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MillerComm lecture series celebrates 30 years of engaging speakers

Craig Chamberlain, News Editor
(217) 333-2894; cdchambe@illinois.edu

8/29/2003



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — From the origins of humankind to the origins of the Tango, and from the future of environmental research to the future of Iraq, the speakers will cover a wide variety of topics once again this fall in the Center for Advanced Study/MillerComm lecture series at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Among the featured speakers will be the author of the book “Life of Pi” and the producer of the documentary “Hoop Dreams.” Other speakers will discuss genomics, the future of biology, recent war crimes trials, and the Asian film industry, among other topics.

The series, begun in 1973 and supported with funds from the George A. Miller Endowment and several co-sponsoring campus units, provides a forum for discourse on topics spanning the university’s many disciplines.

CAS/MillerComm talks are free and open to the public.

The series opens Sept. 10 with the lecture “Revealing Human Evolution,” presented by Tim D. White, a professor in the department of integrative biology at the University of California at Berkeley. White, a pre-eminent human paleontologist, will discuss recent discoveries in Ethiopia and what they tell us about the origins of our species. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Knight Auditorium at the Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana.

Subsequent lectures:

orange dot Sept. 11, “Understanding Complex Environmental Systems: An Exploration of NSF’s Vision for the Decade,” by Margaret Leinen, assistant director of the Geosciences Directorate, National Science Foundation. Leinen will talk about NSF’s new vision of how research, education and technology must intersect to benefit the earth, life and society in the 21st century. Her lecture begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.

orange dot Sept. 13, “Tango: The Art History of Love,” by Robert Farris Thompson, the Colonel John Trumbull Professor of the History of Art at Yale University. Thompson will use slides, music, video and live drumming to present a performance/lecture on African and European sounds, moves and action brought together in the rise of the world tradition of Tango. His lecture begins at 3 p.m. in Room 62 of the Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign. (This is also the Annual Jerrold Ziff Distinguished Lecture in Modern Art.)

orange dot Sept. 17, “A Life of Struggle for Justice: Gerda Lerner and Her Political Autobiography, ‘Fireweed,’ ” by Gerda Lerner, Robinson-Edwards Professor of History Emerita, University of Wisconsin at Madison. Considered one of the founders of the field of women’s history, Lerner will draw upon her own experiences as a Jewish woman, prisoner of the Nazis, refugee, housewife and political activist to discuss the rise of fascism, McCarthyism and the Cold War. Her talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot Sept. 26, “On the Margins of Modernism: Looking in on Barcelona’s Barrio Chino,” by Joan Ramon Resina, a professor of romance studies and comparative literature at Cornell University. Resina will discuss some of the ways that the Barcelona district known as the “barrio chino” became a zone of local and foreign encounters in the 1920s and 1930s. Her lecture begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot Oct. 2, “Cultural Industries: Producing Economies, Creating Meanings, Defying Dichotomies,” by Lily Kong, professor of geography at the National University of Singapore. Kong will discuss aspects of research into the Asian film industry, starting with her own fascination for the Shaw brothers’ media empire in contemporary Asia. Her talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot Oct. 8, “Witnessing War Crimes Trials,” by David J. Cohen, Chancellor’s Professor of Rhetoric and Classics, and Director of the War Crimes Studies Center at the University of California at Berkeley. Recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on war crimes, Cohen will talk about war crimes and human rights trials, such as in East Timor and Rwanda, and discuss their political, legal and humanitarian significance. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot Oct. 11, “Now What? Awakening From the Dream of Whiteness,” by Adrian Piper, artist and professor of philosophy at Wellesley College. Piper will discuss how society is to deal with blatant inequities in wealth, status and opportunities inherited from invented concepts of race and whiteness. Her lecture begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Knight Auditorium of the Spurlock Museum.

orange dot Oct. 13, “After Identity Politics: Race, Disability and the New Genomics,” by Lennard J. Davis, a professor of English and disabilities studies, and director of the Center for Biocultures, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Davis’ lecture will address the need to craft a new way of seeing identity, before science does so on the authority of new research being done in the name of the human genome. His talk begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot Oct. 20, “Yann Martel: A Reading of His Fiction,” by Yann Martel, author of the book “Life of Pi,” which won the 2002 Man Booker Prize. His lecture and readings begin at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Smith Memorial Hall, 805 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.

orange dot Oct. 29, “Boys to Men? The Necessity of Initiation and Mentorship for Teenage Boys,” by Frederick Marx, an independent filmmaker and the producer of the documentary “Hoop Dreams.” With the aid of film clips, Marx will argue for the necessity to resurrect ritual initiation and mentoring of teenage boys, and will talk about his upcoming feature documentary “New American Heroes,” based on a yearlong study of 15-year-old boys in six different cities. His lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot Oct. 30, “21st Century Biology,” by Mary Clutter, assistant director of the Biological Sciences Directorate, National Science Foundation. Clutter will talk about why biology cannot be boxed in by traditional barriers, and why a new research paradigm is needed, if biology is to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Her lecture begins at 4 p.m. in the auditorium of the National Soybean Research Center, 1101 W. Peabody Drive, Urbana.

orange dot Nov. 4, “The Future of Iraq,” by Charles R.H. Tripp, a professor of political studies at the University of London, and author of “A History of Iraq.” Tripp will discuss the possibilities and limits of change in Iraq, making note of the powerful legacies still at work following the removal of Saddam Hussein. His talk begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot Nov. 6, “A Filmmaker’s Journey: From East St. Louis to Hollywood to Cyberspace,” by Warrington Hudlin, independent filmmaker and president of the Black Filmmakers Foundation. Hudlin will trace his journey from East St. Louis to Yale to his work on feature films, digital film and the Internet, and his work as an activist to promote ethnically diverse cinema. His talk begins at 4 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Center.

orange dot Nov. 11, “Strengthening Gender Studies for Africa’s Transformation,” by Amina Mama, from the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town. Mama will talk about the importance of gender studies in the struggle for gender justice in Africa, and why that is central to the social and political transformation of the region. Her lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Levis Faculty Cen
ter.