Fall 2012 Calendar of Events

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"The Night That Changed World Literature": Franz Kafka's "The Judgment"

September 25, 20124:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Moulton Union, Lancaster Lounge

"The Night That Changed World Literature"
Franz Kafka's The Judgment

One hundred years ago, on the night of September 22-23, Franz Kafka composed his "breakthrough" work The Judgment. The Department of German presents a reading of the text in English translation to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of this seminal event in the history of world literature.

Open to the public. Admission is free.

Sponsored by the Department of German.

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Bowdoin Book Lecture: Belinda Kong Discusses

Bowdoin Book Lecture: Belinda Kong Discusses "The Crazed" Oct. 11

October 11, 20127:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Cram Alumni House, Barn (Torrey Barn)

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.


Ha Jin’s The Crazed by Belinda Kong, Associate Professor

of Asian Studies and English

Thursday, October 11, 2012, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Torrey Barn (formerly Cram Barn), Cram Alumni House



“Ha Jin’s The Crazed (2002) is one of a growing corpus of fictions by Chinese diaspora writers on the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. The novel follows a graduate student in literature in the spring of 1989 who, in the wake of his advisor’s stroke, is shaken out of his provincial life of study and propelled into the margins of national politics, ultimately becoming a witness to the tragedy in Beijing. Ha Jin, born in Liaoning in 1956, came to the United States as a graduate student in 1985 and decided to remain here after the Tiananmen Massacre. He now teaches at Boston University and is author of six novels, four short story collections, and three books of poetry.”- Belinda Kong.


Belinda Kong joined the Bowdoin faculty in 2005 and is associate professor of Asian studies and English. She teaches courses on contemporary Asian diaspora literature, with a focus on transnational Asian American and Chinese diaspora fiction. Her talk draws from her book, Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square: The Chinese Literary Diaspora and the Politics of Global Culture (Temple University Press, 2012). Photo compliments of Random House, Inc.



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McCann Inaugural Lecture:

McCann Inaugural Lecture: "Ridiculous Modernism" by Marilyn Reizbaum Oct. 11

October 11, 20127:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

The prevailing arts movement of the twentieth century -- modernism -- has piqued and delighted and is still being assessed. For many, its innovations and experiments were frivolous, even dangerous -- like fiddling with conventions while Rome burns. Seems we're still afraid of Virginia Woolf and James Joyce?

Marilyn Reizbaum is an internationally renowned scholar of the work of James Joyce, as well as the fields of Irish and Scottish literature and film generally. She also teaches and publishes in the areas of Modernism, the modern novel, Jewish cultural theory, and history of ideas. She is the author of "The Stranger Spark" in The Edinburgh Companion to Muriel Spark and James Joyce's Judaic Other, is co-editor of the volume Ulysses--En-Gendered Perspectives, and is the author of numerous essays on Irish, Jewish, and other literatures.

Professor Reizbaum joined the Bowdoin faculty in 1984. She earned an A.B. at Queens College, an M.Litt. at the University of Edinburgh, and a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

The Harrison King McCann Professorship was established in 1960 within the Department of English in memory of Harrison K. McCann of the Bowdoin Class of 1902. The professorship honors McCann's 30 years of service as an overseer of the College from 1923 to 1953. He was founder and chairman of the board of McCann-Erickson, Inc., a globally influential advertising agency with headquarters in New York City. Bowdoin awarded McCann an honorary degree in 1942.

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Megan Cook presents: Our Chaucer, Ourselves: John Leland and the Birth of English Literary History

Megan Cook presents: Our Chaucer, Ourselves: John Leland and the Birth of English Literary History

October 17, 201212:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Megan L. Cook, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in English is the featured speaker. Her talk is titled Our Chaucer, Ourselves: John Leland and the Birth of English Literary History.

Open to faculty & staff.
Buffet lunch $3, or bring your own lunch.

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Barbara Weiden Boyd presents: Odysseus on Madison Avenue

Barbara Weiden Boyd presents: Odysseus on Madison Avenue

October 23, 201212:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge


Barbara Weiden Boyd, Henry Winkley Professor of Latin and Greek is the featured speaker. Her talk is titled Odysseus on Madison Avenue.

Open to faculty & staff.
Buffet lunch $3, or bring your own lunch.

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Screening/Discussion: "Granito: How To Nail a Dictator" with Filmmakers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis Oct. 29

October 29, 20127:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Filmmakers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis come to campus for a screening and discussion of their film "Granito: How to Nail a Dictator," which won a premiere documentary award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

"Granito" is the story of five people whose destinies are joined by Guatamala's past, when a 1982 genocidal military campaign exterminated nearly 200,000 Maya people...and how a documentary film helped bring a dictator to justice.

The film, says Stephen Holden of The New York Times, "...doesn't simply relate history; it is also part of history."

Yates is an American documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Skylight Pictures (with Peter Kinoy), a company whose mission is to activate social change by creating films that advance awareness of human rights.

De Onis grew up in several Latin American countries and and produces documentary films to promote social justice.

Sponsored by the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund, the Film Studies Program, the Bowdoin Film Society, the Latin American Studies Program, the Department of Romance Languages, and the English Department.

Photo courtesy of Skylight Pictures.

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Lecture: "Keys to Turing" by Homay King Nov. 8

November 8, 20127:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

Homay King, Associate Professor of History of Art and Director of the Center for Visual Culture at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, discusses her project on Alan Turing.

Turing was best known for cracking the infamous German Enigma cipher in World War II. A brilliant mathematician, Turing pioneered research in artificial intelligence and his designs became prototypes for the modern computer.

In the 1950s, however, Turing was arrested on charges related to his homosexuality and, in lieu of prison, was subjected to a chemical treatment that likely led to his suicide.

The aim of her project, King says, is to "queer the computer just slightly."

King suggests that "Turing's sexuality - or more accurately, the way he endured the oppressive social burdens of homosexuality in his time - is not fully separable from his research in computer language and logic."

"Computer language offered a refuge from the kinds of cryptic, often shameful channels through which gay men in World War II-era England were obliged to interact with one another," says King.

Please join us as King explores Turing's relationship with his groundbreaking research and the social mores of his time.

Sponsored by the English Department, the Computer Science Department, and the Gay and Lesbian Studies Program

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

November 9, 20127:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Memorial Hall, Wish Theater

A Masque and Gown Production

Acclaimed as a modern dramatic masterpiece, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is the inventive tale of Hamlet as seen from backstage, and follows the tragicomic mishaps of the bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters from Shakespeare's play. Summoned by forces beyond their control, the two are called to find the cause of Hamlet's madness, but instead stumble upon and past some of the fundamental truths of human existence. Bumbling, ineffectual, and disposable, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are drawn inescapably to their tragic but inevitable end, but in so doing, shed light on what it means to know, to do, to die, and ultimately, to live.

Tom Stoppard was born in Czechoslovakia, on the eve of World War II. His family escaped to Australia, and eventually moved to England. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, and has earned critical acclaim for many of his works, including Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Arcadia, The Real Thing, and, most recently, The Coast of Utopia. His plays often address issues such as human rights, censorship, and political freedom, as well as linguistics and philosophy.

Tickets are 1 dollar with a Bowdoin ID, three dollars without starting Oct 25.

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Tess Chakkalakal Book Release Celebration:

Tess Chakkalakal Book Release Celebration: "Novel Bondage: Slavery, Marriage, and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America"

December 5, 20124:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Join us for a reading and reception celebrating the release of Tess Chakkalakal's new book.
Tess Chakkalakal is associate professor of Africana Studies and English, as well as director of the Africana Studies Program at Bowdoin. Her research and teaching focuses on American and African American literature from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century.

Novel Bondage: Slavery, Marriage, and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America examines the interconnections between marriage, slavery, and freedom through renewed readings of nineteenth-century novels and short stories by black and white authors.

Kenneth W. Warren, author of What Was African American Literature?, says of Chakkalakal's book: "Exploring the paradox represented by slave marriage in nineteenth-century American fiction, Novel Bondage deftly revises our reading of canonical works, offering a clearer understanding of these texts as direct participants in critiquing marriage as a legal institution."

The book was recently awarded the Robert K. Martin Prize for Best Book by the Canadian Association for American Studies.

Novel Bondage (University of Illinois Press) is available for purchase at the Bowdoin College Bookstore.

Sponsored by the Africana Studies Program and the English Department.

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