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Unless otherwise noted, all events will take place from 5 pm to 6 pm in the Feinberg Library Reading Room on level three. They are open to the public.
February 24 at 7 pm. Join author Don Papson for a discussion of his book, Secret Lives of the Underground Railroad in New York City, co-authored with Tom Calarco. Secret Lives tells the story of the interracial collaboration of Sidney Howard Gay and Louis Napoleon in the Underground Railroad. It uses the previously unpublished Record of Fugitives that Gay kept from 1855-to-1856. It goes on to explore the full lives of these men, recounting other incidents during their involvement in the Underground Railroad. Learn more.
Come hear SUNY Plattsburgh faculty speak about groundbreaking books that changed our understanding of the world.
Wednesday, February 11—Dr. Seuss' Hooray for Diffendoofer Day
Dr. Robert Ackland, Professor of Literacy Education, will speak on "Dr. Seuss Meets Dr. Dewey: Diffendoofer School Exemplifies Democracy and Education." Notes and sketches found after author Theodor Geisel's death formed the basis of Hooray for Diffendoofer Day (1998). In an age of the Common Core and high-stakes testing, let’s look at how John Dewey’s seminal work on experiential education is connected to the school envisioned by Dr. Seuss—a place where you learn to think. Before the presentation, feel free to visit Diffendoofer School via YouTube and access the complex text of Democracy and Education (1916).
Tuesday, March 31—Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species
Dr. Becky Kasper, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, will speak on "The Ongoing Struggle for Hearts and Minds." The publication of Darwin’s Origin of the Species in 1859 accelerated crises of religious identity spurred by the advance of scientific inquiry and the application of historical-critical methods to scripture. In the blink of an eye the battle lines between science and faith were drawn. By the early twentieth century, Christian fundamentalists had achieved cultural (and political) success countering the theory of evolution with their own account of the creation of the world based on the inerrancy of scripture, dramatically illustrated by the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial. The battles continue to this day as evidenced in Supreme Court cases concerning education and creationism, political platforms regarding climate change, and passionate public debates on faith and reason.
Wednesday, April 22—William Wordsworth's and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads
Dr. Ann Tracy, Distinguished Teaching Professor and Adjunct Professor Emerita of English, will speak on "Lyrical Ballads—It’s Not Just the Name of a Bookstore." Devotees of Pope raged when they read Wordsworth’s poems in Lyrical Ballads, that 1798 collaboration with Coleridge that fired the opening salvos in the literary revolution that would later be called the Romantic Movement. In those days the two collaborators, plus Southey, were the Lake Poets, and the elegant rake Byron scorned them in rhyme—“the first is crazed beyond all hope, the second drunk, the third so quaint and mouthy.” He may have had a point about Southey. But without what that despised volume began, our own aesthetics and assumptions would have been quite different.
This Feinberg Library series features local writers giving readings of their works and leading conversations about poetry and fiction. Audience members will be invited to read from their own works in an Open Mic session at each event. Refreshments will be served.
Wednesday, Feb. 25—Carol Lipszyc, Associate Professor of English, will read from her newly published work of short fiction, The Saviour Shoes and Other Stories.
Thursday, April 2—Robin Caudell, writer for the Plattsburgh Press-Republican since 1990, will read from her collected poetry.
Wednesday, April 8—Jeff Cochran, a performance poet in local schools, churches, prisons, summer ed-programs, coffee houses and mountain meadows, has been writing poetry for 40 years. He also shares free verse, haiku, rap, and rhyme.
Banned Books Read-Out is an annual event that highlights the issue of "freedom to read" by having faculty, staff, and students read passages from banned and challenged books. Last year's iteration was wonderful success, with passages read from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, Heller's Catch-22, Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, and more. Fall 2015 program TBA.
For more information, please contact:
Tim Hartnett, Associate Librarian
SUNY Plattsburgh / Feinberg Library
2 Draper Avenue, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Phone: (518) 564-5205