Oct. 10, 1996
Vol. 16, No. 3

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    Ethics, opera, dinosaurs and all that (Chicago) jazz

    The history of Chicago jazz, our national fascination with the dinosaur and "What Illinois Meant to John Keats" are among the more than 30 session topics at the 17th annual Humanities Open House, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 26.

    The daylong extravaganza will feature members of the University's faculty and staff presenting a wide variety of free lectures, tours and performances exploring new and sometimes surprising research in world cultures, art, language, literature, music, history and more.

    Admission to all events is free, but registration is required. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, in Ida Noyes Hall and continues throughout the day. Early registration is recommended, as sessions usually fill up quickly.

    The Open House presentations will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the keynote lecture is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Presentations will be longer than in past years, allowing more time for questions and discussion.

    This year's keynote speaker will be Nicholas Rudall, Founding Director of Court Theatre and Associate Professor in the Humanities. Rudall will discuss the relationship of scholarship in the humanities to the illusive arts of the theater in his presentation "A Sisterhood of Mind and Heart."

    Other Humanities Open House highlights are listed below.

    For more information, call 702-4847.

    n Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Professor in Psychology, will explain his concept of "flow" when he reviews 30 years of research into the social and cultural conditions that explain the creative process.

    n A favorite Robert Frost poem will be revisited and a literary journey undertaken in " 'The Road Not Taken' Retaken, or, What It's Like Really to Read a Poem," presented by Richard Strier, the Frank L. Sulzberger Professor in English Language & Literature.

    n The Smart Museum of Art will conduct a special tour of the new exhibit "The Fragrance of Ink," examining six centuries of Korean literati painting.

    n William Schweiker, Associate Professor in the Divinity School, will explore whether ethics still matter in his presentation "Against the Skeptics: On Getting Real About Morality."

    n Deborah Gillaspie will speak on the history of Chicago jazz in her presentation "From Dreamland to Showcase: Jazz in Chicago, 1912-1996."

    n Verdi's revised La Traviata became his most popular opera -- after the failure of its premiere in 1853. Opera scholar Philip Gossett, Dean of the Humanities Division, will explain how this happened in his presentation "The Two Traviatas."

    n Herbert George, Associate Professor on the Committee for Art & Design and the University's sculptor-in-residence, will talk about some of the masterpieces on the Midway Plaisance when he conducts a tour of Lorado Taft's studio and sculpture, including Taft's Fountain of Time.

    n An evaluation of the dinosaur as a national obsession will be conducted by W. J. T. Mitchell, the Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor in English, in his lecture, "Dinosaurs Decoded: The Meaning of a Cultural Icon."

    n The courage and character of a queen will be revealed by Janel Mueller, the William Rainey Harper Professor in the College, when she analyzes Elizabeth I's speeches and how they shaped the all-male Parliament's conceptions of a female ruler.

    n James Chandler, Professor in English, will explain how expansion in the Midwest affected English Romanticism in his lecture "What Illinois Meant to John Keats."

    n Humanities Open House participants are also welcome to attend a lecture by Wayne Booth, the George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, at 2:45 p.m. in Mandel Hall. The lecture kicks off the 50th anniversary year of Continuing Studies' Basic Program. (See story on this page.)