Press Release: December Public Programs

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

Through Sunday, December 6:

The Metropolis Between Your Ears
(art exhibition) James Gallery, Tuesday–Friday, 12-8 PM; Saturday & Sunday, 12-6 PM

This exhibition brings together a major new project by American filmmaker Peggy Ahwesh, titled The Ape of Nature, and a new series of sculpture and video sketches by British artist Andrew Lord. Organized in response to the theme of this year's meeting of the International Conference on Romanticism, "Romanticism and the City," The Metropolis Between Your Ears also features an early video by artist Paul Chan, titled 34 Flower Types for Henry Darger, and variously scored versions of Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand’s 1921 urban homage, Manhatta. Presented by the James Gallery; free, for more information call 212-817-7138 or visit

Tuesday, December 1:

The Age of Stupid
(film screening & discussion) 6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

The Age of Stupid (2009) is a drama-documentary-animation hybrid which stars Pete Postlethwaite as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, watching archival footage from 2008 and asking, "Why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance?" Directed by Franny Armstrong (McLibel), the film was shot in seven countries over a period of three years and features six separate documentary stories. This screening is timed to precede the United Nation's Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Decemeber 7-18. Presented by Science & the Arts. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at  For further information, call 212-817-8215.
Wednesday, December 2:

The Lower East Side Remembered and Revisited
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Join panelists Joyce Mendelsohn, Clayton Patterson and Annie Polland for an examination of changes in the Lower East Side, from the historic to the hip. Mendelsohn's The Lower East Side Remembered and Revisited, first published in 2001, is being re-released by Columbia University Press in a revised and expanded edition. Panelists will discuss the neighborhood's venerable churches, synagogues and settlement houses as well as the breakneck changes that have taken place -- aged tenements sit next to luxury apartment towers, and boutiques; music clubs, trendy bars, and upscale restaurants take over spaces once occupied by bargain shops, bodegas, and ethnic eateries. 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.
Thursday, December 3:

Music in Midtown:
Clarinetist Charles Neidich
(concert) 1:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Graduate Center faculty member Charles Neidich has been described as one of the most mesmerizing musicians performing before the public today. He regularly appears as soloist and as collaborator in chamber music programs with leading ensembles including the Saint Louis Symphony, Minneapolis Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, I Musici di Montreal, Tafelmusik, Handel/Haydn Society, Royal Philharmonic, Deutsches Philharmonic, MDR Symphony, Yomiuri Symphony, National Symphony of Taiwan, and the Juilliard, Guarneri, Brentano, American, Mendelssohn, Carmina, Colorado, and Cavani String Quartets. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.
Irish Catholic Precincts
James Fisher, Steve Rosswurm, and Joshua Freeman in Conversation
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Skylight Room

Join three preeminent scholars of American social and cultural history as they shed light on several underexplored precincts of the nation's Irish Catholic population. With James T. Fisher, Professor of Theology, Fordham University, and Steven Rosswurm, Professor of History, Lake Forest College. Fisher's most recent book is On the Irish Waterfront: The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York, a simultaneous history of Elia Kazan's masterpiece and the rough waterfront world from which the movie was drawn. Rosswurm's most recent book is The FBI and the Catholic Church, 1935-1962, a deft analysis of the interplay between two of the most influential institutions of the 20th century. Moderated by Joshua Freeman, Professor of History, the Graduate Center.
Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.
Friday, December 4:

Neil MacFarquhar: The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday
(book talk) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theater

Neil MacFarquhar, UN bureau chief for New York Times talks about his newest book, The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday: Unexpected Encounters in the Changing Middle East. In the book, MacFarquhar shares his experiences in the region, starting with his childhood in Qhadafi’s Libya, and introducing a cross section of unsung, dynamic men and women who are pioneering political and social change. He interacts with Arabs and Iranians in their everyday lives as they wrestle with the region's future -- such as a Kuwaiti sex therapist in a leather suit with matching red headscarf, and a Syrian engineer advocating a less political interpretation of the Koran. Presented by the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center; free, for information call 212-817-7570.
Saturday, December 5:

Eastern and Western Philosophical Themes
(conference) 10:00 AM–5:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

At one time, there was lively dialogue between Western and Eastern philosophy. Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and William James were strongly influenced by Eastern philosophy. But in recent years, Western philosophy has shown less respect for its Eastern counterpart and less awareness that issues like epistemology, time, and selfhood have been addressed very intelligently in the East. The purpose of the conference is to reinvigorate the dialogue between Eastern and Western philosophy (philosophy as distinct from religion), and brilliant speakers from all over the globe have agreed to participate. The conference will begin on the Brooklyn College campus on the preceding day, December 4. Presented by the Ph.D. Program in Philosophy; free, for details visit or call 212-817-7521.
Monday, December 7:

New Russian Drama: Olga Mukhina's Tanya-Tanya
(staged reading) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Join the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center for a staged reading of excerpts from U.S. playwright Kate Moira Ryan’s adaptation of Tanya-Tanya, a major play by Russian playwright Olga Mukhina. Mukhina's deeply personal plays have been produced throughout Russia and Europe since the 1990s, with Flying, her most recent, about to be released as a major motion picture in Russia. Tanya-Tanya had its U.S. premiere at Cal Arts in 2006. This staged reading is hosted by international theatre exchange pioneer Philip Arnoult and John Freedman, in collaboration with the New York Theatre Workshop. Free, for information call 212-817-1860.
Great Issues Forum: The Varieties of Nonbelief
With Susan Jacoby, Colin McGinn, Denys Turner, & Gustav Niebuhr
(discussion) 7:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Journalist Susan Jacoby, philosopher Colin McGinn, and theologian Denys Turner explore questions such as: is humanism another kind of religion? Is it religion's evolutionary future, rather than just one of several alternatives? What light does the recent scientific study of religion throw on these possibilities? How do the new humanists compare to the new atheists? Can an atheist identity be shaped by a positive ethic, or must it be primarily an anti-religious sentiment? How will the persistence of belief and disbelief, as well as the tension between them, shape thought and culture in the 21st century? Moderated by Gustav Niebuhr. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.
Tuesday, December 8:
Lost and Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Project
(publication launch) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative is a publication project emerging from archival and textual scholarship done by students at the Graduate Center, with the primary focus on writers falling under the rubric of the New American Poetry. The archive is not simply textual but living and guests for 2009-2010 include David Henderson, Margaret Randall, and David Meltzer. Come celebrate the launch of the first series, including works by Amiri Baraka, Robert Creeley, Edward Dorn, Kenneth Koch, Muriel Rukeyser, and Philip Whalen. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.
Thursday, December 10:

Irish New York: A New Look at Tammany Hall and Its Legacy
With Pete Hamil, Terry Golway, and Peter Quinn
6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Tammany Hall has long been a synonym for corruption. But was there more than mere venality to one of the most long-running and successful urban political organizations in the history of the United States? Did it also play a formative role in educating the masses in the constructive uses of politics and help turn the agenda of economic and social reform from wish list into law? A panel made up of Pete Hamill, Terry Golway, and Peter Quinn will discuss this and other aspects of Tammany-style politics with Richard Welch, author of King of the Bowery: Big Tim Sullivan, Tammany Hall, and New York City from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.
Monday, December 14:

Celebrating the Life and Work of Pina Bausch
6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

The legendary German dance-theatre choreographer Pina Bausch passed away in June 2009. Often described as one of the most influential artists of the last fifty years, Bausch opened up new possibilities in performance through ground- breaking work created with her company, Tanztheater Wuppertal. Join the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center for a tribute to Bausch, with an afternoon of films of her work, followed by a discussion on Bausch's impact across the arts with special guests from the theatre and dance worlds, including dance critic Anna Kisselgoff. Moderated by Royd Climenhaga, author of Pina Bausch (Routledge 2008). Free, for more information call 212-817-1860.
Tuesday, December 15:

The Yiddish King Lear (1935)
(film screening & discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

The Yiddish King Lear (Der Yidisher Kenig Lir), a 1935 film directed by Harry Thomashefsky, is based on Jacob Gordin's famous play, which transposes the Shakespeare story to turn-of-the-century Jewish Vilna. Jacob Adler commissioned the play, and played Dovid Moishele, a career-defining role. Join the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center for a rare screening of a 16 mm copy of this unlikely twist on a classic tale, followed by a panel discussion. Free, for information call 212-817-1860.
Elebash Presents: Concerts & Conversations
Someone Talked! The Songs of World War II
(concert & discussion) 7:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Joan Morris will be joined by her musical partner and husband, the Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning composer/pianist William Bolcom, as well as renowned tenor and Graduate Center faculty member Robert White, for their "Songs of World War II" concert, due for release on CD this fall. NPR host and jazz authority Hazen Schumacher will provide the narration. A conversation between the artists about World War II and its music will precede the performance. Tickets, which cost $25 each, may be purchased online at For further information, please call 212-817-8215. 

Submitted on: NOV 1, 2009

Category: Press Room