EVENTS

Calendar

Sep
13
Sun
An Unending Journey to the Dream of Being Part of Israeli Society: Challenges and Successes @ Remote
Sep 13 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

https://msu.zoom.us/j/99768441097
Meeting ID: 997 6844 1097 | Passcode: 914221

A conversation with Michal Avera Samuel, Director of the Fidel Association, the leading Israeli NGO representing the interests and aspirations of Ethiopian Israelis.
A social leader and educational activist advocating for the successful integration of Ethiopian Israelis, Ms. Samuel has over 18 years of experience in directing educational projects. She has served as Fidel’s Executive Director since 2011. Ms. Samuel has an MA in Educational Counseling from Haifa University and is regularly invited to lecture on the Ethiopian Israeli community’s history, culture and absorption at academic institutions and schools across Israel.
Ms. Samuel was born in Gondar, Ethiopia. She is the youngest of nine children, and made aliyah with her family in 1984 as part of Operation Moses via Sudan. She joined the Fidel Association in the year 2000 and served as Director of Professional Training, PR, and Community Development, as well as Deputy Director prior to being appointed Executive Director in 2011. Ms. Samuel serves on the Government of Israel’s prestigious Round Table Panel on Social Issues, which brings together leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Ms. Samuel’s vast experience includes serving as a research assistant to MK Naomi Blumenthal on the Knesset’s Immigration Committee and as Spokesperson and Advisor to the Scholarship Fund for Ethiopian Jews (SFEJ), Boca Raton, Florida. Beyond her dedication to advancing the Ethiopian-Israeli community, Ms. Samuel serves as a Board Member of the Israel Center for Educational Innovation and volunteers at “Women to Women,” Haifa, supporting victims of domestic violence.

Sep
29
Tue
Aspects of the Reception of Flavius Josephus in the Middle Ages: The Greek-Speaking East and the Latin-Speaking West by Theofili Kampianaki
Sep 29 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Tuesday, September 29th at 5:00 pm

Click here to register

Aspects of the Reception of Flavius Josephus in the Middle Ages: The Greek-Speaking East and the Latin-Speaking West

No Jewish works, except the biblical texts, were used by Christians on such a large scale as the Judean Antiquities and Judean War of the Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 CE). His works (narrating the events from the biblical Creation to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE) became central to the construction of Christian thought and identity across the Greek-speaking East and the Latin-speaking West in the Middle Ages. Dr. Kampianaki will explore the reasons why and the ways through which a notable Jewish author, such as Josephus, entered the Christian sphere, while his Jewish origins were still being acknowledged.

Theofili Kampianaki is a Research Fellow at the School of History and Cultures in the University of Birmingham in the UK. She holds a Master’s and a Doctorate in Medieval Greek and Latin Languages from the University of Oxford.

ONLINE Lecture: Aspects of the Reception of Flavius Josephus in the Middle Ages @ Online event
Sep 29 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
ONLINE Lecture: Aspects of the Reception of Flavius Josephus in the Middle Ages @ Online event

Aspects of the Reception of Flavius Josephus in the Middle Ages: The Greek-Speaking East and the Latin-Speaking West

No Jewish works, except the biblical texts, were used by Christians on such a large scale as the Judean Antiquities and Judean War of the Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus (37-100 CE). His works (narrating the events from the biblical Creation to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE) became central to the construction of Christian thought and identity across the Greek-speaking East and the Latin-speaking West in the Middle Ages. Dr. Kampianaki will explore the reasons why and the ways through which a notable Jewish author, such as Josephus, entered the Christian sphere, while his Jewish origins were still being acknowledged.

Theofili Kampianaki is a Research Fellow at the School of History and Cultures in the University of Birmingham in the UK. She holds a Master’s and a Doctorate in Medieval Greek and Latin Languages from the University of Oxford.

Co-sponsors: College of Arts and Letters, James Madison College, College of Social Science, Residential
College of Arts and Humanities, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Department of History, and
the Department of Religious Studies.

Oct
6
Tue
Keeping the Door Open to Israeli-Palestinian Peace @ Zoom
Oct 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Panel on “Keeping the Door Open to Israeli-Palestinian Peace,” moderated by Yael Aronoff with Ghaith Al-Omari, Daniel C. Kurtzer, David Makovsky and Saliba Sarsar

Tuesday, October 6th at 7pm Register here

Ghaith al-Omari
“Small Steps Towards a
Big Goal: Preserving the Two-State Solution in Times of Profound Change”
Ghaith al-Omari, Esq. argues that the Two-State Solution remains the only
option for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in a way that meets both people’s national aspirations. The talk will examine ways to preserve the future viability of a two-state solution.
Ghaith al-Omari, Senior Fellow in The Washington Institute’s Irwin Levy Family Program on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship, is the former Executive Director of the American Task Force on Palestine. He served as Advisor to the Negotiating Team during the 1999–2001 Permanent-Status Talks in addition to holding various other positions within the Palestinian Authority.

 

Daniel C. Kurtzer
“Top-Down, Bottom-Up, Inside-Out, Outside-In: Which Way to Israeli-Palestinian peace?”
The old formula for trying to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians has not worked, and consideration is now being given to new, single-focus paradigms. There is a need for a comprehensive, multi-layered approach, driven by determined leaders.
Daniel C. Kurtzer is the S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Middle East Policy Studies at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. During a 29-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Kurtzer served as the United States Ambassador to Israel and as the United States Ambassador to Egypt. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research.

 

David Makovsky
“Bridge or Bypass Road? How Do Peace Moves between Arab States and Israel Challenge the Way We Think about the Palestinian Issue?”
The Arab Peace Initiative of 2003 was predicated on the view that the best way to provide leverage to the Palestinians was to forestall Arab-Israel peacemaking until after Palestinian demands had been met. Yet, the shifting sands in the Middle East where countries are concerned about destabilization have caused a rethink of the classic paradigm. Can the Emirati-Israeli diplomatic breakthrough change the approach and lead to better results in the Israeli-Palestinian arena?
David Makovsky is the Ziegler Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations. He is also an adjunct professor in Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). In 2013-2014, he worked in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of State, serving as a senior advisor to the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.

 

 

Dr. Saliba Sarsar
“Finding Common Ground to Move Toward Peace”
Israelis and Palestinians have no choice but to keep the door open to peace. The path – our path — will remain challenged and challenging unless we overcome our fear of the other, our fear of the unknown that seems to dominate the best of us. Our obsession with power, resources, and retaliation has taken hold of our soul and twisted our being. Peace is born by preparing for it. The responsibility and credit for peace rest with all of us.
Dr. Saliba Sarsar, born and raised in Jerusalem, is Professor of Political Science at Monmouth University. His teaching and scholarly interests focus on the Middle East, Palestinian-Israeli affairs, Jerusalem, and peacebuilding. He is the author of Peacebuilding in Israeli-Palestinian Relations (2020) and Jerusalem: The Home in Our Hearts (2018). His most recent edited book is What Jerusalem Means to Us: Christian Perspectives and Reflections (2018).

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

Oct
13
Tue
Virtual Screening and Discussion: They Ain’t Ready For Me (2020)
Oct 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Register here and get a link to the movie!
Join our Post-film discussion led by by Tamar Manasseh and Brad Rothschild (director)

They Ain’t Ready For Me is the story of Tamar Manasseh, the African American
rabbinical student who is leading the fight against senseless killings on the south
side of Chicago. The film explores the challenges and motivations of this fearless
community leader as she works to prevent more people from being killed by gun
violence. Tamar’s complex identity and magnetic personality combine to make her a
force to be reckoned with, and she hasn’t even hit her stride yet.

 

Co-sponsors: College of Arts and Letters, James Madison College, The Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Department of History, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.

Nov
5
Thu
Yiddish Children’s Literature and the Jewish Twentieth Century: A Conversation
Nov 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Yiddish Children’s Literature and the Jewish Twentieth Century: A Conversation

Thursday, November 5th, at 7:00 pm |  Register here

Miriam Udel will be discussing her book, Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature, that was just published in October 2020. The book is her edition and translation of Yiddish Children’s Literature.
Udel is Associate Professor of German Studies and Jewish Studies at Emory University, where her teaching focuses on Yiddish language, literature, and culture. She holds an AB in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University, as well as a PhD in Comparative Literature from the same institution. She was ordained in 2019 as part of the first cohort of the Executive Ordination Track at Yeshivat Maharat, a program designed to bring qualified mid-career women into the Orthodox rabbinate.

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
10
Tue
The Life and Legacy of RuthBader Ginsburg in the Historical Context of Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court
Nov 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Tuesday, November 10th, at 7:00 pm | Register Here

Dr. David Dalin will discuss his book Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court, from Brandeis to Kagan, which was selected as a finalist for the 2017 National Jewish Book Award. The talk examines the lives, legal careers, and Jewish legacies of the eight Jews who have served or who currently serve as justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: Louis D. Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Elena Kagan.
Dr. David Dalin, who is a Senior Research Fellow at Brandeis University, is the author, co-author, or editor of twelve books, including Religion and State in the American Jewish Experience (co-authored with Jonathan D. Sarna) and The Presidents of the United States and the Jews.

Photography by: ©Michael B. Lloyd
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.