Ideas and Conversations: Evenings with Graduate Liberal Studies

Graduate Liberal Studies continues its events program, Ideas and Conversations, showcasing the achievements of GLS students, alumni and faculty and brings special events to the GLS community. Engage the conversation!

Spring 2016 semester: 

Recovering Historical Perspectives
Wednesday, February 3rd, 6pm 
The Smith Warehouse, Bay 6 Room 177 (click for map & directions)

Sometimes, to better understand something – whether a text, an event, an attitude or a behavior – requires that we understand the circumstances that produced it.  In this sense, academic work can represent a process of recovery: by reconstructing historical contexts, we can begin to recover perspectives that might otherwise be lost.

In this latest event in the GLS Ideas and Conversations series, Bernadette Gillis (MALS '14) and Bing (Amanda) Zhu (MALS '15) share from Master’s projects that each involve acts of historical recovery.  Both projects received the Exemplary designation.

In A Caribbean Coupling Beyond Black and White: The Interracial Marriage of Catherine and Edward Marcus Despard and its Implications for British Views on Race, Class, and Gender during the Age of Reform, Bernadette Gillis explores the late 18th century marriage of British Army colonel, Edward Marcus Despard, and Catherine Despard, a Caribbean woman most likely of African descent.  Addressing issues such as race, gender and human rights, this project explores the social and political environment that made their unlikely union possible, and how that marriage represents the more fluid and tolerant character of racial attitudes in the Age of Reform.  

In An Education of Feelings: Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles and the Art of Fiction, Bing (Amanda) Zhu analyzes Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles in light of three Hardy essays on the art of fiction.  Despite criticism from Victorian colleagues overly concerned with propriety, Hardy forcefully and sincerely rendered human emotional delights and sufferings because, for him, great fiction represents the author’s sincere and personal engagement with the concrete and tangible details of real life.

Please join us for what are sure to be thoughtful and interesting readings, followed by Q&A and a light reception. For directions to The Smith Warehouse click here. The Bay 6 entrance is ADA compliant.


R. Larry Todd

R. Larry Todd & Katharina Uhde
Lecture & Recital - Performing Beethoven
Wednesday, March 9th, 
Nelson Music Room

R. Larry Todd is Arts & Sciences Professor of Music and former chair of the Music Department at Duke. Among his books are "Mendelssohn: A Life in Music" and "Fanny Hensel, the Other Mendelssohn." A graduate of Yale University, he studied piano at the Yale School of Music and with the late Lilian Kallir.


Katarina Uhde

Katharina Uhde is an Assistant Professor of Violin and Musicology at Valparaiso University, Indiana. She holds two doctorates, a DMA from the University of Michigan (2009) and a PhD from Duke University (2014), where she completed a dissertation on Joseph Joachim under R. Larry Todd. Katharina Uhde, born in Germany, received her BA degree in violin performance and a Teaching Diploma and Artists Diploma at the Univ. of Music, Karlsruhe. She earned a MMus, a DMA and a Certificate of Musicology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Katharina has published score reviews and has an article with the title "Joseph Joachim's Abendglocken Op. 5: a Musical Daguerreotype" forthcoming in Nineteenth-Century Music Review.


Fall 2015 semester:

One BandTwo Videos and a Conversation about Documentary Film
Rhonda Klevansky (MALS 2014)
Tuesday, October 27, 6:30 pm
Center for Documentary Studies

One Band Indivisible - One Band Indivisible is an intimate portrait of Hillside High School’s charismatic show-style high marching band.  This observational documentary underlines the importance of arts in education. It reveals the positive influence of the band on the students, the strength of the Hillside community and the dedication of the band directors and parents.

Dan Wagoner.  Life, Dance and the Ephemeral - This short film explores the philosophy of Dan Wagoner, one of America’s great dancers, choreographers and teachers.  It was made in collaboration with Rodger Belman, Assistance Professor of dance and choreographer at Florida State University. 

Rhonda Klevansky is a MALS graduate (2014). She is a photographer, writer and documentary filmmaker.  She completed her undergraduate studies in South Africa.  She loves to write and has had magazine articles, reports for non-profits and a nonfiction children's book published.  Her photographs have been exhibited in the USA, UK, South Africa and Chile.  She contributes photographs to Getty Images and the Nature Picture Library.   She makes advocacy videos and her most recently independent video documentaries are “Welcome to My Paradise”, about the sand artists on the beaches of Durban, “One Band Indivisible”, about Durham, USA high school marching band and Dan wagoner. Life, Dance and the Ephemeral.  She pulls writing, photography and video together to assist non-profits tell their stories and enjoys mentoring young media practitioners.


mbThe Art of Collective and Personal Memory
Tuesday, November 17th 6pm
FHI "Garage" Lecture Room 

Memory is powerful.  It allows us to compare the past with the present, and to anticipate the future. Sometimes, that comparison allows us to recognize and talk about truths – whether personal , cultural or political -- that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.     

In this installment of the GLS Ideas and Conversations series, Anna Szjanert-Klein (MALS ‘14) and Margaret Brill (MALS ’15), share from Master’s projects that focus in some way on acts of remembering. >

Margaret Brill - Against the Grain: Reclaiming the Life I left Behind

Anna Szjanert-Klein - Jewish Cemeteries in Poland as a Testimony to the State of Affairs: The Ruined Garden, Twenty Years Later 

Please join us as Margaret Brill (MALS '15) and Anna Szjanert-Klein (MALS '14) share and reflect on their Master's Projects followed by a Q&A and light reception. 

Franklin Humanities Institute - Smith Warehouse "Garage" - Map

Driving Directions for FHI "Garage" Lecture Space