Liberal Arts announces Spring 2010 Lecture Series





Bob Santelli

“Preserving Pop: Music, Museums, and American Culture”
Monday, March 22nd(co-sponsored w/ The John Nicholas Brown Center, Brown University)
7:00pm/Chace Center Auditorium

Speaker Details: Bob Santelli joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 1993, and served as the Vice President of Education and Public Programs.  In 2000, he became CEO and Artistic Director of Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington.  There he created over 30 exhibits, many of which traveled throughout the United States and Europe, including the groundbreaking exhibit “Bob Dylan’s American Journey, 1956-1966.”  Santelli has authored and edited more than a dozen books, including The Big Book of Blues and Hard Travelin’: The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie.  In addition, Santelli has written numerous articles for such magazines as Rolling Stone, CD Review, Downbeat, Backstreets, and New Jersey Monthly, along with newspapers such as the New York Times, Asbury Park Press, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Lecture Details: Bob Santelli will speak about the creation of music museum culture in America, the importance of museums in music education, and the issues involved in preserving and celebrating the American music treasury, especially the institutionalization of such formerly rebel music forms like rock, punk, and rap.

Jennifer Bosson
“Precarious Manhood:  Implications for Action and Aggression”
Monday, April 5th
6:30pm/Chace Center Auditorium

Speaker Details: Jennifer Bosson earned her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of South Florida.  Her research addresses questions concerning the self and social functioning, including the social-cognitive mechanisms that underlie rigid adherence to social role norms, factors that promote interpersonal closeness, the links between self-esteem and interpersonal functioning, and the effects of different types of social feedback on people’s recovery from self-threats.  She received the Wayne F. Placek Foundation Grant for $65,000 to study male gender role threats and anti-gay reactions.

Lecture Details: Across a wide range of otherwise diverse cultures, manhood is conceptualized as a relatively precarious social status that is both elusive (difficult to attain) and tenuous (easy to lose).  As such, manhood is something that boys must earn and then continually maintain, often through demonstrations of action and physical aggression.  In comparison, girls and women rarely have to earn or prove their womanhood to the same degree that boys and men must earn and prove manhood.  In this talk, Professor Bosson will present a series of studies that demonstrate the robustness of beliefs about precarious manhood among samples of U.S. college undergraduates, and highlight some of the implications of beliefs about precarious manhood for men’s thoughts and actions.  Specifically, this research indicates that: (1) Men, but not women, interpret physical aggression as part of a cultural script for restoring threatened manhood; (2) Threats to their gender status activate more anxiety- and aggression-relevant thoughts among men than among women; and (3) Following a gender threat, men use physical displays of aggressive posturing as a means of reducing their anxiety.  Discussion focuses on the implications of this work for understanding men’s use of physical aggression.

Jonathan Weinberg
“On the Waterfront: Vito Acconci and New York’s Pier Groups”
Wednesday, April 7th
6:30pm/RISD Auditorium

Speaker Details: Jonathan Weinberg, Ph.D. is a painter and art historian.  He is the author of Male Desire: the Homoerotic in American Art (2005); Fantastic Tales: the Photography of Nan Goldin (with Joyce Robinson, curator, 2005); Ambition and Love in Modern American Art (2001); and Speaking for Vice: Homosexuality in the Art of Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley and the First-American Avant-Garde (1993). His reviews and articles have appeared in Art in America, Artforum, The Art Journal, and The Yale Journal of Criticism. He has taught at Bennington College, Cooper Union, Rhode Island School of Design and Yale University.   He was an artist-in-residence at the Getty Research Center and the Addison Gallery of American Art.  He is a recipient of a 2002 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2009 grant from Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation. Weinberg’s paintings, which are in several public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Montclair Art Museum, can be seen on his website:

Lecture Details: This talk will focus on Vito Acconci’s 1971 “Untitled (Project for Pier 17)” in relationship to a series of works of art produced in New York City’s abandoned piers from 1970-1983 by such artists as Gordon Matta-Clark, Arthur Tress, David Wojnarowicz and Robert Whitman.

Sokari Douglas Camp
“Making Art in a Postcolonial World”
Monday, April 12th  
6:30pm/CB 412

Speaker Details: Sokari Douglas Camp is a British/ Nigerian sculptor who currently lives in London. She completed an M.A. in sculpture from the Royal College of Art in 1986. A CBE (Commander of the British Empire), her work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Tate London and numerous other international museums. She has won several large public commissions in London, including the Living Memorial to activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in 2006, and a collaboration with Ground Gorce to create an African Garden for the British Museum in 2005. She is currently working on a commission to commemorate the abolition of slavery which is titled All the World is Now Richer.

Lecture Details: Sokari will give an artist’s talk, documenting her sculptural projects, along with several recent public commissions.

Michelle Kuo
“Critics’ Choice:  Artforum and Contemporary Art”
Tuesday, April 27th
6:30pm/RISD Auditorium

Speaker Details: Michelle Kuo is Senior Editor at Artforum International. Her numerous essays and reviews have appeared in Artforum, October, Art Bulletin and other journals.
Lecture Details: This talk will discuss the role of art criticism in contemporary art, with particular focus on Artforum, the premier magazine of contemporary art.

Terri Kapsalis
“The Hysterical Alphabet”
A Live Audio-Visual Performance produced by Theater Oobleck

Friday, March 19th – (co-sponsored with Student Life)
8:00pm/Tap Room

Speaker Details: Terri Kapsalis’ recent fiction, “Most Beautiful Experiments,” was published in Parakeet and nominated for a Pushcart.  Other writings have appeared in such publications as Short Fiction, The Baffler, Denver Quarterly, new formations, Public, and Lusitania.  She is the author of Public Privates:  Performing Gynecology from Both Ends of the Speculum (Duke University Press) which Kapsalis imagines is the only book ever to have been reviewed by the New England Journal of Medicine, The Village Voice, and The Amateur Gynecologist (a medical fetishist website).  As an improvising violinist, Kapsalis has a discography that includes work with Tony Conrad, David Grubbs, and Mats Gustafsson.  She is a founding member of Theater Oobleck and has performed in 15 Oobleck productions. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Performance Details:  Historical hysteria.  The ABCs are seized by a convulsive fit in Terri Kapsalis’ The Hysterical Alphabet, each letter introducing an episode direct from the annals of medical lore.  Backed by Danny Thompson’s disquieting film collages and John Corbett’s vinyl manipulations, The Hysterical Alphabet tracks centuries of female malady, disproving the theory that time heals all wombs.

Cameron Tonkinwise
“Sustainable Design is Something You Have to Do; and then Redo, and Redo, and…”

Wednesday, March 24th
6:00pm/BEB 106

Speaker Details: Cameron Tonkinwise is Chair of Business Design and Sustainability in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons the New School for Design. He is also Co-Chair of the Tishman Environment and Design Center at the New School.  Before coming to New York in 2008, Cameron was Director of Design Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney and Executive Officer of Change Design, formerly known as the EcoDesign Foundation, an independent sustainable design think-tank. Cameron¹s Ph.D. concerned the teaching strategies of the philosopher Martin Heidegger, and he continues to explore what design can learn from philosophy and philosophy from design. Cameron¹s current research concerns reducing societal materials intensity through designs that afford more sustainable living habits and service systems that enable shared-product-use.

Lecture Details: This presentation will critically review the tendency of sustainable design thinkers to believe that holistic mindsets are a once-and-for-all solution to the development of a more sustainable societal future. It will argue that holism is not possible with respect to design, that what is needed are not simple or singular mindsets, but repeated design actions and that sustainability is an interminable practice; or that interminability is a way of understanding sustainability. In short, sustainability is ineluctably political, as, but also with and beyond, design.


Alexia Kosmider
“Not Your Mama’s Roller Derby” – Screening and discussion.
Thursday, March 4th
6:00pm/CB 412

Speaker Details:Alexia Kosmider is a part-time lecturer in the English Department at RISD. In 2004, Alexia started Shifting Visions Education Film Project, a nonprofit film company dedicated to examining subjects that are often neglected by larger companies. The film company’s first project, “In the Shadow of the Crow: The legacies of the Narragansetts” premiered at RISD and has been screened at many different colleges and universities as well as at the Woodstock Video and Film Festival (2006) and the American Anthropological Association Visual Film Festival (December 2005).  Alexia also directed “Not on My Campus”, which was part of the Rhode Island Council of the Humanities and R. I. Here at Home: What Divides Us, What Unites Us, PBS Series broadcast Rhode Island PBS June 2007.

Lecture Details: Her most recent documentary “Not Your Mama’s Roller Derby,” premiered at the Rhode Island International Film Festival (2009) and is currently being distributed by Cinetic Rights Management (New York).  The film will be shown and a discussion will follow.

Alexia Kosmider, Bob Santelli, Cameron Tonkinwise, Division of Liberal Arts, Jennifer Bosson, Jonathan Weinberg, Lecture, Liberal Arts, Liberal Arts Lecture Series, Michelle Kuo, Sokari Douglas Camp, TerrI Kapsalis

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