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Nov. 2007: Fables and Formulas

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
4:30-6:30 PM
Dance Theatre, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

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How do the arts and the humanities matter to scientists and to their work?   Where might there be common ground for collaboration?

Free and open to the public

Reception immediately following event.

The Sciences and the Arts & Humanities Look at Each Other


James F. Harris, Dean, College of Arts and Humanities


Liz Lerman, choreographer, MacArthur "genius award"-winner


Jordan Goodman, Professor of Physics, UM

Sandra Greer, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and of Molecular and Biomolecular Engineering, UM

Eduardo Kac, Chicago artist internationally recognized for his interactive net installations and his bio art

Matthew Kirschenbaum, Associate Professor of English, Associate Director, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, UM

Bios James F. Harris
James F. Harris has served as the dean of the College of Arts and Humanities since February 1997. Prior to his 13 years as dean, he served as chair in Maryland’s Department of History for three years and taught in the department since 1967. An expert in modern German history, he has written on German liberalism, the Revolutions of 1848, and anti-semitism, among other topics. He has been instrumental in the increased visibility and stature of the college, cultivating centers for research and creativity such as the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. Under his leadership, he has had a hand in increasing the College’s external research funding and was successful in exceeding the college’s fundraising goal of $40 million to support the University’s Great Expectations Campaign. Harris earned his undergraduate degree in history at Loyola University in Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. in European history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Liz Lerman
Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator, and speaker. Described by the Washington Post as "the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art," her dance/theater works have been seen throughout the United States and abroad. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976, and has cultivated the company's unique multi-generational ensemble, with dancers whose ages span five decades, into a leading force in contemporary dance. Liz has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the American Choreographer Award, the American Jewish Congress "Golda" Award, and Washingtonian magazine's 1988 Washingtonian of the Year. In 2002 her work was recognized with a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, and she was recently designated for the National Foundation for Jewish Culture's Achievement Award and induction into the University of Maryland's Hall of Fame. Her current projects include Ferocious Beauty: Genome, an investigation of the impact of genetic research in our lives, and a commission from the Harvard University School of Law for a work observing the human rights legacy of the post-WWII Nuremberg Trials. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Milwaukee, Liz attended Bennington College and Brandeis University, received her B.A. in dance from the University of Maryland, and an M.A. in dance from George Washington University.

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Jordan Goodman
Professor and the former Chair, Physics, UMCP; specialist in particle astrophysics; studies cosmic radiation to better understand the properties of elementary particles and the processes in space that produce these particles. This field blends elements of high energy physics and astrophysics. Recently, his work has concentrated on two experimental efforts-- Milagro and IceCube.  Milagro is the first gamma ray detector capable of continuously monitoring the entire overhead sky at energies below 1 TeV. IceCube is a one-cubic-kilometer international high-energy neutrino observatory being built and installed in the clear deep ice below the South Pole Station. IceCube will open unexplored bands for astronomy, including the PeV (10^15 eV) energy region, where the Universe is opaque to high energy gamma rays originating from beyond the edge of our own galaxy, and where cosmic rays do not carry directional information because of their deflection by magnetic fields.

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Sandra Greer
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and of Molecular and Biomolecular Engineering, UMCP; an expert on polymers; a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Washington Academy of Science; the recipient of the 2004 American Chemical Society Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal.  Named Distinguished Scholar-Teacher in 1998, Dr. Greer teaches “Ethics in Science and Engineering.”

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Eduardo Kac
Chicago-based artist internationally recognized for his interactive net installations and his bio art. A pioneer of telecommunications art in the pre-Web '80s, Kac (pronounced "Katz") emerged in the early '90s with his radical telepresence and biotelematic works. His visionary combination of robotics and networking explores the fluidity of subject positions in the post-digital world. At the dawn of the twenty-first century Kac opened a new direction for contemporary art with his "transgenic art"--first with a groundbreaking installation entitled Genesis (1999), which included an "artist's gene" he invented, and then with his fluorescent rabbit called Alba (2000).  Kac's work has been exhibited internationally, and featured both in contemporary art publications and in the mass media. The recipient of many awards, Kac lectures and publishes worldwide. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany, the Museum of Modern Art of Valencia, Spain, and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, among others.

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Matthew Kirschenbaum
Associate Professor of English, Associate Director, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, UMCP; specialist in digital humanities, electronic literature and creative new media (including games); author of upcoming Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (MIT, 2008); a principal investigator for MONK, a multi-institutional Mellon-funded project to develop advanced analytical and visualization tools for digital text collections.

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