Oct. 23, 2013

Geneseo celebrates Cultural Harmony Week

harmoney week poster

Geneseo is celebrating Cultural Harmony Week Oct. 24 through Nov. 2 with events designed to address a wide variety of community and diversity issues, including race, religion, gender, ethnicity and non-Western culture. This year’s theme, “Constructing & Reaffirming “I”dentity,” will explore how individuals of diverse backgrounds are constructing their identity.

The college plans an entire week of programming — including lectures, art exhibits, performances and discussions — to deepen students' understanding and awareness of important aspects of human behavior and social organization.

Highlights include a keynote lecture by author Tim Wise, and performances by Repertorio Español of “En el tiempo de las mariposas” (“In the time of butterflies”), which tells the true story of the Mirabal sisters, who served as symbols of defiant hope in a country shadowed by dictatorship and despair. Groups from area high schools and colleges will visit campus to attend Repertorio performances, guided by a lesson plan Associate Professor of Languages and Literature Rose McEwen created with Diana Castro '14.

“I consider drama the most efficient literary tool for the teaching and learning of a foreign language. Not only is it the genre that most accurately reflects oral speech—with its regionalisms and nuánced colloquialisms—but it also is vibrantly permeated with the culture of the peoples it represents,” says McEwen. “… As a multi-faceted encounter, theater allows you to learn about the reality of different cultures, especially through historical dramas like 'Mariposas,'  but also about yourself and your role in your own society."

Activities include: (See a full list online).

  • Thursday, Oct. 24 at 5 p.m., in South Hall 233 – Linda Steet, associate professor of education, will deliver the opening faculty lecture, “Diversity and Islam.”
  • Friday, Oct. 25, at 4 p.m., in the Lockhart Gallery, 26 Main St. – Opening of art exhibit “Black: A Graphic Signifier” with artist Curlee Holton anmariposad student readings of Shakespeare’s Othello.
  • Monday, Oct. 28, at 5:30 p.m., in Newton Hall Room 214 – Author Tim Wise will deliver the keynote address. He is the author of six books, including “Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority.” He was named one of “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” by Utne Reader.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 5:30 p.m., in Newton Hall Room 209 – Performance poet and live artist Dorothea Smartt, a prize-winning black British writer of Bajan descent, will read from her new book, “Ship Shape,” which re-imagines the story of Samboo, an African slave lost to history, buried in England.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. in Newton Hall Room 209 – Film screening of “Miss Representation,” a film exploring and challenging the double standard the media exhibits toward women, especially women in positions of power.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 31, at 10 a.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium – The critically acclaimed theater company Repertorio Español presents “En el tiempo de las mariposas,” about the Mirabal sisters, who served as symbols of defiant hope in a country shadowed by dictatorship and despair. Tickets for the production are available online at the college’s Center for Languages and Cultures (Fraser Hall 202) and at the window of Wadsworth Auditorium one hour before the performance.
  • Friday, Nov. 1, at 8:30 p.m. in Sturges Auditorium – Geneseo alumna Qurrat Ann Kadwani performs “They Call Me Q!” The production, which won the Maui Fringe Festival’s 2013 Best Play Award, portrays Kadwani in a bold and relentless one-woman show that interprets and deconstructs the identity of 13 very different women.