Tuesday, November 30, 2021

New lecture series lures acclaimed speakers to U

The College of Arts and Letters announced Wednesday its plans to launch a new lecture series.

Lectures will focus on current college strengths, such as jazz, film and American studies. The annual series will also pay tribute to some people who have made a substantial impact at MSU and in Lansing.

The series - “Fora: Lectures in the Arts and Humanities” - makes its debut following the 12-year John Eadie Celebrity Lecture Series. All lectures will likely include a cover charge.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Jazz pianist, educator and author Billy Taylor will speak Oct. 26 in Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre, prior to his Oct. 27 concert at MSU. Taylor is an arts correspondent for CBS News and is one of only three jazz musicians to be appointed to the National Council of the Arts.

  • Writer Jack Epps Jr. will speak Feb. 7, and will focus his lecture on writing and film. The lecture is dedicated to late MSU Professor Jim Cash, who died earlier this year. Cash co-wrote several screenplays, including blockbusters “Top Gun” and “Dick Tracy.”

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos will speak Feb. 19. His lecture will benefit the Arts and Letters Alumni Association Scholarship, which provides support for outstanding freshmen majoring in arts and humanities discipline. Hijuelos is the author of “The Mambo Kings Played Songs of Love.”

  • Michael Rogin, a chancellor’s professor at the University of California at Berkeley, will speak in April.

    He will present the Russel B. Nye Lecture in American Studies. Rogin is best known for such books as “Blackface, White Noise: Jewish immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot.”

    FROM STAFF REPORTS

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