, Scent, & Persona

Taught by Jessica Murphy
7:30 p.m. at The William Vale Hotel

Sign Up - $20

Sep 19

OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

Sign Up - $


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