Marlboro College


Creativity Theme Continues in
Spring 2006 Monday Night Lecture Series

For spring 2006, Marlboro College’s celebrated Monday Night Lecture Series continues to focus on Creativity. Lectures are held at 7:00 p.m. in Whittemore Theater at Marlboro College.

On January 23, Richard Taruskin, professor of music at the University of California at Berkeley, asks,” Did Somebody Say Censorship?” Taruskin, author of the six-volume Oxford History of Western Music, published in 2005, will present musical works that have been altered in the course of their reception by composers, musicians and legal authorities. He will discuss whether it is appropriate to categorize these changes as censorship, and, if so, whether that is always a bad thing.

On January 30, Michael Silverstein, distinguished professor of anthropology, linguistics and psychology at the University of Chicago, will discuss “Culture, Conversation and Creativity,” exploring how conversation links culture and creativity by its social power of discourse both in everyday conversations and in more public realms of artistic and scientific creativity. Silverstein studies problems of language structure and function, language history and prehistory, the history of linguistics and ethnographic studies. He has conducted fieldwork in North America and Australia, and is investigating language use and textuality as sites for transformation of cultural value in contemporary American society.

On February 6, Lynn Margulis, distinguished university professor in the department of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will explore innovations in evolution and in species development in “Symbiogenesis, Not Random Mutation.” Her groundbreaking research in symbiogenesis, the merging of two separate organisms to form a single new organism, posits that symbiogenesis is a primary force in evolution. Margulis’ theory of cooperation counters the classical interpretation of evolution, which emphasizes competition. Margulis was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983 and received the Presidential Medal of Science in 1999. She is the author of many books and papers, including Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origins of Species (2002), co-written with Dorion Sagan.

On February 13, Horace Boyer, professor of music emeritus at the  University of Massachusetts Amherst, will discuss the essence of rhythm in the music of the black American church in “Rhythm and Creativity in the Black Church.” The beat, the principal element of rhythm, informs the creation of singing, preaching, shouting and testifying, principal elements of the black church. The music inspired by these elements and the varied rhythms of the service will be analyzed and performed by Boyer and the trio The Year of Jubilee 3. Boyer, author of How Sweet the Sound: The Golden Age of Gospel, has taught and studied music for many years, led choirs and directed music ensembles and performed gospel music throughout the United States.

On February 20, Steven Tepper, associate director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy and an assistant professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University, proposes “Seeing and Coloring: Creativity and the Mission of the University.” Tepper is interested in whether and how colleges are creative places. After discussing larger national and international trends relating to creativity, design and the arts, Tepper will explore the conditions for creativity on college campuses, paying special attention to how we might measure and assess these conditions. It will also highlight innovative strategies to amplify and deploy the artistic and creative assets of a campus. Tepper has published numerous articles on the sociology of art, cultural policy and democracy and has served as a consultant to the National Humanities Center, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and many foundations.

On March 6, Weiming Tu, Director, Harvard-Yenching Institute will explore “Confucian Humanism: Creative Approaches to Modern Problems.” Confucian humanism may serve as a sympathetic understanding of and critical reflection on the Enlightenment secular humanism of the modern West. By integrating the religious and naturalist dimensions of humanity into an inclusive vision of human flourishing, the Confucian mode of thinking can respond creatively to the ecological and spiritual crisis of the human condition in the 21st century. Tu will address Confucian humanism from a comparative civilizational perspective in the spirit of the dialogue among civilizations.

All lectures are free of charge and open to the public. The Whittemore Theater is fully accessible. Monday Night Lectures are funded by the Thompson Trust, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, the Freeman Foundation, the Vermont Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities and an anonymous donor. For more information, contact Elena Sharnoff, Marlboro College Public Affairs Officer, at (802) 251-7644. For cancellation information, please call the Events Hotline: (802) 451-7151.

Founded in 1946, Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, graduate study focused on Internet technologies. Its 330 undergraduate students enjoy an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community and individualized courses of study on a 350-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont. Marlboro has been selected as one of 40 Colleges that Change Lives. (

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