Humanities Broadsheet

St. Louis–Area Humanities Events

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French Corridor Expedition
Join Big Muddy Adventure’s senior guide staff on the French Corridor Expedition from St. Louis down to Ste. Genevieve. Experience the river islands and historic places settled by the French in the 17th and 18th centuries while traveling in our signature hand-built Voyageur canoe. Enjoy a special gourmet menu of 18th-century French cuisine cooked over an open campfire. This tour includes a stop at Fort de Chartres, where we’ll see soldiers, trappers, traders and Native Americans as portrayed by historical reenactors bartering supplies and buying goods. The trip will cover approximately 55 miles on the Mississippi River. $250.
Big Muddy Adventures, 4245A Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 63110
FRI., NOV. 1–SUN., NOV. 3

Free Speech & Art Activism: Self-Guided Tour
Inspired by Nadine Strossen’s book Hate: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship. Attendees can explore items on view in both spaces.
Washington University, Kemper Art Museum and Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library

Art on Campus Walking Tour
Put on your walking shoes for a tour of public artworks by such artists as Ayşe Erkmen, Katharina Grosse, Ann Hamilton and Jaume Plensa installed throughout the Danforth Campus as part of the Art on Campus program. Led by Leslie Markle, curator for public art, Washington University, the 90-minute tour begins at the Kemper Art Museum and includes a stop at the new Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden to see the latest Art on Campus commission by Dan Graham, Bisected Circle (2019). 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 Washington University, these artworks enhance the cultural, intellectual and visual experience of all who visit as well as those who study and work there. By giving public art a strong presence throughout campus, the program reframes and transforms the environment, provoking consideration of both place and space.
Washington University, Kemper Art Museum

A Two-Way Mirror: Set Design and Social Reflection in Shanghai Cinema, 1937–1941
YUQIAN YAN, postdoctoral fellow in Chinese performance cultures at Washington University. Despite the rapid recovery of the Shanghai film industry after the Battle of Shanghai, one thing that filmmakers hardly recuperated during the Orphan Island period was the practice of location shooting due to the conditions of the war. Film companies almost completely relied on studio sets for production, and set designers were increasingly compared to magicians who created the illusion of infinite worlds out of confined studio space. Yan examines how varied strategies of spatial configurations in Orphan Island cinema conditioned the viewers’ experience of the diegetic world and their reflections on social reality. Using the “two-way mirror” model to complicate the meaning of contemporary relevance, Yan demonstrates the critical role of set design in determining the reflective quality of a film text.
Washington University, Busch Hall, Room 18

Curatorial Tour: Zarina: Atlas of Her World
With some 30 prints, sculptures and collages dating from the 1960s to the present, as well as a select group of works by other artists — spanning cultures and centuries — Zarina: Atlas of Her World is the first exhibition to highlight the art and objects that have inspired the Indian-born American artist throughout her career. Join Curator Tamara H. Schenkenberg on a guided tour of the exhibition.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

Día de los Muertos Poetry Reading
DANA LEVIN and Carmen Giménez Smith call forth the spirits in this special reading to honor Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead. Levin reads from her latest books Banana Palace and Sky Burial. Smith’s latest book Be Recorder was long listed for the 2019 National Book Award.
The High Low, 3301 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 63102

In Motion: Filmmaking Conference
This one-day conference affords both novice and professional filmmakers the opportunity to learn from industry experts, network with peers and participate in Continuity’s ongoing efforts to expand diversity in film. Attendees will hear from filmmakers whose films have played at Sundance and premiered on Netflix and national television. Speakers include Damon Davis (Whose Streets?), Stephanie Tobey (Abducted in Plain Sight) and David Johnson (Fast N’ Loud, Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s). $100–$125.
Covo, 401 Pine St., St. Louis, 63102

Jewish Book Festival
ISAAC MIZRAHI will be the keynote speaker for opening night of the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival on Sun., Nov. 3 at 7 pm at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center’s Staenberg Family Complex in Creve Coeur. Mizrahi will speak about his new book, I.M.: A Memoir, in which the fashion industry leader offers a poignant, candid and touching look back on his life so far. From growing up gay in a sheltered Syrian Jewish Orthodox family to the partnership with Target that brought his high-end collection to the masses and revolutionized fashion retail, Mizrahi will share not only the glamour of his years, but the grit beneath the glitz. Following Q&A, books will be for sale for him to autograph. Now in its 41st year, the Jewish Book Festival is nationally recognized for both its excellence and its size — it is one of the largest in the country, with more than 10,000 audience members annually. People from all backgrounds and faiths come to festival events to hear premier authors on topics such as history, music, politics, cooking, family, religion, sports and more. Q&As and book signings with the authors after each event.
Various locations; see website for schedule
NOV. 3–NOV. 17

Ann Cleeves, The Long Call (Author Talk)
In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church during his estranged father’s funeral. As he turns to walk away, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck. As deadly secrets are revealed, the case calls Matthew back to the people and places of his past. St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Screening: Vakhtangov Theatre’s Uncle Vanya
Rimas Tuminas’ reimagining of Anton Chekhov’s tale about broken illusions and dashed hopes is freed from its traditional trappings, leaving behind a battlefield for passions and colliding ambitions. This Uncle Vanya is about what Chekhov’s characters think and what they admit to only at moments of emotional turmoil. They are at times tongue-tied or overly brutal, but their revelations break out of them fervently, desperately just as a man breaks out of a stuffy room into the open air. Captured on film before a live audience from Moscow’s Vakhtangov Theatre. 180 minutes, with one 15-minute intermission. Russian with English subtitles.
Washington University, Seigle Hall, Room 206

Virginia Slachman, Blood in the Bluegrass (Author Talk)
Harper had put the past behind her. Or so she thought. Fleeing the flashy, high dollar world of Kentucky horse racing for NYC, she’d been content living the life of a successful painter. But escape isn’t an option after the accidental death of her sister sends her back to The Bluegrass, a horse racing world filled with drugs and corruption. As the body count rises at Eden Hill, Harper becomes convinced her sister’s death was no accident.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Jemar Tisby, The Color of Compromise (Author Talk)
Tisby’s book reveals the chilling connection between the church and racism throughout American history. A survey of the ways Christians of the past have reinforced theories of racial superiority and inferiority provides motivation for a series of bold actions Tisby asserts believers must take to forge a future of equity and justice. Tisby is president of the Witness, a Black Christian Collective, and co-host of the Pass the Mic podcast. Tisby discusses his book with John Inazu, the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion, Washington University.
Washington University, Wrighton Hall, Room 300

Christine Gosnay and Rosalie Moffett (Observable Reading Series)
Christine Gosnay’s first book, Even Years, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared recently in Poetry, Image Journal, The Missouri Review and The Poetry Review. Rosalie Moffett is the author of Nervous System, winner of the National Poetry Series, and June in Eden. Her poems and essays have appeared in Tin House, The Believer, Kenyon Review and Ploughshares. $5.
Dressel’s Public House, 2nd floor, 419 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis 63108

Water Histories of Ancient Yemen and the American West
Michael Harrower, associate professor of archaeology, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Johns Hopkins University.
Washington University, McMillan Hall, Room G052

What You Need to Know about Islam and Politics to Understand the World Today
Washington University, Siegle Hall, Room L004

H.W. Brands, Dreams of El Dorado: A History of the American West (Author Talk)
H.W. BRANDS tells the thrilling, panoramic story of the settling of the American West, from John Jacob Astor’s fur-trading outpost in Oregon to the Texas Revolution, from the California gold rush to the Oklahoma land rush. He shows how the migrants’ dreams drove them to feats of courage and perseverance that put their stay-at-home cousins to shame — and how those same dreams also drove them to outrageous acts of violence against indigenous peoples and one another. The West was where riches would reward the miner’s persistence, the cattleman’s courage, the railroad man’s enterprise; but El Dorado was at least as elusive in the West as it ever was in the East. $36.
The Grandel, 3610 Grandel Square, St. Louis, 63103

Melanie Mitchell, Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans (Author Talk)
No recent scientific enterprise has proved as alluring, terrifying and filled with extravagant promise and frustrating setbacks as artificial intelligence. Award-winning author and leading computer scientist Melanie Mitchell now reveals its turbulent history and the recent surge of apparent successes, grand hopes and emerging fears that surround AI. Interweaving stories about the science and the people behind it, Artificial Intelligence brims with clear-sighted, captivating, accounts of the most provocative modern work in AI.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131

What Is the Word: Celebrating Samuel Beckett
This two-day colloquium is devoted to the writings of Samuel Beckett, with a particular focus on questions of translation and performance. Presentations and workshops bring traditional humanistic scholarship into conversation with creative writing, translation, performance, pedagogy, library exhibits and digital humanities initiatives. As Washington University is home to one of the premier collections of Samuel Beckett materials, and 2019 is both the 50th anniversary of Beckett’s Nobel Prize and the 30th anniversary of his death, we have a unique opportunity to showcase and explore the oeuvre and impact of Samuel Beckett. Register online.
Washington University, Various Locations

Do Objects Have Something to Say? Performance, Agency and Ontology of Objects in Greek Tragedy
ANNE-SOPHIE NOEL, assistant professor of Greek, University of Lyon.
Washington University, Eads Hall, Room 103

St. Louis International Film Festival
The 28th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) will provide the opportunity for St. Louis filmgoers to view the finest in world cinema — international films, documentaries, American indies and shorts that can only be seen on the big screen at the festival. In addition, SLIFF will present its usual array of fest buzz films and Oscar contenders, host special events and master classes, and honor significant film figures with our annual awards. Individual tickets are $13 each or $10 for Cinema St. Louis members and students with current and valid ID. Special events include an opening-night reception, a tribute to John Goodman and The Big Lebowski, and a tribute to Joe Edwards. Other events include film and music combinations and double bills. In addition to the paid shows, SLIFF offers 65 free programs.
Various locations

Art Inspiring Music - Challenging Perceptions: Harmonic and Social Dissonances
The Kemper Art Museum exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life serves as inspiration for this unique program featuring the violin-clarinet-percussion ensemble F-PLUS. With driving rhythms, moments of extreme dissonance and complex, interweaving lines, F-PLUS embarks on a sonic journey evocative of Ai Weiwei’s artworks that challenge us to be aware of the world around us in times of political and social turmoil. The program includes works by Roger Zare, WashU composer Christopher Stark and Howie Kenty.
Washington University, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum

How Democracies Fight Cyberwar: Effects of Deterrence, Punishment and Countermeasures
NORI KATAGIRI, associate professor of political science, Saint Louis University. Katagiri is also visiting research fellow, Air Staff College, Japan Air Self-Defence Force and Fellow Cohort 4 of the Mansfield Foundation’s U.S.–Japan Network for the Future. He has also taught at Air War College, a graduate-degree program for senior military officers and officials of the U.S. government and foreign nations. He is the author of Adapting to Win: How Insurgents Fight and Defeat Foreign States in War.
Washington University, Seigle Hall, Room 106

Mean Streets: Viewing the Divided City Through the Lens of Film and Television
Sponsored in part by the Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative and the Washington University Center for the Humanities, the “Mean Streets” lineup of films at the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) focuses on the strong relationship between racial divisions and urban spaces. The series engages the local community in a dialogue about issues that continue to affect St. Louis and the nation in profound ways. All “Mean Streets” screenings are free. SLIFF takes place Nov. 7–17; see website for additional festival screenings.
Sat., Nov. 9 
1:30 pm: St. Louis Superman — with subject Bruce Franks Jr. and co-directors Smriti Mundhra & Sami Khan (Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112)
4 pm: Chicago at the Crossroad — with director Brian Schodorf (Missouri History Museum)
7 pm: 17 Blocks and Inherit the Earth — with director 17 Blocks director Davy Rothbart (Missouri History Museum)
Sun., Nov. 10
12:30 pm: Restless — with Chris King, editor of the St. Louis American (Washington University, Brown Hall, Room 100)
1 pm: Decade of Fire — with co-director Gretchen Hildebran (Missouri History Museum)
4 pm: Mossville: When Great Trees Fall and Kofi and Lartey — with Mossville director Alexander John Glustrom (Missouri History Museum)
7 pm: Always in Season and Murder in Mobile (Missouri History Museum)
Wed., Nov. 13 
5:05 pm: Doc Shorts: The Black Experience, including the short films 400 Years in the Background, All Skinfolk Ain’t Kinfolk, The Conqueror, Normal and What Are You? — with 400 Years in the Background director J.C. Faulk (Tivoli, 6350 Delmar Blvd, University City, 63130)
Fri., Nov. 15
5 pm: Cooked: Survival by ZIP Code — with director Judith Helfand (Tivoli)
7 pm: What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 3750 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108)
Sat., Nov. 16 
1 pm: Objector — with director Molly Stuart (Washington University)
Sun., Nov. 17
1 pm: Patrinell: The Total Experience — with co-director Tia Young (Stage at KDHX, 3524 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 63103)
4 pm: The State Against Mandela and the Others (Missouri History Museum)
Various locations

A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Intersex People Fight Back
PIDGEON PAGONI, intersex activist and filmmaker. For over a century, intersex people have had no voice in their medical “care” and “treatment,” which has led to dire consequences. Pagoni encourages audience members to grapple with the ways in which the medical industrial complex (MIC) has consistently forgotten the first tenet of the Hippocratic oath — First Do No Harm — when it comes to marginalized communities. While the MIC’s history is tattered with ableism, racism, classism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, Pagoni specifically highlights key events throughout intersex history and the ways in which it has violated intersex people’s human rights and how intersex people all across the globe are fighting back.
Washington University, Hillman Hall, Clark-Fox Forum

St. Louis Veterans Day Observance
Celebrate the 100th Veterans Day as we honor local military service members, veterans and their families. Marine Corps Sgt. Rodney “Rocky” Sickmann, one of 52 Americans held captive during the Iran Hostage Crisis (1979–81), delivers the keynote address.
Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, 1315 Chestnut St., St. Louis, 63103

Four Hundred Years Forward: Freedom in Our Time
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, NBC and MSNBC political analyst, is author of Moving Forward: A Story of Hope, Hard Work, and the Promise of America. The year 2019 marks 400 years since the first documented arrival of Africans in the United States. This is the final lecture in Washington University’s series Blacks in America: 400 Years Plus, which explores the various aspects of the black experience from historical and current perspectives. The “plus” is a vital recognition that the 1619 documentation of some 20 or so Africans arriving off the coast of Virginia does not include the history of blacks in the Americas that dates much earlier.
Washington University, Graham Chapel

Jeffrey Sterling, Unwanted Spy: The Persecution of an American Whistleblower (Author Talk)
In 2015, Jeffrey Sterling was sentenced to prison, convicted of violating the Espionage Act. Sterling grew up in a small, segregated town in Missouri and jumped at the chance to broaden his world and serve his country, first in law school and later in the CIA. After an impressive career, Sterling’s progress came to a sudden halt. He was denied opportunities, he writes, because of his race and was pushed out of the agency. Later, Sterling courageously blew the whistle on the CIA’s botched covert operation in Iran to Senate investigators. After a few quiet years in Missouri with his wife, he was arrested suddenly and charged with espionage. Unwanted Spy is an inspiring account of one man's uncompromising commitment to the truth and a reminder of the principles of justice and integrity that should define America.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

Tale of Two Kettles: Two Cauldrons Explicating Accounts in Celtic and Greek Mythology
A golden cauldron and the Gundestrup cauldron shed light on ancient Celtic beliefs. Learn more with Professor Emeritus Garrett Olmsted, Cornell University, and Ralph Rowlett, University of Missouri–Columbia. Presented with the Archaeological Institute of America.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Japano-Koreanic: Evidence for a Common Origin of the Japanese and Korean Languages
ALEXANDER FRANCIS-RATTE, the James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at Furman University. Francis-Ratte presents an overview of the theory of “Japano-Koreanic,” which has emerged as the strongest framework for understanding the origins of the Japanese and Korean languages. Contrary to the widespread assumption that nothing is known regarding Japanese language origins, Francis-Ratte shows that there are close and interlocking correspondences in “core” realms of vocabulary and grammar between the two languages.
Washington University, Busch Hall, Room 18

St. Louis, A Musical Gateway: Africa
Gallery talk by curator Aurelia Hartenberger and Jackie Lewis Harris, director of the Connecting Human Origin and Cultural Diversity program at University of Missouri–St. Louis. This exhibit features rare and beautiful African instruments drawn from the Sheldon’s Hartenberger World Music Collection. The product of a long aesthetic evolution, the rich tradition of African music is grounded in the function of preserving and passing on cultural histories. This exhibit features instruments from West Africa, Middle, South and Southeast Africa, and in January, instruments representing Northern Africa. Free but reservations suggested; contact Paula Lincoln at or (314) 533-9900 x37.
Sheldon Arts Foundation, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

Paul Hendrickson, Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright (Author Talk)
America’s premier architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, has long been known as a rank egotist who held in contempt almost everything aside from his own genius. Harder to detect, but no less real, is a Wright who fully understood, and suffered from, his often alienating behavior. This is the Wright whom Hendrickson reveals in this masterful biography. In showing us Wright’s façades along with their cracks, Hendrickson helps us form a fresh, deep and more human understanding of the man behind the genius.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Böse Zellen Screening & Discussion
The fall 2019 Germanic Film Series deals with social differences and struggles, demasking society’s true face from different medial angles. November’s film (Böse Zellen, 2003), directed by Barbara Albert, is about the interwoven stories of several people who become indirectly connected by the aftermath of a young woman's death in a car accident. In German with English subtitles. Post-screening discussion. Germanic Film Series.
Washington University, Wilson Hall, Room 214

Peter Caddick-Adams, Sand and Steel: A New History of D-Day (Author Talk)
Published to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, British military historian Peter Caddick-Adams’ new book is a comprehensive, monumental account of the greatest and most consequential military operation of modern times, drawing on first-hand battlefield research and personal testimony and interviews. In addition to covering the build-up to the invasion, Caddick-Adams gives a detailed account of the German preparations and reveals precisely what lay in wait for the Allies. But the heart of the book is Caddick-Adams’ narratives of the five beaches where the terrible drama played out — Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword — and the attempt by American, British and Canadian soldiers to gain a foothold in Europe.
St. Louis County Library – Headquarters, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, 63131

Early Patterns of Land Use and Building Traditions in St. Louis
ANDEW WEIL, director of Landmarks Association, discusses how early paintings, photos and maps can help us study property types and settlement patterns that have disappeared from the landscape. Presented with the Mound City Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Lindy West, The Witches Are Coming (Author Talk)
In a laugh-out-loud, incisive cultural critique, Lindy West extolls the world-changing magic of truth, urging readers to reckon with dark lies in the heart of the American mythos, and unpacking the complicated, and sometimes tragic, politics of not being a white man in the 21st century. She tracks the misogyny and propaganda hidden (or not so hidden) in the media she and her peers devoured growing up, a buffet of distortions, delusions and prejudice that has allowed mediocrity to maintain a death grip on American culture and politics — and that delivered us to this precarious, disorienting moment in history. The truth can transform us; there is witchcraft in it. West is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and author of Shrill, a memoir, which is being adapted into a Hulu series starring Aidy Bryant. Her essays on feminism, social justice, body image and popular culture have been featured in Jezebel, Cosmopolitan, GQ and on This American Life. $36.50, includes one hardcover book copy.
.ZACK, 3224 Locus St., St. Louis, 63103

Tiffany D. Jackson, Monday’s Not Coming (Author Talk)
TIFFANY D. JACKSON discusses themes from her acclaimed novel Monday’s Not Coming, including the concept of media bias, what is true friendship, statistics on missing children of color and how students can use their voices to change the narrative.
St. Louis Public Library – Carpenter Library, 3309 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 63118

Nate Chinen, Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century (Author Talk)
“Playing changes,” in jazz parlance, has long referred to an improviser’s resourceful path through a chord progression. Nate Chinen’s Playing Changes boldly expands on the idea, highlighting a host of real changes — ideological, technological, theoretical and practical — that jazz musicians have learned to navigate since the turn of the century. Woven throughout the book is a vibrant cast of characters — from the saxophonists Steve Coleman and Kamasi Washington, to the pianists Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer, to the bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding — who have exerted an important influence on the scene.
St. Louis Public Library – Schlafly Library, 225 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

On China’s Past in the Present
KRISTINA KLEUTGHEN, the David. W. Mesker Associate Professor of Art History and Archaeology, and Sabine Eckmann, the William T. Kemper Director and Chief Curator, both at Washington University, discuss Ai Weiwei’s engagement with China’s history, including his use of Chinese artifacts and traditional crafts at the same time the country undergoes a radical and ongoing transformation into a global present and future. In conjunction with the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life, on view through Jan. 5.
Washington University, Kemper Art Museum

Greece and Ethiopia in Antiquity
ELIZABETH FISHER, the Shelton H. Short III Professor in the Liberal Arts and professor of classics and archaeology, Randolph-Macon College. In 2015–16 she taught and researched in the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Management at Aksum University in Ethiopia as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. Her current research project is on the connections between Greece and Ethiopia from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine period.
University of Missouri–St. Louis, Millennium Student Center, Century Room A, 1 University Blvd., St. Louis, 63121

Lara Prescott, The Secrets We Kept (Author Talk)
At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dare publish it, and to help Boris Pasternak’s magnum opus make its way into print around the world. The Secrets We Kept combines a legendary literary love story — the decades-long affair between Pasternak and his mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, who was sent to the Gulag and inspired Zhivago’s heroine, Lara — with a narrative about two women empowered to lead lives of extraordinary intrigue and risk.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63108

The Bridge #2.2
Jazz — owing to its particular history — has always been an unmatched medium that allowed the sounds and music of different worlds to express themselves with passion and singularity, shaped by a musical art dedicated to collective invention and reinvention. Jazz was the original “world music,” long before this label became widespread. In the recent years, after a century of stories and legends when every improviser, group and scene grew ever more specific, many French and American musicians have expressed a renewed interest in experiencing the musical and sociomusical realities of their transatlantic counterparts, to really create mutual knowledge. The Bridge forms such a network for exchange, production and diffusion, Members include Mai Sugimoto on the alto saxophone, Raymond Boni on guitar, Paul Steinbeck on electric bass, and Paul Rogers on double bass. The Bridge founder, Alexandre Pierrepont, gives a lecture Fri., Nov. 15, 4 pm, Washington University, Music Classroom Building.
Washington University, 560 Music Center, Pillsbury Theatre

Patricia Smith Reads From Her Poetry
Patricia Smith is the author of seven books of poetry, including Incendiary Art (2017), winner of an NAACP Image Award and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (2012), which won the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler (2008), a chronicle of the human and environmental cost of Hurricane Katrina which was nominated for a National Book Award; and Teahouse of the Almighty, a 2005 National Poetry Series selection published by Coffee House Press. Smith collaborated with the photographer Michael Abramson on the book Gotta Go Gotta Flow: Life, Love, and Lust on Chicago’s South Side From the Seventies (2015).
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Room 201

Art and the Contemporary Refugee: Narratives, Memorials, Communities
In the face of the nearly 71 million displaced people in the world today, the figure of the refugee has become central to not only political but also artistic discourses and imaginations. This symposium explores a variety of artistic responses to today’s global movements of migration and flight. The symposium will be divided into three thematic parts: art and theories that conceptualize narratives of migration, flight and exile; artworks that take the form of memorials; and communities — from the communal bond established through storytelling, to acts of commemoration and public debate and communities we partake in online. Keynote address, “How to Make a Refugee,” by Thomas Keenan, associate professor of comparative literature; director, Human Rights Program, Bard College.
Washington University, Kemper Art Museum
FRI., NOV. 15–SAT., NOV. 16

Jade as a Local Product: Objects and Empire in 18th-Century China
YULIAN WU, assistant professor of history, Michigan State University. In 1759, the Qianlong emperor (r.1735–1796/1799) conquered the northwest frontier of Xinjiang (so-called “New Frontier”), expanding the territory of the Qing empire (1644–1911) and changing the political relationship between the Qing state and inner Asian countries. As the Manchu court became the only legitimate authority to mine nephrite jade from the new frontier, the political status of this rare and beautiful stone transformed from a foreign tributary good to a local product. Previous scholarship has shown how the Qing imperial court and other parties participated in the tributary system for political and economic reasons, but few scholars have examined how the tributary objects themselves, as a central part of the system, were used to mediate various political relationships. Wu focuses on the Xinjiang jade itself, exploring the meanings that jade embodied in the process of the transformation of its political status and the role that object played in the tributary system. She aims to offer a new perspective into the material manifestation of the court-Xinjiang relationship in 18th-century China and the dynamic connections between territory and objects more broadly.
Washington University, Busch Hall, Room 202

Kevin Wilson, Nothing to See Here (Author Talk)
Lillian and Madison were the unlikeliest of roommates at their elite boarding school: Madison, the daughter of a prominent Atlanta family, being groomed for greatness; Lillian, a scholarship student, plucked out of nowhere based solely on her intellect and athletic prowess. The two were as tight as could be, reveling in their unique weirdnesses, until Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly. Years later, the two have lost touch, but Madison writes and begs Lillian for help. Her husband’s twin step-kids are moving in with them and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins can spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a disturbing but beautiful way. Disbelieving at first but ultimately too intrigued by these strange children, Lillian agrees. And as they hunker down in the pool house, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other — and stay cool — just as Madison’s family is bracing for a major announcement. It all seems impossible to manage, but Lillian soon accepts that she and the children need each other, urgently and fiercely. The High Low, 3301 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 63103

Name Dropping: The Critical Fortunes of Rembrandt’s Portraits
ANN JENSEN ADAMS, Department of Art History and Architecture, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110

In 1920, Eugene Victor Debs ran a campaign for the U.S. presidency — from a federal prison cell. Imprisoned for his outspoken objection to WWI, Debs ended up receiving a million votes. One hundred years later, his revelations on our society, economy, prison system and the nature of war are strikingly relevant. Post-show discussion following the Sun., Nov. 17 performance.
Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 63112
FRI., NOV. 15 & SAT., NOV. 16, 7 PM; SUN., NOV. 17, 3 PM

Screening: The Rest
The Rest is a new feature-length documentary by Ai Weiwei about refugees who have arrived in Europe, fleeing war, poverty and persecution in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other conflict-ridden countries. Most of this deeply personal, trenchant film is told through interviews with refugees and footage of their living situations. They speak of the hardships and dangers they experienced in their home countries and the treacherous routes they undertook to find safety in Europe. Now, however, living in a kind of limbo, they face a different type of suffering as victims of overburdened aid infrastructures, media fatigue and escalating anti-immigrant sentiments. The Rest is not only an accumulation of refugees’ stories but also a mirror of the current European political zeitgeist, with profound implications for U.S. audiences as well. Ai Weiwei: Bare Life is on exhibit through Jan. 5.
Washington University, Brown Hall Auditorium

Sunday Workshop Series
This poetry workshop features critic Aditi Machado. Machado’s debut collection, Some Beheadings, won the Sixth Annual Believer Poetry Award. Her second collection Emporium is forthcoming in 2020. She has translated Farid Tali’s Prosopopoeia into English and currently works as the visiting poet-in-residence at Washington University. Machado leads the workshop and provides critique on a selection of pre-submitted poems. All submitted poems receive written comments.
Regional Arts Commission, Conference Room A, 6128 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 63112

Momenta String Quartet
The New York City-based quartet plays the music of Christopher Stark, assistant professor of composition, Department of Music, Washington University. Stark has been awarded prizes from the Guggenheim Foundation, Chamber Music America, the Barlow Endowment, and the Fromm Foundation at Harvard. His music and arrangements have been performed by ensembles such as the Detroit Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony. His film score for the feature-length film Novitiate premiered at Sundance in January 2017 and was theatrically released by Sony Pictures Classics.
Washington University, 560 Music Center, E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall

Her Body, Our Laws: On the Frontlines of the Abortion War from El Salvador to Oklahoma
MICHELLE OBERMAN, the Katharine and George Alexander Professor of Law, Santa Clara University.
Washington University, Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 310

Global Asias as Imaginable Ageography
TINA CHEN, is associate professor of English and Asian American studies, Pennsylvania State University, and author of Double Agency: Acts of Impersonation in Asian American Literature and Culture. As Edward Said, Naoki Sakai and others have noted, Asia is a place both real and imagined, and its significance often derives from its deployment as a way of indexing relationality and positionality. Exploring the ways in which contemporary Asian/American speculative fictions register the evolving imaginability of the worlds we inhabit, study and create — and drawing on the possibilities of Asian America as an ageographic concept — Chen suggests the importance of conceptualizing Global Asias as imaginable ageography and explores the critical and aesthetic implications of such conceptualization. Chen is founding editor of the journal Verge: Studies in Global Asias.
Washington University, Danforth University Center, Goldberg Lounge

Jane Ellen Ibur and Rion Amilcar Scott (River Styx Reading Series)
JANE ELLEN IBUR, St. Louis City’s third poet laureate, is the author of Both Wings Flappin’, Still Not Flyin’ and The Little Mrs./Misses, as well as the essay “Us and Them” in Teaching the Arts Behind Bars, ed. Rachel Marie-Crane Williams. Rion Amilcar Scott is author of the story collection The World Doesn’t Require You. His work has been published in journals such as The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review and The Rumpus. $4–$5.
The High Low, 3301 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 63103

Melissa Singleton, Emily Koehn and Sunni Hutton (Poetry at the Point Reading Series)
MELISSA SINGLETON, also known as Shine Goodie, has curated art and poetry events and happenings for over a decade in St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans. Her poetry insists and depends upon intimate, other ways of knowing and being in the multiverse. Emily Kohen’s poems have appeared in Fence, Waxwing and Crazyhorse. Her work has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and Best New Poets. Sunni Hutton is the author of The Art of Hurting, a poetry photo book. She is a spoken word competition winner.
The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd., St. Louis, 63143

The Evolution of Downtown St. Louis
NINI HARRIS, historian and author of Downtown St. Louis. The Steedman Architectural Library (Fine Arts Room) is open for viewing before the lecture, 6–6:25 pm.
St. Louis Public Library – Central Library, 1301 Olive St., St. Louis, 63103

Inter-Imperial Interventions: A Feminist-Decolonial Reframing of Literature, Translation and Geopolitical Economy
LAURA DOYLE, professor of English, University of Massachusetts–Amherst, and co-coordinator of the World Studies Interdisciplinary Project. Her research focuses on the intersections of literary culture and geopolitical economy, combining long-historical frameworks, existential philosophy and decolonial, feminist-intersectional theory. She is the author of Bordering on the Body: The Racial Matrix of Modern Fiction and Culture, Freedom’s Empire: Race and the Rise of the Novel in Atlantic Modernity, 1640–1940 and two edited collections, Bodies of Resistance: New Phenomenologies of Politics, Agency, and Culture and Geomodernisms: Race, Modernism, Modernity, the latter with Laura Winkiel. Doyle’s new book, Inter-Imperiality in the Longue Durée: Labor, Literature, and Gendered Political Economy, is forthcoming from Duke University Press.
Washington University, Umrath Hall, Umrath Lounge

Book Club: The Alchemist’s Daughter
November’s Book Club selection is The Alchemist’s Daughter by Katharine McMahon. Book Club events begin with a showcase of collection materials related to the reading, followed by a discussion of the book. Free and open to all. Visit the WashU Libraries Book Club overview for more details about this series and suggestions about where to acquire this book.
Washington University, Becker Medical Library, 660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 63110

Phillip Maciak, The Disappearing Christ: Secularism in the Silent Era (Author Talk)
PHILLIP MACIAK, lecturer in English and American culture studies, Washington University. At the turn of the 20th century, American popular culture was booming with opportunities to see Jesus Christ. From the modernized eyewitness gospel of Ben-Hur to the widely circulated passion-play films of Edison, Lumière and Pathé, from D.W. Griffith’s conjuration of a spectral white savior in Birth of a Nation to W.E.B. Du Bois’ “Black Christ” story cycle, Jesus was constantly and inventively visualized across media — and especially in the new medium of film. Why, in an era traditionally defined by the triumph of secular ideologies and institutions, were so many artists rushing to film Christ’s miracles and use his story and image to contextualize their experiences of modernity? Maciak examines filmic depictions of Jesus to argue that cinema developed as a model technology of secularism, training viewers for belief in a secular age. Negotiating between the magic trick and the documentary image, the conflicting impulses of faith and skepticism, the emerging aesthetic of film in this period visualized the fraught process of secularization. Studying these films alongside a multimedia, interdisciplinary archive of novels, photographs, illustrations and works of theology, travel writing and historiography, The Disappearing Christ offers a new narrative of American cultural history at the intersection of cinema studies and religious studies.
Washington University, Duncker Hall, Hurst Lounge

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
From its inception in California in 1974 to its New York production at the New Federal Theatre and subsequent co-production with Joseph Papp’s Public Theater and on Broadway, for colored girls… has become a highly acclaimed critical success. Passionate and fearless, playwright Ntozake Shange’s words reveal what it is to be of color and female in the 20th century. The performance piece is a groundbreaking dramatic prose poem written in vivid and powerful language that resonates with unusual beauty in its fierce message to the world. Directed by Ron Himes. $15–$20.
Washington University, A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre

Unseen and at Hand: Slaves, Tablets, and Roman Literary Production
JOSEPH HOWLEY, Department of Classics, Columbia University.
Washington University, Eads Hall, Room 103

Gayle J. Fritz, Feeding Cahokia: Early Agriculture in the North American Heartland (Author Talk)
In her new book, Professor Emerita of Anthropology Gayle J. Fritz, Washington University, presents evidence to demonstrate that the emphasis on corn has created a distorted picture of Cahokia’s agricultural practices. Farming at Cahokia was biologically diverse and, as such, less prone to risk than was maize-dominated agriculture. Fritz shows that the division between the so-called elites and commoners simplifies and misrepresents the statuses of farmers — a workforce consisting of adult women and their daughters who belonged to kin groups crosscutting all levels of the Cahokian social order. Many farmers had considerable influence and decision-making authority, and they were valued for their economic contributions, their skills and their expertise in all matters relating to soils and crops. Fritz examines the possible roles played by farmers in the processes of producing and preparing food and in maintaining cosmological balance.
Washington University, Olin Library, Room 142

Tarfia Faizullah and Tina Clark (100 Boots Reading Series)
This series presents readings and performances by a range of emerging, mid-career and established writers from St. Louis and across the United States. Arrive early due to limited seating.
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 63108

Dancing in Circles in the Arts of India and Its Neighbors
FORREST McGILL, the Wattis Senior Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. In India and neighboring countries, one of the most important subjects of sculpture, painting and other visual arts is dance. Dance has always held a uniquely important place in the culture of the region, where it can convey the profoundest religious, spiritual and social messages. McGill focuses on the circle dances engaged in by Hindu deities such as Krishna and Buddhist deities such as Hevajra. In another sense, “dancing in circles” also applies to the great god Shiva. What is conveyed can be creative energy and eroticism, the doom-laden power of destruction or the prospect of transcendence. McGill has worked for 40 years as a museum administrator and a teacher, curator, researcher and writer in Asian art.
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr., St. Louis, 63110

Taylor Lustig, Yes She Can: 10 Stories of Hope & Courage from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White House (Author Talk)
This New York Times best-selling anthology features stories from 10 inspiring young women who joined President Barak Obama’s administration in their 20s with the hope of making a difference. They recall — fondly and with humor and a dose of humility — what it was like to literally help run the world. Full of wisdom they wish they could impart to their younger selves and a message about the need for more girls in government, these recollections are about stepping out into the spotlight and up to the challenge — something every girl can do. Q&A and book signing with author after presentation. $10.
Staenberg Family Complex, 2 Millstone Campus Dr., St. Louis, 63146

Forbidden Films
Around 1,200 feature films were made in Germany’s Third Reich. According to experts, some 100 of these were blatant Nazi propaganda. Nearly 70 years after the end of the Nazi regime, more than 40 of these films remain under lock and key. Director Felix Moeller interviews German film historians, archivists and filmgoers in an investigation of the power, and potential danger, of cinema when used for ideological purposes. Utilizing film clips, Moeller shows how contentious these 70-year-old films remain, and how propaganda can retain its punch when presented to audiences susceptible to manipulation. Introductory remarks and post-screening discussion facilitated by Warren Rosenblum, chair of the Department of History, Politics and International Relations, Webster University.
Holocaust Museum & Learning Center, 12 Millstone Campus Dr., St. Louis, 63146

Writing and Singing Crusade in 1330s France
ANNA ZAYARUZNAYA, associate professor of music at Yale University, discusses a draft chapter from her book-in-progress devoted to Philippe de Vitry (1291–1361), a 14th-century poet, composer and public intellectual. The workshop is open to the public. The draft will be precirculated; please contact Julie Singer ( after November 15 to receive a copy. The reading and discussion are in English.
Washington University, Danforth University Center, Room 234