Lineups set for Nov. 5 inaugural symposium, art events
In honor of the inauguration of Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University will host several leading artists, journalists and social thinkers, including Central New York community leaders and SU faculty, in an afternoon symposium titled “Universities and Moral Responsibility: Respecting Humanity at Home and Abroad”. The discussion will tackle issues of racism and genocide and will focus on their context and translation, exploring their expression in the arts and how education addresses the underlying causes and remedies.
Cantor’s inaugural ceremony will take place Nov. 5 at 10:30 a.m. in the Carrier Dome; “Universities and Moral Responsibility” will occur in the afternoon, from 1-5:30 p.m. in the Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium. It is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come basis, with no tickets required for the afternoon event; in the event of overflow, the symposium will be shown at various locations around campus on the Orange Television Network (Channels 2 and 99 on the University cable system). The symposium will also be webcast. Public parking at the Skytop lot and shuttle bus service will be available at no cost.
Beginning with a satellite address from London by Christiane Amanpour, CNN chief international correspondent, the symposium will consist of three consecutive discussions, each of about one hour’s duration. The first panel will discuss issues of racism; the second will examine genocide; the third will focus on the expression and dialogue connected to both racism and genocide.
The symposium will also feature a performance by Martin Espada, who is widely regarded as the “Latino poet of his generation.” The discussion on genocide will be introduced by panelist Samantha Power, the author of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning book “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.”
The format for the event will follow the Socratic dialogue method. It will feature rapid-fire discussions peppered with points and counterpoints designed to bring clarity to some of the most important issues of our time.
The symposium will be attended by a select group of Central New York community members, who will continue the conversation during events to be scheduled throughout the year. “Universities and Moral Responsibility: Respecting Humanity at Home and Abroad” will close with an address by Cantor.
Panels and panelists
The first panel, a discussion of racism, will be moderated by Hubert (Hub) Brown, associate professor of broadcast journalism and chair of the Communications Department in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Discussants will include: Lawrence D. Bobo, the Norman Tishman and Charles M. Diker Professor of Sociology and African and African American Studies at Harvard University; Linda Carty, associate professor and chair of the African American Studies Department in The College of Arts and Sciences at SU; Patricia Y. Gurin, the Nancy Cantor Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan; Hazel Rose Markus, professor of psychology at Stanford University; Llamara Padro Milano, vice president for health issues and policies for Syracuse Area Latinos United against Disparities (S.A.L.U.D.); Daria Roithmayr, associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Law; Alan Rosenthal, director of Justice Strategies in the Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) in Syracuse; John Sexton, the 15th president of New York University and dean emeritus of the NYU School of Law; and Claude Steele, the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences at Stanford University and director of Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.
In the second panel, New York Times columnist William Safire ’51, HON ’78 will lead a discussion of genocide. He will be joined by Barry Bearak, New York Times journalist and visiting professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; Henry Bienen, president of Northwestern University; David M. Crane LAW ’80, the chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone; James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly; Margaret (Peg) Hermann, the Gerald B. and Daphna Cramer Professor of Global Affairs and director of the Global Affairs Institute at SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; Nicholas D. Kristof, columnist for The New York Times; the Rev. Darius Oliha Makuja, visiting assistant professor in the Religious Studies Department at Le Moyne College; Michael Massing, contributing editor for the Columbia Journalism Review; Power, who in addition to her work as a Pulitzer Prize-winning author is also a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; Laurence Thomas, professor of philosophy and political science in The College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School at SU; David G. Winter, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan; and Robert B. Zajonc, professor of psychology at Stanford University and a faculty member of the Stanford Brain Research Institute.
The third panel, on translation, will be led by Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, the president of Marlboro College. Also speaking will be Richard Dubin, visiting professor of television, radio and film in SU’s Newhouse School; Marcyliena Morgan, executive director of the Hip Hop Archive at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University; R. Gustav Niebuhr, associate professor of religion and the media in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and Newhouse School; Melvin L. Oliver, dean of the Division of Social Sciences and professor of sociology at the University of California-Santa Barbara; Mark Robbins, dean of SU’s School of Architecture; artist Roger Shimomura G’69, a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Kansas; Aaron Sorkin ’83, creator of the television series “The West Wing”; Dorothy M. Steele, associate director of Stanford University’s Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity; Rennard Strickland, the Philip H. Knight Professor at the University of Oregon School of Law; Silvio Torres-Saillant, associate professor in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and director of the College’s Latino-Latin American Studies Program; and artist Carrie Mae Weems.
For brief biographies of the panelists, see http://soulofsyracuse.syr.edu/symposium/participants.html.
In addition to the symposium, SU is hosting several inaugural art exhibitions, each organized by Light Work:
“Diverse Voices from the Light Work Collection,” a vision of societies from throughout the world, provides a subtle, creative reflection and interpretation of cultural diversity. It features the work of Fazal Sheikh, Chan Chao, Zana Briski, Ellen Blalock, Laura Cano Blanco, Sylvia de Swaan, Osamu James Nakagawa, Mel Rosenthal and Zoe Sheehan Sladana. It will be shown in the Goldstein Auditorium Lower Lobby from Nov. 5-31.
Titled “A Conversation with the World,” Lonnie Graham’s innovative project combines visual art with elements of socioanthropology to explore the essential and fundamental motivations of human beings while illustrating the bonds of humanity. It runs through Nov. 7 at the Robert B. Menschel Media Center, 316 Waverly Ave.
Bill Viola ’73, internationally renowned video artist, will unveil “Surrender,” his latest video installation, Nov. 1 at the Menschel Media Center. He uses plasma televisions to illustrate emotional complexity and intensity; the installation will be displayed through Nov. 30.
A yet-untitled installation by renowned conceptual artist Sol LeWitt ’49 is being constructed on the hillside of Crouse College in honor of the inauguration. The spectacular installation consists of a series of six undulating walls, each 12 feet high and measuring a total length of 140 feet. It is made from cinderblocks, which are intended to show that even the ordinary can become something heroic.
More details on the LeWitt installation and the inaugural exhibitions-including artists’ biographies, gallery hours and images of the works-are available at http://soulofsyracuse.syr.edu/symposium/exhibitions.html or by calling Light Work at (315) 443-1300.
Nov. 5 represents the formal launch of Cantor’s yearlong theme, “University as Public Good: Exploring the Soul of Syracuse,” which uses the opportunity of her inaugural year to engage the University and its extended communities in the exploration of four fundamental questions: What do we mean by “liberal education”? What critical societal issues can we tackle? How can Syracuse build on its unique historical landscape, which has served as an arena in the struggle for the rights of women, slaves and Native Americans? And in a society where knowledge is power, how should the University serve as a power broker?