Smile Politely

Speakers in C-U: April 20–26

You 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. Perhaps you were not aware of this fact, or were overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities for possible enlightenment. If that’s the case, Smile Politely understands and is here to help. Here are several events going on in town this week. Check out one or more of them if you have time.

If you have a community event, speaker, or film event that you’d like to see featured on Listen Up!, send the event information to joelgillespie [at] smilepolitely [dot] com by Friday the week prior to the event. Listen Up! runs on Mondays.


WHAT: The Divorce of Mr. Macho and His Wife: Chicana Feminism and the Cultural Politics of Masculinity,” by Richard T. Rodriguez, English & Latina/Latino Studies

WHEN: Monday, April 20 @ 8 p.m.

WHERE: Levis Faculty Center (919 West Illinois Street, Urbana)

Regular readers of this column know I’m a sucker for provocative titles, and this one certainly qualifies. Rodriguez’ book on the discourse of the family and its attachments to masculinity and nationalism in Chicano cultural politics, titled Next of Kin: Reconfiguring the Family in Chicana/o Cultural Politics, is under contract with Duke University Press.


WHAT: “Is It Better to Grow Up Later? The New Life Stage of Emerging Adulthood,” by Dr. Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, research professor, Department of Psychology, Clark University

WHEN: Tuesday, April 21 @ 7 p.m.

WHERE: Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum (600 South Gregory Street, Urbana)

From the event announcement: “Dr. Arnett will discuss ’emerging adulthood,’ the age period from the late teens to the mid-twenties. He sees these years as being distinct from adolescence, which precedes it, and young adulthood, which follows. In industrialized countries, many young people now spend these years exploring career possibilities and relationships.”

Anyone else feel like there’s a cart-leading-the-horse element to the creation of “emerging adulthood”? Before long, there will be scores of books written about those octogenarians who just won’t move out of their parents’ house, either.


WHAT: “Religion, Nature, and a Sense of Wonder,” Professor Lisa Sideris, Department of Religious Studies, Indiana University

WHEN: Wednesday, April 22 @ 4 p.m.

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge (1080 Foreign Languages Building)

Sideris’ book, Environmental Ethics, Ecological Theology, and Natural Selection (Columbia, 2003) “examines the way in which much of Christian environmental ethics, or ‘ecotheology,’ misconstrues, or simply ignores, Darwinian theory, and the problems this creates for developing a realistic ethic for nature and animals.” Not a Palin supporter, probably.


WHAT: “Next Generation Map Making,” by Dr. Xin Chen and Dr. Matei Stroila, NAVTEQ Corporation

WHEN: Friday, April 24 @ 2 p.m.

WHERE: Room 1215, Beckman Institute (405 N. Mathews Avenue, Urbana)

NAVTEQ supplies the data to most in-vehicle navigation systems. If that’s something that trips your trigger, then head on out and see what’s what.


WHAT: “Life in Occupied Palestine,” by Anna Baltzer

WHEN: Saturday, April 25 @ 7 p.m.

WHERE: First Mennonite Church of Champaign-Urbana (902 W Springfield Ave,, Urbana)

From the announcement: “Anna Baltzer, Jewish-American granddaughter of Holocaust refugees and volunteer for the International Women’s Peace Service is a Human rights worker & supporter of Palestinian-led nonviolent resistance to Occupation. Her presentation will recount first-hand experiences with the conflict while living with Palestinians in the West Bank. She wishes to share information difficult to obtain through US mainstream media sources and to encourage dialogue towards taking action for peace with justice.”

Here’s a video of Ms. Baltzer introducing the topic:

Related Articles