Humanities Broadsheet

St. Louis–Area Humanities Events

District Merchants
A variation on Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. Love and litigation, deep passions, and predatory lending are taken to a new level in this uneasy comedy, which wades fearlessly into the endless complexities and contradictions of life in America. Set among the Black and Jewish populations of an imagined time and place—simultaneously Shakespearean, post-Civil War Washington, D.C., and today, a remarkable tale of money, merchandise, and mercy. It explores race, religion, power and money in America that feels all too contemporary. Talkback on Thurs., Feb. 7 at 7:30 pm facilitated by Jennifer Wintzer, associate artistic director, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis.
New Jewish Theatre, Staenberg Family Complex, 2 Millstone Campus Dr., St. Louis, 63146


It’s October 1517, and the new fall semester at the University of Wittenberg finds certain members of the faculty and student body at personal and professional crossroads. Hamlet (senior, class of 1518) is returning from a summer in Poland spent studying astronomy, where he has come in contact with a revolutionary scientific theory that threatens the very order of the universe, resulting in psychic trauma and a crisis of faith for him. His teacher and mentor John Faustus (a professor of philosophy) has decided at long last to make an honest woman of his paramour, Helen, a former nun who is now one of the Continent's most sought-after courtesans. And Faustus' colleague and Hamlet's instructor and priest, Martin Luther (a professor of theology), is dealing with the spiritual and medical consequences of his long-simmering outrage at certain abusive practices of the Church. Tavern disputes, tennis duels, 16th-century lounge hits, and the slings and arrows of outrageous wit tickle your brain into overdrive. Post-performance discussion following the performance on Feb. 3, 7 pm.
Kranzberg Art Center, 501 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 63103


The Creation: 30th Anniversary Black Anthology

Black Anthology, Washington University’s longest running cultural show, is proud to present this year’s 30th Anniversary production, The Creation, inspired by James Weldon Johnson’s Harlem Renaissance poem of the same name.

Washington University, Edison Theatre



Kehinde Wiley and the Critique of Empire
Gallery talk by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art, Saint Louis Art Museum. This free, hour-long informal discussion offers insights into the art museum’s permanent collection and featured exhibitions. Talks take place in the galleries (unless otherwise noted) and are led by curators, museum educators, professors, artists and other experts. Meet at the Information Center in Sculpture Hall.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110


Maybe This Time
A comedy about the first dates of people who meet online. First dates are interesting in and of themselves because of the dynamics of two strangers getting to know someone and impress them at the same time. The play is about miscommunication and misunderstanding. It shows how often people misinterpret the nuances of words and body language: how things happen that shouldn’t and worse, how things sometimes don’t happen that should. Q&A with playwright Michael Madden following Fri., Feb. 1 performance. $20.
Alton Little Theater, 2450 N. Henry St., Alton, 62002
FRI., FEB. 1 & SUN., FEB. 2, 7:30 PM; SUN., FEB. 3, 2 PM


Graphic Revolution: Behind the Scenes of the Print Boom 1960 to Now
The Saint Louis Art Museum presents a unique opportunity to hear from artists, printers, publishers and scholars about the vibrant state of printmaking in the United States over the past six decades. The cross-pollination of ideas among practitioners active in this print boom has tested boundaries and resulted in unconventional formats that match the challenges of emerging subject matter. This multifaceted event includes a keynote lecture, panels and interactive break-out sessions featuring international, national and local presenters who are variously engaged in the world of printmaking. The symposium is held in conjunction with the exhibition Graphic Revolution: American Prints 1960 to Now (on view through Feb. 3). The Friday keynote lecture is followed by a series of symposium panels and break-out sessions on Saturday.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110
FRI., FEB. 1, 7 PM & SAT., FEB. 2, 10 AM


Theorizing Threaded Media; or, why James Bond Isn’t Just a Failed Attempt at Star Wars
COLIN BURNETT, associate professor of film and media studies, Washington University. Burnett’s work focuses on the cultural marketplace — the ideas, sensibilities, languages and social relations that shape how film and media circulate — and its effects on artistic practice, mainly in non-U.S. contexts. His first book, The Invention of Robert Bresson: The Auteur and His Market (2017), re-reads the elusive Bresson style as the product of a subtle form of exchange between the auteur and a confluence of recent aesthetic, literary, theoretical and cinephilic trends. He is currently at work on a second book, titled “Serial Bonds: The Multimedia Life of 007,” which investigates the creative “play” the James Bond franchise has fostered among authorized and unauthorized writers and artists around the globe and how this play has resulted in one of the most complex experiments in serial storytelling in the history of the media franchise.
Washington University, Umrath Hall, Room 140


Integrating Intercultural Competence into Foreign Language Curriculum through Standards and Assessment
JEEYOUNG AHN HA, director of the Korean Language Program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In today’s fast-changing multicultural world, preparing learners to become culturally competent in the target language is considered as an indispensable component of a foreign-language curriculum. Then, what does being culturally competent mean for learners? And how do language educators ensure that they are cultivating intercultural communicative competence? This workshop addresses these issues and proposes as a useful tool a pedagogy that incorporates the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ Integrated Performance Assessment and Can-Do Statements for Intercultural Communication.
Washington University, Busch Hall, Room 18


100 Boots: Roger Reeves and Sawako Nakayasu
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. The third event of the season features readings by poets Roger Reeves and Sawako Nakayasu. Early arrival is encouraged due to limited seating.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108


Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work Curatorial Tour
Join Curator Tamara H. Schenkenberg for a tour of Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work. This landmark career-spanning show brings together some 80 works, comprising nearly 60 sculptures from the full trajectory of her career — including looped wire, tied wire, electroplated and cast works — as well as 20 drawings and collages.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108


Inspired by the two teenage years Suzanne Bocanegra spent in a body cast due to scoliosis, Bodycast is an inventive theatricalization of the ubiquitous “artist talk” starring actress Lili Taylor. Part performance and part essay, Bocanegra uses the format to explore how and why she became an artist. This program is free to attend; however, seating is limited. To reserve your seat, register at Brown Paper Tickets. Seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6 pm.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108


The Birth of Greek Myths and Legends
MICHAEL COSMOPOULOS, archaeologist with the University of Missouri–St. Louis, discusses the origins of Greek mythology revealed in discoveries of Iklaina in Pylos and other ancient Greek sites of the Trojan War and Homer’s The Iliad. Exciting archaeological excavations such as those Cosmopoulos directs at Iklaina allow a glimpse into the processes that led to those myths. UMSL Center for the Humanities Monday Noon Series.
University of Missouri–St. Louis, Gallery 210, 1 University Blvd., St. Louis, 63121


Negotiating Israeli and Palestinian Identity: A Conversation with Sayed Kashua
Join the Department of Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, University Libraries, and Center for Diversity and Inclusion for a discussion with Sayed Kashua, author, journalist and creator of the TV show Arab Labor.
Washington University, Olin Library, Room 142


David Humphrey
New York artist David Humphrey has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rome Prize, among other awards, and has shown his work nationally and internationally. An anthology of his art writing, Blind Handshake, was published by Periscope Publishing in 2010. He teaches in the MFA programs at Columbia University and is represented by the Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York. Reception, 6 pm.
Washington University, Steinberg Auditorium


Observable Reading Series: Tiana Clark and Amber Flora Thomas
TIANA CLARK is the author of Equilibrium, selected for the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. She is the winner of the 2017 Furious Flower’s Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize, the 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize and a 2019 Pushcart Prize. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review and Thrush. Amber Flora Thomas is the author of two collections of poems: Eye of Water, winner of the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and The Rabbits Could Sing, selected by for the Alaska Literary Series in 2011.  A recipient of the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, Richard Peterson Prize and Ann Stanford Prize, her poetry has appeared in Callaloo, Orion Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Saranac Review and Crab Orchard Review.  She is a Cave Canem Fellow and faculty member. $5. St. Louis Poetry Center.
Dressel’s Public House, 419 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108


Chloe Benjamin, The Immortalists (Author Talk)
CHLOE BENJAMIN’S best-selling novel The Immortalists asks the question: If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children — four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness — sneak out to hear their fortunes. The prophecies inform their next five decades. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131


To Have and Have Not Screening & Discussion
In the first Bogie and Bacall film, which is also Lauren Bacall’s screen debut, director Howard Hawks seems to be trying to recapture some of the magic of 1942’s Casablanca and has more luck at it than he has any right to. Co-adapted by William Faulkner from an Ernest Hemingway novel, To Have and Have Not finds Bogie as Harry Morgan, a fishing boat operator, who encounters Bacall’s Slim Browning, a singer, while in Martinique. Introduced by Cliff Froelich, executive director of Cinema St. Louis and adjunct professor of film studies at Webster University. $5–$7.
Webster University, Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, 63119


Winner of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Play. In 1993, two bitter enemies shocked the world by shaking hands and agreeing to work toward peace. This breathtaking drama tells the story of the secretive and precarious negotiations that made that moment possible. By focusing on the Norwegian couple who brokered talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, Oslo finds the unlikely story behind this historic event. Post-show discussions after the following performances: Feb. 13, 1:30 pm; Feb. 14, 8 pm; Feb. 21, 8 pm; Feb. 27, 1:30 pm. $19–$92.
Repertory Theatre St. Louis, Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts, 130 Edgar Rd., Webster Groves, 63119


Shari’a and Predatory Mal-Administration in the Ottoman Empire
BOĞAÇ ERGENE, professor, Department of History, University of Vermont.
Washington University, Busch Hall, Room 18


Georgina Huljich
Architect and educator Georgina Huljich, joined P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S as partner in 2006. In her role as principal and managing director — and with more than 13 years of experience — Huljich has actively pushed the office to engage in new speculative and strategic horizons, having a huge impact on design and scale of work. Huljich holds a professional degree from the National University of Rosario, Argentina, and a master of architecture from UCLA, where she graduated with distinction and was the recipient of several design awards. She previously worked at the Guggenheim Museum, at the architectural firm Dean/Wolf Architects in New York and at Morphosis Architects in Los Angeles. Huljich is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Architecture at UCLA, where she has taught since 2006. Reception, 6 pm.
Washington University, Steinberg Auditorium


Dani Shapiro, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love (Author Talk)
What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us? Acclaimed author of Hourglass and other memoirs, Dani Shapiro shares her personal story about identity, paternity and family secrets — a real-time exploration of the staggering discovery she recently made about her father, and her struggle to piece together the hidden story of her own life. Inheritance is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in — a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131


Life and Afterlife Among the Ancient Maya
At Piedras Negras, the largest ancient Maya urban center along the Usumacinta River in Guatemala, the “collapse” of dynastic rule was a centuries-long process. Ruler 7’s loss in battle against the forces of Yaxchilan may have put a final bitter note on things and posed a crisis of confidence. Presented with the Archaeological Institute of America. 
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112


Art, Activism, and Aesthetic Strategies of Jenny Holzer and Gran Fury
VICTORIA BARRY, graduate student in the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Washington University, discusses the artist collective Gran Fury’s poster Kissing Doesn’t Kill: Greed and Indifference Do (1989) and American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer’s series of printed condom packages produced in the 1980s. Barry considers these two critical responses to the AIDS epidemic, especially their shared use of subversive appropriative strategies and aesthetics, and positions them within a larger debate surrounding politically engaged artwork.
Washington University, Kemper Art Museum Study Room (Room 104)


Laura Benedict, The Stranger Inside (Author Talk)
There's a stranger living in Kimber Hannon’s St. Louis home. He tells the police that he has every right to be there, and he has the paperwork to prove it. Kimber definitely didn’t invite this man to move in. He tells her that he knows something about her, and he wants everyone else to know it too. “I was there. I saw what you did.” These words reveal a connection to Kimber’s distant past and dark secrets she’d long ago left buried. This trespasser isn’t after anything as simple as her money or her charming Craftsman bungalow. He wants to move into her carefully orchestrated life — and destroy it.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108


Unfinished Business: From the Great Migration to Black Lives Matter
This musical documentary offers a creative, interactive approach to documenting oral histories of African American elders from historic black churches throughout the country. The elders share their migration stories, visions for the future, and the “unfinished business” that holds the key to achieving liberty and justice for all.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112


Evie Shockley Reads From Her Poetry
EVIE SHOCKLEY is the author of three books of poetry — semiautomatic (2017), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in poetry; the new black (2011), winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry; and a half-red sea (2006) — as well as a critical monograph, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (2011). Specializing in 20th-century African American literature, contemporary poetry and poetics and black studies, she is a professor of English at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Room 201


Football, Masculinity and Politics in the Making of ‘Nixonland’
FRANK GURIDY, associate professor of history, Columbia University. When Donald Trump decided to add protesting NFL players to his long list of imagined enemies of the U.S., he unwittingly revealed the deep investments Republican politicians have in the sport of football. These investments consolidated in the 1960s and early 1970s, when the Republican Party sought to capture the votes of white Southerners and suburbanites during the presidency of Richard Nixon. Guridy explores how Nixon’s so-called Southern strategy centered on the sport of football, showing that it was not merely a racial strategy, but a gendered one, designed to consolidate a white masculine ideal in the face of the anti-war, feminist and Black Power movements.
Washington University, Danforth University Center, Room 276


Abstraction in African American Contemporary Art
Gallery talk by Alexis Assam, 2018-2019 Romare Bearden Graduate Museum Fellow, Saint Louis Art Museum. This free, hour-long informal discussion offers insights into the art museum’s permanent collection and featured exhibitions. Meet at the Information Center in Sculpture Hall.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110
THURS., FEB. 7, 11 AM; FRI., FEB. 8, 6 PM


The Continuation of Artistic Exchange: Navajo Textiles in the 21st Century
From the 19th to the 21st century, from trading posts to fine art museums and galleries, the masterworks of Navajo weaving have transcended time and space. Fourth-generation Navajo weaver Melissa S. Cody addresses how the Navajo weavings of today are much like those from the past in the ways they mirror the social and economic history of the Navajo people. Through sharing her own art practice, Cody discusses how Navajo weaving has continued to evolve through exploration and experimentation with “lazy-line” patterns, color and design, thereby creating new works that have surpassed the definition of “decorative arts.” Free but tickets are required. See website.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110


Jessie Sima, Love, Z (Author Talk)
Join us for a special Valentine’s Day–themed Celebrity Storytime with author and illustrator Jessie Sima, who reads from her new picture book, Love, Z! From the creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes the story of a young robot trying to find the meaning of “love.” When a small robot named Z discovers a message in a bottle signed “Love, Beatrice,” they decide to find out what “love” means. Unable to get an answer from the other robots, they leave to embark on an adventure that will lead them to Beatrice — and back home again, where love was hiding all along.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 6308


Conversation on Arts Education: Innovation in Public Schools
Join us for a conversation on the future of arts education in public schools, touching on issues of accessibility, education design and innovative tools for educators and policy workers. Participants include Colby Heckendorn, principal of Patrick Henry Downtown Academy; Miriam Ruiz, school and community programs manager at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; and Sue Bell Yank, director of communications and outreach at 18th Street Arts Center, Los Angeles.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108


The Contributions and Legacies of Black Doughboys
Join a panel of African-American veterans from WWII to the present to discuss how the sacrifices made by veterans of the First World War transcended race and influenced the lives of American veterans for generations to come. 
Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, 1315 Chestnut St., St. Louis, 63103


The Making of Kehinde Wiley: Saint Louis
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the exhibition. Presenters include individuals depicted in the portraits; exhibition curators Simon Kelly and Hannah Klemm; and Renée Franklin, director of audience development. Free but ticketed event. See website.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110


Women Jazz Composers
Women Jazz Composers focuses on women composers, while remembering women have also been major lyricists and performers. Come listen to Nancy Kranzberg, vocals; Jim Widner, bass; Tom George, jazz arranger and pianist; and Barbara Harbach, narrator and composer. UMSL Center for the Humanities Monday Noon Series.
Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8454 Glen Echo Dr., Bel-Nor, 63121


Black Imagination Matters
MITCH McEWEN is principal of McEwen Studio and co-founder of A(n) Office, a collaborative of design studios in Detroit and New York City. Co-sponsored by the Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative.
Washington University, Steinberg Auditorium   

Tim Johnston, The Current; and B.A. Shapiro, The Collector’s Apprentice (Author Talks)
Tim Johnston’s latest book, The Current, is the story of a young woman’s investigation into the mysterious death of a friend. B.A. Shapiro’s historical art thriller is set in the Parisian art world of 1922, The Collector’s Apprentice. It follows a woman desperately looking for a new life who becomes increasingly entangled in a sophisticated con game. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131


‘Le Devenir des sons’: An Evening of French Spectral Music
“Le Devenir des sons” presents music of the last 40 years belonging to an important movement in European concert music. Featuring guest soloist Wendy Richman, viola, the concert traces four distinct interpretations of the spectral style. 
Pillsbury Theatre, 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave., University City, 63130


African-American History and Genealogy
Representatives from the St. Louis African American History and Genealogy Society (STL-AAHGS) will host a workshop on the best ways to trace your African American roots. Learn tips and tricks for finding reliable information about black ancestors, and participate in some hands-on history and genealogy activities.
St. Louis Public Library – Schlafly Branch, 225 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108


Emily Bernard, Black Is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine (Author Talk)
EMILY BERNARD’S fearless and penetrating memoir begins with an episode of violence: While a graduate student at Yale, she was working in a coffee shop when a stranger stabbed her. That shocking attack would eventually unleash the storyteller in her, and in these pages she seeks to find a language to capture the complexities of her experiences as a victim, a woman, a black American, a teacher, writer, mother, wife and daughter. Bernard writes in Black Is the Body how each of the essays goes beyond a narrative of black innocence and white guilt, how each is anchored in a mystery, and how each sets out to discover a new way of telling the truth as the author has lived it. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131


Religion and Polarized Politics: Peter Wehner and Melissa Rogers on Revitalizing Democratic Pluralism
PETER WEHNER and Melissa Rogers served in different presidential administrations and will share their experience with the relationship between religion and U.S. politics from within the executive branch, as well as consider current issues of religion in public life. Rogers recently served as special assistant to the president and executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, during the Obama administration. Her area of expertise includes the First Amendment’s religion clauses, religion in American public life, and the interplay of religion, policy and politics.
Wehner served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations prior to becoming deputy director of speechwriting for President George W. Bush. In 2002 he was asked to head the Office of Strategic Initiatives, and he has also worked on several presidential campaigns.
Washington University, Emerson Auditorium


Diana Chapman bizSESSION: Expanding Creativity Through Conscious Leadership
DIANA CHAPMAN leads you through an interactive presentation to break down roadblocks to thinking creatively and innovating in your daily work. Based on her best-selling book, The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Success, the workshop helps you focus and find clarity while becoming more collaborative, creative, energized and engaged. Chapman is an advisor to exceptional leaders and is a founding partner at Conscious Leadership Group. She has been a speaker at TEDx, Mindful Leadership Summit, Wisdom 2.0, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Haas School of Business, YPO and Kauffman Fellows. $55.
COCA Staenberg Performance Lab, 524 Trinity Ave., University City, 63130


Emerging Perspectives of Cahokia’s Ramey Field
Beginning with its early documentation in the late 19th century, the Ramey Field east of Monk’s Mound at Cahokia experienced monumental constructions that waxed and waned between AD 850 and 1350. J. Grant Stauffer, Washington University, describes previous and ongoing investigations of this space’s changing use over time. Presented with the Mound City Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society. 
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, 63112


Max Beckmann: Art and Social Resistance
Gallery talk by Jeanne Zarruchi, professor of art history and French, University of Missouri–St. Louis. This free, hour-long informal discussion offers insights into the Saint Louis Art Museum’s permanent collection and featured exhibitions. Meet at the Information Center in Sculpture Hall.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110
THURS., FEB. 14, 11 AM; FRI., FEB. 15, 6 PM


Evie Shockley Lectures on the Craft of Poetry
EVIE SHOCKLEY is the author of three books of poetry — semiautomatic (2017), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in poetry; the new black (2011), winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry; and a half-red sea (2006) — as well as a critical monograph, Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (2011). Specializing in 20th-century African-American literature, contemporary poetry and poetics, and black studies, she is a professor of English at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Room 201


Eighth Blackbird, In conversation

Moderated by Christopher Stark and LJ White

Washington University, Tietjens Hall, Room 4 



Guangzhou Dream Factory Screening & Discussion
Guangzhou, a.k.a. Canton, is southern China’s centuries-old trading port. Today the booming metropolis of 14 million is a mecca of mass consumption, its vast international trading centers crammed with every “Made in China” good imaginable. Every year more than half a million Africans travel to Guangzhou, where they buy goods to sell back in Africa. Over time, some have chosen to stay, and for these Africans, China looks like the new land of opportunity, a place where anything is possible. But is it? Featuring a dynamic cast of men and women from Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, Guangzhou Dream Factory weaves the stories of Africans chasing alluring, yet elusive, “Made in China” dreams into a compelling critique of 21st-century global capitalism. Following a filmmaker’s journey from Ghana to China and back to Africa, Guangzhou Dream Factory provides a rare glimpse of African aspirations in an age of endless outsourcing. Post-screening Q&A with director Erica Marcus, one of the first Americans to study and work in China after normalization of relations between the United States and China (1979). She began her film career in the early 1980s working in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, she assisted the Cannes award-winning filmmaker Hu Jin Quan (胡金铨 or King Hu). Marcus has since produced documentary films that have screened at numerous festivals including Sundance, Berlin and Locarno, and been broadcast on PBS and European TV networks.
Washington University, Busch Hall, Room 100


Sunday Workshop Series: Justin Phillip Reed
JUSTIN PHILLIP REED is a poet, essayist, flâneur and the author of Indecency (2018). His work appears in African American Review, Best American Essays, Callaloo, The Kenyon Review, The New York Times Magazine, Obsidian and elsewhere. He earned a BA in creative writing at Tusculum College and an MFA in poetry at Washington University, where he served as Junior Writer-in-Residence. The inaugural St. Paul-de-Vence James Baldwin Writer-in-Residence, Reed has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Conversation Literary Festival and the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis. Reed 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


This Is Us: Meet the Artists Opening Reception
Get an inside look at Gallery 210’s This Is Us exhibition and meet artists who work at Living Arts Studio in Maplewood. Gina Alvarez, executive director, VSA Arts of MO and Living Arts Studio, talks on this VSA Arts of Missouri exhibition. Open Studio supports artists living with and without disabilities creating art in all media. The inclusive exhibition ranges from painting and drawing to installation
University of Missouri–St. Louis, Gallery 210, 1 University Dr., St. Louis, 63121


Charlie Jane Anders, The City in the Middle of the Night (Author Talk)
January is a dying planet — divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Humanity clings to life, spread across two archaic cities built in the sliver of habitable dusk. But life inside the cities is just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside. Sophie, a student and reluctant revolutionary, is supposed to be dead, after being exiled into the night. Saved only by forming an unusual bond with the enigmatic beasts who roam the ice, Sophie vows to stay hidden from the world. But fate has other plans — and Sophie’s ensuing odyssey and the ragtag family she finds will change the entire world.
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th St., St. Louis, 63118


River Styx Reading Series: Peter Coviello, Kimberly Blaeser and Andrea Scaprino
KIMBERLY BLAESER was the 2015–16 Wisconsin Poet Laureate. She is the author of three books of poetry: Trailing You, winner of the first book award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas; Absentee Indians and Other Poems; and Apprenticed to Justice. Peter Coviello is the author of Long Players, Tomorrow’s Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America and Intimacy in America: Dreams of Affiliation in Antebellum Literature. Andrea Scarpino is the author of the poetry collections Once Upon Wing Lake, What the Willow Said as It Fell, The Grove Behind, and Once, Then. $4–$5.
Rooster South Grand, 3150 South Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 63118

Elizabeth Letts, Finding Dorothy (Author Talk)
The author of two best-selling nonfiction books, Elizabeth Letts is a master at researching a fascinating historical story and transforming it into a page-turner. This richly imagined novel tells the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz through the eyes of author L. Frank Baum’s intrepid wife, Maud. Finding Dorothy is the result of Letts’s journey into the amazing lives of Frank and Maud Baum, as well as her discovery of the real-life inspiration for the character of Dorothy. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131
Chris Wilson, The Master Plan, in conversation with Jeff Smith (Author Talk)
Social entrepreneur, mentor and public speaker Chris Wilson discusses his new book, The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose, with Missouri Workforce Housing Association executive director Jeff Smith. Growing up in a tough Washington, D.C., neighborhood, Chris Wilson was so afraid for his life he wouldn’t leave the house without a gun. One night, defending himself, he killed a man. At 18, he was sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole. But what should have been the end of his story became the beginning. Deciding to make something of his life, Chris embarked on a journey of self-improvement — reading, working out, learning languages, even starting a business. He wrote his master plan: a list of all he expected to accomplish or acquire. He is the embodiment of second chances, and this is his unforgettable story. Jeff Smith is executive director of the Missouri Workforce Housing Association, which comprises 190 organizations dedicated to preserving and developing safe, decent affordable housing throughout the state. Smith has written three books: Trading Places, Mr. Smith Goes to Prison and Ferguson in Black and White. Smith, whose TED talk on prison entrepreneurship has garnered over a million views, serves on the national boards of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program and American Prison Data Systems.
St. Louis Public Library – Central Branch, 1301 Olive St., St. Louis, 63103

Activating the Museum: Reflections on Architecture in the Gallery 
BARRY BERGDOLL is the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Architectural History at Columbia University and curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), where from 2007–13 he served as the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design. At MoMA, Bergdoll has organized, curated and consulted on several major exhibitions of 19th- and 20th-century architecture, including Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive (2017) and Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980 (2015). A prolific author, Bergdoll served as president of the Society of Architectural Historians from 2006 to 2008 and as the Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University in winter 2011. In 2013 delivered the 62nd A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Washington University, Givens Hall, Kemper Auditorium

The Latino Question and the Democratic Commons 

Lázaro Lima, the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair in the Liberal Arts at the University of Richmond. Supported in part through funding from the Office of the Provost: Distinguished Visiting Scholar Program and by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Latinx Studies Steering Committee and the Department of History. 
Washington University, Danforth University Center, Goldberg Lounge


Charles Finch, The Vanishing Man (Author Talk)
This chilling new mystery in the best-selling historical suspense series takes readers back to gentleman sleuth Charles Lenox’s early career and a case in which the theft of an antique painting sends Detective Lenox on a hunt for a criminal mastermind. London, 1853: A painting has been stolen from the Duke of Dorset’s private study, but hiding in plain sight is another painting of infinitely more value, one that holds the key to one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Dorset believes the thieves took the wrong painting and may return when they realize their error — and when his fears result in murder, Lenox must unravel the mystery behind both paintings before tragedy can strike again. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Mapping the Broadway Musical: Time Travel into America’s Musical Theater Past
TODD DECKER, professor of music, Washington University, leads a journey into musical theater history using digital maps that chart the development of Times Square, the imaginary worlds of Broadway music and the persistent racial segregation of the American musical stage. This virtual trip includes a stop in St. Louis to explore how The Muny fits into the larger story of the country’s deep musical heritage.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, 63112

Jasper Fforde, Early Riser (Author Talk)
Every winter, the human population hibernates. During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness, devoid of human activity. Well, not quite. Your name is Charlie Worthing, and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses. You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams, which you dismiss as nonsense, nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind. When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling. When you get the dreams too, it's weird. When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity. But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you'll be fine.
Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Rd., St. Louis, 63117

Welcoming the Stranger to St. Louis: Religious Responses to Recent Immigrants and Refugees
This public event brings together local leaders to consider current issues related to immigration and refugees with a keen focus on the St. Louis–area religious response. Anna Crosslin, president and CEO of the International Institute of St. Louis, discusses the organization’s efforts in the current climate. Following her remarks, a panel of local clergy leaders representing a range of religious traditions discuss the actions their communities are pursuing to serve immigrants and refugees in the St. Louis area. Panel participants include Maharat Rori Picker Neiss, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council; Dr. F. Javier Orozco, OFS, Archdiocese of St. Louis executive director of human dignity and intercultural affairs; and Imam Eldin Susa, St. Louis Islamic Center NUR. Q&A and reception to follow.
Washington University, Women’s Building Formal Lounge

The Legacy of the Refugees in Exile (1933–1945)
The greatest intellectual loss for Germany during the Nazi period was the group of Jewish and anti-Nazi writers, artists and scholars that had to flee from persecution. For many of them, the United States became the country of exile. Both the U.S. as well as postwar Germany profited from their legacy. The exiled intellectuals were the ones who experienced the negative effects of the destructed democratic government and appreciated the life in a republic on the other side of the Atlantic. The exiled writers and scholars contributed to a democratic transatlantic culture. The Washington University German department started its long history of symposia with a conference on German exile literature in the United States in 1972; the spiritus rector of this symposium was Egon Schwarz, himself an exiled scholar. At that time, the university was home to a number of internationally known exiled scholars who left their mark in their academic disciplines. An Olin Library exhibit about the work of these exiled scholars concludes the workshop. For more information, contact Professor Paul Michael Lützeler at or Brian Vetruba at Organized and supported by Washington University’s German department, Olin Library, the Kemper Art Museum, as well as by Deutschlandjahr USA (Goethe Institute).
Washington University, Danforth University Center, Room 276

Art and Democracy
Panel discussion featuring Rebecca Wanzo (moderator; Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Washington University), Faculty Book Celebration keynote speaker Caroline Levine (English, Cornell University), Ignacio Sánchez Prado (Romance Languages & Literatures, Washington University), Ila Sheren (Art History & Archaeology, Washington University) and Rachel Greenwald Smith (English, Saint Louis University). Lunch provided; please RSVP to attend:
Washington University, Olin Library, Room 140

Sustainable Forms: Routine, Infrastructure, Conservation
CAROLINE LEVINE, the David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities at Cornell University. Literary and cultural studies have long prized moments of rupture and resistance. But as neoliberal economics undoes prospects of secure work, and as fossil fuels radically disrupt longstanding ecosystems, it seems increasingly clear that we need not more radical disruption but more stability. This talk asks how we might best support and sustain collective life over time. It turns to the tools of formalist analysis to sketch out some arrangements of space and time, some organizations of power and resources, some patterns of distribution and conservation, that are more supportive of the common good than others. It turns to forms we’ve often mistrusted or dismissed—forms of the everyday that keep life going over time and so have been called conservative — to articulate an aesthetics of building and making for a sustainable future. Caroline Levine has spent her career asking how and why the humanities and the arts matter, especially in democratic societies. She argues for the understanding of forms and structures as crucial to understanding links between art and society. She is the author of three books, The Serious Pleasures of Suspense: Victorian Realism and Narrative Doubt (2003, winner of the Perkins Prize for the best book in narrative studies), Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Arts (2007), and Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (2015, named one of Flavorwire’s “10 Must-Read Academic Books of 2015”). She is currently the 19th-century editor for the Norton Anthology of World Literature and has written on topics ranging from formalist theory to Victorian poetry and from television serials to academic freedom. She taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before coming to Cornell, where she was co-founder of the Mellon World Literatures Workshop. She is a native of Syracuse, NY. Washington University Faculty Book Celebration.
Washington University, Women’s Building, Formal Lounge

The Law of Periandros: Financial Syndication and Risk Allocation in 4th Century Athenian Naval Finance
J. ANDREW FOSTER, associate professor of classics, Fordham University.
Washington University, Location TBD

Time’s a Gettin’ Harder: Stories of the Great Migration
Local theater group Call 2 Conscience will chronicle individual stories of hardship & triumph of African Americans. Although emancipated, the hopes of freedom were dashed during the Reconstruction Era, crushed further by Jim Crow. African Americans’ burning desire to control their own destinies led to the difficult decision to pull up long-planted roots and journey into the unknown. Serious questions had to be answered: How bad is it here in the South? How good is it up there? Who in the family will make the journey? How will those left behind be cared for? How much will it cost? Where will I live? The stories will recount through narratives, music, and slides that will describe true accounts of individual lives and collective experiences of people who participated in and witnessed the Great Migration firsthand.
St. Louis Public Library – Schlafly Branch, 225 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Vedran Husić, Basements and Other Museums (Author Talk)
Winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award from Black Lawrence Press and long-listed for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, Basements and Other Museums cycles in and out of the tumultuous history of the Balkans — more specifically, Vedran Husić’s Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he was born. These are stories rooted in place and the loss of that place, stories anchored in the wars of the 1990s as much as in the Bosnian diaspora, where characters live in the present day in places like suburban Phoenix, Arizona and wrestle with their inherited histories of violence.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108


Performing Research: Considering the Senses in Research and Performance 

TOMIE HAHN, Professor and Graduate Program Director, Arts and Director, Center for Deep Listening, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Washington University, Music Classroom Building, Room 102  


Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches
Perhaps Jack Kroll in Newsweek described Millennium Approaches best: “The most ambitious American play of our time: an epic that ranges from earth to heaven; focuses on politics, sex and religion; transports us to Washington, the Kremlin, the South Bronx, Salt Lake City and Antarctica; deals with Jews, Mormons, WASPs, blacks; switches between realism and fantasy, from the tragedy of AIDS to the camp comedy of drag queens to the death or at least the absconding of God.” Written by Tony Kushner and directed by Henry I. Schvey, Washington University. $15–$20.
Washington University, Edison Theatre
FEBRUARY 22 & 23, 8 PM; FEBRUARY 24, 2 PM

Forgotten St. Louis Stories of WWI
Learn about the long-forgotten stories of St. Louisans who contributed to the war effort, both on the home front and abroad, and their lasting effects on our nation.
Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, 1315 Chestnut St., St. Louis, 63103

Imagination for a (Black) American
DAMON DAVIS’S Negrophilia is art work on trauma and triumph. Davis discusses imagination in Black Americans’ development and survival and the inseparability for a cultural standpoint in Black America. He writes, “It started as a personal meditative and therapeutic tool for me to deal with the constant stress of what was happening in my hometown of St. Louis after the murder of Michael Brown. The work became snapshots of images and feelings I saw in person and on social media” — American culture’s obsessive, grotesque fascination with Black death, intrusiveness of looking at Black people dying in real time, and effects on the oppressor and the oppressed psyche. Damon Davis: Negrophilia Gallery 210 exhibition runs February 16–May 11. UMSL Center for the Humanities Monday Noon Series.
University of Missouri–St. Louis, Gallery 210, 1 University Dr., St. Louis, 63121


Approaching Millennium: Reflecting on 40 Years of AIDS and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America Symposium

Washington University, Women’s Building Formal Lounge


Kyle Swenson, Good Kids, Bad City (Author Talk)
After 39 years — at the age of 60 — Wiley Bridgeman walked out of Cuyahoga County Justice Center in Cleveland, Ohio arm-in-arm with his brother Kwame Bridgeman. After a cumulative 106 years serving time for a crime they didn’t commit, the Bridgeman brothers and their best friend, Rickey Jackson, were suddenly free men after their murder conviction was thrown out based on the key witness — after decades — confessing to false testimony. In Good Kids, Bad City, Kyle Swenson tells their stunning story, a story of a Midwestern city’s struggle against larger forces of deindustrialization and corruption, and a story of race in America against a flawed justice system.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Beyond Museums: Career Paths in Arts and Culture
Ever wondered what careers exist in the field of arts and culture and what types or organizations make up this field? Now is your chance to find out. The Kemper Art Museum's third annual career exploration event features brief panel discussions with arts and culture professionals from around the St. Louis area. Plus, find out about open positions and upcoming internships at local organizations. This program is designed for St. Louis–area college and high school students, but anyone interested is welcome.
Washington University, Danforth University Center, Formal Lounge

From the Page to the Stage
Most of the stories behind America’s favorite musicals were around decades before audiences heard them set to music. Presenter Joe Gfaller, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, joins two professional actors for this dynamic program that explores selections from four hit musicals, how they were adapted, and how the eras in which they were adapted shaped the way their stories were told.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Ann Leckie, The Raven Tower (Author Talk)
For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven. He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven's Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself. His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven's watch, the city flourishes. But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts. And they have made their own alliances with other gods. 
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Poetry at the Point Reading Series: Kate Wylie, Rita Rouvails Chapman and Richard Stimac
KATE WYLIE is a 2018 graduate of Webster University, where she earned academic and departmental honors for her chapbook Too Close to the Fire, as well as the English department’s Pearson House Award. Rita Rouvails Chapman’s poems have appeared in literary journals and anthologies both in the U.S. and Europe. She earned an MFA from the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Richard Stimac, winner of the Millie Southwood Award for Poetry recently finished a collection of poems titled Letters of Forgetting with One Word of Hope.
The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd., St. Louis, 63143

Caitlyn Collins, Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving (Author Talk)
Of all Western industrialized countries, the United States ranks dead last for supportive work-family policies. No federal paid parental leave. The highest gender wage gap. No minimum standard for vacation and sick days. The highest maternal and child poverty rates. Can American women look to European policies for solutions? Making Motherhood Work draws on interviews that sociologist Caitlyn Collins 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.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Leila Slimani, Adèle (Author Talk)
LEILA SLIMANI’S prize-winning first novel is a captivating exploration of addiction, sexuality and one woman’s quest to feel alive. Adèle appears to have the perfect life: She is a successful journalist in Paris who lives in a beautiful apartment with her surgeon husband and their young son. But underneath the surface, she is consumed by an obsession and soon becomes ensnared in a trap of her own making. A journalist and frequent commentator on women’s and human rights, Leila Slimani is French president Emmanuel Macron’s personal representative for the promotion of the French language and culture. She is the first Moroccan woman to win France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt. Doors open at 6 pm.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Shelia P. Moses, The Last Mile: Conversations with Dick Gregory (Author Talk)
For 25 years, Dick Gregory's biographer, Shelia P. Moses, spent countless hours recording, researching and archiving the life of this icon. They discussed slavery, wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights movement, presidents and poverty. In a way only Dick Gregory could, he shared his true feelings about Malcolm X, John Lennon, Medgar Evers, Michael Jackson and so many famous and everyday people. This book tells the real story of the world according to Dick Gregory.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108