Congratulations to Dr. Rick Halperin, the 2016 Peacemakers Incorporated Peace Patron award winner

Originally Posted: September 26, 2016

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Congratulations to SMU Embrey Human Rights Director, Dr. Rick Halperin, who recently accepted the Peacemakers Incorporated 2016 Peace Patron award. Dr. Halperin was introduced with an inspirational testimony by Embrey Family Foundation Philanthropic Visionary and Dedman College board member Lauren Embrey. Learn more about the Embrey Human Rights Program.

 

SMU to honor global & local humanitarians at ‘Triumph of the Spirit’ celebration Nov. 16

SMU NEWS

Originally Posted: September 16, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – African physician Georges Bwelle, who goes the distance to offer free healthcare for his country’s impoverished,and Carol Brady Houston, a compassionate Plano-based supporter of special-needs children and their families, will be recognized with 2016 Triumph of the Spirit Awards at a music- and art-filled celebration Nov. 16 at the Kessler Theater in Dallas.

Sponsored by SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program (EHRP), the bi-annual awards reward both an international and local humanitarian with a total of $30,000. The awards and its related festivities are supported by an anonymous donor.

The dynamic “VOICES”-themed event will feature music by former Sudanese child soldier/current hip-hop peace activist, Emmanuel Jal; the smart, gritty country-folk music of Austin-based BettySoo; compelling spoken-word and live-action performances by Journeyman Ink;and mixed-media works created by SMU students and local professionals.

Event tickets, which support human rights programming, start at $50 (via prekindle.com/triumph) for access to a 6 p.m. reception, 7 to 9 p.m. event, catered hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and valet parking. (For information related to discounts for students and others, contact Sherry Aikman at saikman@smu.edu or 214-768-8347.)

“These awards –which put a human face on the struggle for human rights – are unique to SMU and are rarely offered by higher-education institutions. We’re fortunate we’re able to help extraordinary individuals empower marginalized people in innovative ways,” says EHRP Director Rick Halperin. “The event is also designed to revitalize the spirit of the entire Dallas community as we work to build a kinder and more humanitarian city.” READ MORE

triumph

Fondren library closed Saturday, September 17th

Fondren Library will be closed this Saturday, September 17th for Game Day. Regular hours will resume Sunday September 18th at Noon. READ MORE 

Skip Hollandsworth talks about new book during lunchtime lecture series

Daily Campus

Originally Posted: September 13, 2016

Skip Hollandsworth, Texas Monthly journalist and author of “The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America’s First Serial Killer”, kicked off the six-part, lunchtime lecture series, hosted by the Clements Center for Southwest Studies on Wednesday. Beginning at 1:00 p.m. in Hyer Hall, students, faculty, and guests were invited to attend the presentation followed by a short question and answer session and book signing.

Presenting to a room of approximately 50 attendees, Hollandsworth walked the audience through a timeline of events highlighted in his book that surrounded a mysterious string of gruesome murders that occurred in Austin, TX in 1885.

Through use of vivid language and photographs, Hollandsworth painted a picture of what Austin, TX looked like during the 1800s as technological advances began to emerge.

“Austin was transforming from a sepia-toned old west town into a new age. The phrase ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ existed even at that time,” Hollandsworth said as the crowd chuckled.

The lecture attracted people of all ages as Hollandsworth warmed the room with his passion for crime and unsolved mysteries.

Tommie Ethington, who attended the lecture after reading Hollandsworth’s book said, “I was fascinated by learning about the history of Austin. You learn so much about the city in addition to the murders.”

The Center for Southwest Studies puts on public programming each year, beginning with the lunchtime series, in an effort to promote their own research fellows and to engage a broad public interest.

“I have worked with Skip on a couple of events in the past and I thought his book would be a great way to begin the year,” said Andrew Graybill, co-director of Clements Center for Southwest Studies. READ MORE

Laugh and learn with Willard Spiegelman’s ‘Senior Moments: Looking Back, Looking Ahead’

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: September 2, 2016

At this point in my life, after more than 40 years as a journalist and writer, I just want to be with people, and that includes authors, who can teach me something or make me laugh.

Willard Spiegelman, Hughes Professor of English at Southern Methodist University, does both.

At first, I thought the author of a book titled Senior Moments: Looking Back, Looking Ahead would be an academic geezer calling up pedantic allusions as he remembers the days of wine and roses and rages against the dying of the light.

Well, it’s true that Spiegelman, who’s interested in Greek and Latin, has written dozens of scholarly papers and recorded lectures on “How to Read and Understand Poetry” for the Great Courses series, can sling around arcane, arty allusions.

After all, he was editor in chief of the august literary quarterly Southwest Review for more than 30 years and has been a regular contributor to the Leisure & Arts pages of the The Wall Street Journal for more than a quarter-century.

But stick with him, for he’s an agreeable, wise and witty companion — edifying, fun and fearless as he proffers lessons in happiness and aging learned during his long, distinguished career.

In the preface to this essay collection and memoir based on his 71 years on the planet, he gets right to it: “Life has not been a dress rehearsal,” he says. “It is what we have, and all that we will have had.”

Since he’s a nonreligious nonbeliever, an orthodox afterlife based on reward and punishment seems implausible. Instead, he believes, we come into the world alone and exit the same way to confront the final, eternal silence.

“The fun, all the pleasure and adventure, lies in between,” he says, then describes what delights him (talking, books and looking at art) and kvetches about what irks him (noise in restaurants, museums and libraries, which is why he never goes anywhere without earphones).

The Philly native, who has an erudite, candid, conversational style, got his talking chops from his loud, noisy Jewish extended family and from his mother, who, he says, “had a mouth on her.”

She had strong opinions and wasn’t timid about sharing them. And neither is the author as he muses on the subject of “Talk,” ending with his move to Texas, where both language and everything else at first seemed foreign to him.

His essay “Dallas” could have just as easily been titled “Stranger in a Strange Land” as Spiegelman recalls his arrival at Love Field on “a broiling, torpid, sweat-inducing day (there is no other kind in North Texas from June through September) in August 1971.”

Although, he says, it occurred to him to rush back to the tarmac to try to reboard the plane for its return trip to Boston, he gamely stuck it out and acclimated to life in Texas, if never as a Texan.

And while his ruminations on the city make author Larry McMurtry, who has had a longtime public aversion to Dallas, look like a booster, they’re honest, lyrical and funny.

As a Yankee, he missed lilacs, horse chestnut trees, poplars and ginkgoes but appreciates our wisteria and catalpa. And while, he says, Texas food won’t qualify for anyone’s low-fat, low-carb, low-sodium diet, he adores chicken-fried steak.

Spiegelman bemoans the absence here of wild nature, pedestrian life and four distinct seasons. He can’t get over the way everything warrants a standing ovation with “whoops, barks and hollers,” sport is a religion, and finding a native in Dallas is as difficult as finding a good bagel.

In his essay “Japan,” he explains why he never felt “so unmoored, unconnected yet exhilarated, and so fully myself” as in the Land of the Rising Sun. And why, upon returning home to Dallas, he decided after four decades to move to New York.

And it’s in “Manhattan” that the poet in Spiegelman soars. He has seen as much of the city’s five boroughs as he can, averaging 6 pedestrian miles a day, and his 11-hour, 20-mile walking gastronomic-and-spirits tour of Manhattan from tip to toe with friends is a joy.

The essay on “Books,” listing two of his favorite contemporary authors as Shirley Hazzard and James Salter as well as old favorites like Austen, Cather, Dickens, George Eliot, Forster and Woolf, is a blissful must for all bibliophiles.

True, Spiegelman can be a bit of a snob and sometimes a little too cute referring to Marilyn Monroe as “a great twentieth-century intellectual,” but this engaging book is a gift for adults of all ages, especially AARP’s.

Senior Moments ends with thoughtful meditations on “Art,” “Nostalgia” and “Quiet.” It does what a great teacher can do: motivate. He makes us want to walk around our city, read, savor the blessings of silence, slow-look at art and practice “the essential human art of conversation.” READ MORE

Plan your life

Willard Spiegelman has several Dallas events scheduled for Senior Moments:

Thursday, he’ll appear at 7:30 p.m. at the Wild Detectives, 314 W. Eighth St., along with Greg Brownderville, the new editor ofSouthwest Review.

Sept. 22, he’ll speak at 6:30 p.m. at the Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora St. Register at nashersculpturecenter.org by Sept. 15.

Oct. 26, he’ll appear at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, 2719 Routh St. 6:30 p.m. reception; 7 p.m. presentation.

Senior Moments

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Willard Spiegelman

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $24)

Available Tuesday

SMU Department of English – Gilbert Lecture Series

Date: 10/06/2016
Location: Dedman Life Science Building, room 131
Time: 6pm

Come see Robert S. Levine of The University of Maryland present ‘Frederick Douglass in Fiction: From Harriet Beecher Stowe to John Updike and James McBride,’ as part of the English Department’s Gilbert Lecture Series. The event will start at 6pm on October 6th in The Dedman Life Science Building, Room 131. Hope to see you there!

Senior Moments

Date: Thursday, September 8, 2016
Location: The Wild Detectives
314 W. Eighth Street Dallas, TX 75208
214-942-0108
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm

ALSO

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2016
Location:  Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201
214-242-5100
Time:  6:30pm

Willard Spiegelman has been the Hughes Professor of English at Southern Methodist University, and from 1984 – 2016 served as the editor of Southwest Review. Never known to be a man at a loss for words or opinions, his latest thoughts have been collected into his second book of essays, Senior Moments.

“If you are a living, breathing member of the human race, then Willard Spiegelman’s exemplary Senior Moments is for you. Aging is our universal condition: the only question is whether we approach our seniority kicking and screaming, or proceed with some degree of style and, let us hope, capacity for happiness. Spiegelman’s wise, witty, spirited essays show how we might work our way over to the style-and-happiness route, and are as good a guide for living well — at any age — that I know.” — Ben Fountain

At The Wild Detectives, Willard will read from his new book and be joined in conversation by Greg Brownderville, professor of poetry at SMU and the man stepping into Willard’s position as editor of Southwest Review.

Please join us for an evening celebrating Dallas writing, Dallas history, and with luck some Dallas gossip.