Press Release: April Public Programs

March 1, 2008

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

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

Through Saturday, April 19

Gerardo Rueda: Spanish Modernist
(art exhibition) Tuesdays—Saturdays, 12:00–6:00 PM

The Amie and Tony James Gallery of the Graduate Center presents Gerardo Rueda, Spanish Modernist, an exhibition of forty-two paintings dating from 1957 to 1996.  The exhibition highlights the abstract, constructivist work of an often overlooked artist who carried the torch of modernism in a country that for much of the 20th century remained isolated—geographically and politically—from the main currents of European art.  On loan from the Fundación Gerardo Rueda in Madrid and Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, the exhibition is curated by distinguished critic Barbara Rose.  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.

Tuesday, April 1

Bubbles in Beijing: Architecture, Physics, and the Olympics
(discussion) 6:30–8:00 PM

The Olympic aquatics pavilion in Beijing resembles a box of bubbles. This extraordinary feat of architechure and engineering will be discussed by Denis Weaire, physics professor at Trinity College Dublin, who first observed the efficiency of bubble structures, and a representative from the engineering firm Arup, famous for their design contributions to some of the greatest buildings of our time. Presented by Science & the Arts; free, for information call 212-817-7522.

Wednesday, April 2

Brands of Faith: Marketing and Religion
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Over the past two decades, tactics of branding and marketing have been applied to the promotion of religion, adding to the commercial clutter of today’s society. This panel discussion will explore the political, social, and theological implications of this ever-increasing commoditization of faith. Discussants will include Mara Einstein, Associate Professor of Media Studies, Queens College, author of Brands of Faith: Marketing Religion in A Commercial Age; Heather Hendershot, Professor of Media Studies, Queens College, author of Shaking the World for Jesus: Media and Conservative Evangelical Culture; Douglas Rushkoff, Director of the ITP Narrative Lab at NYU’s Tisch School, and the author of Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism; and Jeff Sharlet, contributing editor, Harper’s, and co-creator and editor of  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Thursday, April 3

Junot Diaz & Francisco Goldman in Conversation
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

Acclaimed writers Junot Diaz and Francisco Goldman discuss writing lives, through history and fiction, with Lynn Di Iorio, Assistant Professor of English at City College and the Graduate Center. Junot Diaz is the author of Drown and The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Francisco Goldman is the author of the award-winning novels The Long Night of White Chickens, The Ordinary Seaman, and The Divine Husband.  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Monday, April 7

Blackface: Examining the Minstrel Tradition
(discussion) 6:30 PM

This panel discussion will bring together scholars and writers to examine the influence of the wildly popular and deeply reviled art of minstrelsy on American culture. Participants include Camille F. Forbes, Assistant Professor of African-American Literature and Culture, University of California-San Diego, and author of the newly published Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway and the Story of America's First Black Star; Eric Lott, Professor of English, the University of Virginia, whose books include Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class; Mel Watkins, whose books include Stepin Fetchit: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry; and Greg Tate, whose books include Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture. Moderated by Gary Giddins, whose most recent book is Natural Selection: Gary Giddins on Comedy, Film, and Music. Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Ferocious Beauty: Dance and Genetics
(discussion, with video) 6:30–8:00 PM

Liz Lerman, choreographer, believes in the power of art to enhance civic dialogue. Her new dance/theater piece, Ferocious Beauty: Genome, investigates the implications of genetic research. Among her collaborators in creating the work was Bonnie Bassler, renowned Princeton University microbiologist, who will join her in a dialogue. The talk will be illustrated with video segments, providing a preview of the dance piece before its first performance in the New York area.  Presented by Science & the Arts; free, for information call 212-817-7522.

Wednesday, April 9

From Rags to Riches: An Evening of Stories from Garment Industry Manufacturers
(discussion) 6:30–8:30 PM Elebash Recital Hall

Join historians Richard Greenwald, Drew University, and Suzanne Wasserman, Director, The Gotham Center/CUNY, as they interview veterans of the garment industry. This evening will focus on the Jewish manufacturers who worked and still work in every aspect of the industry, starting in 1945 -- from manufacturing custom-made doormen uniforms to marketing the first pair of women's blue jeans. Special guests include: Stuart and Jennifer Busch, Owners, I. Buss and Allan Uniforms; Gloria Gelfand, President, Gelfand Marketing Solutions; Richard Schwartz, former Chairman, New York State Council on the Arts and others. Presented by the Gotham Center for NYC History; free, for information call 212-817-8474 (reservations not accepted).

Writing the World: Literature and the Environment
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

This discussion will explore how different genres of writing can sensitize readers to environmental concerns, moving issues from the isolated realm of scientific discourse into the broader cultural imagination. Featuring ecologist Bill McKibben, author of numerous books, including Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future; Daniel Hillel, a researcher at Columbia University's Center for Climate Systems Research, and the author of many books, including The Natural History of the Bible; poet Susan Howe, whose most recent collection of poetry is Souls of the Labadie Tract; and essayist Eliot Weinberger, author of An Elemental Thing. Moderated by Joan Richardson, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, the Graduate Center.  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Thursday, April 10

Music in Midtown:
The Prometheus Piano Quartet plays Brahms
(concert) 1:00– 2:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

The Prometheus Piano Quartet has performed throughout the United States, and has appeared in the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center. The quartet is known for its wide-ranging programming as well as the subtlety of its performances. The quartet's recording of quartets by D'Indy and Saint-Saens, for Centaur, has received great critical acclaim. The group has been engaged by Centaur to record the three piano quartets of Brahms.  Presented by the D.M.A. Program in Performance; free, for information call 212-817-8607.

Friday, April 11

Rites of Return: Poetics and Politics
(conference) Elebash Recital Hall; also on Thursday, April 10, at Columbia Law School

What is driving the contemporary obsession with the recovery of roots? Join world-renowned scholars, writers, artists, and curators as they explore questions of origin and identity, national and cultural memory, trauma tourism," and museums of conscience. Participants include writers Daniel Mendelsohn, Saidiya Hartman, and Eva Hoffman; photographers Keith Calhoun, Chandra McCormick, and Susan Meiselas; journalist Amira Hass; and scholars Svetlana Boym, Marianne Hirsch, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Nancy K. Miller, Leo Spitzer, Diana Taylor, David Troutt, and Patricia Williams.  (The two-day symposium begins at Columbia University Law School on April 10 and continues in the Elebash Recital Hall at the Graduate Center on April 11.)  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.  For a complete conference schedule, please visit

Monday, April 14

Saul Friedlander: Nazi Germany and the Jews, The Years of Extermination
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

Saul Friedlander is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a preeminent scholar of modern European and Jewish history. Friedlander's books include Nazi Germany and the Jews, vol. 1: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939; Nazi Germany and the Jews, vol. 2: The Years of Extermination; and Reflections of Nazism.  Presented by the Center for the Humanities and co-sponsored by the Ph.D. Program in History; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Lost Apple Plays/Cuban "Pedro Pan" Exodus
(reading & discussion) 6:30 PM, Martin E. Segal Theatre

An evening of scenes from plays followed by a discussion about Operation Pedro Pan, the 1960-62 exodus of more than 14,000 unaccompanied minors from Cuba to the U.S. Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center as part of NYC's Immigrant Heritage Week 2008; free, for information call 212-817-1861.

Tuesday, April 15

Re-Visiting al-Andalus: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Medieval Spain
4:00–7:00 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Medieval Muslim Spain, known as al-Andalus, was home to Christians, Muslims, and Jews. This unique co-existence of the three faiths on European soil nurtured original forms of cultural expression and creative scholarship. This interdisciplinary conference brings together leading experts on literature, history, and art history to explore the complexities and nuance of this remarkable historic and human encounter. Speakers include: Ross Brann, Olivia Remie Constable, Jerrilynn Dodds, Jane S. Gerber, Raymond Scheindlin, and David Wasserstein.  Presented by the Center for Jewish Studies; free, for information call 212-817-1950.

Wednesday, April 16

City of the World:
Ozan Aksoy Trio with the CUNY Middle Eastern Music Ensemble
(concert) 7:30 PM, Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall

The second event in the series City of the World features the NYC-based Ozan Aksoy Trio. This group, founded in 2005, draws from Turkish, Armenian, Kurdish, Greek, Jewish, Arabic, and Alevi musical heritages. The evening’s repertoire will feature folk tunes from these regions, performed on traditional instruments from Anatolia. This performance also marks the debut of the CUNY Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, directed by Ozan Aksoy.  Presented by the Ph.D./D.M.A. Programs in Music; free, for information call 212-817-8607.

Friday, April 18

Dancing in the Dark: Sounds and Scenes from the Great Depression
A Talk by Morris Dickstein
(discussion) 3:30 PM, Proshansky Auditorium

Graduate Center Distinguished Professor Morris Dickstein will give this talk as the keynote address of the conference Hacking the Nation: 10 Years of American Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.  The lecture is part of a day-long exploration of American Studies from many perspectives, including science, trans-Atlantic studies, visual culture, and the printed word.  Presented by the American Studies Certificate Program; free, for information call 212-817-8001.

Tuesday, April 22

Climate of Concern/Short Plays on Global Warming
(reading & discussion) 4:00–8:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

Readings of short plays by Don DeLillo, Brian Tucker and John Jesurun beginning at 6:30. Digital media art performance by Andrea Polli at 4:00. Both events will be followed by panels on art, science,and sustainable development.  Presented by the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center; free, for information call 212-817-1860.

Thursday, April 24

Manhattan/Farm Hall:  A Play Reading
(reading & discussion) 6:30–8:00 PM

A play reading about the moral dilemma surrounding the building of The Bomb. This new play was written by French actor Olivier Treiner and his father, physicist Jacques Treiner, who will be present at the performance. The American development of the atomic bomb was, in part, the work of renowned European physicists who fled the Nazi regime. How did they wrestle with their concerns about the use of atomic weaponry? Late in the war, the Allies captured ten German scientists who were thought to have worked on Germany's nuclear weapons program and placed them in a wiretapped manor house called Farm Hall. How did they react to the bomb that leveled Hiroshima? The play, based in part on actual transcripts of conversations, delves into these complex issues. Reading by Break A Leg Productions.  Presented by Science & the Arts; free, for information call 212-817-8215.

Saturday, April 26

The Holocaust in Greece
(discussion) 6:15 PM , Martin E. Segal Theatre

This lecture will focus on the tragedy that befell the Jewish community of Greece during the Nazi era. Based on recent archival revelations, the lecture will also cover a variety of until-now undocumented historical accounts relating to the Holocaust in Greece, including the participation of Greek Jews in the anti-Nazi resistance movement. Bowman is Professor of Judaic Studies in the Department of Judaic Studies, University of Cincinnati. He is the author of several monographs, including Jews in Byzantium, 1204-1453 (1985). His The Agony of Greek Jewry during World War II is forthcoming. Presented by the Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies; free, for 212-817-1945.

Monday, April 28

Torture and the Decline of Empire
(discussion) 6:30 PM, Elebash Recital Hall

This event will examine the historical relationship between torture and imperial power from multiple vantages. Participants will include Karen Greenberg, Executive Director of the Center on Law and Society, New York University, and the editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib; Amy Kaplan, Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and author of numerous books and articles, including "Where is Guantanamo?"; and Marnia Lazreg, Professor of Sociology, the Graduate Center, and author of Torture and the Twilight of Empire: From Algiers to Baghdad.  Presented by the Center for the Humanities; free, for information call 212-817-2005.

Tuesday, April 29

Hollywood Science
(discussion) 7:30–9:00 PM

From space travel and genetic engineering to global warming, science is portrayed on movie screens with fact and fantasy, and scientists are heroes, nerds, and villains. Sidney Perkowitz, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Physics at Emory University and author of the new book Hollywood Science, will discuss the portrayal of science in films, from science fiction to scientific biographies and documentaries.  He will also screen some examples.  Presented by Science & the Arts; free, for information call 212-817-7522.

Wednesday, April 30 - This event has been rescheduled to Thursday, May 22.

Black Is, Black Ain't/Eternal Ancestors:
Curators Hamza Walker and Alisa La Gamma in Conversation
(discussion) 6:30 PM

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.

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