Press Release: November Public Programs

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

Thursday, November 5—Sunday, December 6

The Metropolis Between One’s Ears
(art exhibition) James Gallery, Tuesday–Friday, 12-8 PM; Saturday & Sunday, 12-6 PM
Opening reception: Thursday, November 5, 6-8:30 PM

The Metropolis Between One’s Ears
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 One’s 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

Monday, November 2:

Jazz Legacies: Gary Giddins & William P. Kelly in Conversation
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Skylight Room (9100)

In a reversal of the usual "Jazz Legacies" format, the spotlight falls on Gary Giddins himself, in conversation with jazz expert William P. Kelly, president of the Graduate Center, about the publication of Jazz, a remarkable book Giddins coauthored with Scott DeVeaux, and the state of jazz, past and present. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.
Tuesday, November 3:

Kinan Azmeh's CityBand
(concert) 7:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Formed in 2006, Kinan Azmeh's CityBand immediately gained recognition for its virtuosic and high-energy performance. Azmeh's resume includes performances in Paris, London, Berlin, New York, Moscow, and Damascus, both as a soloist and composer. With this New York ensemble, he strives to reach a balance between classical music, jazz, and the music of his homeland, Syria. Azmeh's expressive clarinet meets Kyle Sanna's rustic guitar over the dynamic backdrop of John Hadfield's percussion and Josh Myers' double bass. Presented by the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center; free, for information call 212-817-7570.
Monday, November 9:

Rockpile on the Road: Collaboration and the Troubadour Tradition in the 21st Century
(discussion) 12:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Beat generation dissident poet/musician David Meltzer and poet/songwriter and editor of Michael Rothenberg talk about the evolution of song and poetry throughout history, censorship, and activism, and the role of poetry and song as an instrument of change. With poet David Henderson, one of the founding members of the Umbra Poets Workshop. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.
Tuesday, November 10:

Crude World: The Politics of Oil
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Skylight Room (9100)

The environmental devastation wrought by the world’s reliance on petroleum can no longer be denied, but the insidious cultural effects of oil extraction, production, and exportation still receive scant attention. Join Peter Maass, contributing editor at The New York Times Magazine and the author of the recently published Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil, and George Caffentzis, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southern Maine, as they discuss big oil’s cultural and political violence. Moderated by Ashley Dawson, Associate Professor of English, the Graduate Center. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Wednesday, November 11:

Ursula Oppens and Contemporary New York Composers
A Performance and Discussion
7:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Ursula Oppens, celebrated pianist and distinguished professor of music at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, performs works by New York composers John Corigliano, Joan Tower, Tania Leon, and Elliott Carter, and a world premiere by Tobias Picker. Before the performance, several of these eminent composers will join Oppens for a conversation about composition and performance, and what it means to create and play music in New York today. Ms. Oppens will be joined by fellow Graduate Center faculty member, clarinetist Charles Neidich. Tickets, which cost $25 each, may be purchased online at For further information, please call 212-817-8215. 
Thursday, November 12:

The 18th Annual David R. Kessler Lecture, by Sarah Schulman
Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

Sarah Schulman, playwright and novelist, will deliver the eighteenth annual David R. Kessler Lecture in LGBTQ Studies. The Kessler Lecture and Award honors a scholar, artist, or activist who has, over a number of years, produced a substantive body of work that has had a significant influence on the field of LGBTQ Studies. Her awards include a Guggenheim (playwriting), Fullbright (Judaic Studies), Revson Fellowship for the Future of New York City, two American Library Association Book Awards (fiction and nonfiction), and a Stonewall Award for Contributions Improving the Lives of Lesbians and Gays in the United States. She is Professor of English at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU. Presented by the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies; free, for information call 212-817-1955.
Saturday, November 14:

The Theory of Everything
(performance) 2:00 PM, Recital Hall

Encompass New Opera Theatre's The Theory of Everything has music by John David Earnest and a libretto by Nancy Rhodes. The opera, a work-in-progress, is a scientific and metaphysical search into other dimensions and alternate universes. Physicists have long sought a theory that would, through a single model, unify the theories of all fundamental interactions of nature. In preparing the text, Rhodes' research took her to the writings of physicist David Bohm, to Native American spiritual conferences, and the laboratories of physicists at Columbia, CUNY, and Princeton. As Artistic Director of Encompass New Opera Theatre, Rhodes has staged over 55 contemporary operas. Composer John David Earnest has composed extensively for orchestra, chamber ensembles, chorus, and opera. 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.
Monday, November 16:

Who Cares About Family?
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Room 9206-07

This panel brings together experts from various fields to examine not only who cares about the family, but who does not, who should, and why. Speakers will include Patricia Hill Collins (University of Maryland), author of Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment; Joan Williams (University of California at Hastings), author of Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to Do About It; and Rhacel Salazar ParreƱas (Brown), author of The Force of Domesticity. Alyson Cole, Resident Mellon Fellow at the Center for the Humanities, will moderate. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Extraordinary Lives: Bill Kelly in Conversation with Patti Smith
(discussion) 7:00 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

Graduate Center President Bill Kelly will talk one-on-one with Patti Smith, whose body of work encompasses poetry, fiction, essays, music, film, photography, and more. In this new series, Graduate Center President Bill Kelly explores great minds that have shaped our cultural landscape. Over the course of the year, he will speak, one-on-one, with a diverse group of vital contemporary thinkers, artists, and visionaries who have indelibly impacted the fields in which they work. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. RESERVATIONS FOR THIS PROGRAM ARE FULL. Unclaimed reservations will be released to a standby line at the event on a first-come, first-served basis.
Tuesday, November 17:

Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

In Mannahatta (Abrams), Eric W. Sanderson has reconstructed the stunningly-beautiful natural world of Manhattan when the Dutch explorer Henry Hudson and his crew first laid eyes on it on September 12, 1609. By geographically matching an 18th-century map of Manhattan's landscape to the modern cityscape, combing through historical and archaeological records, and applying modern principles of ecology and computer modeling, Sanderson has re-created the forests of Times Square, the meadows of Harlem, and the wetlands of downtown. Author Eric W. Sanderson is Associate Director for Landscape Ecology and Geographic Analysis in Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.
Great Issues Forum: What is Religion? What is it For? How Does it Change?
(discussion) 7:00 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

What is the nature and purpose of religion? Is it a product of our evolution and something we can now do without? Is it a system of belief and practice that humans require in order to build communities and construct meaning for their lives? This opening program of the second year of the Great Issues Forum will feature Daniel Dennett, cognitive scientist and professor of philosophy at Tufts University; John F. Haught, senior research fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University; and David Sloan Wilson, evolutionary biologist and SUNY Distinguished Professor at Binghamton University. Moderated by Gustav Niebuhr, religion writer and professor of religion at Syracuse University. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.
Wednesday, November 18:

The 14th Annual Irving Howe Memorial Lecture:
Escaping Bush's State of Exception: Torture and Truth, Obama and Us
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

Mark Danner, who will give the 14th Annual Irving Howe Memorial Lecture, is a professor of journalism at the University of California-Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs, Politics and the Humanities at Bard College. His numerous books include The Secret Way to War; Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror; and the recently published Stripping Bare the Body: Politics, Violence, War. In 2009 the New York Review of Books published his highly acclaimed essay about a secret Red Cross investigation that exposed then-secret findings of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.
Thursday, November 19:

Music in Midtown:
Antoni Parera Fons: A Songwriter's Journey
(concert) 1:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Composer, pianist, and arranger Antoni Parera Fons was born in Mallorca in 1943 and studied piano and composition in Barcelona. His songs have been performed by acclaimed singers Jose Carreras, Montserrat Caballe, Alfredo Kraus, Jose Van Dam, Jaime Aragall, current Metropolitan Opera baritone Juan Pons, and many others. Known for his music for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, he has also participated as an arranger in many notable recordings, including Christmas in Vienna with Diana Ross and The Three Tenors. This program includes compositions for solo violin, soprano, and piano and is hosted by Candice Agree of radio station WQXR. Performers include Ara Malikian, violin; Isabel Rey, soprano; Andreu Riera, piano; and Guillem Frontera, narrator. Presented with the generous support of Institut Ramon Llull. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.
Jazz Legacies: Manfred Eicher & Gary Giddins in Conversation
(concert) 6:30 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

In this final "Jazz Legacies" conversation of the year, Gary Giddins speaks with producer Manfred Eicher about his label's impressive four decade run at the forefront of jazz. Manfred Eicher founded ECM Records in 1969, going on to produce standard-setting recordings by artists such as Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea, and Pat Metheny. To date, ECM, with Eicher consistently at the helm, has issued over a thousand albums. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Submitted on: OCT 1, 2009

Category: Press Room