Peppered with laughter, Hip-Hop music, and scads of critical insight, this spring’s lineup of visitors for the Fisher Center lecture series has been released.
January 23, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y.—Comedian Kate Rigg, known for her edgy take on Asian stereotypes, is the first guest in the spring lineup of the Fisher Center lecture series at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Rigg’s performance of “Chink-o-rama” won second funniest show of the year, and her current performance “somebody's kid” is grabbing the attention of audiences in New York and Toronto. Rigg will present “somebody’s kid” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Colleges campus. The performance is free and the public is invited.
Born to an Indonesian mother and Australian father, Rigg’s performance carries strong political statements using Beat poetry, character comedy, and intimate monologues as she looks through a comedian's lens our multicultural landscape of the new millennium. She will be accompanied by Julliard graduate and virtuoso Lyris Hung on electric violin and strings.
The Fisher Center lecture series, which is devoted to the study of women and men, will bring Rigg and four other visitors to Hobart and William Smith this spring, delivering talks and performances on the theme “Body Politics in a Changing World.” Each speaker will bring a new dimension to this theme, including the body politics of nations, religion, the environment, or music. Each guest will also participate in a roundtable discussion the following morning at 8:45 a.m. in the Fisher Center (212 Demarest Hall).
Betty Bayer, associate professor of feminist social psychology and newly appointed director of the Fisher Center, believes the spring visitors offer “some of the most insightful and poignant reflection on many of our most pressing questions today.”
“Education is supposed to provoke thought in the interest of social justice,” said Bayer. “And that's what the Fisher Center provides — a forum for the Colleges and surrounding community to come together for eventful conversation.”
“Besides,” says Bayer, “the Fisher Center talks are snappier than West Wing, more timely than That '70s show, and sexier than Sex in the City.”
Fisher Center lectures and seminars provide a forum for students, faculty and community members to explore gender issues. The Center, founded with a $1 million gift from Emily and Richard Fisher, whose son Alexander graduated from Hobart College in 1993, seeks to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary gender issues.
Other Spring 2002 speakers include:
• Wednesday, March 6: Amina Wadud is the author of “Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective” and a professor of philosophy and religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Wadud will deliver a talk titled “Eternity in Transcendence Through Chaos and Change: Qur’an Gender and Justice” that is based on her research of various aspects of Muslim women’s lives such as reproductive health issues and educational equality. She will provide new and critical insight into the changing dynamics of our body politics since Sept. 11.
• Sunday, March 24: Terry Tempest Williams, a nature writer and environmental
activist, writes passionately on the political, cultural and geographical ecology of the well being of human bodies and Earth. Williams’ writings have brought political attention to environmental issues that surround women's health, and have served to catalyze environmental efforts for Redrock Canyon. She has testified before U. S. Congress on environmental risks to women's health, has served on the President's Council for Sustainable Development, and has received the National Wildlife Federation's Conservation Award for Special Achievement. Williams’ most recent book is titled “Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert.” Her lecture titled “Geographic Relief: The Politics of Body and Place” is co-sponsored by the Colleges Writers Reading.
• Tuesday, April 9: Professor David Savran, a scholar of theatre at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, will present a talk titled “The Unnatural Intercourse of High and Low: “Rent” as Middlebrow Blockbuster.” Savran has written extensively on theatre and on masculinity. His work offers a social history of masculinity in American culture, and of playwriting and the politics of American culture. Savran’s talk will examine cultural and sexual tensions forming the middlebrow culture of American theatre, with special interest in the play “Rent.” His books include “Taking it Like a Man,” “The Playwright's Voice,” and “Communists, Cowboys, and Queers.”
• Wednesday, April 17: Christopher Smith, a visiting professor of media and cultural studies at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, will present “Hip-Hop, Gender and the American Dream.” His talk will address hip-hop music videos, bodies and the politics of the American dream. With his research interests in 20th century American history, innovation management, and consumer-spending trends fostered by new technology, Smith’s published work appears in the edited volumes of “Music and the Racial Imagination,” and, “Kitchen Culture in America: Representations Food, Gender and Race.” He has also written extensively about popular culture for publications such as “Elle,” “Interview,” “The Source,” and “Vibe.”
For more information, contact The Fisher Center at (315) 781-3130 or visit the Colleges Web site at www.hws.edu.
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