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Spring 2018 CURRENTS

Monday, February 26th

Matt Belzer, Senior Lecturer, Music

The Anansi Trio: On the Path

The Anansi Trio is a unique collaboration between a saxophonist, a bassist, and a Latin percussion/drummer. Mark Belzer will discuss how this unusual combination creates interesting composition and performance challenges for the musicians, as they search for a group identity while respecting the traditions of jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Indian music.


Kelley Bell, Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Visual Arts

The Herd: Seeking a Swimmable Harbor

In 2016, the Waterfront Partnership’s annual Water Quality Report Card gave the waterways of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor a failing grade, citing high levels of raw sewage, nitrogen, and phosphorus as culprits. Nonetheless, the non-profit’s overall goal is a swimmable and fishable harbor by 2020. Kelley Bell will discuss The Herd: A Luminous Host Seeking Safe Harbor, her upcoming art installation for the Light City Baltimore 2018 Festival. This innovative installation is a tribute to all the citizens of Baltimore City who continue to hope for a healthy city and healthy waterways.


Monday, April 23rd 

Amy Froide, Professor, History, and 2018 Dresher Center Residential Faculty Fellow

Eighteenth-Century England’s Charitable Corporation: A Cautionary Tale of Micro-lending, Financial Fraud, and Government Bailouts

Amy Froide is writing the story of London’s Charitable Corporation, a forgotten experiment in eighteenth-century microfinance and a neglected example of the financial fraud endemic to the heady years of the early English stock market. This 1731 scandal involved financial mismanagement and embezzlement of micro-loans meant for the poor; it resulted in Parliament stepping in to solve the crisis. How does a 300-year financial bubble connect to today’s financial scandals and government bail outs of institutions deemed too big to fail?



Monday, April 30th

Irene Chan, Associate Professor, Visual Arts, and 2018 Dresher Center Residential Faculty Fellow

Railroad Track of Violence: Stories About the Chinese in Nineteenth-Century America

Using storytelling and new media, Irene Chan’s interdisciplinary digital history and art project, Railroad Track of Violence, examines and documents the forgotten history of violence against Chinese immigrants. Expanding the project’s multimedia collection of miniature art books, Professor Chan is adding personal narratives and songs that depict horrific acts against the Chinese and the ways that these new Americans courageously fought back. She will discuss her research in locating first-person accounts from the Chinese and other townspeople. These life histories will eventually be voice-recorded and added to the project’s website.