FAU Announces its New Distinguished Lecture Series

by FAU College of Arts and Letters | Thursday, Sep 08, 2016

Florida Atlantic University recently announced the schedule for its new Distinguished Lectures Series in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. The series begins on Wednesday, Oct. 5 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 $25 and can be purchased at www.fauevents.com, by calling 561-297-6124, or at the Box Office in FAU's Student Union. Group prices of $15 per ticket for groups of eight or more are available at 561-297-6124. Tickets are available at the door on availability. Parking is free in Garage II.

The schedule is as follows:

  •  "Faulkner's County" - Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m.  Award-winning William Faulkner scholar Taylor Hagood, Ph.D., presents Faulkner's fictional "Yoknapatawpha County" and a selection of its major characters along with details about the author's life in a single narrative. The lecture will address America's greatest 20th century writer in the words of a scholar and native of Faulkner's home, punctuated by visual images of that storied place.

  • "Visualizing Democracy: Selections From the Special Collections of FAU" - Friday, Oct. 14 at 4 p.m.  An election year offers the chance to tell, through works of art and popular culture, the unlikely story of participatory democracy in the United States. Hardly a natural state of affairs, the peaceful transition of power at the local, state and federal level is a rich topic for visual analysis. Karen Leader, Ph.D., associate professor of art history, looks at proposals to amend the Constitution, campaigning, women's suffrage, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, voter suppression and contested elections, through the use of images.

  • "The Crisis in Modern Biblical Scholarship" - Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 4 p.m., Over the past several decades, scholars' confidence in the reliability of the biblical account of Israelite history has been shaken.  In particular, doubts have been raised about the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), the Israelite conquest of the Promised Land, and the kingdom of David.  This lecture by FAU's world-renowned biblical scholar Fred Greenspahn, Ph.D., will explore the basis for these questions and how the latest theories draw on both archaeology and the Bible.
  •  "The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln at 150 Years: Lessons for a New Age" - Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m.  The Lincoln Legend remains one of the American Presidency's enduring legacies. Steven Engle, Ph.D., history professor and FAU and "Teacher of the Year," analyzes the Lincoln Presidency and provides an overview of his legacy in the 150 years since his assassination, aptly reminding our modern politicians what Lincoln warned in his annual message to Congress in December 1862: "Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves."

  • "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, February 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.