Smile Politely

Listen Up: March 2015

There are tons of film screenings, lectures, and concerts happening on both of our fair campuses in March. Here are a dozen academic events to keep you busy.

WHAT: VOICE Reading Series: New Poetry and Fiction from Creative Writing Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

WHEN: March 5th at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Krannert Art Museum Rosann Gelvin Noel Gallery

ABOUT: This month’s reading features poetry and fiction by Alison Syring, Michael Hurley, and Nafissa Thompson-Spires.


WHAT: Science Talk: Genetically Modified Plants

WHEN: March 6th at 7 p.m.

WHERE: William M. Staerkel Planetarium, Parkland College

ABOUT: These days, the social media is abuzz with discussion about Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs. From farm to fork, genetically modified plants do have a major role in agricultural food production. The speaker will highlight common fears about GM plants; offer facts to overcome those fears; and include key topics in human health, environment, economics, and plant nutrition.


WHAT: Illinois Modern Ensemble

WHEN: March 7th at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Foellinger Great Hall

ABOUT: This concert features new works by Philipp Blume and Matthias Spahlinger.


WHAT: Lecture and discussion: Civility in the Jewish Tradition

WHEN: March 9th at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Alice Campbell Alumni Center

ABOUT: In response to the events surrounding Steven Salaita’s firing, Martin Kavka will give a lecture on civility in the Jewish tradition.


WHAT: Music, History & Literature Symposium: “1915: Music, Memory, and the Great War”

WHEN: March 10th, all day

WHERE: Krannert Art Museum Auditorium and Hood Classroom

ABOUT: Organized by Gayle Sherwood Magee and Christina Bashford in the School of Music, “1915: Music, Memory, and the Great War” will take as its starting point musical settings of the iconic poem “In Flanders Fields” (1915).  This two-day symposium brings together international  scholars working on music, history, and literature to explore creative responses to World War I in Britain, France, Canada, and the United States.  Topics embrace contemporary reactions to the conflict through musical composition and performance, as well as the impact of legacy of the war on  recorded sound media and film.


WHAT: Lecture: Taking a Scientific Approach to Science Education

WHEN: March 10th at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Auditorium, National Center for Supercomputing Applications

ABOUT: Guided by experimental tests of theory and practice, science has advanced rapidly in the past 500 years. Guided primarily by tradition and dogma, science and engineering education meanwhile has remained largely medieval. Research on how people learn is now revealing much more effective ways to teach and evaluate learning than what is in use in the traditional science class. The combination of this research with information technology is setting the stage for a new approach to teaching and learning that can provide the relevant and effective science education for all students that is needed for the 21st century.


WHAT: Lecture: “Islam and Violence: Three Major Issues”

WHEN: March 10th at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Plym Auditorium, Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, 611 East Loredo Taft Dr, Champaign

ABOUT: Mohsen Kadivar is a philosopher, theologian and an Iranian dissident who has been in exile since 2008, and visiting professor of Islamic studies at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina, US). Born in 1959 in Iran, he studied at the Islamic seminary at Qom, earning a certificate of Ijtihad (highest degree in Islamic religious tradition). He received his PhD in Islamic Philosophy and Theology from Tarbiate Modarress University in Tehran. His main intellectual interests and topics of publication include: human rights and democracy in Islam, classical and modern Shi’a theology and legal theories, Shi’a political thought, classical Islamic philosophy, and modern Qur’anic studies. Kadivar has published eight books as sole author, and seven more as co-author and editor in Persian and Arabic.


WHAT: Film screening: Tango ton Xristougennon

WHEN: March 11th at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge, Foreign Languages Building

ABOUT: This is the story of two Greek families, named Delafrangas and Bisbikides. The former family is very wealthy & lucky, the latter very poor and continually struck by fate. Poor but honest Martha is in love with Giakoumis, a young builder and bouzouki organist, but all her dreams fall apart when posh Tzela “steals” the love of her beloved one… A couple of flash backs, following their families roots back to WW2 and the Turkish domination, and a hidden secret will unfold the story’s ending…


WHAT: Film screening: The Last Elvis/ El ultimo Elvis

WHEN: March 13th at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge, 707 South Mathews Ave

ABOUT: This film is part of an ongoing Argentinean Film Series.


WHAT: Lecture: “Place and Time: Objects and History from the Native American Art Collection in the Spurlock Museum”

WHEN: March 15th at 3 p.m.

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

ABOUT: This talk and gallery tour will view Native American art objects and material culture as historical sources, ones that reflect diversity, constancy and change in the Native past, as well as special relationships between people and place in the Americas.


WHAT: Artist Talk and Demonstration: “Japanese Paper: Beyond Substrate”

WHEN: April 2nd at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Krannert Art Museum Asian Gallery

ABOUT: As part of the KAM exhibition “With the Grain: Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Postwar Years”, Krannert Art Museum presents and Artist Talk and Demonstration “Japanese Paper: Beyond Substrate” featuring hand papermaking specialist Lee Running, Associate Professor of Sculpture and Drawing at Grinnell College


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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