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Things to Do, May 5-12, 2017

Media Contact

Rebecca Valli

Upstate thriller reading

J. Robert Lennon, professor of English and creative writing, begins a book tour for his new novel “Broken River,” a psychological thriller set in central New York, with a reading May 5 at 4 p.m. at Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca. Free and open to the public, Lennon’s reading is part of the eighth annual Spring Writes Literary Festival.

J. Robert Lennon

Lennon has published seven other novels and two short story collections. Author Ben Winters calls the new book “a novel with multiple identities: it’s a ghost story, a crime story, a coming-of-age story, a story about love and family and fiction itself … they intertwine as seamlessly as the fates of Lennon’s characters. As good as fiction gets.” 

More Spring Writes

Events during Ithaca’s Spring Writes Literary Festival also include The Cherry Arts’ immersive walking headphone play “Storm Country,” written by performing and media arts faculty members Nick Salvato and Aoise Stratford, May 4-7; and a presentation and Q&A on the Cornell Race and Empathy Project, May 5 at 5:30 p.m. at The History Center, 401 E. State St., with associate professors of human development Corinna Loeckenhoff and Anthony Burrow and associate professor of information science Francois Guimbretiere.

Created in collaboration with the Intergroup Dialogue Project for the Cornell Council for the Arts 2016 Biennial, “Abject/Object Empathies,” the work features a listening booth (in Human Ecology Commons through May 30) to record, archive and share Cornellians’ stories and experiences evoking racial empathy or understanding across differences in race or ethnicity. A model of the booth and an online interface will be on display May 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The History Center.

Cornell Race and Empathy Project
Faculty collaborators will discuss the Cornell Race and Empathy Project May 5 at The History Center and a model of the project's campus listening booth will be on display May 6.

Sponsored by the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County, the festival features more than 90 regional writers and 35 events.

Mineral memories

In 1944, Emma Jonas was transported from Berlin to a Nazi concentration camp at Theresienstadt, where she was forced to work processing muscovite, a form of mica used in the German war industry. After Jonas died in 1971, her daughter found an envelope containing pieces of the mineral.

In “Muscovite,” May 5 at 4:30 p.m. in 165 McGraw Hall, anthropologist Hugh Raffles reflects on this story and why Jonas, his great aunt, might have chosen to keep some of the material from that time in her life.

His talk, from a forthcoming book of essays about “elemental things,” is the Department of Anthropology’s inaugural Bernd Lambert Memorial Lecture and is open to the public. Raffles is a professor at the New School for Social Research whose writing has appeared in Granta, The New York Times, Natural History, Orion, “The Best American Essays” and other publications. 

Music and art

Musician and songwriter Miss Angie Beeler will lead families in a musical experience connecting with art and soundscapes in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art galleries, May 6 from 10 a.m. to noon. The Art-Full Family Days program is recommended for children of preschool age and up. It is free for museum members and $5 per family for nonmembers.

Beeler teaches music and performance skills workshops for children in the Ithaca area at Miss Angie’s Music. She also will perform (as Angela Marion) May 6 at 7 p.m. at Lot 10 in a Cosmic Joke Collective showcase, and in a release show for her CD “Of Truth and Lies,” May 25 at 8 p.m. at Casita Del Polaris in Ithaca. 

Chorus, Orchestra concert

The Cornell Symphony Orchestra completes a 2016-17 season featuring works by women composers with a concert performance of Lili Boulanger’s “Psalm 130 (Du fond de l’abime),” Saturday, May 6, at 7 p.m. in Bailey Hall. The concert will be webcast.

The choral orchestral work, composed by Boulanger at age 22 in memory of her father and as a response to WWI, will feature the Cornell University Chorus and Glee Club and soprano Tamara Acosta, a voice instructor in the Department of Music. The program of major works also features Jean Sibelius’ one-movement Symphony No. 7, and the Chorus and Glee Club performing “Quatre Petites Prieres de Saint Francois d’Assise” by Francis Poulenc and “Dieu, qui la fait bon regarder” by Claude Debussy.

Co-sponsored by the International Students Union, the concert is free and open to the public. 

International education speaker

Mohamed Abdel-Kader will give a talk, “Passport to the Future: Why International Education and Languages Matter,” May 10 at 4:30 p.m. in Kaufmann Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall. Part of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies’ Distinguished Speaker Series, the event is free and open to the public.

Abdel-Kader served during the Obama administration as deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education’s international and foreign language education office, encouraging and promoting the study of foreign languages and the cultures of other countries by elementary, secondary and postsecondary students. He is the executive director of the Stevens Initiative, a virtual exchange program at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., engaging young people in the U.S., North Africa and the Middle East.

His talk is cosponsored by the Southeast Asia Program and South Asia Program at Cornell. 

‘Parallel Time’

Palestinian playwright Bashar Murkus discusses his disturbingly humorous play “Parallel Time,” about a group of Palestinian political prisoners in an Israeli jail, at a staged reading May 10 at 7 p.m. in the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts’ Film Forum. It is free and open to the public

Translated and directed by Rebekah Maggor, assistant professor of performing and media arts, the reading is performed by Godfrey Simmons, Honey Crawford, Jeffrey Guyton, Seth Soulstein, Malama Sokoni, Allen Porterie and Mwangi Thuita. The stage manager is Laura Dera.

Murkus is a founding ensemble member of the Khashabi Theatre in Haifa. The event is cosponsored with the Department of Near Eastern Studies and received grant support from the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. 

Now in 3-D

Cornell Cinema debuts its new Dolby 3-D projection system in Willard Straight Theatre with screenings of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” May 12 at 9:30 p.m. and May 16 at 7:15 p.m. Advance tickets go on sale May 8.

The fourth film in the postapocalyptic Mad Max action franchise is a test drive for the new system, made possible by donors to a crowdfunding campaign. It will be featured in a semester-long series of 3-D films in the fall.

Cornell Cinema’s May 10-20 schedule includes recent three-time Academy Award winner “Moonlight,” May 10, 12 and 13. A semester-ending screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is Wednesday, May 10 at 9:40 p.m. (rescheduled from April 28), with a $5 admission price, free snacks and a drawing for a shower caddy door prize. 

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