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Room for Wonder: Loving Children in Late James

Room for Wonder: Loving Children in Late James

February 4, 2014 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge

"Room for Wonder: Loving Children in Late James"
What Maisie Knew by Henry James, a lecture by Peter Coviello,
Professor of English, Bowdoin College.

What Maisie Knew, from 1897, is one of the funniest and most sparkling, but also strangest and saddest of the novels of Henry James. In the gorgeous prolix sentences for which the author (especially in this, his later period) was famed, it traces the fate of young Maisie Farange, whose parents divorce and divide custody of her, as she is propelled through a world of rivalry, marital bitterness, and sexual intrigue. It asks again and again: what is a child's love like? And what are the intricacies of loving children? Peter Coviello

Peter Coviello is Professor of English at Bowdoin College, where he has served as Chair of the departments of English, Africana Studies, and Gay and Lesbian Studies. He has written about Walt Whitman, the history of sexuality, queer children, 18th- and 19th-century American literature, Mormon polygamy, stepparenthood, pop music, and much besides. His work has appeared in several books most recently Tomorrow's Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America (NYU 2013) and in a range of quarterlies, as well as in venues like Raritan and Frieze and The Believer. His newest work is called How to Do Things With Joy.

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Zen Browne Exhibit

Zen Browne Exhibit

February 6, 2014 8:30 AM  – 6:00 PM
Blue Gallery

Exhibit in the Blue Gallery of Smith Union 
February 6 – 28

Opening reception in the Blue Gallery on 
February 6 at 4:30 pm

Zen Browne is visual artist whose current work focuses on oil paintings of transmale figures. These portraits of female-to-male transsexuals meditate on identity and serve to counteract the underrepresentation of the transsexual experience in visual culture. Moreover, these paintings also mirror Browne's own sense of selfhood, both artistically and personally. 

Where Browne's past work has documented a self-expression in flux through allegorical representations, his adopting of the portrait form serves to ground these themes in transformation of everyday life, producing representations of friends and acquaintances of various races and ethnicities that are at once intimate and real. The portraits - 12 in total, ranging in size from 24" x 48" to 48" x 49" - strive to locate a commonality on the plane of human experience, while initiating a constructive dialogue about the spectrum and self-expression of gender and racial identity. 

This exhibit coincides with the programming schedule for a month-long series of events devoted to issues related to LGBTQ visibility, politics, and culture. Collectively, these events are known as "Februqueery."

Sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Studies Program, Visual Arts, Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance, Burnett House, Lectures & Concerts, and the Resource Center for Gender & Sexual Diversity.

Open to the public.

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"Was Uncle Tom from South Carolina?" Thoughts about revelations, inspirations and the storied life of John Andrew Jackson

"Was Uncle Tom from South Carolina?" Thoughts about revelations, inspirations and the storied life of John Andrew Jackson

February 10, 2014 5:30 PM  – 7:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Susanna Ashton, Professor of English at Clemson University, made an exciting discovery in 2013 - she found the previously unnamed slave who she believes helped inspire Harriet Beecher Stowe to pen Uncle Tom's Cabin.

His name is John Andrew Jackson, and in 1850 he was fleeing the recently passed Fugitive Slave Act. After arriving in Maine, he was directed to Stowe's home where she took him in for the night, hiding him in her home's "waste room."

Uncle Tom's Cabin, published in 1852, fueled the abolitionist movement and helped set the nation on the path to abolishing slavery. Some even claimed it helped start the Civil War.

Jackson was born in 1825 on a mid-size plantation in what is now known as Lee County, S.C. He had a wife and daughter who were sold and sent to Georgia. Shortly after, Jackson made his escape. He made his way to Canada by way of Maine, where he was directed to Stowe's home.

Jackson later learned to read and write and published his own book, The Experience of a Slave in South Carolina, in which he writes, "(Stowe) took me in and fed me, and gave me some clothes and five dollars. She also inspected my back, which is covered with scars which I shall carry with me to the grave. She listened with great interest to my story."

Ashton will talk about how this discovery "changes the history of one of the most important works of American literature." Her findings can be found here: http://www.common-place.org/vol-13/no-04/ashton/

This lecture is presented as part of the Civil War Era cluster, made possible with a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Vagina Monologues

Vagina Monologues

February 14, 2014 7:30 PM  – 9:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

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A Reading by Author Jennifer Finney Boylan

A Reading by Author Jennifer Finney Boylan

February 24, 2014 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Writer and activist Jennifer Finney Boylan has published twelve books, including a collection of short stories, three novels, a number of books for young adults, and her autobiography She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, the first book by a transgender American to become a bestseller.

Her most recent book is a memoir about "parenthood in three genders," Stuck in the Middle With You, scheduled for publication by Random House.

Jennifer Finney Boylan has worked with the original cast of Saturday Night Live, as managing editor of American Bystander magazine, and also has served on the editorial staffs at Penguin Books, Viking Press, and E.P. Dutton Inc. She is currently a professor of English at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Sponsored by the English Department.

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The Importance of Being Ernest

The Importance of Being Ernest

March 1, 2014 8:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Memorial Hall, Pickard Theater

Wilde uses this show, subtitled "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People," to showcase the Victorian views of marriage and self-image in an entirely humorous way. A group of people, young and old, stumble around innocent love and the little lies we tell when we need our privacy. Sometimes, however, those little lies get entirely out of control! Earnest is both a satire of Victorian culture and a farcical smorgasbord of quips, misunderstandings, and whimsical charm.

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Science is Fiction; A selection of films by Jean Painleve

Science is Fiction; A selection of films by Jean Painleve

March 3, 2014 6:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

This screening and discussion will explore Jean Painleve's "scientific-poetic" films. These dreamlike short films reveal the wonder of sea creatures, presenting their social lives as a challenge to human conventions. Organized in conjunction with Sarah Childress's documentary film course and the Bowdoin College Museum of Art's exhibition Under the Surface: Surrealist Photography.

Speakers include: Sarah Childress, Visiting Assistant Professor of Film Studies; Janet Gannon, Lab Instructor at the Bowdoin Scientific Station of Kent Island; Marko Melendy, Bowdoin's Animal Care Supervisor; Andrea Rosen, Curatorial Assistant, Bowdoin College Museum of Art; and students in the Spring 2014 course "The Reality Effect: Documentary Film."

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Mayra Santos-Febres: Postcolonial Delusions - The Caribbean and Global Dissolution

Mayra Santos-Febres: Postcolonial Delusions - The Caribbean and Global Dissolution

March 26, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Mayra Santos-Febres is one of the most versatile authors in the contemporary Caribbean literary scene and the first Latin American Afra-Hispanic literary celebrity. A PhD graduate from Cornell, and a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Santos-Febres is a poet, novelist, blogger and critic, as well an active public voice promoting literature as a means for decolonization. She has published the novels Sirena Selena vestida de pena (2000), Cualquier miercoles soy tuya (2002), Nuestra senora de la noche (2006), and Fe en disfraz (2009) (all translated in English), several collections of poetry, volumes of essays and short stories. Her writing and public engagement make her emblematic of her generation of Latin American writers, shuttling between the traditionally intellectual arena and the popular culture scene. Santos-Febres is the recipient of several international awards, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and Cornell University.

Santos-Febres' unique poetic universe is populated by marginalized and itinerant characters, such as transvestites and sex-workers, whose fictional voices both embody and challenge the global fantasies around the Caribbean and its people. Both in her fiction and scholarly work the author addresses the colonial legacy on the Caribbean, and the region's ongoing relation to the Global North, main themes of her public presentation at Bowdoin. She will also lead a Creative Writing Workshop with students (Wednesday, March 26, 4 pm at Sills 117). For more information please contact Nadia Celis (ncelis@bowdoin.edu).

The event is hosted by the Department of Romance Languages and co-sponsored by the Programs of Latin American Studies, Africana Studies, the English Department, the McKeen Center for Common Good and Lectures and Concerts.

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A Reading by Author Russ Rymer

A Reading by Author Russ Rymer

March 31, 2014 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Author and journalist Russ Rymer will read selections from his recent work.

Rymer has contributed to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Harper's, Smithsonian, Vogue, and Los Angeles Magazine, among others.

His recently published (2013) third book, his first novel, is Paris Twilight.

Rymer's first book, Genie, a Scientific Tragedy, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Whiting Writers' Award winner, was published in 1993.  Rymer's second book was American Beach (1998) about Florida's American Beach community.

Rymer is currently a visiting writer in the Bowdoin College English Department.

He has been the Joan Leiman Jacobson Non-Fiction Writer in Residence at Smith College, the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, a lecturer in Writing and Humanistic Studies and at the Graduate Program in Science Writing at MIT, a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, an instructor at the California Institute of Technology, and Distinguished Writer in Residence at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California.

Rymer was appointed as a Guggenheim Fellow in 2002 and awarded the Ed Cunningham Award for best magazine reporting from abroad by the Overseas Press Club in 2013.

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Discussion and Screening of "The Garden" with Director Scott Kennedy Hamilton

Discussion and Screening of  "The Garden" with Director Scott Kennedy Hamilton

March 31, 2014 7:30 PM  – 9:30 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

Scott Hamilton Kennedy comes to Bowdoin for a discussion and screening of his 2008 Oscar-nominated documentary The Garden. Kennedy's film tells the story of South Central Farm, a community garden and urban farm in Los Angeles. When the landowner decides he no longer wants the farm on his property, the working class families who created and work on South Central Farm protest - confronting a web of backroom land development deals, green politics, and corruption.

Indiewire says of The Garden: "(the film) exposes the fault lines in American society and raises crucial and challenging questions about liberty, equality, and justice for the poorest and most vulnerable among us."

Includes appearances by Danny Glover, Daryl Hannah, Willie Nelson, and Joan Baez.

The Garden website

Sponsored by Lectures and Concerts, the Film Studies Program, the Environmental Studies Program, the Latin American Studies Program, the Center for the Common Good, the Africana Studies Program, and the English Department.

Contact the Film Studies Program at 725-3552 for more information.

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Filming the Sea: a Talk by Documentary Filmmaker David Conover

Filming the Sea: a Talk by Documentary Filmmaker David Conover

April 2, 2014 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

As a documentary filmmaker, David Conover has spent twenty-five years on some of the most extreme coasts on earth, sharing his eclectic explorations and innovations with a camera.

Weaving clips and personal stories, Conover's talk is an inter-disciplinary visit to that dynamic zone between land and sea; from Newfoundland to Madagascar, Svalbard to the Galapagos, analog past to the digital future.

Encounters include an around-the-world voyage with geneticist Craig Venter, an excavation of the pirate Captain Kidd's ship, and a paddle with the extinct Great Auk.

Conover is Bowdoin's 2014-15 Coastal Studies scholar and will be teaching courses in the fall and spring semesters of next year.

Sponsored by the Film Studies Program. For more information, call 725-3552.

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A Reading from "Bewilderment": David Ferry

A Reading from "Bewilderment": David Ferry

April 9, 2014 4:00 PM  – 6:00 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

The Classics Department Presents:


A Reading from Bewilderment: David Ferry Reads from his National Book Award-winning collection of poems and translations published in 2012.

David Ferry is the most important and successful translator of Virgil (and of Latin poetry generally) alive today; his translations have been recognized and honored with numerous prizes, including a Guggenheim, the National Book Award, and several honors from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He is also a distinguished poet in his own right, and has published numerous volumes of poetry over a remarkable career.  During his reading, he will share some of his most recent work, as well as reading selections from his translations of Virgil. 

Sponsored by the Stahl Lectureship fund, with additional support from the Classics and English Departments.  Free and open to the public.

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Race, Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice in a Colorblind Society: Issues for Maine Communities

Race, Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice in a Colorblind Society: Issues for Maine Communities

April 9, 2014 7:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Searles Science Building, Room 315

This evening will begin with a film clip of the 2013 Bill Moyer interview with Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

Following this introduction to the subject of 'mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness', a response and discussion will be facilitated by Elizabeth Pritchard, Associate Professor of Religion.

We will hear from three people working on and with the justice systems in Maine:
Grainne Dunne – Justice Organizer, ACLU of Maine
T. Richard Snyder, PhD - Chair, Restorative Justice Institute of Maine
Rachel Talbot Ross – State Director, NAACP Maine

This event is being co-sponsored by the departments of History, Religion, and Sociology & Anthropology, the McKeen Center, Multicultural Student Programs, First Parish Church, UCC, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Church.

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Genuine Artifice: Muriel Spark and the Case for Ruthless Authorial Manipulation

Genuine Artifice: Muriel Spark and the Case for Ruthless Authorial Manipulation

April 9, 2014 7:00 PM  – 8:15 PM
Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge

Bowdoin Book Lecture Series (The Comforters by Muriel Spark):

"Genuine Artifice: Muriel Spark and the Case for Ruthless Authorial Manipulation" presented by Brock Clarke, Professor of English and Creative Writing, Bowdoin College

Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union, Bowdoin College

The Association of Bowdoin Friends is pleased to continue this program. All members of the community are invited to read a good book and hear an excellent Bowdoin College professor lecture on it. There will be an opportunity for questions. The event is free and open to the public. Just come, listen, and learn.

Muriel Spark, whose most famous of 21 novels was The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), died on April 13, 2006. She bequeathed a great deal to her surviving readers. Her work can teach much about the pleasures of meanness, the relationship between art and religious belief, the limitations of first-person narration, and self-consciousness and artifice in fiction. "The argument over whether art and artifice are inextricably entwined or antithetical to one another has bedeviled and distracted fiction writers and readers for too long, and my hope is that by examining Spark's work we might be able to read modern literature in a more sophisticated, more rewarding way." Professor Brock Clarke

Brock Clarke is the author of five books of fiction, most recently the novels Exley (which was a Kirkus Book of the Year, a finalist for the Maine Book Award, and a long list finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award) and An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England (which was a national bestseller, and American Library Associate Notable Book of the Year, a #1 Book Sense Pick, a Borders Original Voices in Fiction selection, and a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice pick). His books have been reprinted in a dozen international editions, and have been awarded the Mary McCarthy Prize for Fiction, the Prairie Schooner Book Series Prize, a National Endowment for Arts Fellowship, and an Ohio Council for the Arts Fellowship, among others. Clarke's individual stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Boston Globe, Virginia Quarterly Review, One Story, The Believer, Georgia Review, New England Review, and Southern Review and have appeared in the annual Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the South anthologies and on NPR's Selected Shorts. His sixth book, the novel The Happiest People in the World, will be published in October 2014. He lives in Portland and teaches creative writing at Bowdoin College.

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Harrison Bergeron Escapes from the Zoo, by Kurt Vonnegut

Harrison Bergeron Escapes from the Zoo, by Kurt Vonnegut

April 10, 2014 8:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Memorial Hall, Wish Theater

Adapted by the cast from Kurt Vonnegut's short story of the same name, Harrison Bergeron is an absurdist social satire, set in a futuristic American dystopia whose citizens have been rendered equal by having their talents handicapped. This nouveau cirque production incorporates aerial silks, acrobatics, original text, music, choreography, clowning, and media design. Work on the production has been supported by an array of workshops and training with teaching-artists, including Portland-based aerialist Janette Fertig, internationally renowned clown Avner Eisenberg ("Avner the Eccentric"), unicycle specialist Steve Spaeth of Brunswick WOW, and Canadian interdisciplinary conceptual artist and media designer, Jamie Griffiths.

The performances are free and open to the public.

Harrison Bergeron is produced with support from the Alice Cooper Morse Fund for the Performing Arts

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A Reading by Poet Dan Albergotti

A Reading by Poet Dan Albergotti

April 16, 2014 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

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A Reading by Author Elizabeth Strout

A Reading by Author Elizabeth Strout

April 17, 2014 7:30 PM  – 8:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Elizabeth Strout will read from her recent novel, The Burgess Boys (2013).

Strout is the author of numerous short stories and three novels, including Amy and Isabelle, which was shortlisted for the 2000 Orange Prize and nominated for the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction, and Olive Kitteridge, a collection of connected short stories about a woman and her family and friends on the coast of Maine, for which Strout won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.

Strout also has been a professor at Colgate University and on the faculty of the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte.

Open to the public free of charge. Call the English Department at 725-3552 for more information.

Sponsored by the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund and the English Department.

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Prof. Chakkalakal talks: Ken Warren (Univ. of Chicago)

Prof. Chakkalakal talks: Ken Warren (Univ. of Chicago)

April 21, 2014 5:30 PM  – 7:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

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Sarah Braunstein reading from her works

Sarah Braunstein reading from her works

April 30, 2014 4:00 PM  – 5:30 PM
Hubbard Hall, Room 208 Thomas F. Shannon Room

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Dana Renga: Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama

Dana Renga: Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama

May 2, 2014 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Dana Renga, Assistant Professor of Italian at The Ohio State University, will discuss the ways in which the conventions of melodrama shape the mafia movie, focusing in particular on the Italian box-office hit Romanzo criminale (Michele Placido, 2005). Melodramatic narratives, argues Prof. Renga, create sympathy for the mafia film's brooding anti-hero - a sympathy that is increased when these characters are played by the likes of Italian film idols Kim Rossi Stuart and Riccardo Scamarcio. In "Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama" Prof. Renga examines how such films cause their viewers to forgive the transgressions of their criminal protagonists, and even mourn their deaths.

Prof. Renga works on modern and contemporary Italian cinema and culture, including representations of the Mafia, gender, the holocaust, fascism and terrorism. She has published articles and book chapters on Italian cinema, popular culture, poetry, and literature. She is the author of Unfinished Business: Screening the Italian Mafia in the New Millennium (University of Toronto Press, 2013), the editor of Mafia Movies: A Reader (University of Toronto Press, 2011) and co-edits The Italianist: Film Issue. She is currently at work on a book entitled Italian Women's Cinema and the Wounded Filmic Body (1915-2015).

This lecture is sponsored by the Bowdoin College Department of Romance Languages, Film Studies Program, Department of English, and Gender and Women's Studies Program, with additional funding from the Lectures and Concerts Committee and Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund.

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In Memoriam: Seamus Heaney

In Memoriam: Seamus Heaney

May 4, 2014 4:00 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

"Art is Our Chief Means of Breaking Bread With the Dead" - W. H. Auden

Celebrating the life and work of Seamus Heaney with Professor of English Marilyn Reizbaum, English Department Writer-in-Residence Anthony Walton, and author Jane Brox.

Sponsored by the English Department and Fishouse

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