Smile Politely

Listen Up: February 2015

This month is short, but the list of things to do at Parkland and U of I is long. Here are a dozen academic events happening February.

WHAT: Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Lecture Series

WHEN: Various

WHERE: 101 International Studies Bldg, 910 S. Fifth St. Champaign

ABOUTThe Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies hosts a series of talks by undergraduate/graduate students and faculty each month. Here are this month’s dates and topics: 

Tuesday, February 3rd, 5-7 p.m.
Werner Baer, Economics Department, University of Illinois
Institutional Obstacles to Brazil’s Economic Development

Thursday, February 5th, 12 p.m.
Tanalis Padilla, Associate Professor of History, Darmouth
Rural Normalistas and Mexico’s Long 1960’s

Thursday, February 12th, 12 p.m.
Paul Johnson, President of Chicago Food International
The Role of the Illinois Cuba Working Group as an Agriculture Coalition in Improving Trade Relations with Cuba

Thursday, February 19th, 12 p.m.
Nicanor Dominguez, History, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru
Spatial Knowledge as Tool of Governance: The Cartographic Project of Bishop Martinez de Compañon in 18th Century Peru

Tuesday, February 24th, 5-7 p.m.
Gustavo Rossi, University of São Paulo & Princeton University
Race as a Category of Experience in the Intellectual Trajectory of Edison Carneiro


WHAT: Lecture: “Energy in the Anthropocene Era: A tale of fire, smoke, time, and power” by Tami Bond, Nathan M. Newmark Distinguished Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow 2014

WHEN: February 3rd at 4 p.m.

WHERE: NCSA Auditorium, 1205 W. Clark Street, Urbana

ABOUTFire marked the dawn of humanity, and continues to bless and curse us. The energy it provides is transformative, and key to economic development. As the level of human population and activity has initiated the Anthropocene Era, distinguished by humans’ clear influence on the Earth system, we struggle to manage combustion effluents, which affect health and climate change. The decisions we make today affect choices, development, atmosphere, and climate now and for decades into the future. Reception to follow talk.


WHAT: Less Commonly Taught Languages Program Film Series: “The Square” (documentary)

WHEN: February 4th at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge, 1080 Foreign Languages Building

ABOUTThe Square (2013) is a cinéma vérité style documentary which follows six young revolutionaries during the Egyptian Revolution. Join us to hear the story of the Egyptian Revoultion up close and beyond the headlines. For more information visit


WHAT: World of Science: Conquering Mt. St. Helens

WHEN: February 6th at 7 p.m.

WHERE: William M. Staerkel Planetarium, Parkland College

ABOUTOn July 5, 16 people and four guides began an ascent up the face of America’s most active volcano, Mount St. Helens, in Washington State. Julie Angel, one of the climbers, will discuss her trip. The Mount St. Helens trip is one of several offered throughout the summer by the Mt. St. Helens Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the public understand and protect the volcano. The institute offers field seminars, lecture series, guided climbs, and other educational opportunities for people of all ages. Using several images, Angel will take the audience through the challenge of climbing the volcano, which had its last major eruption in 1980 but exhibited some activity in 2008.


WHAT: Sunday Salon: Ariel Quartet

WHEN: February 8th at 3 p.m.

WHERE: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Foellinger Great Hall

ABOUT: Originally formed in Israel, the Ariel Quartet (Alexandra Kazovsky and Gershon Gerchikov, violin; Jan Grünig, viola; and Amit Even-Tov, cello) moved to the United States in 2004 to study at the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Training Program, and in 2006 the quartet won the grand prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Currently in residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, the Ariel Quartet performs with “youthful passion and absolute integrity for the music” (Cincinnati Enquirer).

Mozart: String Quartet in E-flat Major, K. 428
Bartók: String Quartet No. 5 in B-flat Major
Brahms: String Quartet No. 3 in B-flat Major, Op. 67


WHAT: The First Annual History Soapbox

WHEN: February 11th at 8 p.m.

WHERE: 210 General Lounge, Illini Union

ABOUTSelect faculty and students will take to the podium and make their case for a book that changed the history of the world.


WHAT: Illinois Modern Ensemble

WHEN: February 11th at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Foellinger Great Hall

ABOUTPerformances will include Carlos Carrillo, and then, in dreaming for 5 voices and chamber orchestra and new work by Joe Meland.


WHAT: Local Harpist Returns to Planetarium

WHEN: February 13th and 14th at 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: William M. Staerkel Planetarium, Parkland College

ABOUT“Starry Night: Harp Music Under the Star-filled Sky” will take audiences on a delightful journey of music inspired by the celestial canopy above. Music ranging from classical to pops will be synchronized with the planetarium’s stars and special visual effects.


WHAT: European Movie Night: Trois couleurs: Blanc (Three Colors: White) – France/Poland, 1994

WHEN: February 16th at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge, 1080 Foreign Language Building

ABOUTThe second feature in filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Three Colors” trilogy, the black comedy White features Zbigniew Zamachowski as Karol Karol, an expatriate Polish hairdresser whose French wife (the breathtaking Julie Delpy) divorces him after just six months of marriage because of his impotency. Penniless and devoid of his passport, Karol must journey back to Poland by hiding in a trunk. Upon his return, he slowly begins amassing a considerable fortune, ultimately hatching a perverse plot for revenge. Multilingual with English subtitles.


WHAT: Black Sacred Music Symposium: Final Concert

WHEN: February 22nd at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Foellinger Great Hall

ABOUT: The Black Sacred Music Symposium, presented by the University of Illinois Black Chorus, was founded by Professor of Voice Ollie Watts Davis in 1991. This four-day, biennial conference is dedicated to the study of Black Sacred Music traditions. The conference provides participants with methods necessary to expand both their performance of the music and understanding of its message. Participants learn from a distinguished faculty of musicians and perform with them in the classroom and in concert. Seminar topics range from the history and development of African-American sacred music traditions, including congregational singing, folk and concert spirituals, metered and improvised hymns, anthems, and traditional gospel expressions, to choral decorum, choral conducting, and vocal and instrumental techniques.


WHAT: Lecture: “The Latest from Stonehenge: New Findings, New Facilities”

WHEN: February 22nd at 3 p.m.

WHERE: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana

ABOUTDuring the last decade, important new excavations and research have added greatly to our knowledge of Britain’s most famous prehistoric monument. Within the last year, a new state-of-the-art visitors’ center at Stonehenge has opened, displaying this new knowledge in a very effective way. A summary of the new findings and a PowerPoint tour of the new center will be provided by Fred Christensen, president of the East Central Illinois Archaeological Society and a frequent visitor to Britain’s ancient sites.


WHAT: Lecture: “Mixing in the Mediterranean Middle Ages: Canon and Case Studies in the Arts of Medieval Interaction”

WHEN: February 26th at 5 p.m.

WHERE: 1060 Lincoln Hall

ABOUTThis lecture will feature Heather Grossman (School of Architecture, UIUC).


We live near a major university and a community college. There are smart people that come here every week to talk to the general public about interesting topics. Here’s a sampling of the talks and events you can find in the not-so-ivy-covered buildings near you. These events are free and will fill your brain with yummy knowledge (and sometimes will fill your stomach with free eats).   

Related Articles