URI Center for the Humanities announces public lecture series

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KINGSTON, R.I. — February 9, 2009 –The University of Rhode Island’s Center for the Humanities will host a series of lectures this semester intended to support and make public the research of the University’s humanities faculty and graduate students. The series is also intended to create links between that research and undergraduate education in the humanities.

All events, free and open to the public, will be held in Lippitt Hall Auditorium, Room 402, 5 Lippitt Road, Kingston unless otherwise noted. For latest information, go to the program’s website at http://www.uri.edu/artsci/cfh/index.html. Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, February, 12, 4:30 to 6 p.m.

“Writing Philosophically Informed Fiction” Philosophy Professor Cheryl Foster

In her presentation Cheryl Foster will examine the role of “fortuitous failure” in the direction her humanistic writing has taken since her sabbatical. She will also read a brief excerpt from her (as yet unpublished and possibly failed) first novel False as Water.

“Salvator Rosa’s Fortuna and the Fortunes of Salvator Rosa” Art History Professor Wendy Roworth

The Italian painter and satirist Salvator Rosa (1615-1673) was one of the most influential artists to assert artistic freedom and to represent in his paintings and poetry the rivalry for patronage and the status of artists in 17th century Rome. In this illustrated talk, Roworth will discuss Rosa’s painting Allegory of Fortune and an important rediscovered drawing as expressions of his conflicted attitude toward money and fame.

Thursday, February 26, 4:30 to 6 p.m.

“(Re)Scoring the Silent Film: Music, Modernism, Affect” George Steele, URI, English doctoral student

George Steele will read from his dissertation-in-progress, which explores connections between early 20th century improvisational film music practices and the contemporary trend of rescoring silent film live. This talk will explore whether cultural circulations of the “soundtrack” today (film trailer play on YouTube, iPod culture, or rescoring silent film live) subvert or reinforce an industrialization of music wrought by early mainstream filmmaking.

Thursday, March 5, 4:30 to 6 p.m. at The University Club, Club Room

“Blue State Bible Belt: Evangelical Protestantism in 20th Century New England” History Professor Evelyn Sterne

In May 1897 a small group of evangelical Christians gathered in Rumney, N.H. to form the First Fruit Harvesters, a religious community seeking to spread the gospel and recapture the purity of the early church. The group identified as Pentecostal yet was ambivalent about speaking in tongues until one weekend in August 1908 when one Harvester after another was overcome by this “gift of the Spirit.” Who were the Harvesters, what happened that fateful weekend, and how did it affect their future as a religious community?

“Voices of Katrina: Speaking in the Aftermath” Communication Studies Professor Judith Swift:

Judith Swift will present her research for the Katrina Project regarding the ongoing struggle for disaster recovery in New Orleans, Louisiana. Based on her interviews with an array of people and agencies navigating the aftermath of the storm, the project includes an archive of interviews, the creation of a theatre piece that explores scientific, economic, sociological, social equity and aesthetic issues surrounding the rebuilding of the city, and a dedicated website (in progress) that contains a completed script, public domain music, images and technical design suggestions for production use by theaters around the country.

Thursday, April 2, 4:30 to 6 p.m. English Professor Ryan Trimm, URI, English

: “Metropole in the Age of Clouds and Ghosts”

“Metropole in the Age of Clouds and Ghosts” examines the fiction of contemporary British novelist David Mitchell to reconsider narratives of modernity and globalization. Mitchell’s novels sprawl over space and time but these tales are bound by intersections and parallels suggesting a deeper embedding of stories and lives, a world more tightly interwoven.