23 May 2019

Students and teachers in the Dutch TV series Food for Thought

On Sunday 26 May 2019, the first episode of the philosophical series Food for Thought is on Dutch TV, with participation of University College Utrecht students and philosophy lecturer Chiara Robbiano.

Chiara Robbiano (4th from left) in conversation with students (courtesy of KRO-NCRV)

The 7 episodes of Food for Thought are about connecting with people and the world. In the first episode, under the title ‘Who am I?’, students and Chiara Robbiano discuss various perspectives on engaging with the world. 

“The project taught me first of all our shared need for dialogue in order to grow, not only as thinkers, but especially as human beings,” said Chiara in our interview last year, when the project was launched at University College. “That you have a real encounter with each other is so much more important than what you are talking about. Think of it yourself: When was the last time that you had a real conversation with someone?”

The successive 6 episodes, each led by a different philosopher, highlight questions such as how to make a difference in the world, or how diversity enrichens connections between people. 

Next to the Food for Thought project – an original initiative of Chiara together with Viewpoint Productions – the University College Utrecht curriculum has courses about world philosophies and identity construction. This semester, the student-led course “Overcoming narratives of dichotomy” looks at social roles and identity and after the summer “Identity construction in East Asia” combines various Eastern philosophical perspectives.

“Students are interested in reflecting on their own identity: on the values and the relationships that make up who they are, on the freedom they have in designing their future and the reflection they need to become aware of where they come from, what is the baggage they take with them,” writes Chiara from Tohoku University in Japan, where she is presently giving a course on comparative philosophy as a visiting lecturer. Her dream is to set up an intercontinental course for students from Tohoku and her own University College Utrecht in the future.

Food for Thought airs on NPO2 on 7 Sundays from 26 May 2019 until 7 July at 15:45.