Mitchell Douglas’s Sabbatical Lecture Examines a Pivotal Time in Rock History

Mitchell Douglass

Mitchell Douglass

The Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway in December 1969 was marred by an alcohol-fueled security force of Hells Angels and the gang’s murder of a Berkeley teen. This year, Dec. 6, marked the 35th anniversary of the Altamont free concert. While Meredith Hunter’s killer, Hells Angel Alan Passaro, is long gone, Hunter’s story has never been fully explored. Mitchell Douglas, assistant professor of English at IUPUI, will explore the events of that night through lyric and persona poetry. Douglas will present his sabbatical talk December 9, 2014 to discuss his process for creating poems based on historical events, writing persona poems in the voices of historical figures, and how research can be an integral part of a creative project.

About the Liberal Arts Sabbatical Series Lectures

The Sabbatical Speaker Series was established to provide a venue for sharing research completed by Liberal Arts faculty while on sabbatical leaves. It is a sampling of the diverse work and excellence of IUPUI faculty, and an opportunity to come together for an hour of intellectual exploration with students, alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and friends from the community.

About the speaker

Mitchell Douglas is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts. His areas of academic interest include the Black Arts Movement, ethnic poetry collectives, and art for social change. He received the Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award and has been a finalist for the NAACP Image Award (Outstanding Literary Work-Poetry), thee Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Wick Poetry Prize, the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award for his debut book, Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem, and was a Pushcart Prize Nominee in 2006. Douglas is also a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem fellow, and Poetry Editor for PLUCK!: the Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. Mitchell L. H. Douglas’s second book of poems, \blak\ \al-fə bet\, is available from amazon.com.

Dennis Bingham’s Sabbatical Lecture Shows Cinema in a New Light

Dennis Bingham

Dennis Bingham

Professor Bingham’s presentation of Life, Death and All That Jazz: Bob Fosse and the Hollywood Renaissance of the 1970s on December 5, 2014 will explore the film style of the director-choreographer Bob Fosse (1927-1987), examining Fosse’s heretofore unacknowledged role in the “Hollywood Renaissance” of the 1970s. Bingham artfully examines how Fosse changed Hollywood cinema and American culture in ways that, though not always positive, have been lasting and pervasive. The talk focuses on Fosse’s first two films, Sweet Charity (1969) and especially, Cabaret (1972). These musicals feature unmotivated protagonists and discontinuous editing styles redolent of avant-garde and European Art Cinema. In their tendency toward ambivalence and ambiguity they deconstruct their traditionally optimistic genre, resulting in a uniquely revisionist form of the film musical.

In addition to being a director and choreographer for both film and musical theater, Fosse was also a dancer, screenwriter, and actor. He won an unprecedented eight Tony Awards for choreography, as well as one for direction. He was nominated for an Academy Award four times, winning one. Fosse’s first film, Sweet Charity, starring Shirley MacLaine, is an adaptation of the Broadway musical he had directed and choreographed. His second film, Cabaret, won eight Academy Awards, including Best Director, which he won over Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather starring Marlon Brando, as well as Oscars for both Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey for their roles.

About the Liberal Arts Sabbatical Series Lectures

The Sabbatical Speaker Series was established to provide a venue for sharing research completed by Liberal Arts faculty while on sabbatical leaves. It is a sampling of the diverse work and excellence of IUPUI faculty, and an opportunity to come together for an hour of intellectual exploration with students, alumni, faculty, staff, retirees and friends from the community.

About the speaker

The academic interests of Dr. Dennis Bingham, professor of English and director of the film studies program, include film theory, gender theory, film biography and stardom and acting. In 2011, Professor Bingham was a finalist for the Theatre Library Association Richard Wall Memorial Award for “Whose Lives Are They Anyway: The Biopic as Contemporary Film Genre” published by Rutgers University Press. He has published numerous articles and entries on Clint Eastwood and Biopics on Oxford Bibliographies Online.

IU School of Liberal Arts Sabbatical Speaker Series Fall 2013

Presented by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI

Islamic Jihad or Just Revolt? Muslim Political Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean

Edward E. Curtis IV, Religious Studies – Tuesday, October 1, CE 409, 4:30-5:30 PM

Learn about jihad, sometimes considered the sixth pillar of Islam, and its role in fueling political violence. The influence of jihad is compared in two rebellions among African Americans: an 1835 uprising in Bahia, Brazil, and a 1990 coup attempt in Trinidad.

Poverty Warriors: Tales from Britain’s War on Poverty

Susan Brin Hyatt, Anthropology – Tuesday, October 8, CE 307, 4:30-5:30 PM

Inspired in part by the U.S. War on Poverty, in 1969, the British government funded 12 Community Development Projects in impoverished communities across Britain. By 1978, this experiment came to an end amidst a great deal of political turmoil. Come hear how some of the original community development workers reflect on that tumultuous time.

Rescuing Henrietta: The Story of An African American Woman Activist

Ramla Bandele, Political Science – Friday, October 25, CE 268, 4:30-5:30 PM

Before Ella Baker and Rosa Parks, there was Henrietta Vinton Davis, a principal activist who achieved the rank of vice president in the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Nearly lost to the true story of UNIA until now, Davis’ work was buried in the footnotes.

Remembering Self, Remembered Self: Persona in Memoir Writing

Robert Rebein, English – Tuesday, November 5, CE 307, 4:30-5:30 PM

Writers of memoirs must fashion a dual sense of self in order to tell their stories and connect with readers: the self who is remembering and the self who is remembered. Discover the entirely different roles of these selves in the story that unfolds, and their crucial importance.

Mother’s Day and the Mafia

Anne C. Williams, English – Friday, November 8, CE 409, 4:30-5:30 PM

Florists serve their customers on the most important days of their lives. When customers are also neighbors, no matter who they are, important connections ensue. Working in memoir, the writer revisits her family’s Kansas City flower shop and its unusual neighborhood.

Reexamining the Opium War in China

Xin Zhang, History – Tuesday, November 12, CE 309, 4:30-5:30 PM

Take a closer look at the development of modern China in this examination of the (at times overstated) influence of the Opium War on the changes that have come to China in the past 40 years. Ain Haas Folk Music Traditions in Estonia Ain Haas, Sociology Tuesday, November 19, CE 307, 4:30-5:30 PM Many contemporary Estonians are making and playing ancient instruments like the Baltic psaltery, bowed lyre, and bagpipe. Hear how the processes of modernization, which did much to undermine this country’s musical traditions, now contribute to their revival.

Folk Music Traditions in Estonia

Ain Haas, Sociology – Tuesday, November 19, CE 307, 4:30-5:30 PM

Many contemporary Estonians are making and playing ancient instruments like the Baltic psaltery, bowed lyre, and bagpipe. Hear how the processes of modernization, which did much to undermine this country’s musical traditions, now contribute to their revival.