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Cultural Enrichment Center Sponsored Events, Fall 2010

All Events Free and Open to the Public


“Debating Islam and Democracy: West African Experiences," A Lecture by Dr. Leonardo A. Villalón, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for African Studies and at the University of Florida.
Monday, September 20, 10-11:15 a.m., Cullen Robertson Auditorium, 3rd Fl., Academic Building


Photograph of Leonardo VillalonVillalón is the author of Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal (Cambridge University Press, 1995), and co-editor of The African State at a Critical Juncture: Between Disintegration and Reconfiguration (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998), and The Fate of Africa's Democratic Experiments: Elites and Institutions (Indiana University Press, 2005), as well as of numerous articles and book chapters on politics and religion in West Africa.

Villalón taught for two years as a Fulbright senior scholar at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. He has also taught at the Université Gaston Berger in St. Louis, Senegal, and has lectured and directed seminars and workshops at universities and other institutions in numerous West African countries. These have included seminars on civic education and democracy for teachers in rural Mali, workshops on democracy and the role of legislatures for the national parliaments of Chad and of Burkina Faso, and a seminar on consensus building for all parties to the conflict in Côte d'Ivoire. From 2001-05 Villalón served as president of the West African Research Association (WARA), the only sub-Saharan African member institution of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), based at the Smithsonian Institution.



Poetry Reading by Brian Turner, author of the collections Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise
Thursday, October 7, 5:30 - 6:45 p.m., Cullen Robertson Auditorium, 3rd Fl., Academic Building


Photograph of Brian TurnerBrian Turner is a soldier-poet whose debut book of poems, Here, Bullet, won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times “Editor's Choice” selection, the 2006 Pen Center USA "Best in the West" award, and the 2007 Poets Prize, among others. His second poetry book, Phantom Noise, was released by Alice James in the Spring of 2010. Turner has recently been selected as one of 50 United States Artists Fellows for 2009.

Turner served seven years in the US Army, including one year as an infantry team leader in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division. Turner's poetry has been published in Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review, and other journals, and in the Voices in Wartime Anthology published in conjunction with the feature-length documentary film of the same name. Turner was also featured in Operation Homecoming, a unique documentary that explores the firsthand accounts of American servicemen and women through their own words. He earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and has lived abroad in South Korea.

Brian Turner's Here, Bullet is a harrowing, beautiful first-person account of the Iraq war. The poems in this remarkable collection reflect Turner's experiences as a soldier with penetrating lyric power, compassion, sensitivity, and eloquence, while deploring the violence and acknowledging the grief and terror of war. One poem, "Eulogy", was written to memorialize a soldier in his platoon who took his own life. Adding his voice to the current debate about the US occupation of Iraq, in poems written in the tradition of such poets as Wilfred Owen, Yusef Komunyakaa (Dien Cai Dau), Bruce Weigl ("Song of Napalm") and Doug Anderson (The Moon Reflected Fire), veteran Brian Turner's affecting poetry of witness is exceptional for its beauty, honesty, and skill. These gracefully-rendered, unflinching poems make Here, Bullet a must-read for anyone who cares about the war, regardless of political affiliation.



Houston Poetry Fest at UHD
October 8, 9, 10. Willow St. Pump Station, 811 N. San Jacinto St.


See http://houstonpoetryfest.info/ for details.



Outliers and Your Academic Success: A Seminar by Dr. Jerry Johnson and Dr. Lisa Morano,
College of Science and Technology
Wednesday, October 13, 1-2:15 p.m., Cullen Robertson Auditorium, 3rd Fl., Academic Building


Following up on the freshman class common reading of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, Drs. Johnson and Morano will present a lively discussion of ways to become an engaged and successful college student at the University of Houston - Downtown.



Hispanic Film Series
All films begin at 6:30 p.m. in A405, the Academic Building


Thursday, September 9, Crónicas. Ecuador. Dir. Sebastián Cordero (2004)
Thursday, September 23, Rosario Tijeras. Colombia. Dir. Emilio Maillé (2005)
Thursday, October 7, Virgen de los Sicarios. Colombia. Dir. Barbet Schroeder (2000)
Thursday, October 14, Bombón: El Perro. Argentina. Dir. Carlos Sorin (2004)
Thursday, November 4, Intacto. Spain. Dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (2001)
Thursday, November 18, Madeinusa: Peru, Claudia Llosa (2006)

Contact: Ana-Maria Medina, medinaa@uhd.edu

Ang Lee Film Series
Co-sponsored with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston
Cullen Robertson Auditorium, 3rd Fl., Academic Building


Tuesday, October 19

  • 5:15 p.m. Opening Reception outside Auditorium
  • 5:30 p.m. Film Showing: Pushing Hands
  • 7:15 p.m. Tai Chi Demonstration

Wednesday, October 20 5:30 p.m. Film Showing: The Wedding Banquet

Thursday, October 21

  • 5:30 p.m. Film Showing: Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
  • 7:30 p.m. Closing Reception in Room A-300
  • 7:45 p.m. ANG LEE NOW! A Scholarly Roundtable and Q.& A. with Dr. Chuck Jackson, Dr. Edmund Cueva, Dr. William Nowak, and Dr. Johanna Schmertz

Co-sponsored by TECO
TECO logo

Contact: Chuck Jackson, jacksonc@uhd.edu



The Postcolonial Nation in Popular Culture: A Film and Lecture Series
November 2, 4 and 5, 2010, Cullen Robertson Auditorium, 3rd Fl., Academic Building


Tuesday, November 2, 1:00-4:00 p.m. Film Showing: Rang De Basanti (2006)
Thursday, November 4, 1:00-4:00 p.m. Film Showing: Lagaan (2001)
Friday, November 5, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Lecture: “Experiments with Truth: The Colonial Historical Hindi Film” by Dr. Corey Creekmur

The imaginings of a postcolonial nation have found different expressions in popular culture. In Bollywood cinema, this has taken the form of actual or metaphorical representations of anti-colonial struggle, or of a decolonized nation being “haunted” by memories of colonization. This event consists of the screening of two critically acclaimed Bollywood films followed by a lecture by eminent film scholar Dr. Corey Creekmur, Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Iowa.

The two films are Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Rang De Basanti (2006) and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan (2001). Lagaan (Land Tax) uses the game of cricket as a metaphor for the conflicts inherent in the colonial situation, and Rang De Basanti (Color Me Saffron) considers how the problems of the colonial state are replicated in the present-day postcolonial nation. Dr. Creekmur’s lecture, titled “Experiments with Truth: The Colonial Historical Hindi Film”, will consider why recent Bollywood productions have explored more recent history (the late colonial period, the Independence struggle, Gandhi) rather than the more traditional Mughal period which had been the focus of the Hindi “historical” previously. Each screening and the lecture will be followed by a brief question-and-answer session that Dr. Sucheta Choudhuri will facilitate.

Corey K. Creekmur is an Associate Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Iowa, where he also directs the Institute for Cinema and Culture. He has published on American and Indian cinema and popular culture, and has edited volumes on queer popular culture, film and law in Asia, and the international film musical. He is currently co-editing A Companion to Indian Cinema for Blackwell, and a series on comics for Rutgers University Press.

Contact: Sucheta Choudhuri, choudhuris@uhd.edu



"Qatar: A Country in Transition and Paradox" A Lecture by Mohsen Mobasher
Tuesday, November 9, 4-5:30 p.m. 1099-N


Photograph of Moshen MobasherMohsen Mobasher is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology. He joined UHD in 2003. His research interests are global migration, Middle Eastern immigrants, and minorities in America. In the last five years Mohsen has published a book on globalization and several articles on Middle Eastern immigrants and refugees in the United States. In 2008, he was invited to teach sociology of globalization at Qatar University. He spent the last two years in Qatar teaching and conducting fieldwork on the impact of globalization on Qatari society and culture. He will address these issues, drawing from his recent research and social experiences there.

Sponsored by the Cultural Enrichment Center. Refreshments provided.




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