Things to Do, March 3-10, 2017

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Daryl Lovell
Natalie Portman
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Natalie Portman stars in “A Tale of Love and Darkness” March 7 at Cornell Cinema, as part of a Near Eastern studies film series Tuesdays in March.

The cats come back

Cornell Cinema hosts its third annual Cat Video Festival program March 3 at 7 p.m. and March 4 at 2 p.m. in Willard Straight Theatre. The event includes cat trivia and prizes, cat masks and kitty candy, and “Name That Kitty Tune” with Bruce Kornreich, associate director for education and outreach at the Cornell Feline Health Center, a co-sponsor with local kids’ store Cat's Pajamas.

Advance tickets are recommended, available at CornellCinemaTickets. Tickets are $6-$9 March 3; $5.50 general, $4.50 for kids age 12 and under March 4. Ten percent of the proceeds will go to the SPCA of Tompkins County.

The festival is emceed by Leah Shafer ’94, M.A. ’99, Ph.D. ’08, a media and society professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges who has researched and written about the internet cat video phenomenon. The program of short videos is curated by Will Braden for the Walker Art Center.

Also at Cornell Cinema: Senior lecturer Nava Scharf introduces “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” starring Natalie Portman and based on the memoirs of Israeli writer Amos Oz, March 7 at 7 p.m., kicking off a “Four Films from the Near East” series with Near Eastern studies faculty on Tuesdays in March. 

Young Person’s Concert

The Cornell Symphony Orchestra holds its third annual Young Person’s Concert, March 5 at 3 p.m. in Bailey Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

Children of all ages are welcome to attend the concert, and can meet members of the orchestra and try out an instrument at 2 p.m., at an instrument petting zoo sponsored by Hickeys Music Center.

The concert features “Strange Sounds and Explosions Worldwide for Orchestra” by guest composer Tonia Ko, DMA ’16; and works by Richard Strauss, Jean Sibelius, Dmitri Shostakovich, Joan Tower and Morten Lauridsen.

The one-hour concert program will include brass ensemble pieces and two concertos, with featured soloists: clarinetist Richard Faria and cellist Irene Jeong ’19, winner of the 13th Cornell concerto competition.

‘Tahrir Tales’

The Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA) presents a reading and panel discussion of assistant professor Rebekah Maggor’s new book, “Tahrir Tales: Plays from the Egyptian Revolution,” March 6 at 4:45 p.m. in the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts’ Film Forum, followed by a reception. The event is free and open to the public.

Offering grassroots perspectives on the jubilation, terror, hope and heartbreak of mass uprising and political revolution, the 10 plays collected in the book trace events that unfolded in Egypt from the last years of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, which ended in 2011, through military leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s ascendance to the presidency in 2014. Maggor co-edited and co-translated the book with Mohammed Albakry.

The event features performances by PMA senior lecturer Carolyn Goelzer and students Priscilla Olympia ’18, Michael Southworth ’18 and Mwangi Thuita ’17. The panel includes Near Eastern studies faculty members Deborah Starr, associate professor of modern Arabic and Hebrew literature and film; and Ziad Fahmy, associate professor of modern Middle East history.

Ambiguous surfaces

How is it that architecture comes to appear? What is the relationship between how it is made and how it is perceived externally, as skin? Contemporary architectural practice and production is still, in many ways, the inheritor of a discipline facing “a crisis of styles,” Mohsen Mostafavi says.

Mostafavi, dean of Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning from 2004 to 2007, will discuss how to address these questions anew, and the role of architectural surfaces, in a public lecture, “The Ambiguity of the Surface,” March 7 at 4:30 p.m. in the Klarman Hall auditorium. A reception will follow in the A.D. White House.

Mostafavi is the 2016-17 Society for the Humanities Senior Scholar in Residence. The dean and the Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, he is an architect, author and educator whose work focuses on urbanization and on the interface between technology and aesthetics. His books include “Architecture is Life,” “On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time,” “Ecological Urbanism” and “In the Life of Cities.”

Douglas Mao, new modernist

Douglas Mao of Johns Hopkins University will give the annual Wendy Rosenthal Gellman Lecture on Modern Literature, March 9 at 4:30 p.m. in Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall. It is free and open to the public and presented by the Department of English. Mao will offer a seminar for graduate students March 10.

Mao is a leading figure in new modernist studies, an approach that emphasizes the social and cultural contexts from which modern literature springs. He taught at Cornell from 2002-07. His talk, “Utopia at Fifty,” will examine the complex opposition between two forms of utopian imagining, one affiliated with an ideal of authenticity of experience, the other propelled by a form of liberal skepticism about that ideal.

“Doug’s work on figures like Virginia Woolf, Wallace Stevens, James Joyce and W.H. Auden has broken important new ground in thinking about how literature represents and responds to material conditions, objects and environments,” said Roger Gilbert, professor and chair of English. “Doug is one of the most engaging and lucid speakers I know, and a colleague many of us still miss.”

A past president of the Modernist Studies Association and 2004 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship holder, he is the author of “Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production” (1998) and “Fateful Beauty: Aesthetic Environments, Juvenile Development, and Literature 1860-1960” (2008); co-editor of “Bad Modernisms” (2006); and editor of the Longman Cultural Edition of E.M. Forster’s “Howards End” (2009). He is working on a study of utopia considered as a work of arrangement.

Karan Casey concert

Irish singer Karan Casey and her band will perform on campus Saturday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Alice Statler Auditorium, in a benefit concert presented by the Ithaca Catholic Worker.

There is a $20 suggested donation. Advance tickets are available from Homespun Boutique and Angry Mom Records on the Ithaca Commons, and online at TicketLeap. Ticket purchases and family rate information are also available by calling 607-279-8303.

Casey will be performing with Niall and Caoimhin Vallely and Robbie Overson. Proceeds will support the Catholic Worker’s efforts to end what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism.”

In her own words, Casey is devoted to “singing the anti-colonial songs, writing the love songs, doing the compassionate gigs ... for the immigrants around the world and against injustice. We need to get out there and make the world a better place. Stay strong, argue with your right-wing cousins and make a change.” 


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