lecture programs

Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for Feb. 12, 2016

Free Valentine’s Day Piano Duo Concert: Internationally acclaimed pianists and SMU alumni Liudmila Georgievskaya and Thomas Schwan will give a two-piano recital, featuring works of Mozart and Otto Singer’s rarely performed and brilliant transcription of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3. The concert is Sunday, Feb. 14 beginning at 7:30 in Caruth Auditorium.

TEDxSMU Live 2016: Beginning Feb. 15 and running through Feb. 19, TEDxSMU will host live simulcast talks of the TED 2016 conference. Free and open to the  SMU community, you are invited for one talk, one session or the whole week! Viewing will be held in 253 Caruth Hall on the SMU campus.

> See a complete list of speakers, times and events here

WaltScreen Shot 2016-02-12 at 12.51.13 PMer Horne’s “Triple Execution” Postcards: Death on the Border: Using photographer Walter Horne’s “Triple Execution” images of the Mexican Revolution, Claudia Zapata, SMU Ph.D. candidate in Rhetorics of Art, Space and Culture, examines the pattern that Horne used to portray the role of Mexico and Mexican identity in the picture postcard format. The event is sponsored by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies and will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at noon in McCord Auditorium.

Tower Center Monthly Seminar: On Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 11 a.m., James C. Garand, the Emogene Pliner Distinguished Professor and R. Downs Poindexter Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University, will speak on “Is it Documentation, or is it Immigration? Exploring the Effects of Attitudes Toward Documented and Undocumented Immigrants on Immigration Policy Attitudes.” Garand will examine the effects of attitudes toward documented and undocumented immigrants on immigration policy attitudes. The event will be held in the Tower Center Boardroom, 227 Carr Collins Hall. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Please RSVP to tower@smu.edu.

The Life and Times of George McGovern: The Rise of a Prairie Statesman, The Life and Times of George McGovern is the first major biography of the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate who became America’s most eloquent and prescient critic of the Vietnam War. In it, Thomas Knock, SMU Associate Professor and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor in the William P. Clements Department of History, traces McGovern’s life from his rustic boyhood in a South Dakota prairie town during the Depression to his rise to the pinnacle of politics at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago as police and antiwar demonstrators clashed in the city’s streets. The book will be available for purchase and signing after the event.

The event, sponsored by the Center for Presidential History, will be on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. in McCord Auditorium and is free and open to the public. Registration is required, and seating is not guaranteed. For more information visit SMU.EDU/CPH.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan to visit SMU Feb. 25, 2016

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Kay RyanFormer U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan will present a reading of her poetry at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, following a 6 p.m. reception in room 131 of SMU’s Dedman Life Sciences Building.

The event is cohosted by SMU English Professor Willard Spiegelman, the SMU Department of English and the Gilbert Lecture Series.

“Ryan will be reading from her poetry, presumably a mix of recent and earlier work,” Spiegelman says. “She is very engaging, humorous and compatible in an approachable way. She has a wonderful stage presence.”

In addition to serving as the nation’s 16th Poet Laureate from 2008-2010, Ryan has won a Pulitzer Prize and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2011 – a prestigious distinction.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the SMU Department of English at 214-768-2945.

— Kenny Ryan

Poet, performance artist Sarah Kay to give SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Jan. 26, 2016

Sarah Kay, Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, Jan. 26, 2016

Poet and performance artist Sarah Kay – a writer, educator, and co-director of an organization dedicated to improving children’s lives through poetry – will visit SMU Tuesday, Jan. 25 to speak in the 2015-16 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. She will speak at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium

Kay is a spoken-word poet who began performing in New York at age 14 at the renowned Bowery Poetry Club in the East Village. In 2006, she became a member of the club’s Slam Team and a featured poet on “HBO’s Def Poetry Jam,” as well as the youngest poet to compete at the National Poetry Slam in Austin.

> Follow Sarah Kay on Twitter @KaySarahSera

In 2011, Kay created a sensation at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California with a performance of her poem B (If I Should Have a Daughter). The performance earned two standing ovations and has since been viewed almost 4 million times online via YouTube.

The poem itself has since been made into a short hardcover book, B, illustrated by Kay’s lifelong friend Sophie Janowitz, and has been ranked as the No. 1 poetry book on Amazon.com. An anthology of her works, No Matter the Wreckage, was published in 2014 by Write Bloody Publishing. Kay’s poems and articles have also been published in Pear Noir!, the Literary Bohemian, DecomP, Damselfly Press, Union Station Magazine, Foundling Review, the Huffington Post and CNN.com, among others.

> Watch Sarah Kay’s TED 2011 performance of B (If I Should Have a Daughter) in a new window video

Kay holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brown University and an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Grinnell College.

She is the founder and co-director of Project VOICE (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression), which uses spoken-word poetry to entertain, educate and inspire young students.

> Visit Sarah Kay’s personal website: kaysarahsera.com

All SMU community members are invited to hear Sarah Kay speak and answer questions at the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Please tweet your questions for the forum to #SMUtate.

Students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

SMU Jewish Studies celebrates Judeo-Spanish Culture Week Jan. 24-31, 2016

Judeo-Spanish Culture Week 2016 flyer

Schedule of events for SMU’s 2016 Judeo-Spanish Culture Week. Click the image for a full-size version.

The Jewish Studies Program in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences celebrates the unique culture of Jews in Spain with a series of events and lectures Jan. 24-31, 2016.

Highlights of Judeo-Spanish Culture Week include:

  • A screening of Flory’s Flame, a documentary about the life and music of 90-year-old Sephardic composer and performer Flory Jagoda, Sunday, Jan. 24. Free.
  • A discussion of “Jewish Treasures of Medieval Spain” with Danielle Joyner, visiting assistant professor of art history, and Shira Lander, director of Jewish studies, Monday, Jan. 25. Free.
  • A lecture on the future of the Judeo-Spanish language Ladino by Bryan Kirschen, assistant professor of Romance languages at Binghamton University and co-writer and co-director of the 2015 film Saved by Language, Thursday, Jan. 28. Free.
  • A concert featuring Trio SefardiHoward Bass, Tina Chancey and Susan Gaeta – who perform with Flory Jagoda using period instruments and specialized vocal techniques in their stories and songs. Tickets are $5 for SMU students, $15 for SMU faculty and staff members, and $25 for the general public; they are available online at smu.edu/triosefardi. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

All events are open to the public. For more information, contact Shira Lander, director of Jewish Studies, 214-768-2157.

Find more information, including a full schedule, at SMU’s Dedman College blog

Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for Dec. 4, 2015

Meadows Chamber Music Honors Concert: The chamber music program presents a dynamic, varied, passionate performance of jury-selected wind, brass, piano and string ensembles. Come hear these students showcasing the results of a semester of intense, peer-driven collaborative work. The event is on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m in Caruth Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

Is ForensicScreen shot 2015-12-04 at 1.51.39 PM Science an Oxymoron?: Forensic science evidence (e.g., fingerprints, DNA, microscopic hair, & bite marks) is widely believed to provide powerful proof of identity in both criminal and civil trials. But in recent years, forensic scientists in some areas have been taken to task for overclaiming, failing to test their assumptions, and neglecting to explain to judges and jurors how the risk of error affects the value of reported matches. Solutions will be explored by professor Jonathan Koehler, professor at Northwestern University School of Law, on Monday, Dec. 7 at 12:15 p.m. This event will be in 153 Heroy Halland is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided. R.S.V.P. at lawandstatistics.eventbrite.com or 214-768-3527.

Learn more about Jonathen Koehler

The Science of Listening to Music: On Monday, Dec. 7, Professor Elizabeth Margulis, director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas, will examine the interface between science and music by using a series of the Lab’s recent experiments. The event will  begin at 4:30 p.m. in 2020 Owen Arts Center. For more information, click here.

Christmas and Crêpes: Come join the SMU Wesley Foundation at 3220 Daniel Avenue for crêpes, coffee, community, and Christmas music on Monday, Dec. 7 from 8 – 9:30 p.m.

Student Film Association Fall Film Festival: The Student Filmmakers’ Association will host their annual fall film festival showcasing the best recent short works created by SMU students. The festival is free and open to the public and will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station.

Paws and Take a Break: A team of registered therapy dogs from the A New Leash on Life group will visit the Taubman Atrium on Wednesday, Dec. 9, hosted by Hamon Arts Library. Research has shown that spending 5-24 minutes with a calm dog reduces blood pressure and the levels of stress hormones in the body. Come visit with a certified therapy dog from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.!

Therapy Dogs at Fondren

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns returns to SMU’s Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015

Ken BurnsRenowned director and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, creator of Baseball, The War and The Roosevelts, will return to SMU Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 for another engagement with the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. Burns will present The Oncor Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium

Burns has been making documentary films for almost 40 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has directed and produced some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea; The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; and, most recently, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.

> Learn more about Ken Burns’ work at his website: KenBurns.com

In 2009, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said, “Ken Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker, period. That includes feature filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I say that because Burns not only turned millions of persons on to history with his films, he showed us a new way of looking at our collective past and ourselves.” The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.”

His future projects include films on Jackie Robinson, the Vietnam War, the history of country music, Ernest Hemingway and the history of stand-up comedy.

Burns’ films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including 13 Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations. In 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, Ken Burns was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

This is Burns’ second visit to SMU to deliver a Tate Distinguished Lecture. Previously, he spoke during the 2004-05 series.

> Follow Ken Burns on Twitter: @KenBurns

All SMU community members are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Please tweet your questions for the forum to #SMUtate.

Tickets for the evening are sold out. However, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

> Follow the Tate Series on social media: Twitter – @SMUtate | Instagram – @smutate

SMU’s Tower Center hosts prominent experts to discuss ‘The Rise of ISIS’ at a public event Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015

'Black Flags, The Rise of ISIS' book coverISIS conquered vast stretches of territory in Iraq and Syria during the past year. The Iraqi Army dissolved in its path, despite years of training and billions of dollars of U.S. aid, raising a series of questions:

  • Why did ISIS succeed where other terrorist groups have failed?
  • Why was Iraq unable to stop it?
  • What are the consequences for U.S. national security and strategy in the Middle East?

The authors of two compelling new books will discuss “The Rise of ISIS” at a public discussion at SMU Thursday, Nov. 5. The free event, sponsored by the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, takes place 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. To RSVP, e-mail the Tower Center.

> Follow the Tower Center on Twitter: @SMUTowerCenter

Joshua RovnerTower Center Distinguished Chair of International Politics and National Security Joshua Rovner, author of the award-winning book Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence (Cornell University Press 2011), will serve as event moderator. Rovner calls the guest speakers “superstars from journalism and academia”:

Joby WarrickJoby Warrick, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and investigative reporter for The Washington Post, who is an expert on intelligence, diplomacy and security in the Middle East and South Asia. His new book, Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS (Doubleday 2015), chronicles the rapid rise of a strain of militant Islam, born in a remote Jordanian prison and spread with the unwitting aid of two American presidents.

Warrick also is author of The Triple Agent (Doubleday 2011), the true story of an al-Qaeda spy who led the CIA into a deadly trap at Khost, Afghanistan, in 2009.

> Listen to Joby Warrick talk about Black Flags on NPR’s “Fresh Air” audio or podcast

Caitlin TalmadgeCaitlin Talmadge, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she is an expert on national security and military operations. Talmadge also has been a Council of Foreign Relations fellow and a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense.

'The Dictator's Army' book coverHer ground-breaking new book, The Dictator’s Army: Battlefield Effectiveness in Authoritarian Regimes (Cornell University Press 2015), offers an important new argument about why authoritarian militaries sometimes fight very well — or very poorly. Talmadge also is co-author of U.S. Defense Politics: The Origins of Security Policy (Routledge 2008).

For more information, visit the Tower Center website or call 214-768-3954.

Visit the Tower Center on Facebook: facebook.com/towercenter

– Denise Gee

NPR’s Shankar Vedantam to give Tate Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015

Shankar Vedantam, NPR science correspondent reporting on human behavior and social sciences, author of The Hidden Brain and former reporter and columnist for The Washington Post, will be the featured speaker at The Jones Day Lecture of the 2015-16 Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

The lecture program begins at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Vedantam is a science correspondent for National Public Radio, focusing on human behavior and the social sciences. He is the author of The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives, published in 2010.

> Visit Shankar Vendantam’s page at the NPR website

Vedantam earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering in his native India and a master’s degree in journalism at Stanford University. Before joining NPR in 2011, he spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007–09 he wrote a column on human behavior for the Post.

Vedantam has served as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and as a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. He has been recognized with numerous journalism honors, including awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and the American Public Health Association. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.

> Follow Shankar Vendantam on Twitter: @HiddenBrain

All SMU community members are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m. Please tweet your questions for the forum to #SMUtate.

Tickets for the evening are sold out. However, students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Follow along with everything Tate on Twitter: @SMUtate and Instagram: @smutate.

> Catch up with Shankar Vendantam’s “Hidden Brain” podcast via NPR audio or podcast

The Tate Series’ 34th season also features the following events and speakers:

    • Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 – Renowned director and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, creator of Baseball, The War and The Roosevelts; will give the Oncor Lecture. Currently, he is producing Vietnam, scheduled for release in 2017.
    • Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 – Spoken-word poet Sarah Kay, who began performing in New York at age 14, will lecture. The founder and co-director of Project VOICE, which uses spoken-word poetry to entertain, educate and inspire young students, Kay is also the author of two books of poems, B and No Matter the Wreckage.
    • Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 – Actor Rob Lowe, best-selling author of two books and activist for breast cancer awareness, will give the Tolleson Lecture.
    • Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2016 – Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, former commander, U.S. Cyber Command, and CEO and President of IronNet Cybersecurity; and Kevin Mandia, former computer security officer with the U.S. Air Force and president of FireEye Security with nearly 20 years in the cybersecurity private sector; will give the Omni Hotels Lecture.
    • Monday, May 2, 2016 – James Carville, Democratic political strategist who led Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, political commentator, author and professor; and Karl Rove, Republican political consultant for George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff; will give the Ebby Halliday Companies Lecture.

Visit SMU’s Tate Distinguished Lecture Series website: smu.edu/tateseries

Center for Presidential History hosts Nixon biographer Evan Thomas Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 at SMU

'Being Nixon' book cover, Evan ThomasOne of the chief architects of the “Southern strategy,” whose name became synonymous with political dirty tricks, was also the man who worked to desegregate schools, create the Environmental Protection Agency and end the draft.

The complicated and often contradictory character and legacy of 37th President Richard Nixon will be the subject of a lecture by his newest biographer, sponsored by SMU’s Center for Presidential History (CPH).

Visit SMU’s Center for Presidential History online at smu.edu/cph

Best-selling author, professor of journalism and former Newsweek reporter Evan Thomas will discuss his latest book, Being Nixon: A Man Divided, tonight at 6 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. The event is part of the CPH’s Presidential Forum series and is free and open to the public.

> Save your place at “Being Nixon” for free on Eventbrite

The son of devout Quakers, Nixon – not unlike his rival John F. Kennedy – grew up in the shadow of an older, favored brother and thrived on conflict and opposition. As a result, he devoted much of his life and career to fighting off enemies real and imagined. Thomas’ new biography “reveals the contradictions of a leader whose vision and foresight led him to achieve détente with the Soviet Union and reestablish relations with communist China, but whose underhanded political tactics tainted his reputation long before the Watergate scandal,” as summarized in a CPH release.

Thomas’ book will be available for purchase and signing before and after the event. A light reception will precede the lecture beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Parking will be available on the SMU campus. FREE passes will be emailed to registered guests before the event.

2015 SMU Stanton Sharp Lecture explores Texas’ hidden Civil War history, Wednesday, Oct. 14

2015 SMU Sharp Lecture, 'A War That Could Not End at Appomattox,' Gregory P. DownsWhen Texans study the history of the Civil War in grade school, they learn it ended when General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox on April 8, 1865, and that Texas played a relatively small role in the conflict.

Historian Greg Downs argues these lessons are wrong on both counts in his new book, After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War. He will challenge the traditional teachings during a lecture, Q&A and book signing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

“Greg Downs wants to challenge the idea the Civil War reached a neat and tidy end in April of 1865,” says History Chair Andrew Graybill. “What Greg does well is extend the geographical scope to the West. A big focus of his book is Texas, which was one of the last Confederate states to surrender.”

> More on the Stanton Sharp Lectures and Symposium

During Reconstruction, 50,000 Union Army troops were deployed to Texas, which proved the most difficult of the former Confederate states to subdue. At any given time between 1866 and 1870, 40 to 50 percent of the Union troops stationed in the south were garrisoned in Texas.

“People in Texas were still being bought and sold after Appomattox,” Downs says. “Texans still thought slavery would stay. Army officers were imprisoned and murdered in Texas. In some ways, the Civil War was just beginning in Texas as it was ending elsewhere in the South.”

Written by Kenny Ryan

> Visit SMU’s William P. Clements Department of History online: smu.edu/history

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