OlioHouse | "There is no Word for 'Thank You' in Dothraki": Theories on the Relationship Between Language and Thought

Heptapod Arrival

Does the language we speak shape the way we think? The answer has so much complexity that it's best explored over a weekend at OlioHouse where theory meets pop culture meets hands-on data analysis, and I promise you that somehow even learning how to make chocolate truffles will help you think about the ways in which small English words and phrases reveal the ways we think in a language. 

The Olio will examine the question of language and thought from several directions.
We will delve into the work of Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf, who, in their work, offer linguistic relativism and linguistic determinism as concepts that they believed explain the relationship between thought and language. 

We will examine the novella 'The Story of Your Life' by Ted Chiang (popularized by the movie "Arrival" with Amy Adams), which uses what has become known as the "Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis" as the conceit of the narrative. We will discuss critiques of the hypothesis, looking at evidence from around the world. And finally, we will examine small ways in which the English language shapes thought by examining the conceptual metaphors nested in the simplest English words that communicate something about how English speakers think.


A sketch of the weekend:

Saturday

Noon - Arrive at OlioHouse for a communal lunch 
1:00pm - A Socratic-style Olio exploring the work of Sapir and Whorf
2:30pm - Free time to explore Wassaic and hangout around OlioHouse
4:00pm - Screening of "Arrival" in the Olio Barn.
7:00pm - Dinner at the Lantern Inn
8:30pm -  Hands-on data analysis from languages around the world: Critiques of Sapir-Whorf
Late Night - Getting dirty: Metaphor work and making chocolate truffles with Maureen (Maureen's been making truffles for nearly 20 years, and she's bringing a couple of her favorite recipes for us to make! )

Sunday
9:00am: Breakfast

11:00am: Metaphors we Live by: How the small words we use show the ways we think about the world







Location: OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

296 Old Rte 22, Wassaic, NY 12592

This is our gorgeous home up in Wassaic, NY. We hold weekend seminars and welcome members of our scenius for creative residencies and projects. It is located less than a 20 min walk from the Metro North station in Wassaic and 2 hours from Grand Central. We are the proud neighbors of the Wassaic Project.




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.


Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month



Other upcoming Olios


Dec 28

New Year’s House Party | Remembering 1919 – A Hellish Year

Taught by Lawrence Cappello
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Dec 29

Scenius Summit 2019: No Professor New Year's Weekend

Taught by
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $100

Jan 4

Museum Visit | Strange Beauty in the Italian Renaissance

Taught by Ted Barrow
7 p.m. at The Morgan Library & Museum

Sign Up - $15

Jan 11

Somebody to Love: A Feminist Reading of Freddie Mercury

Taught by Jamie Warren
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Jan 22

Living Room Salon | Our Struggle with Free Will

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 24

Living Room Salon | Tough Poetry in Dark Times

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Feb 2

OlioHouse | Our Stories, Our Bodies: Rape Culture in American History

Taught by Jamie Warren
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 9

OlioHouse | The Love Symposium

Taught by Skye Cleary
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 15

Philosophy and Friendship

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20


Find out when we launch new classes!