U-M arts and culture: From Rwandan storytelling and the Spanish flu to Orson Welles and the making of the New Left

October 11, 2012

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan website “Montage” highlights the latest news and features about the arts, culture, creative endeavors, collaborative projects and upcoming events. This week’s top features include:

  • Evocative: Choreographer/dancer Peter Sparling explores the issue of translation in a seven-screen video installation. Exhibit runs through Oct. 19.
  • Joys and perils of romance: The U-M Department of Theatre opens its season with “Almost, Maine,” running through Oct. 14. The play is a dramatic love letter to Northern Maine where playwright John Cariani grew up. “Almost, Maine” is a heart-warming, midwinter night’s dream about the highs and lows of love.
  • Breaking the silence: A Rwandan storytelling exhibit is the centerpiece of a new national archive. Now 99 narratives—conversations between youths and elders—will be on display at the newly built Rwandan National Archives, which were decimated during genocidal violence in the central African nation. On Oct. 12, the archives open for the first time in nearly two decades.

    “Stories for Hope” was founded by a U-M alumna and psychologist who joined forces with an archivist from the U-M School of Information. In a style similar to StoryCorps, the project lets a Rwandan young person invite an elder to have an audio-recorded dialogue to learn more about the elder’s personal past, Rwanda’s history or its culture.

  • Historic reflection: The U-M Center for the History of Medicine in partnership with the U-M Library’s MPublishing has released “The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918: A Digital Encyclopedia,” an engaging documentation of 50 diverse communities in the United States during fall 1918 and winter 1919, a period when the effects of influenza caused an estimated 675,000 U.S. deaths.
  • Indelible mark: U-M’s art-and-design school has been renamed the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design in honor of generous donations made to the university by Penny and E. Roe Stamps—the most charitable donors in the school’s history and among the largest benefactors to an art-and-design school in the United States.
  • Digging deep into Welles: The most extensive international collection of archives on filmmaker, actor, director and writer Orson Welles is now available to the public and researchers at the U-M Special Collections Library.
  • Hill Auditorium celebrates centennial: The acoustical gem and cultural landmark on the U-M campus lives in the memories of visitors, students and faculty, who’ve spent memorable moments at the auditorium. The proud history of performances, university events and speeches delivered by a Who’s Who in American 20th-century history is relived through the year-long celebration.
  • The making of the New Left: U-M alum Tom Hayden and other co-founders of the 1960s activist group Student for a Democratic Society will speak at “A New Insurgency: The Port Huron Statement in Its Time and Ours,” a three-day conference, Oct. 31-Nov. 2. The gathering will explore the significance of the statement and the social, cultural and political history of the New Left.
  • Portraits of an empire: How is it that an American painter came to define the British Empire? When Benjamin West’s painting “The Death of General Wolfe” was first shown at the Royal Academy in 1771, it was received with great acclaim and quickly became one of the most famous paintings in 18th-century Britain. It served for generations as the consummate projection of Britain’s military, moral and cultural supremacy and a celebration of the British Empire. The exhibit, “Benjamin West: General Wolfe and the Art of Empire,” is open to the public at the U-M Museum of Art’s A. Alfred Taubman Gallery I.


Related Link: