Money makes the world go ’round

or does it?

Join Duke Theater Studies professor Claire Conceison and her China Theater Experiment class as they put that aphorism to the test with a workshop production of Nick Yu’s Das Kapital on Tuesday, April 26 @ 8pm in Sheafer Theater (Bryan Center). Today’s “Recess” section of The Chronicle features an article about Nick’s residency and the show which will conclude his time on campus this spring. Make sure to leave time in your end-of-semester schedule’s to catch this performance and help us say goodbye (for now) to Nick!

Duke New Music Ensemble — snow in April (3rd)

Annoucement courtesy of Dave Garner.

Duke New Music Ensemble’s final concert of the semester is fast approaching! Sunday, April 3 at 8pm in Bone Hall in the Biddle music building they will present an exciting concert of works by American composers.

James Tenney’s experimental Swell Pieces open the concert with meditations on expansive, constantly shifting timbres followed by Violin Sonata No. 2 by William Bolcom, which was dedicated to jazz violinist Joe Venuti. Next up is Steve Reich’s early piece titled Pendulum Music that uses microphones and speakers to create web of phasing feedback. The penultimate piece is Concerto for Flute and Percussion by Lou Harrison—a quirky work with dancing grooves combined with poignant Gamelan-like evocations. The final piece is In a treeless place…only snow by John Luther Adams. Grant Menzies, of The Oregonian in Portland writes, “Adams’ music made the unseen visible, like breath exhaled into frosty air, a bodilessness pulsing with life. His rising and falling themes, traded among the strings, built a prayerful melodic arc that stretched out to infinity yet spoke directly to the individual soul.”

CFP — Summer Symposium Northeast Historic Film

CFP courtesy of CULT-STUD listserv. Application deadline April 8, 2011.

12th Annual Northeast Historic Film Summer Symposium
Das Wunderkino: A Cinematic Cabinet of Curiosities
Thursday, July 28, 2011 through Saturday, July 30, 2011

Die Wunderkammer (German for “the wonder-room” or “the miracle chamber”) was merely one incarnation of the phenomenon of the “cabinet of curiosities” that first appeared in Europe in the 16th century. The cabinet of curiosities was based in the collection of objects, specimens and artifacts that inspired curiosity and wonder, and sometimes defied the terms classification. In many ways, the Cabinet of Curiosities was a precursor to the modern museum.

The 2011 Northeast Historic Film (NHF) Summer Symposium revisits the idea, collecting and displaying the “unusual” with a conference theme aimed to create a cinematic cabinet of curiosities. Although amateur films are often conceived of as mundane visual accounts of family vacations and birthday parties, those scholars, archivists, filmmakers, and documentarians who study amateur films know otherwise. The theme of the NHF symposium considers the broad and unusual dimensions of amateur film: how amateur and non-commercial films are a source of curiosity and wonder that inspires attention and inquiry, and how amateur film struggles with the familiar and powerful traditions of cinema studies that often overshadow our understanding of non-conventional and non-commercial film. Das Wunderkino (“the wonder-cinema”) represents a desire to examine and discuss moving images that ignite our curiosity and engagement, and help us to rethink questions of creativity, the unusual, the bizarre and the unexpected found in amateur and non-commercial films. We invite papers and presentations that will collectively assemble a “cinematic cabinet of curiosities” that will inform and expand our understanding of the wildness and weirdness of amateur film. We encourage participants to incorporate interesting moving image excerpts as part of their presentations. NHF houses a 125-seat cinema with 35mm, 16mm, videotape, and DVD projection.

The NHF Summer Symposium is a multi-disciplinary gathering devoted to the history, theory, and preservation of amateur and nontheatrical moving images. The Symposium is noted for bringing together archivists, scholars, and artists in an intimate setting. Presenters have 30-45 minutes in which to deliver their paper and engage in discussion with their colleagues. The symposium is open to archivists, artists and scholars from all disciplines. Please be advised that NHF is a non-profit organization. Unfortunately, we do not have resources to fund travel and lodging for conference presenters and participants. All presenters and participants must register for the symposium. Please browse this page for more info on symposium registration, lodging, transportation.

Please send 250-500 word abstracts outlining your paper ideas to the symposium organizers at the address below. We prefer e-mail submissions. We are happy to discuss your presentation ideas with you in advance of a formal submission. The Symposium Program Committee will begin reviewing proposals on April 8, 2011 and will finalize the program by May 1, 2011.

Please send proposals and inquiries to:


Carolee Schneemann @ Duke

Carolee Schneemann will be reading letters from her new book, Correspondence Course: An Epistolary History of Carolee Schneemann and Her Circle (edited, annotated and with an introduction by Kristine Stiles, Duke’s France Family Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies and published by Duke University Press) at the Nasher Museum at Duke University, Wednesday 23 March from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Following her reading, she will screen four films including her famous erotic film Fuses 1964-1967. After the films, she will sign books and there will be a reception.

Expression/Performance/Behavior Seminar Presentation

DATE: Tues, Mar 29, 5:00pm,


Expression/Performance/Behavior, the 2010-11 FHI Annual Seminar will present “Brainstorming Coetzee: Approaching Summertime,” a discussion with Ian Baucom (English, FHI Director), Owen Flanagan (Philosophy, Seminar Fellow), Paul Griffiths (Divinity, Seminar Co-convener), Toril Moi (Literature, Seminar Co-convener), and Michael Moses (English). Please join us!

Jose Munoz at Duke

I apologize for posting this event posthumously. I wanted to include it in case the organizers recorded and might post Munoz’s talk (I will update this post with an appropriate link if they do so) and so I could give the link to remarks made last spring at the After Eve I event.

Mon, Mar 21, 4:30pm, Nelson Music Room (East Duke Building)

After Eve II. Events in honor of the late Eve Sedgwick presents a lecture by Prof. José Muñoz:

“Race, Sex, and the Incommensurate: Gary Fisher with Eve Sedgwick.”

A student of the late Eve Sedgwick, Muñoz is Chair of the Department of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Come in and Hear the Ethnomusicology Working Group

Apologies to Professor Burke for adapting his book title for my post title. This event announcement comes courtesy of Darren Mueller of Duke’s Ethnomusicology Working Group:


DATE: Monday, March 28, 2011
TIME: 10:00am-12:00pm
LOCATION: Biddle 102

During the mid-1990s, scholars such as Scott DeVeaux, Krin Gabbard, and Sherrie Tucker called upon jazz researchers to rethink their methodologies. Since that time, many people, including Prof. Patrick Burke (Washington University in St. Louis), have taken up that challenge, pushing boundaries and raising new inquiries across the field of jazz studies. But what, if anything, has changed in since the establishment of “New” Jazz Studies? Given that the dominant narrative of jazz history still remains status quo in many universities across the country, how should jazz scholars move on from here?

Please join us Monday, March 28 for a discussion with Prof. Burke—along with music graduate students from Duke, Columbia, and UNC—that will use three recent texts (see below) to discuss the current state of jazz studies and its intersection with the disciplines of ethnomusicology, popular music studies, and history.

Professor Burke is Assistant Professor of Music at Washington University in St. Louis and author of Come In and Hear the Truth: Jazz and Race on 52nd Street (University of Chicago Press, 2008). His research centers on jazz and popular music in the United States, with a focus on the connections between music’s performance and reception and the formation of racial ideology. His current book project, What’s My Name? Rock, Race, and Revolution in the 1960s, addresses the relationship between rock music and the radical political movements of the late 1960s.

Sponsored by the Ethnomusicology Working Group.
For info contact: Darren Mueller at
Find the readings for the seminar here:

Readings Bibliography:
Patrick Burke, “Here Comes the Man with the Jive: Stuff Smith” in Come In and Hear The Truth (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.) Chapter 3, pp 60-88

George Lipsitz, “Songs of the Unsung: The Darby Hicks History of Jazz,” pp. 9-26 in Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies, ed. Robert O’Meally et al

David Ake “Musicology Beyond the Score and Performance: Making Sense of the Creek in Miles Davis’s ‘Old Folks’” pp. 37 ‑53 in Jazz Matters (Berkeley, CA : University of California Press, 2010.)

Theater on TV & Shanghai on Stage

Duke’s Department of Theater Studies celebrates the work of its faculty on two theater events opening this weekend.

Now You See Me

by Neal Bell
Directed by Jody McAuliffe
March 17-26, 2011
World Premiere.

Claire has a significant relationship with her TV: she talks and it answers her. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, she auditions to participate in a network reality show so she can fight her Final Battle in front of millions of viewers. A dark comedy about life, love, death and television.

Thur-Sun Mar 17-20
Wed-Sat Mar 23-26
Shows at 8:15 p.m. except Sunday March 20 at 3:15 p.m.

Purchase online / Purchase by phone: 919.682.3343
• $17 Fri/Sat/Sun; $12 weeknights
• Students (with current i.d.): $5 in advance or at the door

Shanghai Stories, happens ONE NIGHT ONLY — Saturday March 19 @ 7:30pm in Sheafer Theater. Shanghai Stories presents staged reading of selections from seven different plays by Nick Yu (Yu Rongjun). It also marks the beginning of Yu’s six-week residency at Duke.

Yu is the most produced living playwright in mainland China and the Deputy General Manager (and longtime director of marketing and programming) for Shanghai’s only state-run theater company, the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. He is the author of more than 30 plays and has won many prestigious awards. He is also the founder and director of a college theater festival in Shanghai, illustrating his commitment to young audiences and emerging playwrights.

Yu will be in residence at Duke to work with the students in Professor Claire Conceison’s course “The China Experiment.” The performance on March 19 will be followed by a reception in the Multicultural Center on the lower level of the Bryan Center. Yu’s residency will culminate with The China Experiment’s workshop production of his new play, Das Kapital, on April 26, also in Sheafer Theater. Both Shanghai Stories and Das Kapital performances are in English and free and open to the public.