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SU's 2010-11 Ray Smith Symposium addresses 'Music of Conflict and Reconciliation'

August 20, 2010

Rob Enslin
(315) 443-3403

“Music of Conflict and Reconciliation” is the theme of Syracuse University’s 2010-11 Ray Smith Symposium. Organized and presented by the Department of Art and Music Histories, in partnership with the SU Humanities Center, it features symposia, seminars and concerts built around four themes: “Power and Resistance in the Second World War” (Sept. 14-15), “The War in Iraq” (Nov. 14-16), “Refugees and Exile” (Feb. 17-18) and “Reconstruction and Reconciliation” (March 24-25). The symposium is part of Syracuse Symposium, whose theme this year is “Conflict: Peace and War.”

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call (315) 443-4185. Both art and music histories and the SU Humanities Center are administered by SU’s College of Arts and Sciences.

“We will explore the theme of ‘conflict’ as it relates to music and society across a broad spectrum of experiences,” says Theo Cateforis, co-organizer and assistant professor of art and music histories. “Illustrious guest scholars will cover a variety of topics, from music in modern-day Iraq to songs of reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda.” Other organizers are all associate professors in art and music histories: Carol Babiracki, Stephen Meyer and Amanda Eubanks Winkler, who doubles as department chair. 

Gregg Lambert, Dean’s Professor of the Humanities and founding director of the SU Humanities Center, considers the “conflict” theme timely and relevant. “Whether understood as a scourge that marks the human condition or as a tragic necessity of human progress, conflict has always been a catalyst for humanistic inquiry into one of the most persistent features of society,” he says.

The schedule is as follows:

“Power and Resistance in the Second World War”

Tuesday, Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m.
Watson Theater, Menschel Media Center
Symposium on the music of Japanese internment camps and Nazi Germany with Deborah Wong (University of California, Riverside) and Pamela Potter (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Wednesday, Sept. 15, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
SU Humanities Center Seminar Room, Room 304, Tolley Building
Mini seminar with Wong and Potter

Wednesday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m.
Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building
All-Shostakovich concert by the Eastman School of Music’s Eastend String Quartet

Co-sponsors: Ray Smith Symposium; Department of Art and Music Histories; The Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor, an Andrew W. Mellon initiative; and the SU Humanities Center

“The War in Iraq”

Sunday, Nov. 14, 4:30 p.m.
Hendricks Chapel
Society for New Music Concert featuring composer/performer Simon Shaheen, with etchings projected onstage by Spanish painter Francisco Goya

Monday, Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m.
Grant Auditorium
Symposium on post-9/11 music, as well as music of the Iraqi war with Jonathan Pieslak (CUNY Graduate Center) and J. Martin Daughtry (New York University)

Tuesday, Nov. 16, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
SU Humanities Center Seminar Room 304, Tolley Building
Mini seminar with Pieslak and Daughtry

Co-sponsors: Ray Smith Symposium; Department of Art and Music Histories; Office of the University Arts Presenter; Society for New Music; Department of Religion; The Mellon Central New York Humanities Corridor, an Andrew W. Mellon Initiative; and the SU Humanities Center

“Refugees and Exile”

Thursday, Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building
Colloquium on the music of Afghanistan and Ghana with Michael Frishkopf (University of Alberta) and John Baily (University of London)

Friday, Feb. 18, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
SU Humanities Center Seminar Room, Room 304, Tolley Building
Mini seminar with Frishkopf and Baily

Friday, Feb. 18, 8 p.m.
Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building
Concert by John Baily, Afgjani rubab, and Dibyarka Chatterjee, tablee

“Refugees and Exiles” includes the screening of Baily’s award-winning documentary “Amir: An Afghan Refugee Musician’s Life in Peshawar, Pakistan” (Royal Anthropological Institute, 1985) and the Syracuse Symposium Seminar “Music of the Middle East and West Asia,” taught by Babiracki in the Spring 2011 semester. Dates, times and locations for both are TBA.

Co-sponsors: the South Asia Center, Department of Art and Music Histories, The College of Arts and Sciences Co-Curricular Fees and the SU Humanities Center

“Reconstruction and Reconciliation”

Thursday, March 24, 7:30 p.m.
Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building
Symposium on music and activism in Kosova and Rwanda with Jane Sugarman (CUNY Graduate Center) and Gregory Barz (Vanderbilt University)

Friday, March 25, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
SU Humanities Center Seminar Room, Room 304, Tolley Building
Mini seminar with Sugarman and Barz

Friday, March 25, 8 p.m.
Shemin Auditorium, Shaffer Art Building
Concert by SU guitarist Ken Meyer, followed by a screening of “Inanga: An Instrument of Tradition in Rwanda”

Co-sponsors: Ray Smith Symposium, Department of Art and Music Histories and the SU Humanities Center

The namesake of the Ray Smith Symposium was an Auburn native who, after graduating from SU in 1921, was a highly respected teacher and administrator throughout New York state. Enabled by a bequest from Smith’s estate, The College established a symposium series in the humanities in 1989. Recent Ray Smith symposia have taken on such subjects as “Postmodernism, Culture, and Religion: The Politics of Love”; “Rethinking Michelangelo”; and “Art Works: The Role of the Arts in U.S. Workers’ Struggles.”

Major funding and assistance for the 2010-11 Ray Smith Symposium is provided by the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation initiative, and The SU Humanities Center.

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