Stasis & Change Series

Spring 2016 - Register for events here

Dr. Temple Grandin "Different Kinds of Minds"
Tuesday, February 16, 2016, 7 p.m. DPAC

Dr. Temple Grandin, born in Boston in 1947, was diagnosed with autism as a child and went on to pursue work in psychology and animal science. She has become a leading advocate for autistic communities and has written books and provided consultation on the humane treatment of animals.

Dr. Grandin's talk explores how different kinds of minds -- those shaped by different learning styles, different disciplines, or more profoundly by neurological difference -- can offer new opportunities for problem solving, boosting creativity and just plain getting things done. For Dr. Grandin, understanding different kinds of minds has never stopped with the human, but has always included the ways animals think. It was this empathetic line of inquiry which led her to discover her career in animal husbandry.

Historian Graham Peck, "Stephen A. Douglas and the Fate of American Democracy" - Documentary screening and discussion
Monday, March 7, 2016, 4:30 to 6:15 p.m., Heineman Ecumenical Center

The focal point of Professor Peck’s visit will be the screening of his hour-long documentary film "Stephen A. Douglas and the Fate of American Democracy" followed by a 45 minute discussion of the issues broached by the film. This film, which is slated to air on the Chicago PBS affiliate WTTW in February 2016, traces the life of the famous antebellum Illinois political rival to Abraham Lincoln. The film was written, directed, and produced by Peck, who is Professor of History at Saint Xavier University. It began as a class project, and was completed with contributions from historians, students, reenactors, and artists eager to create an exhibit for the Douglas Tomb State Historic Site. The film raises important questions about American democracy, but it also underscores the degree to which the production and consumption of history is a shared enterprise...The film is also an excellent vehicle to explore the intersection of arts and ideas in a liberal arts institution. Not only was the completed film the product of collaboration between an historian and an artist, but the visuals themselves reflect a number of artistic forms, including dozens of 19th century paintings, lithographs, and line drawings. The use of such images to shape historical understanding, including how the images are moved on the screen, departs sharply from standard historical practice, which emphasizes the formulation of argument from texts. Films are typically designed to evoke emotion rather than to develop argument, with visual and aural communication supplanting logic to a significant degree. Correspondingly, films cannot present “facts” in the same way as an historian would in print, raising issues about how truth is communicated in different liberal arts disciplines.

Chips, Pipes/Bits, Bytes - AB Duo Concert
Thursday, March 10, 2016, 7 p.m., DPAC

Known for their unique and imaginative concert programming (varying wildly in style and instrumentation from djembe and contrabass flute to Nintendo Gameboy and drum set), A/B Duo has been delighting their audiences all over the United States since 2013.

At Framingham State University, A/B Duo will perform new and old compositions written for them. There's the highly conceptual "Building" for various flutes and percussion by Ken Ueno. "Building" explores the symbolic and literal deconstructed contrabass flute via bottles, pipes, and contrabass flute parts. "Echoloquacious" is a chiptune and video game music inspired piece that is often performed with a custom video game projected behind the musicians. This video game was made by A/B Duo flutist Meerenai Shim to accompany the piece written by Matthew Joseph Payne. The Duo will find a student volunteer to practice playing the game before the concert so that the game player will be confident that she will be able to successfully complete the game on the first try. The gamer and A/B Duo will perform the piece together.

Brian Laidlaw, Troubadour Poet
Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 4:30 p.m., Heineman Ecumenical Center

Poet-songwriter Brian Laidlaw reads and performs material from his recent releases, AMORATORIUM (Paper Darts Press, 2014) and THE STUNTMAN (Milkweed Editions, 2015), each of which includes a collection of poems and a companion album of music. An open Q&A, and informal discussion of the changing meaning of the term "lyric," will follow the performance.

Gregory O’Malley, “Beyond the Middle Passage: Slave Trading from the Caribbean to North America, 1619-1807”
Thursday, March 24, 2016, 4:30 p.m., Heineman Ecumenical Center

Few Americans are aware that hundreds of thousands of enslaved survivors of the Middle Passage were forced to endure additional journeys after crossing the Atlantic.  These forced intra-American migrations of several hundred thousand enslaved people have profound implications for understanding commerce, the British Empire, and the development of American slavery and American society.  O’Malley will discuss, among other topics, colonial New Englanders’ roles as both traders and purchasers of slaves.

Indian Music and Dance
Monday, March 28, 2016, 7 p.m., McCarthy Center Forum

The music and dance of North and South India represent stasis in that they are firmly rooted in traditions going back over 2000 years, and are inextricably linked to ancient Hindu practices (although they can be appreciated and enjoyed as purely artistic products). However, these performance genres also embody change, as they continue to evolve today in response to the effects of modernity and the incorporation of new aesthetic and theoretical concepts.

Step Afrika!
Tuesday, April 5, 2016, 7 p.m., DPAC

Step Afrika is a dance troupe that specializes in traditional African step dancing. Through their performance, audiences learn about traditional African dance, music, costume, and culture. Step Afrika also serves as the cultural ambassador of the U.S. State Department.