Session III

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Cinema & Media Studies

Tom Gunning bio

Screening of Rififi

Film Studies Center, Cobb Hall, room 307
Rififi, (1955). Directed by Jules Dassin, this classic black-and-white French heist movie, shot on the rainy streets of Paris, masterly combines a documentary approach with lyricism. Dassin, creator of many American film noir classics, fled America because of the House Un-American Activities Committee blacklist at the end of the 1940s. He is credited with bringing the moral ambiguity of the postwar American thriller to Europe and inspiring a new generation of critics and filmmakers – informing many of the new wave films of the '60s.


Michael Silverstein bio

Presidential Ethno-blooperology: Performance misfires in the business of "message"-ing

Stuart Hall, room 101
A generally savored moment in the spectator sport of American presidential politics is a misfire or gaffe before an audience. Recorded, disseminated and framed by evaluative commentary the mere "blooper" or would-be "out-take" is transformed. Whether or not an obvious "blooper" at the time, the gaffe is turned into an index of something deeper, something revelatory of personality or character or identity, a diagnostic bit of "truth" emergent despite all precaution and a negatively valuated symptom in our regime of "message" politics. Michael Silverstein, Professor of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Psychology will offer a talk followed by discussion.

English / Center for Cultural Policy

Lawrence Rothfield bio

Making the Scene: Wicker Park, Hyde Park, and the Future of Cities

Stuart Hall, room 102
Increasingly, cities around the US have come to recognize that their future depends on their capacity to compete for human capital. New policies aimed at attracting and retaining the so-called "creative class" are sprouting from Portland to Podunk. All these efforts share the assumption that cities need to offer not just jobs but also a lively and vibrant cultural scene. But what exactly is a scene? What are the components of scenes? What are the indicators of the presence of a scene? Larry Rothfield, Associate Professor of English Language and Literature, and of Comparative Literature, and Faculty Director of the Center for Cultural Policy Studies will lead a discussion on these questions, using Hyde Park as an example.

Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations

Seth Richardson bio

How to Build a God: Mesopotamian Icons and Biblical Parodies

Stuart Hall, room 104
Any Mesopotamian theory of sculpture has to account for the procedures to animate images of the gods. Join Professor Richardson for a look at ritual texts, letters and other documents relating to the creation of divine images, and their reflection in the parodies of the Hebrew Bible. Seth Richardson is an assistant professor in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and is the Mesopotamian faculty Advisor to the Oriental Institute Museum. His current projects relate to Old Babylonian economic and administrative texts, Assyrian political history, an intellectual history of early Babylonian liver divination, and Ancient Near East labor history, state collapse, and chronology.


Ted Cohen bio

Telling Stories

Stuart Hall, room 105
How is our relation to fiction like and unlike our relation to real events and people? Explore these associations with Ted Cohen, Professor in Philosophy, the College, the Committee on Art and Design, and the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, Professor Cohen has taught at the University of Chicago since 1967, and works mainly in the philosophy of art.

Art History

Guided Tour of The Virtual Tourist in Renaissance Rome project and exhibition

Franke Institute, Regenstein Library, Special Collections
In 1540 Antoni Lafreri, a native of Besancon transplanted to Rome, began publishing maps and other printed images that depicted major monuments and antiquities in Rome. These images were calculated to appeal to the taste for classical antiquity that fueled the cultural event we call the Renaissance. This exhibition examines Lafreri's publishing history of through several generations of printmakers and print publishers, and looks at Lafreri's models, competitors, and imitators, and at the collectors who, over several centuries, revisited and reinvented the Renaissance image of Rome. Along with the history of print collecting, themes include Renaissance city planning, the idea of the picturesque in landscape, Renaissance ideas of history, religious pilgrimage and tourism. The exhibition will also showcase the Library's project to make a digital image database of these prints available online. [space is limited]


Herman Sinaiko bio

Socrates and the Sophists

Harper, room 130
Was Socrates a sophist? Or their determined opponent? Professor Sinaiko of the Humanities Division and the College offers a reconsideration of the traditional view based in large part on the portrait of Protogoras, the first sophist, in Plato's dialogue named for him.

Law School / Philosophy / Divinity School

Martha Nussbaum bio

Tragedy and Social Compassion

Harper, room 140
What does the experience of watching an ancient Greek tragedy contribute to thought about pressing social problems? By pondering a long tradition of debate about Sophocles' Philoctetes and the experience of compassion it evokes, Professor Nussbaum reflects on this question.


New Budapest Orpheum Society

Fulton Hall
Headed by artistic director and emcee Philip Bohlman, Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago Department of Music, the New Budapest Orpheum Society is a revival of the longest-running Jewish cabaret in Vienna. Called "a superb Chicago ensemble" by The Chicago Tribune, the New Budapest Orpheum Society performs music rescued from the Austrian Censor's Office. Musicians include Julia Bentley, mezzo-soprano; Stewart Figa, baritone; Iordanka Kissiova, violin; Ilya Levinson, piano; Stewart Miller, bass; and Hank Tausend, percussion.