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Rockford University Spring 2014 Forum Series

Wednesday, January 22, 2014   (0 Comments)
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For immediate release – 1/22/14
Contact: Director of Communications Rita Elliott, 815-226-3374  

Rockford, Ill. — Rockford University is pleased to announce its Spring 2014 Forum Series schedule. The University will host ten events this spring that span a wide variety of topics and interests. The public is invited and encouraged to attend all events. With the exception of the theatre productions, forum events are offered at no charge. All lectures and performances take place on the Rockford University campus, 5050 East State Street, Rockford. Tickets are required for all events. Please contact the Rockford University Box Office at 815-226-4100 or to reserve your tickets or for more information.  

Friday, January, 24
4 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel
James Marten, Ph.D.
Progressive-Era Children  

Dr. James Marten is professor and chair of the history department at Marquette University and is founding secretary-treasurer and current President of the Society for the History of Children and Youth. Dr. Marten has written or edited more than a dozen books on the sectional conflict and children’s history. His book, The Children’s Civil War won the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit National Book Award for History in 1999 and was named an "Outstanding Academic Book” by Choice Magazine. He was appointed to the Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lectureship Program in 2004 and became editor of the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth in 2013.            



Friday, January 24
7 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Espirit Creole

Fingers and bow flying, Dennis Stroughmatt takes listeners on a musical odyssey not so different than from his own musical journeys into Upper Louisiana Creole culture. Taught to play fiddle by local Creole fiddlers living along the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Dennis is now the authority on this regional pocket of American antiquity. A vibrant blend of Celtic, Canadian and Old Time sounds, this unique music bridges gaps between contemporary Canadian and Louisiana Cajun styles. Preserved by families in the Ozark foothills, the music remains largely intact and true to the traditions that have been passed down over three centuries.    




Wednesday, February 5
6 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel
The Right to Vote and the Rockford Connection  

Julia Lathrop returns (as portrayed by Amy Nyman) to explain more about the role students at Rockford Female Seminary (now Rockford University) played in working for voting rights. Catherine Forslund, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and chair of the History Department at Rockford University, will review historical events leading to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Marissa Leibling, LLD, staff attorney at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and who leads the Voting Rights Project, will discuss the current and future impact of the Supreme Court decision of June 2013 that overturned several sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. There will be an opportunity to register to vote at this event. A reception will be held at 6 p.m., with the performance beginning at 6:30 p.m.                      

Thursday, February 27-Sunday, March 2
Heartbreak House presented by Rockford University Performing Arts Department
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center  

Written by George Bernard Shaw and set in the English countryside on the estate of Captain Shotover during World War I, an extraordinary assemblage of guests gathers for one Hesione Hushabye’s infamous weekend parties. Affairs begin, engagements end and hearts and minds become irreparably ensnared in a young woman’s dilemma—whether to marry for love or for money. Shaw, considered a master of wit and social thought, bitingly chronicles the demise of the middle class in his favorite play, Heartbreak House.  

For tickets and more information, contact the Rockford University Box Office at 815-226-4032 or Adults $10, Seniors and Students $7. Group rates are available.  



Wednesday, March 5
4 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Speaker TBA
Charter Day  

Celebrating the 167th anniversary of the signing of the charter for Rockford University. Includes an academic procession of faculty in traditional robes depicting their rank, with stoles representing their respective alma maters and degrees.                                  




Tuesday, March 25
7 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Kyle Thiermann  
Surfing for Change

Kyle Thiermann is a 23-year-old pro surfer who has created some serious waves around the world. He is the creator and host of the hit YouTube series, Surfing For Change. Combining surfing great waves with making a series of short films about current issues, Thiermann focuses on the power you have to create a better world through everyday decisions. His first YouTube movie in the series details how money kept in multinational banks is used to finance destructive projects all over the world. He graduated from Gaia University with a Bachelors of Science in Green Business. He has been featured in media throughout the world, including Outside Magazine, Discovery Channel, and Surfer Magazine.  

Saturday, March 29, 4 p.m.
Sunday, March 30, 2 p.m.
The Shakespeare Conspiracy presented by Artists’ Ensemble
Cheek Theatre, Clark Arts Center

Christopher Marlowe is the most celebrated poet and playwright in England. He’s reached the pinnacle and there is nowhere to go but down. When a warrant is issued for Marlowe’s arrest for treason, his situation is abruptly desperate. Then the news of Marlowe’s shocking (yet oddly convenient) death in a tavern brawl breaks. Now Constable Henry Maunder is assigned to investigate Marlowe’s death. Was it murder? Was it something else? This new play from Ted Bacino and Ensemble member Rufus Cadigan ponders "What if…” and is based on Bacino’s novel of the same name.          





Tuesday, April 1
7 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel
Juan Egea, Ph.D.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – Lecture

University of Wisconsin Spanish Professor Dr. Juan Egea is an expert in Spanish cinema and poetry. Originally from Alicante, Spain, he received his doctorate from Harvard. Professor Egea teaches contemporary peninsular poetry and film. He is the author of La poesía del nosotros: Jaime Gil de Biedma y la secuencia lírica moderna (Madrid: Visor, 2004) and Dark Laughter: Spanish Film, Comedy and the Nation (Madison: UW-Press, 2013). He is also working on the relations between poetry and film and on Bécquer’s poetry in the context of the cultural production of the second part of the 19th century in Spain. Dr. Egea’s teaching and research interests include cultural and visual studies.    




Monday, April 7
4 p.m., Peterson Auditorium, Starr 207
Yi Lu, Ph.d.
Sigma XI Guest Speaker

Dr. Yi Lu received his B.S. degree from Peking University in 1986, and his doctorate from University of California at Los Angeles in 1992. After two years of postdoctoral research in Professor Harry B. Gray group at the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Lu started his own independent career in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 1994. He is now th Jay and Ann Schenck Endowed Professor of Chemistry and HHMI Professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Bioengineering and Materials Science and Engineering. His research interests lie at the interface between chemistry and biology, with specific interests including fundamental understanding of DNAzymes and their applications in environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics, and targeted drug delivery. Dr. Lu has received numerous research and teaching awards, including the Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007), Early Career Award, Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (2007), Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor Award (2002), Camile Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1999), Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (1998), Research Corporation Cottrell Scholars Award (1997), and the Beckman Young Investigators Award (1996).

Tuesday, May 6
7 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Natasha Trethewey
United States Poet Laureate  

Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi. She is the nineteenth Poet Laureate of the United States and the author of four collections of poetry, Domestic Work (2000); Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); Native Guard (2006)—for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize—and, most recently, Thrall, (2012). Her book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, appeared in 2010. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. At Emory University she is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing.        




About the Rockford University Forum Series: Each semester, the Rockford University Forum Series presents speakers from a variety of disciplines and performers of stature in the arts. The series is designed to deepen and broaden students’ education at Rockford University. All full-time undergraduate students are required to attend a minimum of two Forum Series events each semester. The series has hosted many notable presenters like Oscar Arias, the Tibetan Lamas of Drepung Loseling monastery, Benazir Bhutto, the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, Naomi Tutu, and Twyla Tharpe.  

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