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2007-2008 Humanities Forum


FALL 2007

October 3, 7:00 p.m.

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Living Myths: Joseph Beuys and Collective Memory. Lasse Antonsen, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Lasse Antonsen, Director of the University Art Gallery at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth will speak on the Joseph Beuys Sculpture site and the need for green, contemplative space on the UMBC campus. Antonsen’s lecture will discuss the relevance of Joseph Beuys’ performances, social sculpture, and art work today. Beuys (1921-1986) was an influential German artist who came to prominence in the 1960s. He was a charismatic and controversial artist, a committed teacher, and a political activist.

Sponsors: Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture Dresher Center for the Humanities and TKF Foundation



October 17, 4:00 p.m.

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Webb Lecture

Ideologies of Empires:

The British Case and its American Echoes. Dane Kennedy, George Washington University

“Is the United States an empire?” This question has generated a fierce debate in recent years, a debate that hinges in part on how an empire explains and justifies its role in the world. Dane Kennedy, Elmer Louis Kayser Professor of History and International Affairs at George Washington University, will examine the ideologies of empire that shaped the British imperial experience and consider the extent to which parallels can be found in contemporary America.

Sponsors: Department of History and Dresher Center for the Humanities



October 25, 4:00 p.m.

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Phi Beta Kappa Lecture

Women Writing Letters in Graeco-Roman Egypt .   Roger Bagnall, New York University

In the papyri from ancient Egypt, we have several hundred letters written by women-not fictitious women or literary creations, but actual women who needed to communicate. This lecture explores the difficulties of understanding what letters women actually wrote themselves or dictated and how these letters can give us a view of ancient women’s lives more diverse than the picture one gets from ancient literature. Professor Roger Bagnall is Director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, and a visiting Phi Beta Kappa scholar.

Sponsors: Department of Ancient Studies and Phi Beta Kappa, UMBC Chapter



October 30, 4:00 p.m.

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Ancient Studies Week Lecture

Exploring the Origins of the Temple of the Goddess Mut at South Karnak. Betsy Bryan, Johns Hopkins University

Betsy Bryan holds the Alexander Badawy Chair in Egyptian Art and Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Currently she leads the Hopkins team of archaeologists investigating the Temple of Mut at Luxor. She is author, editor, and contributor to many books on Egypt, including Mistress of the House, Mistress of Heaven: Women in Ancient Egypt. In this lecture, Professor Bryan will discuss new information about the complex character of the goddess Mut, the wife of the chief god Amun and mother of the moon god Khonsu. Mut was an elite deity associated with kingly power.

Sponsors: Department of Ancient Studies and Dresher Center for the Humanities



November 7, 4:00 p.m.

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Media Convergence, Media Democracy. Jason Loviglio, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Technological advances in the media of communication, information, entertainment, and surveillance are always accompanied by a range of predictions about their benefits and dangers to democracy. What are the consequences for democracy in light of the convergence of new digital media with older forms of media distribution, like broadcasting and print? Jason Loviglio is Director of UMBC’s new Media and Communication program and Associate Professor of American Studies. He is author of Radio’s Intimate Public: Network Broadcasting and Mass-Mediated Democracy, and co-editor of Radio Reader: Essays in the Cultural History of Radio.

Sponsors: Dresher Center for the Humanities




November 14, 7:00 p.m.

University Center Ballroom

The W.E.B. DuBois Lecture

Black Leadership in America and the African Diaspora: Its Promises and Problems.

Ronald Walters, University of Maryland, College Park

The long project of forging unity among peoples of African descent has moved substantially beyond theory to concrete engagement. In the U.S., although the promises of unity among people of African descent show promises, the weakening of the traditional base of the black community and the strengthening of immigrant African communities pose problems that constitute a new and challenging agenda. Dr. Walters is Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park and serves as Director of the African American Leadership Institute. He is the author of over 100 articles and 8 books, and is the recipient of many academic and professional awards.

Sponsors: Department of Africana Studies




 SPRING 2008

February 5, 7:00 p.m.

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Fiction Reading: “The Age of Shiva”   Manil Suri, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Manil Suri, author of the bestselling novel The Death of Vishnu, will read from his new novel The Age of Shiva.  In this new book, India’s birth as a new nation parallels a woman’s complex psychological journey confronting tradition and modernity. Richly layered with themes from Hindu mythology, The Age of Shiva is at once a powerful story of a country in turmoil and an extraordinary portrait of maternal love.  Dr. Suri is a professor of Mathematics at UMBC.

“Like Anna Karenina, The Age of Shiva is both intimate and epic, a balance of sensual beauty and visceral reality. Suri reveals truths about human nature: our circumstantial passions, the obsessions that confine us, and the many ways we rebel and find self-expression. “ — Amy Tan

Sponsors: Dresher Center for the Humanities, Friends of the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Ivy Bookshop


March 5, 4:00 p.m.

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Drawing Serious Laughter: The Art of Political Satire

Kevin KAL Kallaugher

Political Cartoonist

Internationally acclaimed political cartoonist Kevin KAL Kallaugher has for over  30 years skewered politicians from Baltimore to Berlin. In this entertaining presentation, KAL will illustrate the excitement, challenges and pitfalls of cartooning in today’s world. KAL will also share his fun and important work he is creating as artist-in-residence at UMBC.

Sponsors: Dresher Center for the Humanities


March 26, 4:00 p.m.

Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th Floor

The Daphne Harrison Lecture

What Does the Bible Say about Women?

Adele Berlin, Robert H. Smith Professor of Hebrew Bible

University of Maryland, College Park

The Hebrew Bible has a lot to say about women even though they played a subordinate role in ancient Israelite society. When we look at the portrayal of a few individual women, famous and not so famous, and at some general statements about women, we see that biblical representations of women are more complex than we imagined. Moreover, by examining its writings about women, we learn a good deal about biblical thought.

Sponsors: Judaic Studies Program and Dresher Center for the Humanities


May 7, 4:00 p.m.

Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th Floor

The Low Lecture

Confederate Emancipation

Bruce Levine, James G. Randall Professor of History

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne

Prof. Levine’s most recent book is entitled Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves during the Civil War (2005).  It probes the public debate that dominated politics in the South during the last six months of the war, the controversy over whether to emancipate and arm slaves to fight on behalf of the Confederacy.  This book uses the rich, dramatic, and revealing record of that debate and its aftermath to explore racial and pro-slavery ideology, the real interaction of blacks and whites during the war, the nature of southern nationalism, divisions within the South’s white population, and the complex process of emancipation and Reconstruction.

Sponsors: Department of History and Dresher Center for the Humanities