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Spring 2014 Humanities Forum

Monday, February 10th
12-1:30pm, Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle
The Loving Story film showing
The film is a moving account of Richard and Mildred Loving, who were arrested in 1958 for violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage. Their struggle culminated in the 1967 landmark Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia. The film was directed by Nancy Buirski and produced by Nancy Buirski and Elisabeth Haviland James.

Tuesday, February 11th
4:30pm, Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Created Equal Panel Discussion
Moderator: Dr. Claudrena N. Harold, Associate Professor of History, University of Virginia
The Created Equal Program encourages public conversations about the changing meanings of freedom and equality in America. Dr. Harold recently co-directed a short film, Sugarcoated Arsenic, with Kevin Everson. The film explores African-American intellectual, social, and political life at the University of Virginia during the 1970s. The Created Equal Program is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Sponsored by the Africana Studies Department and the Albin O. Kuhn Library. Co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Tuesday, February 18th
5pm, Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Constructing Heritage
James Counts Early, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Mario Santo Domingo, Psychology, UMBC
Michelle Stefano, American Studies, UMBC
Ashley Minner, Community Artist and Activist, Baltimore American Indian Center
The process of constructing heritage is inherently political. Whether displayed in a museum, protected as a site, or thought of in terms of shared, cultural knowledge passed down over time, heritage is identified, defined, and interpreted through policies that both shape its very nature and exclude that which is not. This forum marks the beginning of a series of ongoing, critical discussions on the mechanisms of constructing heritage and the power relations embedded within its enterprise, from international to local-level perspectives.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities. Co-sponsored by the American Studies Department.

Wednesday, February 19, 4:00 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Race and its Medieval Prehistories: Jews and Stereotypes in Norwich and London, 1233
Anthony Bale, professor of Medieval Studies, Birkbeck University of London Bale has published widely on medieval literature, culture, and religion. In particular, his work has explored relations between Christians and Jews in medieval England. He has also edited and translated several medieval texts, and is currently working on The Book of Margery Kempe. He has received fellowships from the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the Huntington Library, the Leverhulme Trust, the University of Michigan Frankel Institute, and the National Humanities Center. He is a current holder of the Philip Leverhulme Prize.

Sponsored by the English Department and Judaic Studies. Co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Tuesday, March 4th
4pm, Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
The Living Edge – Delights and Dilemmas of the Chesapeake Bay
Tom Horton and Dave Harp, two of the nation’s best known environmental journalists, will speak on the state of the Chesapeake Bay, the country’s largest estuarine system whose drainage basin touches six states. Horton is the author of the critically-acclaimed Bay Country, which won the John Burroughs Award for the best book of nature writing in 1988, as well as the David Brower award from the Sierra Club. Harp’s magazine work has taken him from the coast of Normandy for a story on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, to western Australia for coverage of the America’s Cup, and to the tropical rain forests of Panama.

Sponsored by the English Department. Co-sponsored by the Departments of Geography and Environmental Systems, Biology, Public Policy, the College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Thursday, March 6th
7:30pm, University Ballroom
Daphne Harrison Lecture
On Hip Hop, Race, and Politics: The Way We Talk About Things
Jay Smooth, Hip Hop Culture Critic
In this talk, socio-political pundit Jay Smooth, the popular blogger behind “The Ill Doctrine,” discusses everything from present-day politics and social justice to music, media, and culture. Smooth delves into the oftentimes-tricky discussion of race, specifically how we talk about race and racism as a culture, sharing thought-provoking, humorous, and entertaining suggestions for expanding our worldview on the subject.

Sponsored by Critical Social Justice, Women’s Center, Student Life’s Mosaic Center, the Africana Studies Department and the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Wednesday, March 12th
7pm, Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Curious Behavior: A Celebration of Undergraduate Research at UMBC
Robert R. Provine, Neuroscientist and Professor of Psychology at UMBC
Robert Provine’s latest book, Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond, has received rave reviews. It won the PROSE Award 2012 as the best book in biomedicine and neuroscience and was selected as a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Professor Provine will reflect on his 39-year career at UMBC and discuss how undergraduate research can change the way we look at human behavior and solve ancient problems.

Sponsored by Social Sciences Forum. Co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Tuesday, March 25th
4:30pm, Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th floor
The Fraught Crossroads Where Class, Race, Sex and Violence Keep Converging across American History
Lawrence Weschler, author
Using assemblage artist Edward Kienholz’s harrowing 1970 lynching tableau Five Car Stud as a point of departure, Lawrence Weschler explores the ways in which race has served as the radioactive core of American history, continually warping the potential for ordinary class-based politics and accounting for all manner of perverse American exceptionalisms (the subject of Weschler’s current work-in-progress).

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities. Co-sponsored by the American Studies Department and the Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community, and Culture.

Tuesday, April 1st
5:30pm, Center for Art Design and Visual Culture
The Aesthetics of Astronomy: A Subjective Look at Cosmigraphical Depictions through Time
Michael Benson, writer, photographer and artist
In his latest book, Planetfall, Michael Benson presents a retrospective look at the visual legacy of 21st-century space exploration. Benson covers fifty years of space travel, from the first trip when the American Mariner probe passed Venus in December 1962 to the latest images of the Mars Rover. His images are not so much otherworldly as abstract, modernist creations of lush imagination.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities. Co-sponsored by CIRCA and the History Department.

Wednesday, April 9th
4pm, Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Barker Lecture
Dignity and Disability
Samuel Kerstein, Professor of Philosophy, University of Maryland, College Park
When we allocate scarce life-saving resources such as organs for transplant, we determine who will live and who will die. This lecture aims to help determine just what ethical constraints should guide the allocation of resources. Some ethicists and policy makers claim that we should give treatment to someone who would return to full health after treatment rather than another who would be disabled. Professor Kerstein sets out reasons for rejecting this claim and considers whether it is consistent with a principle of respect for the dignity of persons.

Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy. Co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Wednesday, April 16th
6pm, Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Examining the Book of Lies
Corazon del Sol, artist and curator
Los Angeles based Corazon del Sol will discuss The Book of Lies, the conceptual art project and exhibition of the same name conceived of – but ultimately left unfinished – by her mother, conceptual artist Eugenia P. Butler. Del Sol will examine the lie as a human strategy for coping with life, and how artists use the lie to explore our relationship with the truth.

Sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities. Co-sponsored by the Albin O. Kuhn Library.

Thursday, May 1st
4pm Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Lipitz Lecture
Interiors: Identity in Music
Linda Dusman, Professor of Music at UMBC
During her Liptiz Professorship, Linda Dusman’s research explored identity issues in her own music and the music of Eleanor Hovda, a 20th-century American composer recently added to Dusman’s I Resound Press archive. The lecture will present her compositional process in the creation of two works, “Lake, Thunder” and “Interiors,” as well as general reflections on the exploration of identity in music by feminist composers.

Sponsored by the College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences and the Dresher Center for the Humanities.