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Poetry, fiction, global security among topics on MillerComm docket

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9/13/2012 | Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities Editor | 217-333-0568;

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN,Ill. — This fall’s Center for Advanced Study/MillerComm lectures will look back to the poetry of Yeats and forward to the future of Chinese fiction and the role of engineers and scientists in international security. The annual series, begun in 1973, is supported by the George A. Miller Endowment along with several University of Illinois units.

 On Sept. 19 (Wednesday), William Brooks, a music professor at the University of York in England, will discuss Yeats’ theories on poetic delivery, which the Irish poet called “chaunting” (the archaic term for chanting), and “Everlasting Voices,” the Yeats-inspired musical piece Brooks composed. On Sept. 20 (Thursday), Brooks will perform this work at 7:30 p.m. in the Tryon Festival Theatre at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

On Oct. 4, David Derwei Wang will discuss the writings of Liang Qichao, a Chinese journalist, novelist and activist. Wang’s talk is titled “The Future of New China: Revolution in Fiction.” Wang, who has written, translated or edited more than 20 books, including “The Monster That is History: History, Violence, and Fictional Writing in Twentieth-Century China,” is the Edward C. Henderson professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard.

On Nov. 1, Charles D. Ferguson, the president of the Federation of American Scientists and a co-chair of the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group, will discuss expanding the concept of security from military defense to the assurance of adequate energy, food and water around the world. Ferguson is the author of four books, most recently “Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know.” In 2008, he made Wired magazine’s “Smart List” as one of the “Fifteen People the Next President Should Listen To.”

All MillerComm lectures will be presented in Knight Auditorium in the Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana. Brooks and Wang will present their lectures at 4 p.m.; Ferguson will speak at 7:30 p.m. All lectures are free and open to the public.

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