Press Release: April Public Programs

The City University of New York Graduate Center announces the following public programs to be held during the month of April at the Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. For further information about the Graduate Center and its public programs, visit

Through Saturday, May 1:

FASHION + FILM, the 1960s Revisited
(exhibition) James Gallery, Monday–Saturday, 12-8 PM

Mannequins dressed in 1960s European fashions combine with legendary foreign films of the period to evoke a vital creative era, on the 50-year anniversary of films such as La Dolce Vita, L’Avventura, Rocco and his Brothers, and Breathless. The exhibition – curated by Eugenia Paulicelli, co-director of the Graduate Center’s Concentration in Fashion Studies -- will explore the interactions between geographic spaces (cities and countries), public spaces, the street, the movie theatre, the department store, and private spaces. It will also evoke a vital era on Fifth Avenue, as the James Gallery, with its grand storefront windows, is located within the former B. Altman department store building, so key in introducing Italian and European styles in the U.S. Free, for information call 212-817-7394.

Thursday, April 1:

Legacy of the Holocaust: Intimate Relations, Berlin/New York
(reading & discussion) 4:00–8:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Directors Andreas Robertz and Mario Golden of OneHeart Productions lead the Intimate Relations project, unearthing silenced memories about the Holocaust using theater techniques. Two ensembles with non-Jewish German and Jewish- American actresses, each third-generation relatives of victims and perpetrators, worked with the two directors, playwrights, and a choreographer to explore autobiographical material in 2008 and 2009. This process yielded two plays, excerpts of which will be read as part of this presentation: Luna’s Bracelet (developed in Berlin) and Searching for a New Sun (developed in New York). Each presentation will be followed by a discussion. Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center; free, for information call 212-817-1863.

Monday, April 5:

Intersections with Art & Performance
(discussion) 6:30 PM–8:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Gavin Kroeber (Creative Time) leads a panel on American experimental theatre's next evolution. Must cutting-edge theatre artists cross over into visual and performance art to find adequate spaces and sympathetic audiences, or will the American theatre scene adapt to accommodate performance more broadly construed? Leading artists, curators, and managers will weigh in from across the visual and performing arts in this lively discussion. Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center; free, for information call 212-817-1863.

Wednesday, April 7:

Who Protects Antiquity?
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

While archaeological sites from China to Peru are being destroyed by looters in search of saleable antiquities, those charged with custodianship of the past are locked in fierce debate. Archaeologists, leaders of cultural heritage organizations, and ministers of culture, dealers, collectors, curators, and museum directors cannot come to terms. Who is responsible for preserving cultural heritage? Participants include James Cuno, director, Art Institute of Chicago, and author of Who Owns Antiquity?: Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage; Lawrence Rothfield, author of Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum and associate professor of English at the University of Chicago; Lawrence Coben, director of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative and faculty affiliate in archeology, University of Pennsylvania. Moderated by Joel Allen, professor of classics and history at the Graduate Center. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Thursday, April 8:

Music in Midtown: The Raphael Trio -- Daniel Epstein, Piano; Andy Simonescu, Violin; and Susan Salm, Cello
(concert) 1:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

In November of 1975, the newly-formed Raphael Trio made "a most auspicious debut" (The New York Times) at Carnegie Hall as winners of the Concert Artists Guild Award. They have since been presented regularly in the leading concert halls of the U.S. and Europe. They have performed the complete Beethoven trios in cycles in Washington, DC (Phillips Collection), Vermont (Marlboro College), and in gala appearances in New York at the Kosciusko Foundation. In addition to their commitment to presenting the standard repertoire as well as the lesser-known works by the great composers, the Raphael Trio maintain an active role in commissioning, performing and recording works written for them by contemporary composers. Works to be performed include Schubert's Notturno in E Flat Major D.897, Op. 148, his Trio in B Flat, Op. 99, and Echo by Marjorie Merryman. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.

Friday, April 9:

Tendencies: Poetics and Practice Featuring Dodie Bellamy, Eileen Myles, Kevin Killian
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

This series of talks by major poets, curated by Tim Peterson and titled in honor of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, explores the relationship between contemporary poetic manifesto, practice, queer theory, and pedagogy. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for more information call 212-817-2005.

Monday, April 12:

Contemporary Mexican Theatre: Mario Espinosa Ricalde with David Olguín
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Two prominent figures in contemporary Mexican theatre join the Martin E. Segal Theater Center to discuss trends in Mexican theatre today: director Mario Espinosa and playwright David Olguín. Espinosa, who has staged major works including Yazmina Reza's Art and Michael Frayn's Copenhagen in Mexico City, is currently director of the University Theatre Center at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Award-winning playwright David Olguín's recent plays include Casanova o la fugacidad, Siberia, and La lengua de los muertos. He also teaches playwriting through the Foundation for Mexican Letters. Presented with the support of the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York; free, for information call 212-817-1863.

ITS @ the Graduate Center: The Great Ideas of Biology
Paul Nurse
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

As part of a new Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences (ITS), the Graduate Center presents a talk by Sir Paul Nurse, president of Rockefeller University and head of its Laboratory of Yeast Genetics and Cell Biology. Discoverer of molecules at the heart of the “clock” that controls cell growth and reproduction, he will describe the search for ideas which can unify the vast quantities of data that overwhelm our modern exploration of life. A 2001 winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Nurse and his colleagues continue to explore the cell cycle, the control of cell growth, and the mechanisms by which cells acquire their shape. Seating is limited, reservations are required. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.

Tuesday, April 13:

David Ruggles: A Radical Black Abolitionist and the Underground Railroad in New York City
(book talk) 6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

David Ruggles (1810-1849), one of the most heroic figures of the early abolitionist movement in America, is often overlooked. Graham Russell Gao Hodges of Colgate University provides the first biography of this African American activist, writer, and publisher who secured liberty for more than six hundred people, the most famous of whom was Frederick Douglass. Hodges's portrait of Ruggles, published by the University of North Carolina Press, establishes the abolitionist as an essential link between disparate groups -- male and female, black and white, clerical and secular, elite and rank-and-file. Presented by the Gotham Center for NYC History; free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.

Nonfiction Under Oath
with John D’Agata, David Shields, Brenda Wineapple & Wayne Kostenbaum
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E Segal Theatre

Why is nonfiction defined in the negative and how might it be revalued for its own sake? Join three pioneering nonfiction writers as they read from new work and discuss the challenges and rewards of working in prose. John D'Agata teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa; his new book, About a Mountain, is a book-length essay on nuclear waste and suicide in Las Vegas. David Shields, who teaches English at the University of Washington, is most recently the author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, an ars poetica of writing "truthiness" in an unbearably artificial world. Brenda Wineapple’s most recent book is White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. She is the director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography. Moderated by Wayne Koestenbaum, poet, novelist, and professor of English at the Graduate Center. Presented by the Leon Levy Center for Biography; free, for more information call 212-817-2008.

Monday, April 19:

America-in Play's CROSSING OVER: A Medicine Show Entertainment
(performance) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

America-in-Play, now in its fifth season, aims to immerse contemporary theatre artists in a neglected but dazzling legacy of plays and popular entertainment forms from 1776-1920. Through grounding artists in America's cultural beginnings, America-in-Play seeks to inspire and enrich new theatre writing and performance about our lives now. The Martin E. Segal Center presents America-in-Play's "CROSSING OVER: A Medicine Show Entertainment," a new show of old theatrical tricks in song, playlets, tall tales, short riffs and visual mysteries, plus guest appearances. Come early for pre-show exhibits and entertainment. Presented as part of New York City’s Immigrant Heritage Week; free, for information call 212-817-1863.

Tuesday, April 20:

Great Issues Forum: The Rise of Intellectual Reform in the Islamic World
(discussion) 7:00 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

Featuring Baber Johansen, professor of Islamic religious studies at Harvard Divinity School; Ebrahim Moosa, associate professor of Islamic studies at Duke University; and Abdulkarim Soroush, philosopher, reformer, Rumi scholar, and former professor at the University of Tehran. Moderated by Talal Asad, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center. In a world increasingly governed by ideals of democracy and pluralism, this program will look at both the evolution of religion and freedom in Islam, focusing on the recent rise of intellectual reform and the role of the religious intellectual, as well the debate surrounding these changes. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.

Wednesday, April 21:

Streb: How to Become and Extreme Action Hero
(book talk) 6:30 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

"Action specialist" Elizabeth Streb describes how she became an extreme action choreographer, developing a form of movement that’s more NASCAR than modern dance, more boxing than ballet. Her new book, published by The Feminist Press, is for those who try or are willing to do just about anything to become a hero in their own way. Once called the Evel Knievel of dance, in 1985 she founded STREB Extreme Action Company, which performs internationally in theaters, museums, and town squares. She established S.L.A.M. (Streb Lab for Action Mechanics) in Brooklyn. "Fearlessness and intelligence combined -- that is what makes Elizabeth Streb's work so potent and beautiful." -- Mikhail Baryshnikov. Presented by Science & the Arts; free, for information call 212-817-7522.

The Digital University
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Cultural historian and media scholar Siva Vaidhyanathan, associate professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia, presents a public keynote address on the Digital University. Vaidhyanathan is the author of Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (2004). This is the keynote address for a preceding academic conference designed to launch a dialogue about the radical changes made possible by digital media as they fundamentally reshape academic practice at all levels. Presented by the Digital Media Studies Group, in collaboration with the Center for the Humanities and the New Media Lab. Free, for information call 212-817-7290.

On Translation and Biography
with Gregory Rabassa, Benjamin Moser, and Frederick Brown
(discussion) 7:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

A roundtable discussion with translators, writers, and biographers Gregory Rabassa (renowned translator and author of If This Be Treason: Translation and its Dyscontents), Benjamin Moser (books editor at Harper's and author of the acclaimed Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector), and Frederick Brown (author of award-winning biographies of Cocteau, Zola, and Flaubert, whose new book is For the Soul of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus), on the problems of biography, language, nuance, and interpretation in multiple languages. Presented by the Leon Levy Center for Biography; free, for information call 212-817-2008.

Thursday, April 22:

Music in Midtown:
Windscape: Mitteleuropa
(concert) 1:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Created in 1994 by five eminent woodwind soloists, WINDSCAPE has won a unique place for itself as a vibrant, ever-evolving group of musical individualists, an "unquintet," which has delighted audiences throughout the U.S., Canada, and Asia. WINDSCAPE's innovative presentations are created to take listeners on a musical and historical world tour -- evoking through music and commentary vivid cultural landscapes of distant times and places. Some recent programs emerging from this process include "The Roaring ‘20s," "The Fabulous ‘50s," "The Young Titan: Beethoven Comes to Vienna," and "East Meets West: The Music of Japan and the Impressionists, " as well as this program entitled "Mitteleuropa" -- to inlcude works by Ferenc Farkas, Gyorgy Ligeti, and Antonin Dvorak. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.

Illuminating the Science: Art and Climate Change
(conference) 3:00–8:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

In honor of Earth Day, join the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, the Earth Institute (Columbia University), artists, scientists, and communication experts to explore present and future connections between the arts and climate change science. The vision of climate change provided by the arts complements the analytical information given by the science -- as will be shown in this inspirational program -- and the landscape of numbers can be populated by  images, dance, or music, leading to a more complete understanding of how our planet works. Free, for information call 212-817-1863.

Thursday, April 29 & Friday, April 30:

PEN World Voices Festival:
I Come From There -- New Plays from the Arab World
Martin E. Segal Theater, Elebash Recital Hall, Proshansky Auditorium

This British Council/Royal Court Theatre project introduces five emerging playwrights from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Syria, featuring full readings of new plays plus discussions of these playwrights’ extraordinary journeys. Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center; free, for information call 212-817-1863. For complete schedule and details visit:

Submitted on: APR 1, 2010

Category: Center for the Humanities | Leon Levy Center for Biography | Press Room