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Hall Center to host 13th annual Celebration of Books

Monday, March 23, 2015

LAWRENCE – The Hall Center for the Humanities will honor 2014 works published by humanities, social sciences and arts faculty at the 13th annual Celebration of Books. The event will take place from 4-6 p.m. March 31 in the Hall Center Conference Hall.

It is free and open to the public, but space is limited, and RSVP is required. Contact the Hall Center at hallcenter@ku.edu or at 864-4798 to attend. This event is supported by the Friends of the Hall Center.

The Celebration will recognize the 32 faculty members who published works on varied topics such as as minority aging, transgender rights and politics, African literature and environmental justice, the male figure in yoga painting, and the musical theater of Stephen Schwartz, representing the depth and breadth of humanities research at the University of Kansas. The celebration will feature a reception and a display of books.

Three featured faculty authors will make brief presentations on their work and take questions from the audience.

David Cateforis, professor of modern and contemporary American art, will discuss "Rethinking Andrew Wyeth" (University of California Press). Wyeth is one of the best-loved and most widely recognized artists in American history, yet for much of his career he was reviled by the art world’s critical elite. Cateforis re-evaluates Wyeth and his place in American art, trying to reconcile these two opposing images of the man and his work.

Jill Kuhnheim, professor of Spanish & Portuguese, will discuss "Beyond the Page: Poetry and Performance in Spanish America" (University of Arizona Press). Poetry began as a spoken art and remains one to this day, but readers tend to view the poem on the page as an impenetrable artifact. Kuhnheim examines the performance of poetry to show how far beyond the page it can travel. Exploring a range of performances from early 20th century recitations to 21st century film, CDs and Internet renditions, Beyond the Page offers analytic tools to chart poetry beyond printed texts.

Sherrie Tucker, professor of American Studies, will discuss "Dance Floor Democracy: The Social Geography of Memory at the Hollywood Canteen" (Duke University Press). Open from 1942 until 1945, the Hollywood Canteen was the most famous of the patriotic home front nightclubs, where civilian hostesses jitterbugged with enlisted men of the Allied Nations. Since the opening night, when the crowds were so thick that Bette Davis had to enter through the bathroom window to give her welcome speech, the storied dance floor where movie stars danced with soldiers has been the subject of much U.S. nostalgia about the Greatest Generation. Drawing from oral histories with civilian volunteers and military guests at the wartime nightclub. Tucker explores how jitterbugging swing culture has come to represent the war in U.S. national memory.