by janet i. martineau
Guess who is speaking this fall at Saginaw Valley State University’s annual speakers series?
The daughter of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, of all people.
Also on the docket are an Oscar-nominated international film director, a famous flutist talking about anxiety, and a Lincoln historian taking a look back at that president’s Emancipation Proclamation.
All of the lectures are free.
The line-up is as follows:
-- 7pm Tuesday, Sept. 24, “Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Insight Into Cuba,” featuring Alina Fernandez. In the Malcolm Field Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Fernandez will relive watching daddy on TV overthrowing the Cuban government by day and at home playing with her until dawn -- of her father leading the 1959 Batista government overthrow, of living as a Cuban elite during the 1960s and 1970s, of her decision to join a dissident movement in the 1980s, and of her ultimate 1993 escape from the isolated island nation just below Florida.
-- 4pm Thursday, Oct. 3, “Profiles and Personalities: A Story of Some SVSU People,” featuring Basil A. Clark. In Founders Hall.
In celebration of SVSU’s 50th anniversary, English professor Clark will introduce people who have served the university over the years -- some distinguished, others humble, all of whom he met in his research as he wrote a 1963-1989 volume of SVSU history.
-- 4pm Wednesday, Oct. 9, “Asian History in Your Backyard: The Survival and Success of Chinese Restaurant Owners in Saginaw and the Rise of Korean Nationalism in the 20th Century,” featuring Byungil Ahn. In the Rhea Miller Recital Hall.
A member of SVSU’s history department for five years, Ahn will analyze how and why four Chinese-Koreans left Korea, where their families lived and ran businesses, during the 1970s and 1980s and settled in Saginaw to establish Chinese restaurants.
It is more than just about food, and today these restaurant owners are part of a nationalist movement in Korea that exists here as well as back home.
-- 7pm Thursday, Oct. 17, “Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America,” featuring Allen Guelzo. In the Malcolm Field Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Guelzo is the author of two award-winning books about America’s 16th President and is, appropriately, a professor of the Civil War era at Gettysburg College.
One of the books is the title of his SVSU lecture, exploring how Lincoln rejected alternatives to emancipation, including treating escaping slaves as war contraband.
-- 7pm Tuesday, Oct. 22, and Wednesday, Oct. 23, “Strategies for Coping With the Age of Anxiety,” featuring Eugenia Zukerman (talk on Tuesday; performance Wednesday). In the Rhea Miller Recital Hall.
Zukerman averages more than 30 international performances a year, but in addition to her flute playing she is also a writer, journalist, TV correspondent, music administrator, Internet entrepreneur and teacher.
At SVSU she will discuss the ups and downs of every career; struggles and achievements on Tuesday and then return the next night to perform a recital.
-- 7pm Wednesday, Oct. 30, “An Evening With Mira Nair.” In the Malcolm Field Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Nair was raised in India, attended Harvard University and lives in New York City -- her diverse background resulting in films exploring the tug of competing worlds while examining the ways people can bridge gaps dividing culture, race and gender.
Among them are the Amelia Earhart biopic “Amelia,” the 2009 romantic comedy “New York, I Love You,” the coming-of-age drama “The Namesake,” the Oscar-nominated “Salaam Bombay!” and the crossover hit “Monsoon Wedding.”
|Laurence C, Smith|
-- 7pm Wednesday, Nov. 6, “The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future,” featuring Laurence C. Smith. In the Rhea Miller Recital Hall.
Smith, one of the world’s most respected climate scientists, explored the ramifications on geology and society due to climate change in a 322-page book by the same name as his SVSU talk.
In it he evaluates how it will impact demographics, globalization and demands on natural resources.
Smith is a professor and vice chairman of geography and a professor of earth and space sciences at UCLA.