Identity in Moana and Encanto

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Moana and Encanto are both beautifully animated movies with clever, catchy songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda. They are a delight to watch and listen to. They also provide an opportunity to think about a central concept in contemporary society: identity. Does Moana’s identity come from her society or from the voice inside her? Should Mirabel and her sisters define themselves by something other than the expectations of their family? More generally, how does a movie aimed at children use story, images, and music to convey ideas, and are these movies offering helpful ways to think about who I am? (Warning: we may talk about Bruno.)

Students should watch both movies prior to the class.


Attendee Requirements: High-school age
Maximum Attendees: 12

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Brian Julian

Leading this session of Young Philosophers will be Dr. Brian Julian. Brian is a tutor at Gutenberg College. He joined the faculty in 2021 after having taught philosophy and writing for several years at colleges in the Boston area. He holds a B.A. in liberal arts from Gutenberg College and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston University. He specializes in the history of philosophy and has published research on Aristotle. He writes (and cartoons) for Thinking in the Light, a website where he aims to make philosophical ideas accessible to a general audience.