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Libraries Colloquia Series:

Evidence: Photography and Political Disappearance

Date: September 9, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: MSU Main Library North Conference Room (W449)
Presented by artist Diana Matar
Cosponsored by the MSU African Studies Center, the School of Journalism, Muslim Studies, Peace and Justice Studies, and Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities

Evidence is the accumulation of six years' work on political disappearance by the photographer Diana Matar. Years ago the artist’s father-in-law, a Libyan opposition leader, was disappeared by the Gaddafi regime. Crafted as an homage to one man, the book shows the cruel effects of dictatorship on intimate relationships and family life. Ms. Matar will speak about the work and how she went about making the book.

Diana Matar is an artist working with photography, testimony, and archive. Using image, sound, and text, her bodies of work investigate issues of immigration, urban development, displacement, memory and political disappearance. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections and has been published in the New Yorker, The New York Times, Internazionale, Ojo de Pez, and many other publications. An installation of her work Evidence will be showing at Tate Modern 2014 / 2015.

Misquoting Muhammad: Violence and Heavenly Reward in the Islamic Tradition

Date: September 18, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: MSU Main Library North Conference Room (W449)

Jonathan A.C. Brown, Associate Professor of Islam and Muslim Christian Relations in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Associate Director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding.

Cosponsored by the MSU Muslim Studies Program, MSU Department of Religious Studies, and the Michigan Humanities Council.

Mentions of jihad and the fabled 72 virgins awaiting Muslim martyrs in Paradise have become regular features in both newscasts and popular culture. What is the basis for these ideas in Islam’s scriptures, and how have the Muslim scholars who have defined Islam's teachings over the centuries understood them? Once looked at in depth, the Islamic tradition reveals how debates over legitimate violence and the ways in which heavenly rewards have been understood get at larger questions of truth and authority, questions that are just as relevant in the Western tradition as they are in Islam.

Dr. Brown’s publications include The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon (Brill, 2007), Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld, 2009), Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenges and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy (Oneworld, 2014).

Documentado/Undocumented Ars Shamánica Performática

Date: September 19 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: MSU Main Library, North Conference Room (W449)

Spoken word performance by Felicia Rice, Moving Parts Press. Discussion about artist books by Diana Rivera, MSU Libraries. There will be light refreshments to follow preformance.

A traveling case for apprentice shamans
A reliquary for imaginary saints
A toolbox for self-transformation
A quiet call to heal yourself with fetishes and antidotes
A border kit to face the uncertainty of future crossings
A new project, seven years in the making

What is it exactly? A stage for an intimate one-on-one performance? An unusual video screening room? A personal multi-media altar? A “vanity” used for preparing for a performance? It is all these things and it is also an original book, a performative artists’ book in search of a new format and a new audience. Each element stands by itself, but together they form an indescribable whole.

Felicia Rice is a book artist, typographer, letterpress printer, publisher, and educator. She has collaborated with visual artists, performing artists and writers under the Moving Parts Press imprint since 1977. Work from the Press has been included in exhibitions from AIGA Annual Book Shows in New York and Frankfurt to the Victoria & Albert Museum. Her books are held in numerous collections including Stanford University, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Bodleian Library, Oxford. She has been the recipient of multiple awards, most recently the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship, and grants from the NEA, CAC and the French Ministry of Culture.

Banned Books Read Out

Date: September 24, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Location: Main Library Patio (North Entrance)

In collaboration with Kristin McIlhagga, MSU Department of Teacher Education.

Celebrate Banned Books Week and help draw attention to issues surrounding censorship. Come read short passages from your favorite banned book into a microphone on the Main Library’s patio. A selection of frequently banned books will also be available. Please contact Holly Flynn (flynnhol@msu.edu) if you are interested in reading at the Read Out.

Nebraska Memories: Opera and Willa Cather

Date: Wednesday, October 8
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: MSU Main Library North Conference Room (W449)

Harlan Jennings, MSU College of Music.

Long before the automobile, Nebraska’s Platte River Valley functioned as the Midwest’s first interstate. This natural thoroughfare, along with the flourishing city near its mouth, Omaha, attracted not only pioneers but, within a pair of decades, a number of the nineteenth century’s greatest singers. On hand to describe some of these performances was Willa Cather, who, as an undergraduate English major at the University of Nebraska, found herself critiquing these renowned professionals for the local newspapers.

Cosponsored by Music in American Life.

Sharecropper’s Troubadour: John L. Handcox, the Southern Tenant Farmers Union, and the African American Song Tradition – A Performance Presentation

Date: October 16, 2014
Time: 12:15 pm
Location: MSU Main Library North Conference Room (W449)

An Our Daily Work, Our Daily Lives brownbag.

Michael Honey (Fred T. and Dorothy G. Haley Endowed Professor of the Humanities, University of Washington – Tacoma)

Folk singer and labor organizer John Handcox was born in 1904 in the Arkansas delta of King Cotton amidst segregation and sharecropping, but went on to become one of the most beloved folk singers of the prewar labor movement. This beautifully told oral history gives us Handcox in his own words, recounting a journey that began in the Deep South and went on to shape the labor music tradition.

Cosponsored by the MSU African American and African Studies Centers

Getting Closer: Understanding the "Other"

Date: October 21, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: MSU Main Library North Conference Room (W449)
Presented by: The photographer Natan Dvir

Cosponsored by: MSU School of Journalism, MSU Museum, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Division of Residential and Hospitality Services: Residence Education and Housing Services, MSU Muslim Studies Program, MSU Jewish Studies Program, MSU Department of Religious Studies, Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities, MSU Peace and Justice Studies Program.

Natan Dvir is an Israeli photographer who has used photography as a means to explore the power of religious and political beliefs. His project Eighteen, environmental portraits of Arab youth in Israel, will be on exhibition at Brody Hall beginning in early October. Dvir describes this project as “an artistic point of contact serving as an invitation to get closer…. An inside view by one who is typically regarded as an outsider. If I, a Jewish Israeli man, have been accepted and was allowed into my subjects’ personal lives — so can others.” Mr. Dvir will speak about his projects including Eighteen, Belief, and others, and will discuss the role of contemporary photography in shaping perspectives and in leading social/political changes.

Natan Dvir received his MBA from Tel Aviv University and his MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts (NY), after which he became a faculty member at the International Center of Photography (ICP). Based in New York City he photographs around the world. Natan’s main projects have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, South America and Israel.

Beyond Peter Rabbit: The Private Life of Beatrix Potter

Date: November 5,2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: MSU Main Library North Conference Room

Agnes Haigh Widder, Humanities Librarian.

Beatrix Potter’s books, adored by children worldwide, are all that most people know of the brilliant, eccentric author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. But Beatrix Potter was much more: a naturalist, farmer, scientific illustrator, stockbreeder, and an influential conservationist of England’s Lake District. Learn about her life, her work, and her legacy. Copies of her works from the MSU Libraries’ Special Collections will be on display.

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