Smile Politely

Listen Up: Sept. 17–23

WHAT: Digital Divide Lectures,” Annie Clay, the director of the Help Book Online, a human services directory for Champaign County; Barry Ackerson, associate dean and director of the Master of Social Work program at Illinois

WHEN: Wednesday, September 19 @ 11 a.m.

WHERE: Henderson Room of the Library and Information Science Building, 501 E. Daniel St., Champaign

From the press release: “Overcoming the disparity of the “digital divide” — the gap between people who have access to modern technology and those who do not — is the subject of a lecture series sponsored by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois. An annual event begun in 2008, the series begins Sept. 19 (Wednesday) and will be recorded; video will be posted online two days after each lecture. An archive of past lectures is available at Kate Williams, a professor of library and information science and a co-host of the program, said the collection serves as a portrait of Champaign-Urbana’s transition into the information age. “The advances can be celebrated and the gaps have to be addressed by us working together as a campus and a community,” she said. This year, the series will include educators, museum directors, ministers, city officials, librarians, lawyers and a fire chief.

WHAT: Carr Reading Series,” Antonya Nelson and Robert Boswell

WHEN: Wednesday, September 19 @ 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Illini Union Bookstore Authors Corner

From the event announcement: “Antonya Nelson and Robert Boswell, who have 11 novels, nine short-story collections, a fiction-writing guide and a mantel full of awards between them — will open the Fall 2012 Carr Reading Series on Sept. 19 (Wednesday) at Author’s Corner in the Illini Union Bookstore. Nelson and Boswell, who are married, share the Cullen Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston.”


WHAT: Memory Models in Russia’s Protest Movement: A Digital Perspective on Cultural Microhistory,” Alexander Etkind, University of Cambridge

WHEN: Thursday, September 20 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE: 160 English Building, 608 South Wright Street, Urbana


WHAT: Everybody Registered: Fighting Back Against the War on Voting,” Dan Johnson, Lobbyist, Election Attorney, and Adjunct Professor of Law at John Marshall Law School

WHEN: Friday, September 21 @ 12 noon

WHERE: University YMCA, 1001 S Wright St.

From the event announcement: “This lecture is part of the University YMCA’s fall series, Beyond the Rhetoric: Key Issues in the 2012 Elections. This semester’s free, public lectures will feature expert views on vital policy questions and shed light on local, state, and national races as they unfold. Lectures take place September 14–November 2, every Friday at 12 noon. All lectures are free and open to the public. Lunch available ($6.25/3.00 student).”


You 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. Perhaps you were not aware of this fact, or were overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities for possible enlightenment. If that’s the case, Smile Politely understands and is here to help. Here are several events going on in town this week. Check out one or more of them if you have time. Get your learn on, as they say, and join the cognoscenti. It’s free, you know. Plus, sometimes there’s free food, too!

If you have a community event, speaker, or film event that you’d like to see featured on Listen Up!, send the event information to joelgillespie [at] smilepolitely [dot] com by Friday the week prior to the event. Listen Up! runs on Mondays when classes are in session.

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