Syracuse Symposium examines ‘Borders’
Syracuse Symposium examines ‘Borders’August 23, 2005Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
This fall, a number of notable people who have made a difference in moving borders within their respective fields-ranging from a doctor to a filmmaker to a comic book creator-will come to the Syracuse University campus for the 2005 Syracuse Symposium.
The symposium is a semester-long intellectual and artistic festival-hosted by The College of Arts and Sciences at SU-that celebrates interdisciplinary thinking, imagination and creation. This year’s symposium will include lectures, performances, exhibits and other special events around the theme “Borders.” Throughout the semester, the University community will explore ways that borders-visible and invisible-impact humankind in profound ways socially, politically, culturally, artistically, intellectually and personally. For more information on symposium events,visit http://symposium.syr.edu.
“Each year, the Syracuse Symposium provides the entire campus with a lens through which both the familiar and the unfamiliar can be viewed in ways that change our perceptions lastingly,” says Cathryn R. Newton, dean of The College of Arts and Sciences. “By creating a common conversation, the symposium catalyzes alliances that transcend the borders of our typical patterns of thought and action. Each of our themes thus far-poetry, beauty, journeys and humor-has had this enriching effect.”
Adds Newton, “Now, we take as our focus the concept of borders itself, and we will be affected powerfully by the resulting inquiry. I am profoundly grateful to the many dozens of people who have made this year’s symposium such a compelling opportunity.”
Planning for the Syracuse Symposium starts by soliciting ideas from the entire University community for themes, related speakers and performances. The Syracuse Symposium Committee, whose members include faculty, staff and students from across campus, meet to discuss all suggestions and then begin the process of selecting the theme and designing a schedule. Collaboration across the schools and colleges is a priority for the committee, as is bringing students, faculty and the larger Syracuse community together for extraordinary intellectual and artistic experiences outside of the classroom.
“This year’s symposium was planned within the context of Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s vision of Syracuse University as ‘the creative campus,'” says Kandice Salomone, associate dean for administration in The College of Arts and Sciences and leader of the Syracuse Symposium Committee. “Key to the Chancellor’s vision is ‘scholarship in action’ and a commitment to examining issues related to race, culture, class, religion, gender and national origin. The College of Arts and Sciences has a tradition of bringing programs to campus that examine these issues from a multiplicity of perspectives-through the arts, the humanities and the sciences-and this year’s symposium on ‘borders’ will add a new dimension to this tradition.
Says Salomone, “Working with the Syracuse Symposium Committee has been an intellectual odyssey that I am honored to be a part of. I am grateful to the symposium committee and the many co-sponsors without whom this year’s symposium would not be possible.”
In addition to the featured events and exhibitions, several courses in the Fall 2005 semester will examine the “Borders” theme.
This year’s events, which are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, include:
- International documentary photographer and MacArthur Fellow Wendy Ewald will speak Sept. 13, at 6 p.m., in Watson Auditorium. Ewald challenges traditional notions of documentary photography and the role of the artist, and uses creative collaboration to focus on questions of identity and cultural difference. She encourages children to use cameras to create portraits of self and community and to articulate their own personal fantasies, dreams and hopes. She has traveled throughout the world, working in communities in Appalachia, South America, India, Saudi Arabia, Holland and Mexico. Co-sponsored by Light Work/Community Darkrooms and the Soling Program.
- Bernard Kouchner, co-founder and intellectual architect of the Nobel Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders, will speak Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m., in Hendricks Chapel. Kouchner is internationally known for his commitment to humanitarianism and to placing the emergency medical needs of people in distress above all else, including national borders. Co-sponsored by SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Center for Bioethics and Humanities and the Office of the Dean of the College of Medicine.
- A Mira Nair Film Festival will be held Sept. 26-29 and Oct. 4, with each film beginning at 7 p.m., in Gifford Auditorium, located in Huntington Beard Crouse Hall (unless otherwise indicated). Films that will be shown include “Salaam Bombay!” (Sept. 26), “Mississippi Masala” (Sept. 27), “Monsoon Wedding” (Sept. 28), “Hysterical Blindness” and “11’09’01-September 11” (Sept. 29, Kittredge Auditorium in Huntington Beard Crouse Hall), and “Vanity Fair” (Oct. 4).
- Internationally acclaimed film director, writer and producer Mira Nair will speak Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m., in Grant Auditorium. Fearlessly crossing creative, intellectual and economic borders as an independent filmmaker in an industry dominated by large studios, Nair emerges as a unique voice with her riveting examinations of the invisible borders associated with culture, race and class. Co-sponsored by U-Encounter, Kaleidoscope, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the South Asia Center.
- Noted evolutionist Lynn Margulis will speak Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m., in Grant Auditorium. Margulis, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is highly acclaimed for her contributions to the study of evolution and the perceived borders between organisms and theenvironment. She is noted for her work on the Gaia theory of life and how it can be detected. She is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Co-sponsored by Women in Science and Engineering, the Department of Biology and the Department of Earth Sciences.
- Sharad Devarajan ’97, creator of “Spider-Man India,” will speak about a new genre of graphic novels, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m., in Grant Auditorium. An artist, storyteller and businessman, Devarajan is the founder and CEO of Gotham Entertainment Group, the Indian licensee of Marvel Comics and a leading publisher of comic books in South Asia. Gotham’s new narrative form, transcreation, recreates western characters to reflect the local customs, culture and mythology of India. Devarajan started Gotham while an advertising design student at SU. Co-sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Office of Learning Communities.
- PULSE will present a performance by Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m., in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $8 for SU faculty and staff, and $3 for students with valid SU I.D., and will be available at the Schine Box Office, 443-4517. Entering their fourth decade of creating “music with a conscience,” the women of Sweet Honey in the Rock weave together striking vocal harmonies and messages for change in the many traditions of African American music, including blues, spirituals, gospel hymns, African chants, hip-hop and jazz improvisation.
- Ulali, a First Nations Female A Cappella Trio, will perform Nov. 1, at 8 p.m., in Setnor Auditorium in Crouse College. Ulali is widely considered the first native women’s group to create a unique musical sound from their traditional roots and contemporary experiences as First Nations women. Their music is political, humorous and powerful, and speaks eloquently about the accomplishments and struggles of First Nations peoples. The trio has toured and recorded with the Indigo Girls andhas been featured on the soundtracks of “Smoke Signals” and the documentary “Native Americans.” Co-sponsored by U-Encounter, the Center for Indigenous Law, Governance and Citizenship and the Native American Student Association at SU.
- “Imposed Borders: Haudenosaunee Perspectives: A Provocative Discussion About Historically Imposed Borders and Current Land Claims,” will be held Nov. 8, at 7:30 p.m., in Grant Auditorium. A distinguished panel will examine how, prior to the arrival of the European colonists, the Haudenosaunee confederacy of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca Nations formed their union with respect for the existing borders among the nations, and the new border between the confederacy and all foreign nations. Given this history, the panel will discuss how borders imposed by non-Haudenosaunee after the formation of the confederacy have influenced current land claims. Co-sponsored by the Center for Indigenous Law, Governance and Citizenship and the Native American Student Association at SU.
- The University Lectures will present Anne Garrels, foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m., in Hendricks Chapel. Garrels received international recognition for being one of only 16 journalists to remain in Baghdad during the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. Her around-the-clock reports gave listeners outside the Iraqi borders remarkable insight into the impact of the war on those who chose to remain in the city.
- Chinese Theatre Works will produce and perform a cross-cultural adaptation of “Little Red Riding Hood,” Nov. 15, at 8 p.m., in Grant Auditorium. The story of Little Red Riding Hood is used to introduce audiences to characters from several Chinese classics, resulting in a cross-cultural artistic extravaganza that integrates the music, acrobatics, pantomime, face painting and elaborate costumes of Chinese theater with a humorous rendition of a well-known children’s fable. Co-sponsored by U-Encounter, Division of International Programs Abroad, the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the Soling Program.
This year’s symposium will also include a number of exhibitions, including:
- “Borders: Selections from the Light Work Collection,” Robert B. Menschel Gallery, Schine Student Center, through Dec. 15.
- “Secret Games: Wendy Ewald’s Collaborative Works with Children 1969-99,” Light Work Gallery, Robert B. Menschel Media Center, 316 Waverly Ave, Aug. 15-Oct. 15.
- “Borders and Memory: Works by Chien-Chi Chang, Chan Chao, Jeeyun Kim, Bari Kumar, and Daniel Lee,” Lowe Art Gallery, Sept 11-Oct. 12. An opening reception will be held Sept. 11, from 3-5 p.m., in the Shaffer Galleria.
- “‘That Laboratory of Abolitionism, Libel and Treason:’ Syracuse and the Underground Railroad,” a Special Collections Research Center Exhibition co-sponsored by Kaleidoscope. E.S. Bird Library Exhibition Gallery, sixth floor, Sept. 30-Jan. 27, 2006. An opening reception will be held Oct. 1, from 4-6 p.m.
- “Sharad Devarajan’s Transcreation of Spider-Man,” Panasci Lounge, Schine Student Center, Oct. 10-Nov. 18.