Digital Scholarship and the African Diaspora:

David Eltis, David Richardson

Sep 14 2011

Drs. Eltis and Richardson, recipients of the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction for Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, will discuss new findings and new directions for future research from www.slavevoyages.org and www.African-Origins.org.

Affective Circuits: Networks of Feeling in the Flesh of New Media

Kenny Fountain

Sep 22 2011

While praised for quickly linking users from across the world, digital technologies are blamed nonetheless for confusing sustained human interaction with endless loops of trivial personal updates. Still many feel an emotional connection through these mediated experiences. T. Kenny Fountain, Department of English, explores circuits of new media affect in two recent artworks, Immersion and We Feel Fine, which bear witness to the emotional processes generated by video games and social media.

Poetry Reading by Montana-based Poet and River Guide Chris Dombrowski

Chris Dombrowski

Sep 28 2011

A reading by Chris Dombrowski

With support from:

Department of English

Throne of Blood: Shakespeare Film Festival

Robert Spadoni

Oct 14 2011

Japan, 1957 – Akira Kurosawa
One of the most celebrated screen adaptations of Shakespeare into film, Throne of Blood reimagines Macbeth in feudal Japan. Kurosawa fuses one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies with the formal elements of Japanese Noh theater to make a Macbeth that is all his own–a classic tale of ambition and duplicity set against a ghostly landscape of fog and inescapable doom. Introduced by Robert Spadoni, Associate Professor of English, CWRU.

With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

Chimes at Midnight (aka Falstaff): Shakespeare Film Festival

James Kuzner

Oct 15 2011

France-Spain-Switzerland, 1965 – Orson Welles

This award-winning film is based around the character of Sir John Falstaff in Shakespeare. The script contains text from five Shakespeare plays: primarily Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2, but also Richard II, Henry V, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. The film’s narration, spoken by Ralph Richardson, is taken from the chronicler Holinshed. Introduced by James Kuzner, Assistant Professor of English, CWRU. Tickets: $9 general admission; $7 for Cinematheque members and Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Institute of Art students, faculty, and staff (with I.D.): $5 for those under 25. (I.D. required).

With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

Shakespeare in Love: Shakespeare Film Festival

John Orlock

Oct 16 2011

USA-UK, 1998 – John Madden

This Academy Award winning film portrays playwright William Shakespeare’s involvement in a love affair at the time that he was writing the play Romeo and Juliet. The story is fiction, though several of the characters are based on real people. In addition, many of the characters, lines, and plot devices are references to Shakespeare’s plays. Introduced by John Orlock, Samuel B. and Virginia C. Knight Professor of Humanities, CWRU Tickets: $9 general admission; $7 for Cinematheque members and Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Institute of Art students, faculty, and staff (with I.D.): $5 for those under 25. (I.D. required).

With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

A Beloved Duck Gets Cooked: Different Forms

Lydia Davis

Oct 20 2011

Short story writer and French translator Lydia Davis will discuss her influences and responses to them, starting with early reading such as Beckett and Kafka and proceeding via Grace Paley, Russell Edson, and on into experimental poetry. She will read excerpts from several authors, as well as from some of her own works. This lecture, in memory of Walter A. Strauss (1923-2008), who was the Elizabeth and William T. Treuhaft Professor of Humanities, is generously supported by funds provided by the Paul Wurzberger Endowment.

Hidden Fame and the Genius in the Song: The Ninety Years of Bascom Lamar Lunsford and ‘I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground.’

Greil Marcus

Oct 27 2011

Author, journalist and cultural critic Greil Marcus’s talk focuses on Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Unknown to the nation and the world at large, Bascom Lamar Lunsford (1882-1973) of Turkey Creek, North Carolina, was for much of the 20th century a giant in the realm of American folklore. In 1930 he founded the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, which continues to this day; he recorded hundreds of songs for the Library of Congress and performed in the White House for Franklin D. Roosevelt and King George V. And yet his deepest legacy may be a disappearing act: his immersion in a song that he recorded obsessively, over and over again. “I wish I was a mole in the ground,” he sang in the 1920s, the ’30s, ’40s, the ’50s, the ’60s; his most lasting fame will rest on how completely, as an artist, he realized his desire and passed on a mystery that, today, performers from Marianne Faithfull to Blixa Bargeld to Eliza Carty, to mention only a few of the singers who have recorded the song in recent years, are still trying to solve.

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MODERN CHINA: A Multidisciplinary Exploration

Anita Chung, Julia F. Andrews, Wen-hsin Yeh, Peter Calassi,

Oct 29 2011

An afternoon of talks on modern China from multiple perspectives, relating to politics, art, and culture held in conjunction with the exhibition Art in the Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965) at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Speakers including Anita Chung (Curator of Chinese Art, Cleveland Museum of Art), Julia F. Andrews (Professor of Art History, Ohio State), Wen-hsin Yeh (Professor of Art History, UC-Berkeley) and Peter Galassi (Chief Curator of Photography, Museum of Modern Art). This event is co-sponsored with the Case Western Reserve University Department of Art and Art History and Cleveland Museum of Art.

With support from:

Cleveland Museum of Art, Department of Art and Art History

Rolling in the Deep: Aretha Franklin and the Makings of Modern Black Womenhood

Daphne Brooks

Nov 3 2011

This lecture is part of this year’s American Music Master Series.

Decoding the Antikythera Mechanism: An Ancient Greek Computer

John Seiradakis

Nov 7 2011

John Seiradakis of the University of Thessaloniki and a member of the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project will give a talk about new research on the Anitkythera Mechanism, the oldest geared device ever discovered and a product of ancient Greek genius. The Mechanism dates c. 200 – 65 B.C. and was excavated from a shipwreck dating c. 65 B.C. — it is one of the most important archaeological artifacts ever found. Recently newer technologies have allowed researchers to peer deeper into the Mechanism to uncover texts, gears and other aspects of the Mechanism not previously known

With support from:

Department of Classics, Department of History, Department of Astronomy

Architecture in a Tumultuous Age

Blair Kamin

Nov 10 2011

In this illustrated lecture, Blair Kamin, the Chicago Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic, will survey the period bracketed by the September 11 terrorist attacks and the opening of the world’s tallest building in Dubai on January 4, 2010. Assessing ordinary commercial structures as well as head-turning designs by some of the world’s most celebrated architects, from Frank Gehry to Daniel Libeskind, Kamin will separate the era’s masterpieces from its mediocrities and address the broader issue of architectural celebrity. He will also discuss the new Chicago skyscraper developed by another celebrity, Donald Trump. As Kamin’s talk will reveal, the nearly decade-long period that began with the 9/11 attacks was a “Dickensian construction zone,” an era of extreme oscillation between artistic triumph and urban disaster, frugal energy-saving architecture and giddy design excess. It was a time of terror and wonder, and buildings were central to its narrative.

With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

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You can’t go home again: The War of Words in Sophocles’ Philoctetes

Carolin Hahnemann

Nov 18 2011

Dr. Carolin Hahnemann, Professor of Classics at Kenyon College, teaches Greek and Latin as well as a spectrum of courses on ancient literature, history, and mythology. Educated at Brown University and the Philosophische Hochschule, S.J., Munich (Germany), Hahnemann’s research centers on the fragmentary tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles. Her publications include articles on “Sophoclean Fragments” in The Blackwell Companion to Sophocles, ed. K. Ormand; Malden, MA & Oxford (2011), entries on “Priam and Hecuba”, “Tiresias”, and “Theseus” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, Oxford (2010), and “Zum Verbleib der Grabstele SEG 19, 728 (Demirkapi)”, in Epigraphica Anatolica 40 (2007): 58.

i heart Cleveland: the strategic seduction of a city

Sarah Paul

Nov 18 2011

Sarah Paul is an intermedia artist focusing on the intersection of popular culture, fine art and social action. Her installations and performances integrate infectious vocal melody, luscious moving images, and maximal theatrical spectacle. Beneath her seductive compositions, Sarah is always rooting for the underdog. Writing and performing theatrical music works with both pop and experimental bands in the U.S. and abroad since 1989, Sarah gradually finished a BS in Mathematics from the University at Albany and swiftly completed her MFA in Visual Studies from the University at Buffalo. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include the Albright-Knox Gallery, the Sculpture Center, and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art. Sarah is presently an Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art in the T.I.M.E. Digital Arts Department. Pizza will be served. This event is sponsored by the Popular Culture Research Working Group.

A House in Search of a Home: A Contextual History of the Cleveland Play House

Jeffrey Ullom

Dec 1 2011

The Cleveland Play House is regarded as one of the most important theatrical institutions in the country, primarily because of its longevity. Founded in 1915, the Play House remains the longest-running professional theatre in the country, but its history has never been studied by anyone outside of the institution itself. Jeffrey Ullom, Department of Theater, contextualizes the history of Cleveland’s famous theatre to look beyond the subjective legacy and explore how and why this institution was able to persevere decade after decade.

A Bedouin at the Window: Readings from “The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia”

Mary Helen Stefaniak

Feb 1 2012

Author Mary Helen Stefaniak will read from and talk about her Anisfield-Wolf-award-winning novel, “The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia” (W. W. Norton & Company). Most of the novel takes place in 1938-39, when a well-traveled new schoolteacher turns the little town of Threestep, Georgia, upside down. Miss Spivey not only abandons the prescribed curriculum, providing a few dozen white children with a more worldly and inclusive education; she also reinvents the town’s annual festival as a Baghdad Bazaar, complete with camels. But neither Miss Spivey nor the narrator, young Gladys Cailiff, her student and ardent fan, is the hero of the novel. That role belongs to the Cailiffs’ 17-year-old African-American neighbor, Theo Boykin. Theo, who is known to all as the smartest person in Piedmont County, soon becomes Chief Engineer and creative genius behind the Baghdad Bazaar. He makes dangerous enemies in the process. Stefaniak will alternate readings from the novel with stories of the surprising research that led her to “discover” a real-life ancestor for her fictional hero in the person of Bilali Mahomet, a literate African Muslim enslaved first in the Bahamas and then on Sapelo Island, Georgia. Bilali Mahomet was famous in his lifetime for his intelligence, his Muslim faith, and his abilities as plantation overseer and leader of men.

With support from:

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

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A New Future for the Past: The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

John Grabowski

Feb 9 2012

With the publication of its first hardcopy edition in 1987, “The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History” opened a new era in the presentation of urban history. When it moved to the World Wide Web in 1998, it pioneered the concept of an on-line, vetted, urban history resource.   Today the on-line ECH stands as one of the university’s most visible digital humanities projects.   However, in the midst of the growing number of on-line wikis, blogs, and social networks, it is changing again to remain competitive as a popular, attractive, scholarly historical source.   Editor John J. Grabowski will discuss the past, present, and future of the ECH at this Baker-Nord digital humanities program.

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Film Screening and Discussion: Bill Cunningham New York

Feb 20 2012

The focus of this award-winning documentary is on New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. For decades, this Schwinn-riding photographer has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity for the “Times” Style section in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.” Cunningham’s enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair.   The film is a delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace.

Immediately following the screening, Mary Davis, Associate Director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, will lead a discussion with Jean Druesedow and William Perrine.

Druesedow is director of the Kent State University Museum. She was previously Associate Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She has served as curator or organizer for more than 40 exhibitions, is professionally active both nationally and internationally, lectures widely and contributes to publications in the field of costume studies.

Perrine is a lecturer and Ph.D. candidate at The Fashion School of Kent State University. His research interests include social justice in the apparel industry, sustainable consumption of apparel products, fashion student internship experiences, retail in emerging markets such as India and Turkey, paradoxical consumption patterns and network theory as related to the fashion industry.

Organizing Justice: Forming the Preuischer Richterverein and Advocating for Judges

Kenneth F. Ledford

Feb 23 2012

For years at the end of the 19th century, Prussian judges chafed at the higher pay and status granted to their colleagues in the general administrative bureaucracies, who had been their classmates while studying at the University. Ledford examines what were the social and cultural circumstances that in 1909 led those Prussian judges to defy the pressure from the Prussian Ministry of Justice, and to form a professional association that increasingly toward 1914 pressured the government to equalize pay and status for judicial and administrative officials. This episode of professional organization weaves together important aspects of the histories of the German state, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, and the cultural values of the German educated middle class in the final years of the German Empire.

The Digital Muse: Technology & The Classics

Paul Iversen, Andrea De Giorgi

Mar 1 2012

De Giorgi will discuss how Classical archaeology, as with most sciences that have an interest in the spreading of human phenomena over space, has developed a way to harness GIS (Geographic Information Systems). Theoretically and methodologically confined to the observation of single sites and their settlement history, archaeology through GIS lenses has begun to articulate more refined questions about regions and districts in antiquity and how these were experienced and shaped by human agencies. A landscape in southwestern Anatolia is the case-study that this presentation brings into focus. Iversen will talk about recent technologies he has used in to study the inscriptions on the Antikythera Mechanism, a bronze geared device from the 2nd or 1st century BCE that is the world’s oldest known analogue computer and one of the most important artifacts ever discovered for understanding ancient astronomy and engineering.   The inscriptions are studied via images created using a method called Polynomial Textured Mapping (PTMs), as well as CT-scans taken by means of a technology called Micro-Focus X-rays, the latter of which produces 2-D images that are then reconstructed into 3-D images with astounding clarity by a vector graphics program.

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The Double Life of Celebrity

Sharon Marcus

Mar 5 2012

The power of celebrity is the power of contradiction and paradox. Celebrities are extraordinary and typical, trendy and transcendent, vulnerable and omnipotent; they can seem simultaneously masculine and feminine, straight and gay, and the greatest stars appeal across ethnic, religious, linguistic and national boundaries. In this lecture, Sharon Marcus, the Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, explores the dual nature of celebrity by focusing on nineteenth-century actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), known for much of her lifetime as the most famous woman in the world.

With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

The Hollywood Sign: How a Temporary Commercial Sign Became a Permanent International Icon

Leo Braudy

Mar 8 2012

Originally erected as a real estate advertisement in 1923, the Hollywood Sign only gradually became the most familiar representation of the movie industry. Ignored, mocked, destined for demolition, then celebrated and treasured, Braudy, University professor and Bing Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Southern California, will discuss how its checkered history mirrors the development of Hollywood itself.

With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

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Gaming the World: How Sports in Europe and America Reflect the Global and the Local in Similar and Different Ways

Andrei Markovits

Mar 28 2012

Markovits, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and the Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies at the University of Michigan, will discuss how the culture of what he has come to call “hegemonic sports” — meaning those few ball-centered team sports that billions follow around the globe — arose in the 19th century, how it spread during that period best associated with what Markovits calls “the first globalization” and how this construct is in the process of persisting but also transforming in our current time that Markovits associates with the “second globalization”. Following his argument delineated in his book Gaming the World: How Sports are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture (Princeton University Press, 2010) — co-authored with Lars Rensmann — Markovits will present this sports culture’s immensely enlightening, inclusive, meritocratic and cosmopolitan aspects while at the same time producing some of the ugliest manifestations of counter-cosmopolitanism, racism sexism, and other prejudices of the advanced industrial world.

With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Ohio Humanities Council

Poetry in the Museum

Jorie Graham

Apr 1 2012

Poet Jorie Graham has — with great regret — been forced to cancel her trip to Cleveland due to medical circumstances. The event, however, will go on as scheduled, and will feature an announcement of the winners of the Poetry in the Museum contest, which called for a descriptive response to a work of art in the CMA collection. Contest winners will read their poems in proximity to the described work of art.

With support from:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Cleveland Museum of Art

Climate Catastrophes in the Solar System: Lessons for Earth

David Grinspoon

Apr 4 2012

Grinspoon, author, Curator of Astrobiology in the Department of Space Sciences at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and Adjunct Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado will present an interplanetary perspective on climate change. What happened to the lost oceans of Venus and Mars? Grinspoon will discuss how studying the evolution of other planets contributes to understanding and predicting climate change on Earth. Along the way he’ll lead us on a journey through the solar system–and deep time–discovering runaway greenhouses, snowball planets, and the long-term fate of Earth.

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Breaking Flesh: Performance, Anatomy, Memory

Elina Gertsman

Apr 5 2012

In his Christmas sermon “Puer natus est nobis”, Jean Gerson, the outspoken chancellor of the University of Paris, raged against a vile statue he saw in a local Carmelite church: a sculpture of the Virgin whose body split open to unveil the Trinity placed within. Gertsman will explore one such statue, the so-called Shrine Madonna, within the context of late medieval mnemotechnic discourses, anatomical and childbirth treatises, and performance practices that foreground obsession with uncanny anthropomorphic puppets. Through her study of Shrine Madonnas, Gertsman will explore the processes of empathetic beholding of a performing object, which both controls and is controlled by the viewer.

Digital Storytelling

Bryan Alexander

Apr 9 2012

People have been creating digital stories since before the web began but only recently have so many powerful media for sharing these stories become available to the general population. Today’s digital storytelling is not just for tech-savvy individuals; anyone with a desire to express their creativity can learn to use modern technology to share their stories.Bryan Alexander will discuss the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling, weaving images, text, audio, video, and music together. He will draw upon the latest technologies, insights from the latest scholarship, and his own extensive experience to describe the narrative creation process with personal video, blogs, podcasts, digital imagery, multimedia games, social media, and augmented reality — all platforms that offer new pathways for creativity, interactivity, and self-expression.

With support from:

Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, CWRU College of Arts and Sciences, CWRU Information and Technology Services, Samuel B. & Marian K. Freedman Digital Library, Language Learning, and Multimedia Services, Kelvin Smith Library

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Rembrandt van Rijn: A Conversation

Mariat Westermann, Svetlana Alpers

Apr 12 2012

This event features a conversation with Dr. Mariat Westermann, Vice President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Dr. Svetlana Alpers, Professor Emerita, University of California, Berkeley, moderated by Dr. Catherine Scallen, Associate Professor and Chair of Art History and Dr. Jon Seydl, Vignos Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, 1500-1800. These prominent scholars of Dutch art will discuss why Rembrandt van Rijn’s technique and subject matter continue to fascinate art viewers hundreds of years after his own time. This conversation immediately follows “Fresh Perspectives on an Old Master: Rembrandt Van Rijn”, a symposium which features art historians who are contributing to the scholarship on Rembrandt, and is co-sponsored by the CWRU Department of Art and Art History and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

With support from:

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

Creating a Sense of Place: University Circle — Where the Arts have Created a Life-Enhancing Environment

Nina Gibans, Jesse Epstein, Chris Roynane

Apr 19 2012

Producers Jesse Epstein and Nina Gibans, along with University Circle Inc. President Chris Roynane, discuss this multi-layered project on the history, public art, and architecture in University Circle. University Circle is the core of Cleveland’s powerful history and embodies the civic dream of the Cleveland industrialists who donated the land, lived there, and envisioned and endowed its institutions. This program will include video clips and commentary on the project.

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Getting Published

Eleanor H. Goodman

Apr 20 2012

This workshop will offer participants an insider’s perspective on the changing climate of scholarly publishing in the humanities and provide an overview of the key issues associated with publishing with an academic press. Questions to be considered include how to identify an appropriate press; effective ways to approach a publisher; how to “pitch” your book; the kind of information to include in a prospectus; and the difference between a doctoral dissertation and a book. Goodman will also take a look at what can be expected if a publisher is interested in your book, from the review and approval process, all the way to book’s publication (whether published on paper, electronically, or both).