Faculty Creativity a Cause to Celebrate
he University is rolling out the red carpet on Thursday, Oct. 5 to celebrate the talent and creativity of some local folks: its faculty.
Billed as a celebration of faculty research and creativity, the event will showcase the creative endeavors and talents of UConn faculty, unveil the 2001 Connecticalendar, and bring the national political satirizing comedy troupe Capitol Steps to the University.
"The productivity of the University's faculty increases every year," says Ian Hart, the newly named interim vice provost for research &graduate education and dean of the Graduate School. "It's entirely appropriate that we take this time, this day to pay tribute and celebrate their research and creativity."
A card announcing the event has been sent to all University faculty.
The event is being coordinated by the office of the vice provost for research. Other sponsors include the UConn Foundation, the Office of the Chancellor and the American Association of University Professors.
"The entire day is essentially a party in honor of our faculty," says Ilze Krisst, assistant vice provost for research. "This is our fourth annual celebration and a way to both celebrate and honor the accomplishments of our own faculty."
The event begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Dodd Center's Konover Auditorium with a welcome from Chancellor John D. Petersen, followed by keynote speaker Lynn Bloom, a professor of English and Aetna Chair of Writing.
Bloom, honored earlier this year as a University Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, will deliver a light talk titled, "Writing and Cooking, Cooking and Writing: Savoring Creativity." She says her presentation will be "a good-natured" reflection on the parallels between writing and cooking.
"Writing and cooking are two of the things I like to do best," said Bloom. "They're a lot alike: a messy mix of knowledge and improvisation, experience and innovation, and continual revision with a lot going on between the lines." But, she says, the talk should not be mistaken for a recipe exchange.
Her talk is incorporated in a chapter in a book titled, Pilaf, Pozole, Padthai: American Women &Ethnic Food, to be released in November by the University of Massachusetts Press.
A reception will follow the talk and will include a display organized by the UConn Co-op of faculty-authored books, journal articles and art work. "We welcome all forms of expression of scholarship and creativity. The exhibit is not wedded to books alone," says Krisst.
The 2001 Connecticalendar — the second year a University research calendar has been produced — will be available on request at the afternoon reception.
Following the first reception, faculty may then move on to a second, a pre-performance reception in the Rome Commons Ballroom in South Campus, where they'll mingle with 22 performers from Capitol Steps, feast on prime beef or salmon and then be treated to an evening of timely political satire.
"The Capitol Steps performance comes at a very opportune time," says Krisst referring to the presidential campaign. "Think of the material they'll have." She describes the troupe as having the sophistication of political humorist Mark Russell and the irreverence of the cast of "Saturday Night Live."
The troupe travels the country satirizing Washington from the inside in a bipartisan style. When the group performed at Jorgensen Auditorium about four years ago, right before election time, the event was sold out.
The Capitol Steps will remain in town to perform at Jorgensen Auditorium on October 6 and 7.
Tickets for the Capitol Steps reception and dinner performance are $20 per person.