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Syracuse Symposium Announces Spring Schedule

Series resumes yearlong study of ‘Place’ with public events, activities

Feb 6, 2017 — Article by: Rob Enslin

Photo of Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

Syracuse Symposium continues its yearlong examination of “Place” with events through the end of April.

The schedule includes nearly a dozen lectures, workshops, exhibitions and performances. Special guests include Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, landscape ecologist Eric Sanderson, visual artist Juan Juarez and Italian literary scholar Mauro Novelli.

The Syracuse University Humanities Center, based in the College of Arts and Sciences, organizes and presents Syracuse Symposium. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise indicated. For more information, call 315.443.7192 or visit   

“We are excited to resume our study of ‘place’ through a humanistic lens,” says Vivian May, director of the Humanities Center and professor of women’s and gender studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. “Using methodologies steeped in the arts, humanities and social sciences, we offer a place-based approach to cultural studies. This enables us to engage wider publics and address questions of injustice and human rights.”

The spring schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, Feb. 7
Lecture: Jhumpa Lahiri
7:30-9 p.m.
Hendricks Chapel
The University Lecture series continues with Lahiri, professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who will discuss her memoir, “In Other Words” (Knopf, 2016). She also is the author of “Interpreter of Maladies” (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999), winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and “The Namesake” (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Co., 2003), the subject of a 2006 Indian-American film.  

Ed Brockenbrough

Edward Brockenbrough

Thursday, Feb. 9
Lecture: “Queering Sexy B(l)ack: Queer Youth and Pedagogies of Sexual Agency”
5:30-7 p.m.
Maxwell Auditorium
Edward Brockenbrough, associate professor of teaching and curriculum at the University of Rochester, examines negotiations of identity, pedagogy and power in urban educational spaces. His visit is part of the Douglas P. Biklen Landscape of Urban Education Lecture series.
Photo of "Haunted Ethnography" exhibit

Carl Elsaesser's "Project Gasbuggy" (shown above) is part of "Haunted Ethnography."

Thursday, Feb. 16

Exhibition: “‘Corpus’: An Exploration of Place and ‘Displace’”
5-8 p.m.
Point of Contact Gallery
Nancy Cantor Warehouse (350 W. Fayette St., Syracuse)
Point of Contact presents an Artist Talk & Tour with Juan Juarez, associate professor of studio arts and coordinator of the Arts in Context Program in VPA’s School of Art. The event also serves as the opening reception for his multi-media show, “Corpus,” exploring the meaning of space/place and the human desire to leave tangible remains after death, thus providing context for a larger physical existence.

Friday, Feb. 17
Concert: “Vision of Sound: (making) PLACE”
7:30-9:15 p.m.
Carrier Theater, The Oncenter (421 Montgomery St., Syracuse)
The Society for New Music marks its 45th season with a performance titled “Vision of Sound: (making) PLACE,” featuring collaborations between 10 composers and choreographers from Central and Upstate New York. Each original work expresses the importance of place through music, dance and movement.

Thursday, March 9
Screening and Q&A: “Haunted Ethnography”
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Hosmer Auditorium, Everson Museum of Art (401 Harrison St., Syracuse)
The Urban Video Project (UVP) and Light Work co-present a special indoor screening event and panel discussion, as part of “Haunted Ethnography: new experimental documentary,” an exhibition devoted to new video and experimental film works by emerging artists.
Photo of Eric Sanderson

Eric Sanderson

Thursday, March 30
Lecture: “The Welikia Project: Discovering a Natural Sense of Place in New York City”
4-5:30 p.m.
100 Falk College
Eric Sanderson, a senior conversation ecologist of the Wildlife Conservation Society, provides an overview of The Welikia Project, which documents the historical ecology of New York City and compares it to the city’s present biodiversity. Emphasis is on how teachers, government officials and everyday citizens use such information to transform their experience of “place.”

Friday, March 31
Workshop: “Onondaga Lake: Visualizing the Natural/Historical Continuum”
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
304 Tolley Humanities Building
Sanderson explores digital methods and tools to visualize the continuum of the indigenous, industrial and post-industrial history of Onondaga Lake. The program includes a visit to the lake and to The Ska-Nohn—Great Law of Peace Center. Participants may attend all or part of the workshop. Registration required; RSVP with Jane Read at 315.443.4279 by Friday, March 24.   
Photo of Mauro Novelli

Mauro Novelli

Tuesday, April 4

Lecture: “Places of Resistance: Simulation and Dissimulation in Modern Italian Provincial Literature”
3:35-4:45 p.m.
Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, 114 Bird Library
Mauro Novelli, associate professor of contemporary Italian literature at The University of Milan, examines how Italians relegated to the periphery during Fascist rule used dissimulation to help overthrow the government.

Wednesday, April 5
Workshop: “Borders Within Borders: Integration and Division Between Italy and Switzerland During the World War II Years”
9 a.m. to noon
304 Tolley Humanities Building
Novelli surveys the cultural, political and economic landscape of Italy during World War II, explaining how Fascism strained Swiss relations and led to Italy’s defeat.

Thursday, April 20
Exhibit: “YOU ARE HERE: Expanding the Concept of Place”
4-6 p.m.
Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), 6th Floor, Bird Library
The SCRC hosts an opening reception for “YOU ARE HERE,” an exhibit using the physical manifestation of historical events and social reform movements (e.g., rare books, photographs, maps and pamphlets) to redefine notions of “place” in the City of Syracuse.

Organized and presented by the Humanities Center, Syracuse Symposium is a public humanities series that revolves around an annual theme. Programs include lectures, workshops, performances, exhibits, films and readings. Located in the Tolley Humanities Building, the Humanities Center serves the campus community by cultivating diverse forms of scholarship, sponsoring a broad range of programming and partnerships and addressing enduring questions and pressing social issues.

Contact Information

Rob Enslin