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Past Events

Event Date Summary
Pearl Harbor: Sneak Attack or Provocation? Thu. December 5th, 2013
4:15 pm-1:00 pm

A Humanities-Related Event

In America the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor has been interpreted as a cowardly sneak attack by an evil enemy on an innocent America. But what if FDR provoked, even unnecessarily, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor? If this were so, our understanding of the history of World War II and its consequences up until September 11, 2001 and beyond would have to change. Dr. Hagiwara’s presentation, scheduled just days before Pearl Harbor Day, is meant to start further discussions on Pearl Harbor and other related issues such as Japan’s alleged atrocities in Asia before and during World War II,

Hired Education: Capitalism and the Academic Community Wed. November 20th, 2013
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

391_Ellen_Schrecker_06Historian Ellen Schrecker presents a perspective on how and why the leaders of American universities embraced the corporate mindset that had come to dominate the neoliberal political climate of the late 20th century. She examines the current state of the academy in which universities have become engines of economic growth, along with students viewed as customers, faculties engaged as capsulized employees, and successful researchers considered entrepreneurs. The lecture will discuss implications of this profound shift in the institutional missions of American colleges and universities.






Politics in Early Eighteenth-Century Britian: Why Handel was Fired and Other Stories Mon. November 18th, 2013
7:30 pm-8:30 pm

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

When Handel arrived in London, he was in the employ of the Elector of Hanover, Georg Ludwig, who was heir to the throne of Great Britain. The current monarch Queen Anne welcomed Handel at court, and the composer quickly began composing works for ceremonial court occasions. In the meantime, Lord Burlington (who is thought to have supported the claims to the throne of “James III”, the nephew of Queen Anne who was living in exile in France) welcomed Handel into his artistic circle. How did these different political pulls on Handel’s time affect his career,

From Russia to Cleveland: Politics, Sports & the LGBT Experience Fri. November 15th, 2013
12:30 pm-1:00 pm

Join the Panel Discussion looking a the Russia/Winter Olympics situation as it relates to politics and the LGBT community. Learn about the GG (Gay Games 2014) held in Cleveland, and explore how global thinking at a local level has been incorporated into preparing to host athletes and visitors from all over the country and the world.

This event is part of CWRU’s International Education Week. More information can be found at

The Falling Rate of Profit: Karl Marx’s Struggle to Prove the Demise of Capitalism Thu. November 14th, 2013
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

390_Jonathan_Sperber_06Although never explicitly mentioned in Vol. 1 of Capital, the idea of a falling rate of profit was central to Karl Marx’s understanding of both the workings of capitalism and to what he expected to be its ultimate demise. Jonathan Sperber–Curator Professor of History at the University of Missouri–will explain Marx’s concept of the falling rate of profit and the difficulties he encountered with definitively proving what he knew intuitively to be the case. This elucidation of a central element of Marx’s economics will help to place his ideas both in the history of economic thought but also in the history of the capitalist economic system.

Emerging Methodologies: An Introduction to the Field of Digital Humanities Tue. November 12th, 2013
1:00 pm-1:00 pm



A Baker-Nord Digital Humanities Event


399_Allison_Schifani_06Allison Schifani, Baker-Nord Center Postdoctoral Scholar in the Digital Humanities, presents an informal introduction to the field. This talk will provide a broad overview of emerging methodologies for research and teaching across the humanities. In addition to offering new ways to help answer central research questions and alternative means to explore texts, digital technologies can aid in collaboration between scholars and institutions, augment and distribute scholarly writing and enliven classroom discussions and scholarly debate. Digital Humanities practitioners use a broad variety of tools to deepen access to the objects of their study and sharpen the analysis they offer in their work.

Interpreting Capitalism Film Series: Garbage Dreams Mon. November 11th, 2013
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

389_Pete_Moore_06On the outskirts of Cairo lies the world’s largest garbage village, home to 60,000 Zaballeen–Arabic for garbage people. The Zaballeen have survived for centuries by recycling Cairo waste. Following the international trend to privatize services, however, Cairo sold contracts to corporations to pick up the city’s garbage. As these foreign companies came in and began carting garbage to nearby landfills, the Zaballeen watched their way of life disappearing. This extraordinary film documents–with often surprising humor–the daily struggles, frustrations, and friendship of three teenage boys born into the Zaballeen trash trade.

American Glamour: Modern Architecture, Marketing, and Popular Culture in the 1950s Thu. November 7th, 2013
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

388_Alice_T_Friedman_06Alice T. Friedman–the Grace Slack McNeil Professor of American Art at Wellesley College–will examine key examples of Mid-century Modern architecture in the United States, focusing on the ways in which buildings and interiors came to reflect the forms, narrative structures, and emotional appeal of mass-market media such as advertising, fashion photography, film and television. Driven by the tastes and habits of middle-class clients, and by the efforts of young architects to accommodate and interpret new ideas about modern life, these changes had far-reaching consequences both for architecture and design in the 20th century and for the critical categories by which they are evaluated.

An Afternoon with Nikki Giovanni Mon. October 28th, 2013
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

387_Nikki_Giovanni_06Join The Baker-Nord Center and our guest, Nikki Giovanni, as she reads and discusses her works. Many of Giovanni’s books have received honors and awards. Her autobiography, Gemini, was a finalist for the National Book Award; Love Poems, Blues: For All the Changes, Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea, Acolytes, and Hip Hop Speaks to Children were all honored with NAACP Image Awards. Blues: For All the Changes reached #4 on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller list, a rare achievement for a book of poems.

Improvisation and Transgression: Musicians of the Harem Thu. October 24th, 2013
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

386_Lisa_Nielson_06The Western perception of the harem, or women’s quarters, and assumptions about the residents and their lifestyle remains a persistent Orientalist fantasy. Professor Nielson–the Anisfield-Wolf SAGES Fellow–will share her research regarding how, even in those cultures with seemingly inflexible rules regarding gender segregation, musicians had the unique ability to negotiate both physical and social boundaries surrounding the harem. Through a comparison of different cultural contexts, she will discuss historical uses for harem musicians as well as their frequent appearance in Orientalist representations of the harem.





History in Fiction: Reading the Novels of Nobel Laureate Mo Yan Thu. October 17th, 2013
4:30 pm-1:00 pm

Controversies about Chinese writer Mo Yan have been heated since last October, when the Swedish Academy announced him to be the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work “with hallucinatory realism merging folk tales, history and the contemporary.” The most recent debate was aroused by German Sinologist Wolfgang Kubin, who commented at a May conference in Hong Kong: “I cannot come to a thorough understanding of post-1911 Chinese history through his fiction.” In response to the criticism, this lecture investigates Mo Yan’s fictional historiography by focusing on four of his thirteen novels, namely “Red Sorghum” (1987), “Big Breasts and Wide Hips”

Interpreting Capitalism Film Series: The Queen of Versailles Mon. October 14th, 2013
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

385_Robert_Spadoni_06A whimsical documentary that offers an off-center view of a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by the French palace of Versailles. The film chronicles how their empire–fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money–falters due to the economic crisis. Introduced by Robert Spadoni, Associate Professor of English, CWRU.

Rarely Seen Gems of the Japanese Cinema (with English subtitles): Growing Up (Takekurabe, 1955) Sat. October 12th, 2013
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

This film was directed by Heinosuke Gosho and is part of a series curated by Linda C. Ehrlich and John Ewing in celebration of the reopening of the Japanese and Korean Art Galleries at the Cleveland Museum of Art.


Cosponsored with:

The Japan Foundation, New York, CWRU College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, CWRU Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Rarely Seen Gems of the Japanese Cinema (with English subtitles): Humanity and Paper Balloons (Ninjo kami fusen, 1937) Sat. October 5th, 2013
1:00 am-1:00 am

This film was directed by Sadao Yamanaka and is part of a series curated by Linda C. Ehrlich and John Ewing in celebration of the reopening of the Japanese and Korean Art Galleries at the Cleveland Museum of Art.


Cosponsored with:

The Japan Foundation, New York, CWRU College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, CWRU Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Rarely Seen Gems of the Japanese Cinema (with English subtitles): Record of a Tenement Gentleman (Nagaya shinshiroku, 1947) Thu. October 3rd, 2013
6:30 pm-8:30 pm

This film was directed by Yasujiro Ozu and is part of a series curated by Linda C. Ehrlich and John Ewing in celebration of the reopening of the Japanese and Korean Art Galleries at the Cleveland Museum of Art.


Cosponsored with:

The Japan Foundation, New York, CWRU College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, CWRU Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

High Tech, Low Life Wed. October 2nd, 2013
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

This award-winning documentary follows two of China’s first citizen reporters as they travel through the country, chronicling underreported news and social issues stories. Using laptops, cell phones, and digital cameras to micro-blog the stories and issues shaping contemporary Chinese life, they challenge conventional definitions of journalism and provoke discussion about what freedom of press means in the face of China’s evolving censorship. The film’s director, Stephen Maing, will provide an introduction to the documentary, as well as conduct a question and answer session immediately following the screening.


Cosponsored with:

CWRU Asian Studies Program,

UNIVERSITY CIRCLE: CREATING A SENSE OF PLACE: Film Premier and Panel Discussion Mon. September 30th, 2013
5:30 pm-1:00 pm

383_Panel_moderated_by_Dan_Moulthrop_06The Baker-Nord Center is proud to present the public premier of a new documentary film on the history, public art, and architecture of University Circle. The screening will be followed by a panel discussing “Hidden Stories: National Models” with representation from the Free Clinic, Hessler Street and Magnolia House. The panel discussion will be moderated by Dan Moulthrop, CEO of The City Club of Cleveland.

Project Director and Executive Producer Nina Freedlander Gibans and Videographer and Director Jesse Epstein have involved dozens of participants in telling the stories pertinent to understanding this unique area: Hunter Morrison,

Rarely Seen Gems of the Japanese Cinema (with English subtitles): Miss Oyu (Oyusama, 1951) Sat. September 28th, 2013
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

A Baker-Nord Cosponsored Event

This film was directed by Kenji Mizoguchi and is part of a series curated by Linda C. Ehrlich and John Ewing in celebration of the reopening of the Japanese and Korean Art Galleries at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Cosponsored with:

The Japan Foundation, New York, CWRU College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office, CWRU Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Regional Poets on Poetry: A general discussion of selected poems Fri. September 27th, 2013
1:00 pm-1:00 pm

396_Frank_Giampietro_06Award-winning regional poets Frank Giampietro, David Young, and Joy Katz will discuss trends in contemporary poetry by examining representative texts in this panel presentation that kicks off this Fall’s Baker-Nord Poetics Working Group programming. Poet and Assistant Professor of English Sarah Gridley will serve as moderator.








About the speakers

Frank Giampietro

Frank Giampietro is Interim Director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. He is the author of Begin Anywhere.

An Inner History of Collecting Chinese Painting for Cleveland: Sherman E. Lee and Walter Hochstadter Thu. September 26th, 2013
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

A Baker-Nord Center Faculty Work-in-Progress

382_Noelle_Giuffrida_06Sherman E. Lee (1918-2008), Cleveland Museum of Art director and curator of “Oriental” art, emerged as one of the most successful institutional collectors of Chinese painting in the 1950s and 1960s. During those postwar decades, Lee acquired over seventy-five paintings through a small network of private collectors and dealers, including the German expatriate Walter Hochstadter (1914-2007), from whom a majority of his early acquisitions flowed. Art historian Noelle Giuffrida investigates Lee’s complex relationship with Hochstadter to reveal an important chapter of the inner history of Chinese painting collecting in postwar America.

Scholarly Publishing Today Tue. September 24th, 2013
12:30 pm-1:30 pm

Scholars at every stage, from graduate school to retirement, face an overwhelming array of choices concerning publication of their scholarship. The landscape of research, teaching, and publishing continues to change, and part of a successful career as a scholar involves understanding the most rational choices for publishing and disseminating ones work. Mary Francis, Executive Editor, Music and Cinema Studies for University of California Press, will discuss the publishing process, from start to finish, and take questions about changes in academic publishing today.


About the speaker

Mary Francis

Mary C.

The Yellow Birds: A Reading and Discussion with Kevin Powers Wed. September 11th, 2013
4:30 pm-5:30 pm

A Baker-Nord Center Cosponsored Event

380_Kevin_Powers_06Author Kevin Powers will read from and discuss The Yellow Birds, winner of the 2013 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction. The Yellow Birds focuses on the last weeks of friendship between 18-year-old Private Daniel Murphy and 21-year-old Private John Bartle, who makes a rash promise to Mrs. Murphy to bring her son home safely from Iraq. Powers enlisted at the age of 17 and served as a machine gunner in Iraq in 2004 and 2005.





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