The Klezmatics band
Thursday, April 9, 6:30-8:00 pm The Klezmatics, in concert -- a world class New York City based American klezmer band that traces the origin of their music back to Eastern European Jewish tradition and spirituality demonstrated that they are also influenced by other musical forms including Arab, African, Latin, Balkan, jazz and punk to an audience composed of 150 members. Band Co-founder Frank Young explained the history of the klezmer tradition -- which included a brief description of Yiddish speaking people -- and how this band in particular has transformed the music in the context of
Below are the words of Center Assistant Yang Shuyuan (Lucas) which provide an overview of his perception of the Thursday evening concert:
Today's concert has been the most wonderful performances of this semester year yet. The Grammy winner,
Friday, April 10 The Klezmatics met informally with students, professors, and Dean Monique Taylor and explained the continuity and innovation of their musical tradition, that is, the historical roots and transformation that has occurred in other contexts especially that of New York City. They again shared that which they have in common with human rights activist Woody Guthrie and indicated why they chose to put several of Guthrie's lyrics to music for the first time. Chinese students were inspired to bring their instruments to this event; however one did not have access to his; therefore, Lisa Gukin let him borrow her violin! Frank London explained the meaning of some Yiddish words such as that of sholem: hello, goodbye and peace. He also elaborated on the traditional greeting of sholem aleichem meaning "peace unto you" and the traditional response: aleichem sholem. The group next taught the audience to sing the refrain of a traditional song sung by vocalist Lorin Sklamberg and in which the Yiddish word sholem is repeated. All sang!! The two Chinese student violin players then played a minority group song followed by a Klezmatic rendition of it. Next Frank Young explained that the following song they would play is either of the Jewish, Greek, or Turkish tradition. He indicated that the melody was likely to have been learned through tradition first and then words were put to it. Toward the end of this two hour session, the musicians again played wedding music only this time everyone in the Center did indeed dance! Lisa Gukin guided everyone present (including the Dean!) to get in a circle surrounding the seats and dance in a circle. Eventually this circle broke into pairs and students, faculty, and the Dean danced in couples.
Julio Cesar Morales,Visual Arts Curator,Arizona State University
(Waiting for pictures)
On Sunday, April 5, 2015 Julio Cesar Morales,
In addition to the PowerPoint presentation described above, Mr. Morales spoke informally with a class of thirty Communication Arts Students who are taking a course on Radio Production with Dr. Geoff Bell, on Tuesday, April 7, from 1:30 – 3:30 pm. Dr. Morales described the radio program he started at San Francisco Art Institute which still continues to this day. He also shared his short animated documentaries which he related to the issue of sound on radio. The sounds heard by a street vendor in his family’s hometown in
Ellen McHale Ph.D
We at the NYIT Center for Humanities and Culture were greatly honored to have folklorist Ellen McHale, Ph.D., present on her new book: STABLE VIEWS： VOICES AND STORIES OF THE THOROUGHBRED RACETRACK (Uiversity of Mississippi, 2015). This publication is largely based on the fieldwork she did at Saratoga, Belmont, and Aqueduct Racetracts in New York State with the assistance of an Archie Green Fellowship in Occupational Folklore from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
Dr. McHale began her presentation with a brief self-introduction in regard to her experience with the study of racetrack folklore. She spoke about how the book is based on more than a decade of recorded oral histories pertaining to the occupations of those who compose the racetrack community. Pictures were shown all through the presentation of those in the various occupations about which she lectured: grooms, hotwalkers, exercise riders, trainers, outriders, horse identifiers, blacksmiths, horseshoers, and jockeys, for example. She elaborated on instances where entire families had different occupations at the track which helped to perpetuate certain occupational traditions. She explored the folkloric elements of the clothing worn by individuals in certain racetrack occupations as well as the language coined by others. She mentioned Irish and Latino American workers at the track but clarified that no particular ethnic group dominates the occupations at the racetracks. The Director of the New York Folklore Society and former Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Stockholm, Sweden, explained that the idea of luck is especially important in the career of hotwalkers, those who walk the horses after they have come off the track. These workers would not dream of changing the direction in which he/she walks horses due to the belief that it is bad luck to do so. Immediately following the PowerPoint presentation, students asked questions about the reasons why racetrack employees travel from track to track and whether going to the racetrack is still a popular activity in the states. Dr. McHale informed the audience composed of approximately forty students, faculty, and administrators that these individuals travel due to the changing seasons, the weather, and the schedulng of the races in different parts of country. This folklorist indicated that racetrack attendance may not be as popular as in the 1980s but that it is still an important recreational and, for some, gambling activity in the country. Everyone present was content with this informative and interesting culture-rich presentation and continue to appreciate the accompanying photo exhibt still to be found in the Center for Humanities and Culture at NUPT.
If you want more information about New York folk lore, click this link: http://www.nyfolklore.org
Dean Monique Taylor
Date: December 1, 2014 Number of participants: 26
NYIT Nanjing Campus Dean and Executive Director for the NYIT China Program’s Monique Taylor lectured on "Changing Foodways in Gentrifying Harlem" in the
Professor Christopher Dewart
Professor Christopher Dewart – a professor of Furniture Making in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 1987 -- presented his lecture, "From Shaker to Ikea: A Folk Arts of New York State Lecture on Furniture Making." He began with an overview of American history, establishing the foundation for the aspect of his talk regarding folk art. He indicated that "American Folk Art is shaped by the indigenous Native Americans and by all the different cultures that arrived in North America: the Spanish, the English Puritans, the enslaved and indentured servants, and people fleeing persecution, poverty and war," as stated in his lecture summary. The Professor asserted that it is necessary to look to traditions of the past in order to help create the designs of today. For example, the religious group named the Shakers created extremely simple designs as an expression of the value of simplicity in their lives; these designs can be found in present-day Ikea© stores. This
At MIT, we are makers 'Making'… MIT provides opportunities for the artist, the scientist, and the technician to work together to build better designs. With many 'FabLabs,' a glass lab, blacksmith shop, several wood shops, welding facilities, electronics labs, and machine shops all available to both faculty, staff and students, MIT is producing important, innovative and sustainable design for the future.
Dean Monique Taylor
Today's Center Event served as the opening ceremony for the Exhibit: Women of Courage. Our esteemed Dean Monique Taylor and distinguished Nebraskan guests from the Center in
Professor Christopher Patterson
Tonight's English Corner featured a grand crowd of about 50 people. Professor Christopher, the leading star for the night, began the EC with a question, or rather, a survey: how many participants are "gamers"? Luckily, we did not have too many addicted gamers. Professor Christopher showed us some games that he had played or had experience with, many of which aroused students’ interests. He then presented studies that prove that gamers are not what we think them to be: people who are so addicted to their respective games that they have no regard or awareness of real life. We learned that video games can also be considered an art form. Professor Christopher also came to the conclusion that game culture has become more "male". After the professor's talk, he posed discussion questions that would further our understanding of the content he had covered; the students and two other professors talked and debated. One interesting thing about this EC was that there were some NUPT English-major students involved, and they shared their opinions about whether games can be a kind of literature and art. Students who participated also talked about their experiences with games and expressed their understandings of balancing between games and academic performances. It was a fantastic, fun-filled night.
Film Colloquium Poster, Fall 2014
Cultures of the
Sandra Parks, M.A., Independent Scholar
Date: May 15, 2014 Number of Participants: 35
On Thursday, May 15, 12:30 – 1:30 pm, Sandra Parks, M.A., Independent Scholar, spoke on “The Life and Work of Floridian Folklorist Stetson Kennedy,” to an audience of approximately thirty-five students and faculty. Her presentation largely consisted of stories of growing up in
On Thursday, May 15, 12:30 – 1:30 pm, Sandra Parks, M.A., Independent Scholar and prolific author of numerous Critical Thinking books (The Critical Thinking Company) spoke on “Critical Thinking About Assumptions: Their Eyes Were Watching God,” in which she provided a model lesson demonstrating uncovering unstated assumptions which explored racial stereotypes in the Gulf South at mid-twentieth century. The audience was composed of professors, administrators, and an attentive thirty students, many of whom had read portions of this book as part of their Multicultural Literature Cultures of the
On Thursday, May 15, 1:45-3:45 pm, Sandra Parks, M.A., Independent Scholar, spoke with Professor Zhang Dongmei (Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology) informally on the life and work of Florida authors Zora Neale Hurston, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and Stetson Kennedy in Dr. Beverly Butcher’s Multicultural Literature Cultures of the American Gulf Coast: Work and Play in Story and Song from Louisiana to Florida class. Three sections of this course had read chapters from Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (HarperPerennial, 1999) and the first chapter of Kennedy’sThe Klan Unmasked (University of Alabama Press, 2011). They will be reading chapters in Rawling’sThe Yearling (Scribner, 2002) during the final weeks of class.
Date: May 15, 2015 Number of Participants: 80
Thursday evening, May 15, 7:00 – 8:15 pm, The Campbell Brothers, based in Rochester, New York, but with strong Florida connections, where their family has a history of performing expressed their sacred steel guitar music in Concert on the first floor of the NYIT-NUPT Overseas Education Building before an audience or 150 students, faculty, administrators as well as the public. Erhu player Cao Jiawang, a graduate student at the Guangzhou Xinghai Conservatory of Music joined these artists for several pieces. NYIT-NUPT students especially were enthralled by this music which inspired many to participate not only with their voices but also with the waving of hands and jumping to the music.National Public Radio American Routes radio show creator and host Nick Spitzer, Ph.D., and Josh Kohn organized and narrated the highly successful program with Chuck Campbell (pedal steel guitar), Phil Campbell (electric guitar, bass), Darick Campbell (lap steel guitar), Carlton Campbell (drums), Daric Bennet (bass) and gifted Tiffany Godette (vocals). Many of the students proclaimed the event to be “fabulous” while professors used such words as “uplifting” to describe the spirit of the music as well as the quality of the interaction between the band and the audience members.
Date: May 16, 2014