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Things to Do, Feb. 17-24, 2017

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Rebecca Valli
'So This is Paris' poster
Cornell Cinema's Elegant Winter Party on Feb. 26 will be a Jazz Age affair, with Ernst Lubitsch's 1926 comedy "So This is Paris."

Demagogues, pleasure seekers

Cornell Cinema launches a series of films on “Demagogues” with “The Great Dictator,” Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 caricature of Adolf Hitler, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in Willard Straight Theatre.

The series also features Stanley Kubrick’s 1963 dark comedy “Dr. Strangelove,” March 3-4; the 1933 political corruption drama “Gabriel Over the White House” March 8, with Franchot Tone ’27 as unhinged president Walter Huston’s right-hand man; and the Marx Brothers’ 1933 spoof of wartime politics “Duck Soup,” March 23-24.

Coming up: Ernst Lubitsch’s 1926 silent comedy “So This is Paris” is the centerpiece of Cornell Cinema’s annual Elegant Winter Party, Feb. 25 at 7:15 p.m.

Screening in a 35mm print preserved by the Library of Congress and with live piano accompaniment by Philip Carli, “So This is Paris” features the first-ever choreographed dance scene to appear on film, with partygoers doing the Charleston.

With Jazz Age decorations and a display of vintage flapper dresses from the Cornell Costume Collection, the fundraiser also includes door prizes and complimentary beverages, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. Advance tickets are $50 each, $30 for students ($65 and $40 at the door), available from and on sale 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in 104 Willard Straight Hall starting Feb. 20.

Media studies: architecture

Assistant professor of architecture Jenny Sabin will discuss her experimental architectural work in a Media Studies midday colloquium, Feb. 23 from noon to 1:15 p.m. in 703 Olin Library.

Lunch will be provided and graduate students are welcome to attend. RSVP to Jeremy Braddock by noon Tuesday, Feb. 21. 

Sabin is the Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger assistant professor and director of graduate studies in architecture in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning. In her research and architectural practice, she applies insights and theories from biology and mathematics to the design, fabrication and production of material structures.

The reading for the colloquium is Sabin’s short essay “Transformative Research Practice: Architectural Affordances and Crisis,” published in 2015 in the Journal of Architectural Education.

Art and the Military

The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art hosts an open forum, “Art & the Military,” Thursday, Feb. 23, at 5:15 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The discussion, with topics including the perception of the military today, will be led by U.S. Army veteran Dave Juers, who served in Vietnam in 1969-70; U.S. Air Force technical sergeant, journalist and public affairs/broadcast specialist Lucas Morrow; and members of the Cornell Undergraduate Veterans Association.

As an Air Force combat correspondent, Morrow documented 122 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2008-11. Juers trained as a Scout Dog handler before shipping out with his dog, Satan, in September 1969, and completed 56 missions walking point for the 46th Infantry Platoon. He is a network engineer in computing and information science and a member of the Veterans Colleague Network Group at Cornell.

Part of the museum’s Contemporary Conversations series, the event is in conjunction with the exhibition “The War to End All Wars: Artists and World War I.”

Future conversations are “Prisons & Justice” March 23, with related artworks on display March 21-April 2 in the study gallery; and “Art & Empathy” May 4, in conjunction with the exhibition “Empathy Academy: Social Practice and the Problem of Objects” and the Cornell Council for the Arts Biennial, “Abject/Object Empathies.”

The free series examines topics and current issues using selected works of art from the museum collection and special exhibitions, with discussions led by Cornell faculty, staff and museum professionals.

The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through May 25.

Chinese currency

Economist Eswar S. Prasad discusses China’s growing influence on the global economy and his new book “Gaining Currency: The Rise of the Renminbi,” Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. in 160 Mann Library. The Chats in the Stacks book talk is open to the public, with books available for purchase and signing and refreshments served.

The renminbi, China’s currency since 1949, could someday be a global currency to rival the euro and the Japanese yen. In his book, Prasad provides new perspectives on China’s prosperity and the renminbi’s role, and argues that the currency does not pose a serious challenge to the U.S. dollar's dominance.

A leading expert on international finance, Prasad is the Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. He holds the New Century Chair in International Economics at the Brookings Institution and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The talk is cosponsored by Mann Library, the Cornell Institute for China Economic Research and the Emerging Markets Institute.

Guitar quartet

The Cornell Concert Series presents the VIDA Guitar Quartet Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. in Barnes Hall Auditorium. General admission is $28, $17 for students, $26/$15 for Cornell staff and students, on sale at

The quartet plays arrangements ranging from traditional British folk songs to Bach and Gershwin. A pre-concert meet and greet with the artists is open to the public from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Loft, above the Carriage House Café on Stewart Avenue. Guitarists are encouraged to bring their instruments for informal advice from members of the quartet.

For more information or special accommodations, call 607-255-5144.

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