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Campus News / News

Spring 2015 Forum Series Events

01/13/2015 10:25 am

Rockford, Ill. — The Rockford University Spring 2015 Forum Series will begin Friday, January 23. There will be nine events at the University this spring that span a wide variety of topics and interests. All events are open to the public and with the exception of theatre events, are offered at no charge. All lectures and performances will take place on the Rockford University campus, 5050 East State Street, Rockford. Tickets are required for all events and can be obtained by contacting the Rockford University Box Office at 815-226-4100 or

Friday, January 23
5 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel
George C. Rable, Ph.D.
“God as General, was there a religious history in the American Civil War?”Dr. Rable is the Charles Summersell Professor of Southern History at the University of Alabama and a past president of the Society of Civil War Historians. He has written extensively about the American Civil War. His 2002 book Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! won the Jefferson Davis Award, the Douglas Southall Freeman Award and most notably the 2003 Lincoln Prize, a $50,000 award for excellence in Civil War scholarship. The book is notable for retaining a traditional military analysis of the Civil War while exploring the social context and importance of the conflict. His most recent book, God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War also won the Jefferson Davis Award and was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2010.
Wednesday, January 28
7 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel
Edwin Huizinga and Ian Scarfe
“Performing and Educating on our World Stage”
Canadian-born violinist Edwin Huizinga is quickly establishing a reputation as one of North America’s most versatile violinists. Performing both baroque and modern repertoire, he is a founding member of the baroque ensembles Passamezzo Moderno and ACRONYM.  Pianist Ian Scarfe has performed as a soloist and collaborator throughout the US and Europe. He is a founding member of the contemporary music group Nonsemble Six, and is the founder and director of the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival. Together, Edwin and Ian will be performing and discussing music from the last four hundred years, including pieces from Bach, Brahms, Ravel and John Adams.
Thursday, January 29
7 p.m., Peterson Auditorium, Starr 207
Gerald Graff, Ph.D., Phi Beta Kappa Guest Speaker
“Trickle Down Obfuscation”Dr. Graff is a professor of English and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Chicago and his doctorate degree in English and American Literature from Stanford University. He has taught at several universities throughout the United States and has lectured at over 200 universities since the early 80s. Dr. Graff coined the term “teach the controversy” in his college courses in the 1980s and later set the idea in print in his 1993 book Beyond the Culture Wars. He currently teaches both graduate courses on teaching undergraduate writing and undergraduate writing courses.
Monday, February 9
7 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
“Ain’t I a Woman!”
Core Ensemble Chamber Music Theatre“Ain’t I a Woman!” is a chamber music theatre work for actress and trio (cello, piano & percussion) celebrating the lives and times of four significant African American women: ex-slave and fiery abolitionist Sojourner Truth, renowned novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, exuberant folk artist Clementine Hunter and fervent civil rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer. Text is by Kim Hines. The musical score is drawn from the heartfelt spirituals of the Deep South, the urban exuberance of the Jazz Age and concert music by African American composers including Diane Monroe.
Thursday, February 12
7 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel
Nathan Dappen, Ph.D.
“Snows of the Nile” Dr. Dappen is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker. His images, films, books and other projects have been featured and funded by organizations and publications like National Geographic, Vogue, The Washington Post, Scientific American, The Guardian, The World Wildlife Fund, The National Science Foundation, The Smithsonian Institute, and many others. Along with Neil Losin, he founded the award-winning production company Day’s Edge Productions, where they focus on telling science, nature, conservation and adventure stories. He was Collegiate Scholar of the North American Nature Photography Association, is a Fellow National member of the Explorers Club, and is adjunct faculty at the University of Miami,Fla.
Thursday, February 26 – Sunday, March 1
7:30 p.m., Thurs.-Sat.; 2:00 p.m., Sun., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Rockford University Performing Arts Department “Dogfight” is based on Bob Comfort’s screenplay for the 1991 movie by Nancy Savoca. It follows the story of a group of Marines in 1963 that before deploying to Vietnam decide to celebrate their last evening stateside, in San Francisco, by holding a dogfight, a long-standing tradition in which men compete to recruit the ugliest date for a party. The focus of the show is on the relationship between 18-year-old Corporal Eddie Birdlace and a young woman named Rose Fenny. Both Eddie and Rose are portrayed as innocent and inexperienced. Eddie is angry and inept, while Rose is idealistic yet unsophisticated.
Wednesday, March 4
4 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Rockford University Charter Day
Speaker TBACelebrating 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 31
7 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Lucianne Walkowicz, Ph.D.
“What is the Nature of Life in the Universe?” Dr. Walkowicz is an astrophysicist and multimedia artist. Her work delves into a question both scientific, and fundamentally human: what is the nature of life in the universe? She sheds light on how the thousands of newly-discovered planetary systems might lead to the discovery of life beyond planet Earth, and how the future of our home world depends on our personal connection to science. Captivated by the mysteries of the natural world from a young age, Dr. Walkowicz is a lifelong explorer who began doing formal research at age 17. She has since been part of several space missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Kepler Mission, and is a leader in the future Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.
Thursday, April 30 – Sunday, May 3
7:30 p.m., Thurs. – Sat.; 2:00 p.m., Sun., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
“Love’s Labour’s Lost”
Rockford University Performing Arts Department “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is one of William Shakespeare’s early comedies, believed to have been written in the mid-1590s for a performance at the Inns of Court before Queen Elizabeth I. It follows the King of Navarre and his three companions as they attempt to foreswear the company of women for three years of study and fasting, and their subsequent infatuation with the Princess of Aquitaine and her ladies. The play draws on themes of masculine love and desire, reckoning and rationalization, and reality versus fantasy. While there are no obvious sources for the play’s plot, the four main characters are loosely based on historical figures.

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.