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Lecture Series

The College of Visual and Performing Arts is pleased to present lectures by faculty and guest speakers. Open to the public, these presentations spark dialogue about current topics in the arts and communication, enhance students' educational experiences, and add to the vibrant cultural life of the campus. For additional information, please contact the faculty speaker or event organizer by email.

Faculty First Thursdays

Faculty First Thursdays, held at 11am in 120 Sharadin Arts Building, provide insight into faculty activity outside the classroom. Just 50 minutes in duration, faculty discuss their research, entrepreneurial ventures, exhibitions, performances, scholarship, or service projects.

Video as Journal, Documentary, Documentation, Narrative and Storytelling - October 3, 2013

Peg Speirs Faculty First ThursdayDr. Peg Speirs (Professor of Art Education) will explain how an art curriculum that includes a technology component can model ways of teaching and learning that meet the demands of contemporary society and support 21st century skills. She will share discoveries and insights learned from recording and editing video using available technologies, and describe different approaches including narrative, storytelling, documentation, documentary, creative expression, and journaling as reflective practice.

Creating Dialogue: White Teachers in Diverse Classroom Settings - December 5, 2013

Dr. Amy Pfeiler-Wunder (Assistant Professor of Art Education) will open a fluid and engaging dialogue around one's professional identity with considerations to socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity, drawing from narrative research that explored stories related to socioeconomic status in the art room setting as a catalyst for rich dialogue on the impact teacher identities have on curriculum and the culture of the classroom.

The Care and Feeding of the Creative Spirit - February 6, 2014

Cheryl Hochberg, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Fine Arts. Many art students struggle to find their creative "voice". In the midst of that struggle, it is hard to imagine that staying creative can be as hard as being creative, and an artist's studio practice that is not actively kept fresh soon becomes stale. Prof. Hochberg will discuss the variety of ways she keeps her creative life vibrant, including the learning of new materials and techniques, travel, and collaboration.

Pikes Falls Chamber Music: Notes on Creating a Music Festivalphoto of Pikes Falls Concert - March 6, 2014

Dr. Susanna Loewy (Assistant Professor of Music, Flute) will talk about starting a week-long music festival from the ground up. The presentation will discuss successes and failures regarding fundraising, websites, scheduling, community presence, timelines, advertising, and more. Video and audio of the process and the actual festival will be included.

Presenter TBA - April 3, 2014


Communication Design Lecture Series

Return of the CD Grads 2013 - October 17, 2013 at 1:00pm, MSU Alumni Auditorium

Alumni talk about the KUCD experience and the jobs they have encountered since graduation.

Guest Speaker T. Edward Bak - November 19, 2013 at 7:00pm, 261 Boehm Science Building


Communication Studies Lecture Series

Jeff Chu, author of Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America will speak on October 10, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. in McFarland Student Union 218. A book signing will follow at 5:30. Activist and author Dan Savage wrote in his April 11, 2013 NYTimes book review that "Chu has written a fascinating, thoughtful and important book. He captures the fractures and conflict at a moment when the issue of what to do with LGBT people is tearing Christian denominations apart. Does Jesus Really Love Me? deserves to be widely read." This event is part of the celebration of National Coming Out Day at KU, which beginsat 10am in MSU 218 and features interactive activities aimed at understanding the "coming out" process of LGBT individuals. Free and open to the public, this day-long event and is sponsored by the GLBTQ Resource Center, Allies, and the Department of Communication Studies & Theatre.

Kristin Pedemonti, award-winning international storyteller and TED Talks talent search finalist, will speak on October 17, 2013 at 4:30pm in McFarland Student Union Multipurpose Room. She connects culture and builds bridges between people through the Power of Story, and performs worldwide sharing Traditional & True Tales of Persistence, Possibility, Hope & Understanding. Kristin reminds us we are all interconnected; our stories matter and we all have the potential to make a positive impact. In 2005, she sold her home and possessions to create/facilitate the volunteer project Literacy Outreach Belize. She has donated programs for over 33,000 youth and trained 800 teachers how to use their own cultural stories in the classroom. Her book Building Bridges Between: Connecting Culture, Classrooms & Communities is slated for publication in 2013.

Pianist Sandra Rivers will present the lecture Sexism and Racism in Classical Music on November 3, 2013 at 5:45pm, following her performance of  Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the University Orchestra. Sandra was one of the first African-American women to attend Juilliard, and faced many challenges with both her race and her gender in the classical music world. While teaching in the NYC public schools (where the majority of her class had served prison time) she won the Tchaikovsky Competition as Best Collaborative Artist and went on to become one of the most sought after pianists in the world. She has performed in every major concert hall in the world and been on the Tonight Show twice.

Dan Savage will present Savage Love Live on March 11, 2014 at 7pm in Schaeffer Auditorium. Savage is a best-selling author, TV personality, popular sex advice columnist, and founder of the anti-bullying YouTube campaign IT GETS BETTER PROJECT which provides hope for LGBT young people facing harassment. It Gets Better Project has become a global movement, inspiring more than 50 million views of 50,000 It Gets Better videos . The book It Gets Better, co-edited by Savage and Terry Miller, was published in March 2011, and an MTV documentary aired in February 2012. Contact Dr. Claire Van Ens for more information.