U-M arts and culture: Race, emancipation and African-American folk gardens

February 15, 2013
  • umichnews@umich.edu

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:

Understanding Race: Few subjects provoke as strong a visceral response as the topic of race. One-hundred-and-fifty years after the United States was nearly fractured by the battle over slavery and more than a half century since the modern Civil Rights Movement emerged, U-M is launching the Understanding Race Project.

Through April, an extensive range of public exhibits, performances, lectures, symposia and more than 130 courses in several disciplines will explore the concept of race. The historical, cultural, psychological and legal interpretations of race will be examined from both national and global perspectives.

Featured exhibit: “Race: Are we so different?” developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota. The first national exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view is on display through May 27 at the U-M Museum of Natural History, 1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor.

Upcoming: 4 p.m. Feb. 27 – “Engaging Diversity: More Important Than Ever,” a lecture by Patricia Gurin at the Michigan Union/Rogel Ballroom; 7 p.m. March 21 – “Building New Majorities: Achieving Racial and Gender Equity in Life and Politics,” a talk given by Rinku Sen, from Applied Research Center and Colorlines.com, at Annenberg Auditorium, Ford School of Public Policy.

More information: www.lsa.umich.edu/themesemester

Back on the Hill: Renowned countertenor/U-M alum David Daniels performs Handel’s “Radamisto” at Hill Auditorium, Feb. 17.

Dramatic social commentary: U-M’s Arts of Citizenship sponsors a play to explore impact of the emergency manager law in the city of Flint. Live stream of performance (at a Flint venue) Feb. 23 at Rackham Auditorium on U-M’s Ann Arbor campus.

Histories: Personal & Universal: Retrospective of international artist El Anatsui at the U-M Museum of Art through May 5. The Ghanaian-born El Anatsui, who lives and works in Nigeria, is widely known for monumental wall sculptures made from discarded bottle tops, and is recognized as one of the most original and compelling artists of his generation.

Hopeful amid despair: The U-M Department of Theatre & Drama presents the 1942 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, “The Skin of Our Teeth” by Thornton Wilder. A riotous tour of humanity and a testament to abiding hope, “The Skin of Our Teeth” plays 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21, 8 p.m. Feb. 22-23 and 2 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. The play is directed by guest artist and U-M alumnus Jonathan Berry.

Other Stories:

Ancient text on contemporary tablet: The U-M Library’s most famous papyrus, known to scholars as Papyrus 46 (or P46), is now widely available in the form of an app for iPhone and iPad. Users of “PictureIt: Epistles of Paul” can flip through high-resolution images of the 3rd century codex—the oldest known copy of the Letters of St. Paul—as though through pages of a book.

Garden of mystery: An exhibit of black-and-white fine-art photographs of African-American folk gardens is on display Jan. 18-March 10 at U-M’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Traveling throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, photographer/author Vaughn Sills, an associate professor of photography at Simmons College in Boston, captures evocative images of a disappearing American landscape.


For information, visit www.montage.umich.edu.