Smile Politely

U of I Library to host Moon Events set to illuminate Urbana-Champaign

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is collaborating with several local sponsors to offer a series of moon events this fall. An exhibition and event series dedicated to the moon will kick off at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library (346 Main Library, 1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana) on Friday, August 30, 2013.

At 3:00 p.m. on August 30, a lecture by Professor Simon J. James of Durham University, co-sponsored by the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, will open the exhibition.  “The Idea of a Planned World” lecture deals with The First Men in the Moon, an early 20th-century fictional lunar voyage by H.G. Wells.

The exhibition, Life on the Moon: Literary and Scientific Reflections, highlights the history of scientific and literary speculation about life on the moon. It includes books from the rare book collection at Illinois tracing the history of lunar speculation all the way back to Roman times. Also on display, three artifacts from the Apollo 16 mission, including a moon rock on loan from NASA, and two artifacts from Kennesaw State University. The exhibition will run from August 30 through December 13 (weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In addition, Curators Patrick Fadely and Marten Stromberg will give a tour of the exhibition on November 13 at 3:00 p.m.

Along with the exhibition, the event series, See You on the Moon, will feature a whole host of events including: a night reading at the Station Theatre in Urbana; storytelling at the Parkland Planetarium; an on-campus moon observation session by the Astronomy Department; WOLF (a performance art piece that is part of the Unreliable Bestiary series); a Moon-themed performance by the U of I Concert Jazz Band; a harvest moon festival sponsored by Orchard Downs and the Japan House; and an Art Exhibition at the Independent Media Center to take place during the Pygmalion Music Festival.

Sponsors include the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), the Center for Advanced Study, the Station Theatre, the Parkland Planetarium, the Asian-American Cultural Center, the Astronomy Department, the U of I Concert Jazz Band, the Pygmalion Music Festival, Orchard Downs, the Japan House, the Art Theatre, the Art + Design Department, the Independent Media Center, and the Iron Post.

More details, including event dates and times, are located at

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