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Conversation in the Humanities

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm

Solera, downtown

Sites of Creativity

Presentations by:

Ross Haenfler, Associate Professor of Sociology, “Lifestyle Movements as Sites of Creativity”

Kathleen Oberlin, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Place and Culture-Making: Geographic Clumping in the Emergence of Artistic Schools”

Benjamin Ridgway, Assistant Professor of Chinese and Japanese, “Scholar-official Gardens as “Sites of Creativity” in Song Dynasty (960-1279) China”

R.S.V.P. required by noon on Monday, April 18 to Jan Graham.

This event is open to all faculty.

Alternative Universities as Sites of Creativity

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101

 

Artists to give talks on alternative universities as sites of creativity
Bruce High Quality Foundation University, Vincent Katz to lecture and hold workshop

Artists from the Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU) and Vincent Katz, a professor of art at Yale University, will give talks on alternative universities as sites of creativity on Wednesday, April 20 at Grinnell College. The free and public talks will take place at 7:30 p.m. in room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave., Grinnell.

Earlier that day, the founders of BHQFU will hold a workshop, "B.Y.O.U.: Build Your Own University," in the Masonic Temple downtown, 928 Main St., Grinnell. The workshop on teaching and learning will take place from 1-3 p.m. It is free and open to the public. 

The founders of BHQFU will discuss "How to Die an Artist: Resistance and Futility." BHQFU, founded in 2009, is New York's Freest Art School. It provides tuition-free classes, residencies, workshops, exhibitions and public programs to a community of thousands of New Yorkers. The school is an alternative to contemporary art schools that emphasize professionalization.

Katz, a professor at the Yale University of Art, will discuss "Black Mountain College: Finding the Center in the Remote." His lecture will cover the pedagogy of Black Mountain College in terms of its location and locus, especially as related to the college’s later years. He also will discuss Black Mountain’s relevance today, as a model, and also consider parallels to modern remotely-operated web-based experience of culture.

Katz is a celebrated poet, critic, translator, editor and curator. His criticism has been published in numerous books, catalogues and journals, including in "Apollo," "Art in America," "ARTnews" and "Art on Paper," among others. He is also the author of “The Complete Elegies Of Sextus Propertius,” winner of the National Translation Award in 2005. 

He has curated several celebrated exhibitions, including an exhibition on Black Mountain College for the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, and “Street Dance: The New York Photographs of Rudy Burckhardt” for the Museum of the City of New York.

The Center for Humanities is sponsoring these events as part of this year's theme: Sites of Creativity: Streets, Salons, Studios, and Schools.
 

Alternative Universities as Sites of Creativity

Artists from the Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU) and Vincent Katz, a professor of art at Yale University, will give talks on alternative universities as sites of creativity on Wednesday, April 20, at Grinnell College.

The free and public talks will take place at 7:30 p.m. Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Earlier that day, the founders of BHQFU will hold a workshop, “B.Y.O.U.: Build Your Own University,” in the Masonic Temple downtown, 928 Main St., Grinnell. The workshop on teaching and learning will take place from 1-3 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The founders of BHQFU will “How to Die an Artist: Resistance and Futility.” BHQFU, founded in 2009, is New York’s Freest Art School. It provides tuition-free classes, residencies, workshops, exhibitions and public programs to a community of thousands of New Yorkers. The school is an alternative to contemporary art schools that emphasize professionalization.

A professor at the Yale University of Art, Katz will discuss “Black Mountain College: Finding the Center in the Remote.” His lecture will cover the pedagogy of Black Mountain College in terms of its location and locus, especially as related to the college’s later years. He also will discuss Black Mountain’s relevance today, as a model, and also consider parallels to modern, remotely-operated web-based experience of culture.

Katz is a celebrated poet, critic, translator, editor and curator. His criticism has been published in numerous books, catalogs, and journals, including in Apollo, Art in America, ARTnews and Art on Paper, among others. He is also the author of The Complete Elegies Of Sextus Propertius, winner of the National Translation Award in 2005.  

He has curated several celebrated exhibitions, including an exhibition on Black Mountain College for the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, and Street Dance: The New York Photographs of Rudy Burckhardt for the Museum of the City of New York.

The Center for Humanities is sponsoring these events as part of this year's theme: Sites of Creativity: Streets, Salons, Studios, and Schools.

Racialized State Violence and the Movement for Black Lives

In a free, public event, Damon Williams ’14 will present “Bigger Than the Cops: Racialized State Violence and the Movement for Black Lives” at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in ARH Auditorium, Room 302.

After a brief presentation, Williams will join in a one-on-one conversation with Shanna Benjamin, associate professor of English. Alexandra Odom ’17 will introduce participants and set the stage for the discussion.

At 5 p.m., there will be a break for refreshments. Attendees will return at 5:15 p.m. for a workshop with Williams and Kesho Scott, associate professor of American studies and sociology.

Event sponsors include Alumni in the Classroom Program, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for the Humanities, Peace and Conflict Studies, the Departments of Sociology, American Studies, and Economics, and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations through Conference Operations and Events.

About Damon Williams ’14

After a brief presentation, Williams will join in a one-on-one conversation with Shanna Benjamin, associate professor of English at Grinnell College. Senior Alexandra Odom will introduce participants and set the stage for the discussion.

At 5 p.m., there will be a break for refreshments. Attendees will return at 5:15 p.m. for a workshop with Williams and Kesho Scott, associate professor of American studies and sociology at Grinnell.

Williams is a community producer, organizer, radio host, hip-hop performance artist, actor, teacher and public speaker from the south side of Chicago. He has performed across the country with his sister, Kristiana Colón, as the poetic duo April Fools. He also co-hosts "AirGo Radio," a weekly show on WHPK, Chicago Community Radio.

In addition, Williams co-chairs the Chicago chapter of Black Youth Project 100, a national political organization comprised of black youth ages 18-35. He co-edits the #LetUsBreathe Collective, an artistic activist organization that serves underprivileged people and creatively disrupts the anti-black racist status quo.

Committed to addressing economic inequality, Williams also serves as the co-director of the Ujamaa Jr. Investment Club, which promotes financial literacy and investment strategies.

Mortal Tongues, Immortal Stories

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company will present Mortal Tongues, Immortal Stories is a multimedia dance project that bears witness and celebrates the lives of poets and artists lost to AIDS. Based on the anthology "Persistent Voices: Poetry by Writers Lost to AIDS", this evening-length performance brings together spoken word, artists, dancers, and stunning visual designs in short vignettes that create an imaginary world inspired by the poems.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, 2016, in Flanagan Theatre, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. Tickets are required for this free event and are available at the Campus Box Office begin April 4.

The day before their performance, three members of Dakshina — Chris August, Daniel Phoenix Singh, and Gowri Koneswaran — will speak on the interdisciplinary nature of Dakshina’s work and how art can address social issues within the context of their upcoming performance of Mortal Tongues, Immortal Stories. The entire company of 11 will be present to contribute to the discussion and answer questions.

The event begins at noon, Friday, April 8, in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Room 152, and lunch provided.

Grinnell College's Artists@GrinnellDepartment of Theatre & Dance, Center for International Studies, and Center for Humanities are sponsoring the free, public events.

About Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company is an emerging dance company based in Washington D.C. They perform and present Indian dance forms, such as Bharata Natyam, and modern dance, mirroring the multiple identities of second generation South Asians. The group combines the arts with social justice issues by incorporating the themes into their work and partnering with local community centers and schools.

Celebrate Humanities Day

Monday, March 14, 2016 - 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101

Celebrate Humanities Day on March 14 to feature former U.S. Rep. Jim Leach

Activities will include Leach's keynote address, student performances and a pub quiz

Grinnell College will mark Celebrate Humanities Day, a daylong series of events to honor the study of the humanities, on Monday, March 14.

The keynote speaker will be Jim Leach, who represented Iowa’s second district in the House of Representatives for 30 years and later served as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Under his leadership, the NEH created a Bridging Cultures program designed to promote understanding and mutual respect for diverse groups within the United States and abroad.

Leach is now chair in public affairs and visiting professor of law in the College of Law at the University of Iowa. His address, titled "Where Politics and Morality Conjoin and Disconnect," will start at 7:30 p.m., in room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave., Grinnell. The speech and all other events during Celebrate Humanities Day are free and open to the public.

This will be Grinnell College’s first Celebrate Humanities Day, which is organized by the college’s Center for the Humanities.

Students will perform at 4 p.m. in Sebring-Lewis Hall of the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.

Student performances include "Choreography as Research" by seniors Rosie Fuqua, Ivy Kuhn and Taylor Watts,  and "Indo-Jazz Fusion from Banaras to New York," by senior Vincent Kelley and his band. Kelley, drums and tabla; will be joined by seniors Omri Benami, piano; Tom Earnest, bass; and Jacob Ziontz, viola; along with Grinnell College Assistant Professor of Music Mark Laver, saxophone.

The daylong celebration will culminate in a Pub Quiz trivia night at 9 p.m. in Lyle's Pub, in the basement of the Rosenfield Center.
 

Celebrate Humanities Day

Grinnell College will mark Celebrate Humanities Day, a daylong series of free, public events to honor the study of the humanities, on Monday, March 14.

U.S. Rep. Jim Leach will present the keynote, "Where Politics and Morality Conjoin and Disconnect," at 7:30 p.m. in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Leach represented Iowa’s second district in the House of Representatives for 30 years and later served as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Under his leadership, the NEH created a Bridging Cultures program designed to promote understanding and mutual respect for diverse groups within the United States and abroad. Leach is now chair in public affairs and visiting professor of law in the College of Law at the University of Iowa.

Students will perform at 4 p.m. in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Sebring-Lewis Hall.

Student performances include:

  • "Choreography as Research" by Rosie Fuqua ’17, Ivy Kuhn ’17,  and Taylor Watts.
  • "Indo-Jazz Fusion from Banaras to New York," by Vincent Kelley ’17 and his band.

Kelley, drums and tabla, will be joined by Omri Benami ’17, piano; Tom Earnest ’17, bass; and Jacob Ziontz ’17, viola; and Assistant Professor of Music Mark Laver, saxophone.

The daylong celebration will culminate in a Pub Quiz trivia night at 9 p.m. in Lyle's Pub, in the basement of the Rosenfield Center.

This will be Grinnell College’s first Celebrate Humanities Day, which is organized by the College’s Center for the Humanities.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. The Bucksbaum Center has accessible parking at the south entrance.  You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.

The Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality

Michael Saler headshotMichael Saler, professor of history at the University of California, Davis, will discuss the prehistory of imaginary worlds in fantasy and science fiction as a source of modern enchantment when he speaks at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

Saler's free, public lecture is titled "The Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality: Modern Imaginary Worlds as Sites of Creativity."

"Professor Saler will speak about imaginary worlds as sites of creativity that encourage both escapism and social engagement. His talk will be of broad interest to historians and students of culture, fantasy and modernity," said Shuchi Kapila, professor of English and director of the Center for the Humanities.

"In our contemporary world," she added, "millions of people of all ages inhabit imaginary worlds, as we can see from the popularity of books and movies about Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes, as well as The Lord of the Rings fantasy novel and film trilogy. Prof. Saler will discuss why this interest in fantasy is more than mere escape."

The College’s Center for the Humanities — which is engaged in a year-long exploration of the theme of Sites of Creativity: Streets, Salons, Studios, and Schools — is sponsoring Saler’s talk.

Saler is an accomplished scholar of modern European intellectual history and the author of The Avant-Garde in Interwar England: 'Medieval Modernism' and the London Underground and As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality. He also writes for The Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system.  You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.

The Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality: Modern Imaginary Worlds as Sites of Creativity

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - 7:30pm
Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101
Michael Saler
Professor of History, University of California, Davis

Today, millions of people throughout the world literally “inhabit" imaginary worlds, often in the company of others, for extended periods of time. But are fans of Sherlock Holmes, the Lord of the Rings, or Worlds of Warcraft merely escaping from reality, or are they learning to see that reality itself is partly an open-ended fiction amenable to revision? This talk will examine the history of imaginary worlds as a source of modern enchantment, encouraging both entertaining escapism and social engagement.

Michael Saler is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches Modern European Intellectual History. He is the author of The Avant-Garde in Interwar England: ‘Medieval Modernism’ and the London Underground (Oxford UP, 1999) and As If: Modern Enchantment and the Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality (Oxford, 2012). With Joshua Landy, he co-edited The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age (Stanford UP, 2009), and he is the editor of The Fin-de-Siècle World (Routledge, 2014). He writes for the Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, and is currently working on a history of the modern imagination and its relation to contemporary fantasy and science fiction.