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The Trauma of War in Weimar Cinema

Tony KaesAnton Kaes, professor of German and film & media, 
University of California-Berkeley, will present
 “The Trauma of War in Weimar Cinema” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 18, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center Room 101.

This lecture addresses the invisible, long-term effects of the First World War on German society. Although the lecture will focus on the iconic silent film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919), it will make the larger claim that many films today are haunted by the memory of war.

Professor Kaes is the author of several books in English and German that deal with multidisciplinary and comparative aspects of film theory and German film history. His publications include From ‘Hitler’ to ‘Heimat’: The Return of History as Film (Harvard University Press, 1989); M (British Film Institute, 2001), and Shell Shock Cinema: Weimar Culture and the Wounds of War (Princeton University Press, 2009), and the forthcoming co-edited sourcebook, The Promise of Cinema: German Film Theory, 1907-1933 (University of California Press).

Teaching at Berkeley since 1981, he served as Director of Film Studies at UC Berkeley from 1991-1996 and co-director (with Kaja Silverman) 1996-1999; from 2001 to 2006 he was chair of the German Department. In 1985 he co-founded the bi-annual German Film Institute; he has given lectures and workshops in Amsterdam, Berlin, Canberra, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Vienna, and Tel Aviv. Since 1990 he is the co-editor of the book series “Weimar and Now: German Cultural History.” 

This free public lecture is the latest in the Center for the Humanities year-long theme "A Century of War: 1914 and Beyond." Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from the Center for the Humanities or Conference Operations.

Sexual Promises

Hallie LibertoHallie Liberto, a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, will present “Sexual Promises” at 4:15 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 17, in Steiner 106.

Liberto’s work explores moral rights, promises, and the ethics of markets.

Her publications in 2014 include “The Exploitation Solution to the Non-Identity Problem” and “The Moral Specification of Rights: A Restricted Account.”

At Princeton, she is working on a series of articles related to problematic promises.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from the philosophy department or Conference Operations.


'Iolanta' and 'Bluebeard's Castle'

Grinnell College presents The Metropolitan Opera’s productions of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Bela Bartók’s Bluebeards Castle live in high-definition at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, in Harris Center Cinema. Refreshments will be available for sale in the lobby of the cinema before the opera.

This intriguing double bill features soprano Anna Netrebko as she takes on two roles, first in Tchaikovsky’s enchanting fairy tale then in Bartók’s erotic psychological thriller. Mariusz Trelinski, who draws inspiration from classic noir films of the 1940s, directs both operas. Valery Gergiev will conduct.

Tickets are available at the Pioneer Bookshop, the Grinnell College Bookstore and at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, children, and Met Opera members.

Tickets for Grinnell College faculty, staff and students have been generously funded by the Office of the President and are available at no cost at all ticket locations. Family members not employed by the College are required to purchase tickets.

‘Prairie Listening’

Grinnell College is sponsoring a workshop featuring listening meditations of the prairie and a lecture on soundscape studies at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, in Faulconer Gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

The workshop, titled “Prairie Listening and the Sustainable Soundscape,” will feature audio recordings gathered last summer at the College’s Conard Environmental Research Area. After the lecture and meditations, the workshop will conclude with a discussion that explores how the sounds of our environment shape our experience of community and place, and how we each play a role in composing the soundscape.

After examining traditional approaches to taming noise — isolation, masking, and abatement — workshop attendees will consider creativity and purposeful listening as a first step towards building a sustainable soundscape that invites a shared appreciation of place.

The workshop will be conducted by Abby Aresty, a lecturer in music and a sound artist known for creating powerful sonic explorations from mundane objects. One of her recent works, “Paths II: The Music of Trees,” was hailed as “sometimes eerie, sometimes transportingly lovely” by the Seattle Times.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Faulconer Gallery is fully accessible, with accessible parking available behind the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts in the cul-de-sac off Sixth Avenue. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

"A Century of War" Film Festival

All films will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 921 Main Street, Grinnell, Iowa.

These showings are free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

Monday, February 9 – Afghanistan: The Surge

Robert Hodierne ’68, director/producer, will answer questions after the show.

“Afghanistan: The Surge” tells the story of one Marine platoon sent to Afghanistan in the summer of 2010 as part of President Obama’s surge. The platoon, filled with skilled and highly trained Marines with the best of intentions, was sent to a remote outpost to eliminate the Taliban. It didn’t always work out that way. The film reveals why the war in Afghanistan was so frustrating and ultimately unsuccessful. The documentary was screened at the Washington West Film Festival and took top honors for large market television from Military Reporters and Editors.

116 minutes.

Robert Hodierne began his 40-year journalism career as a freelance photographer covering the Vietnam War in 1966. Since then Hodierne has worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers, wire services, magazines, television, radio, and the Internet. In 1981 he was part of a team that won most American journalism awards including the Pulitzer Prize. He is currently chairman of the journalism department at the University of Richmond, where his teaching emphasis on documentary film. He is a 1968 graduate of Grinnell College.

Tuesday, February 10 – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

In 1920, one brilliant movie jolted the postwar masses and catapulted the movement known as German Expressionism into film history. That movie was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world. Director Robert Wiene and a visionary team of designers crafted a nightmare realm in which light, shadow, and substance are abstracted, a world in which a demented doctor and a carnival sleepwalker perpetrate a series of ghastly murders in a small community.

75 minutes.

Wednesday, February 11 – Nosferatu

A cornerstone of the horror film, F.W. Murnau’s NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY OF HORROR is resurrected in an HD edition mastered from the acclaimed 35mm restoration by the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung. Backed by an orchestral performance of Hans Erdmann’s 1922 score, this edition offers unprecedented visual clarity and historical faithfulness to the original release version. An unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, NOSFERATU remains to many viewers the most unsettling vampire film ever made, and its bald, spidery vampire, personified by the diabolical Max Schreck, continues to spawn imitations in the realm of contemporary cinema.

95 minutes.

Thursday, February 12 – All Quiet on the Western Front

One of the most powerful anti-war statements ever put on film, this gut-wrenching story concerns a group of friends who join the Army during World War I and are assigned to the Western Front, where their fiery patriotism is quickly turned to horror and misery by the harsh realities of combat. Director Lewis Milestone pioneered the use of the sweeping crane shot to capture a ghastly battlefield panorama of death and mud, and the cast, led by Lew Ayres, is terrific.

140 minutes.

JGPG Blurs the Lines

The San Francisco-based Joe Goode Performance Group (JGPG) will present “Hush,” an innovative form of dance-theater, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Tickets are required for the free public performance at Roberts Theatre in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

JGPG’s work is accessible, personal, and explores unabashed emotional terrain with humor and honesty. Using text, voice, and high-velocity movement, JGPG blurs the line between theater and dance to present work that is thoughtful, groundbreaking and deeply felt. JGPG explores social issues — including gender, race, and sexuality — with the idea of illuminating and investigating in order to spark questions and conversations.

Choreographer Joe Goode drew inspiration for “Hush” from personal stories gathered from members of his audience and community. The search for one’s individual voice as a figure of self-discovery and self-empowerment stood out as a recurring theme.

This sound creates a lush backdrop for Goode’s organic movement style and the performers’ narratives, both spoken and sung. The theme of finding one’s voice takes on atmospheric depth in a sound installation by Sudhu Tewari and Ben Juodvalkis. For “Hush” they used techniques from the world of movie sound effects — techniques known as Foley art — to create a many-textured ambient environment for the performers.

“Hush” has garnered positive reviews from media outlets such as the San Francisco Examiner, which said the work “pushes the boundaries of dance theater once again where narrative, drama, music, and dance play equally strong roles. The dancers voices, a driving musical score, and the unique presence of a Foley artist create a provocative soundscape as the background to the story of six interlocking characters troubled by their hushed secrets.”

While maintaining a robust touring schedule in the United States, JGPG also has performed in Europe, Canada, Africa, and the Middle East. The group has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and the California Arts Council. In addition, the group earned the Isadora Duncan Dance Award (“Izzie”) for both choreography and performance, and the New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”) for choreography.


Tickets are required for the free performance.

Distribution begins at noon Friday, Feb. 6, in the Bucksbaum Center’s box office. For more information, call 641-269-3235.

For questions concerning access or to request accommodation for a disability, please contact conference operations.

Chemistry Department

As a chemistry student, you’ll enjoy small classes (including introductory chemistry), significant original research experiences in our modern laboratories, wide ranging student-faculty collaboration, varying teaching methods that serve diverse learning styles, and opportunities to teach others through our mentor program.

Changing the Face of Science

Jessi L. Smith, a noted expert on social psychology, will deliver the Scholars' Convocation at noon Wednesday, April 1, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101. The lecture is free and open to the public with a free pizza lunch provided.

Smith, a professor of psychology at Montana State University, has conducted extensive research on theories of stereotypes, with a focus on understanding the practices and policies that create equitable environments. At MSU, she chairs a 47-member team charged with enhancing faculty diversity and equity in order to foster learning among all faculty and students.

Smith's talk, titled "Changing the Face of Science: How to Create a More Diverse and Inclusive STEM Community," will feature Smith's work in experimental social psychological science. Smith will present her findings on the prevalent role of unintentional biases within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) community, and discuss how to create more equitable environments in these fields.

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 Conference Operations.

Urban Issues & Social Justice in Chicago

From Feb. 3-6, Grinnell College's Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights will sponsor a free, public symposium.

"Chicago: Urban Issues and Social Justice in the Windy City" will feature speakers and panelists from across the country, and will include discussions of economic justice, grassroots organizing, urban education, activism, and deindustrialization.

"In this symposium, we wanted to deal with American urban issues," says Ed Cohn, assistant professor of history and interim director of the Rosenfield Program. "In focusing on Chicago, a major American city close to Grinnell, we can discuss those issues in depth."

Virginia Parks, Associate Professor at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service AdministrationSpeakers will include Virginia Parks (pictured), associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago; Christine Walley, associate professor of anthropology at MIT; Barbara Ransby, professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Kari Lydersen, freelance journalist and author.

The symposium also will feature "The Education Project Photo Exhibition" by photographer Sandra Steinbrecher. In this exhibition sponsored by the Faulconer Gallery, Steinbrecher has documented the struggles and triumphs of daily life in three Chicago high schools facing profound challenges. The exhibition runs from Jan. 26 through March 15 in Burling Gallery on the lower level of Burling Library.

On Feb. 5, Steinbrecher will lead a gallery tour and discuss her experiences working with high schools in Chicago, exploring how art, urban issues and politics intersect in her project. A reception will follow. Educators from Chicago area schools will join Steinbrecher on Feb. 6 for a panel discussion titled "Images and Issues in Urban Education." The Grinnell Careers in Education Professions program is co-sponsoring this event, which will be followed by a reception.

A complete schedule of events follows. All events are held in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101 unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, Feb. 3

4:15 p.m. Presentation

"The Exit Zero Project: Exploring the Aftermath of Deindustrialization in Chicago" by Christine Walley, author and associate professor of anthropology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

8 p.m. presentation

"Mayor 1% and Shaping the New Chicago: The Reign of Rahm Emanuel, the 2015 Election and Beyond" by Kari Lydersen, Chicago journalist and author.

Wednesday, Feb. 4

12 p.m. Scholar's Convocation

"The Fight for Economic Justice from the Streets of Chicago" by Virginia Parks, associate professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago.

8 p.m. Alumni Panel

Activism in Chicago, featuring Christian Snow '13, director of community engagement at Street-Level Youth Media, and Javon Garcia '14, health outreach at HIV Services at The Night Ministry.

Thursday, Feb. 5

4:15 p.m. Gallery Tour and Talk

"The Education Photo Project," a gallery tour and talk by artist Sandra Steinbrecher. Burling Gallery, Burling Library. Reception follows.

8 p.m. "Politics from Below: Grassroots Struggles Reshaping the Landscape of Chicago" by Barbara Ransby, professor of history, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Friday, Feb. 6

7 p.m. Panel Discussion

"Images and Issues in Urban Education" featuring panelists from Chicago area schools. Sponsored by the Grinnell Careers in Education Professions program in conjunction with "The Education Project Photo Exhibition." Reception follows.


Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities.

The Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, located at 1115 Eighth Ave., is equipped with an induction hearing loop system in Room 101 and accessible parking on the east side of the building.

Burling Library is located at 1111 Sixth Ave. with accessible parking on the northeast side of the building.

Both buildings are accessible. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

Expanding the Use of Digital Technology

Grinnell College and the University of Iowa have received a $1.6 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop humanities-centered collaborations that expand the use of digital technology among faculty and students.

The new partnership is distinctive because it is the first time the Mellon Foundation has supported a collaborative digital project between a private liberal arts college and a public research university — institutions with different missions and strengths.

The project, titled “Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry,” will support increased integration of digital resources into the undergraduate curriculum at Grinnell and the UI over four years. The grant will support creative collaboration between Grinnell and the UI involving faculty, postdocs, graduate students, undergraduate students, library faculty and staff, and IT staff.

“The faculties of Grinnell College and the University of Iowa have different institutional environments but a shared commitment to scholarship, teaching, and public engagement,” said Erik Simpson, professor of English and principal investigator for the grant at Grinnell.

“This grant will enable us to build on the digital projects already underway at both schools to establish new communities of thought and practice. Teams involving faculty, staff, students, and community partners will be able to use digital tools to produce new forms of analysis, creativity, and critique that are fundamental to our disciplines.”

Through this initiative, faculty members in the humanities will build their digital skills, develop innovative new courses, and collaborate with students on ambitious digital projects and research programs. The project also will provide support for UI graduate student instructional technology assistants who will help faculty incorporate digital technology into their courses, and the creation of postdoctoral positions at UI to train future faculty for careers in the digital liberal arts and public humanities.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for faculty to bring new, innovative approaches into their teaching and scholarship. The benefits for students will be transformative as well,” said Michael Latham, vice president of academic affairs and dean of Grinnell College. “As they use new technological resources to study the humanities, they will also develop greater digital literacy, gain valuable skills in collaborative writing and research, and create knowledge for broader, public audiences. Those experiences will serve them well throughout their professional lives.”

Grinnell students already are developing digital literacy through research projects such as “Mapping the Global Renaissance.” Directed by Assistant Professor of English James Lee, this project applies “big data” techniques (natural language processing algorithms, data mining, topic modeling, and mapping) to examine 50,000 early modern texts. By using these techniques to analyze early modern England's early representations of different people and their geographical contexts around the world, students acquire a better understanding of how race and racial differences were understood at that time.

UI students also are gaining digital literacy through the university's Public Humanities in a Digital World initiative, the Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities and the new graduate Digital Humanities Certificate. Roy J. Carver Professor Ed Folsom is co-founder of one of the nation's earliest and most successful digital projects, The Walt Whitman Archive; students, scholars, and high school teachers from Iowa and around the world have contributed to the project. Assistant Professor Blaine Greteman welcomes his students into the study of the Renaissance and book history through his digital project Shakeosphere: Mapping Early Modern Social Networks. He and Professor Lee are already planning ways to collaborate across the two campuses.

Teresa Mangum, director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and professor of gender, women and sexuality studies, and co-principal investigator Jim Elmborg, associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science anticipate that faculty and students alike will be inspired by working with art, languages, history, literature, philosophy, and world religions in the “hands on” ways digital work encourages: “Jim and I have already benefited from conversations with our colleagues at Grinnell,” Mangum said. “Among the innumerable advantages of this partnership, we look forward to mining the rich potential of shared, project-based learning. We picture professors and students working side-by-side in linked classrooms that connect Grinnell and Iowa, as they archive and visualize their research projects, sharing their discoveries and insights with diverse virtual audiences across the world.”

Major activities to be funded by the grant, which begins this month, include:

  • Faculty development initiatives, such as summer institutes, collaborative projects between Grinnell and UI faculty and training in digital liberal arts techniques.
  • Undergraduate curricular development initiatives, such as new digital liberal arts courses or course modules, developing courses that bridge the two institutions and supporting student-faculty collaborations.
  • Engagement with the broader digital liberal arts community, including a conference to be held at the UI in 2018, support for conference travel to share exemplary digital projects and learn from the work of others, and a web presence for the project that features an online inventory of digital projects.
  • Support for library and instructional technology faculty and staff members who help make digital projects possible, including professional development funds as well as funding for software, digitization, and other research expenses.