Email to a friend
lectures explore variety of topics
Chamberlain, News Editor
— Civil rights leader Julian Bond, National Public Radio commentator
Andrei Codrescu and composer Don Davis, who wrote scores for "The
Matrix" movies, will all be among the speakers this spring in the Center for Advanced Study/MillerComm lecture series at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Among the topics in other lectures: the Harlem Renaissance; Western
and Asian thought; Iranian politics and U.S. foreign policy; the unpredictability
of science and its consequences; women’s rights in Nigeria; and
the university in the 21st century.
The series, begun in 1973 and supported with funds from the George A.
Miller Endowment and several co-sponsoring campus units, provides a
forum for discourse on topics spanning the university’s many disciplines.
The talks are free and open to the public.
The series opens Monday (Feb. 23) with the lecture "The Remains
of the Name: The Origins of the Harlem Renaissance in the Discourse
of Egyptology, 1922-1925," presented by Robert A. Hill, a professor
of history at the University of California at Los Angeles. Hill will
discuss the intellectual origins of the Harlem Renaissance going back
to Marcus Garvey and including the impact of the "Egyptian revival"
of the 1920s. His talk, the seventh annual W.E.B. DuBois Lecture, begins
at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois
• Feb. 25, "Cross-Currents Between Film and Concert Music,"
by Don Davis, a Los Angeles composer and conductor. Davis will use his
scores for the three "Matrix" movies to examine stylistic
considerations in film music compared with trends in symphonic, opera
and chamber music composition. His lecture begins at 4 p.m. in the auditorium
of the Music Building, 1114 W. Nevada St., Urbana.
• Feb. 27, "Far Afield: Experiencing Landscape," by Lucy Lippard,
an independent writer and activist. Lippard will use her recent books,
among them "On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art and Place,"
to explore cultural and personal dimensions of the landscape experience
in contemporary society. Her talk begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Plym Auditorium,
Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, 611 Lorado Taft Drive, Champaign.
• March 3, "The Impact of Race on Theater and Culture," by Woodie
King Jr., founder and producing director, New Federal Theatre, New York
City, considered a leading theater for minority drama. King will discuss
the politics of art and historic intersections of race and theater,
such as the play "A Raisin in the Sun." His lecture begins
at 5 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.
• March 8, "Reinventing the Wheel: Original Capitalism in Dracula
Land," by Andrei Codrescu, MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of
English at Louisiana State University and a commentator for National
Public Radio. Codrescu will talk about communism, post-communism and
Europe, with the experiences of his native Romania at the heart of the
story. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Smith Memorial
Hall, 805 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.
• March 12, "Solitary Sex and the Question of Gender," by Thomas
Laqueur, a professor of history at the University of California at Berkeley.
Laqueur will discuss the emergence of masturbation in the practice of
sexuality in recent centuries and how it brought women to the center
of debates about the ethics of the self. His lecture begins at
4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.
• March 16, "The Unpredictability of Science and Its Consequences,"
by Sir John Meurig Thomas, professor of solid state chemistry at the
University of Cambridge. Known for his efforts to popularize science,
Thomas will demonstrate through examples how scientists are no better
than the general public in foreseeing the scientific and technological
future. His talk begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty
• March 17, "There’s a Spirit That Transcends the Border: Faith,
Ritual and Postnational Protest at the U.S.-Mexico Border," by
Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, director of the War Crimes Studies Center,
University of California at Berkeley. Hondagneu-Sotelo will examine
the ritual and meanings of the Posada Sin Fronteras, a religious and
political event that calls attention to the death toll at the U.S.-Mexico
border caused by U.S. border enforcement policies. Her lecture begins
at 4 p.m. on the third floor of Levis Faculty Center.
• April 2, "The Broken Promise of Brown," by Julian Bond, a
professor of history at the University of Virginia and chairman of the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Bond, a
major participant in the civil rights movement, will discuss the promise
that resulted from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 desegregation
decision in Brown vs. the Board of Education – then explain how
and why that promise was broken and why it matters. His talk begins
at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Smith Memorial Hall.
• April 7, "A Unified Theory for Post-Suburban Planning," by
Andres Duany, co-founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism. New Urbanism
is a community planning movement that encourages compact, transit-oriented,
pedestrian friendly, sustainable neighborhoods. Duany will discuss his
proposals to end suburban sprawl and urban disinvestment by combining
neighborhood design with environmental concerns. His talk begins at
7:30 p.m. in the atrium of Temple Hoyne Buell Hall.
• April 8, "Iranian Politics and U.S. Foreign Policy," by Ervand
Abrahamian, Distinguished Professor of History at Baruch College. Abrahamian
will discuss political developments in Iran and their implications for
the country’s relations with the United States. His lecture begins
at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.
• April 16, "The University and Its Publics: Global Perspectives
for the 21st Century," by Michael Burawoy, a professor of sociology
at the University of California at Berkeley. Burawoy will examine how
privatization and corporatization threaten the university and how the
social sciences and humanities can respond. His talk begins at
4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.
• April 21, "Geography of Thought," by Richard Nisbett, Theodore
M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor and co-director of the
Culture and Cognition Program at the University of Michigan. Nisbett
will discuss the differences between Western thought, which is analytical
and often focused on categories and rules, and Asian thought, which
is holistic and often focused on relationships and similarities. His
lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Knight Auditorium at the Spurlock
Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana.
• April 26, "Video Game Subjects: Children and the Making of the
Video Game," by Valerie Walkderine, professor of psychology at
Cardiff University in Wales. Walkerdine examines the importance of feminine
subjectivity for neoliberalism by exploring, through a series of case
studies of young women, the way neoliberalism invites us to constantly
remake and reinvent ourselves through practices of consumption. Her
lecture begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.
• April 29, "This Woman Has Been Sentenced to Death by Stoning,"
by Ayesha Imam, founding director of BAOBAB for Women’s Human
Rights in Nigeria. Imam will speak on how the media have covered cases
of "zina" (illicit sexual intercourse) in Nigeria since the
passage of the Sharia Penal Codes. Her talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in Room
405 of the Levis Faculty Center.
• May 5, "Carrie Mae Weems: A Reflection on My Work," by Carrie
Mae Weems, an artist associated with the PPOW Gallery in New York City.
Weems is best known for her meditations on race and the African-American
experience, through her photographs and installations. Her lecture begins
at 4 p.m. in the 20th Century Gallery at the Krannert Art Museum, 500
W. Peabody Drive, Champaign.