EVENTS

Calendar

Oct
8
Thu
Mystical Phenomena in Modern Catholicism: An Illustrated Talk
Oct 8 @ 7:30 pm

Mystical Phenomena in Modern Catholicism: An Illustrated Talk
with Prof. Paula Kane, Endowed Chair of Contemporary Catholic Studies

Thursday, October 8th, 7:30pm

Among the more unusual elements of Catholic mysticism is the tradition of stigmata, chosen persons who are marked supernaturally with the wounds of the crucified Christ. The lecture will address the case of an American stigmatic of the early twentieth century and the political uses made of such events for a Catholic population trying to adapt to American society.

Please register for the Zoom event:
https://msu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pjIaXpu_RoiqX_CH-czopA

Nov
7
Sat
Classes with CAL | All Arts & Letters staff and faculty retirees, friends, and family are welcome! @ zoom webinar
Nov 7 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Classes With CAL (College of Arts & Letters)

An MSU experience unlike any other and isn’t just for College of Arts & Letters staff and faculty retirees.  All MSU alumni, friends and friends are welcome! 

Attend special classes taught by College of Arts & Letters faculty, get an insider’s look at MSU’s Arts & Letters research and education, and meet fellow alumni, faculty and students.  

No.2 pencil and bluebook not required!   

 This year’s activities will be all online, allowing remote access to anyone anywhere.   Use the registration link to sign up today and get your zoom link and password.  A reminder with the link and password will be sent out to you an hour before things begin on November 7th. 

Program includes 5 featured talks and a Student Spotlight  

 10:00- 10:10 AM   Welcome– Sonja Fritzsche, Associate Dean of Academic Personnel and Administration, College of Arts & Letters

 10:10 – 10:35 AM  Talk #1  Why Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Matter 

By Jonathan Choti, PhD, Professor of African Languages Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become universal values in our society today. In my talk, I will define and discuss the relevance of DEI in university teaching, with reference to my language and African cultures classes. I teach Swahili language, an IAH course, and lead a 6-week education abroad program to Tanzania known as Sustainable Community Development. My IAH class focuses on African cultures, languages, and literature. In my teaching, I find it necessary to embrace a wide definition of diversity that includes (but not limited to) race, color, ethnicity, nationality, thought, religion, socio-economic status, academic discipline, career, marital status, language, age, gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, employment status, and learning styles. Diversity reminds me that differences among professors and students (people) is a strength to be exploited, not a weakness to deprecate. I embrace the tenet of equity to guarantee fair treatment, access to opportunities, and progress for all students while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that normally prevent the full participation of some students or groups. With equity in mind, I strive to understand my students, accommodate different viewpoints, assist slow learners, accept learner differences, and inculcate confidence in all students. To align my teaching to the principle of inclusion, I genuinely bring traditionally or situationally excluded students and groups into the learning process and classroom decision-making activities in a way that shares power and ensures equal participation and access to opportunities and learning resources. I strive to give every student an opportunity to air his or her views through question/answer sessions, one-on-one sessions, reflections, and individual and group presentations. The education abroad program I lead to Tanzania is an excellent opportunity to try out the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. 

    

10: 35- 11:00 AM Talk #2 Innovations in Modern Choreography: Intimacy for the Stage

by Alexis Black, Assistant Professor of Movement, Department of Theatre

Intimacy Directors and Coordinators is an organization pioneering the best practices for performed intimacy, simulated sex and nudity for theatre, live performance, tv and film. The team is comprised of the professionals who were critical to the creation of the fields of Intimacy Direction for Theatre, TV and Film, creating what are now the accepted standards across the industry. Assistant Professor Alexis Black is one of 30 professionals in the world certified as an Intimacy Director for the stage with IDC. This presentation will include a brief history outlining the creation of the movement of intimacy direction, and it’s foundation in “The Pillars”; 5 elements used to create compelling physical storytelling within intimate scenes for the theatre while maintaining the physical and psychological safety of all involved. 

 

00- 11:25 AM Talk #3 Seeing Is Believing: The Curious Case of the Contested Image of Elvira Eliza Field 

by Dr. Amy DeRogatis, Professor of religion and American culture, Dept. of Religious Studies

daguerreotype of Elvira Eliza Field

In this talk Prof. DeRogatis will discuss the daguerreotype of Elvira Eliza Field, first plural wife of the Mormon prophet James Jesse Strange, who cross-dressed as Charles J. Douglass for six months. Elvira Field was a young Mormon girl from Michigan who secretly married Strange on July 13, 1849. Dressed as his fictitious nephew, Charley Douglass, she served as his personal secretary during an east coast mission. No one denies that Field dressed as Douglass, but recently at least one scholar has questioned if this image is legitimate. In this lecture, the image serves as an entryway into the fascinating religious movement that culminated in the crowning of a Mormon king—the proclaimed true successor of prophet Joseph Smith—on Beaver Island, Michigan. Strang’s story is rich with golden plates, angel visitations, visions, secret rituals, new scripture, plural marriage, political intrigue, and scrappy fights with Brigham Young. The presentation will address the artifact, the interpretation of it, and the role that both image and interpreter play in the stories we tell about religion and American culture.

11:25- 11:35 Break for refreshments 

 11:35- 12:00 Talk #4 Babylon Revisited: History, Memory, and Forgetting in Psalm 137

by Dr. David Stowe, Professor, Department of Religious Studies

 

Before COVID-19, ours has been called the Age of the Refugee. No text has spoken of exile and displacement more compellingly than Psalm 137, which begins: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. For many centuries this short Hebrew poem has been a cultural touchstone for music and religion across the Atlantic world and beyond. This interdisciplinary talk demonstrates the psalm’s enduring place in popular culture. 

12:00- 12:25 Talk #5 Archive of Malian PhotographySupporting the Preservation & Accessibility of Photographic Archives in Mali, West Africa

by Dr. Candace Keller, PhD  Associate Professor of African Art

Since 2009, the Archive of Malian Photography (AMP)—a collaborative partnership of archival custodians, photographers, students, and scholars from diverse fields—has been preserving, digitizing, cataloging, andrenderinggloballyaccessible128,000+ photographic negatives from the archives of important photographers in Mali, including MamadouCisséAdamaKouyatéAbdourahmaneSakalyMalickSidibé, and Tijani SitouRecording local aesthetic practices and innovations, methods of identity construction and preservation, and cultural and political transformations during the twentieth centurythese primary sources make significant contributions to global histories of photography as well as to multidisciplinary studies of western Africa.This presentation will provide an overview of the project and discuss the primary ethical and practical challenges that AMP has tried to address over the past ten years.

12:25- 12:50 CAL Student Spotlight 

 12:50- 1:00 Thank you– Rob Roznowski, Professor of Acting, Head of Acting and Directing, Theatre Department

Nov
12
Thu
New date–MSU Signature Lecture Series with Claudia Rankine @ Online event
Nov 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
New date--MSU Signature Lecture Series with Claudia Rankine @ Online event | East Lansing | Michigan | United States

The College of Arts & Letters and MSU Broad Museum are pleased to announce the Fall 2020 Signature Lecture with Claudia Rankine

Poet, essayist, playwright, and the editor of several anthologies. She is the author of six volumes of poetry, three plays, and various essays.

Her book of poetry, Citizen: An American Lyric, won the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Award; the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, the first book in the award’s history to be nominated in both poetry and criticism; the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection, the 2015 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry; the 2015 NAACP Image Award in poetry; the 2015 PEN Open Book Award; the 2015 PEN American Center USA Literary Award; the 2015 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Award; and the 2015 VIDA Literary Award. Citizen was also a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award and the 2015 T.S. Eliot Prize. It is the only poetry book to be a New York Times Bestseller in the nonfiction category.

This online event will begin at 7 pm.  Register here for the ZOOM webinar link.

You can also watch this event on Facebook Live or YouTubeLive.

Check out our pop up online independent book store partner, Literati Bookstore to order copies of Claudia Rankine’s books and find other social justice and anti-racism texts.

About the Signature Lecture Series

Originally founded as the Celebrity Lecture Series in 1998 by the College of Arts & Letters and the Dean’s Community Council, the series was later renamed the Signature Lecture Series in 20017 and allows notable public figures to interact and engage with the faculty, students, and greater community of Michigan State University through conversations and discussions.

The popularity of this series has attracted some of the most illustrious scholars, critics, novelists, poets, film producers, and creative artists of our time, including Soledad O’Brien, Ken Burns, Oliver Stone, Richard Ford, and Maya Angelou, just to name a few.

Sponsors of the Signature Lecture Series are the following:

  • College of Arts & Letters
  • Broad Art Museum
  • MSU Libraries
  • Department of English
  • Creative Writing Program
  • Film Studies Program
  • Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures

This event is being held in collaboration with the MSU Broad Art Museum Artist’s Project Series “John Lucas and Claudia Rankine: Situations” Exhibition. The MSU Broad presents, for the first time in a solo exhibition, the entire series of Situation videos collaboratively produced by documentary filmmaker John Lucas and poet Claudia Rankine since 2008. The videos address the vexed notion of a post-racial United States, a term coined in the Obama era to assert that the election of an African American president indicated the achievement of racial equality, by foregrounding the public and private experiences of black Americans. The exhibition is on February 8-December 26, 2020.

Nov
17
Tue
Please join Congresswomen Elissa Slotkin and Brenda Lawrence as they provide their remarks on the work of the Black-Jewish Congressional Caucus
Nov 17 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Please join Congresswomen Elissa Slotkin and Brenda Lawrence as they provide their remarks on the work of the Black-Jewish Congressional Caucus

Please join Congresswomen Elissa Slotkin and Brenda Lawrence as they provide their remarks on the work of the Black-Jewish Congressional Caucus; their thoughts on future collaboration, and reflections on the film.
November 17th, 6:30-7:30 pm
Register here

After registering, a link to view “Shared Legacies: The African American-Jewish Civil Rights Alliance” will be emailed back and
available to view Nov. 11-17.


The crucial historical lessons of Black-Jewish cooperation are revisited and revived in this utterly fascinating, urgent call to action. The modern alliance between African-Americans and Jewish Americans dates to the NAACP founding in 1909. Since then, both groups have endured segregation and racism, from the codified bigotry of southern Jim Crow laws, to blatant bias in real estate, employment, higher education and politics. Common cause was found in the turbulent ‘60s Civil Rights era, as Jewish leaders backed Dr. King’s efforts at racial equality and harmony. Yet, the relationship has frayed in recent years, as a once mighty bond of support and respect has seemingly faded, been forgotten or ignored. With divisive seeds of hate taking root anew in the American landscape, a new generation also affirms their pledge to actively promote the values of social justice. This potent, inspiring story of unity, empathy and partnership validates the ubiquity of the human experience, and how freedom and equality for all can be achieved only when people come together.


Co-sponsors: College of Arts and Letters, James Madison College, RCAH, College of Social Science, Department of History and Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.

 

Mar
26
Fri
Anti-Asian Racism Online Forum
Mar 26 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

An online forum in solidarity with members of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) communities:

The racist violence directed against Asian Pacific Islander Desi American communities has
a long history and the recent killings in Georgia are a reminder of the continuing cruel
legacy of anti-Asian policies put in place in the 19th and 20th centuries. The previous US
the administration gave license to the racist and sexist violence of the shooter, whose actions
reflect the ugly attitudes that persist in contemporary US politics and culture.

As scholars and students committed to anti-racism, equity, and justice, we are coming together to challenge the racist discourse on COVID 19 and the growing number of anti-Asian hate crimes in the US. Come hear MSU faculty address these issues.

Speakers:
Siddharth Chandra, Yen-Hwei Lin, Josh Yumibe, Hui-Ling Malone, Abhishek Narula, Sheng-mei Ma, and Naoko Wake.

The event has been organized by the Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities program, in partnership with the Asian Studies Center and Asian Pacific American Studies Program, and is sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters.

Register here: Webinar Registration – Zoom

Apr
8
Thu
Michigan State University Muslim Studies Program 14th Annual Conference
Apr 8 @ 12:00 am – Apr 9 @ 11:45 pm
Michigan State University Muslim Studies Program 14th Annual Conference

Global Islamophobia and the News Media, Entertainment Media, and Social Media

The 14th annual Muslim Studies Program Conference will be happening from April 8th to 9th.

Register here: https://muslimstudies.isp.msu.edu/about/reg-links 

Organized by the Muslim Studies Program and co-sponsored by the African Studies Center, Asian Studies Center, College of Arts and Letters, College of Social Science, Department of Religious Studies, Department of Political Science, Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities, James Madison College, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, and Peace and Justice Studies.

Thursday, April 8    

8:15am-8:30am EST  Welcome  

8:30am-10:00am EST  Panel 1

  • Imed Ben Labidi — Eternally Unwelcomed: Race, Representation, and Transnational  Sanctioning of Racism
  • Nofret Berenice Hernández Vilchis — Facing Islamophobia before It Existed? The Case of Palestinian Journalists
  • Mohibul Haque and Abdullah Khan — Mapping Islamophobia: The Indian Media Environment
  • Giuliano Bifolchi — Islamophobia in Russia: The Role of the Media in Presenting Islam and the Muslim Community

10:15am-11:45am EST  Conversation with Khaled Beydoun and Nazita Lajevardi 

12:45pm-2:15pm EST  Panel 2

  • Muniba Saleem — How Media Representations of Muslims Affect American-Muslim Intergroup Relations
  • Michael Bevers — Valorizing the Self: Islamophobia’s Inverse Function
  • Samaah Jaffer — Before ‘Creeping Shari‘a’: From Shari‘a as the Court to Shari‘a as the Story
  • Marta Panighel — Gendered Islamophobia in Italy: The Silvia Romano Case

Friday, April 9  

8:00am-9:30am EST  Panel 3 

  • Brian Van Wyck — Competing Islamophobias in Media Depictions of Qur’anic Education in West Germany, 1975-1984
  • Sana Aziz — The Iraq War in Hollywood War Films
  • Mohammed Reza John Vedadipour — Does Hollywood’s Representation of Iranian Identity from 1979 to 2019 Reflect U.S. Foreign Policy?
  • Angeliki Koletsou — Views of Iran in the American Film Industry and Television Series, from 2001 to the Present

9:45am-11:15am EST  Panel 4 

  • Russell Lucas — (Mis)representing Arab Public Opinion: Polls or Phobias?
  • Nazita Lajevardi and Caleb Lucas — Shifts in Group Salience and Target Substitution by Far-Right Extremists Explain a Contemporaneous Fall and Rise in Hate Crimes
  • Sabah Firoz Uddin — British Muslim Self-Making on Social Media: Responding to Islamophobia in Britain
  • Felipe Freitas de Souza — Islam on the Brazilian Timeline: Islamophobia in a Social Network

11:15am- 2:00pm EST  Open Conversation and Closing Remarks  

 

 

Apr
9
Fri
Spartan Skin @ MSU Union Art Gallery
Apr 9 @ 12:00 pm – May 21 @ 5:00 pm
Spartan Skin @ MSU Union Art Gallery | East Lansing | Michigan | United States

SPARTAN SKIN

Young Joon Kwak | April 9 – May 21, 2021

Guarded on game day and integral to graduation photographs, the bronze cast of Leonard Jungwirth’s 1945 Spartan statue is the central symbol of Michigan State University.  The Spartan is an exemplary body, an icon of race, gender, and physical fitness that reflects the university’s ideal virtues of tenacity and will. Arriving at MSU in the wake of a national reckoning with white supremacy that often used debate about historical monuments as a proxy for broader questions of justice, 2020-21 Artist-in-Residence in Critical Race Studies Young Joon Kwak models a different approach to public art. The artist takes a recuperative attitude toward the Spartan statue, while opening the symbol to careful consideration. What does it mean, Kwak’s work asks, to identify a university campus that reflects our diverse society with any one icon?

Having made molds of portions of the statue’s exterior, Kwak created sculptures in cold-cast metals that remake the Spartan’s skin. The artist lavishes attention on the statue’s surface, preserving details that show evidence of Jungwirth’s hand and draw attention to subtle fan interactions. Kwak’s sculptures include impressions left by the pennies glued to the statue by athletes seeking good luck. Surrounding the casts are a series of monumental prints made from the molds, in which the Spartan’s body deviates further from his original form. Presented in fragments, and in works that demand contemplation, Kwak provides a site for careful reconsideration of the meaning of the Spartan. Spartan Skin opens to the public on Friday, April 9 beginning at 12 pm at the MSU Union Art Gallery.

Young Joon Kwak (b. 1984 in Queens, NY) is the 2020 – 2021 Artist-in-Residence in Critical Race Studies at Michigan State University. Kwak is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA, and Lansing, MI, who primarily uses sculpture, performance, video, and community-based collaborations to reimagine bodies and the power structures that govern our everyday lives as mutable and permeable sites of agency. Kwak is the lead performer in the electronic-dance-noise band Xina Xurner, and the founder of Mutant Salon, a roving platform for collaborative installations and performances with their queer/trans/POC/mutant community.

Creative Arts Activities (day one)
Apr 9 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Apr
16
Fri
Creative Arts Activities (day two)
Apr 16 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Oct
7
Thu
Online Lecture–Mercenaries and Missionaries: When Global Capitalism Meets Global Catholicism @ Online event
Oct 7 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Online Lecture--Mercenaries and Missionaries: When Global Capitalism Meets Global Catholicism @ Online event

American Catholic Thought and Culture Endowed Lecture

Guest Speaker: Brandon Vaidyanathan, Ph.D

 

Mercenaries and Missionaries: When Global Capitalism Meets Global Catholicism

What happens when new cultures of capitalism and Christianity spread to rapidly globalizing contexts? Drawing on 200 interviews and 12 months of participant observation in Bangalore and Dubai, Brandon Vaidyanathan uncovers a curious symbiosis between the apprehensive individualism of global corporations and the therapeutic individualism of Charismatic Catholicism. He identifies three mechanisms underlying these modes of individualism, and discusses how they help us understand the power of culture in the context of global Catholicism.

This FREE online webinar will include opportunities for questions and answers.

ZOOM Webinar  Registration Link

This event is hosted by the College of Arts & Letters Department of Religious Studies, St. Thomas Aquinas parish and St. John Church and Student Center of East Lansing.