UC Berkeley Press Release
Coming attractions for spring 2008: Global warming, rebellion, and redemption
(Carol Rosegg photo),
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BERKELEY – A lineup of events that will challenge the mind, entertain the senses, and depart from the conventional fills this semester's calendar at Berkeley.
Several events challenge us to address the perils facing the planet, starting with a January 31 global warming conference. The relationship of religion, politics, and terrorism will be explored in a number of events. Anxiety of an altogether different sort – fears that the Web threatens our culture – will be debated. And, on the lighter side, an open-hearted young boy reminds grown-ups about "matters of consequence" in a San Francisco Opera production.
The following is a highly subjective shortlist, chosen with help from staff across campus, of events of general interest. Details may change, and events will be added, so visit the Critic's Choice website daily to stay informed. (Please notify us of any corrections/updates.)
Global Warming and Energy
Berkeley has a long and rich history of pioneering knowledge and action on the most urgent issues, and climate change is no exception. "Focus the Nation — Global Warming Solutions for America" is an all-day symposium consisting of faculty presentations, panel discussions, and student-led breakout sessions. Berkeley will be among more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the country holding "Focus the Nation" events on the same day (Thursday, Jan. 31, 8:15 a.m., International House). The effects of global warming on evolution are explored in "Global Climate Change and its Influence on Evolution," (Saturday, Feb. 9, 2050 Valley Life Sciences Bldg.), which is part of a week-long celebration of Darwin's birthday. The conversation about sustainable solutions to meet the world's growing energy requirements resumes with the "2008 UC Berkeley Energy Symposium: Leadership at the Nexus of Energy Science, Policy & Business" (Friday, March 7, 8 a.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union).
Dance and Theater
Eco-problems will be explored in a less conventional setting in the re-mounting of Bay Area choreographer Kim Epifano's "Melt", one of the Berkeley Dance Project's works. Originally commissioned for students of the University of San Francisco and UC San Diego in 2007, "Melt" considers the implications of global warming and environmental change on bodies, cultures, and consciousness (Friday, April 18, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Playhouse).
Cal Performances' spring dance program includes brilliantly choreographed Russian folk dances by the Moiseyev Dance Company (Friday-Sunday, Feb. 8-10, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall) and the Tchaikovsky Perm Ballet and Orchestra with guest artists Natalia Makarova's "Swan Lake." Makarova, who for many years thrilled the ballet world as the preeminent Odette/Odile, conceived, directed, and choreographed this production of "Swan Lake," in combination with the classic choreography of Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and Sir Frederick Ashton (Friday-Sunday, March 28-30, Zellerbach Hall).
Founded by conductor Thomas Dausgaard, the 38-member Swedish Chamber Orchestra will perform works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, and others (Sunday, April 6, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). Our very own UC Symphony will perform Bartok, Barber, Chausson, and Schoenberg (Friday-Saturday, Feb. 29-March 1, 8 p.m., Hertz Hall) and Ravel, Strauss, and new music by contemporary composers Edmund Campion and Jean Ahn (Friday-Saturday, May 9-10, Hertz Hall).
West African chanteuse and master of languages Angélique Kidjo returns to Cal Performances (Friday, March 14, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). Kidjo sings in French, English, and her native Fon/Yoruba.
Other vocal music events around campus include the UC Choral Ensembles' annual A Cappella Against AIDS Concert (Friday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m., 155 Dwinelle) and a musical celebration of African-American history by the University Gospel Choir (Sunday, Feb. 24, 8 p.m. Hertz Hall).
The Townsend Center for the Humanities presents pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher in conversation with Anthony Cascardi, director of the Townsend Center and professor of comparative literature (Thursday, April 3, 7 p.m., Berkeley Art Museum, Museum Theater, 2621 Durant Ave). Overcoming decades of seemingly insurmountable physical challenges, Fleisher has been playing with both hands again for the past several seasons, and recently made his first two-handed recording in 40 years: the critically acclaimed "Two Hands."
The immortal jazz tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins makes a rare appearance at Cal Performances (Thursday, April 3, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). Rollins first recorded in 1949 and today, he is one of the few surviving icons from a golden era of jazz that will probably never be equaled.
(Emmanuel Valette photo),
Cal Performances presents the West Coast premiere of Academy Award-winning composer Rachel Portman's "The Little Prince," based on the classic children's story. Cal Performances and the San Francisco Opera join forces to present this production directed by Francesca Zambello, sung in English, and set with whimsical and captivating staging (Friday-Sunday, May 2-4 and 9-11, Zellerbach Hall).
The Theater, Dance & Performance Studies department in conjunction with the Classics department presents a production of the Greek tragedy "The Bacchae," directed by the founder of the Aurora Theater, Barbara Oliver (Feb. 29-March 9, Zellerbach Playhouse). A panel discussion "Classics on the Contemporary Stage" will precede the performance (Friday, Feb. 29, 4 p.m., Zellerbach Playhouse).
Although he is not part of the local theater scene, Canada's director/writer Robert Lapage has been making regular appearances in the Bay Area in recent years. Lepage returns to Cal Performances to present his latest one-man production, "The Andersen Project," based on the life of Hans Christian Andersen, featuring Yves Jacques (Wednesday-Sunday, May 28-June 1, Zellerbach Playhouse).
Many people question the hype around Web 2.0, as exemplified by FaceBook and Wikipedia, and have different ideas about what's significant, trivial, or irrelevant. Andrew Keen, author of the "Cult of the Amateur" and critic of the Internet, will debate Paul Duguid, professor of information science, on "Is the Web a Threat to Our Culture?" (Wednesday, March 19, 4 p.m., 110 South Hall). Other School of Information events include Henry Jenkins, co-director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and professor of humanities, on "Combating the Participation Gap: Why New Media Literacy Matters" (Wednesday, Feb. 6, 4 p.m., 110 South Hall), and Helen Nissenbaum, professor of media, culture, and communications and faculty fellow of the Law Institute at New York University, who will discuss "Privacy in Context" (Wednesday, April 2, 4 p.m., 110 South Hall).
Also on the information/new media forefront, the Haas School of Business presents a series of speakers including Randy Nelson, dean of Pixar University (Feb. 28, 12:30 p.m. Wells Fargo Room, Haas School of Business). Haas is also hosting the day-long "Women in Leadership Conference" (Saturday, March 1, Haas School of Business).
International House's program on Sources of Information in a Global Age continues this semester with a talk by Qiang Xio, director of the Berkeley China Project, on "China's Information Revolution" (Thursday, Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m., Home Room, International House).
Politics, Religion, and Human Rights
A series of lectures presented by the Religion, Politics and Globalization Program, the Institute of International Studies and the Institute of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies explores the roots of religious extremism and our reactions to its manifestations. Based on firsthand interviews with activists from al Qaeda to the Christian militia, Mark Juergensmeyer, director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies and professor of sociology and religious studies at UC Santa Barbara, explores why religion is part of the contemporary rise of rebellious political movements around the world in "Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State" (Thursday, Feb. 7, Noon, Geballe Room, Stephens Hall). Stephen Holmes, professor of law at New York University, delves into the causes of the catastrophic turn in American policy at home and abroad since 9/11 in "The Matador's Cape: America's Reckless Response to Terror" (Thursday, Feb. 14, 4 p.m., Toll Room, Alumni House). Kateri Carmolaon, author of "Private Security Contractors and New Wars" and professor at Middlebury College, addresses the ambiguities of the growing use of paramilitary forces in "Private Military Companies and New Wars: Risk, Law & Ethics" (Tuesday, April 1, Noon, Women's Faculty Club Lounge). Montgomery McFate, cultural anthropologist and defense analyst, emphasizes the importance of sociocultural knowledge in the formation of national security priorities in "Human Terrain Mapping" (Wednesday, April 23, 4 p.m., 223 Moses Hall). A conference on "Deconstructing Islamophobia" will seek to probe the relationship between present-day colonialism and attitudes about Islam (Friday, April 25, Lipman Room, Barrows Hall).
Arie Kruglanski, professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, explores the issues of individual and organizational aspects of terrorism, terrorism as a tool of minority influence, suicidal terrorism, and other related topics in the Aaron Wildavsky Forum for Public Policy lecture (Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m., Goldman School of Public Policy).
(Mary Ellen Mark photo),
The Human Rights Center's spring colloquium " 'The War on Terror' and Human Rights" includes a keynote address by Antonio Taguba, who led an inquiry into conditions at the military's Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and authored a highly critical report that detailed the abusive interrogatory practices to which inmates were subjected (Thursday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m., International House, Chevron Auditorium). The colloquium includes two panel discussions: "Does TV Persuade Us that Torture's Okay?" (Thursday, Feb. 28, 5 p.m., Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall) and "A Question of Conscience: A Military Perspective on the 'War on Terror'" (Thursday, April 3, 5 p.m., Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall).
Human rights is also the topic of the Center for Latin American Studies' lecture series Bay Area Latin America Forum which includes an examination of "Reparations Programs in the Wake of Large-Scale Atrocities" by Naomi Roht-Arriaza, professor of law at UC Hastings (Monday, March 31, Noon, Ethnic Studies Conference Room, 554 Barrows).
Three winners of the 2007 Arab Film Festival Noor Awards will be presented by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies: The short "Ashura: Blood and Beauty" looks at the 1300-year-old Ashura Muslim ritual and will be followed by the feature film "Tender is the Wolf," a dark nocturnal adventure through the streets of the Tunisian capital (Thursday, Feb. 21, 5 p.m., Sultan Room, 340 Stephens Hall), and the documentary "Salata Baladi" is the personal history of the filmmaker's grandmother and will be presented by the director Nadia Kamel (Thursday, March 20, 5 p.m., Sultan Room, 340 Stephens Hall).
The Center for Latin American Studies is also showing several award-winning films: "Cocalero," a documentary about Evo Morales' successful campaign for the Bolivian presidency (Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m., 160 Kroeber), "Heading South" a feature film about middle-aged, middle-class Western women visiting Haitian resorts as sex tourists (Wednesday, March 12, 7 p.m., 160 Kroeber), and "El Violin" a feature film about a family of traveling musicians during a peasant insurrection in 1970s Guerrero (Friday, April 7, 7 p.m., Pacific Film Archive).
The Center for African Studies and the Pacific Film Archive present Guinean director Cheick Fantamady Camara's "Clouds over Conakry," a tale of tradition vs. modernity (Saturday, Feb. 9, 8:30 p.m., Pacific Film Archive). The film is one of a selection of films being presented from this year’s New York–based African Film Festival, representing not only established industries in Cameroon and Senegal, but also emerging visions from Ethiopia, Guinea, and the Congo.
(Terence Davies photo),
Winner of the Critics' Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Terence Davies will be the Pacific Film Archive's guest for the series "Closely Watched Films," in which notable film artists delve deeply into one of their most masterful movies. The series is based on Roger Ebert's model, what he calls a "shot-by-shot workshop." The analysis unfolds with the director sharing personal insights and anecdotes while fielding questions from viewers, leading to what some have dubbed "democracy in the dark." Davies will screen "Distant Voices, Still Lives," (Thursday, Feb. 21, 7:30, Pacific Film Archive) then return for an hours-long examination of this savory film (Saturday, Feb. 23, 2:30 p.m., Pacific Film Archive).
Art, Artifact, and Video
The Berkeley Art Museum presents "Enrique Chagoya: Borderlandia," the first major museum retrospective of the work of this Mexican-born, San Francisco–based artist. In the more than 70 works in the exhibition — paintings, charcoal and pastel drawings, prints, and mixed-media codices (accordion-folded books) — Chagoya intermingles icons and cultural references spanning hundreds of years and thousands of miles to create fantastic images and scathingly funny satires (Sunday-Wednesday, Feb. 13-May 18). Several events will accompany the exhibit including an artist's lecture by Enrique Chagoya (Sunday, Feb. 17, 3 p.m., Museum Theater), an interdisciplinary panel, which will discuss the exhibit from the perspectives of literature, ethnic studies, and visual culture (Sunday, March 16, 3 p.m., Museum Theater), and a joint presentation in which author Victor Martinez and Chagoya read, look, and converse in the galleries, exploring common themes and motivations across their respective media — the written word and visual art (Sunday, April 13, 2 p.m., Galleries 2 and 3, Berkeley Art Museum).
(Serge Hambourg photo),
Jacquelynn Baas, interim director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and an independent scholar, will discuss the inflammatory mural "The Epic of American Civilization," in her talk "José Clemente Orozco at Dartmouth," sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies (Monday, Feb. 25, Noon, 554 Barrows Hall).
The Institute of East Asian Studies, Center for Chinese Studies, and the Center for Korean Studies present "Cycle of Life: Awakening — Works by Asian Women Artists," featuring Dinh Thi Tham Poong, Brenda Louie, and Koo Kyung Sook (Jan. 23-May 15, IEAS Gallery, 2223 Fulton St., 6th Floor).
A rare opportunity to explore the lives of students at the University of California, as told through the clothing they once wore — from junior plugs (top hats) and lettermen's jackets to charm bracelets and African-American graduation stoles, from cashmere sweater sets to denim jackets festooned with anti-war buttons—will be provided by the Library exhibit "From Plugs to Bling: A Century of Cal Student Fashion" (March 8-Aug. 29, Bernice Layne Brown Gallery, Doe Library).
The Townsend Center for the Humanities presents a series of videos about artists on the environment and mortality. "Manufactured Landscapes," directed by Jennifer Baichwal, follows artist Edward Burtynsky through China as he captures the evidence and effects of that country's massive industrial revolution (Monday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m., Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall), "Strange Culture," directed by Lynn Hershmann Leeson, follows the surreal nightmare of acclaimed artist Steve Kurtz that began when his wife Hope died in her sleep of heart failure (Monday, March 3, 7 p.m., Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall). "What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann," directed by Steve Cantor, documents the creation of Mann's new seminal work: a photo series revolving around various aspects of death and decay (Monday, April 7, 7 p.m., Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall).
Literature and Culture
This spring, the popular Lunch Poems series features Arthur Sze, the first Chinese-American to graduate from UC Berkeley and publish a book of poems (Thursday, Feb. 7); Diane di Prima, whose poetry is included in the Bancroft Library's archives of the Beat Generation (Thursday, March 6); Jessica Fisher, winner of the 2006 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition (Thursday, April 3); and readings by Cal's student poets (Thursday, May 1). All readings are held at noon in the Morrison Library, Doe Library.
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As a fitting complement to Lunch Poems, this spring marks the beginning of Story Hour in the Library. Presented by the University Library and the Department of English, this series of readings will bring to campus distinguished prose writers from the Bay Area and beyond including Vikram Chandra (Thursday, Feb. 21, 5 p.m., 190 Doe Library), Daniel Mason (Thursday, March 20, 5 p.m., Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall), and Melanie Abrams (Thursday, April 17, 5 p.m., Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall).
The Townsend Center for the Humanities presents Hilton Als, theater critic and staff writer for the New Yorker, in a lecture "Two Views: James Baldwin" in which Als will read from two approaches he has taken to Baldwin's life and oeuvre: one critical, the other fictional (Friday, Feb. 15, 5 p.m., Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall). Another culture critic, Greil Marcus, presents the Townsend's Una's lecture "Blackface Then and Now," a look at the persistence of blackface in contemporary culture, as bad conscience, yearning dream, and indecipherable joke (Thursday, March 6, 7:30 p.m., Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall). Bruce Ackerman argues that the practice of American citizenship is disintegrating before our eyes in the Townsend lecture "The Death of Citizenship?" (Tuesday, March 13, 5 p.m., Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall).
Environment and Nature
Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning's colloquium "Context Matters: Global Forms and Everyday Spaces" includes two speakers: Nancy Fleming, principal at the landscape design firm Sasaki in San Francisco, who will compare two recent projects in historic Yunnan Province, the most culturally rich area of China, in "Contextual Design in Yunnan Province, China" (Wednesday, Jan. 30, 1:05 p.m., 315A Wurster Hall), and Richard Walker, professor of geography and author of "The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area" (Wednesday, Feb. 27, 1:05 p.m., 315A Wurster Hall).
The Botanical Garden's Winter Bird Walk will get you in the mood for spring (Saturday, Feb. 2, 9 a.m., Botanical Garden). Experience the pressured lives of the people who grow roses professionally for commercial sale and for competition in the film "Love at First Sight, America's Affair with the Rose," made by local documentary filmmakers in collaboration with the All-American Rose Selections (Tuesday, Feb, 12, 6 p.m., Botanical Garden). Get creative with arts and crafts in the garden with "Springtime Watercolors in the Garden" (Thursdays, March 6 and 20, 1 p.m. , Botanical Garden) and "Garden Garments" where you will learn to dye with natural plant dyes from your garden (Sunday, March 14, 1 p.m., Botanical Garden).
SportsIn the second annual Pink Meet, Women's Gymnastics: Cal vs. Oregon State, the Cal gymnasts will wear pink leotards and the fans are encouraged to wear pink to "pink-out" Haas Pavilion. The event will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research (Sunday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m., Haas Pavilion).
The 87th rugby World Cup series kicks off when the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds seek to disrupt a run that has seen Cal take the two-match competition nine of the last 12 years, Men's Rugby: Cal vs. British Columbia (Wednesday, Feb. 20, 3:30 p.m., Witter Rugby Field). The Bears' 2006 semifinal foe, the Utes of Utah are a perennial national contender. It will be an uncommon treat to see these two teams matched up in the regular season, Men's Rugby: Cal vs. Utah (Sat. Feb. 23, 1 p.m., Witter Rugby Field).
Cal women's basketball takes on rival Stanford, last year's Pac-10 conference champion (Saturday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m. Haas Pavilion). The Cal-Stanford game is always highly anticipated and this year's match-up will be more so, since the Bears beat the Cardinal last season at Stanford for the first time since 2000-01 and have not beat Stanford at home since the 1992-93 season.
Enjoy a special celebration of herbs and flowers at an afternoon tea party for adults and children of all ages, "Valentine's Day High Tea for Kids" (Sunday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m., Botanical Garden).
Take a trip in the fast lane at "SPEED!", a new exhibit at the Lawrence Hall of Science about high performance and barrier-smashing motion. This colorful celebration of movement translates the thrills and challenges of going fast and faster into 20 hands-on activities to demonstrate the science and technology of record setting speed. (Daily, Feb. 9-May 11, Lawrence Hall of Science).
The public is invited to view the Feb. 20 total lunar eclipse from the plaza of the Lawrence Hall of Science. Telescopes will be set up and amateur astronomers will be on hand to answer questions and assist other viewers. The moon will be totally eclipsed at 7:01 p.m. Totality will end at 7:51 p.m. (Wednesday, Feb. 20, 6 p.m., Lawrence Hall of Science).