Institute for Advanced Study Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:13:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Understanding and Experiencing Mass Images, April 16-17, 2015 Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:13:22 +0000 Michael Leja, Jennifer Greenhill, and Jennifer L. Roberts.

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Sawyer Seminar Symposium. April 8-10, 2015 Wed, 08 Apr 2015 16:18:44 +0000 Sawyer Seminar Symposium

April 8-10, 2015

Our fundamental question for exploration is this: Given that we cannot “go back” in any real sense to restore the ecology or the cultural meaning of the Mississippi River, what conditions on the river shall we highlight and value as we move forward toward a deliberately chosen “new nature” for the Mississippi and its basin? More pertinent for our immediate discussions, since as academics we have only indirect influence on the material conditions of the river itself, what are the narratives that can animate action by others toward such a new nature?
River Life Program

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Near Stars: Analytic Scale and the Literary Object. Eric Hayot: Thursdays at Four, Dec. 4, 2014 Thu, 04 Dec 2014 18:37:17 +0000 Near Stars: Analytic Scale and the Literary Object

December 4, 2014 at 4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop

Eric Hayot, Comparative Literature and Asian Studies, Penn State University.

What happens if we describe the current situation of literary criticism as a “crisis in largeness”? For one, recent theories of “world” literature and of quantitative textual analysis can be made to share a genealogy, one that allows us to imagine “scale” as a central feature of the ontology of literary object. This opens, in turn, the door onto a resistance to “large” scales as a feature of generic poststructuralism, which valorizes the horizontal or rhizomal against the structured and the vertical. That’s a nice story, but it doesn’t actually correspond to the way people read. So the question is whether we need to reconcile our practice to our theories of scale, or vice versa. And the next question is to ask what kinds of theories of the objects of literary analysis we have, when we subject those objects to the weight of criticism.

eric hayotHayot’s work focuses on the transnational history of literary and cultural forms, the historical relations between the West and the Asian diaspora, and a temporally and geographically expansive version of modernism. He is the author of Chinese Dreams: Pound, Brecht, Tel quel (Michigan, 2004), The Hypothetical Mandarin (Oxford, 2009), and On Literary Worlds (Oxford, 2012), and the co-editor of Sinographies: Writing China (Minnesota, 2007). His newest book, The Elements of Academic Style: Writing for the Humanities, is a guide on how to write literary criticism for graduate students and faculty in literary and cultural studies. He is also past President (2013-2014) of the American Comparative Literature Association.

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Shakespeare in Love. Anatoly Liberman: Thursdays at Four, Nov. 20, 2014 Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:35:37 +0000 Shakespeare In Love

November 20, 2014, at 4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room — 240 Northrop

A talk by Anatoly Liberman, German, Scandinavian and Dutch, University of Minnesota

shakespeare liberman sanders portraitShakespeare’s sonnets tell us a story of his love for a “fair youth” and an adulterous woman. The characters are also entangled in a love triangle. Attempts to guess who the addressees were have been unsuccessful. Nor are we interested in those people’s identities.

It is the psychological drama that rivets our attention, a drama that is absorbing because the poetry is so good; it is at the level of Shakespeare’s best plays. The handsome hero of the first romance is a paragon of virtue. By contrast, the heroine is black of face and vicious. Her beauty is that of a witch. The first cycle is about the torture and blessing of love, the second about the irresistible temptation and torture of sex. The talk will provide a window into the greatest tragedy of Shakespeare’s life.

Professor Liberman has published widely across the spectrum of Germanic linguistics, but his primary interest has been the history of English words. His many works include the recent publication of a popular book for lay readers Liberman.Anatoly smilingentitled Word Origins… and How We Know Them: Etymology for Everyone (2005), as well as An Analytic Dictionary of English Etymology (2008), and A Bibliography of English Etymology (2009).

Professor Liberman spoke in 2012 on Translating Poetry, Or, Versifying with an Accent and in 2014 on The Origins of Humor and also contributes regular posts to the Oxford University Press’s Oxford Etymologist blog.

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To Embrace Failure? A Multi-disciplinary Re-thinking. Panel: Thursdays at Four, Nov. 13, 2014 Thu, 13 Nov 2014 18:33:25 +0000 To Embrace Failure? A Multi-disciplinary Re-thinking.

November 13, 2014, at 4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room — 240 Northrop

The Brecht’s America: Rehearsing Failure collaborative is an examination of the “ghostly presence” of America in the life and work of Bertolt Brecht. “Ghostly” because we do not look for American themes, real events or persons, but for “America” as a site whose imagined and real presence is only traceable through its effects: it “induced” artistic failures by Brecht and his collective, namely a failure of narration and a failure of authorship.

This panel will bring together scholars from different disciplines who have thought about “failure” and endorsed its re-conceptualization: political science, art, comparative literature and theater. In this panel we are asking; Is it possible to disentangle failure and success? Can failure be a method/tool of inquiry? Can failure be productive and as such “employed” and consciously assumed? Is failure gendered?

Juliette Cherbuliez, Comparative Literature
Nancy Luxor, Political Science
Christina Schmid, Art
Margaret Werry, Theatre Arts and Dance

Moderated by the conveners of the 2014-15 IAS Collaborative Brecht’s America: Rehearsing Failure:
Lisa Channer, Theatre Arts & Dance, CLA
Matthias Rothe, German Scandinavian & Dutch, CLA

Part of the 2014-16 University Symposium on Strategy.

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Cracks in the Walls: 25 Years After Berlin, organized by Sonja Kuftinec, Nov. 6, 2014 Thu, 06 Nov 2014 18:23:53 +0000

Cracks in the Walls: 25 Years After Berlin

Thursday, November 6, 2014, at 4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop

On November 9th, 1989 the Berlin Wall cracked open and unleashed a problematic ahistorical narrative of celebratory “re-unification”. This narrative makes less visible contradictions around the wall’s pre-Cold War history as “anti-fascist protection”. Thus, while walls can materialize ideological separation, their presence and absence often elides complex historical formations and political contestations. Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this symposium asks how performance can animate representational ruptures in three walled (or previously walled) sites: Berlin, Israel/Palestine, and along the US/Mexico border. Participants will include members of the IAS Collaborative on Brecht, the Department of Theater Arts, and Combatants for Peace—an alliance of Israeli and Palestinian ex-combatants who use theater as a tactic for resisting the Israeli Occupation. The symposium will additionally invite Dakota multimedia artist, Mona Smith, to complicate the creation of state walls and borders from a Dakota perspective.

Chen Alon, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Sulaiman al Khatib (tentative), Al Quds Center for Peace and Dialogue
Matthias Rothe, German, Scandinavian and Dutch, University of Minnesota
Luverne Seifert, Theater Arts, University of Minnesota
Mona Smith, Dakota Multi-media artist

1989. People on top of the Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate, in front of border guards. On the night of November 9, 1989, following weeks of pro-democracy protests, the Stalinist state’s authorities suddenly opened the East German border. After 28 years as prisoners of their own country, euphoric East Germans streamed to checkpoints and rushed past bewildered guards, many falling tearfully into the arms of West Germans welcoming them on the other side.
Combatants for Peace, a group of Israelis and Palestinians who have been trained to fight either in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) or as Palestine’s Fatah paramilitaries, have now put down their guns and together taken to the stage. The group, formed in 2005, perform sketches based on their own experiences of war to promote a “non-violent” resolution to the conflict.
“Art Conquers All”. This photo was taken on November 9, 2009, showing artwork on a mock-up of the Berlin Wall symbolically torn down at an event commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.
Combatants for Peace members Dr. Chen Alon and Sulaiman al-Khatib demonstrate against the Israeli separation wall in Beit Jala with assistance from the U.S.-based Bread and Puppet Theater company.

Chen Alon, Ph.D. is a lecturer at Theatre Department at Tel-Aviv University and a theatre activist. As a Major (res.) he co-founded “Courage to Refuse”, a movement of officers and combatant soldiers who refuse to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories, an action for which he was sentenced to prison. Alon is also a co-founder of “Combatants for Peace”, a movement of Palestinian and Israeli combatants who have abandoned the way of violence and struggle together non-violently against the occupation. Activism in the complicated reality in Israel/Palestine led him as a professional actor and director, from the formal theatre, to search and create new forms of political activism, in the Israeli-Palestinian theatre against the occupation.

Sulaiman al Khatib is a co-founder of several non-violent activist organizations including Combatants for Peace and the Al Quds Center for Democracy and Dialogue where he currently serves as Vice President. In early 2008 he worked with an Israeli partner to found Wounded Xrossing Borders project, which brings together wounded casualties of the conflict from both sides. The participants of this long dialogue come from the mainstream in both Palestine and Israel – ex Palestinian prisoners as well as an ex Israeli Chief Warden of a jail. In August 2009 Sulaiman and his Israeli colleague, Gadi Kenny, hosted the Global Majority seminar Promoting Peace Through Dialog, with participants and professors coming from USA, Bosnia, Nigeria, Palestine, Israel, India, Holland, Japan, and Northern Ireland. In the same month they also organized the Minds of Peace negotiations for peace exercises. Sulaiman learned the basic philosophy of non-violent political struggle while serving over a decade as a political prisoner in the first Intifada.

Sonja Kuftinec is an associate professor in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her areas of specialization include performance and social change, community-based theater, theatrical facilitation: Middle East, Balkans, 19th- and 20th-century American theater, history and literature, women in theater, performance studies, Balkan theater, and Cornerstone Theater Company. She is the author of Theatre, Facilitation, and Nation Formation in the Balkans and Middle East (2009) and Staging America: Cornerstone and Community-Based Theater (2003).

Matthias Rothe is Assistant Professor in the department of German, Scandinavian & Dutch. He received his education at University of Rostock (DDR) and at University of Hamburg in German Literature and Language and Philosophy. His PhD thesis “Reading and Spectatorship in the 18th Century” was published with Königshausen & Neumann in 2005. He currently works on Stoicism in 18th century political philosophy and Brecht’s drama fragments. His most recent publication is: Kant and Epictetus. Transformations of Imperial Stoicism”: Rochester Institute of Technology Press, in: Epictetus: His Continuing Influences and Contemporary Relevance, Dane R. Gordon, David B. Suits (eds.).

Luverne Seifert is the Head of BA Performance in the Deparment of Theatre Arts and Dance at University of Minnesota. He received a BA in Theater Arts from Augsburg College and has trained in Switzerland with the internationally renowned clown Pierre Byland. He was the recipient of a 2002 McKnight Fellowship for Theater Artists, and has performed in numerous theatrical productions, including The 39 Steps, The Government Inspector, and The Ugly One at the Guthrie.

Mona Smith, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota, is a multi-media artist, educator and co-founder of Allies: media/art. A former University-level educator, Smith has produced work broadcast through PBS, and shown at festivals, conferences and museums in Europe and North and South America. Her work has received awards from Native and Non-Native film and video festivals; her new media work includes art projects for the web, sites for web distribution of Native focused media, and multimedia installation work, most notably, Cloudy Waters; Dakota Reflections on the River (Minnesota History Center, 2004-2005), City Indians (Ancient Traders Art Gallery, Minneapolis, 2006-2007), and the Bdote Memory Map (in partnership with the Minnesota Humanities Center). Her artistic and educational practice uses image, sound and place to reinhabit the imaginations and the experience of the audience/participant, and to work between the place of healing, of relationship, of meaning, where spirit and physical, life and death, fear and strength, night and day intersect. Allies: media/art is an award-winning Dakota owned media production company, incorporated in 1996.

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The Presence of the Past: Memory, Fiction, and the Contemporary Landscape. Thursdays at Four, Oct. 30, 2014 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:23:40 +0000 The Presence of the Past: Memory, Fiction, and the Contemporary Landscape

October 30, 2014, at 4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop

Panel with Mary Relindes Ellis, author of The Bohemian Flats (2014), Catherine Watson, memoir and travel writer, and Scott Vreeland, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner.

mary ellis bohemian flatsFaulkner said the past is not even past. David Lowenthal among others has said that the past is a foreign country. But in fact the past is all around us and constitutes a big part of our sense of who and where we are. The past is central to people’s personal stories, to well-known novels, and to our sense of where we are in the urban landscape. Come join us as three people talk about how the past is an important part of their work.

Reviewers pronounced Mary Relindes Ellis’s debut novel, The Turtle Warrior, passionate and heartfelt, exhilarating and harrowing, and gorgeously poetic. In her next novel, The Bohemian Flats, Ellis’s rich, imaginative gift carries us from the bourgeois world of fin de siècle Germany to a vibrant immigrant enclave in the heart of the Midwest and to the killing fields of World War I.

Moderated by Pat Nunnally. Cosponsored by the Heritage Collaborative and the Minnesota Historical Society/University of Minnesota Heritage Partnership.

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Postwar U.S. Homes and Suburban Development. Dianne Harris: Thursdays at Four, Oct. 23, 2014 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:20:14 +0000 Postwar U.S. Homes and Suburban Development

October 23, 2014, at 4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop

Dianne Harris, Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Art History, and History, University of Illinois, U-C; Director, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities.

Dianne HarrisDianne Harris is a historian who specializes in studies that focus on the built environment. Her most recent scholarship examines postwar houses in the United States between 1945 and 1960, and the history of suburban development during that period. It also focuses on the relationships that exist between what she and others call “race and space,” taking an interest in the role buildings, landscapes, and cities play in the construction and reinforcement of ideas about belonging and exclusion that are based on socially produced notions of race and racial identity. She also has expertise in the architecture, landscape, and urbanism of the Italian Peninsula, 1600-1800; and in the history of western cultural landscapes from 1400-present.

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Rosas danst Rosas. Panel: Thursdays at Four, Oct 16, 2014 Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:33:33 +0000 Rosas danst Rosas: A Panel Discussion of Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s Dance-Theater Work

October 16, 2014, at 4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room — 240 Northrop

Philip Bither of the Walker Art Center discusses the Midwest Premiere of Rosas danst Rosas with the performers.


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Unnatural Disasters: How Law Hurts, How Law Can Help. Sandra Zellmer: Thursdays at Four, Oct. 9, 2014 Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:20:11 +0000 Unnatural Disasters: How Law Hurts, How Law Can Help

October 9, 2014, at 4:00pm
Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop

Sandra Zellmer, Robert B. Daugherty Professor of Law, University of Nebraska.

sandra zellmerWhat is the nature of disasters? How do human social and economic aspirations interact with the environmental imperatives of water and water bodies? Can the acknowledgement of our own responsibility for unnatural disasters lead to better laws and better decisions in the future?

Zellmer teaches and writes about natural resources, water law, public lands, wildlife, environmental law, and related topics. She also serves on the Steering Committee for the University’s Global Water for Food Institute. She began teaching at the College of Law in 2003.

Zellmer is a co-author and principal editor of a casebook, Natural Resources Law, published by Thomson/West Publishing (with Professors Laitos and Wood) (2d edition forthcoming in 2012). She has published dozens of book chapters and articles, and was awarded “Best Paper” by the American Bar Association for her work on “Missouri River Mud: Clean Water and Endangered Species,” which she presented at the ABA’s Annual Water Law Conference in 2011. She also served as a committee member on the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Committee on Missouri River Recovery; the committee report was published in 2010. Also in 2011, Zellmer gave a presentation about U.S. water law at the M.S. Swaminathan Institute in Chennai, India, with members of the Global Water for Food Institute. For the past few years, she has conducted a training session on wilderness management at the Carhart Federal Wilderness Center in Missoula, MT.

Previously, Professor Zellmer was a member of the faculty at the University of Toledo College of Law from 1998 – 2004. She has been a visiting professor at both Tulane Law School and Drake University Law School. Prior to teaching, she was a trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, litigating public lands and wildlife issues for various federal agencies, including the National Forest Service, National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service. She also practiced law at Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and clerked for the Honorable William W. Justice, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas.

Cosponsored by the Sawyer Seminar, the Institute on the Environment (IonE), and the Law School.

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Literary Analysis of World Bank Reports: Franco Moretti, Thursdays at Four, Oct. 2, 2014 Thu, 02 Oct 2014 16:18:21 +0000 The World According to the Bank:
an Analysis of World Bank Reports, 1946-2010

October 2, 2014, at 4:00pm
Northrop — Crosby Seminar Room

Franco Moretti, English, Stanford University, gives a semantic, stylistic study of World Bank reports.

Like the post-world-war-II capitalism which it contributed to reorganize and transform, the World Bank seems to have gone through two fundamental periods: the age of reconstruction and infrastructure – the “Trente Glorieuses” from the end of war to the mid-Seventies – and the phase of neo-liberal market-driven globalization, from 1980 to the present. This project assumes the Bank’s economic policies as a given background, but focuses on the discursive sections of the yearly reports, in order to highlight how this primum movens of contemporary globalisation communicates and legitimizes its actions: a “public discourse” that has increased its relevance over the years, as if the Bank’s strictly economic function needed to be complemented by the symbolic establishment of a sort of “atmosphere of economic liberalism”.

franco morettiThrough a study of selected keywords – “trade”, “private/public”, “poverty”, “environment” and more – this talk brings to light the semantic fields constitutive of the World Bank’s “rhetoric of globalization”: from the geography of the contemporary world-system to the “knowledge” whereby the Bank justifies its policies, to the ever-expanding semantic network associated to the notions of “loan” and of “debt”.

Moretti is author of Signs Taken for Wonders (1983), The Way of the World (1987), Modern Epic (1995), Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (1998), Graphs, Maps, Trees (2005), The Bourgeois (2013), and Distant Reading (2013), and chief editor of The Novel (2006). He is founder of Stanford’s Center for the Study of the Novel and Literary Lab, writes often for New Left Review, and has been translated into over twenty languages.

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Information Session on IAS Faculty Fellowships, October 2, 2014 Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:21:45 +0000 201309 Fellows retreat  crop

Information Session on IAS Faculty Fellowships

Thursday, October 2, 12-1:30 p.m.
Crosby Seminar Room, 240 Northrop

Join us for an information session on applying for an IAS Faculty Fellowship for 2015-16. Up to twelve faculty fellows are selected annually to spend a semester in residence at the Institute, where they can benefit from the community of scholars and share their work across disciplines. Each faculty fellow is provided with private workspace and a computer in the IAS’s offices in Northrop. Fellows are required to attend the weekly Residential Fellows lunches, where fellows share their work in progress. Fellows are expected to participate in other activities of the Institute, including attendance at events. More information about the faculty fellowship program.

At this session we will answer questions about the Faculty Fellowship program, discuss what constitutes a good application, demonstrate the online application system, and answer your questions. Beverages will be provided — please feel free to bring your lunch.

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Strategies for a Sense of Place: Taking Advantage of Location. Thursdays at Four, Sept. 25, 2014 Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:07:45 +0000 Strategies for a Sense of Place: Taking Advantage of Location

September 25, 2014, at 4:00pm
Northrop — Crosby Seminar Room

Panel Discussion among University of Minnesota Faculty

The U of M is a world class teaching, research, and engagement institution located on the banks of one of the great rivers of the world in a national park. Taking strategic advantage of this location is a challenge.  There are many things that could be done. What would be the best to do, and why? Pat Nunnally, coordinator of the University’s River Life Program, will pose questions such as these to three University faculty who have made strategic thinking a part of their intellectual work.
strategies for a sense of place river life

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The Tao of Urban Rejuvenation: Weiming Lu, Sept. 18, 2014 Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:52:42 +0000 The Tao of Urban Rejuvenation

September 18, 2014, at 4:00pm
Northrop — Crosby Seminar Room

Internationally recognized urban planner and designer Weiming Lu discusses public/private partnerships, how to build a livable, creative urban village, and his new book, The Tao of Urban Rejuvenation.

Weiming Lu recently retired as president of Lowertown Redevelopment Corporations in St. Paul, Minnesota, which became a national model of successful central city revitalization through public-private partnerships. Lu received his Master’s degree in Regional Planning in 1957 from the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His career took him to planning positions in Minneapolis, Dallas, and St. Paul. Lu is known for his expertise in blending old and new design. He has served as a consultant and advisor on numerous public and private projects in the United States and abroad, including the reconstruction of South Central Los Angeles following the 1992 riots and the establishment of the Chattanooga Riverfront Corporation in Tennessee, the CentreVenture Development Corporation to revitalize downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the United Nations Planning Team in Taiwan. Lu also served as member of the jury for the international design competition for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Currently, Lu is a planning advisor to the Mayor of Beijing; a trustee of the Minneapolis Foundation; and a member of the Committee of 100, the organization of American citizens of Chinese descent; and as a panelist for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Favrot Family grants.

>> Re-envisioning Chinese Cities with Eastern Genius Loci, February 2, 2012

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SOLO and the 2012 and 2013 McKnight Artist Fellows in Dance, Sep. 11, 2014 Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:27:21 +0000 Dancer as Driver: SOLO and the 2012 and 2013 McKnight Artist Fellows in Dance

September 11, 2014, at 4:00pm
Northrop – Best Buy Theater

Panel discussion with Taryn Griggs, Ashwini Ramaswamy, Stephen Schroeder, Tamara Ober, Greg Waletski, and Kari Mosel

Northrop’s McKnight Artist Fellowship program funds the commission of solo works for McKnight Dance Fellows from national and international choreographers selected by the dancers themselves. This turns the tables on the typical dancer-choreographer relationship, putting the dancers “in the driver’s seat.” Join us for an inside glimpse of the creative process behind these wildly diverse new works, which will receive their premieres in Northrop in October.

Moderated by Mary Ellen Childs, Program Director, McKnight Artist Fellowships for Dancers and Choreographers. Cosponsored by Northrop Presents and The McKnight Artist Fellowships for Dancers.

>> Panel with the 2010 and 2011 Fellows, Sep. 13, 2012

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Brown Bag Discussion on University Symposium on Strategy, September 10, 2014 Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:11:11 +0000 Brown Bag Discussion on University Symposium on Strategy

Wednesday, September 10, 12-1:30 p.m.
Crosby Seminar Room, 240 Northrop

The University Symposium for 2014-16 will focus on the topic Strategy. We are interested in provoking thoughtful conversations about all aspects of the concept of strategy, from strategic thinking through strategies that organisms employ to survive. We seem to be surrounded by strategies. We are exhorted to think strategically in many realms. We talk about winning strategies. We consider biological survival mechanisms as strategies. Games of all kinds involve strategic thinking both in their devising and in their playing. Our own university (and its constituent components) engages in repeated rounds of strategic planning.

We seek proposals for programming in spring 2015 and academic year 2015-16 that will be part of the University Symposium on Strategy. We are particularly interested in engaging productively with the University’s current strategic planning process. Proposals may be for a variety of activities including, but not limited, to:

  • Individual speakers to invite to campus for public presentations and meeting with graduate or undergraduate students or other groups
  • Critical reading groups, focused either on a specific aspect of Strategy, or a more general exploration of the concept
  • Workshops
  • Roundtables
  • Conferences or symposia
  • Public conversations and forums
  • Projects with a significant public engagement aspect
go board
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Trapped by History: the Past and Future of the Upper Mississippi River. John Anfinson, Sep. 9, 2014 Tue, 09 Sep 2014 18:25:37 +0000 Trapped by History:
the Past and Future of the Upper Mississippi River

September 9, 2014, at 7:00pm
Best Buy Theater, Northrop

John O. Anfinson, Superintendent of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

The Mississippi River today has become an artifact of human construction, because of what humans have done to it over the past 150 years. Navigation improvements, floodplain levees, a refuge and even early biological manipulations have transformed the upper Mississippi River’s physical and ecological character. A key question we face today is: Are we trapped by that history, or can we make changes that will ensure that the river’s ecosystems are healthy and abundant. In his presentation, Dr. John O. Anfinson will try answer these questions and hint at where the upper Mississippi River may be headed.

Anfinson’s talk is part of a series of public events associated with the John E. Sawyer Seminar “Making the Mississippi: Formulating new water narratives for the 21st century and beyond.” The Sawyer Seminar is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. For information on other public events in the series, send a message to

John AnfinsonJohn O. Anfinson is Superintendent of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a 72-mile long unit of the National Park System on the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. John has been researching, writing and speaking about the upper Mississippi River for over 25 years. He is the author of The River We Have Wrought: A History of the Upper Mississippi (2003), River of History (2003) and many articles about the Mississippi River. In 2005 John was one of ten U.S. delegates to the joint U.S./Dutch symposium on water resources at The Hague, Netherlands sponsored by the Institute for Water Resources and the Rijkswaterstaat. More recently John helped initiate the Asian Carp Task Force for Minnesota and serves as co-chair of the effort.

From 1980 to 2000, John worked for the St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers, as a cultural resources specialist and District Historian. He moved to the National Park Service in June of 2000. John is a founding board member of Friends of the Mississippi River, an organization that focuses on the environmental health of the Mississippi in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. He is also on the Minnesota Marine Art Museum board. John holds a PhD in American History from the University of Minnesota.

Anfinson was interviewed for the Bat of Minerva in 2011. He also spoke in the 2008 conference “The City, The River, The Bridge”.

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Class with Osnel Delgado, 2014 McKnight International Dance Fellow; Talk by Fernando Saez. August 23, 2014 Sat, 23 Aug 2014 18:01:44 +0000 Free Intermediate/Advanced Community Class led by Osnel Delgado
osnel delgado

Saturday, August 23, 9:30 – 11:00 am
Northrop — Rehearsal Room

Osnel Delgado has received major Cuban awards including the Premio a Mejor Coreografia del Concurso Solamente Solos (Award for Best Solo Choreography), and a Special Mention award at the VII Iberomerican “Alicia Alonso” Choreography competition in Madrid. He was a member of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba from 2003 to 2011 and founded MalPaso Dance Company in 2013, where he currently serves as choreographer and artistic director. Delgado’s work expresses the passion and uncertainties that define Cuban life and are embodied in the country’s rich dance tradition. Copresented with Northrop Presents.

Baseball and Dance in Cuba

Saturday, August 23, 11:30 – 1:00 pm
Best Buy Theater, Northrop

A talk by Fernando Saez


Fernando Saez is cofounder of MalPaso Dance Company and director of the Performing Arts Program of Fundación Ludwig de Cuba. While not a professional dancer himself, Saez has been involved in developing and promoting Cuban artistic expression, primarily through dance, for decades. He cofounded MalPaso with Osnel Delgado in 2013, as a way to foster Cuban choreography and to encourage connection with modern and contemporary American dance, since, as he puts it, “[the] genesis of Cuban modern dance and ballet lies in a very profound relationship with American dance.”  He continues to work with numerous companies and organizations with the larger goal of establishing Cuba as a global artistic force.  Copresented with Northrop Presents.

An in-depth article from the Cuban Art News about MalPaso Dance Company (with video)

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The Community of the Book in Northeast Minneapolis, July 2014 Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:19:06 +0000
Download: audio, small video, or original.

Sarah Stonich is the best-selling author of These Granite Islands, translated into seven languages and shortlisted for France’s Gran Prix de Lectrices de Elle; the critically acclaimed novel The Ice Chorus; and a memoir, Shelter. The founder of, she lives in Minneapolis and spends summers in northeastern Minnesota. Her most recent book is Vacationland (2013, U of M Press).

Download: audio, small video, or original.

Michelle Filkins is Associate Professor at Metropolitan State University, and a founder of Spout Press, “the longest running and most stable literary journal in the Twin Cities area”. Joe Gergen is author of Methane Wars: A Fable and Lear’s Fool. He maintains two blogs, here and here.

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Chris Kosowski, Gardener, on Community Gardening, July 2014 Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:45:10 +0000
Download: audio, small video, or original.

Chris Kosowski is a founder of the North End Community Garden. In this interview, she talks about how and why the garden was established, its constituency, and how the land is managed.

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Freya Manfred, Poet, June 21, 2014 Sat, 21 Jun 2014 21:55:00 +0000
Download: audio, small video, or original. Transcript: docx or pdf.

Freya Manfred‘s poetry has appeared in over 100 reviews and magazines and over 30 anthologies, and her literary memoir, Frederick Manfred: A Daughter Remembers, was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award and an Iowa Historical Society Benjamin F. Shambaugh Award. Philip Roth has called this memoir a “classic.” She has received a Harvard/Radcliffe Fellow In Poetry Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Award, a Minnesota Poetry Award and a Tozer Foundation Award, and has has been a Resident Fellow at Yaddo, The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and The MacDowell Colony. Her half hour poem for television: The Madwoman and the Mask, appeared on KTCA-TV, Channel 2, in 1991.

This interview is part the oral history project Intellectual and Cultural Leaders of Minnesota.

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Negotiating Presence: Contemporary Indigenous Choreography, Jun. 20, 2014 Fri, 20 Jun 2014 19:26:25 +0000 Negotiating Presence:
Contemporary Indigenous Choreography

Fri. June 20th, at 12:00pm
All My Relations Arts Gallery
1414 East Franklin Ave, Minneapolis

Discussion with Jacqueline Shea Murphy

This presentation/discussion addresses ways that Indigenous choreographers use contemporary dance as a tool for strengthening and asserting Indigenous knowledge. Jacqueline Shea Murphy will offer some thoughts about several specific contemporary dances/dance making practices, suggesting what they say about time, about space, about attention, about disrupted and disputed ways of knowing, about caregiving and taking, about being in relationship to the world. She will open up questions about ways this dancing produces and asserts Indigenous strength, refuting the presumptive force and finality of ongoing settler colonization (and also, at times, yielding crucial insights into how to live in a sustainable way with a planet in crisis). The discussion will tease out points of tension in different approaches to “Indigenous choreography,” unraveling some of the complexities, difficulties and possibilities that attend both this topic and the ongoing negotiating (not-tied-back-into-a-bow-for-easy-receiving) of tensions it raises.

Cosponsored by All My Relations, Rosy Simas Danse, Emily Johnson/Catalyst, and the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota.

jacqueline shea murphyJacqueline Shea Murphy chairs the Dance Department at the University of California, Riverside, where she teaches courses in critical dance studies and in Iyengar yoga. She is author of “The People Have Never Stopped Dancing”: Native American Modern Dance Histories (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), awarded the 2008 de la Torre Bueno Prize® for outstanding book of the year in Dance Studies by the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS). For over a decade, she has been following the work of Native American and Indigenous choreographers in the U.S., Canada, and Aotearoa (New Zealand), traveling to see Indigenous dance events and performances and to visit, talk, and dance with Indigenous dancers and choreographers. Drawing on this research and the relationships that have build around it, she has published on the topic of Native American and Indigenous dance history and contemporary choreography in journals including Discourses in Dance, Theatre Research International, Interventions, and Biography. She has helped bring Indigenous dance studies into visibility to dance scholars and to the public through this and other writing, in her lectures and teaching, and also by organizing and producing numerous showcases, panels, and symposia on Indigenous choreography at dance studies conferences, and at at regular “Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside” events at UC Riverside. In relation with this activity, UCR’s Special Collections library currently houses the archives of Daystar/Rosalie Jones (director of DAYSTAR: Dance Drama of Indian America) and Rulan Tangen (Director of DANCING EARTH Indigenous Contemporary Dance Creations), and is actively building an archive about Indigenous choreography.

Shea Murphy grew up in rural New England, and holds a a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University, a Master’s in fiction writing from The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars Program, and a Ph.D. in English from UC Berkeley. She has previously taught at San Francisco State University (American Indian Studies) and Mills College (English). She lives in California, where she is mom to six year old twin daughters and an 11 year old son. Shea Murphy is writing a new book that engages with ways that contemporary Indigenous choreography in the U.S., Canada, and Aotearoa inhabits and reconstructs Indigenous epistemologies, thus strengthening Indigenous peoples and Indigenous practices in ways that refute the presumptive force and finality of ongoing settler colonization.

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Protected: Negotiating Presence: Contemporary Indigenous Choreography. Jacqueline Shea Murphy, June 2014 Fri, 20 Jun 2014 19:15:08 +0000

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