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 Coming attractions photos
L-R: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., "Chanel No. 5" by Wang Guangyi, Mark Morris' "Romeo & Juliet, On Motifs of Shakespeare," Merce Cunningham

Coming attractions at UC Berkeley for fall 2008: Power and politics at home and abroad

2 September 2008

Linda Greenhouse Linda Greenhouse, "The Mystery of Guantanamo Bay", (Matthew Arnold photo), Sept. 17

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–The next president of the United States will face a daunting array of domestic and global problems. Thoughtful leadership from the most powerful office in the world is needed now more than ever, but power is a double-edged sword. On the UC Berkeley campus, several events this fall will confront the constitutional questions raised by the current administration's expansion of presidential power in the name of the "war on terror," while others focus on the political, economic, and environmental challenges the next president will face. And once again, this fall's presentation of art, music, dance, and spoken word events here will engage, transport, and transcend.

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.

Separation of Powers

Linda Greenhouse, former Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, will participate in the "Forum on Courts, Politics and the Media," sponsored by the Institute of Legal Research (Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1:15 p.m., Great Hall, Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley) and in conjunction with Constitution Day, she will present the Jefferson Lecture on "The Mystery of Guantanamo Bay," (Wednesday, Sept. 17, 4:10 p.m., Lipman Room, 8th floor of Barrows Hall). Maria Echaveste, lecturer at the School of Law and former Clinton White House deputy chief of staff, and Ken Mehlman, campaign manager for George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign and former chair of the Republican National Committee, will present the keynote "The View from the White House in Time of War" at the conference "The American Presidency at War," sponsored by the Institute of Government Studies and the School of Law (Friday, Sept. 19, 8:45 a.m., Lipman Room, 8th floor of Barrows Hall).

  artwork featured in "One way or Another: Asian American Art Now"
Juan Guzman in "The Judge and the General," (Getty Images photo), Dec. 1
 

The Human Rights Center will hold a free screening of "Taxi to the Dark Side," (Sunday, Oct. 5, 4 p.m., Townsend Center for the Humanities). The following day, the film's Academy Award-winning producer, Alex Gibney, will show film clips and discuss the U.S. "war on terror" with Lowell Bergman, professor of journalism and producer/correspondent for the PBS documentary series "Frontline," (Monday, Oct. 6, 4 p.m., Maude Fife Room, Wheeler Hall). Prize-winning journalist, Seymour Hersh, whose New Yorker articles have probed the Iraq war's underbelly, will discuss "Journalism and Human Rights," presented by Cal Performances and the Townsend Center of the Humanities (Tuesday, Oct. 7, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall).

The Center for Latin American Studies and the Human Rights Center will screen "The Judge and the General," a documentary film centered on Chilean judge Juan Guzman who was assigned the first criminal cases against the country's ex-dictator, General Augusto Pinochet (Monday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m., Pacific Film Archive Theater).

Green Power

  artwork featured in "One way or Another: Asian American Art Now"
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., "Our Environmental Destiny," Dec. 4
 

Daniel Kammen, energy and resources professor and director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, will discuss the international opportunities and constraints available to our next president and identify key areas where policy change must be immediate in "Green Growth?," sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies (Tuesday, Sept. 9, 12 p.m., 554 Barrows Hall). James Fallows, national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly, will explore the economic, environmental, political, and social implications of the relationship of "China and the United States," sponsored by the Institute of International Studies (Thursday, Sept. 25, 4 p.m., Lipman Room, 8th Floor, Barrows Hall). A well-informed future president should also understand the physics of nuclear weapons, nuclear power, terrorist weapons, and global warming. Richard Muller, professor of physics, will lecture on "Physics for Future Presidents," based on his book and class of the same name (Tuesday, Sept. 30, 4 p.m., Lipman Room, 8th Floor, Barrows Hall), sponsored by the Lawrence Hall of Science and the Department of Physics. Named one of Time magazine's "Heroes of the Planet," Robert F. Kennedy Jr., will present the Mario Savio memorial lecture, "Our Environmental Destiny" (Thursday, Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m., Berkeley Community Theater, 1930 Allston Way, Berkeley).

Presidents Past and Future

  artwork featured in "One way or Another: Asian American Art Now""The American President," (Associated Press photo), opens Sept. 18

An exhibit of images drawn from the Associated Press photo archive, "The American President," at the Graduate School of Journalism opens with a panel discussion of White House photographers and journalists, "A Lens on the Presidency," (Wednesday, Sept. 10, 6:30 p.m., Sibley Auditorium).

How civil is the 2008 presidential campaign? Robert Reich, former secretary of labor and professor of public policy, will join two co-directors of the Class of '68 Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement, Henry Brady, professor of public policy, and Bruce Cain, professor of political science, to discuss who has benefited and who has been hurt by the tenor of the candidates' rhetoric and the story-mongering of media trying to meet a 24-hour demand for news in "Political Rhetoric and Civility in the 2008 Presidential Election," sponsored by the Goldman School of Public Policy (Saturday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m., 155 Dwinelle Hall). The 2008 presidential election season has pushed faith to the forefront of the national debate. "The Politics of Faith: Religion in America," a conference sponsored by the Religion, Politics and Globalization Program and the Institute of Governmental Studies, examines the history of religion in the American public square, media coverage of matters of faith, and the influence of religion on politicians and their constituents (Friday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m., Tilden Room, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union).

Politics Meets Art

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Laurie Anderson, "Homeland" (Kevin Kennefick photo), Oct. 24-25
 

Laurie Anderson's signature theatrical storytelling style of singing, talking and playing her electric violin and keyboard will be on display in "Homeland," a political portrait of contemporary American culture. Anderson recently won the 2007 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, awarded to an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to people's enjoyment and understanding of life (Friday-Saturday, Oct. 24-25, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall), sponsored by Cal Performances.

 

China

  artwork featured in "One way or Another: Asian American Art Now""Mahjong," Wang Guangyi: "Chanel No. 5," 2001, (Sigg Collection photo), Sept. 10-Jan. 4

An exhibit of contemporary Chinese art, "Mahjong" is drawn from the collection of Uli Sigg, a Swiss collector (Sunday-Wednesday, Sept. 10-Jan. 4, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Berkeley Art Museum). Filling nine of the BAM's's ten galleries with a selection of exceptional paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, video works, and installations, "Mahjong" begins in the 1970s, with examples of the socialist realism favored during China's Cultural Revolution. It moves on to illustrate the avant-garde movements of the 1980s and early 1990s, and also includes works by a generation of artists who have emerged following China's social and political reforms of the past decade.

Related events include "In Conversation: Ai Weiwei and Jeff Kelley" (Tuesday, Sept. 30, 4 p.m., Museum Theater, Berkeley Art Museum), sponsored jointly by the Berkeley Art Museum and the Institute of East Asian Studies, and the Pacific Film Archive film series "Unknown Pleasure: The Films of Jai Zhangke." Award-winning filmmaker, Jai Zhangke, contemplates a China perpetually reinventing itself, and the people left behind in the transition. The series opens with "Still Life," which portrays a city under (de)construction during the controversial Three Gorges Dam project (Friday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m.and repeated Friday, Oct. 17, 8:30 p.m., Pacific Film Archive Theater).

Beyond our Borders

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies presents the film series "Women at Borders," which aims to promote awareness of the everyday experiences of women in the Middle East. "Bent Familia" follows the stories of two Tunisian women and an Algerian refugee as they question their lives, relationships, and the societal limitations they live under (Thursday, Sept. 4, 5 p.m., Sultan Conference Room, 340 Stephens Hall). "The Day I Became a Woman" relates the stories of three women and three generations, incorporating a powerful socio-political message (Thursday, Sept. 11, 5 p.m., Sultan Conference Room, 340 Stephens Hall). "Caramel" revolves around the intersecting lives of five Lebanese women (Thursday, Oct. 30, 5 p.m., Sultan Conference Room, 340 Stephens Hall). "The Syrian Bride" is the story of a young Druze woman living in the Golan Heights, under the Israeli occupation (Thursday, Nov. 6, 5 p.m., Sultan Conference Room, 340 Stephens Hall).

  artwork featured in "One way or Another: Asian American Art Now"
"The Playboy of the Western World, " (Druid Theater Company photo), Oct. 8–12
 

Cal Performances and the Center for Japanese Studies present a reading and lecture by the award-winning novelist Haruki Murakami (Saturday, Oct. 11, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). The next day, "Japanese Literature on the Global Stage: The Murakami Symposium" will delve deeper into Murakami's work, sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities (Sunday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m., Toll Room, Alumni House).

Also presented by Cal Performances, Ireland's distinguished Druid Theatre Company brings a double-bill of John Millington Synge plays: "The Playboy of the Western World and The Shadow of the Glen," masterpieces by Ireland's greatest playwright, to the Bay Area. (Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 8–11, 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11, 2 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 12, 3 p.m., Roda Theatre, Berkeley Repertory).

Dance

  artwork featured in "One way or Another: Asian American Art Now"Mark Morris' "Romeo & Juliet, On Motifs of Shakespeare," (Gene Schiavone photo), Sept. 25-28

A conference "African and Afro-Caribbean Performance," sponsored by Theater, Dance, and Performance, brings together scholars from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and the United States to examine how African and Afro-Caribbean performance cultures are being re-imagined by recent discussions about transnationalism, diaspora, translation, and cyberspace. (Friday-Sunday, Sept. 26-28, Alumni House).

The Cal Performances dance series opens with the West Coast premiere of Mark Morris' "Romeo & Juliet, On Motifs of Shakespeare." This landmark ballet is set to Prokofiev's newly discovered original version of "Romeo and Juliet" and will feature Mark Morris Dance Group, 20 minutes of previously unheard music and—notably—a happy ending (Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 25–27, 8.p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 28. 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). The dance series continues with the Kirov Ballet & Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre's presentation of two programs. The first mixed repertory program includes Act 3 from Raymonda; the Grand Pas from Paquita; and "The Kingdom of the Shades" from La Bayadère (Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct. 14-15, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). The second program is a performance of the comic ballet "Don Quixote" (Friday-Saturday, Oct. 17-18, 8 p.m., Oct. 18, 2 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 19, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall).

  artwork featured in "One way or Another: Asian American Art Now"
Merce Cunningham's "eyeSpace," (Anna Finke photo), Nov. 4
 

Merce Cunningham Dance Company continues its long and rich relationship with Cal Performances when the company returns for a two-week residency and four separate programs showcasing Cunningham's work. Dances to be performed include: Suite for Five, music by John Cage; eyeSpace, music by Mikel Rouse; BIPED, music by Gavin Bryars (Friday, Nov. 7, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall) , Second Hand , music by John Cage; Split Sides , music by Radiohead and Sigur Ros (Saturday, Nov. 8, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall) , eyeSpace, music by David Behrman and Annea Lockwood; BIPED (Friday, Nov. 14, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall) , and Views on Stage, music by John Cage; Crises , music by Conlon Nancarrow; XOVER , music by John Cage (Saturday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall).

Music

Angela Gheorghiu makes her first appearance at Cal Performances when she opens the 103rd season with a concert that includes the San Francisco Opera Orchestra under the baton of Marco Armiliato, who has conducted ten productions for the Opera since 1997; this event is presented in association with the San Francisco Opera (Saturday, Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m., Zellerbach Hall).

  artwork featured in "One way or Another: Asian American Art Now"Dawn Upshaw, "Kafka Fragments" (Dario Acosto photo), Nov. 23-24

György Kurtág's "Kafka Fragments" is based on excerpts from Franz Kafka's diaries and letters, directed by Peter Sellars and performed by the adventurous soprano Dawn Upshaw and violinist Geoff Nuttall.  The production premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2005 with the same artists, and Cal Performances will be one of only three venues that will present this production during the 2008/09 season (Sunday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 24, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall)

Other campus musical events include the University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Milnes, presenting Hindemith, "Mathis der Maler," Schoenberg, "Verklarte Nacht," and Brahms, "Symphony No. 2" (Friday-Saturday, Oct. 10-11, 8 p.m., Hertz Concert Hall) and Shostakovich, "Symphony No. 1," Ligeti, "San Francisco Polyphony," and Stravinsky, "Petrouchka" (Friday-Saturday, Nov. 14-15, 8 p.m., Hertz Concert Hall).

Halloween

Get the dirt on a mysterious mummy and wrap up the night with Magic Mike and a Halloween costume parade at "The Riddle of the Halloween Mummy" (Friday, Oct. 24, 5:30 p.m., Lawrence Hall of Science). "Spooky Tales in the Redwood Grove" materialize once again at the Botanical Garden. Listen to master storytellers Bobbie Kinkaid and Jean Ellison along with friends as they lead you in crafts, a musical parade, songs and stories (Sunday, Oct. 26, 4 p.m., Botanical Garden).

Around Campus

  artwork featured in "One way or Another: Asian American Art Now"
"Mark Twain at Play," Dec. 1-March 31
 

The first exhibit in the renovated Bancroft Gallery space will reveal "Mark Twain at Play."  Manuscripts, documents, notebooks, albums, vintage photographs, and other rare artifacts from the Mark Twain Papers archive will show his leisure pursuits, from amateur theatricals to yachting — and how his "play" influenced his "work."  (Monday-Friday, Dec.1-March 31, Bancroft Library).

Back to the 21st century, Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher at Microsoft's Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group, discusses how social networking technologies that usually start with students eventually become adopted by large organizations in "Enterprise Uses of Emerging Technologies" sponsored by the School of Information, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, and Services Science, and Management and Engineering Program (Wednesday, Oct. 1, 4 p.m., 110 South Hall).