IN THIS ISSUE: Faculty Retreat | "Mad Men" is catalyst for symposium | Lewis Caroll collection exhibited | Learn about law enforcement | Studio audience needed for "Media Matters" | Forum addresses sustainability | Conference offers women career resources | American Indian storyteller featured | "Climate and Society" series announced | Decision-making addressed Feb. 11 | Spurlock hosts volunteer sessions
“Crosscurrents of Creativity in Teaching”
The 2010 Annual Faculty Retreat will take place Feb. 5 in Illini Union Rooms A, B and C. The theme of this year’s retreat is “Crosscurrents of Creativity in Teaching.” Keith Sawyer, professor of psychology and of education at Washington University in St. Louis, will be the keynote speaker.
Although online registration is closed, people may call Conferences and Institutes, 217-333-7369, to check on availability.
Sawyer is one of the country’s leading scientific experts on creativity, innovation and learning. He urges a shift away from “linear creativity,” holding that innovation emerges from creative collaborations throughout an organization. He has written 10 books on creativity and innovation, most recently “Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration” and “Explaining Creativity: The Science of Human Innovation.”
This year’s format combines tradition with innovation. After the keynote talk, participants will engage in an activity designed to connect Sawyer’s ideas to the creative practice of teaching. Tim Stelzer, a professor of physics and the 2009-2010 Distinguished Teacher-Scholar, will give a presentation during lunch.
There also will be an opportunity for conversation with Sawyer at the Fireside Chat at the conclusion of the retreat.
New this year are post-retreat events, sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence, that will reinforce and expand on the concepts of creativity and innovation. The sessions will offer an opportunity for faculty members to explore beyond the scope of the retreat in smaller groups, to learn about other strategies and initiatives and to develop new partnerships.
The post-retreat events, which will be held throughout the semester, will include a faculty speaker series, reading groups exploring Sawyer’s book “Group Genius” and interactive sessions such as workshops and panel discussions.
The retreat is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Office of Continuing Education.
Symposium to explore culture of the 1960s
A UI symposium will use the popular TV show “Mad Men” as the catalyst for exploring one of the most transformative and turbulent periods in American history.
Titled, “Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style and the 1960s,” the Feb. 19 symposium will feature faculty experts from Illinois and other universities discussing various cultural themes that emerged during the ’60s and which are depicted in the Emmy- and Golden Globe award-winning TV series.
With its fourth season beginning this summer, “Mad Men,” broadcast on the American Movie Classics channel, recently won its third consecutive Golden Globe award for best dramatic series. Set in the 1960s, the show centers on the professional and personal exploits of Don Draper, a fictional Madison Avenue advertising executive, and other characters as they contend with the changing mores and values of the period.
“For whatever reason, the UI is composed of ‘Mad Men’ fandoms,” said UI English professor Lauren Goodlad. “There is just a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the show, although the symposium is larger than that. The whole concept of the event is to look at the ’60s’ backdrop that the show uses and is its raison d’etre.”
Keynote speakers for the symposium will be Michael Szalay, a professor of English at the University of California at Irvine, and Lynne Joyrich, a professor of modern culture and media at Brown University.
Szalay’s research focuses on 20th-century American literature and culture. He is the author of “New Deal Modernism: American Literature and the Invention of the Welfare State” (Duke University Press, 2000).
Szalay’s keynote speech for the symposium is titled “Mad Style: Market Segmentation and the Birth of Cool.”
Joyrich has taught, lectured and written extensively on film, television, feminist, queer and cultural studies. She is the author of “Re-viewing Reception: Television, Gender and Postmodern Culture” (Indiana University Press, 1996). The title of Joyrich’s keynote speech is “Media Madness: Multiple Identity Disorder in ‘Mad Men.’ ”
The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will be in the Levis Faculty Center.
A complete schedule of symposium events is available on the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory Web site.
Co-sponsors for the symposium include the Trowbridge Office on American Literature, Culture and Society; the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics; and the Center for Advanced Study.
Lewis Carroll collection exhibited
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the UI is exhibiting Lewis Carroll materials through March 5. “Curiouser and Curiouser: The Games and Mind Games of Lewis Carroll” includes games, puzzles and many curious aspects of the author of “Alice in Wonderland.”
The exhibition, named in honor of Alice’s exclamation as she tumbles down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world, is drawn largely from the Flodden Heron Collection of Lewis Carroll materials in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Heron was an American bibliographer and collector of rare materials on Carroll. While this exhibition primarily focuses on Carroll’s fascination with puzzles and games, the items also reflect Heron’s own interests in the author, particularly Carroll’s penchant for play and the nature of his relationship with Alice Liddell Hargreaves, the girl for whom “Alice in Wonderland” was written and to whom it is dedicated.
The Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 - 1898) is better known by his pseudonym Lewis Carroll. In addition to being a professor and writer, he adapted rules for games – including backgammon, tennis and croquet – and invented others. The UI owns Carroll’s own chess and backgammon board – two pastimes he combined into an original game called “Lanrick.” Carroll preferred games of skill and logic over those of chance. His games sought to instruct, but never at the expense of amusement.
The exhibition includes game tables where visitors can try some of Carroll’s puzzles and games, including Lanrick. Exhibition visitors also can try “mirror writing,” one of Carroll’s favorite forms of correspondence. Children are encouraged to attend the five-week exhibition.
The exhibition is curated by graduate students from the department of English and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. The curators are available for 30- to 60-minute school visits to introduce and share the games with K-12 students.
The exhibition concludes on March 5 with a Mad Hatter Tea Party for young people.
Want to learn about law enforcement?
Champaign County residents interested in getting an inside look at how local law enforcement works are invited to participate in the Champaign County Citizen Police Academy.
The academy, which meets from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays beginning March 4 for 10 weeks, will cover crime prevention, community-based policing, drugs, gangs, school safety, DUI enforcement, citizen-police contacts, use of force, firearms safety, crime scene investigation, a tour of the Champaign County Jail and a patrol ride-along. The meetings are held at the Police Training Institute and other sites.
Starting its 24th session, the academy strives to help local residents better understand police work. In addition, the police agencies involved in the academy seek feedback from participants about law-enforcement issues.
For more information or to enroll in the program, contact the Police Training Institute at 217-333-2337. More information also is online: www.pti.illinois.edu/.
Studio audience needed for live show
Fans of WILL-AM’s “Media Matters With Bob McChesney” can be part of a live studio audience for the show at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 21.
The event at the Siebel Center is free to the public. Tickets are required and space is limited. To request a ticket, call 217-333-7300 during business hours by 5 p.m. Feb. 15. Parking will be available one block north in the garage at Goodwin Avenue and Clark Street.
“We wanted to thank listeners by doing a live studio show for the first time,” said McChesney, a UI professor of communication. “I will stay after the program to take more questions, talk about my new book and sign books.”
His new book, “The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again,” co-written with John Nichols, will be on sale for $25 at the event, with all proceeds going to WILL. Nichols, political writer for The Nation magazine, will appear with McChesney at the event as a guest on the show.
Jay Pearce, the director of created content for Illinois Public Media, said “Media Matters” is one of WILL’s most popular shows. “We get listeners from all around the country who hear the program on the Web. This is a great opportunity for listeners to see Bob in action and meet him afterward,” he said.
Unique forum addresses sustainability
An evening of innovative conversation is expected as participants take to the stage for an exchange of enterprising ideas, artistic expressions, global discussion and fresh perspectives on sustainability.
What does sustainbility mean to you? Have your say at Innovators Improv at 5 p.m. Feb. 18 on Stage Five at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
During the open forum, anyone can get on stage. John Clarke, from the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership in the College of Business, will moderate, and Cassandra Clark and Rhiannon Clifton from the Technology Entrepreneur Center will co-moderate.
The U.S. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 declared as its goal a national policy to “create and maintain conditions under which (humans) and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans.” The most widely quoted definition internationally is the “Brundtland definition” of the 1987 Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development – that sustainability means “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The mission of Innovators Improv is to join innovative thinkers at the intersection of the arts, sciences, business and engineering to create unique and transformative ideas. It is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement, Office for Corporate Relations, Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Technology Entrepreneur Center, Division of Biomedical Sciences, and Precision Graphics.
More information is online at www.innovatorsimprov.org/.
Conference offers career resources
A free conference later this month will offer resources for professional women.
The fourth annual “Women’s Career Conference: Leadership, Engagement and Empowerment,” which is part of the Inclusive Illinois Roundtable Series, will take place 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 27 in Illini Union Rooms A, B and C.
The conference will allow women to talk about career issues, including career goals and paths, mentoring, networking, salary negotiation and work/personal life balance. The day’s events will include a continental breakfast, keynote speaker, roundtable discussions, a panel of female leaders from campus, lunch and a resource fair.
Sponsored by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access and several other campus colleges and units, the conference is open to female faculty and staff members and students at the UI. Online registration is open until Feb. 19 at www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu/.
American Indian storyteller featured
Spurlock Museum will host two storytelling events on Feb. 6. A workshop on writing personal life stories will be from 9 a.m. to noon with a concert of American Indian tales presented from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Both “Winter Tales” events will feature Eldrena Douma, a Hopi-Tewa storyteller from Laguna Pueblo, who travels throughout the U.S. sharing stories from her American Indian heritage.
In the workshop, “Past, Present, Write for the Future,” Douma helps participants pinpoint personal life stories (both remembered and waiting to be re-awakened) that are appropriate for story development. She also shares tales that give examples of how history and life stories remain strong among her tribes and family and how some of these stories have made their way into books for preservation purposes. Held in Spurlock’s Zahn Learning Center, the workshop is $30 ($20 for students).
At 2 p.m. in Spurlock’s Knight Auditorium, Douma will share stories from her American Indian heritage. Her experience as a storyteller began in her youth listening to family stories. Adults in her community told of life experiences, history and folktales. Today, she continues to develop stories of her own unique creation which stand to become as much a part of her rich heritage as the traditional stories she grew up with. Tickets for this event are $5.
For more information about either event, call Kim Sheahan, 217-244-3355; email@example.com.
‘Climate and Society’ series announced
Spring dates and featured speakers for the “Climate and Society” series have been announced. The series is being coordinated and hosted by the Beckman Institute’s Social Dimensions and Environmental Policy Initiative.
Generally, speakers will be featured each Friday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Room 5602 Beckman Institute, with a reception following. (Some are scheduled at alternate times to avoid conflict with related events occurring at the same time.)
The first talk, “Social Dimensions of Climate Change: From Principles to Practice at the World Bank,” will feature Robin Mearns from the social development department at The World Bank. The talk will be 4:30-6 p.m. Feb. 10.
Details about a related series, “Climate Change in the Humanities,” hosted by the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, can be found online.
Decision-making addressed Feb. 11
The need to make decisions in the presence of uncertainty is part of the human condition. Such decisions affect the actions we take at an individual level, and also manifest themselves in the engineering, scientific, financial and political environment in which we live.
A presentation from 3:45 to 5 p.m. Feb. 11 will feature Peter W. Glynn, the Thomas W. Ford Professor at Stanford University, speaking on “Decision-making in the Presence of Uncertainty.” The talk will be in the NCSA auditorium with a reception after in the NCSA atrium.
In his talk, Glynn will discuss some of the challenges, ranging from formulation to computation, that arise in building useful models in such decision settings.
Glynn also has a courtesy appointment in the department of electrical engineering and is the director of the Stanford Institute of Computational and Mathematical Engineering. He is a fellow of INFORMS and a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics with research interests in computational probability, simulation, queuing theory, statistical inference for stochastic processes and stochastic modeling.
The lecture is part of the Illinois Distinguished Lecture Series in Operations Research, hosted by the department of industrial and enterprise systems engineering.
Spurlock hosts volunteer sessions
Do mummies fascinate you and suits of armor spark your imagination? Do you like to learn and share? The Spurlock Museum is looking for volunteer tour docents and special programs and events assistants.
Free information sessions will be 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 18 and 1:30 to 3:30 Feb. 28 at the Zahn Learning Center at Spurlock Museum. The event will reveal more about the museum, its programs and events, and explain how volunteers can be a part of the adventure.
For more information, contact Kim Sheahan, 217-244-3355; firstname.lastname@example.org.