Calendar Highlights: Oct. 6, 2009

Blood of Jesus

Calendar Highlights: Oct. 6, 2009

The 1931 Titanic Memorial in Washington, D.C.Wendland-Cook Professorship Inaugural Lecture: SMU’s Perkins School of Theology commemorates the establishment of the Wendland-Cook Professorship in Constructive Theology with a lecture by the first faculty member to hold that position. Joerg Rieger will discuss “Speaking Truth to Power – With a Twist: Re-envisioning the Task of Theology and the Academy” at 5 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, followed by a reception in the Kirby Hall Parlor. Free and open to the public.

“Holocaust Legacies” lecture: Author and University of Pittsburgh Professor of Art History Kirk Savage (Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape) will explore the achievements and pitfalls of the victim monument, which has come to rival the hero monuments of old. “Beyond the Victim Monument” begins at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in Dallas’ Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Co-sponsored by the Division of Art History in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, the Dallas Holocaust Museum and The Sixth Floor Museum. Free and open to the public; tickets required. For more information, call 214-768-2698; for tickets, call 214-768-2787. (Right, the Titanic Memorial on Washington, D.C.’s southwest waterfront, originally erected in 1931.)

'The Blood of Jesus' theatrical posterScreening a classic: Friends of the SMU Libraries/Colophon and the Hamon Arts Library present a free screening of Spencer Williams’ 1941 classic, The Blood of Jesus, Oct. 8 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Theater. Made specifically for African-American audiences in segregated movie theaters, the film was placed in the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1991. The event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the screening at 7 p.m. and a panel discussion moderated by SMU Professor of Cinema-TV Rick Worland at 8 p.m. Arrive early – seating is first-come, first-served and not guaranteed. For more information, call 214-768-3225 or visit smu.edu/friends.

Clubhouse Lunch: The SMU Faculty Club hosts a Clubhouse Lunch with Hector Rivera, director of the Center for Child and Community Development in the University’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, at noon Oct. 14 in the Faculty Club. Rivera will speak on “Integrating English Language Learners Into Our Schools – What Do We Need to Know?” Lunch is $5; attendees are welcome to bring their own.

October 6, 2009|Calendar Highlights|

SMU receives grant to preserve national film treasure

Promotional poster for 'The Blood of Jesus'The G. William Jones Film and Video Collection at SMU’s Hamon Arts Library has received a National Film Preservation Foundation grant for $27,270 to preserve Spencer Williams’ classic 1941 film, The Blood of Jesus, the hugely successful African American salvation drama.

These funds will allow the library to use its print – the only known 35mm print in existence – to create a new negative, prints, and videos. These new materials will be available for teaching and research, and the library will be making them available to the public through a number of screenings.

The debut screening of the new print is planned for February 2009 in conjunction with a conference on African American author and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux at Columbia University.

The Blood of Jesus, shot in Texas on a shoestring budget, is probably the most popular movie made for African American audiences before World War II,” said Jacqueline Stewart, professor of film at Northwestern University and National Film Preservation Board member. “It is the first feature by writer-director Spencer Williams, later a star of TV’s Amos ‘n’ Andy, whose films have been vastly underappreciated despite his unique ability to capture Black religious and cultural practices while experimenting with film style.”

The Blood of Jesus was named by the Library of Congress to the National Film Registry in 1991.

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