Humanities Broadsheet

St. Louis–Area Humanities Events

The Humanities Broadsheet will resume publication in September 2019.

Organizers may submit events to


Time Stands Still
Time Stands Still revolves around Sarah, a photojournalist who has returned from covering the Iraq war after being injured by a roadside bomb, and her reporter boyfriend, James, who is swamped by guilt after having left Sarah alone in Iraq. The two are trying to find happiness in a world that seems to have gone crazy. Theirs is a partnership based on telling the toughest stories, and together, making a difference. But when their own story takes a sudden turn, the adventurous couple confronts the prospect of a more conventional life. Can they stay together amidst unspoken betrayals and conflicting ideals? Playwright Margulies answers these questions, while leaving unanswered qualms regarding the way America deals with war and tragedy coverage. Talk backs with the cast and director will take place after the April 11, 7:30 pm and April 14, 2 pm performances.
New Jewish Theatre, The J, 2 Millstone Campus Dr., St. Louis, 63146

Observable Reading Series: Wendy Trevino and Nathaniel Farrell
Organized by St. Louis Poetry Center.
Dressel’s Public House, Upstairs Loft, 419 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Faking Liberties: Religious Freedom in American-Occupied Japan
JOLYON THOMAS, assistant professor of religious studies, University of Pennsylvania. Americans stationed in occupied Japan at the close of World War II claimed to be bringing religious freedom to a country where it did not exist. They described Japan’s 1889 constitutional guarantee of religious freedom as a fake, and they claimed to be implanting “real religious freedom” in its stead. But in making such claims, the occupiers overlooked inconvenient historical facts. Countering the victors’ narrative, Jolyon Thomas shows that Japanese people were actually involved in a robust debate about religious freedom for decades before the occupation began; he also demonstrates that the American occupiers were far less certain about how to define and protect religious freedom than their triumphalist rhetoric suggested. The occupiers and their Japanese counterparts collaboratively constructed a new technical vocabulary about “good” and “bad” religion, categories that still dictate how academics, journalists and policymakers working today imagine who deserves religious freedom, what kinds of political practices infringe on religious liberty, and who bears responsibility for doing anything about it. And whereas post-Occupation histories have commonly assumed that the occupiers introduced the human right of religious freedom to Japan, Thomas argues that the inherently transnational circumstances of military occupation prompted stakeholders to conceive religious freedom as a "human right" in the first place. Along the way, the occupiers and their Japanese counterparts collaboratively constructed a new technical vocabulary about “good” and “bad” religion. The categories they developed in the late 1940s still dictate how academics, journalists and policymakers working today imagine who deserves religious freedom, what kinds of political practices infringe on religious liberty, and who bears responsibility for doing anything about it.
Washington University, Cupples Hall I, Room 215

A Musical Journey Across Russian Traditions
A concert-lecture with PowerPoint that includes songs and instrumental tunes from Russia and the former Soviet Union. The repertoire of the folk ensemble Zolotoj Plyos includes folk songs and instrumental pieces from various parts of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia and other areas, and also features Gypsy music, Russian popular music and Jewish music. Group members play more than 30 Russian folk instruments, including the bayan, chromatic and diatonic accordions, the balalaika, domra, guitar, zhaleika, clarinet, saxophone, various percussion instruments and Russian bells.
Washington University, Holmes Lounge

What Do You Need to Know About Oil to Understand World Politics?
ELAI RETTIG, Israel Institute Teaching Fellow in Israeli and environmental studies. Rettig’s research focuses on the interplay between energy security and foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East and West Africa.
Washington University, Seigle Hall, Room L003

Ableism and Antisemitism from Nazi Germany to Contemporary America
The Nazi dream of a “master race” excluded both Jews and persons with disabilities. This was no coincidence. Nationalist movements frequently build a sense of unity and solidarity among their followers by demonizing the other. The Nazis were not the first nationalist movement to create a powerful ideological brew by mixing antisemitism and ableism; nor were they the last. Harold Braswell (St. Louis University) and Warren Rosenblum (Webster University) explore the intersections between anti-Jewish feeling and discrimination against the disabled in the Nazi era and in more recent times. Please RSVP to or call 314-442-3761.
Jewish Federation of St. Louis, 12 Millstone Campus Drive, 63146

Jennifer Eberhardt, Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do (Author Talk)
Stanford professor of psychology Jennifer Eberhardt discusses her new book with St. Louis Public Radio’s Race, Identity and Culture editor, Holly Edgell. You don’t have to be racist to be biased. Unconscious bias can be at work without our realizing it, and ingrained stereotypes can infect our visual perception, attention, memory and behavior. This has an impact on education, employment, housing and criminal justice. In Biased, with a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative and informed by personal experience, Eberhardt offers insights into the dilemma and a path forward. Unblinking about the tragic consequences of prejudice, Eberhardt addresses how racial bias is not the fault of nor restricted to a few “bad apples” but is present at all levels of society in media, education and business.
UMSL at Grand Center, St. Louis Public Radio Community Room, 3651 Olive St., St. Louis, 63108

How to Dodge the Draft and Succeed as a Pirate in the Ming Dynasty: A Theory of Everyday Politics in Late Imperial China
MICHAEL SZONYI, the Frank Wen-Hsiung Wu Memorial Professor of Chinese History and director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.
Washington University, Busch Hall, Room 18

A Collaboration of Libraries: Discovering the Plants and Politics of the Last Medici Princess
KYRA N. KRAKOS discusses the collaboration between the Missouri Botanical Garden’s rare books library and the Medici archives to research and translate the famous and secret recipes of Anna Maria Luisa d'Medici, the last princess to rule Florence. This is the first time the Medici archives have translated the recipes, and the research includes examining what was in those recipes, and how the princess used them as a political tool in ruling in the 16th and 17th century. Krakos is an associate professor of biology and coordinator for the sustainability program at Maryville University, and a research associate at Missouri Botanical Garden. In 2016, she was named Science Educator of the Year by the STL Academy of Science. Presented by the Friends of the University City Library. University City Public Library, 6701 Delmar Blvd., University City, 63130

Living in an Italian City as a Migrant
GRAZIELLA PARATI, professor of Italian, professor of comparative literature, professor of women's and gender studies, and the Paul D. Paganucci Professor of Italian Language and Literature, Dartmouth University. Her areas of expertise include 20th-century Italian literature and culture; post-colonial studies; Italian multiculturalism and migrations studies; 19th-century Italian literature and history; Italian film history; Italian-American literature, history, and film; and feminist criticism and women’s autobiographical writing.
Washington University, Women’s Building Formal Lounge

Faculty Book Talk Series: Caitlyn Collins, Making Motherhood Work
CAITLYN COLLINS, assistant professor of sociology, Washington University. In Making Motherhood Work, Collins draws on interviews she conducted over five years with 135 middle-class working mothers in Sweden, Germany, Italy and the United States. She explores how women navigate work and family given the different policy supports available in each country.
Washington University, Olin Library, Room 142

James and Deborah Fallows, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America (Author Talk)
For five years, James and Deborah Fallows traveled across America in a single-engine prop airplane. Visiting dozens of towns, the America they saw is acutely conscious of its problems — from economic dislocation to the opioid scourge — but it is also crafting solutions, with a practical-minded determination at dramatic odds with the bitter paralysis of national politics. At times of dysfunction on a national level, reform possibilities have often arisen from the local level. The Fallowses describe America in the middle of one of these creative waves. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

David Liznee, Taking the Plunge (Author Talk)
Taking the Plunge finds mezzo soprano Renata Radleigh taking center stage as a celebrity performer aboard an opera cruise. However, when her fellow shipmate and old nemesis from the St. Louis Opera turns up dead, Renata is the prime suspect, and she must solve the murder before the ship reaches port.
University Public Library, 6701 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 63130

Steve Pick & Amanda Doyle, St. Louis Sound (Author Talk)
From the French fiddlers of the fur trading days to the rock and hip hop icons of the present millennium, St. Louis has been a town rich in musical history. Though it has rarely been cited as a center of any scene, any area that has been home to Chuck Berry, Miles Davis, Ike and Tina Turner, Grant Green, Pavlov’s Dog, Uncle Tupelo, Nelly and Pokey LaFarge has clearly deserved more attention. This book tells the story of music in St. Louis, from the symphonic to the singer-songwriter, from the radio stations that propelled it to the fanzines that documented it, from the musicians who left the city for greater fame to those who stayed and made this town more vibrant. This is the first time that all the tributaries of the great St. Louis river of song have been covered in one place: classical, jazz, blues, R&B, rock ’n’ roll, country, hip hop and more.
Subterranean Books, 6725 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 63130

Carmen Maria Machado & Kathryn Davis Readings
CARMEN MARIA MACHADO’s debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Kirkus Prize, Los Angeles Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the World Fantasy Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize. Kathryn Davis is the author of eight novels, the most recent of which is The Silk Road. Her other books are Labrador, The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf, Hell: A Novel, The Walking Tour, Versailles, The Thin Place and Duplex. She has received a Kafka Prize for fiction by an American woman, both the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award and the Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is the senior fiction writer on the faculty of the Writing Program at Washington University.
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Hurst Lounge

Washington University Dance Collective: UnTethered
Freeing the imagination to soar, through an unbound exploration of inspiration, ingenuity and creativity. As the Performing Arts Department’s repertory dance company, Washington University Dance Collective comprises student dancers who have distinguished themselves on the basis of ability, technical skill and performance acumen. Join us as we explore the forces and ideas that bring us together in a world which, in many ways, seems to want to pull us apart. Artistic direction by Cecil Slaughter, professor of practice in dance, Washington University. $15–$20.
Washington University, Edison Theatre

Mozart and Strauss Performance and Pre-Concert Conversation
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra principals Mark Sparks and Allegra Lilly join together to perform Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto, a melodic work full of light-hearted wonder. This is the only one of Mozart’s compositions that features the harp and is one of only two true double concertos by the composer. In Les Bourgeois Gentilhomme Suite, Strauss uses the sounds of a Baroque ensemble as a basis and transforms it with rich textures and a full symphonic sound. Pre-concert conversation, free to all ticket holders and starting one hour prior to each subscription concert, with Amy Kaiser, Tracy Baker and Susan Patterson.
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, 718 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 63103

Orlando Fals Borda and the Emergence of Participatory Action Research in Latin America
JOANNE RAPPAPORT, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Georgetown University. Her interests include ethnicity, historical anthropology, new social movements, literacy, race, collaborative research methodologies, and Andean ethnography and ethnohistory.
Washington University, Women’s Building Formal Lounge

In Tune with the Spirit: Black Gospel Music, Instrumentality, Embodiment and Power
MELVIN L. BUTLER, associate professor of musicology, University of Miami. This talk centers on gospel music, especially the musical instruments through which it is performed, as a creative means of accessing and channeling spiritual power within African diasporic Christian communities. Butler presents classic gospel recordings (e.g., jug bands from the 1930s) and ethnographic case studies from the United States (e.g., the United House of Prayer for All People) and Haiti (heavenly army Pentecostal congregations) to demonstrate how horns, drums and other instruments become repositories and transmitters of divine energy for Spirit-filled believers. Wind instruments often serve as extensions of the human voice, thereby embodying an intimate connection between human and divine. Pondering the broader implications of this cross-disciplinary work-in-progress, Butler considers the extent to which recorded and live instrumental performances of gospel music are able to bring about transformation beyond 21st-century ritual contexts.
Washington University, Music Classroom Building, Room 102

The ‘New’ Hamburg Dramaturgy: Translation as Scholarship in the Digital Age
WENDY ARONS, professor of dramatic literature, Carnegie Mellon University; and Natalya Baldyga, instructor in history and social science, Phillips Academy, Andover. In 2018, Arons and Baldyga, with Sara Figal, received the Excellence in Digital Scholarship Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the American Society for Theatre Research for the online version of their new translation of G. E. Lessing’s Hamburg Dramaturgy. Washington University, Umrath Hall, Room 140

Beyond the Film: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Movie Audiences and Their Environments
A symposium honoring 20 years of Film and Media Studies at Washington University. Featuring talks on film exhibition, movie theater architecture, screening technology, and the social, political, cultural and economic infrastructures in which film cultures are embedded. The lectures include the following: Jeff Smith, “Pop Music, Processing Fluency and Pleasure: Film Songs as Both Hype and Memento”; Jie Li, “Cinematic Guerrillas: Mobile Film Exhibition in Socialist China”; Cara Caddoo, “Lithos, Stills, and Lobby Cards: Racializing Theatrical Space”; and Tom Gunning, “Modernist Cinemas: Black Boxes and Beyond.”
Washington University, McDonnell Hall, Room 162

Art on Campus Walking Tour
Put on your walking shoes for a tour of artworks installed throughout the Danforth Campus as part of the Art on Campus program, led by Leslie Markle, curator for public art, Washington University. The tour begins at Bauer Hall and includes stops at the Sumers Recreation Center, the South 40, and Hillman and Umrath Halls to see works by acclaimed contemporary artists Jaume Plensa, Katharina Grosse, Tom Friedman, Ann Hamilton, Spencer Finch and Ayse Erkmen, as well as the latest Art on Campus installation by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. The Art on Campus program is a growing collection of public artworks by nationally and internationally recognized artists. Reflecting the diversity, creativity and scholarship of the university, these artworks enhance the cultural, intellectual and visual experience of all who visit as well as those who study and work here. By giving public art a strong presence throughout campus, the program reframes and transforms the environment, provoking consideration of both place and space. Weather permitting. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for walking.
Washington University, Bauer Hall

Pre-Concert Composer Talk: Scott Wheeler
SCOTT WHELER discusses his violin sonata to be performed directly following the talk as a part of the Great Artists Series with Gil Shaham, violin, and Akira Eguchi, piano. Scott Wheeler is an award-winning composer, conductor, pianist and teacher with a multifaceted career. Although his chamber and orchestral music shows a wide range, it is his prominent profile as a composer of vocal and operatic music that defines his career and artistic personality. Wheeler’s most recent full-length opera is Naga, on a libretto of Cerise Jacobs, co-commissioned by White Snake Projects and Boston Lyric Opera. His latest operatic project is the 10-minute comedy Midsummer, based on a short play by Don Nigro, commissioned and premiered by Boston Opera Collaborative in October 2018. Other 2018–19 premieres include Dream Songs for Philosonia, Whispered Sarabande for violinist Mark Peskanov at Bargemusic, and “She Left for Good But Came Back” for the Bowers-Fader Duo, all premiering in New York.
560 Music Center, Pillsbury Theatre, 560 Trinity Ave., St. Louis, 63130

Identifying Depression: Jewish and Psychological Perspectives
DAVID PELCOVITZ, the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Yeshiva University. Pelcovitz has consulted extensively with the Jewish community in the United States, Europe and Israel on a wide range of issues facing children and adolescents. His most recent publication was Balanced Parenting, a book he wrote in collaboration with his father, Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz, on parenting from a Jewish perspective. Registration is encouraged; see website.
Jewish Federation of St. Louis, 12 Millstone Campus Dr., St. Louis, 63146

Global Perspectives on Child Well-Being
Children are the world’s most vulnerable population. Join us to hear from researchers and practitioners engaged in culturally contextual evidence-based practices that are improving the lives of children and families around the globe. This special panel discussion brings together three researchers from Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work — Lora Iannotti, Trish Kohl and Proscovia Nabunya — with a guest speaker, David Pelcovitz, from Yeshiva University (see his April 7 lecture, above). RSVP to or (314) 935-9345.
Washington University, Brown Hall, Brown Lounge

The Tokyo Tribunal: China, the USSR, and the ‘Crimes against Peace’ Charges
KIRSTEN SELLARS, visiting fellow at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University. At the post-war Tokyo Tribunal, the Allied powers charged Japanese leaders with “crimes against peace” — waging aggressive war. The defense teams had been given the task of defending ministers and generals accused of planning and carrying out attacks on China, the USSR and elsewhere. And yet for reasons not entirely of their own making, they were not only able to marshal adequate arguments against “crimes against peace” charges but also, occasionally, to turn the tables on the prosecuting powers. After the handing down of the majority judgment in November 1948, the Allies deemed the trial to have been a failure and closed the door against further prosecutions for international aggression.
Washington University, Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 309

An Evening with Ryan Patrick Smith and Shane Seely
From page one of Ryan Patrick Smith’s The Death Metal Pastorals, we know we’re entering a landscape at once more ominous and more vigilant than anything conjured by Spencer, Drayton or Marlowe. Smith’s poems upend the topography of the pastoral setting, peering through a “burning crop of disease” to ask, “Where am I in the field that I give my will over to you?” Through a range of personas, from death metal swains to The Terminator’s Sarah Connor to Mister Rogers to a smartphone camera at a Black Lives Matter protest, Smith casts a piercing eye on the destructive structures of consumption, gendered violence and white supremacy. Shane Seely is the author of three books of poems: The First Echo, The Surface of the Lit World and The Snowbound House. He teaches poetry and creative nonfiction at University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he directs the MFA program.
Left Bank Bools, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Deborah Gaal, The Dream Stitcher (Author Talk)
DEBORAH GAAL’S historical novel moves eloquently between America in 2008 and World War II Poland. Hard times are forcing Maude Fields to take in her estranged mother, Bea, whose secrets date to World War II. Bea arrives with a hand-embroidered recreation of La Tapisserie de la Reine Mathilde, the iconic 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry. The replica contains clues to the identity of Maude’s father and the mythical Dream Stitcher, Goldye, a Jewish freedom fighter who helped launch the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

5 Things You Should Know About Islam and Muslims
ARIA NAKISSA, assistant professor of Islamic studies and anthropology, Washington University. Nakissa’s research and teaching focuses on Islamic law and philosophy, contemporary Muslim societies and classical Islamic texts such as Fiqh, Tafsir, Hadith and Tasawwuf.
Washington University, Seigle Hall, Room L003 MONDAY, APRIL 8, 7:15 PM

Art History as a Systematic Science?
MAXIMILIAN SCHICH, associate professor in arts and technology at the University of Texas at Dallas, discusses how art and cultural history increasingly become a subject of multidisciplinary science. Since computational art history sometimes violates traditional notions of the arts and humanities, as well as the norms of computational social science, what remains unclear is how to position and nurture such work within the academic landscape. In this talk, Schich sheds some light on a number of relevant aspects, including how quantifying complexity and fishing for complications have to go hand in hand, how art history is connected to all other disciplines via an ecology of networks, and how a systematic science of art and culture depends on the synthesis of nontraditional workflow pipelines and multidisciplinary collaboration.
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Hurst Lounge (Room 201)

Old School, New Rules Gallery Talk
OLIVIA LAHS-GONZALES, director of the Sheldon Art Galleries, and artist Barbara McDonnell speak on selected works in the exhibit. Old School, New Rules showcases artists who use 19th- and early 20th-century photographic processes like ambrotype, cyanotype, tintype, platinum/palladium and other early light-reactive mediums to comment on contemporary issues and subjects. Included in the exhibit, on view through April 13, are works by David Emitt Adams, Binh Danh, Jill Enfield, Mark Katzman, Annie Lopez, Barbara McDonnell, Eric Omori, Keliy Anderson Staley and Will Wilson. Reservations suggested.
Sheldon Art Galleries, Bernoudy Gallery of Architecture, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

Yes Means Yes: Envisioning an End to Interpersonal Violence
JESSICA VALENTI is a best-selling author and founder of She is author of five books: Full Frontal Feminism, He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, The Purity Myth, Why Have Kids? and Sex Object: A Memoir. She is co-editor of Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape.
Washington University, Graham Chapel

An Evening with Stacey Lynn Brown & Cassie Donish
In The Shallows, Stacey Lynn Brown continues her potent exploration of the American South — its complex legacies of family and race. These harrowing yet ultimately hopeful new poems depict a daughter grappling with the aftermath of her father’s massive stroke and her own concurrent struggles with a debilitating and mysterious illness. Brown is also the author of Cradle Song, a book-length poem, and is the co-editor, with Oliver de la Paz, of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. Cassie Donish’s poetry collection The Year of the Femme explores the conflicting diplomacies of body and thought while stranding us in a field, in a hospital on a shoreline. These poems assess and dwell in a sensual, fantastically queer mode. In long poems and refracted lyrics, Donish flips the coin of subjectivity; different and potentially dangerous faces are revealed in turn.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Music in Conversation: Mozart and Arvo Pärt
CHRISTOPHER STARK, assistant professor of composition, Washington University. In this short and engaging program, we discover how the contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt created a new language of simplicity and elegance using Mozart as his guide. The concert features St. Louis Symphony violinist Shawn Weil, as well as pianist Angela Kim and cellist Stephanie Hunt. Music in Conversation explores dialogues that span centuries through the music of different composers.
Washington University, Danforth University Center, Goldberg Formal Lounge

Sex in the Roman Arena
ALISON FUTRELL breaks down the popular image of gladiators and tackles the sexualized nuances of the arena, touching on the relative masculinity of gladiators as a group within Roman society, the sliding scale of virility among the different styles of combat, and the role of female performers, as well as other matters of gender and power in the Roman arena.
Missouri History Museum, Lee Auditorium, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Joy Castro Lectures on the Craft of Nonfiction
Born in Miami, raised in England and West Virginia, and educated in Texas, Joy Castro is the award-winning author of the memoir The Truth Book, two literary thrillers set in post-Katrina New Orleans: Hell or High Water and Nearer Home, the essay collection Island of Bones, and the short-fiction collection How Winter Began. Her work has appeared in venues including Fourth Genre, North American Review, Salon, Afro-Hispanic Review, Gulf Coast and the New York Times Magazine. Winner of the Nebraska Book Award and an International Latino Book Award, Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award and editor of the anthology Family Trouble, she is the Susan J. Rosowski Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she teaches creative writing, literature and Latinx studies. She currently serves as the writer in residence at Vanderbilt University.
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Hurst Lounge

The Fate of the Gallina in the American Southwest
COREY RAGSDALE, Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville, explains how the Gallina site was abandoned in AD 1275. The cause of decline and what happened to the Gallina has been a mystery for nearly a century. In this project, bioarchaeological analyses of human skeletal and dental remains are used to evaluate competing theories regarding the fate of the Gallina.
Missouri History Museum, AT&T Foundation Multipurpose Room, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Rudolph, a married man, is a regional project manager for Tupperware and he’s having an affair. Seth gets kidnapped on date night by a couple of hoodlums looking for his roommate. Meanwhile, in an RV heading for Florida, Pete, Barbara, Matthew and Bridget are stuck in traffic. These three worlds collide in Lucas Marschke’s smart and mysterious road-trip comedy. Marschke’s play was workshopped last fall as part of the A.E. Hotchner Playwriting Festival and culminates in this fully staged production. Written by Lucas Marschke and directed by Jeffery Matthews.
Washington University, A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre

From Spellbound to Spellebrity: Brain Sports, Spelling Careers and the Competitive Lives of Generation Z
SHALINI SHANKAR, professor of anthropology and interim director of the Asian American Studies program, Northwestern University. Shankar examines how members of Generation Z (b. 1997-present) compete in the prestigious “brain sport” of the National Spelling Bee. The talk especially investigates the role that post-1990 professional immigrants from South Asia have played in heightening the level of this competition, as well as the role that broadcast and social media play in complicating these trends. Ethnographic examples drawn from fieldwork at spelling bees and with children and families illustrate how, in a neoliberal era, children and parents collaborate in particular types of pre-professional socialization that enable competitors to develop “spelling careers.” The implications of these phenomena are explored, especially in as much as they offer new understandings of contemporary childhood, as well as immigration, race and ethnicity for Generation Z. Shankar’s book Beeline: What Spelling Bees Reveal about Generation Z’s New Path to Success is forthcoming from Basic Books. She is also the author of Desi Land: Teen Culture, Class, and Success in Silicon Valley and Advertising Diversity: Ad Agencies and the Creation of Asian American Consumers, and coeditor of Language and Materiality: Theoretical and Ethnographic Explorations. Her research has been generously supported by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Spencer Foundation for Research Related to Education and Social Science Research Council. Asian American Speaker Series.
Washington University, Danforth University Center, Room 276

Journeying Together for Justice: Situated Solidarities, Radical Vulnerability, Hungry Translations
RICHA NAGAR is the Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in Excellence, and the Beverly and Richard Fink Professor in Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. This event is co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Performing Arts and Political Science and the International and Area Studies Program. Supported in part through funding from the Office of the Provost: Distinguished Visiting Scholar Program.
Washington University, Women’s Building Formal Lounge

Queer Networks in Chicanx Art
C. ONDINE CHAVOYA, Department of Art History and Studio Art, Williams College.
Washington University, Kemper Art Museum, Room 103

Joshua A. Douglas, Vote for US: How to Take Back Our Elections and Change the Future of Voting (Author Talk)
In contrast to the anxiety surrounding our voting system, with stories about voter suppression and manipulation, there are actually quite a few positive initiatives toward voting-rights reform. Joshua A. Douglas, an expert on our electoral system, examines these encouraging developments in this inspiring book about how regular Americans are working to take back their democracy, one community at a time. Accessible for a lay audience and thoroughly researched, this book gives anyone fed up with our current political environment the ideas and tools necessary to affect change in their own communities, and presents an encouraging assessment of current efforts to make our voting system more accessible, reliable and effective.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Joy Castro Reading
Born in Miami, raised in England and West Virginia, and educated in Texas, Joy Castro is the award-winning author of the memoir The Truth Book, two literary thrillers set in post-Katrina New Orleans: Hell or High Water and Nearer Home, the essay collection Island of Bones, and the short-fiction collection How Winter Began. Her work has appeared in venues including Fourth Genre, North American Review, Salon, Afro-Hispanic Review, Gulf Coast and the New York Times Magazine. Winner of the Nebraska Book Award and an International Latino Book Award, Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award and editor of the anthology Family Trouble, she is the Susan J. Rosowski Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where she teaches creative writing, literature and Latinx studies. She currently serves as the writer in residence at Vanderbilt University.
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Hurst Lounge

IAS Thesis Conference
A daylong conference featuring short presentations by IAS graduating seniors who wrote an honors thesis.
Washington University, Umrath Hall, Room 140

Lecture by William E. Caplin
WILLIAM E. CAPLIN, FRSC, the James McGill Professor of Music Theory, McGill University.
Washington University, Music Classroom Building, Room 102

100 Boots: Ange Mlinko and Tommy Pico
This series presents readings by a range of emerging, mid-career and established poets from St. Louis and across the United States. The 100 Boots Poetry Series is co-organized by Jessica Baran, poet and associate director of curatorial and program development at Barrett Barrera & Projects Plus Gallery; and Ted Mathys, poet and educator at Saint Louis University. Limited-edition broadsides, created by artist Sage Dawson, are available for free to audience members, and a selection of the poets’ books are for sale courtesy of Left Bank Books. We encourage visitors to arrive early due to limited seating.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

The Muny on Tour
The stage is set for another look at St. Louis theaters. This tour offers an in-depth exploration of The Muny from different vantage points: historical, preproduction, performance and more. Participants also get a glimpse at what’s in store for the next century of this beloved St. Louis institution. Bus tour led by Sharon Smith, curator of Civic and Personal Identity, Missouri History Museum. $65–$85; see website to register.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

You’re on Pandora! Greco-Roman Allusions in Popular Cinema
JON SOLOMON, Department of Classics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Classical Club of St. Louis lecture. John Burroughs School, Science, Technology & Research Building, Newman Auditorium, 755 S. Price Rd., Ladue, 63124

Lisa Scottoline, Someone Knows (Author Talk)
Allie Garvey is heading home to a funeral and dreaded reunion with old friends. Twenty years earlier while drinking and partying in the woods, the then-teenagers played a dangerous prank that went tragically wrong. They have kept what happened a secret, believing that getting caught would be the worst thing that could happen. But time has taught Allie otherwise. Not getting caught was far worse. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Sunday Workshop Series: Jenny Yang Cropp
St. Louis Poetry Center’s Sunday poetry workshop features critic Jenny Yang Cropp, author of Not a Bird or a Flower, String Theory and Hanging the Moon. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Arc Poetry Magazine, Hairstreak Butterfly Review and Poemeleon. She teaches poetry and publishing at Southeast Missouri State, where she serves as the poetry editor for Big Muddy. The guest poet critic leads the workshop and provides critique on a selection of pre-submitted poems. All poems submitted receive written comments.
Regional Arts Commission, Conference Room A, 6128 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

America Joins the Fight: The U.S. in WWI
No singular event brought America into World War I. Rather, a series of incidents, reactions and aspirations compelled President Woodrow Wilson to declare war on Germany in April 1917. With a century of hindsight, this program explores the causes and forces that pushed America to join a fight of epic proportions on the other side of the globe.
Soldiers Memorial, Jack C. Taylor Assembly Hall, 1315 Chestnut St., St. Louis, 63103

Pushmower Undergraduate Reading
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Hurst Lounge (Room 201)

Liberal Arts Education: What’s the Point: Cornel West & Robert George in Conversation
ROBERT P. GEORGE, the McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence, and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University; Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, joint appointment in the Department of African and African-American Studies, Harvard University.
Washington University, Graham Chapel

Family and Community: My American Girls Screening & Discussion
This documentary follows the family of Sandra and Bautista Ortiz, hardworking immigrants living frugally in a multifamily house in Brooklyn who dream of retiring to their native Dominican Republic. Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigrant Experience explores diverse immigration experiences from the past and present. Post-film discussions moderated by Adriano Udani, University of Missouri–St. Louis.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Pierre Jarawan, The Storyteller (Author Talk)
Samir leaves the safety and comfort of his family’s adopted home, Germany, for volatile Beirut in an attempt to find his missing father. Samir’s only clues are an old photo and the bedtime stories his father used to tell him. In this moving and engaging novel about family secrets, love and friendship, Pierre Jarawan pulls away the curtain of grim facts and figures portrayed in the media and shows an intimate truth of what it means to come from a country torn apart by civil war.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

The Fake News Cycle: Searching for Truth in the Digital Age
New York Times political journalist Michael Barbaro, host of the podcast The Daily, with panelists Becca Lewis, an Internet scholar and fact-checking analyst with Data & Society; Sarah Kliff, Vox correspondent and expert on health care; Anna Banchik, a social media platforms expert who also studies human-rights investigations; and moderator Sabrina Wang, a WashU senior in Arts & Sciences and executive director of the Washington University Political Review.
Washington University, Knight Hall, Emerson Auditorium

Dressing the Part: Costuming the Muny
With the stage sets painted and the script rehearsed, costumes provide the finishing touch for actors to embody their characters and bring a story to life. Join Muny archivist Laura Peters for a look at Muny costumes through the years, how they are created and what an actor does in case of a “wardrobe malfunction.”
Missouri History Museum, Lee Auditorium, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Alison C. Rollins, Library of Small Catastrophes (Author Talk)
Library of Small Catastrophes, Alison Rollins’ ambitious debut collection, interrogates the body and nation as storehouses of countless tragedies. Drawing from Jorge Luis Borges’ fascination with the library, Rollins uses the concept of the archive to offer a lyric history of the ways in which we process loss. Rather than shying away from the anger, anxiety and mourning of her narrators, Rollins’ poetry seeks to challenge the status quo, engaging in a diverse, boundary-defying dialogue with an ever-present reminder of the ways race, sexuality, spirituality, violence and American culture collide.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Faculty Book Talk: Rafia Zafar, Recipes for Respect: African American Meals and Meaning
RAFIA ZAFAR, professor of English, African and African American studies, and American culture studies, Washington University. In Recipes for Respect, Zafar explores the importance of foodways to African-American culture. She looks at how culinary traditions have served as a source of identity and pride for the black community. Zafar also chronicles the accomplishments of African-American cooks and chefs who have played a role in shaping mainstream culinary tastes.
Washington University, Olin Library, Room 142

The Secret Lives of Artworks: Provenance Research at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Museums today grapple with legal and moral issues arising from the prior ownership history (provenance) of artworks, particularly during the Nazi era. In this talk, Cathy Herbert, coordinator of collections research and documentation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), uses case studies from PMA’s renowned collection to examine how provenance research has helped illuminate and resolve the histories of contested objects, and how we ensure we are collecting responsibly today. Herbert has specialized in provenance research at PMA since 2001, and is currently the museum’s coordinator of collections research and documentation. Her responsibilities include conducting research on the ownership history of objects in the museum’s permanent collection, reviewing the provenance of potential acquisitions and establishing due diligence standards relating to acquisitions policy.
Washington University, Kemper Art Museum, Room 104

Christopher Castellani, Leading Men (Author Talk)
In July of 1953, at a glittering party thrown by Truman Capote in Portofino, Italy, Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover Frank Merlo meet Anja Blomgren, a mysteriously taciturn young Swedish beauty and aspiring actress. Their encounter will go on to alter all of their lives. Ten years later, Frank revisits the tempestuous events of that fateful summer from his deathbed in Manhattan, where he waits anxiously for Tennessee to visit him one final time. Anja, now legendary film icon Anja Bloom, lives as a recluse in the present-day U.S., until a young man connected to the events of 1953 lures her reluctantly back into the spotlight after he discovers she possesses the only surviving copy of Williams’ final play.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Other People Screening & Discussion on Unpacking Assumptions
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Aisha Sultan screens her short film, Other People, which chronicles an awkward situation that begins when a millennial mom takes her daughter on a playdate. This 10-minute film takes a nuanced look at the assumptions we make about those we consider “other.” A panel discussion follows.
Missouri History Museum, Lee Auditorium, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Naomi Jackson Reading
NAOMI JACKSON is author of The Star Side of Bird Hill, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and longlisted for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and the International Dublin Literary Award. Star Side was named an Honor Book for Fiction by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was reviewed by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Kirkus Reviews, and Entertainment Weekly. Publishers Weekly named Jackson a Writer to Watch. Jackson studied fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She traveled to South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. A graduate of Williams College, her work has appeared in literary journals and magazines in the United States and abroad, including Tin House, brilliant corners, Obsidian, Poets & Writers and The Caribbean Writer. She is the recipient of residencies and fellowships from Bread Loaf, MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House, Hedgebrook and the Camargo Foundation. Jackson has taught at the University of Iowa, University of Pennsylvania, City College of New York and Oberlin College. She was born and raised in Brooklyn by West Indian parents.
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Hurst Lounge

Lecture by Amanda Sewell
AMANDA SEWELL, Interlochen Public Radio.
Washington University, Music Classroom Building, Room 102

Eurasian Genealogies and Periodizing Korean History
EUGENE PARK, the Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania. What do such terms as “medieval” and “modern” mean? How about “early modern”? Are they Eurocentric? In what ways do these terms help or hinder comparative approaches to the study of history? While a consensus remains elusive as ever, scholars generally use these terms to help us understand changes in and among various regions across the world. Using Korea as an example, this presentation argues the usefulness of these terms. By considering the contemporaneous emergence of hereditary elite and middle social strata since antiquity in Eurasia, it proposes a periodization scheme for Korea to demonstrate Korea’s shared experiences with other Eurasian societies.
Washington University, Busch Hall, Room 100

Keep Them Sacred: Honoring Generations of Indigenous Women
Washington University’s 29th Annual Pow Wow, sponsored by the Kathryn M. Bunder Center for American Indian Studies.
Washington University Field House

Madness and the Insane in Early Twentieth-Century China
EMILY BAUM, associate professor of history, University of California, Irvine. How was “madness” understood in early 20th-century China? Baum explores the shifting meanings associated with madness during the last decade of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) and the first decade of the Chinese republic (1911–1949). During this time, the first public asylum and the first modern police force were both established in the Chinese capital of Beijing. In tandem with the advent of these new quasi-disciplinary, quasi-charitable institutions, understandings of who should be considered “insane” shifted dramatically. Baum demonstrates the ways in which the concept of madness evolved over the course of the early 20th century and argues that these changing understandings arose in part due to the emergence of new policing mechanisms in the capital city.
Washington University, Eads Hall, Room 103

Helen Ellis, Southern Lady Code (Author Talk)
The best-selling author of American Housewife is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern Lady. Helen Ellis has a mantra: “If you don’t have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way.” In these 23 raucous essays, Ellis offers readers a hilarious, completely singular view on womanhood for both sides of the Mason-Dixon. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Poetry at the Point Reading Series: Daniel Crocker, Jenny Yang Cropp, and David M. Taylor
DANIEL CROCKER’s work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Hobart, Big Muddy, New World Writing, Stirring, Juked, The Chiron Review and The Mas Tequila Review. His books include Like a Fish, The One Where I Ruin Your Childhood, the novel The Cornstalk Man and the short-story collection Do Not Look Directly Into Me. His newest full-length collection of poetry is Shit House Rat. Jenny Yang Cropp is the author of Not a Bird or a Flower, String Theory and Hanging the Moon. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Arc Poetry Magazine, Hairstreak Butterfly Review and Poemeleon. David M. Taylor’s work has appeared in various magazines such as Albany Poets, Califragile, Misfit Magazine, Philosophical Idiot, Rat’s Ass Review and Trailer Park Quarterly. His most recent poetry chapbook is Growing Up Black.
The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd., St. Louis, 63143

Second-Year Students of the MFA Program Read From Their Work
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Hurst Lounge (Room 201)

A Discussion on Gun Violence with Alex Kotlowitz & Jonathan Metzl
Left Bank Books presents a discussion on gun violence with Alex Kotlowitz, author of An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago, and Jonathan Metzl, author of Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland. The numbers are staggering: Over the past 20 years in Chicago, 14,033 people have been killed and another roughly 60,000 wounded by gunfire. What does that do to the spirit of individuals and community? Drawing on his decades of experience, Alex Kotlowitz set out to chronicle one summer in the city, writing about individuals who have emerged from the violence and whose stories capture the capacity — and the breaking point — of the human heart and soul. Applying the close-up, empathic reporting that made There Are No Children Here a modern classic, Kotlowitz offers a piercingly honest portrait of a city in turmoil. In the era of Donald Trump, many lower- and middle-class white Americans are drawn to politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But as Dying of Whiteness shows, the policies that result actually place white Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death. Physician Jonathan M. Metzl’s quest to understand the health implications of “backlash governance” leads him across America’s heartland. Interviewing a range of everyday Americans, he examines how racial resentment has fueled pro-gun laws in Missouri, resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and cuts to schools and social services in Kansas.
St. Louis Public Library – Schlafly Branch, 225 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Nell Freudenberger, Lost and Wanted (Author Talk)
Helen Clapp’s breakthrough work on five-dimensional spacetime leads her to disdain notions of the supernatural in favor of rational thought and proven ideas. When she receives a phone call from a friend who died days earlier, she is forced to question the laws of the universe that had always steadied her mind and heart. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Immigration and Popular Culture: The Search for General Tso by Ian Cheney Screening & Discussion
This ebullient documentary uses the ubiquitous Americanized dish, General Tso’s chicken, as a lens onto a larger story of immigration, adaptation and innovation to American popular culture. Part of Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on Our Immigrant Experience, presented by the St. Louis County Library and Missouri History Museum.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh, St. Louis, 63131

Women Who Ruled the World
Presenting work from her newly published book, When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt, Egyptologist Kara Cooney discusses the lives of remarkable female pharaohs from Hatshepsut to Cleopatra, shining a piercing light on perceptions of women in power today. Limited seating, please arrive early. Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt is on exhibit through Aug. 11.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

Holly Iglesias, Sleeping Things (Author Talk)
HOLLY IGLESIAS is the author of three poetry collections, Souvenirs of a Sunken World, Angles of Approach and Sleeping Things, and a critical work, Boxing Inside the Box: Women’s Prose Poetry. She has taught at the University of North Carolina–Asheville and the University of Miami, focusing on documentary and archival poetry, and has translated the work of Cuban poet Caridad Atencio. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Cultural Council, Edward Albee Foundation and Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Soldiers’ Stories
The St. Louis region has long been steeped in military history. Dating as far back as the American Revolution, the area has contributed mightily to U.S. war efforts. This tour includes a visit to the recently renovated Soldiers Memorial Military Museum and delves into the city’s wartime history by recounting the stories of local service members. Bus tour led by Marvin-Alonzo Greer, education and visitor experience lead, and Mike Venso, military and arms curator, both with the Missouri History Museum. $65–$85; see website to register.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

QFest St. Louis uses the art of contemporary gay cinema to spotlight the lives of LGBTQ people and to celebrate queer culture. The films will excite, entertain and enlighten audiences of all identities. Q&As with visiting filmmakers will be held after the screenings. $10–$13.  
Tivoli Theatre, 6350 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 63130

Kirk Wallace Johnson, The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century (Author Talk)
Acclaimed journalist Kirk Wallace Johnson presents a rollicking true-crime adventure about the theft of nearly 300 bird skins from a natural history museum in England. It’s a story that leads readers through 19th-century scientific expeditions into the jungles of Malaysia, the “feather fever” of the turn-of-the-century fashion world, and the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying and its fanatic, often underground modern-day practitioners. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man’s relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession and man’s destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Latino Catholicism in the Midwest
Saint Louis University’s Cultures of American Religion Working Group and Our Lady of Guadalupe parish present a conference on Latino Catholicism in the Midwest. The conference begins with a keynote lecture by Sergio Gonzalez (Marquette University), “Practices of Hospitality: Latinos, Faith and Community in the Midwest.” Gonzalez’ lecture is followed by a brief dinner reception and a discussion on the panelists’ own professional, personal and religious experiences working with and being a part of the Latino Catholic community in St. Louis. The conference concludes with a performance by the Matachines from Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Q&A session with the performers, and a dessert reception. Free but registration is requested at
Saint Louis University, Bolieau Hall, 1 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

Jewish Different and the Arts: Composing Compassion in Music and Biblical Theater
CAROLINE KITA, assistant professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Washington University, presents on her new book, Jewish Difference and the Arts in Vienne: Composing Compassion in Music and Biblical Theater (Indiana University Press, 2019), which examines discourses of inclusion and otherness in musical and dramatic works by Jewish artists in Vienna around 1900. Please RSVP to or call 314-442-3761.
Jewish Federation of St. Louis, 12 Millstone Campus Dr., St. Louis, 63146

Martha Hall Kelly, Lost Roses (Author Talk)
It is 1914, and Eliza is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. But when Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. Lost Roses celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women’s friendship, especially during the darkest days of history. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131