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SMU Russian Club celebrates 20th anniversary of Russian Winter Festival Feb. 29-March 13, 2016

russian-festival-20th-anniversary-400The SMU Russian Club and Russian Studies Program present two weeks of lectures, film screenings, art exhibits, concerts and music master classes during its 20th annual Russian Winter cultural festival Feb. 29-March 13, 2016.

The festival, which will conclude with the traditional celebration of Maslenitsa, also includes a talent show featuring SMU students.

The festival kicks off with the lecture “100 Years of Russian Art, 1917 to Now” by Vladimir Zimakov, director of the Wedeman Gallery and an associate professor of art and design at Lasell College in Boston. As an artist, designer, and illustrator, Zimakov has worked with leading publishing houses such as Penguin, Random House, Farber and Farber, and the Folio Society. He has illustrated books and book covers for the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alexandre Dumas, Gustav Meyrink, Nikolai Gogol, Herman Melville and A.T.A. Hoffman, among others. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in America, Europe, and Russia.

The event begins with refreshments starting at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 29 in the Huitt-Zollars Conference Room, J. Lindsay Embrey Engineering Building. The presentation and Q&A begin at 12 p.m.

On Wednesday, March 2, the award-winning journalist and photographer Sergei Loiko, who has written about events in Russia and the former Soviet states for The Los Angeles Times since 1991, will speak on “Putin’s War in Ukraine.” Loiko has covered wars in countries including Afghanistan and Iraq and will talk about why the war in Ukraine is different from others.

Loiko will also present his new documentary novel, Airport, which is about the defense of Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine. The book has already been translated into several languages and has become a bestseller on Amazon. Book signing will begin at 11:30 am with presentation and Q&A beginning at 12 p.m. in the Huitt-Zollars Conference Room, J. Lindsay Embrey Engineering Building. This event is co-sponsored by the Embrey Human Rights Program.

Diana Cates, a student of intermediate Russian and political science emphasizes the importance of the Festival for the SMU and Dallas community. “Russia is the world’s largest country and still remains one of the most misunderstood. The festival offers a unique and challenging opportunity to enrich a better understanding of Russian culture, art, history, current politics and Russian-American relations through lectures, discussions, art exhibits, and concerts.”

Students of SMU Russian Studies are helping the Dallas-based Russian American Center, the Russian School of Dallas, Art with Perspective, and Dallas and Saratov Sister City, Inc. to organize several community cultural events which are part of the Russian Festival.  Students work as coordinators, advisers, volunteers, and interpreters at the International Children’s Festival “Planet of Talents” and at art exhibitions and concerts in the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. They will also participate in the International Women’s Day party, which is very popular in Russia, and is organized by SMU graduate Kostya Chernikov.

At the culmination of the Russian Festival, students participate in the traditional Russian celebration of long winter’s end and the greeting of spring called Maslenitsa. SMU students will serve as volunteers at this event, doing fun activities such as cooking pancakes, dancing, organizing children’s games, helping with the arts and crafts exhibit, and conducting costume and drawing contests.

“Participation in our festival and meeting with native speakers also helps students who are studying Russian to improve their language skills,” says Dasha Flowers, vice president of the SMU Russian Club and a student of advanced Russian. “This festival has rich traditions at SMU. The first festival was presented in 1967 and since 1997 it has become an annual tradition. Each year the Mayor of the City of Dallas signs a proclamation recognizing this festival as an important city cultural event.”

For more information, contact Russian Club president and graduate engineering student Vanessa Qixuan.

sergei-loiko

February 29, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|

Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for Feb. 26, 2016

Changing the Video Game Industry: Founder of Unity Technologies, David Helgason, will discuss how Unity Technologies and the Unity Development Platform transformed the video game industry. This presentation, on Friday, Feb. 26 at 3:30 p.m. in the Vester Hughes Auditorium (Caruth Hall), is part of the Game Changers Speaker Series, presented by SMU Guildhall. The series offers insights from today’s top talent in the video game industry as an extension of SMU Guildhall’s mission to educate and inspire the next generation of video game developers.

RSVP for David Helgason here

TEDxSMU Live Auditions: The first of three rounds of live TEDxSMU auditions, focusing on global issues, humanities and education, will be held Monday, Feb. 29 at the Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Avenue. Doors open at 6 p.m. and talks start promptly at 7 p.m. Audience members and a panel of celebrity judges will vote for their favorite during the auditions, and the winner will be announced at the end of the evening. Finalists include Lauren Bagwell, Candice Bledsoe, Sally Le, Kevin Lee, Diana Miller, Jonathan Swiatocha, Linda Swindling, and Rashmi Varma. Tickets are $23 and can be purchased here.

The audition application remains a two-step process: online application and live audition. Live Audition 2 is March 31 and is themed “Science, Technology and Health.” Submissions will close March 2 at 11:59 p.m. and finalists will be announced March 7. Live Audition 3 is May 26 and is themed “Arts, Entertainment, and Design.” Submissions will close April 17 at 11:59 p.m. and finalists will be announced March 25.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 1.55.49 PM Blue Like Me: Siona Benjamin, a painter originally from Bombay now living in the U.S., will discuss her work and how it reflects her background of being raised as a Jew in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India. Her paintings combine the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today, making a mosaic inspired by Indian miniature painting and Judeo-Spanish icons. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 1 in Dedman Life Sciences Building, Room 110 at 5:30 p.m.

> Click here for more information

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y VELÁZQUEZ (1599–1660), Female Figure (Sibyl with Tabula Rasa) (Sibila con tábula rasa), c. 1648Art in Focus: The second offering in the Meadows Museum’s new series of short, public Art in Focus gallery talks centers on Female Figure (Sibyl with Tabula Rasa) by Diego Velazquez, c. 1648. From February through May 2016, on the first Wednesday of each month at 12:15 p.m., the Museum is offering a 15-minute gallery talk on a single work of art. The series focuses on works in the permanent collection, and the talks are delivered by museum staff. The goal of this series is to encourage a range of approaches to exploring the visual arts, providing a unique perspective and inviting visitors to look more closely at individual objects on display in the museum. Admission is free for SMU students, faculty and staff.

Women’s Symposium: Carol Moseley Braun, the first African-American woman to serve in the U.S. Senate, will be the keynote speaker at SMU’s 51st annual Women’s Symposium at a noon luncheon Wednesday, March 2, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center ballroom. Hosted by the Women and LGBT Center at SMU, the symposium is the longest continuously running program of its nature in the country. The primary goals of the program are to encourage women to assume roles of social and political leadership within their communities, to provide a forum in which women and men may examine the societal impact of the changing roles of women, and to provide an opportunity for female and male students to develop leadership skills within a multigenerational, multiethnic model.

> Learn more about the Women’s Symposium here

Jenks-Large

Christopher Jenks

Killer Robots: Lethal autonomous weapons systems or “killer robots” have the ability to select and fire upon targets without human intervention. The idea of autonomous weapons has inspired science fiction writers for decades, but recent technological advancements have created very real dilemmas for policymakers and military leaders.

HorowitzPicture1

Michael Horowitz

Michael Horowitz, associate professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, and Christopher Jenks, director of SMU’s Criminal Justice Clinic and assistant professor of law, discuss these dilemmas Thursday, March 3 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in McCord Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public; reservations are required. Please RSVP to tower@smu.edu.

Click here for more information

February 26, 2016|Calendar Highlights|

Actor Rob Lowe to deliver SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016

LoweRob Lowe, actor, producer, writer, director and activist, will be the featured speaker at The Tolleson Lecture of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at SMU Tuesday, Feb. 23. The Tolleson Lecture will begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday in SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane.

Lowe is a highly acclaimed actor who has made his mark in both television and film. He began his acting career in the TV series “A New Kind of Family” in 1979-80. He received his first Golden Globe Award nomination for his supporting actor role in the 1983 TV film Thursday’s Child. Also in 1983, Lowe made his feature film debut in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders. Subsequent feature films include Wayne’s World, Tommy Boy and Thank You for Smoking.

Lowe’s fan base expanded significantly with his role in the hit TV drama “The West Wing” from 1999-2003. That series brought him two Screen Actors Guild awards and nominations for Emmy and Golden Globe awards. Following “The West Wing,” Lowe starred in the TV series “Brothers and Sisters” from 2007-10 and “Parks and Recreation” from 2010-15. His portrayal of President John F. Kennedy in the 2013 television movie Killing Kennedy was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award. Currently, Lowe plays the lead role in the Fox comedy “The Grinder,” which debuted in September 2015.

In addition to his acting, Lowe has credits as a producer, writer and director. He also is an activist for breast cancer awareness. He has written two books: his 2011 New York Times best-seller, Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography; and Love Life, published in 2014. Lowe lives in California.

Follow Rob Lowe on Twitter @RobLowe

All SMU community members are invited to hear Lowe 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

February 23, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|

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

January 29, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|
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