Keep busy with Baker-Nord’s upcoming events

Case Western Reserve University has been a host and audience for many visitors, who have lectured and discussed their ideas and research. This February CWRU will resume this role, while the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities welcomes several presenters from a variety of subjects.

On Feb. 9, Frederick Lewis, an associate professor from Ohio University, will introduce and screen his documentary, “Rockwell Kent,” in the Wolstein Research Building Auditorium and take time to answer questions.

Rockwell Kent was a man of many titles, including artist and traveler, who lived from 1882-1971. Lewis became interested in Kent, “initially being attracted to his early paintings of Maine” and his wood engravings.

When Lewis started to produce this documentary, he had thought he was looking into a “regional artist,” but instead he started a project that became a 10-year journey, as he looked deeper into Kent’s life and work. His process included making his own expedition that retraced Kent’s travels.

Lewis has screened his documentary at over 50 venues. “Rockwell Kent was a force of nature,” said Lewis. “People just don’t know about him.”

Jeffrey Ullom, a CWRU assistant professor of theater and director of undergraduate studies, is also looking to shed some light on a lesser-known history about the Cleveland Play House at a dinner in the Siegal Beachwood Facility on Feb. 16. He will speak about his research and the challenges he faced while writing his book, “America’s First Regional Theatre: The Cleveland Play House and Its Search for a Home.”

Ullom looked at how this playhouse, which is almost 100 years old, is still up and running after all this time despite the fact many other playhouses have fallen. “[It] is not only a history of a theater but a unique history of the community as well,” said Ullom.

Another CWRU professor, Justine Howe, assistant professor of religious studies, will discuss her current research for her book during her “Faculty Work-in-Progress: Honoring the Prophet, Performing American Islam” presentation on Feb. 18. Howe wants to show how American-Muslims integrate their Muslim and American identities post-9/11. She has been looking at new types of rituals and specifically how in the Chicago area, the Muslim community has been experimenting with a celebration to honor Muhammad, the prophet.

Howe will discuss their practices to give “Case students a window into a religious world that they may not be as familiar with” and to have an opportunity for discussion on the topic and for her to receive feedback on her project so far.

Then, later on in the month, on Feb. 24, Cynthia Willett, a philosophy professor from Emory University, will be giving “The Issa Lecture: Interspecies Ethics” in Clark Hall. Willet saw a connection in how human ethics partially come from the fact that we are social animals.

“The way we go about social relationship dynamics and personal relationships are not that different from other social animals,” said Willet.

In her lecture and discussion, she will go further with this idea and how this knowledge can be integrated into our social dynamics and possibly change them.

The Baker-Nord Center will also be hosting a few other events in February, including Donna Kornhaber’s “Animating the War: The First World War and the History of Animation,” Roald Hoffmann’s “Chemistry in Art, Art in Chemistry and the Spiritual Ground They Share” and Idelber Avelar’s “Neoliberal Practices and Cultural Production in Latin America in the Past 40 Years.”

For more information, go to Baker-Nord Center’s Upcoming Events webpage.