Climbing

If IE University professors are a crazy and knowledgeable bunch who don’t think twice about revealing what makes them tick and how their passions serve to illustrate key points about the subjects they teach,
History Professor Miguel Larrañaga is a prime example.

This Professor of History and Vice-Rector for Student Affairs can scale a rock face like a mountain monkey, and I don’t mind telling you it was pretty scary to see him up there on that steep mountainside just climbing and talking about the great mountaineering achievements of people like Reinhold Messner and the like…

He talks passionately about mountaineering and he talks passionately about history. If I had to sum him up in a few words, I would say that he lives the way he talks, always true to himself and what he does. He has also authored a book that is set to be published very soon!!!!

Collage

Philosophy Professor Julián Montaño has the rare ability to combine hard research with meaningful thinking about daily life.

Here he argues that in today’s world we can create our own identity using the cultural material that technology has placed at our disposal, much like a collage. The way he explains how social status has been shaped through the ages is fascinating stuff!

Prof. Montaño is conversant with a wide range of subjects ranging from aesthetics to the philosophy of language… All I can add is that it’s a privilege just to sit and talk with him about anything…

Only two days

Some say imagine how bad work is that they have to pay you to do it… But joking aside, the good news is that at times there are things you do at work, and people you meet, that you would anyway, just for the sheer pleasure of it. Shooting this video, and meeting IE Law School Intellectual Property Prof. Pedro Letai, was one of those times.

I don’t know how good a professor he is, but I heard his students love him, and I can also say I thoroughly enjoyed reading his poetry book “The Great Buffalo”. The book is in Spanish, but we’ve translated a couple of poems just to give you a taste. Expect more surprises in the video!
Prof. Letai is also a literary critic, columnist, and novelist. His first novel is coming out any day now. As a matter of fact the day of the shooting he was expecting his editor to send him the first copies, so I’ll keep you posted!

The Centaur

“In the 20th century we have discovered that rational thought by itself leads to disaster. We need to balance our minds with another type of discourse: that of myth” says Mythic Thought Professor Juan José Prat.
Prof. Prat has devoted his academic research to the study of verbal culture, with a special focus on the relation between orality and scripture.

Besides research and his classes on mythic thought, Professor Prat loves music. He has edited guitar pieces by 19th century Spanish composer Fernando Sor, and is currently working on the transcription and adaptation of piano music from the late 19th century for an amateur chamber ensemble comprised of strings, woodwind and guitar.

He is also the author of the only general history of folkloristics ever written. This extensive work, published in 2008 under the title of Bajo el árbol del paraíso (Under the Tree of Paradise), presents an analysis of the various – and sometimes ludicrous – theories formulated since the Renaissance about folklore fact and production by the urban literate world.

As you can see he is quite the walking encyclopedia, but most importantly he is just a really nice person to hang out with!!! He even manages to fit some short stories into this video. Don’t miss the one about the centaur!

Do I Belong?

Community Finance Prof. Celia de Anca responds in Rabat to different questions, like Do I belong? What´s the market…

One Friday morning back in November I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and not particularly enthusiastic about life or work. You know what I mean, just one of those days. That same morning I had arranged to have coffee with community finance professor Celia de Anca. You can’t imagine how much I wanted to skip that meeting. Obviously not because of her, but because I was out of sorts. There is no denying that our state of mind is what dictates our likes and dislikes.

To cut a long story short, I dragged myself to the coffee shop and began to listen to her. She talked about how we ended up with a global economic crisis, how we have destroyed the idea that money is trust, and other burning issues. But it was not the subject that was remarkable. What was remarkable was her belief in what she was talking about. Prof. de Anca is one of those people who truly believe in changing the world. Just the fact of finding someone who still genuinely thinks that change is possible made me feel happier. And I am grateful to her for that, because that’s what life is all about, spreading and enjoying the feel-good factor at every opportunity.

Don’t miss Prof. de Anca’s answer to the question that gives the title to this piece, namely “Do I belong?” Prof. de Anca is also the author of the recently published book headed “Beyond Tribalism”.