Smile Politely

Listen Up: January 2015

There are tons of events happening on campus this semester, so skip the cold weather and head indoors for some culture. Here are dozen academic events to pay particular attention to.

WHAT: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Events

WHEN: various times

WHERE: various locations

ABOUTThere are tons of MLK, Jr. Day events happening at UIUC, and the full calendar is available here. In particular, check out: 

  • “Realizing the Dream,” Jan. 21st from 7-9 p.m., 2025 Student Dining and Residential Programs Building (SDRP), 301 East Gregory Drive, Champaign: University of Illinois students who have participated in the spring break Civil Rights Pilgrimage will share with you their experiences on the trip as well as what they believe it taught them about current race relations in the US. The Civil Rights Pilgrimage is a 9 day trip to the South to learn about the Civil Rights Movement in the places history was made. The students will also talk about what the trip has inspired them to do to become change makers.
  • A special Krannert “Uncorked” Event, Jan. 22nd from 5-6:30 p.m., Krannert Center for the Performing Arts: A 10-piece jazz ensemble will present a program designed by University of Illinois doctoral student Reginald Chapman that combines jazz from the end of the Civil Rights Movement with other works to depict a story about what was taking place in music during this time.
  • Poverty Simulation, Jan. 23rd from 1-3 p.m., School of Social Work
    1010 West Nevada Street, Urbana: 
    The School of Social Work at U of I will be hosting a poverty simulation to help local community members and students to better understand the issues, hurdles, and roadblocks those living in poverty face. The simulation will allow for an opportunity for participants to debrief their experiences and how they can begin to tackle the challenge of poverty in Champaign County.


WHAT: Lecture: Beyond School Walls: Labor, Mobility, and Indian Education in Southern California, 1900-1940 

WHEN: January 21st at 3:30 p.m. 

WHERE: Asian American Studies Conference Room, 1208 W. Nevada St, Urbana

ABOUTThis lecture is by Kevin Whalen, a Chancellor Postdoctoral Fellow in the American Indian Studies program.


WHAT: EPOL Winter Lecture: The Practical Application of Organization Development in a Global Organization

WHEN: January 23rd at 11:30 a.m. 

WHERE: 42A Education Building

ABOUTThis lecture, by Ghazala Ovaice, will focus on Dr. Ovaice’s journey and evolution from University of Illinois Human Resource Development doctoral student to global organization development practitioner and leader.  She will provide insight regarding the association of organization development theory and practice from a practitioner’s standpoint. During the discussion Dr. Ovaice will integrate examples from her vast and expansive experience as a leader in a complex global organization.


WHAT: Exhibit Opening Celebration: East Meets Midwest: The Dawn of the China-Illinois Educational Exchange

WHEN: January 23rd at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana

ABOUT: This event features refreshments and gallery exploration in celebration of this special Central Core exhibit documenting the university’s early connections with China. University President Robert Easter will speak. This will be followed by a performance of His Excellency, Dr. Wu Tingfang: On America 1914, a dramatic reading by Department of Theatre grad student Xing Jianjun of selections from Dr. Wu’s writings on the United States, including his Commencement Address at the University of Illinois on June 10, 1908 and his extraordinary book, America Through the Spectacles of an Oriental Diplomat (1914).


WHAT: Afterglow: Nathaniel Banks and Friends

WHEN: January 24th at 9:30 p.m.

WHERE: Krannert Center, Stage 5

ABOUTThe smooth jazz from Nathaniel Banks and Friends is the perfect antidote for the chill of a winter’s night. Cozy up at Stage 5 for improvisations with Banks–a trumpeter and mainstay of the local music scene — and his collaborators.


WHAT: CAS/MillerComm Lecture: “GO: Organic Orchestra–Process and Prototype” by Adam Rudolph

WHEN: January 27th at 3 p.m.

WHERE: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana

ABOUT: A pioneering “world music” percussionist and composer at the forefront of cross-cultural music projects since the late 1970’s, Adam Rudolph discusses his research and performance experiences in various music cultures over the past 40 years, and how aspects of their cosmologies inspire and influence his creative process. By illustrating this artistic background, he offers an evolutionary construct of GO: Organic Orchestra, a concept of techniques and compositional strategies for conducted improvisation that provides the ability to uniquely develop large performance ensembles uniting a wide-range of musical disciplines.


WHAT: Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory Presents “What Next? The Question of the Boycott”

WHEN: January 26th at 4 p.m.

WHERE: Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom

ABOUTSpeakers include Ronald Bailey, Jodi Byrd, Lisa Cacho, Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Jessica Greenberg, Susan Koshy, and Anna Stenport.


WHAT: SocialFuse

WHEN: January 28th at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Krannert Center, Stage 5

ABOUTSocialFuse provides a platform for innovators with diverse skills to build teams that can make an idea become a reality. Students, faculty, and community members can present their concepts for projects or products and then network with like-minded entrepreneurs.


WHAT: Lecture: “Diagnosing Plague in Thirteenth-Century China: Medical Practitioners, Medical Terminology, and the Problem of Identifying a New Disease”

WHEN: January 29th at 4 p.m.

WHERE: 1090 Lincoln Hall

ABOUTA public lecture by Robert Hymes (H. W. Carpentier Professor of Oriental Studies, Columbia Univ.)


WHAT: The Black Death and Beyond: New Research at the Intersection of Science and the Humanities

WHEN: January 29th at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 606 S. Gregory

ABOUTA campus-wide discussion of the “Black Death” from humanist and scientific perspectives, marking the publication of the inaugural issue of the academic journal The Medieval Globe, sponsored by the UIUC Program in Medieval Studies (Carol Symes, UIUC History, Executive Editor).


WHAT: Spring 2015 Opening Reception at Krannert Art Museum

WHEN: January 29th at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Krannert Art Museum | All Galleries

ABOUT: Please join the Krannert Art Museum to celebrate the beginning of an exciting new season of art at KAM. There will be a private preview for museum members from 5-6 p.m. and our Public Opening Reception will begin at 6 pm with a welcome from the curators of the contemporary art exhibition MetaModern, Judith Hoos Fox and Ginger Gregg Duggan.


WHAT: Ragamala Dance Company: Song of the Jasmine

WHEN: January 29th at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Krannert Center, Tryon Festival Theatre

ABOUTThis inspired new work with live music delves into the concept of longing through the lenses of recollection, appeal, and total surrender. Guided by the rich poems of Tamil Bhakti poet Andal, “Song of the Jasmine” embodies the spiritual and the sensual that are the lifeblood of the Indian psyche.


We live near a major university and a community college. There are smart people that come here every week to talk to the general public about interesting topics. Here’s a sampling of the talks and events you can find in the not-so-ivy-covered buildings near you. These events are free and will fill your brain with yummy knowledge (and sometimes will fill your stomach with free eats).    

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