December 2, 2021

Stull’s Great Lives Lecture on Lillian Hellman Airs on C-SPAN

Professor of Theatre and Chair of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull

Professor of Theatre and Chair of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull

Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull’s Great Lives lecture on playwright Lillian Hellman recently aired on C-SPAN. Watch here.

C-SPAN to Air ‘Great Lives’ Talk on Horatio Alger

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C-SPAN will air the Great Lives lecture on 19th century youth novelist Horatio Alger, which Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales gave on Feb. 16. The lecture will be aired on C-SPAN 3 on the following days:

Saturday, April 17 at 7:10 p.m. EDT
Sunday, April 18 at 5:10 a.m. EDT
Tuesday, April 20 at 12:12 a.m. and 5:14 a.m. EDT
Sunday, April 25 at 11:10 a.m. EDT

The lecture can be viewed online here:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?510557-1/novelist-horatio-alger-jr

Other Great Lives lectures from this spring and past years will be aired back-to-back on Monday, April 19 starting at 8 p.m. EDT on C-SPAN 3. https://www.c-span.org/blog/?4438/american-history-prime-time-schedule-april-1923-2021.

The schedule is:

8 p.m., Douglas MacArthur, by UMW Professor of History and American Studies Porter Blakemore

8:51 p.m., History of Hawaii, The Life of Queen Lili’uokalani, biographer James L. Haley

10:01 p.m., The Presidency, Theodore Roosevelt’s Life & Legacy, UMW Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus William B. Crawley, Great Lives founder and director

10:52 p.m., Johnny Carson and Political Humor, UMW Professor of Political Science and Center for Leadership and Media Director Stephen Farnsworth

11:36 p.m., Humorist Art Buchwald & Political Satire, biographer Michael Hill

12:12 a.m., Novelist Horatio Alger, UMW Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales

 

 

Stull Pens Editorial on Lillian Hellman for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Professor of Theatre and Chair of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull

Professor of Theatre and Chair of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull

Professor of Theatre and Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance Gregg Stull penned an editorial about playwright Lillian Hellman for The Free Lance-Star in advance of his “Great Lives” lecture on March 18. The lecture can be viewed at umw.edu/greatlives.

PLAYWRIGHTS hold a mirror to demand an unforgiving reflection of life while posing provocative questions and providing few easy answers. Their characters illuminate a world where equity, justice, and possibility often elude all but the truly privileged.

Few American playwrights have interrogated this truth more than Lillian Hellman (1905–1984), who made an indelible mark on mid-20th century realism, even as she found herself overlooked among other playwrights of her time—such as Tennessee Williams, Clifford Odets, Arthur Miller, Horton Foote, and William Inge. Read more.

Och Pens Editorial on Artemisia Gentileschi for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och penned an editorial on painter Artemisia Gentileschi in The Free Lance-Star in advance of her “Great Lives” lecture on March 16. The lecture can be viewed at umw.edu/greatlives.

 

“You will find the spirit of Caesar in the soul of a woman.”

—Artemisia Gentileschi, 1649

IN Fredericksburg today, one can find many women artists who work in every media: painting, sculpture, printmaking, and ceramics, but also paper and book arts, mosaic, jewelry, weaving and textiles, photography, neon, video, and calligraphy, as well as architecture, interior design, and urban planning.

But women’s presence in these fields is recent in the history of Western art.

The life of acclaimed painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1654) allows us to consider how artists were trained in early modern Europe and why a woman might enter the profession in the 17th century, a time when such accomplishments by a woman were rare indeed. Read more.

Rao Pens Editorial on Gandhi for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Professor of Communication and Chair of the Department of Communication and Digital Studies Anand Rao

Professor of Communication and Chair of the Department of Communication and Digital Studies Anand Rao

Professor of Communication and Chair of the Department of Communication and Digital Studies Anand Rao penned an editorial on the life of Mohandas K. Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi, in The Free Lance-Star in advance of his ‘Great Lives’ lecture on Thursday, March 11. The lecture can be watched here.

WHILE touring India in 1959, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited Mani Bhavan, the house where Mahatma Gandhi had lived in Mumbai. It was in this home that Gandhi launched his Indian movement for truth and nonviolence, called satyagraha.

The home had been turned into a museum, and the upstairs room where Gandhi had slept still held his mattress and shoes. When King visited, he asked if he could spend the night in that room, saying, “I am not going anywhere else. I am going to stay here, because I am getting vibrations of Gandhi.”

The curators pulled two cots into the room, and Rev. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, spent the night next to Gandhi’s mattress. Soon after, King told All India Radio that he had decided to adopt Gandhi’s methods of civil disobedience as his own.

Gandhi’s philosophy of satyagraha inspired development of our own civil rights movement. Dr. King returned from his trip to India committed to employing a Gandhian strategy of nonviolence.

But Dr. King was not the only civil rights leader to follow Gandhi’s philosophy. While Dr. King was introduced to Gandhi and his practice of nonviolent protest in the late 1940s, James Farmer started following the teachings of Gandhi as early as 1940. Farmer employed the techniques and practice of satyagraha in the first civil rights sit-in in Chicago in 1942. Read more.

‘Great Lives’ Lecture Series Continues with Goethe

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The William B. Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series continues on Thursday, Feb. 25 with German poet and author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, presented by UMW Professor Emeritus of German Sammy Merrill. The Davenport & Company Lecture.

Because of restrictions on public gatherings on campus, the entire series of 18 lectures will be pre-recorded and delivered electronically, through Zoom Webinars, with closed captioning available. Although the presentations will be taped in advance, there will still be a live Q&A session following the online debut of each lecture, in which the speaker will be available to answer questions submitted by audience members.

Portrait of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832, a German poet and author.

Portrait of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832, a German poet and author.

The German author, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is known to most of the English-speaking world as the author of Faust, the story of a scholar, who, disillusioned with the course of his life, and seeking new directions to the truth, turns in frustration to the Devil and enters a compact with him. It is one of numerous plays that he wrote, along with hundreds of poems, and four major path-breaking novels.

His first major dramatic work was Goetz von Berlichingen, which immediately catapulted him into the forefront of the movement known as “Storm and Stress.” Similarly, his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, was such a sensation that for much of Goethe’s life he was known as the author of Werther. He was also known outside the world of belles lettres for his writings on scientific topics as diverse as color theory, plant and animal morphology, and geology.

Duke Karl August appointed him chief minister of state, the highest official after the duke himself in the duchy of Weimar. During his lifetime Goethe enjoyed close personal and intellectual relationships with many women who were important for his development as an artist and a man. The body of work of this universal genius fills more than 133 volumes in the Weimar edition of his collected works.

Other upcoming lectures include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, presented by Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Jason Davidson; Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston and southern novelist Eudora Welty, presented by Professor of English and English Department Chair Gary Richards; and St. Augustine, presented by Associate Professor of Religious Studies Jennifer Barry. To learn more about Great Lives and view past and upcoming lectures, please visit https://www.umw.edu/greatlives/.

Blakemore Pens Editorial on General MacArthur for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Professor of Modern European History and Military History Porter Blakemore

Professor of Modern European History and Military History Porter Blakemore

Professor of Modern European History and Military History Porter Blakemore, a former naval officer and aviator, penned an editorial in The Free Lance-Star newspaper in advance of his “Great Lives” lecture on General Douglas MacArthur on Feb. 18. View the lecture here.

DOUGLAS MacArthur is one of the most famous American military officers of the first half of the 20th century. As a young brigadier general in 1918, he was poised for a distinguished future that held great promise.

Yet his potential produced enigmatic success and failure in the career that followed. Today, while some historians consider him one of the great captains of history, others disparage his accomplishments.

The truth falls somewhere in the middle. Read more.

Bales Pens Editorial on Horatio Alger for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales

Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales

UMW Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales penned an editorial in The Free Lance-Star on children’s novelist Horatio Alger that ran in advance of his “Great Lives” lecture on Feb. 16. View the lecture here.

NO AUTHOR of children’s books during the last 30 years of the 19th century was more popular than Horatio Alger Jr. (1832–1899). In subsequent decades, his stereotypical “rags-to-riches” narratives became so familiar that in our own times, the term “Horatio Alger story” has come to be commonly used as shorthand for a person who, through diligence and hard work, rises from poverty to achieve notable success.

The author himself was born in 1832 in Revere, Mass., the son of a Harvard-educated Unitarian minister. Intending to follow in his father’s footsteps, Horatio Jr. graduated from Harvard in 1852.

The several years after graduation, however, were marked by Alger’s indecisive search for a career. Although he was preparing for the ministry, he had a longing to write. His first works, mostly short stories and poems, were aimed at adults. Read more.

Merrill Pens Editorial on Goethe for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Professor Emeritus of German Sammy Merrill

Professor Emeritus of German Sammy Merrill

Professor Emeritus of German Sammy Merrill penned an editorial in The Free Lance-Star on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in advance of his “Great Lives” lecture on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Watch here.

JOHANN Wolfgang Goethe was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on August 28, 1749. His long life of 82 years was defined by accomplishments that are surprising to those who know him only as the author of that most German of literary works: “Faust.”

Indeed, this dramatic poem—in which a man is so disillusioned with the scholarly life that he turns in despair to the devil himself as an alternative way to meaningfulness—is considered by most critics his magnum opus. Many even regard Goethe as the “German Shakespeare” because of this and other significant plays, some of them path-breaking in world literature. Read more.

‘Great Lives’ Lecture Series Continues with Architect I.M. Pei

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The William B. Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series continues on Thursday, Feb. 11 with iconic architect I.M. Pei, presented by Assistant Professor of Art History Suzie Kim. The JON Properties/Van Zandt Restorations Lecture.

Because of restrictions on public gatherings on campus, the entire series of 18 lectures will be pre-recorded and delivered electronically, through Zoom Webinars, with closed captioning available. Although the presentations will be taped in advance, there will still be a live Q&A session following the online debut of each lecture, in which the speaker will be available to answer questions submitted by audience members.

I.M. Pei

I.M. Pei

Chinese-born American architect I.M. Pei (Ieoh Ming Pei, 1917-2019) was one of the most acclaimed and world-famous architects of the 20th and 21st century. He was awarded the 1983 Pritzker Architecture Prize for his iconic design for the east building of the National Gallery of Art (1968-78) in Washington, D.C., and the underground reception area and the central glass pyramid of the Louvre in Paris, France (1983-93). After earning his B.A. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.A. at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, he became well-known for his use of structural concrete as a smooth, ‘men-made’ stone and contemporary interpretation of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) and the International Style. The National Gallery of Art east building is quintessential I.M. Pei with the walls clad with continuous and smooth Tennessee pink marble, the use of architectural concrete molded by skilled cabinetmakers, and the application of the isosceles triangle for all architectural forms and smaller details. Pei’s buildings cover a wide range of skyscrapers, university buildings, and art museums in and outside of the U.S., which have been built in refined geometrical forms and demonstrate harmonizing effects with the surrounding skylines, cityscapes and landscapes.

Other upcoming lectures include novelist Horatio Alger, given by UMW Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales on Feb. 16; General Douglas MacArthur, given by Professor of History and American Studies Porter Blakemore on Feb. 18; and authors and Black rights activists Anna Julia Cooper and W.E.B. DuBois by Professor of Sociology Kristin Marsh. To learn more about Great Lives and view past and upcoming lectures, please visit https://www.umw.edu/greatlives/.