Smile Politely

Speakers in C-U, Mar. 15 – 21

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.

WHAT: “Yue Minjun Talks About His Work,” a talk by Yue Minjun, contemporary Chinese painter

WHEN: Monday, March 15 @ 5:30 p.m.

WHERE:  Krannert Art Museum Auditorium, 500 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign

Minjun’s piece Execution is pictured above.

From the event announcement: “Yue Minjun, resident of Beijing, has emerged as one of the preeminent artists of the Cynical Realism movement in contemporary Chinese painting. His works are instantly recognizable by the characteristic laughing man, each a self-portrait of Yue Minjun, depicted in a variety of guises and in virtually all of his works. Immediately humorous and sympathetic, Yue Minjun’s paintings offer a light-hearted approach to philosophical inquiry and contemplation of existence.”

WHAT: Hope in the Motor City,” Ashley Atkinson, Greening of Detroit Program Director

WHEN: Wednesday, March 17 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE:  Deloitte Auditorium, Business Instructional Facility, Sixth and Gregory, Champaign

Detroit’s planting trees and starting community gardens.


WHAT: Sustainability seminar – Sustainable Benefits of Green Roofs,” William Retzlaff, Assoc. Professor & Chair of Biological Sciences – SIUE; Susan Morgan, Professor & Chair of Civil Engineering – SIUE; Serdar Celik, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering – SIUE

WHEN: Thursday, March 18 @ 12 noon

WHERE: Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, One E. Hazelwood Dr., Champaign (in South Research Park)

From the event announcement: “Green, or vegetated, roofs in the U.S. are poised to provide significant economic, environmental, and aesthetic benefits. The Green Roof Environmental Evaluation Network (G.R.E.E.N.) is a collaborative green roof research initiative headquartered at SIUE. Some of G.R.E.E.N.s extensive research results on stormwater and thermal impacts will be presented.”


WHAT: Life-Creation or Parody: Symbolist Constructions of Gender in Life and Literature,” Colleen McQuillen, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Slavic and Baltic Languages and Literatures

WHEN: Tuesday, March 16 @ 12 noon


Dr. McQuillenis working on a book titled The Russian Modernist Masquerade, which examines masquerade in the context of Russian cultural experience.


WHAT: The Natures of the Beast: On Honeybees and the Biopolitics of Terror,” Jake Kosek, Associate Professor of Geography, University of California, Berkeley

WHEN: Tuesday, March 16 @ 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Levis Faculty Center, Third Floor

With a title like that, some further explanation is required, but unfortunately the event announcement didn’t come through. His Berkeley page reveals that his recent research includes “a social political history of the swarm, exploring how the flow of knowledge between bees and human collective behavior has remade discourses of modern citizenship and populations.”  So there you go; this one might be fun.

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