All full-time students enrolled at Centre for the full academic year are required to earn a total of 12 convocation credits. All convocations earn 1 credit except Founders Day and Honors Night, which earn 2 credits each.
To receive convocation credit, each student must have their ID card swiped, be seated before the program begins, remain present throughout the full program, and swipe their own ID card immediately following the event.
For the entire convocation policy, refer to the Student Handbook. For up-to-date changes in the Convocation Calendar, please see Notesworthy online. Students may access their convocation attendance record at anytime through CentreNet. If you have questions, please contact Megan Noltemeyer at 238-5341 or email@example.com.
Please note that seating may be limited for some events. It is wise to arrive early to all convocations to ensure that your ID card is swiped and you have a seat. If all seats are taken, students will not be allowed to enter the convocation event.
• Chowan Building (approximately 200)
• Evans Lively Room in Old Carnegie (approximately 90)
• Gravely Hall in Danville High School (660)
• Newlin Hall in Norton Ctr. (orchestra 250; grand tier 1180)
• Vahlkamp Theatre in Crounse Hall (170)
• Weisiger Theatre in Norton Center (350)
• Young Hall Auditorium, Room 113 (188)
2013 Fall Term Convocations* Events that have an admission charge to the public are marked with an asterisk. Students are not charged for these convos. *
Sunday, September 1 • 7 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
Centre students, faculty, and staff gather to celebrate the start of a new academic year.
A Conversation with Daniel Alarcón
Monday, September 9 • 7:30 p.m. (Young Hall, Room 113)
Daniel Alarcón is author of the story collection War by Candlelight, a finalist for the 2005 PEN-Hemingway Award, and Lost City Radio, named a Best Novel of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, among others, and winner of the 2009 International Literature Prize given by the House of World Culture in Berlin. He is Associate Editor of Etiqueta Negra, an award-winning quarterly published in his native Lima, Peru, Contributing Editor to Granta, and was recently named one of The New Yorker’s “20 Under Forty.” His fiction, journalism, and translations have appeared in A Public Space, El País, McSweeney’s, n+1, and Harper’s. Alarcón lives in Oakland, California, where he is a Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies.
First Year Book Author Convocation
Thursday, September 12 • 7:30 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
Temple Grandin, Ph.D., will speak regarding the 2013-2014 common reading book, Thinking in Pictures. Dr. Grandin has become one of the most accomplished and well known adults with autism. Her life, with all the challenges and successes, has been showcased on NPR, the BBC, and in numerous national publications. Dr. Grandin has become a prominent author and speaker on the subject of autism because as she states, “I have read enough to know that there are still many parents, and yes, professionals too, who believe that once autistic, always autistic.” Dr. Grandin presently works as a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She widely speaks on both autism and cattle handling.
Kabuki by Pictures
Monday, September 16 • 7:30 p.m. (Young Hall 113)
Professor Kogoshi from our Japanese exchange institution, Yamaguchi Prefectural University, will lead a pictorial "tour" of Kabuki during the Edo Period (1603-1867), his specialty. He will use wood block prints and other art of the period to introduce the theatres, the actors/actresses, and the audiences of this highly stylized form of dance and song.
Repairing America’s Frayed Covenant
Tuesday, September 17 • 7:30 p.m. (Young Hall 113)
A lecture in celebration of the U.S. Constitution to be given by Nathaniel Jones, former general counsel for the NAACP and retired judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Sweetest Swing in Baseball
Wednesday — Friday, September 18-20 • 8 p.m. (Weisiger Theatre)
Saturday, September 21 • 5 p.m. (Weisiger Theatre)
A funny, bittersweet exploration of what happens when you think your best work is behind you. “That’s like a moment of hope to me. When everything’s new. Waiting to run out there and start the game.”
The Global Impact of Volcanic Eruptions
Thursday, September 26 • 7 p.m. (Vahlkamp Theatre)
Very large volcanic eruptions can have a profound impact on the Earth's climate. They are singular events that can throw billions of tons of volcanic ash and aerosols like sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, as large as these events might be, some of the biggest eruptions in the past 15,000 years are unknown to most people. This talk will look at five eruptions from around the globe that are historically obscure but volcanically profound, including very large eruptions in New Zealand (Taupo), Germany (Laacher See), Peru (Huaynaputina), Mexico (El Chichon) and Alaska (White River). These events erupted over 10 cubic kilometers of volcanic ash and debris, making them some of the largest in human history. Eruptions of this magnitude today could have a strong impact on global travel and agriculture, yet climate and culture have proven to be resilient in the face of these massive events.
CEA Presents: Jon Carloftis
Thursday, September 26 • 8:30 p.m. (Weisiger Theatre)
“Kentucky native, Jon Carloftis, award-winning garden designer, garden writer, television guest, author, and lecturer, is a great American gardener. His career in gardening began in 1988, far from home in New York City where he became one of America’s pioneers and leading authorities in rooftop/small space gardening.” He is the winner of a landscaping design award from New York, and the Landscape Preservation Award from Lexington. His presentation series covers many topics, including historic and famous Kentucky gardens, as well as small-space and personal gardening. His work exhibits the importance of environmental appreciation, as well as the value artistic crafts. This event is sure to create environmental and aesthetic union.
George Wakim: Music and Poetry of the Middle East
Sunday, September 29 • 6 p.m. (Weisiger Theatre)
George Wakim, a Lebanese oud player living in Lexington, will give a performance of traditional Middle Eastern songs and poems set to music. He will also talk about the distinguishing characteristics of Middle Eastern music and poetry and give some historical background as to their development.
The Beauty and Wonder of Sanskrit, the “Perfect Language”
Wednesday, October 2 • 7:30 p.m. (Young Hall 113)
Dr. Deven Patel studies indigenous grammars of vernacular languages written in Sanskrit, as well as other facets of classical South Indian languages. These works constitute some of the earliest “linguistics” materials in the world, and demonstrate a meta-awareness of language and a rigorous scientific approach to understanding text, form, and aesthetics. His presentation will reveal why Sanskrit has endured to the present day, why Sanskrit is so fascinating for linguists, and what makes Sanskrit relevant for the modern world. His lecture will cover the depths and heights of Sanskrit literary culture, as well as the millenia-old tradition of conscious awareness of Sanskrit as a language, and the phenomenal range of linguistic technologies that Sanskritists have developed to both preserve and enlarge the tradition.
A Puzzle About the Law of Obscenity
Thursday, October 3 • 7 p.m. (Vahlkamp Theatre)
The law of obscenity relies on the premise that some forms of expression involve a harm that goes beyond mere offensiveness. Offensive speech enjoys the full protection of the First Amendment in spite of its noxious nature. By contrast, obscene speech is considered a low value and on a par with other forms of unprotected speech, like fraud and defamation. On closer inspection, however, the badness of obscenity cannot easily be explained in terms of the harms inherent in instances of fraud or defamation. The harm in obscenity, if there is one, is quite different. Kessler argues that the usual justifications for the law of obscenity lack adequate philosophical foundations, and suggest a different way of dealing with the concept of obscenity.
Power-Based Violence: A Panel Discussion
Tuesday, October 8 • 7 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
Join the Centre community for a dynamic discussion about power-based personal violence (including sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence) in recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The frequency of power-based violence and the impact it has on individuals and communities is an issue frequently unknown to students and too often under addressed on college campuses. Advocates and experts in the field will come together to discuss the many ways power-based violence impacts individuals and communities throughout Kentucky. The panel will stimulate ideas on how we as individuals and as a community can better foster an environment more preventative of power-based violence.
They Call Me Q
Wednesday, October 9 • 7 p.m. (Weisiger Theatre)
Synopsis: Who is Q? Why do they call her Q? Travel with Q as she goes on a journey to find herself amidst thirteen characters based on her traditional Indian parents, Caucasian teachers, Puerto Rican classmates, African-American friends, and various Indian women. Life wasn’t easy growing up in the Bronx but will Q be able to reconcile being Indian and American?
How Color Blind is Classical Music: Perspectives from African- and Latin-American Cultures
Thursday, October 10 • 11:20 a.m. (Vahlkamp Theatre)
In a nation as diverse as the United States, with an African-American population of about 14% and a rising Latino population (about 17%), it is startling that less than 5% of classical musicians are Black or Latino. Aaron P. Dworkin, a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, a Member of the Obama National Arts Policy Committee and President Obama’s first appointee to the National Council on the Arts, is the founder of the Sphinx organization, whose vision and mission is transforming others through the power of diversity in the arts. Its goal is to nurture and recognize Black and Latino classical string players and composers in the United States through several programs and scholarships, starting from a very young age through intensive training and professional opportunities. Join members of the Sphinx Virtuosi and local leaders in the African and Latin American communities for a discussion of the value and challenges of increasing diversity in the arts.
*Sphinx Virtuosi and Catalyst Quartet
Thursday, October 10 • 7:30 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
Described as a first-rate in every way by The New York Times, the Sphinx Virtuosi is a chamber orchestra led on tour by the critically acclaimed Catalyst Quartet. With a mission to advance diversity in classical music and inspire new and young audiences with dynamic performances of cutting-edge repertoire by a wide range of composers, this concert’s program is a reflection of the artists themselves. The program includes works by Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Benjamin Britten and Astor Piazzolla, and features Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 and Vivaldia’s Concerto for 2 Cellos and String Orchestra. Comprised of classical music competition winners from the Sphinx Organization, a national non-profit founded in 1996 by MacArthur Fellow Aaron P. Dworkin, the Virtuosi focuses on overcoming cultural stereotypes of classical music.
The History of Spanish Begins in the Bronx in 2013: Articulations of Language and History
Monday, October 21 • 7 p.m. (Weisiger Theatre)
When you read a work of history, always listen out for the buzzing. If you can detect none, either you are tone deaf or your historian is a dull (Edward Carr). Professor Jose del Valle leads a discussion on the history of the Spanish language. This discussion will put the history of Spanish in a modern cultural, political and social context. He will review several paradigms of historical linguistics and present language history as sets of competing narratives. Professor del Valle is a professor of Spanish at CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.
Retail Therapy in the Dragon's Den: Popular Culture and Ireland's Financial Crisis
Tuesday, October 22 • 7 p.m. (Vahlkamp Theatre)
Discussion of the Irish financial crisis as represented in contemporary Irish reality television. Talk will serve as a springboard for other current European issues.
Natural History, Aesthetics, and Conservation
Thursday, October 24 • 7:30 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
The diversity of life on earth is under serious threats from multiple human-related causes, and science plays well-known roles in addressing management aspects of this problem. This presentation will describe how natural history also plays a vital role in enhancing our appreciation for organisms and environments, thereby influencing the value judgments that ultimately underlie all conservation. Dr. Harry Greene will first explain how an 18th century philosopher’s distinction between beauty and sublime can be used in the context of Darwin’s notion of descent with modification, then illustrate this approach with frogs, rattlesnakes, the African megafauna, Longhorn Cattle, and California Condors.
Religion and Folklore in Afro-Brazilian Culture
Wednesday, October 30 • 5 p.m. (Combs Warehouse, First Floor)
Brazil is home to the largest African-descended population in our hemisphere, and Afro-Brazilians have created a unique cultural space in the country. The meeting of African, European, and Native American cultures in Brazil created unique forms of religion, art, dance, and social organization that influenced Brazil, the U.S. and the world. Two Brazilian members of the performing troop Bale Folclorico da Bahia will join Dr. Francie Chassen-Lopez, Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences at UK, to discuss the historical development of Afro-Brazilian culture and its roles in society today. The panel will introduce key concepts for understanding Brazil and prepare the audience to appreciate the rich social and cultural foundations of world famous Brazilian dance and music, including a performance later in the evening by Bale Folclorico da Bahia at the Norton Center.
*Bale Folclorico da Bahia
Wednesday, October 30 • 7:30 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
This sizzling 38-member troupe of dancers, musicians, and singers, the most popular folk dance company in Brazil, performs a mix of choreography from African and South American traditions, including slave dances, the dramatic capoeira (martial arts) and maculele warrior dance, the exhilarating samba reggae, and the company’s masterpiece, Afixir (dance of happiness ). In an electrifying and vibrant display of movement, Bale Folclorico Da Bahia transforms traditional culture into a spectacular display of color, movement, music and drama (Chicago Sun-Times). The energy they bring to the stage leaves audiences celebrating in the aisles. Called "exuberant, indefatigable, and virtuosic" by The New York Times, this acclaimed troupe celebrates candomble, the uniquely Bahian spiritual practices rooted in the Yoruba religion brought to Brazil by West African slaves. With explosive drumming, frenzied dancing and irrepressible energy, the artists push themselves to their physical limits; they dance so hard that their spirits show (Dance Magazine).
To Sand: Writing the Iraq War
Wednesday, November 6 • 7:30 p.m. (Young Hall 113)
Brian Turner is a soldier and poet who is the author of two books of poetry, Here Bullet (2005) and Phantom Noise (2010). He served seven years in the U.S. Army including one year as an infantry team leader in Iraq. His work has become known as some of the most powerful representations of 21st-century war, and he writes with an awareness of the ancient and modern history of Iraq. The Franklin Journal wrote that his work constitutes a “tidal insistence on reflection.” Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and has lived abroad in South Korea. In 2009, he was selected as one of fifty United States Artists Fellows.
Seeing the Elephant: Perspective of the Experience of Combat
Thursday, November 7 • 7 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
In a directed panel discussion, experts in different aspects of the combat experience will provide a rich and complex consideration via their own interpretive lenses. The invited speakers* include Dr. David Reber, a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of PTSD in veterans; former Marine Lance Cpl Adam Ellison, who fought in the 2004 Battle of Fallujah and is a participant in the KY Wounded Warrior program; and Dr. Tyler Wall, Assistant Professor in the School of Justice Studies as Eastern Kentucky University whose work explores the political and cultural economies of US state violence, and the ways these economies animating “small town USA” convert the rural “citizen” into the “soldier.” Moderated by Centre’s Pottinger Professor of History, Clarence Wyatt. [*Panelists subject to change.]
Sunday, November 10 • 3 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
The Musicians Showcase gives Centre vocal and instrumental students a chance to showcase their talents in front of a live audience.
Our Country's Good
Wednesday — Friday, November 13-15 • 8 p.m. (Weisiger Theatre)
Saturday, November 16 • 5 p.m. (Weisiger Theatre)
Premiered at London's Royal Court theatre in 1988 where it won the Olivier Award for best new play. “Unexpected situations are often matched by unexpected virtues in people. Are they not?...”
*Bela Fleck and Brooklyn Rider
Saturday, November 16 • 8 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
Bela Fleck, a banjo virtuoso with 14 Grammys and over 30 Grammy nominations has worked in bluegrass, country, classical, jazz, and world music. Nominated for more Grammys in more categories than anyone in music history, Bela has performed and collaborated with Edgar Meyer, Dave Matthews Band, Bonnie Raitt, the Grateful Dead, Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, and many more. This season, he takes the stage with the adventurous string quartet Brooklyn Rider. At home in both clubs and concert halls, they have appeared in venues as varied as Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress and SXSW. Much of the groups desire to extend the borders of conventional string quartet programming comes from their longstanding participation in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. In addition to their Norton Center performance with the Silk Road Ensemble in March 2013, Brooklyn Rider previously performed at the Norton Center with Yo-Yo Ma in 2008.
*Beyond Glory starring Stephen Lang
Monday, November 18 • 7:30 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
In a 75-minute tour de force one-man production, stage and film actor Stephen Lang enters into the personas of seven real American soldiers and sailors, rendering firsthand accounts of the actions which resulted in each of them receiving the nation’s highest military accolade: the Congressional Medal of Honor. Beyond Glory gathers these men together in the present, as aged and scarred vets, to look back on the defining moments of their lives and to examine with pride, pain and wonder the meaning of courage and humility. Beyond Glory is not simply a play: it is a journey through pivotal moments of the American story, moments that resound with lasting meaning for audience members old enough to remember, and those young enough to yearn for inspiration. Stephen Lang is known for numerous stage and screen works, including Avatar (Colonel Miles Quaritch), Public Enemies, Gettysburg, A Few Good Men, Terra Nova, and Death of a Salesman (Broadway with Dustin Hoffman).
Poverty, Homelessness, and Health Care
Tuesday, November 19 • 7:30 p.m. (Newlin Hall)
The Convocation that kicks off Centre's annual Poverty and Homelessness Week features Centre graduate Roberston Nash (1983). Nash will discuss the unique intersections between homelessness and health care. Focusing on what the World Health Organization calls “social determinants of health,” the program clarifies why we can't talk about homelessness without acknowledging the social context within which we attempt to survive and thrive and the physical toll that social exclusion places on marginalized people. His talk is based on extensive experience as a Nurse Practitioner in Nashville's largest charitable provider of care to the city's homeless population, as a treatment coordinator for HIV/AIDS patients at the Comprehensive Care Center at Vanderbilt Medical Center, and as a volunteer at Vanderbilt’s free Shade Tree Clinic.
Humana/Library Speaker Series
Wednesday, November 20 • 7:30 p.m. (Weisiger Theatre)
Prize winning author Ron Rash will read from his fiction in a convocation and sign books at a reception afterwards. Mr. Rash is the author of several highly praised novels, including The Cove, The World Made Straight, and Serena, which has been produced as a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper to be released this fall. His most recent collection is Nothing Gold Can Stay, published in February. Mr. Rash is the Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University.