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Brief Notes

INSIDE ILLINOIS, Aug. 19, 2010  |  [ Email | Share ]

IN THIS ISSUE: Film about Bardeen premieres Aug. 26 | Work by art and design emeritus professors on display | Uni High documentary looks at Asian Americans in C-U | Campus events to feature two Israeli artists

Big Ten Network

Film about Bardeen premieres Aug. 26

Book cover for "Latino/as and the Media, by Angharad Valdivia.

John Bardeen with his invention, the transistor, around 1988. | UI Photo

A new documentary about two-time Nobel Prize winner John Bardeen will premiere on the Big Ten Network at noon, Aug. 26. Produced by Big Ten Network Illinois Campus Programming, “Spark of Genius: The Story of John Bardeen” examines the spark of genius that fired in Bardeen throughout his life and while he worked as a professor in electrical engineering and physics at Illinois. Interviews, historical photos and simple re-enactments tell Bardeen’s story.

Imagine a world without computers, cell phones or all modern electronics – in other words, without the discoveries of Bardeen. In 1947, Bardeen and Walter Brattain invented the transistor, which amplifies and switches electronic signals.  The “solid state” transistor replaced vacuum tubes as the building block of modern radios and other small electronic devices.

In 1951, Bardeen left a position at Bell Labs to pursue his own research in Urbana. Here he would become the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in physics. Bardeen shares his first Nobel with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for the transistor. Bardeen’s second prize is shared with Leon Cooper and Robert Schrieffer for their theory of superconductivity.  They were the first to explain on a macroscopic level how a metal has zero electrical resistance at very low temperatures.

In the documentary, Bardeen’s first electrical engineering graduate student Nick Holonyak and his first physics postdoctoral student David Pines share their memories of the groundbreaking work Bardeen accomplished at Illinois. Other esteemed scientists and Illinois colleagues such as Nobel Prize winner Tony Leggett and U.S. Medal of Science winner Charlie Slichter remember Bardeen as a hard working scientist who also was a loving father and dedicated golfer.

Book cover for "Latino/as and the Media, by Angharad Valdivia.

Frank Gallo and Dennis Rowan are exhibiting work at the Cinema Gallery in Urbana.

Cinema Gallery

Work by art and design emeritus professors on display

Frank Gallo and Dennis Rowan, professors emeriti of art and design, are exhibiting work at the Cinema Gallery, 120 W. Main St., in downtown Urbana. A reception for the artists will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 21 at the gallery. The show, which features sculpture by Gallo and mixed media collage by Rowan, will be on display through Sept. 25. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.


School of Art + Design

Register now for Saturday Art School

Prospective students may now register for the fall semester of Saturday Art School, a community art school taught by art education undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members in the School of Art and Design. Registration ends Sept. 4 or when classes are filled, but late registrations will be accepted until Sept. 10, if space is still available.

Classes will meet at the Art and Design building beginning Sept. 11 for 10 Saturdays, culminating in an open house during the Krannert Art Museum Family Fest on Dec. 4 in the Link Gallery of the Art and Design building.

Cost for classes is $79 per student, ages 4 years 6 months through 18 years. Elementary classes meet from 9 to 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students in grades 6 to 8 and high school meet from 9 a.m. to noon in a studio format.

The fall curriculum offers new media experiences as well as opportunities to improve traditional media skills. Classes are offered for the following age groups: PreK-kindergarten, Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8 and high school (grades 9-12). For more information, visit or contact Melissa Madsen at 217-333-0855 or e-mail

Uni High radio documentary

A look at Asian Americans in C-U

Sharon Lee never felt like she fit in growing up in Cleveland in the ’70s and ’80s. As the only Korean American at her high school, she was asked if she knew karate or if she was related to Bruce Lee. “I was very aware, when I was very young, of not being white, and I really struggled with that, growing up, feeling embarrassed about my parents, not feeling like I fit in, always wishing I was taller and had bigger eyes,” she said.

Lee, who recently earned a doctorate in educational policy from the UI, is featured in a new radio documentary by Urbana University Laboratory High School students, “From East to West: Journeying Through the Lives of Asian Americans in Champaign-Urbana.” The program will be broadcast at 6 p.m. on WILL-AM (580) Aug. 28.

Several of the student executive producers, Asian American themselves, said they had felt some of the same feelings that Lee and other interviewees expressed and that feeling contributed to their passion about the project, said students Linda Ly and Maria Gao.

“I identified with how she wanted to fit in and how her parents were breathing down her neck academically because they were very traditional like my parents,” said Ly, whose Vietnamese parents immigrated 20 years ago. Gao said she too identified with Lee’s feelings growing up. “I found out I’m not alone in feeling this way,” she said.

Uni students from the class of 2013 interviewed 16 people with connections to Champaign-Urbana. They were ethnic Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, Chinese, Taiwanese and Indian. They were first, second and third generation Asian American.

“People often see Asian Americans as examples of success, but they overlook the history of bias, discrimination and oppression against them, not only on a personal basis, but in the law, which was very anti-Asian until after World War II,” said Janet Morford, the Uni High teacher who directed the project along with Illinois Public Media’s Dave Dickey.

Among others interviewed are Yukiko Okinaga Llewellyn of Champaign, who was interned at Manzanar with her family during World War II; David Lin, Regent Ballroom owner; Anh Ha Ho, who helps immigrants in Champaign Urbana as co-director of the East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center; UI Asian American Studies professor Kent Ono; K.W. Lee, known as the father of Asian American journalism; and Betty Lee Sung, who was one of three Asian women on campus when she came to the UI in 1944.

Sung’s father disowned her when she came to the UI in 1944. “My father said, ‘No, you don’t go to college, you get married and just raise your family and take care of your husband’,” said Sung, who wrote “Mountain of Gold: Chinese in America,” published in 1967, about the experiences of Chinese immigrants.

The third student executive producer, Maritza Mestre, said it was interesting to compare the experiences at the UI of Sharon Lee, who used all the resources available on campus for Asian Americans, and someone like Sung, who came before they were available.

Campus visit

Events to feature two Israeli artists

Book cover for "Latino/as and the Media, by Angharad Valdivia.

Etgar Keret, acclaimed Israeli writer and filmmaker

Acclaimed Israeli writers and filmmakers Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen will visit the Illinois campus Aug. 23-Sept. 3 and participate in several public events focusing on their work.

Considered one of the most important and popular short-story writers in Israel, Keret has developed an international following and won numerous awards for his writing, which also comprises graphic novels, novellas, screenplays and children’s books. His stories have been translated into 29 languages and published in 34 countries, appearing in The New York Times, Le Monde and The Paris Review.

Keret has written several short-story collections, the most recent being “Pit’om Dfika Badelet” (“Suddenly a Knock on the Door”) (Kinneret Zmora-Bitan, 2010). His collection “Missing Kissinger” (Vintage Books, 2008) was a finalist for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize.

More than 40 short films have been based upon Keret’s stories, and his recent film “Skin Deep” garnered numerous honors, including Israel’s equivalent of an Academy Award and first prizes at several international film festivals.

Known primarily as a poet and playwright, Geffen has produced a body of work that includes scriptwriting for TV and film, children’s books and directing and acting in plays.

Geffen and Keret, who are married and frequently collaborate on their work, co-directed the film “Jellyfish” (“Meduzot”), based on Geffen’s story by the same title. “Jellyfish” won the Camera D’Or prize for best debut feature at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and the Best Director Award from the French Artists and Writer’s Guild.

Their campus visit, sponsored by the Israel Studies Project, includes several public events:

Aug. 24

 7 p.m., third floor Levis Faculty Center. “An Evening With Etgar Keret.” Keret will read from his work and discuss it with Rachel Harris, a professor of comparative literature and in the Program in Jewish Culture and Society.

Aug. 25

 4 p.m., Music Room, Levis Faculty Center. Panel discussion: “Debating the Country, Surprising the People: The Public Sphere in Israel.” Harris; Todd Hasak-Lowy, a professor of Hebrew at the University of Florida and author; and Keret. Moderated by Matti Bunzl, the director of the Program in Jewish Culture and Society.

Aug. 31

 4 p.m., 109 English Building. Jewish Studies workshop with Geffen and Keret, who will discuss their work and Israel’s cultural scene.

Sept. 1

 7 p.m., Cohen Center for Jewish Life. Screening and discussion of “Jellyfish” (“Meduzot”) with Geffen and Keret.



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