Smile Politely

Speakers in C-U: March 30 to April 5

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:Unhomely encounters with others in medieval travel literature,” by Professor Simon Gault.

WHEN: Monday, March 30 @ 5 p.m.

WHERE: Lucy Ellis Lounge, Foreign Languages Building (707 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana)

From the calendar entry: “This lecture examines the representation of encounters between European and other cultures in Marco Polo’s Le Divisement du Monde and John Mandeville’s Le Livre des Merveilles and will argue that such encounters may usefully be read as instances of what Freud calls the uncanny. The lecture will discuss manuscript illustrations as well as the texts.”


WHAT: Blood, Sex and Power: The Long Duree of Jewish Cultural History,” by Dr. David Biale, University of California, Davis

WHEN: Tuesday, March 31 @ 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Music Room (1st floor), Levis Faculty Center (919 W. Illinois St., Urbana)

I’m a sucker for a provocatively-titled seminar, and this certainly qualifies. I googled duree so you don’t have to: it means a time span, or duration, as one might guess.


WHAT: From Looney Coons to Tacos & Tequila: The Aesthetics of Race in Middle Class America,” by Jim Anderson, Gutgsell Professor of Educational Policy Studies

WHEN: Tuesday, March 31 @ 7:30 p.m.

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

Wow, speaking of provocative titles … here we go again. I’m not familiar with Looney Coons, but I must admit you have my attention, Dr. Anderson.


WHAT: Decolonized Viewing: A Workshop on Analyzing TV Comedy,” by Dustin Tahmahkera, Postdoctoral Fellow, American Indian Studies

WHEN: Thursday, April 2 @ 7 p.m.

WHERE: Native American House (1204 W. Nevada Street, Urbana)

If you watch TV comedy, you may have a frame of reference for where Tahmahkera is coming from. Sounds like it would be worth your time, regardless.


WHAT: “Co-op Kitchen: Quinoa and Millet,” by Jacqueline Hannah

WHEN: Saturday, April 4 @ 3 p.m.

WHERE: Common Ground Food Co-op, Lincoln Square Mall, Urbana

From the announcement: “Learn how to cook these ancient grains that are both much higher in nutrition than wheat or rice, delicious, and versatile! We’ll go over nutritional information, learn cooking methods hands on, and make a pilaf, a salad, and a delicious breakfast dish with these wonderful grains. You’ll leave with a packet of information for home use on cooking methods and with copies of the recipes we’ve made together. There will be plenty of sampling, so come with an appetite!” Please note that there is a fee of $6 for members and $12 for non-members for this seminar, and that advance, in-person registration is suggested.

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