Cultural Events

The Spring 2017 Cultural Season

This academic year, the spirit of many of our cultural events is captured in the theme Words and Music: Inspiration to Create, Reach and Change. Inspired by the 50th anniversary of the renowned Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, this year’s theme celebrates the enormous power of words and music to uplift us in our daily lives.

For more information or to check ticket availability, call (630) 617-6186.


POSTPONED: One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power 
Allison Stanger  

The Rudolf G. Schade Lecture will be postponed to Fall 2017.

In her book One Nation Under Contract, international relations scholar (and Elmhurst College alumna) Allison Stanger documents in stunning detail the extent to which the U.S. has outsourced national security and foreign policy functions to private contractors. Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni calls the book "a superb work … for those who want to get past the myths and truly understand this hot topic.” Stanger, a professor of international politics and economics at Middlebury College, also is the author of the forthcoming Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Leaks: The Story of Whistleblowing in America.

Dear Martin: How Do We Build Democracy in an Anti-democratic Age?

Randal Maurice Jelks 

Randal Maurice Jelks is an awarding-winning professor of American studies and African and African American studies at the University of Kansas. An author of both scholarly and journalistic books and articles, his areas of interest are in American religious studies, religions of the African diaspora, and religion in American social movements. He is the author of two award-winning books, African Americans in the Furniture City: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Grand Rapids (2006); and Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography (2012), winner of the 2013 Lillian Smith Book Award and the 2013 Literary Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Women in Iran Today: Daily Lives and Personal Politics
Norma Claire Moruzzi

Norma Claire Moruzzi is director of the international studies program and chair of the Middle East and Muslim Societies Cluster at the University of Illinois at Chicago. An associate professor of political science, gender and women’s studies, she has published on women’s and gender issues and cinema in Iran and the Middle East, and currently is working on a book that analyzes transformations in Iranian women’s lives since the 1979 Revolution.

Tweets, Speeches and Storytelling: Messages from the 2016 Election
Jon Favreau

As chief speechwriter and senior aide to President Barack Obama during the 2008 and 2012 elections, Jon Favreau was at the center of the storm for two successful presidential campaigns. Drawing on his unique perspective and ability to “get behind the words we speak,” Favreau explores the messages and moments that had the biggest impact on the 2016 election, with insights into Donald Trump’s rise, Hillary Clinton’s challenges, and the effects of the media and the national mood following one of the most unusual races in American history.

State of Illinois: Crisis and Resolution 
John Cullerton

The Elmhurst College Governmental Forum is one of the region’s most widely respected venues for the discussion of the vital economic and governance issues facing Illinois. The Governmental Forum brings together highly accomplished governmental and civic leaders, business experts and policy analysts to offer their insight on topics ranging from how to foster long-term economic growth to how to resolve the state’s fiscal crisis. In his three decades as a member of the Illinois General Assembly, John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has built a reputation as a negotiator and a legislator who will seek bipartisan compromise to achieve strong policy outcomes.

Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists
A Documentary by Leslie Buchbinder

Hairy Who and The Chicago Imagists is an engrossing and lavishly illustrated documentary about a significant, dynamic group of artists who, beginning in the 1960s and spanning two decades, thumbed their noses at the art establishment, producing works that were outrageous, aggressive, humorous and scatological. All of the Hairy Who’s founding members, including Suellen Rocca, Elmhurst College’s curator and director of exhibitions, still are exhibiting and  have become powerful inspirations for a whole new generation of artists, including Jeff Koons and Chris Ware. This event is held in conjunction with the Elmhurst Art Museum’s exhibition Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago.

Creativity/Connectivity: Music and the Humanizing of Technology
Eric Whitacre 

Eric Whitacre is a Grammy-winning composer and conductor whose concert music has been performed throughout the world by millions of amateur and professional musicians alike. A sought-after guest conductor, he has worked with Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer and British pop icons Imogen Heap and Annie Lennox. He also is the creator of the Virtual Choir, a digital project that combines thousands of user-submitted videos from across the globe into a single stunning choral performance. Whitacre draws on this experience to talk about the possibilities that emerge when people are invited to contribute creatively and share their talent with their peers. 

Remembering Elie Wiesel
Howard Reich  

In 2012 when Elie Wiesel received the Chicago Tribune Literary Prize, Tribune critic Howard Reich interviewed him about his life and works. The two struck up a friendship that lasted until Wiesel’s death in July of 2016, brought together by Wiesel’s work, and by the Holocaust—Wiesel as a survivor of the death camps; and Reich, whose mother hid from the Nazis as a young girl. Reich will talk about his relationship with Wiesel and Wiesel’s literary classic, Night, during a special presentation. Wiesel was the inaugural recipient of the Niebuhr Medal, Elmhurst College's highest honor.

Art from the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival
A collaboration between the Elmhurst Art Museum and the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival

One of the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival’s distinctive traditions is to commission an artist each year to design a commemorative album/CD cover. As part of the Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary celebration, the acclaimed Elmhurst Art Museum will exhibit this collection of work, as well as the Festival’s large-scale performance banners, which depict such jazz greats as Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie. The exhibition will be accompanied by a jazz soundscape of highlights from the Festival.

Seinfeld: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong  

In the New York Times bestseller Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Jennifer Keishin Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of the American television phenomenon "Seinfeld," going behind the scenes to deconstruct the groundbreaking creation of comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Armstrong is the TV columnist for BBC Culture and a former writer for Entertainment Weekly. She also has written a cultural history of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and is working on a book about "Sex and the City."

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