College of Arts and Letters' Distinguished Lecture Series

The series includes lectures presented by faculty on topics that range from the origins of Judaism and Christianity to visual arts in the early 20th century.


By polly-burks | 12/16/2016

Florida Atlantic University has announced the schedule for its Spring 2017 Distinguished Lectures Series in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. The series begins on Thursday, Jan. 12 and includes lectures presented by faculty in the college on topics that range from the origins of Judaism and Christianity to visual arts in the early 20th century. All lectures take place in the University Theatre, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.fauevents.com, by calling 561-297-6124, or at the Box Office in FAU’s Student Union. A package of all five lectures can be purchased for $75 and group prices of $15 per ticket for groups of eight or more are available. To purchase package or group tickets, call 561-297-6124. Tickets are available at the door on availability. Parking is free in Garage II.

The schedule is as follows:

  •  “Arguments about Art in the 19th Century” – Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 at 4 p.m.  Karen Leader, Ph.D., visual arts and art history professor, surveys the Paris art world from the mid-19th-century to the fin-siècle, a period in which the visual arts underwent significant change. While looking at individual artists, the emphasis will be on major themes and debates. It was the period that saw the emergence of art criticism as professional practice, the establishment of the dealer-gallery marketing of contemporary artists, and the challenges to the prevailing academic system. In addition, the barriers preventing women artists from participating in the fruits of this growing enterprise will be considered, as well as the influence of France’s colonial enterprises. Works comfortably ensconced as “masterpieces” will be interrogated anew through the lens of art history’s critical eye.  
  • “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Origins of Judaism and Christianity” – Thursday, Feb. 2 at 4 p.m.  The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the 1940s and their complete publication in the 1990s have led scholars to reevaluate the history of Judaism and Christianity.  This lecture by FAU’s world-renowned biblical scholar Fred Greenspahn, Ph.D., will describe the contents of the more than 900 scrolls that were found in the Judean desert and what we have learned about each of these religions, their relationship to one another, and the creation of the Hebrew Bible.
  • “Torah, Tradition and Change: The Ancient Synagogue at Horvat Kur” – Thursday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m.  Byron McCane, Ph.D., professor of history and religion, presents a report and reflection on five seasons of excavation, including the discovery of three artifacts that are now in preparation for the synagogue exhibit at the Israel Museum. The discoveries shed new light on the practice of Jewish religion at the local level in a small village as the Roman Empire came to its end.
  • “Globalization in Antiquity: Augustus, Herod, and the Second Temple” – Thursday, Feb. 23 at 4 p.m.  A prominent historian has remarked that Augustus didn’t create the Empire, but he did see it coming, so he got out front and led the parade. Herod, another astute reader of the signs of the times, quickly fell in step right behind Augustus. Byron McCane, Ph.D., argues that the Second Temple was a prominent part of Herod’s multi-faceted effort to draw the Jews of Palestine willingly into Roman orbit.
  • “What Modernism Means: Visual Arts in the Early 20th Century” – Thursday, March 16 at 4 p.m. The first 14 years of the 20th century saw an explosion of new forms and competing philosophies about what could be expected or demanded of art and what role it might play in modern society. Rapid social, technological and economic changes spurred creative competitions, while aggressive capitalism, military buildups and shifting race and gender power differentials found articulation in stylistic upheavals. Karen Leader, Ph.D., will address works in the context of both aesthetic and political battles, and consider various “movements” including fauvism, German expressionism, cubism and futurism.

-FAU-

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