A Brief History of the University of Chicago’s Artspeaks Series

2010–2011 Season

Dame A.S. Byatt, October 2010

  • “Soul, Body, and Psyche”, a lecture about the changing forms of construction of “characters” in fiction, followed by conversation with audience moderated by Maud Ellmann, professor of English

George Lewis, November 2010
Composer, trombonist and scholar

  • An evening of music and conversation with the AACM’s Great Black Music Ensemble, European free jazz pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and Arnold I. Davidson, professor of philosophy

Mark Morris, February 2011
Director, choreographer

  • A conversation with Princeton musicologist Simon Morrison about “Modernism in Music and Dance”

David Henry Hwang
Writer, producer

& Oskar Eustis, May 2011
Artistic director of the Public Theater, New York

  • A conversation about theatrical craft, including the creative development of Hwang’s 2011 production of Chinglish at the Goodman Theatre.

2009–2010 Season

Osvaldo Golijov, November 2009

  • A performance of his song cycle, Ayre followed by a conversation with Dawn Upshaw and Shulamit Ran, professor of music

Tony Kushner, April 2009
Playwright and screenwriter

  • In conversation with Charles Newell, artistic director of Court Theatre

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, May 19 2010
Conceptual artists

  • In conversation with Matthew Jesse Jackson, Professor of Art History

2008–2009 Season

Guillermo Gómez-Peña, February 2009
Performance artist/writer

  • El Mexorcist 4: An Evening of Spoken Word Roulette

Leon Fleisher, March 2009

  • Performed works by J.S. Bach; Post-concert Q&A session hosted by Thomas Christensen, associate dean and master of the Collegiate Humanities Division

Kara Walker, May 2009
Visual artist

  • Walker reflected on her work in a presentation and dialogue with Amy Dru Stanley, Associate Professor, Department of History

2007–2008 Season

Peter Sellars, January 2008
Theater/opera/film director

  • Spoken presentation: “Art and History,” followed by conversation with audience moderated by Gretchen Helfrich, Mandel Hall
  • Graduate student and faculty seminar on “Aesthetics and the Bomb,” moderated by David Levin, co-sponsored by Franke Institute
  • Conversation with undergraduate students in History and Theory of Drama class
  • Workshop on adaptation and performance with students from University Theatre/Theater and Performance Studies

Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), February 2008
Composer/Violinist/Multi-media artist

  • Concert: etudes4violin&electronix (aka Sonata for Violin & Turntables) by DBR & Elan Vytal aka DJ Scientific, followed by talkback moderated by
    Travis Jackson, Associate Professor of Music and the Humanities, Mandel Hall
  • Seminar with composer Kotoka Suzuki, moderated by Shauna Quill, executive director of The University of Chicago Presents, with composition students
  • Discussion with Bakari Kitwana, hip-hop scholar in residence at Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture (CSRPC), co-sponsored and held at CSRPC

Hans Haacke, April 2008
Conceptual artist

  • Spoken presentation with slides: “Dog and Pony Show,” followed by conversation with audience, moderated by Matthew Jackson, Assistant Professor of Art History, U of C Department of Visual Arts (DOVA), Court Theatre
  • Critiques with DOVA students
  • Interview with Matthew Jackson for Open Practice Committee
  • Seminar with students and faculty from Art History, DOVA, Anthropology, Department of Germanic Studies

Fiona Shaw, April 2008
Stage and screen actress

  • Spoken presentation: “Medea & Friends or Electra & Enemies,” followed by conversation with audience, moderated by David Levin, Associate Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies, in the Committee on Cinema/Media Studies, and in the Committee on Theater and Performance Studies
  • Master class with University Theatre/Theatre and Performance Studies students
  • Seminar-style workshop on Euripides’ Medea with faculty and students from several disciplines extending the conversation begun during the conference, “Women on the Verge: Medea and Other Exiles of the Tragic Stage”

2006–2007 Season

Atom Egoyan, November 2006
Director, producer, writer

  • U.S. premiere of Egoyan’s newest film, Citadel, followed by conversation with Egoyan and Arsinée Khanjian, his wife and star of Citadel, moderated by Gretchen Helfrich and co-sponsored by Cinema and Media Studies, Max Palevsky Cinema
  • Conversation with students and faculty from The Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Fire Escape Films and Mass Culture Workshop

Anne Bogart, November 2006
Director and co-founder of SITI Company

  • Spoken presentation: “The Role of the Theater on the World Stage,” followed by discussion with audience moderated by Gretchen Helfrich, Court Theatre
  • Conversation between Anne Bogart and Chicago director Mary Zimmerman, co-hosted by University Theater and Court Theatre
  • Four-part workshop series conducted by Anne Bogart and SITI Company with University Theatre acting, writing, directing and design students

Uri Caine, January 2007
Composer, pianist, pioneer of classical hybrids

  • Performance ensemble of Caine’s reimaginings of Mozart and Mahler by Caine and five-member ensemble, followed by conversation with Travis Jackson, Department of Music, Mandel Hall
  • Lecture/demonstration: “The Art of Variation,” with Ethnomusicology Workshop and Department of Music students
  • Solo performance by Caine of improvised jazz for faculty and students

2005–2006 Season

James Schamus, November 2005
Independent filmmaker, co-president of Focus Features, professor of film theory, Columbia University

  • Domestic premiere of Brokeback Mountain, followed by public conversation with Schamus and surprise guest, director Ang Lee, moderated by Gretchen Helfrich, Max Palevsky Cinema
  • Seminar with University of Chicago Mass Culture Workshop faculty and graduate students

John Zorn, February 2006
Avant-garde composer, saxophonist

  • Concert performance by Zorn and his ensemble, Acoustic Masada, Mandel Hall; Q&A session between quartet and audience
  • Class session with students from Department of Music; Cinema and Media Studies and the Ethnomusicology Workshop

Bill T. Jones, May 2006
Dancer, choreographer, co-founder and artistic director of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company

  • Spoken presentation: “The Persistence of Questions,” followed by conversation with audience, moderated by Gretchen Helfrich, Court Theatre
  • Movement workshop with students from dance RSO, Rhythmic Bodies in Motion
  • Moderated discussion with students and faculty from the Center for Race, Politics and Culture, the Center for Gender Studies and the Lesbian & Gay Studies Project

2004–2005 Season

Anna Deavere Smith, March 2005
Playwright, stage and screen actor, professor of performance studies/art and public policy, New York University

  • Spoken presentation: “Snapshots: Glimpses of America in Change” followed by Q&A with audience, Mandel Hall
  • Conversation with students and faculty, moderated by English professor Jacqueline Stewart

Neil Gaiman, April 2005
Graphic novelist, creator of Sandman and American Gods

  • Reading by Gaiman from his new book, followed by conversation with audience moderated by Gretchen Helfrich of Chicago Public Radio, Court Theatre
  • Book signing, Smart Museum
  • Conversation with students and faculty, moderated by Ronald Gregg, Center for Film Studies, and Achy Obejas, Creative Writing Program

Ticket Prices

Single event tickets:
  $10 – general public
$5 – students with valid ID
Subscribe to two events:
  $15 – general public
$8 – students with valid ID

Order Tickets

Call: 773-702-8080
Visit: Box Office
Monday–Friday, 10am – 5pm
5720 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Room 100
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Join us for a post-event reception and light refreshments with the artist.

Season Archives