Fairfield University focuses on Cities in 2012-14


Image: Fairfield University flagsMore than half of the world's population now lives in cities, and trends suggest that close to 75 percent of the global population will live in urban and metropolitan areas by the middle of the 21st century. This phenomenon - and the many possibilities it offers - is why Fairfield University chose Cities as its area of focus for courses, lectures, performances and more for the next two academic years.

Each year Fairfield focuses on a specific issue designed to highlight and promote interdisciplinary learning via a campus-wide conversation. This emphasis helps showcase and connect events and courses that are already taking place at Fairfield, as well as encourage new collaborations. Each new area of focus engages all disciplines in some fashion, yet remains specific enough to promote substantive dialogue, reflection, and action.

Cities is a perfect choice for the university because faculty and students can look at the theme from many angles and truly consider the positive and negative aspects of metropolitan areas, said Nels Pearson, Ph.D., associate professor of English and faculty facilitator for Cities events. Dr. Pearson delivered the Fall Convocation address, "The University and The City."

"The city is one of the most important phenomena in human history, yet no single academic discipline can define it," said Pearson. "For economists, it is a testament to the human inclination to form markets and industries. For political scientists, sociologists and philosophers, it manifests the theoretical challenges of social contracts and citizenship. For biologists and ecologists, it reveals that human collectives behave similarly to animal species and organisms - that we are, ironically, embedded in the laws of nature. For engineers, architects, and public administrators, it is a product of how we've designed our civic and private spaces. As we now become a predominantly urban planet, it is thus important to realize that understanding cities requires collaboration - a meeting of the minds."

Cities-related events taking place at Fairfield University this fall include:

  • "Urban Educational Reform"
    Stefan Pryor, Ph.D., Connecticut Commissioner of Education

Tuesday, October 2, 7:30 p.m.
Quick Center for the Arts
Pryor's talk, which is free and open to the public, will center on Connecticut's education reform law, designed to transform both teaching and learning and eliminate the state's highest-in-the-nation achievement gap. Sponsored by the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.

  • Glengarry Glen Ross

Wednesday, October 3-Saturday, October 6, 8 p.m.
Quick Center for the Arts
The public is invited to David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play about four desperate Chicago real estate agents and the lengths to which they'll go to get ahead. Presented by The Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Charles F. Dolan School of Business in collaboration with the Quick Center. Tickets required.

  • New Duke

Friday, October 12, 7 & 9 p.m.
Quick Center for the Arts
Renowned bassist/composer Brian Torff gathers his fellow Fairfield University jazz professors for a night reinterpreting the memorable music of the legendary Duke Ellington. Presented by the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

  • "Rising from the Rubble: Creating the Museum of the History of Polish Jews"
    Dr. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, professor of Performing Arts, New York University and program director, Core Exhibition, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw

Monday, October 22, 7:30 p.m.
Dolan School of Business Dining Room
This free, public event is the Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Lecture in Judaic Studies.The author will explore this vibrant museum, and focus on the history of Jews in such cities as Warsaw, Krakow and Lodz. Sponsored by the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies.

  • Crossing the Boulevard Project
    Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer

Monday, November 5, 6 p.m.
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Multimedia Room
These artists will discuss their traveling exhibition of photographs, sounds, and stories about immigration, migration and the changing face of America. The event is free and open to the public. Presented by the Art History program and the Bellarmine Museum of Art.

  • "From Space to Place: The Landscapes of Jesuit Higher Education"
    Rev. Tom Lucas, S.J., University of San Francisco

Thursday, November 8, 8 p.m.
Dolan School of Business Dining Room
The Rev. Tom Lucas, S.J., professor of art and architecture at the University of San Francisco, delivers this free, public lecture, which is the University's 2012 Catholicism and the Arts Lecture.

  • Web Development I

This School of Engineering course taught by Amalia Rusu, Ph.D., includes a service learning component in which students design and build websites for local nonprofit organizations.

The many events surrounding the Cities area of focus offer the perfect opportunity for the public to join in the discussion, said Gary Wood, director of the Quick Center. "The arts often respond to and grapple with issues of our times, and thus they make the perfect catalyst for the investigation of city-related issues. The 12-13 Arts and Mind season has numerous city-related events in theater, dance, music, film, and more. Our goal is to bring together the community to explore these issues, ignite imaginations, and prompt dialogue."

For more information on Fairfield University's Cities initiatives, visit www.fairfield.edu/cities. For ticket information, call the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010. To reserve a seat for the Schnurmacher lecture, call the Bennett Center at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 2, 2012

Vol. 45, No. 46