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Publications and thoughtful commentary showcase the incredible work that comes out of our small liberal arts classrooms, studios and labs.

News & Events

Salons

THE FINE ART OF CONVERSATION WITH DU'S ESTEEMED FACULTY

The practice of "salon-going" dates back to the 17th century when many of the intellectual leaders of the day congregated in private homes to discuss the latest thinking and artistic developments. These early salons were also said to be breeding grounds for social movements and revolutions because they attracted political activists promoting social agitation and reform. 

Today's University of Denver salons are just as stimulating, albeit less explosive.

About 20 people meet in a private home with an esteemed DU faculty member to learn and exchange ideas.

Lively discussion fills the air, time flies, and you'll leave feeling energized, enriched and connected in a truly human way.

Wine and light appetizers are provided. All salon events are hosted at private residences. The host's address is shared upon registration.

Register online here, or call 303-871-2425. Persons with disabilities should call 303-871-2425.

A Tale of Two Countries: Socio-Economic Contradictions in the Developing World

Facilitator: M. Dores Cruz, associate professor, anthropology
Hosts: Mr. Andy Farr and Mr. Michael Knorr
Date: Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Cost:$35  

This salon will present visible socio-economic contradictions framed in historic and cultural contexts, while discussing goals and results of international humanitarianism and aid, particularly the presence of international NGOs. For example, in the aftermath of the colonial and the civil wars that engulfed the country since the 1960s, Mozambique has been hailed as a successful story of development policies. Recent mining interests and increasing international investment, expansion of a middle class and immigration of European youth has often been reported in international media as a sign of a developing and changing country. Yet poverty level in rural areas has risen, HIV/AIDS is a major concern and access to a doctor is one of the lowest in the world. Using this development of Mozambique as a case study, you will explore these contradictions and classism divides in today's developing countries around the world.

M.Dores Cruz is currently assistant professor of anthropology, specializing in African ethnoarchaeology and ethnohistory. Her research interests within historical anthropology are cross-disciplinary bridging more traditional fields of ethnography, archaeology and museum studies, but including also areas such as cultural anthropology and humanism. She has worked in Ghana, South Africa Tanzania and Mozambique. Her most recent project focuses on social construction of memory and colonialism in southern Mozambique.

Oklahoma! A Musical for All Time—Even for Ours?

Facilitator: Victor Castellani, professor, languages and literatures
Hosts: Mr. and Mrs. Lester and Nancy Lockspieser
Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. & Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. (optional attendance at Oklahoma!)
Cost: $35 (salon only) or $51 (salon and Oklahoma! musical ticket)

The first and, to many, most beloved of Rodgers-and-Hammerstein collaborations broke all records when it was introduced in 1943. Based on the mildly melodramatic "folk-play" Green Grow the Lilacs from a dozen years before, Oklahoma! because of its upbeat message about fundamental American optimism ("Oh, what a beautiful mornin'!"), good heartedness, and fairness, has been revived countless times in Broadway theaters, in high school gyms. The exclamation point in its title marks it as a counterweight to the equally famous 1939 novel and 1940 movie The Grapes of Wrath about migrant Okies beaten down by banks, Dust Bowl, and agribusiness but not defeated. What had changed in the short time between that book and this musical? Which speaks more to us today, seventy years later?

In addition to teaching classics/humanities, Castellani is chair of the department of languages and literatures. He researches ancient drama, with a special concentration in the ancient gods. He received his PhD from Princeton University.

The Art of Walking: from the Flâneur of Paris to Francis Alÿs

Facilitator: Conor McGarrigle, assistant professor, emergent digital practices
Hosts: Mr. and Mrs. William and Nora Heitmann
Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Cost: $35 

The act of walking as an artistic expression has been incorporated into every avant-garde art movement since the 19th century. In exploring the history of walking in art, you will follow the iconic figure of the flâneur, as immortalized by Baudelaire and theorized by Walter Benjamin, on his strolls through the arcades of 19th century Paris and explore his legacy in contemporary art. Trace walking in art through the perambulations of the Situationists in the 1950's, examine the place of walking for the land artists and conceptualists of the 1960's and 70's, and discover the continuing attraction and relevance of the peripatetic in contemporary art from performance to digital art.

Conor McGarrigle is assistant professor in emergent digital practices. His art practice incorporates walking mediated through digital technologies and his walks have been widely performed internationally including at the Venice Biennale and Fundacio Miro. His walking art project for the 2011 Venice Biennale of Art features in the recently published 'The Art of Walking: a Field Guide' published by Black Dog Press. He received his PhD from the Dublin Institute of Technology in his native Ireland.

A Global Network Society: Expat Life in the Global City

Facilitator: Erika Polson, assistant professor, media, film and journalism studies
Hosts: Mr. and Mrs. Brewster and Helen Boyd
Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Cost: $35

Despite a global economic recession and waves of corresponding lay-offs in service sectors, the most flexible, 'culturally fluent,' 'globally-minded' professionals are sought after to staff transnational corporate operations in the world's most strategic cities, and human resources experts note that is increasingly single people who are undertaking these moves. Although international relocations are billed as serving both the career-minded and adventure-seeking person in a complete lifestyle package, what really happens when people arrive all alone in live in a foreign country, where they often don't speak the language? Recognizing the need to provide lonely foreigners with a place to gather, social entrepreneurs have used tools like Meetup.com, Facebook Groups, and other web platforms to create communities that are found and organized online but that bring people together in face-to-face events. At this salon you will learn how these groups work in cities such as Paris and Singapore, and discuss the implications of this phenomenon for larger topics such as "community" and "nationality."

Erika Polson completed doctoral studies at Penn State University and is currently an assistant professor in the department of Media, Film & Journalism Studies at the University of Denver. Polson has conducted research of online and offline digital media use by expatriates in Paris, Madrid, and Singapore, and she is currently working on a book about issues of place, identity, class, and community that arise in the context of these practices.

Criminal Brotherhoods: The History of Cosa Nostra, the Camorra and the 'Ndrangheta in Italy

Facilitator: Carol Helstosky, associate professor, history
Hosts: Mr. and Mrs. Bill and Joy Mathews
Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Cost: $35

Organized crime in Italy assumes many forms: the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, the Neapolitan Camorra, the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta. These shadowy organizations have dominated Hollywood screens and our imaginations for decades, but we understand little about their origins, impact, and scope in Italy and around the world. The effect of organized crime on Italian legal, political and economic history has been tremendous; how have Italian and local governments responded to the ongoing criminal crisis and what have ordinary Italians done to oppose the violence and corruption which threaten their very lives? Disturbingly, each successive wave of organized crime has moved beyond southern Italy, claiming more victims and implicating more citizens in their activities. Using documentary film footage, court records and other Italian sources, we will look beyond the romantic image of the mafioso in order to understand the rise and fall of these three infamous gangs which had their origins in Italy but which had global impact.

Carol Helstosky teaches courses in modern European history at DU. She is the author of numerous books on Italian culture, and is currently completing a book on the history of the art market in modern Italy, and starting a new project on the history of U.S.-Italian military relations.

Don Giovanni: The Villain You Can't Help But Like

Facilitator: Steve Seifert, executive director, Newman Center for the Performing Arts
Hosts: Hon. Robert Fullerton and Mrs. Beverlee Henry
Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. & Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. (optional attendance at Don Giovanni opera)
Cost:$35 (salon only) or $51 (salon and Don Giovanni opera ticket)

At this salon you will explore the tale of Don Juan (Don Giovanni in Italian), one of the most durable of stories. Artists across five centuries have used the Don to express their own views of life and death. The Don has been everything from an icon of dissolution whose eternal damnation warns us to avoid similar sins, to a Romantic hero whose refusal to abide by any rules but his own leaves us embarrassed by our own timidity. Attend and discuss Mozart and da Ponte's operatic telling of the tale, which seems able to withstand multiple readings, and never ceases to amaze and to entertain.

Steve Seifert is the former executive director of Opera Colorado and current executive director of the Newman Center, home to nearly 500 annual public events serving more than 125,000 audience members each year.

From the Outside In: New Groups Impacting American Politics

Facilitator: Nancy Wadsworth, associate professor, political science
Hosts: Mr. and Mrs. Cole and Susan Wist
Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Cost:$35 

In 1800, Americans couldn't imagine a legitimate non-Christian presence in politics, as "American" and "Christian" were assumed to be virtually interchangeable. By 1950, the political center was dominated by the triumvirate of Protestant, Catholic, and Jew. By the 2012 election, however, things have changed; we've seen Mormons and other, once-marginalized groups enter the limelight and become relatively normalized. This salon looks at three different religious minority groups that are changing the face—and possibly the future—of American politics. You may be surprised at who they are!

Nancy Wadsworth, associate professor of political science at DU, conducts scholarship on the topics of race, religion, and social movement politics.

Dante and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Facilitator: M.E. Warlick, professor, School of Art and Art History
Host: Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Nelson and Melissa MacDonald-Nelson
Date: Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Cost: $35

In 19th century England, artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood admired the clarity and brilliant color of Italian Renaissance Art, particularly works by Giotto, Botticelli, and Titian. Encouraged by the art critic John Ruskin, they pledged a truth to nature and drew from literary and medieval themes, specifically the works of Dante. This Salon will explore the paintings inspired by Dante's La Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy, while also unveiling their passionate relationships with their models – women, who like Dante's Beatrice, became the muses to inspire their art.

Professor M.E. Warlick teaches European Modern Art in the School of Art and Art History and has often taught classes on the British Victorians and Pre-Raphaelite artists.