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Writers@Grinnell: Richard Russo

Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Richard Russo, the upcoming author in Writers@Grinnell, will be on campus for two events on Thursday, November 12:

  • Reading at 8 p.m. in Rosenfield Center, Room 101Richard Russo
  • Roundtable at 4:15 p.m. in Rosenfield Center, Room 209

Russo received the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 2002 for his novel "Empire Falls," which was later made into an HBO mini-series starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. Russo co-authored the script for the miniseries and was nominated for the 2005 Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries.

Russo also co-authored the screen adaption of his acclaimed novel, "Nobody's Fool," starring Paul Newman, with Academy Award-winning screenplay writer Robert Benton. Russo has written several other acclaimed books and screenplays, including "Mohawk," "Straight Man" and his memoir, "Elsewhere."

Russo has received many honors and fellowships throughout his career, including the 1990 Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts and 2002 Ambassador Book Award for Fiction. A gifted teacher, Russo is retired from Colby College and the Warren Wilson Master of Fine Arts Program for Writers. He lives with his wife in coastal Maine.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.

International scholars to discuss publishing houses in India, Kenya

Urvashi ButaliaTwo international scholars, Urvashi Butalia and Billy Kahora, will give a joint lecture about publishing houses in India and Kenya at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

Butalia, founder and CEO of Zubaan, a feminist publishing house in India, will discuss "Publishing Against the Grain: A Story From India." Butalia co-founded Kali for Women, India's first feminist publishing house, in 1984. Zubaan, the publishing house she runs today, is a successor of Kali and publishes books about and by women, as well as archiving women's histories.

Butalia has been published widely in edited volumes, newspapers, and magazines both in India and abroad. One of her best-known works was featured in the award-winning history, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India, which received the Oral History Book Association Award in 2001 and the Nikkei Asia Award for Culture in 2003. In 2011, she was awarded the Padmashree, an honor for civilians presented by the Indian government to Butalia for her work in the field of women's education.

Billy KahoraBilly Kahora, managing editor of Kwani Trust in Nairobi, Kenya, will discuss publishing houses as creative collectives. Established in 2003, the Kwani trust is dedicated to developing, publishing, and distributing quality, creative, and contemporary African writing. As managing editor, Kahora has edited seven issues of the Kwani journal as well as other Kwani publications, such as Nairobi 24 and Kenya Burning.

An award-winning short fiction and creative nonfiction author, Kahora has had his work featured in many publications in Kenya and abroad, including Vanity Fair. His story "Treadmill Love" received the Caine Prize in 2007 and his stories "Urban Zoning" and "The Gorilla's Apprentice" were shortlisted for the prize in 2012 and 2014. He also is a past recipient of the Chevening Scholarship and an Iowa Writer’s Fellowship.

The Center for the Humanities is sponsoring the lecture, which is free and open to the public.

Double the Fun

At Grinnell, students are encouraged to find ways to pursue as many of their interests as they can. This can mean participating in clubs and athletics in addition to academics, but some students want to take their interests even further by declaring a double major.

A double major may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually very common for students to merge two seemingly unrelated interests into a major that fits their aspirations.

Becoming a better doctor

Micah Iticovici ’16 working at a table with books, papersMicah Iticovici ’16, a biological chemistry/economics double major, arrived on campus intending to be a philosophy major. However, he soon discovered an interest in biochemistry and the medical profession.

Then, during his Introduction to Economics course, he began to see an overlap between how economists study decision-making and how medical professionals and their patients interact.

“Patients are really not great decision-makers,” Iticovici says. “They make a lot of really small decisions without looking at the overall impacts of those choices.”

Using the principles he learned in economics, Iticovici has pursued independent research to try to gain a better understanding of how and why patients make decisions that aren’t in their best interests. By delving into behavioral economics with a medical spin, he hopes to be able to advise and relate to his future patients more effectively.

Combining economics with a medicine-oriented biochemistry major may be unexpected, but it has many practical applications. But a down-to-earth major like economics can add a lot to a major that is less logic-oriented as well.

The economics of art

Alex Neckopulos ’17 is a studio art/economics double major who was interested in art from a young age. Her talent was encouraged until high school, where she got very different feedback from her teachers. They viewed artistic pursuits as less valuable than math and sciences, and her interest in art faded.

Neckopulos regained her passion for art when she came to Grinnell, but she discovered that the analytical side she developed in high school was still calling. At first, the notion of combining her interests in art and economics seemed unrealistic. “Honestly I had no idea how they would work together! It felt like I was trying to stick a circle in a square hole,” Neckopulos says.

After taking a job as an assistant in the Faulconer Gallery, however, Neckopulos discovered that her knowledge of economic models and principles came in handy. “Working in a gallery, you have the art that you’re passionate about, but it’s also a business, and you have to know how to get people in the door and really manage your funds,” Neckopulos says.

She hopes to obtain an internship at a larger, public gallery in the future to see what it’s like to pursue those interests on a grander scale. “My advice to anyone who has multiple interests would be to seek out that job that you think might combine them, because there’s nothing more eye-opening than applying what you learn to real life,” says Neckopulos.

Look for the overlap

“Double majors are really doable,” Iticovici adds. “You can combine anything and there will be some kind of overlap, as long as you’re willing to look for it. And that makes everything you learn more fulfilling and interesting.”

For Grinnell students, the ability to delve deeply into more than one subject helps to transform their varied interests into new, more fulfilling career paths. So if you’re having trouble deciding what you want to do, fear not! You just might be able to do it all.

Tannhäuser, Live in HD

This fall Grinnell is streaming four of the Metropolitan Opera's productions live and in high-definition as the Met celebrates its 10th anniversary of Live-in-HD movie theater transmissions.

The opera talk for Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser starts at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 31, in the Harris Center Cinema, with the opera beginning at 11 a.m.

Otto Schenk directs the Met's first production of this early Wagner masterpiece in more than a decade. Experienced Wagnerian tenor Johan Botha takes on the complex title role alongside soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek as the heroine Elisabeth. The production takes place in and around Wartburg Castle, in Thuringia in central Germany in the 13th century. James Levine conducts. Kelly Maynard, assistant professor and department chair of European Studies, will present the opera talk.

The next opera of the season is Alban Berg's Lulu on Saturday, Nov. 21, with an opera talk by Eugene Gaub, associate professor of music theory and music history

Refreshments will be available for purchase in the lobby of the cinema before each opera.

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.

The Office of the President has generously funded tickets for Grinnell College faculty, staff, and students, and these tickets are available for free at all locations. Family members not employed by the College are required to purchase tickets.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

Pro Arte String Quartet in Concert with Eugene Gaub on Piano

Pro Arte Quartet, with Eugene Gaub on piano, will performing Mozart’s String Quartet in E-flat Major, Anton von Webern’s Langsamer Satz, and Antonín Dvořák’s Quintet for Piano and Strings No.2 in A Major in a concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, in Sebring-Lewis Hall, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

The Pro Arte Quartet (PAQ) is one of the world’s most distinguished string quartets. Founded by conservatory students in Brussels in 1912, it became one of the most celebrated ensembles in Europe in the first half of the 20th century and was named Court Quartet to the Queen of Belgium. Its world reputation blossomed in 1919 when the quartet began the first of many tours that enticed notable composers such as Milhaud, Honegger, Martin, and Casella to write new works for the ensemble. In addition, Bartók dedicated his fourth quartet to the PAQ (1927), and in 1936 PAQ premiered Barber’s Op. 11 quartet, with the now-famous “Adagio for Strings” as its slow movement.

The concert is sponsored by the Department of Music as part of the Noyce Master Class series. Artists in the series teach master classes for Grinnell students, as well as perform on campus.

Lulu, Live in HD

The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Alan Berg’s Lulu will be streamed live in high-definition at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, in Harris Center Cinema. The opera talk by Eugene Gaub, associate professor of music theory, will begin at 11 a.m.

Music Director James Levine—one of Lulu’s leading champions — conducts the Met’s new production from acclaimed artist and director William Kentride, who applies his unique vision to Berg’s opera.

Soprano Marlis Petersen has excited audiences around the world with her portrayal of the title role, a wild journey of love, obsession and death. She recently announced that she plans to retire the part after this season. The winning cast also features mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, tenor Daniel Brenna and bass-baritone Johan Reuter.

The Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD will return to Grinnell for the spring season.

Refreshments will be available for purchase in the lobby of the cinema before the opera and during intermission.

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.

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

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

Writers@Grinnell: Edward Hirsch

Celebrated poet Edward Hirsch ’72 will join Professor of English Ralph Savarese in a conversation about poetry and parenting at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in the Faulconer Gallery.

 “‘If the Music is Too Loud You’re Too Old:’ A Conversation with Edward Hirsch ’72 about Poetry, Parenting, Disability, and Grief” will use Hirsch’s most recent publication, “Gabriel,” to open discussion. “Gabriel” is a book-length elegy for Hirsch’s late son. This free public event, which is part of the Writers@Grinnell series, will be streamed live.

Hirsch also will lead an informal roundtable discussion about “Reading as Relationship” at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in the Joe Rosenfield ‘25 Center Room 209. This event also is open to the public at no charge.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

About the Participants

Edward Hirsch

President of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation since 2003, Hirsch has been honored with numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, a Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, the Prix de Rome and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award. He was also elected chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2008.

Hirsch is the author of nine collections of poetry, including a Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award winner, a Lavan Younger Poets Award winner and a National Book Critics Award winner. He has also published five books of prose, including the national bestseller “How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry.”

Ralph Savarese

Savarese, who co-directs the Writers @Grinnell series, is the author of Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption and co-editor of Papa PhD: Essays on Fatherhood by Men in the Academy.

About Writers @Grinnell

Writers@Grinnell logoWriters@Grinnell brings to campus authors of all kinds: poets, novelists, memoirists, essayists, radio essayists, columnists, graphic memoirists, playwrights, and short story writers.

Believing language to be a dynamic and communal medium, we give its crafted versions the attention they deserve, and we take seriously the importance of diverse perspectives. Through the generous support of an anonymous donor, the program hosts an annual distinguished author reading. Such authors have included Alison Bechdel, Tracy K. Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Edward P. Jones, Adrienne Rich, Marilynne Robinson, and W.S. Merwin. In addition to readings and roundtables, the program funds two six-week short courses taught by writers from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, and it helps students to find internships in writing-related professions.

Reading by Austrian writer, Teresa Präauer

Teresa Praauer photo

Teresa Präauer

The Department of German welcomes Austrian fiction writer, essayist, and visual artist, Teresa Präauer, to campus for a reading on Wednesday, October 7th at 7:30p.m. in the Burling Library Lounge.

Teresa Präauer is the author of the novels Johnny und Jean (2014) and Für den Herrscher aus Übersee [For the Emperor from Overseas], which received the Aspekte prize for best German-language prose debut of 2012, as well as of a book of poetry postcards entitled [Pigeons’ Letters] (2009). In 2015 she received a Droste and a Hölderlin promotion award, and was shortlisted for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize. She regularly publishes on the subjects of poetry, theatre, pop culture and fine arts.

Models of Collaboration: Dance, Art, and Music

Professors Juliet Bellow and Julia Randel will discuss models of collaboration in dance, art, and music at 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 6, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101. Each will present a 20 minute talk. Bellow will present “Working Simultaneously: Robert and Sonia Delaunay and the Ballets Russes,” and Randel will present “Pas de deux of music and dance: Balanchine’s Stravinsky ballets.”

Duo EStrella will present a concert that complements the discussion. The duo, pianists Svetlana Belsky and Elena Doubovitskaya, will perform Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Debussy’s Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, in Sebring-Lewis Hall, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

Both events are free and open to the public.

The talk is sponsored the Center for the Humanities as a part of this year's theme, "Sites of Creativity: Streets, Salons, Studios, and Schools." The concert is sponsored by the Department of Music.

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.

Juliet Bellow

Juliet BellowsBellow is associate professor of modern European art history at American University. Her scholarly research concerns intermedial modernism, with a focus on the relationship between art and dance in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her 2013 book, Modernism on Stage: The Ballets Russes and the Parisian Avant-Garde, is a study of set and costume designs by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Sonia Delaunay, and Giorgio de Chirico for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes troupe.

She has consulted for the National Gallery of Art’s exhibition "Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes: When Art Danced with Music," and will be a resident fellow at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University in the 2015-16 academic year.

Julia Randel

Julia RandelRandel is associate professor and chair of the Department of Music at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She is currently researching a project on the relationships between music and choreography in George Balanchine's ballets to Igor Stravinsky's music.

Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, Switzerland; the Harvard Theatre Collection; the Great Lakes College Association; and the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University. She has presented her work at national meetings of the American Musicological Society, Society of Dance History Scholars, Feminist Theory and Music, and Congress on Research in Dance; and at symposia of the Harvard Theatre Collection.

 

Otello, Live in HD

This fall Grinnell is streaming four of the Metropolitan Opera's productions live and in high-definition as the Met celebrates its 10th anniversary of Live-in-HD movie theater transmissions.

The screening of Giuseppe Verdi's Otello starts at noon, Saturday, Oct. 17, in the Harris Center Cinema, with an opera talk at 11:30 a.m.

In this adoption of Shakespeare's Othello, the Met has updated the opera's setting to the late 19th century, where the tragedy will unfold in a shape-shifting glass palace. Directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Otello features tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko as Otello and new soprano actress Sonya Yoncheva as his innocent wife and victim, Desdemona. Presenting the opera talk will be Ellen Mease, associate professor of European dramatic literature, criticism, theory and theatre history.

The season continues with screenings featuring opera talks by faculty members:

  • Richard Wagner’s "Tannhäuser" on Saturday, Oct. 31, with an opera talk by Kelly Maynard, assistant professor and department chair of European Studies
  • Alban Berg's "Lulu" on Saturday, Nov. 21, with an opera talk by Eugene Gaub, associate professor of music theory and music history

Refreshments will be available for purchase in the lobby of the cinema before each opera.

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.

The Office of the President has generously funded tickets for Grinnell College faculty, staff, and students, and these tickets are available for free at all locations. Family members not employed by the College are required to purchase tickets.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.