Press Release: May Public Programs

The City University of New York Graduate Center announces the following public programs to be held during the month of May at the Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street.

Wednesday, April 30—Saturday, May 3

PEN World Voices Playwrights Festival
(theatre festival) Martin E. Segal Theatre

At the PEN World Voices Playwrights Festival, the Martin E. Segal Center presents play readings and panel discussions with Biljana Srbljanovic, Binyavanga Wainaina, Horatio Castallanos Moya, Carmen Boullosa, Michel Tremblay, Àngels Aymar, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Ximena Escalante, and Alvis Hermanis. Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center; free, for information call 212-817-1861.  For complete schedule, visit
Monday, May 5

Owning Things
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

How are our lives reflected by our possessions and how has this changed through different times and cultures? Join an interdisciplinary panel of scholars and writers as they explore questions about collecting and collections. Speakers include:  Leah Dilworth, Professor of English, Long Island University, author of Acts of Possession: Collecting in America; Anne Higonnet, Professor of Art History, Barnard College, author of Pictures of Innocence: the History and Crisis of Ideal Childhood; Judith Pascoe, Professor of English, University of Iowa, author of The Hummingbird Cabinet: A Rare and Curious History of Romantic Collectors; and Bettina Carbonell, Assistant Professor of English at John Jay College, editor of Museum Studies in Context: An Anthology.  Moderated by Valerie Allen, Resident Mellon Fellow at the Center for the Humanities.  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.
Thursday, May 8

Library Associates Talk:
Harriet Alonso on Robert E. Sherwood, The Playwright in Peace and War
(book talk) 6:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theater

History Professor Harriet Alonso will discuss her recent book Robert E. Sherwood, The Playwright in Peace and War.  She will look the personal and political relationship of President Roosevelt and Sherwood as it reflected the playwright’s journey from ardent pacifist to committed interventionist. Presented by Library Associates; free, for information call 212-817-7130.
Music in Midtown:
Sendebar: Medieval Mediterranean Music
(concert) 1:00–2:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Sendebar seeks to recapture the vibrant and exquisite art of medieval Mediterranean music, with all of its intensity and drama. An ongoing study of musicological and linguistic theories gives the ensemble's interpretation of early music historical authenticity, while a continuous interaction with the live musical traditions of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East imbues Sendebar's performance with profound expression. "Attractive and alluring"—Deborah Lawrence, Early Music America.  Presented by the Ph.D./D.M.A. Program in Music and co-sponsored by the Foundation for Iberian Music; free, for information call, 212-817-8607.
Monday, May 12

TR Warszawa's Macbeth
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

An evening with Polish theatre director Grzegorz Jarzyna, who will discuss his upcoming New York premiere of Macbeth. Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center in association with the Polish Cultural Institute in New York; free, for information call 212-817-1860.
City of the World:
Zikrayat Celebrates the Egyptian Movie Musical
(concert) 7:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

The 2008 City of the World season concludes with a multi-media tribute to the Egyptian movie musical. The event will combine live performance by Zikrayat with images and clips from these highly entertaining films, in a celebration of the great singers and dancers of 20th-century Egypt. Zikrayat (meaning "memories" in Arabic) is a New York based ensemble of musicians and dancers dedicated to presenting the traditional repertory of Arabic music and dance. Presented by the Ph.D./D.M.A. Program in Music and co-sponsored by the Baisley Powell Elebash Endowment; free, for information call 212-817-8607.
Tuesday, May 13

Rediscovering Jacob Riis: Exposure Journalism and Photography in Turn- of-the-Century New York
(discussion) 6:30–8:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Scholars offer a fresh look at Jacob Riis, the Progressive Era social reformer, journalist, and pioneer photographer who publicized the conditions of the desperately poor in turn-of-the-century New York. A deeply contradictory figure, Riis was a conservative activist and skillful entertainer, an ingenious publicist driven by moral passion, and a revolutionary photographer whose relationship to the camera was diffident at best.  With Bonnie Yochelson, curator and author of Berenice Abbott: Changing New York, and Daniel Czitrom, Professor of History, Mount Holyoke College; book signing to follow. Presented by the Gotham Center for NYC History; free, for information call 212-817-8474.
Friday, May 16–Monday, June 30

Deadpan: Photography, History, Politics
(art exhibition), Tuesdays—Saturdays, 12:00–6:00 PM, Amie & Tony James Gallery

At a time when the term ‘documentary’ appears to have made a comeback, within both contemporary art and popular culture, this exhibition brings together four distinctly different bodies of work to consider the efficacy of documentary photography as a mode of image making. The images by the four artists/photographers in Deadpan: Photography, History, Politics—Anne Ferran, Hein-kuhn Oh, Walid Raad, Candace Scharsu—challenge assumptions about the nature of the documentary mode and, while employing different strategies, encourage us to reconsider our expectations of understanding history by way of photography.  Deadpan is curated by Geoffrey Batchen, Jeehey Kim, Jung Joon Lee.  The James Gallery is located off the lobby of the Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. Free, for information call 212-817-7394.

Monday, May 19

Drama Critics Panel
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Renowned theatre critics John Heilpern and Jonathan Kalb will be joined by Alexis Soloski of the Village Voice for a dialogue exploring the role and impact of theatre criticism.  Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center; free, for information call 212-817-1860.
Wednesday, May 21

MALS Bioethics, Science, and Society Lecture Series
Janet Browne on Charles Darwin
(discussion) 6:00 PM talk, reception at 7:15 PM

Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, will speak about Charles Darwin.  She is the author of Charles Darwin: The Power of Place, which recently won both the National Book Critics Circle Prize and the Heinemann Award.  Browne is also a past Pfizer Award Winner of the History of Science Society and a recipient as well of the Society's highest honor, the Sarton medal. Presented by the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program; free, for information call 212-817-8481.
Individualizing the Holocaust: Diaries from the Lodz Ghetto
(discussion) 6:15 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Professor Robert Shapiro of Brooklyn College will offer an examination of diaries clandestinely kept by Jews in the Lodz ghetto between 1940 and 1945. The diaries and eyewitness accounts by ghetto dwellers enable the world to understand how individual Jews responded to and understood the circumstances of the six-year German occupation of Poland’s second largest city. Shapiro has written and edited several books, including Holocaust Chronicles: Individualizing the Holocaust Through Diaries and Other Contemporaneous Personal Accounts (1999), and Why Didn’t the Press Shout: American and International Journalism During the Holocaust (2006). Presented by the Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies; free, for information call 212-817-1945.
Wednesday, May 21—Friday, May 23

The Gala Opening Conference of the Saul Kripke Center

This three-day conference celebrates the opening of the Saul Kripke Center, established to promote the study of the intellectual achievements of Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Saul Kripke, a brilliant logician and one of the greatest living philosophers. Participants will included:  Saul Kripke, Alan Berger (Director of the Kripke Center, The Graduate Center, Brandeis); John Burgess (Princeton); Michael Devitt (The Graduate Center); Kit Fine (NYU); Melvin Fitting (The Graduate Center); Mario Gomez-Torrente (UNAM, Mexico); David Kaplan (UCLA, via video conference); Stephen Neale (The Graduate Center); Hilary Putnam (Harvard); Nathan Salmon (UC, Santa Barbara); Sydney Shoemaker (Cornell); Scott Soames (USC), and George Wilson (USC).  For full schedule and more information, visit The pre-registration fee is $25, $10 students (plus an additional $5 to be paid at the conference); for further information, call 212-817-7484.

Thursday, May 22

Black Is, Black Ain't/Eternal Ancestors:
Curators Hamza Walker and Alisa La Gamma in Conversation
(discussion) 7:00 PM, Room C201-202

What is the impact of powerful images and objects made explicitly for one community on another? Hamza Walker, contemporary art curator at the University of Chicago's Renaissance Society, and Alisa LaGamma, curator at the Metropolitan Museum's Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, discuss the genesis and cultural implications of two controversial exhibitions: Walker's Black Is, Black Ain't, and La Gamma's recent Eternal Ancestors: The Art of the Central African Reliquary. Linda Norden, Director of the James Gallery at the Graduate Center, will moderate.  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Thursday, May 29

(play reading) 6:30–8:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Who deserves the Nobel Prize for the discovery of oxygen? Three scientists—Lavoisier, Priestley, and Scheele—lay claim to the prize in this play written by two renowned chemists, Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann. Oxygen, which takes place in both 1777 and 2001, examines the nature of discovery and the desire for recognition that motivated scientists then as now. Djerassi, professor of chemistry at Stanford University, is known as the “father” of the birth control pill, for which he was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1973. Hoffmann won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1981. Beyond their distinguished careers as scientists, both men are experienced writers of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.  This play reading by Break A Leg productions is presented by Science & the Arts; free, for information call 212-817-8215.

Einstein's Dreams
(play) 8:00 PM (also on Friday, May 30 at 8:00 PM, and Saturday, May 31 at 2:00 PM)  

A brilliant new stage version of Alan Lightman's internationally acclaimed novel Einstein's Dreams, adapted by Wesley Savick, will be performed by Boston's Underground Railway Theater, followed by discussions with scientists.  The play was the inaugural event in a collaboration between the MIT and the Underground Railway Theater, conceived to develop new plays about science.  The Thursday, May 29, performance will be followed by an informal discussion with Alan Lightman.  His novel Einstein's Dreams was an international bestseller and has been translated into thirty languages. Both a distinguished physicist and an accomplished novelist, Lightman was the first professor at MIT to receive a joint appointment in the sciences and the humanities. The Saturday, May 31, matinee performance will be followed by a talk with Alan J. Friedman, co-author of Einstein as Myth and Muse. For 22 years Dr. Friedman served as director of the New York Hall of Science. Presented by Science & the Arts; tickets, $20, available at; for information contact 212-817-8215.

Friday, May 30

AIDS/ART/WORK Conference
(conference) 9:30 AM–5:00 PM

A one-day conference will explore the pasts, presents, and futures of AIDS art, AIDS activism, and AIDS prevention, and the connections between them. In a series of panels and a culminating roundtable, AIDS/Art/Work will look at the often productive, sometimes uneasy relationships between art inspired by AIDS and HIV/AIDS prevention. Presentations by artists, activists and scholars from the United States, Australia, South Africa, and Britain.  Presented by the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies; $30 suggested, includes lunch, for information call 212-817-1955.

Submitted on: APR 1, 2008

Category: Press Room