CHICAGO — A NASA scientist who turns Mars Curiosity rover data
into art, the filmmaker of cerebral zombie flick “Pontypool,” and a discussion on
the ethics of voting will kick off the DePaul University Humanities Center’s
2016-17 season. The center fosters discussion and research in the arts and
humanities on campus and among the greater community. Events are free and open
to the public and will be held in the Student Center, Room 120, at 2250 N.
Sheffield Ave. on DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus.
“One of the center’s themes this year is an investigation into the
relations among the humanities, arts and space sciences,” said Professor H.
Peter Steeves, director of the center. “We will feature NASA scientists, and
Chicago’s Beethoven and Bach ensemble will play rarely heard works for strings,
fortepiano and voice.
“For this year’s Horror of the Humanities, we will watch one of
the greatest, scariest, and most semiotically nuanced zombie films ever made, ‘Pontypool,’”
said Steeves. Fall events include:
Humanities in Spaaaace!: Mars
Film screening of “The Martian” 4:30-7 p.m.
Performances and lectures 7-9 p.m.
A NASA scientist and baroque quartet will appear during this
celebration of the red planet. The evening will begin with a screening of the
2015 movie “The Martian.” Following the film, Chicago’s Beethoven and Bach
Ensemble will perform works including “The Descent of Mars” from Jean Baptiste
Lully’s “Thésée” (1675), as well as music composed by lutenist Vicenzo Galilei, the father of ancient
astronomer Galileo. Lectures will address science fiction’s treatment of Mars,
as well as the melding of science and art in visualizing telemetry data from
the Mars Curiosity rover. The great “canal controversy” of the late-1800s,
which led to claims about Martian landscape, geography and culture, also will
be discussed. Martian treats will be provided to the first 100 audience members
in attendance. Guests include:
of the Humanities IV: “Pontypool”
- Chris Pak, editor of “The Science Fiction Research Association
- Rachel Binx, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
- K. Maria D. Lane of the University of New Mexico’s Department of
Geography and Environmental Studies.
- The Bach and Beethoven Ensemble, which includes Brandi Berry on
baroque violin, Kiyoe Matsuura on baroque violin, Anna Steinhoff on viola da
gamba and Dave Walker on theorbo.
Everyday horrors haunted house presentation 6-6:30 p.m.
Film screening of “Pontypool” 6:30-8:15 p.m.
Conversation with film director Bruce McDonald and star Stephen McHattie 8:15-9
The DePaul Humanities Center’s fourth-annual Halloween event begins with an
avant-garde “haunted house” featuring multimedia, interactive posters,
installation art, and exhibits pointing to the horror of everyday life. The
display also explores the relationship between horror and the history of the
humanities. The evening continues with a screening of the zombie film “Pontypool,”
and concludes with a talk and Q&A with the film’s director, Bruce McDonald,
and its star, Stephen McHattie.
Transformations: "Why You Shouldn’t Vote Tomorrow"
The final event this fall is a discussion about the ethics of
voting. “This event promises to be a lively and untraditional take on the U.S.
election and political process in general,” said Steeves. “I think it will
challenge those in attendance to consider their own political beliefs and
identities.” Following the on-stage discussion, there will be time for
questions and comments from the audience. Scheduled participants include:
More events are scheduled for the winter and spring, including a
discussion with Royal Ballet Principal Edward Watson, Feb. 16. In June, the
final event of the season will celebrate 50 years since the release of the
Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Learn more about the center and
upcoming events at http://bit.ly/DPUHmCtr.
- Colman McCarthy, former columnist
for The Washington Post, and current
director of The Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C.
- R.L. Stephens II, Chicago
activist, labor organizer and co-founder of Orchestrated Pulse.
- Stephanie McMillan, cartoonist,
author and organizer.
- Jibran Ludwig, a student from
- The Meijer Twins, authors,