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Things to Do, April 21-28, 2017

Media Contact

Daryl Lovell

Multilingual poetry celebration

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Language Resource Center will host a multilingual poetry reading and international dessert reception, Friday, April 21, from 4-8 p.m. in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art’s Hirsch Lecture Room and Lobby.

Organized by course coordinator Lisa Sansoucy, the readings will feature verse in more than two dozen languages, read by faculty from Cornell and other institutions, and graduate students and undergraduates from five colleges at Cornell. The event promotes awareness of the Shared Course Initiative (SCI), Cornell’s collaboration with Yale and Columbia universities to share instruction in less commonly taught languages via videoconference.

At 4:15 p.m., SCI students will read poems in modern Greek, Dutch, Romanian, Hungarian, Serbian, Polish, Bengali, Punjabi, Sinhala, Tamil, Wolof, Yoruba and Tibetan. After an intermission, readings at 5:45 p.m. will feature Hawaiian poetry, chant and dance performed by Sofia Lokelani Boucher ’19; and poems read in KiSwahili, Arabic, Amharic, Italian, Sanskrit, Urdu, Pali, Burmese, Mandarin, Old Church Slavonic, Russian and Finnish.

A reception with international desserts, food and drink follows, 7-8 p.m., with Bengali language (and doctoral) students Gargi Wable and Shilpa Sahoo performing classical Indian Mujra dance, and a performance by Cornell students in the Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth.

Asian drumming and dance

Yamatai, Cornell’s student taiko drumming ensemble, performs its seventh annual Pulse concert April 23 at 7 p.m. in Bailey Hall. Tickets are $10 in advance (recommended; the concert has sold out Bailey Hall the previous six years) at or from Yamatai members, $15 at the door. Yamatai explores the cultural origins, musical possibilities and dynamic contemporary adaptations of the traditional art of taiko, which originated in ancient Japan.

File photo
Yamatai, Cornell's Japanese taiko drumming ensemble, will stage its seventh annual Pulse concert April 23 in Bailey Hall.

And experience Chinese culture at Rhythms of China 2017, Saturday, April 22, at 3 p.m. in Bailey Hall, with Illuminations and Amber Dance Troupe. A journey through the history of China in color, movement and music, the event features traditional to contemporary dance. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

The Mainland China Student Organization offers authentic Chinese food and performances at Taste of Modern China, open to Cornell students, April 22, 7-11 p.m. in B21 Anabel Taylor Hall.

Student project showcase

More than 50 students will present their local, regional and international projects at Cornell’s fifth annual Community Engagement Showcase, April 24, 5-7 p.m. in the Willard Straight Memorial Room. It is open to the public.

The event includes poster presentations, a keynote by Community Foundation of Tompkins County CEO George Ferrari, and an awards ceremony honoring projects by students and community partners and the George D. Levy Engaged Faculty Award winner. A student panel on engaged learning experiences at Cornell features Lena Ransohoff ’17 (Cornell Sober Living Initiative), Jaylexia Clark ’19 (ILR High Roads Fellowship) and Treijon Johnson ’17 (Climate Change Awareness and Service Learning in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam). 

Activism in Chile

Raymond B. Craib discusses what drew people to anarchist ideas and activism in early 20th-century Chile in a Chats in the Stacks book talk, April 25 at 4:30 p.m. in 107 Olin Library.

Craib’s new book, “The Cry of the Renegade: Politics and Poetry in Interwar Chile,” describes a time when radicalized university students, workers and intellectuals gathered to talk, read and find common cause. A professor of history and director of the Latin American Studies Program, Craib is the author of “Cartographic Mexico: A History of State Fixations and Fugitive Landscapes.”

Free and open to the public, the talk (rescheduled from March 15) includes refreshments, and books available for purchase and signing.

Shadows and light

American avant-garde film pioneer Ken Jacobs brings his “Nervous Magic Lantern” to Cornell Cinema, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Willard Straight Theatre, with accompaniment by the Cornell Avant Garde Ensemble and several of Jacobs’ short films. Tickets are $7-$10 in advance, at; $8-$14 at the door.

Jacobs’ mysterious and mesmerizing performances of light and shadow are visually film-like but created without a camera, film or electronics, instead using light, fans, a spinning shutter and Jacobs’ own hands. Co-sponsored with the Cornell Council for the Arts, the Department of Music and the Department of Art, the program is supported in part by a New York State Council on the Arts grant administered by the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. 

Civic engagement lessons

Robert (Bobby) Hackett, president of the Bonner Foundation, will give a lecture, “Civic Pathways for Student Development and Social Justice,” April 26 at noon in 700 Clark Hall. It is part of the Engaged Speaker Series at Cornell and lunch will be provided; RSVP online.

Hackett will discuss shifts and trends in higher education, from the service-learning movement to the emergence of civic engagement, community-engaged learning and high-impact learning practices.

Futures of publishing

The Society for the Humanities hosts a discussion on “The Futures of Academic Publishing,” April 25 at 4:30 p.m. in A.D. White House. It is free and open to the public and followed by a reception.

Timothy Murray, professor of comparative literature and the society’s Taylor Family Director, will lead a discussion with two of the country’s most innovative directors of university publishing: Douglas Armato of the University of Minnesota Press and Dean J. Smith of Cornell University Press.

Both have led initiatives in electronic publishing, intra-university publishing and emergent formats for academic books and journals, projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The discussion will highlight the society’s sponsorship of alternative publishing formats, from listservs to blogs.

Lisa Russ Spaar reading

Poet and essayist Lisa Russ Spaar reads from her work April 27 at 4:30 p.m. in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall. A reception will follow in 258 Goldwin Smith Hall. The public reading is free as part of the Spring 2017 Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series, hosted by the Department of English Creative Writing Program.

Spaar has written or edited more than 10 books of poetry and criticism, including “Monticello in Mind: 50 Contemporary Poems on Jefferson” (2016) and “Orexia: Poems” (2017). A professor of English and creative writing, she directs the University of Virginia’s Area Program in Poetry Writing.

Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Poetry, The Best American Poetry series and Boston Review, and she has written about poetry for The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books and other publications. Her awards and honors include a Pushcart Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

History of Polish Jews

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, chief curator of the core exhibition at The Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, will give a lecture on “Materializing History: Time and Telos at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews,” April 27 at 5:15 p.m. in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art’s Hirsch Lecture Room.

Covering 1,000 years of history from medieval times to today, the core exhibition’s eight galleries each present a different chapter of the story of Polish Jews through images, artifacts, first-person accounts and interactive multimedia.

Free and open to the public, the talk is cosponsored by the University Lectures Committee and the Jewish Studies Program.

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