A Free Arts & Cultural Series Presented by the UMSL Center for the Humanities.

When: Mondays, September 15 through November 17, 2014; 12:15-1:15 PM
Where: JC Penney Conference Center | Room 402 (unless noted otherwise)

Free and Open to the Public – No Registration Required

Park on the top floor of West Drive Garage (52 on map), take steps/elevator down to 3rd floor/ground level, and walk southeast to J.C. Penney Center, and up to the 4th floor.


September 15 |  The First 50 Years

Blanche M. Touhill, Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Missouri St. Louis, discusses and reads from her newest book, A Photographic History of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, written as part of UMSL's Golden Jubilee celebration. It was a memorable day on September 5, 1963, when more than 1500 people gathered on the grounds of the former Bellerive Country Club to dedicate the new University of Missouri-St. Louis, the region’s first public university. Touhill surveys in words and photographs the first fifty years of the university's growth as a highly regarded institution of learning and research. Join us as she shares her insightful memories of the life of the university.
Books will be available for signing.

September 22 | Notions of the Grotesque: A Gallery 210 Artist’s Talk

Travis Lawrence, St. Louis printmaker, discusses the exhibition Notions of the Grotesque, which features his work along with that of Edo Rosenblith and Heather O’Shaughnessy, The darkly humorous social commentary and idiosyncratic approaches to art-making by these three young St. Louis artists reference early Renaissance master Hieronymus Bosch, Jungian psychology, Western European mythology and the underground comics of the 1960s and 1970s. For several years, Lawrence was personal press assistant to printmaker Tom Huck, The current body of Lawrence’s own woodcuts has taken its influence from medieval illuminated illustrations and alchemical manuscripts.

Notions of the Grotesque runs August 23-October 11, 2014. Gallery panel discussion followed by public reception, Sept. 6, 4:00 p.m.

Location: Gallery 210 Auditorium, Telecommunity Center (west of the North campus MetroLink stop—park in MSC Garage North).

September 29 | Defining the Changing Identities of St. Louis in Its 250 Years

Fred Fausz, who teaches history at UMSL, explores St. Louis City's advertised images, era by era, that related to its evolving goals and achievements. That focus represents some of the themes and topics Fausz researched for his recently published, UMSL-sponsored anniversary volume, Historic St. Louis: 250 Years Exploring New Frontiers.

Books will be available for signing.

October 6 | Looking Both Ways: A Poetry Reading and Discussion

William Trowbridge, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Northwest Missouri State University, says those ways of looking include past and present, as well as literal and metaphorical. Trowbridge, who was appointed Poet Laureate of Missouri in 2012, reads and discusses poems from his new collection Put This On, Please: New and Selected Poems, published this year by Red Hen Press. Billy Collins writes of this book, "Plunging head first into the colorful waters of popular culture, William Trowbridge manages to find ways to reiterate some of the basic stuff of lyric poetry. His gathered poems combine pointed social criticism with just plain verbal fun."

Books will be available for signing.

October 13 | Miracle Boy: A Reading

Pinckney Benedict reads from and discusses his most recent collection of short stories, set in the Appalachian landscape of Benedict's youth. He has published three collections of short fiction and a novel, Benedict’s fiction has appeared in, among other venues, Esquire, Zoetrope: All-Story, the O. Henry Awards anthology, the Pushcart anthology, and The Oxford Book of American Short Stories. He teaches in the creative writing program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Books will be available for signing.

October 20 | What happens When You Come Home? From Prison to The Streets

Prison Performing Arts (PPA) involves incarcerated adults and teens in the performing arts to help them realize their creative and intellectual capacity and their ability to transform themselves into productive, creative citizens. PPA serves students in juvenile facilities, a juvenile diversion program, and adult institutions in eastern Missouri. Their production of Hamlet was featured on This American Life hosted by Ira Glass, in the show “Act V.” PPA’s Alumni Theatre Company, men and women who worked with PPA while incarcerated, performs throughout the St. Louis area. Join us to hear and see samples of what PPA does, with Agnes Wilcox, Artistic Director; Chris Harris, Alumni Theatre Co. member; and Danny Kohl, long-term PPA Board member and Professor Emeritus at Washington University.

October 27 | The Ilex Piano Trio Plays Schumann and Shostakovich

The Ilex Piano Trio, named for the large American Holly tree fronting the residence where they typically rehearse, has performed extensively for more than a decade. The Trio musicians are violinist Kristin Ahlstrom and cellist Anne Fagerburg Jacob (both members of the Saint Louis Symphony) and pianist Peter Henderson, Artist-in-Residence at Maryville University. This Monday Noon Series performance includes Robert Schumann's sunny Trio in F major and Dmitri Shostakovich's tragic Trio in E minor.

Location: Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8454 Glen Echo Drive, Bel-Nor, 63121.

November 3 | Minor Works!

Patti Wolf, St. Louis pianist, and Isabel Trautwein, violinist with The Cleveland Orchestra, play movements from sonatas in minor keys along with some show pieces. They perform compositions by Bach, Schubert, Brahms, Chopin, Kreisler, and Sarasate.

Location: Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8454 Glen Echo Drive, Bel-Nor, 63121.

November 10 | A Sliver of Light: A St. Louis Jewish Book Festival Event

Josh Fattal discusses A Sliver of Light, which he co-authored with Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd. Fattal tells us the story of how these three young Americans, who crossed unknowingly into Iran while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan, were captured by Iranian forces and accused of espionage. They were captives for two years, including being held in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison. Join us to learn more about the difficulties they faced and the alliances they forged during their long confinement. This special Monday Noon Series event is held in conjunction with the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival.

Location and time: Jewish Community Center, Staenberg Family Complex, Arts&Education Bldg., 2 Millstone Campus Dr., Creve Coeur, 63146. This event runs from 1:00-2:00 pm and is a ticketed event. Call (314) 516-5698 for information about Monday Noon Series audience ticketing for this November 10 program.

November 17 | PLACES: A Photographic Exhibition

November 13-December 13 | Gallery FAB

Dan Younger, photographer and Professor of Art at UMSL, discusses PLACES, an exhibition in UMSL’s Gallery FAB: A Photographic Exhibition. Younger describes photographs as place markers of both time and location. To the viewer, they are transportation to different eras and distant lands. To the photographer, they are personal notations of specific moments and memorable places. In PlACES, four international photographers notate places in their world and bring them to ours: Andrea Eichenberg from Brazil travels and documents Translitoranea, the long coast road of that country. Tito Mouraz documents the small town in Portugal where he grew up. Carlo Gianferro from Italy documents the interiors of wealthy Romanian and Moldovan Roma communities in and around Rome. And Luisa Ferreira provides her personal view of the city life of Lisbon.

Location: Gallery FAB, 201 Fine Arts Building at UMSL, at the corner of Florissant Road & Rosedale Drive, Normandy. Parking available nearby.

Financial assistance for this season was provided to the Center for the Humanities by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Regional Arts Commission of Saint Louis; the Missouri Humanities Council; and Gallery 210.

  • Parking and buildings are disabled accessible.
  • Park in West Drive Garage, (52 on map), unless otherwise noted.
  • A Free Arts & Culture Series Presented by the Center for the Humanities.
  • Free and open to the public.
  • Location: 402 J.C. Penney Conference Center, unless otherwise noted.
  • No registration required.
  • Campus accessible by MetroLink and serviced by free campus shuttle.
  • For more information, email cenhumn@umsl.edu or call (314) 516-5698