Press Release: February Public Programs

The City University of New York Graduate Center announces the following public programs to be held during the month of February (plus one in late January) at the Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street.  For further information about the Graduate Center, visit

Wednesday, January 28

Maryse Conde and Elizabeth Nunez in Conversation
(discussion) 7:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

The Leon Levy Center for Biography presents author Maryse Condé, Professor Emeritus of French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, who will be joined by Elizabeth Nunez in an exploration of the role of biography in her work.  Condé’s most recent book, Victoire, les saveurs et les mots, is the biography of her mother and grandmother.  Novelist and literary scholar Elizabeth Nunez is the provost of Medgar Evers College, CUNY.  Free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Through Saturday, February 28

People “Weekly”
(art exhibition) Tues.–Fri., 12–8 pm; Sat. & Sun., 12–6 pm, James Gallery

The inaugural exhibition of the Amie and Tony James Gallery comprises seven installations that respond to the Graduate Center as site and context. The projects include a small group show and a specially commissioned project for the building's lobby display windows.  Visit for full details.  

People "Weekly" February Schedule:

Yunhee Min, For Instance, February 11-28
(Reception:  February 19, 5-7 pm)

Barbara Kruger, Untitled, through February 28 (window installations)

“Writing in the Dark,” February 12 & February 19, 7:30 pm

A new series of readings, talks, and performances to be staged in the James Gallery.

Monday, February 2

Uriwintore/The Investigation by Peter Weiss
(performance & discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presents an evening with director Dorcy Rugamba and members of the Urwintore theatre company as they perform Peter Weiss’s compelling reconstruction of the Frankfurt war crimes trials.  Performed in Kinyarwanda (with English subtitles) by Urwintore and directed by Dorcy Rugamba, Weiss’s 1965 play about the German Holocaust takes on universal power as it becomes a conceit for the horrifying genocide that destroyed Rwanda in 1994.  Free, for more information call 212-817-1860.

Larger than Life -- Portraying the Iconic Artist
(virtual exhibition tour & discussion) 7:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Amy Henderson, historian at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, will give a virtual tour of One Life: Kate, an NPG multi-media exhibition on the life of Katherine Hepburn. Biographers whose subjects include Diane Arbus, James Brown, Marlon Brando, and Jimi Hendrix will have a conversation on the iconic artist moderated by Emily Braun, Professor of Art History at the Graduate Center and Hunter College.  Presented by the Leon Levy Center for Biography; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Tuesday, February 3

Toshiki Okada/Five Days in March
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

The Martin E. Segal Theater Center presents an inside look at the works of writer/director Toshiki Okada, founder of Japan's chelfitsch theater company. Moderated by Kate Loewald (Artistic Director, The Play Company) with translator Aya Ogawa.  In 1997 Okada founded chelfitsch, named after a child’s mispronunciation of the English word “selfish.”  Through a unique methodology of play-making, he created all the works by the company, incorporating “super real” Japanese language and exaggerated body movement.  Five Days in March will be presented at Japan Society, February 5-7.  The play tells the story of two urban hipsters who meet at a post-rock show and then get swept up into a one-night stand that turns into five days of continuous sex.  Free, for more information call 212-817-1860.

Thursday, February 5

After the Death of A Certain God: Nietzsche and Levinas
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

This panel will bring together contributors to the recent volume Nietzsche and Levinas: After the Death of a Certain God.  The collection moves beyond the conception that the philosophies of Nietzsche and Levinas are antithetical, examining how the works of these seminal thinkers can be brought together to address new questions about ethical and religious thought today.  Participants will include Alphonso Lingis, Pennsylvania State University; Bettina Bergo, University of Montreal; Brian Schroeder, Rochester Institute of Technology; and John Drabinski, Hampshire College. Moderated by Jill Stauffer, John Jay College and Resident Mellon Fellow at the Center for the Humanities.  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Friday, February 6

In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story
(discussion) 4:00 PM

Andrea Weiss, Professor of Film Studies at City College, tells the harrowing story of Erika and Klaus Mann, the children of the writer Thomas Mann, and screens excerpts from Escape to Life, about the siblings’ escape from Nazi Germany. Co-sponsored by the Ph.D. Program in English and the Leon Levy Center for Biography.  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Why Victorian Art?
(symposium) 9:00 AM–5:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

This symposium will address two critical issues: why the study of Victorian art has been overlooked in the U.S., and how a closer examination of Victorian art can provide new or alternative perspectives in the study of 19th-century art and culture. Speakers: Geoffrey Batchen (Graduate Center), Kathryn Moore Heleniak (Fordham), Richard Kaye (Hunter/Graduate Center), Elizabeth Mansfield (NYU), Jason Rosenfeld (Marymount Manhattan College), Talia Schaffer (Queens College/Graduate Center), and Peter Trippi (Fine Art Connoisseur). Presented by the Ph.D. Program in Art History; free, for information call 212-817-8035; no registration required.

Monday, February 9

Turnstyle Reading Series
(literary readings) 6:30 PM

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 Tom Sleigh, Amy Hempel, Kimiko Hahn, Nicole Cooley, Kathryn Harrison, and others for four evenings of cross-campus, cross-genre readings.  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Friday, February 13 & Saturday, February 14

NoPassport Conference/Dreaming the Americas
(theatre conference) 10:00 AM–9:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

NoPassport was founded by Caridad Svich as a Pan-American theatre alliance and press devoted to action, advocacy, and change, fostering cross-cultural diversity and difference in the arts, with an emphasis on embracing the hemispheric spirit in U.S. Latina/o and Latin-American theatre-making. This year’s conference will focus on a wide range of contemporary works for theatre and performance, viewing historical memory, legacy and r/evolutionary art from a variety of formal perspectives. NoPassport and MESTC present this two-day conference; free, for information call 212-817-1860.

Thursday, February 19

Music In Midtown: Chamber Music on Fifth
(concert) 1:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Music in Midtown presents these accomplished doctoral student-musicians, all of whom have performed nationally and internationally, in a concert of works by Beethoven, Ravel, and Biscardi.  Performers include Roberta Michel, flute; Mirna Lekic, piano; Roz Woll, mezzo soprano; Bonnie McAlvin, flute; Julia Biber, cello; Aleksandra Sarest, piano; Olivier Fluchaire, violin; Heesun Shin, violin; Ji Hyun Son, viola; and Marta Bedkowska, cello.  Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required.  Reservations can be made at, or by calling 212-817-8215.

Friday, February 20

75th Anniversary Celebration of Thompson & Stein's Four Saints in Three Acts
2:00 PM–9:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

This day-long event will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts -- including screenings, panels, and a live excerpt of the work by the Encompass New Opera Theatre.  Focusing on two 16th-century Spanish saints, Four Saints in Three Acts defied conventions of traditional opera:  Stein's libretto featured a landscape of language, rather than a usual narrative, while Thomson's music was unconventional for its tonality.  Also unprecedented was the portrayal of European saints by an all-black cast.  A ground-breaking work of 20th-century American opera, Four Saints in Three Acts will be honored by leading scholars and practitioners in the field of avant-garde literature and performance. Stein memorabilia from the collection of Hans Gallas will be on exhibition. Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center; free, for information call 212-817-1860.

Costume and the Movies
(discussion) 3:00–6:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Jane Gaines and Louise Wallenberg unpack the meaning of fashion and queer ideals in the movies in two talks about, consecutively, Gilbert Adrian and Swedish 1930s cinema. Moderated by Eugenia Paulicelli, co-director of the Concentration in Fashion Studies. Jane Gaines is Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University, and Louise Wallenberg is director of the Center for Fashion Studies at the University of Stockholm.  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Tuesday, Febraury 24

Biography Fellows: James Davis & Thulani Davis
(reading & discussion) 2:00 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

James Davis is at work on a biography of Eric Walrond, a writer who rose to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance. Thulani Davis is writing about the lives of four blues queens: Ma Rainey, Ethel Waters, Alberta Hunter, and Bessie Smith.  These two fellows at the Leon Levy Center for Biography will present their works in progress.  Free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Gotham Center History Forum -- The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in its First Age of Terror
(book talk) 6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

On September 16, 1920, a horse-drawn cart packed with dynamite exploded on Wall Street. Thirty-nine people died and hundreds more lay wounded, making it the worst terrorist attack to that point in U.S. history. In The Day Wall Street Exploded, Yale historian Beverly Gage tells the story of that once infamous but now largely forgotten event.  The book delves into the lives of victims, suspects, and investigators:  world banking power J. P. Morgan, Jr.; labor radical “Big Bill” Haywood; anarchists Emma Goldman and Luigi Galleani; “America's Sherlock Holmes,” William J. Burns; even a young J. Edgar Hoover.  Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at, or by calling 212-817-8215.

Wednesday, February 25

Voices, Past and Present -- Civil Rights in the '60s: Echoes of the Movement
(discussion) 7:00 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

A discussion with Civil Rights activists whose vital roles during the '60s are sometimes overlooked today, including:  Life photographer Bob Adelman, freedom rider Hank Thomas, Courtland Cox of SNCC, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Roger Wilkins.  Adelman's photos for Life, some of which will be shown at the event, are icons of the Civil Rights Movement. Cox was active in SNCC and worked with Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, and Andrew Young. Thomas was a freedom rider in Alabama and a CORE field secretary, and later an honored Vietnam veteran.  Wilkins was assistant attorney general under President Johnson, won a Pulitzer Prize for his role in breaking the Watergate scandal, and now teaches history at George Mason University.  Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required.  Reservations can be made at, or by calling 212-817-8215.

Thursday, February 26

Science & the Arts -- Starry Messenger
(staged reading) 7:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Science & the Arts presents a staged reading of Starry Messenger, Ira Hauptman’s drama about Galileo’s attempt to hold together science, religion, and his turbulent family. Performed by Break A Leg Productions.  Free, but seating is limited and reservations are required.  Reservations can be made at, or by calling 212-817-8215.

Submitted on: JAN 1, 2009

Category: Press Room