Press Release: March Public Programs

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

Monday, March 1:

The New Black? Contemporary Performance and Minstrelsy
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Join the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center for an evening with cutting-edge playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directors Niegel Smith and Donya Washington as they discuss the recent reappearance of minstrelsy in the arts; moderated by Morgan Jenness. Jacobs-Jenkins is concurrently presenting his play Neighbors at the Public Theater Lab. Free, for information call, 212-817-1860.

ITS @ the Graduate Center:

Physics, Finance, and Some Surprisingly Useful Mathematics
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

As part of a new Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences (ITS), the Graduate Center presents a talk by Marc Potters, co-CEO of Capital Fund Management, one of France's oldest alternative investment management firms. After a Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton and postdoctoral work at the University of Rome, Potters joined CFM, where he now serves as director of research. He has made substantial contributions to many problems in quantitative finance, and is the coauthor, with Jean-Phillippe Bouchaud, of the major modern text on these issues, Theory of Financial Risk and Derivative Pricing: From Statistical Physics to Risk Management. His work, and that of his colleagues, shows how theoretical ideas developed to understand one part of the world find application in unexpected places. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information call 212-817-8215.

Tuesday, March 2:

Re-Orientale: Reading Orientalism with Gayatri Spivak and Kyoo Lee
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

This public seminar with Gayatri Spivak sets out to explore the heart of Occidentalism from the outside in by using Edward Said's field-defining modern classic, Orientalism, as the starting point. Gayatri Spivak is University Professor and Director of the Center for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University. Kyoo Lee is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, John Jay College, and Resident Mellon Fellow at the Center for the Humanities, the Graduate Center. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Concerts & Conversations—Lauren Flanigan: The Art of Monodrama
(performance & discussion) 7:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Concerts & Conversations presents acclaimed international soprano Lauren Flanigan, hailed by Time magazine as "the thinking man's diva," in an evening devoted to the art of the monodrama, vocal settings of solo scenes. Tickets, which cost $25 ($10 for students), may be purchased at or by calling 212-868-4444.

Thursday, March 4:

An Evening with Leon Wieseltier
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

For over 25 years, Leon Wieseltier has been the literary editor of The New Republic. In that capacity, he has worked with some of the leading writers of our time. He regularly pens TNR's Washington Diary column and has established himself as one of the most important and erudite critics at work today. He is also the author of the widely acclaimed Jewish theological rumination Kaddish. He will speak with Richard Wolin, Distinguished Professor of History at the Graduate Center. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Friday, March 5:

New Russian Theatre: The Dimitry Krymov Laboratory
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Extraordinary Russian director and stage designer Dimitry Krymov will discuss his work with dramaturg Anna Shulgat and directors Philip Arnoult (Center for International Theatre Development/Towson University) and Adrian Giurgea (Colgate University). Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center; free, for information call 212-817-1863.

Film Screening: Shadows of a Leader, Qaddafi's Female Bodyguards
(screening & discussion) 7:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theater

Using original and archival footage, Shadows of a Leader investigates the phenomenon of Qaddafi's elite female bodyguard corps and the tensions these women embody -- between Islam, modernization in a nomadic society, a militarist feminism and Qaddafi's 40-year-old regime. Rania Ajami is an award winning filmmaker based in London and New York. With this film, she became the first western director to work in Libya's newly opening society. Her latest film, a fantastical comedy called Asylum Seekers, is currently traveling the film festival circuit. Ajami is a graduate of Princeton University and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Presented by the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center; free, for information call 212-817-7570.

Monday, March 8:

Great Issues Forum: Immigration and Islam
(discussion) 7:00 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

Featuring Jose Casanova, professor of sociology at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at its Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; Tariq Modood, professor of sociology at the University of Bristol and director of the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship; and Aristide Zolberg, Eberstadt Professor of Political Science at the New School. Chase Robinson, provost of the Graduate Center, will moderate a discussion including questions such as: What impact do Muslim immigrants and Islamic practices have on the societies they join? What unique challenges do Muslim immigrants face? In both America and Europe, how is the Enlightenment ideal of tolerance balanced against the realities of vast cultural and religious differences? Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.

Tuesday, March 9:

Tendencies: Poetics and Practice
Featuring Erica Kaufman, Douglas A. Martin, and Mina Pam Dick
(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 information call 212-817-2005.

Wednesday, March 10:

Turnstyle Reading Series
(literary reading) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Writers and graduating students from the four CUNY MFA Programs in Creative Writing (City College, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and Queens College) come together for readings of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction at the Graduate Center. Join Rick Pearse, Emily Raboteau, and others for an evening of cross-campus, cross-genre readings. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

The Row House Reborn: Architecture and Neighborhoods in NYC, 1908-1929
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Architectural historian Andrew Dolkart of Columbia University will discuss his new book, which examines the rediscovery of New York's deteriorated row houses built in the early 20th century. He will trace the radical alterations to these houses, examining how these changes impacted the character of urban neighborhoods. The facades of many row houses were completely redesigned, often with stucco fronts, colorful art tile detail, and artist-studio windows, while the utilitarian yards were conceived as picturesque gardens. These houses appealed to artists, wealthy homeowners, and young, middle-class professionals. The book argues for the importance of this movement and for the preservation of these endangered buildings. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.

Thursday, March 11:

Music in Midtown: Sonatas for Violin and Piano—Rolf Schulte, Violin; Norman Carey, Piano
(concert) 1:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Renowned for his expressive recording of Elliot Carter's Violin Concerto, Rolf Schulte has been hailed by The New Yorker as "one of the most distinguished violinists of our day." This concert also features the piano artistry of Norman Carey, director of the Graduate Center's D.M.A. Music Performance Program. Schulte has performed with many national and international orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic, the Frankfurt Museums-Orchester, the Stuttgart State Orchestra, and the Bamberg Symphony. Works to be performed include Beethoven's Sonata in G Major, Op. 96; Schumann's Sonata in A Minor, Op. 105; and Debussy's Sonata in G Major. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.

The Madame Curie Complex
(book talk) 6:30 PM

Exploring the lives of Jane Goodall, Rosalind Franklin, Rosalyn Yalow, Barbara McClintock, Rachel Carson, and the women of the Manhattan Project, author Julie Des Jardins considers their personal and professional stories in relation to their male counterparts -- Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi -- to demonstrate how the gendered culture of science molds the methods, structure, and experience of the work. With lively anecdotes and vivid detail, The Madame Curie Complex, reveals how women scientists have often asked different questions, used different methods, come up with different explanations for phenomena in the natural world, and how they have forever transformed a scientist's role. Julie Des Jardins teaches American history at Baruch College. Presented by Science & the Arts; free, for information call 212-817-7522.

Beginning Friday, March 12:

FASHION + FILM, the 1960s Revisited
(art exhibition) Tuesday–Friday, 12-8 PM; Saturday & Sunday, 12-6 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. Through the viewing of such films, where clothes are in action juxtaposed with the fashionably dressed mannequins, the exhibition 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 Fifth Avenue windows, is located within the building of the former B. Altman department store, so key in introducing Italian and European styles in the U.S. Free, for information call 212-817-7394.

Friday, March 12:

Fashion + Film: 1960s Revisited
(conference) 1:00–7:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

In conjunction with the James Gallery’s exhibition, this conference brings together a group of international scholars to revisit this revolutionary cinematic era through the lens of fashion and design. Speakers will include Adriana Berselli, the costume designer who worked with Antonioni on L'Avventura; Stella Bruzzi, Warwick University; Marcia Landy, University of Pittsburgh; Pat Kirkham, Bard College; Sam Rohdie, University of Central Florida; Vincenzo Maggitti, Astrid Soderbergh Widding, and Louise Wallenberg of Stockholm University; and Emily Braun and Eugenia Paulicelli of the Graduate Center. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Monday, March 15:

Beats and Beyond: Documenting the Poets of the '60s
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Skylight Room

Join Cecilia Vicuña, Melanie La Rosa, and Henry Ferrini for a conversation about films that bring into cinematic focus the untold histories of a radical literary era. The poet and artist Cecilia Vicuña, editor of the Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry and a contributor to El Corno Emplumado, will comment on El Corno Emplumado: A Story From the Sixties -- which follows its filmmakers on a journey across the United States to Mexico and into the memories of the poets who 40 years earlier had been involved in the bilingual poetry magazine El Corno Emplumado/The Plumed Horn. Melanie La Rosa will discuss This Bird Flies Backward, her work-in-progress about the life and work of poet Diane di Prima, and Henry Ferrini will talk about his Polis Is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place. Excerpts of films will be screened. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Writing Plays/Notating Performance: An Evening of Play a Journal of Plays
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Join maverick theatre publishers Sally Oswald and Jordan Harrison and affiliated artists for an evening on the cutting edge of playwriting and performance notation. Featuring appearances by playwrights whose work traverses the spectrum of theatrical form and format. Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center; free, for information call 212-817-1863.

Wednesday, March 17:

Only a God Can Save Us: Martin Heidegger and the Third Reich
(film screening & discussion) 6:00 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

Join us for the American premiere of the documentary Only a God Can Save Us, a critical examination of Martin Heidegger's thought and actions during the Third Reich. Fifteen years in the making, the film reveals how essential elements of Heidegger's philosophy led him to become an enthusiastic supporter of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist revolution. The film also addresses his long post-war silence about the Holocaust and his reluctance to make a public apology. Following the screening will be a discussion with filmmaker Jeffery Van Davis and Richard Wolin, Distinguished Professor of History, the Graduate Center. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Thursday, March 18:

The Weight of Photography
(symposium) 12:00–4:30, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Has photography become weightless? In the midst of an increasingly global and digital culture, can we still talk about photography as a distinct entity? Should museum departments, exhibitions, schools and academic classes continue to be devoted to photography alone? The Weight of Photography will explore philosophical and historical questions regarding the nature of photographic representation. Featuring presentations by scholars such as Willem Elias, Johan Swinnen, Luc Deneulin, and Tamara Berghmans of the Free University of Brussels alongside curators, such as Chris Phillips from International Center for Photography, this symposium offers a distinctively international perspective on photography's identity just as it has become particularly uncertain. Moderated by Geoffrey Batchen, Professor of Art History at the Graduate Center. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Jacob's Cane: A Jewish Family's Journey from the Four Lands of Lithuania to the Ports of London and Baltimore—A Memoir in Five Generations
(book talk) 6:30 PM, Skylight Room

When Harvard English Professor Elisa New held her great-grandfather Jacob Levy's cane in her hands for the first time in 1997, its elegant, finely crafted design led her to realize for the first time that her family's story was not the standard coming-to-America tale she had long assumed. Inspired to search beyond what her parents and aunts had revealed of her family's past, she would learn that Levy's was indeed no Tevye the Milkman story. In the mid-1880s, he had landed not at Ellis Island, but at Baltimore, where he skipped the struggling, tenement-living immigrant experience and hit the ground running, soon becoming a successful businessman and prominent socialist leader. Yet challenges to family cohesion and prosperity would still lie ahead. 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.

Friday, March 19:

2nd Annual Conference on Biography:
The End of Biography: Purpose, Promise, Prospects
10:30 AM–6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Why read biography? For information? Aesthetic pleasure? What can biography contribute to a compassionate knowledge of our world, what understanding of ourselves or of the past? What is its relation to the said and the not-said? Mull over these questions at the Second Annual Conference of Leon Levy Center for Biography, with distinguished guests including keynote speaker Arnold Rampersad (Stanford University, author of acclaimed biographies of Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson, and Ralph Ellison). Other participants include Gary Giddins, Molly Haskell, Langdon Hammer, Richard Howard, D.T. Max, Jed Perl, Andrew Sarris, Eric Salzman, Ileene Smith, Amanda Vaill, and more. Presented by the Leon Levy Center for Biography; free, for information call 212-817-2008.

Monday, March 22:

New Visions, New Activism, New American Poetry: Margaret Randall in Conversation
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Skylight Room

The poet, political activist and publisher Margaret Randall helped shift the frame of New American Poetry beyond the U.S. with her own political activism and by publishing El Corno Emplumado/The Plumed Horn (1962-1969), a forum for innovative writing from all parts of the Americas featuring the work of major poets from the U.S., Canada, and Latin America in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Join her and the Graduate Center's Ammiel Alcalay, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, in a conversation about her work and El Corno Emplumado, then on the cutting edge of independent publishing and now an archival treasure. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

New Russian Drama: Maksym Kurochkin
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Join the Martin E. Segal Theatre for an evening with Russian playwright Maksym Kurochkin, widely recognized as one of the most imaginative playwrights in Moscow today. With editor Yelena Kovalskaya (Afisha magazine), Philip Arnoult (Center for International Theatre Development/Towson University) and critic John Freedman. Free, for information call 212-817-1863.

Tuesday, March 23:

The Art of the Review with David Denby
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Skylight Room

Open to the general public, David Denby, film critic and staff writer of The New Yorker, will discuss The Art of the Review and his career as film critic. Free, for more information call 212-817-8170 or visit

Thursday, March 25:

Music in Midtown:
Right Out of Winter: Songs of Tom Cipullo
(concert) 1:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

With Elizabeth Bell, soprano; Norman Carey, piano; Andrew Garland, baritone; Martha Guth, soprano; Monica Harte, soprano; and Donna Loewy, piano. Composer Tom Cipullo's works have been heard at major concert halls on four continents, from San Francisco to Tel Aviv, from Stockholm to LaPaz. He has received awards and fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Copland House, the Oberpfaelzer Kuenstlerhaus (Bavaria), ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and the Jory Copying Program. Cipullo's songs to be performed include The Pocketbook, Of a Certain Age, America 1968, Late Summer, Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House, and Final Song. Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at For further information, call 212-817-8215.

Wednesday, March 31:

Contemporary Haitian Playwrights: An Evening of Solidarity & Support
(reading & discussion) 6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, the Ph.D. Program in French, and the Henri Peyre French Institute have invited four playwrights to travel from Haiti to New York for readings of excerpts from their plays in new translations. To be followed by a discussion on how New Yorkers can support the rebuilding of Haiti's theatre. With Guy Junior Régis, Duckens Charitable Duccha, Dominique Batraville, Coutechève Aupont and Michèle Voltaire Marcelin (from New York). Free, for information call 212-817-1863.

Submitted on: FEB 1, 2010

Category: Center for the Humanities | Press Room