Session One

9:30 am – 10:30 am, unless otherwise noted

Abraham in the Islamic Tradition

Wadad Kadi Bio

Breasted Hall, Oriental Institute (1155 E. 58th St.)

Prof. Kadi elucidates the image of Abraham in the Qur’an and in the “Tales of Prophets” genre of “exegetical” writing in the medieval Islamic tradition.

Empires in the Fertile Crescent: Ancient Assyria, Anatolia, and Israel

Oriental Institute

Mesopotamian Gallery, Oriental Institute (1155 E. 58th St.)

The Oriental Institute Museum invites you to take a docent-led tour of Empires in the Fertile Crescent. This major new exhibition features a magnificent collection of art and artifacts from ancient Assyria (today's northern Iraq), ancient Anatolia (today's Turkey), and the land of Israel. View treasures that range from monumental sculpture found at the site of an ancient Turkish palace to a rare fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the few on display in North America.

Note: This tour will take place from 10:00-10:45 a.m.

Mathematics and Machines: New Models for Literary Creation in the 1960s and 70s

Alison James Bio

Classics Building, Room 10 (1010 E. 59th St.)

In the second half of the twentieth century, artists and writers began to explore the possibilities offered by the digital computer. Two groups, the French writers collective Oulipo (Workshop for Potential Literature) and Max Bense’s “Stuttgart School,” grappled with the theoretical and practical consequences of computer-assisted writing, and both groups found formal models in mathematics. The differences between the two highlight general questions about the nature of the literary work and literary creation.

How Blake Works

James Chandler Bio

Franke Institute, Regenstein Library, Room S-118 (1100 E. 57th St.)

Prof. Chandler conducts an analysis of some of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience to bring to light some of his poetic devices and to understand why Blake employs them.

Modernity in Buddhism

Steven Collins Bio

Stuart Hall, Room 101 (5835 S. Greenwood Ave.)

Prof. Collins reports some findings from his research on gender (especially but not only women, especially but not only 'nuns') in the modern, globalizing worlds of Theravada Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia.

Medea from Ancient to Operatic Stage

Robert Kendrick Bio

Stuart Hall, Room 104 (5835 S. Greenwood Ave.)

Reprising a class that he has co-taught with a colleague in Classics, Prof. Kendrick focuses on the representation of the barbarian heroine Medea in both ancient drama (Euripedes, Seneca) and Baroque/Classical opera. The fascination that this character had for both the ancient and early modern imagination comes across clearly in the parts of the myth that were retained over centuries as well as those that were changed.

The Romantic Guitar

Lawrence Zbikowski Bio

Fulton Recital Hall, Goodspeed Hall (5845 S. Ellis Ave., Fourth Floor)

The guitar is surely one of the instruments most often characterized as "romantic," as shown by any number of collections of classical guitar music. Nonetheless, very few of the composers of "the Romantic generation" (to use Charles Rosen's term) wrote for the guitar. In this presentation, Prof. Zbikowski explores the "romance" of the guitar and its music through performance and discussion of a number of guitar compositions from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. What emerges are both connections and distinctions between commonplace notions of what is "romantic" and the musical practices associated with Romanticism.

Globalization and Language: Human Rights vs. Language Rights

Salikoko Mufwene Bio

Biological Sciences Learning Center, Room 115 (924 E. 57th St.)

Prof. Mufwene tackles some big questions: What is "globalization"? How recent is it? Does it really have as much negative impact on "indigenous" languages as "glocalization"? Are its effects on languages uniform the world over? Are there "killer languages" at all? What and who are the actual "killer" agents? Why do some people give up their ancestral languages? Should linguists worry more about the vitality of languages (in the name of "language rights") than about the rights of speakers? How does language endangerment compare with species endangerment?

Building a Vietnam War Children’s Memorial

Herbert George Bio

Biological Sciences Learning Center, Room 205 (924 E. 57th St.)

Prof. George discusses and shows slides of stone sculptures and architectural models of his proposed memorial to the innocent children who have been, and still are, the victims of defoliation by "Agent Orange" during the Vietnam War.

Friedrich Hölderlin’s Homecoming

Chenxi Tang Bio

Rosenwald Hall, Room 405 (1101 E. 58th St.)

Prof. Tang leads a close reading and discussion of one of the best-known poems by Hölderlin (1770-1843), one of the most important poets in German literature.

Walking Tour: Modern Architecture on Campus

Tour departs from the lobby of Walker Hall (1115 E. 58th St.)

The University embarked on a major building campaign during the post-World War II period, in part to accommodate the growing population of students and concomitant proliferation of academic offerings. With this campaign came a change in attitude toward campus building, and architects contributing to campus were no longer bound to work within the neo-gothic idiom. With the rejection of the neo-gothic came a more fundamental change in the consideration of buildings as individual works of art rather than smaller parts of a whole campus design. These new buildings, designed by well-known modernist designers such as Edward Barnes, Bruce Graham, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Netsch, Eero Saarinen, and Harry Weese were thus free to respond to the increasingly diverse building program needs but also to international developments in architectural design. The end result is a campus that is a significant outdoor museum of the progression of modernist architectural thought in the second half of the 20th century.