Smile Politely

Speakers in C-U: April 27–May 3

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. Get your learn on, as they say, and join the cognoscenti.

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: Screening: Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land

WHEN: Monday, April 27 @ 7 p.m.

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge (room 1080), Foreign Language Building

It’s Palestine Awareness Week, and the Students for Justice in Palestine, CSAMES, and CAIR-UIUC are sponsoring the screening of the movie below, among other events:


WHAT: “Seasonal Dynamics of Productivity and Carbon Assimilation of Three Biofuel Feedstocks: Field Comparisons of Miscanthus X Giganteus, Panicum Virgatum, and Zea Mays,” by Frank Dohleman, UIUC Department of Plant Biology

WHEN: Tuesday, April 27 @ 1:45 p.m.

WHERE: Water Survey Research Center, 2204 Griffith Drive, Champaign

As climate change becomes more and more of a mainstream concern, biomass moves to the forefront, because it’s not used for human food. Dohleman will explain the pro’s and con’s of how these three different species of grass as feedstocks for biofuels perform throughout the growing season.


WHAT: Manga and Anime Program

WHEN: Wednesday, April 29 (different presentations beginning @ 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7 p.m.)

WHERE: Urbana Free Library (210 W. Green St., Urbana)

There will be three separate presentations:

  • “Visual Visionaries: The Style & Artistic Influence of Manga & Anime” by Rachel Lenz (University of Illinois graduate student studying Japanese and English literature) at 4 p.m.
  • “Bringing Anime to America,” by David Fleming (professional anime translator who composed subtitles for Japanese anime series, films, and video games for over fifteen years) at 6 p.m.
  • “An Introduction to Anime,” by Melek Ortabasi (assistant professor of world literature at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia)


WHAT: “You and Me in the Mind of God: Augustine on Ideas of Individual,” by Professor Matthias Vorwerk, Catholic University of America

WHEN: Friday, May 1 @ 2 p.m.

WHERE: 4080A Foreign Languages Building

We have St. Augustine to thank for the concepts of original sin and just war. I’m not as familiar with his thoughts on the individual, but it appears that Dr. Vorwerk has done the legwork for you on that one.


WHAT: “Calvin after 500 Years,” by Donald K. McKim, Executive Editor at Westminster John Knox Press

WHEN: Friday, May 1 @ 3 p.m.

WHERE: The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, UIUC Main Library, Room 346

From the calendar entry: “Donald K. McKim is author or editor of over twenty books, including Calvin and the Bible, The Westminster Handbook to Reformed Theology, The Cambridge Companion to John Calvin, and the Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith.”

I grew up in northwest Iowa, which is home to many Dutch communities, and is, in turn, heavily influenced by the Reformed Church and Calvinism. For those unfamiliar, I’d summarize the differences between Catholicism and Reformed like this: Catholics feel guilty when they do something bad, and Calvinists feel guilty when they think about feeling good.

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