Calendar

Mar
10
Tue
Donna Rifkind: The Sun and Her Stars @ Literati
Mar 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We welcome critic Donna Rifkin in support of her book, The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood. 

About the book: The little-known story of screenwriter Salka Viertel, whose salons in 1930s and 40s Hollywood created a refuge for a multitude of famous figures who had escaped the horrors of World War ll.

Hollywood was created by its “others”; that is, by women, Jews, and immigrants. Salka Viertel was all three and so much more. She was the screenwriter for five of Greta Garbo’s movies and also her most intimate friend. At one point during the Irving Thalberg years, Viertel was the highest-paid writer on the MGM lot. Meanwhile, at her house in Santa Monica she opened her door on Sunday afternoons to scores of European émigrés who had fled from Hitler–such as Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, and Arnold Schoenberg–along with every kind of Hollywood star, from Charlie Chaplin to Shelley Winters. In Viertel’s living room (the only one in town with comfortable armchairs, said one Hollywood insider), countless cinematic, theatrical, and musical partnerships were born.

Viertel combined a modern-before-her-time sensibility with the Old-World advantages of a classical European education and fluency in eight languages. She combined great worldliness with great warmth. She was a true bohemian with a complicated erotic life, and at the same time a universal mother figure. A vital presence in the golden age of Hollywood, Salka Viertel is long overdue for her own moment in the spotlight.

Donna Rifkind‘s reviews appear frequently in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times Book Review. She has also been a contributor to the Los Angeles TimesWashington PostTimes Literary SupplementAmerican Scholar, and other publications. In 2006 she was a finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle.

New Writings from University of Michigan Historians @ Literati
Mar 10 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

We’re pleased to welcome faculty members from the University of Michigan’s History Department as they present their recent publications. Copies of the titles will be available for purchase.

Howard Brick, et al., At the Center: American Thought and Culture in the Mid-Twentieth Century 

Joshua Cole, Lethal Provocation:  The Constantine Murders and the Politics of French Algeria 

Juan Cole, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires

Henry Cowles, The Scientific Method: An Evolution of Thinking from Darwin to Dewey

Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, Racial Migrations: New York City and the Revolutionary Politics of the Spanish Caribbean

Victoria Langland, et al., The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Alexandra Minna Stern, Proud Boys and the White Ethnostate: How the Alt-Right Is Warping the American Imagination

Ellen Muehlberger, Moment of Reckoning: Imagined Death and Its Consequences in Late Ancient Christianity

Perrin Selcer, The Cold War Origins of the Global Environment  

Julius Scott, The Common Wind: Afro-American Currents in the Age of the Haitian Revolution

Mar
11
Wed
Lacy M. Johnson @ Weill Hall, Betty Ford Classroom 1100
Mar 11 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Free and open to the public. Reception and book signing to follow. 

Join us for a reading by Lacy M. Johnson, author of The Reckonings and professor of creative nonfiction at Rice University. David Morse, Lecturer at the Ford School’s Writing Center, will moderate the conversation and Q&A.

From the speaker’s bio: 

Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based professor, curator, activist, and is author of The Reckonings, which was named a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in Criticism and one of the best books of 2018 by Boston Globe, Electric Literature, Autostraddle, Book Riot, and Refinery 29. She is also author of The Other Side. For its frank and fearless confrontation of the epidemic of violence against women, The Other Side was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime, the CLMP Firecracker Award in Nonfiction; it was a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writer Selection for 2014, and was named one of the best books of 2014 by KirkusLibrary Journal, and the Houston Chronicle. She is also author of Trespasses: A Memoir, which has been anthologized in The Racial Imaginary and Literature: The Human Experience.

She worked as a cashier at WalMart, sold steaks door-to-door, and puppeteered with a traveling children’s museum before earning a PhD from University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where she was both an Erhardt Fellow and Inprint Fondren Fellow. As a writer and artist, she has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Houston Endowment, Rice University’s Humanities Research Center, Houston Arts Alliance, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Kansas Arts Commission (may it rest in peace), the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Inprint, and Millay Colony for the Arts. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Tin House, Guernica, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, Sentence, TriQuarterly, Gulf Coast and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction at Rice University and is the Founding Director of the Houston Flood Museum.

Ausma Zehanat Khan: The Importance of Minority Voices in Crime Fiction or How Literature Can Promote Intercultural Understanding @ AADL Downtown (1st Floor Lobby)
Mar 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

How can literature address a climate of growing intolerance and hate? How can empathy in literature be used to confront exclusionary discourses by examining their underlying agendas? Canadian novelist and crime & fantasy author (A Deadly Divide, Among The Ruins)  Ausma Zehanat Khan will discuss the importance of counter-narratives that open up spaces for members of minority communities to speak. She explores questions of identity and belonging, marginalization and exclusion, through the lens of a Canadian Muslim detective who investigates crimes connected to global human rights issues. Through the stories she tells, she considers the disproportionate impact of these issues on minority communities, reflecting on how our understanding of justice is shaped by our ability to achieve it. Finally, she discusses the vital role literature can play in developing and deepening empathy, thus challenging intolerance and serving to defuse hate.

This event includes a signing with books for sale and is in partnership with the Department of English Language and Literature at Eastern Michigan University.

Poetry Salon: One Pause Poetry @ Argus Farm Stop
Mar 11 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

ONE PAUSE POETRY SALON is (literally) a greenhouse for poetry and poets, nurturing an appreciation for written art in all languages and encouraging experiments in creative writing.

We meet every Weds in the greenhouse at Argus Farm Stop on Liberty St. The poems we read each time are unified by form (haiku, sonnet, spoken word), poet, time / place (Tang Dynasty, English Romanticism, New York in the 70s) or theme / mood (springtime, poems with cats, protest poems). We discuss the poems and play writing games together, with time for snacks and socializing in between.

Members are encouraged to share their own poems or poems they like – they may or may not relate to the theme of the evening. This is not primarily a workshop – we may hold special workshop nights, but mostly we listen to and talk about poems for the sake of inspiring new writing.

Whether you are a published poet or encountering poetry for the first time, we invite you to join us!

$5 suggested donation for food, drinks and printing costs.

8-10 p.m., Argus Farm Stop greenhouse, 325 W. Liberty. $5 suggested donation. onepausepoetry.org, 707-1284.

 

 

 

Mar
12
Thu
Zell Visiting Writers: Grace Lin @ UMMA Auditorium
Mar 12 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Before Grace Lin was an award-winning and NY Times bestselling author/illustrator of picturebooks, early readers and middle grade novels, she was the only Asian girl (except for her sisters) going to her elementary school in Upstate NY. That experience, good and bad, has influenced her books—including her Newbery Honor WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON, her Geisel Honor LING & TING, her National Book Finalist WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER and her Caldecott Honor A BIG MOONCAKE FOR LITTLE STAR.

That experience also causes Lin to persevere for diversity: She is an occasional New England Public Radio commentator, she gave a TEDx talk titled “The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf,” and she authored a PBSNewHour video essay called “What to do when you realize classic books from your childhood are racist?” She continues this mission with her two podcasts kidlitwomen* and Book Friends Forever. In 2016, Lin’s art was displayed at the White House and Lin was recognized by President Obama’s office as a Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling.

Dan Pfeiffer: UnTrumping America @ AADL Downtown (1st Floor Lobby)
Mar 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Political strategist Dan Pfeiffer’s new book, Un-Trumping America, offers readers three critical insights: first, Trump is not an aberration, but rather the logical extension of the modern Republican Party; second, how Democrats can defeat Trump in 2020; and third, preventing the likes of Trump from ever happening again with a plan to fix democracy.

Un-Trumping America dismantles toxic Trumpism and offers a way forward. Dan Pfeiffer worked for nearly twenty years at the center of Democratic politics, from the campaign trail to Capitol Hill to Barack Obama’s White House. Here, Pfeiffer urges Democrats to embrace bold solutions—from fixing the courts to abolishing the electoral college to eliminating the filibuster—in order to make America more democratic (and Democratic).

This event is in partnership with Literati Bookstore and includes a signing with books for sale.

Mar
13
Fri
Robin DiAngelo @ Michigan League (Ballroom)
Mar 13 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Free and open to the public. Reception and book signing to follow. 

This event will be livestreamed. Check back here right before the event for viewing details.

Join us for an armchair conversation with Robin DiAngelo, author and Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington, and Elizabeth Moje, Dean of the University of Michigan School of Education. Dr. DiAngelo and Dean Moje will discuss themes and ideas stemming from Dr. DiAngelo’s best-selling book, “White Fragility.”

White people in the U.S. live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress. DiAngelo calls this lack of racial stamina “white fragility.” White fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to the white position becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive responses. These responses function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and maintain white control. DiAngelo will provide an overview of the socialization that inculcates white fragility and provide the perspectives and skills needed to build racial stamina and develop more equitable racial practices.

From the speaker’s bio:

Dr. Robin DiAngelo is Affiliate Associate Professor of Education at the University of Washington. In addition, she holds two Honorary Doctorates. She is a two-time winner of the Student’s Choice Award for Educator of the Year at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. She has numerous publications and books. In 2011 she coined the term White Fragility in an academic article which has influenced the international dialogue on race. Her book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism was released in June of 2018 and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo has been a consultant and trainer for over 20 years on issues of racial and social justice.

From the moderator’s bio: 

Elizabeth Birr Moje is dean, George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Education, and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture in the School of Education.  Moje teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in secondary and adolescent literacy, cultural theory, and research methods and was awarded the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize with colleague, Bob Bain, in 2010.  A former high school history and biology teacher, Moje’s research examines young people’s navigations of culture, identity, and literacy learning in and out of school in Detroit, Michigan.

Moje has published 5 books and numerous articles in journals such as Science, Harvard Educational Review, Teachers College Record, Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Literacy Research, Review of Education Research, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Science Education, International Journal of Science Education, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. She chairs the William T. Grant Foundation Scholar Selection Committee and is a member of the National Academy of Education.

Sponsored by: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, School of Education, the U-M Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the University of Michigan Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the CEW+ Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund

David Plouffe: A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump @ AADL Downtown (1st Floor Lobby)
Mar 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

In A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump, David Plouffe, former Obama campaign manager, offers an action plan for how we can put our country back on track without having to leave our jobs, move to Iowa, or spend every waking moment on the election. According to Plouffe, there are at least 65 million Americans who are likely committed to voting for a different path than what the President has plotted, and it is our responsibility to grow that number and make sure the support materializes in actual votes. Plouffe believes we can beat Donald Trump in 2020, and he has a plan every one of us can use.

Plouffe’s message is simple: the only way change happens, especially on this scale, is one human being talking to another. It won’t happen magically; it won’t happen because of debates and conventions—it will happen because of you. And your neighbor. Your babysitter. Your best friend. It relies on all of us—progressives, anti-Trump conservatives, used-to-be Republicans, third-party voters—banding together and familiarizing ourselves with the Democratic candidate’s policies so we can explain to a voter who is on the fence, or considering voting third party, that four more years of Trump will do nothing but wreak more irreparable havoc on our already-thinning democracy. It relies on us correcting fiction with fact. It relies on us empowering each other to do the right thing.

David Plouffe served as the campaign manager for Barack Obama’s primary and general election victories in 2008 and later joined the White House as a Senior Advisor, with responsibility for his re-election victory in 2012. He was previously a senior executive at Uber and currently leads policy and advocacy efforts at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. He lives in San Francisco, CA.

This event is in partnership with Literati Bookstore and includes a signing with books for sale.

Webster Reading Series: Zahir Janmohamed and Joumana Altallal @ UMMA Auditorium
Mar 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

One MFA student of fiction and one of poetry, each introduced by a peer, will read their work. The Mark Webster Reading Series presents emerging writers in a warm and relaxed setting. We encourage you to bring your friends – a Webster reading makes for an enjoyable and enlightening Friday evening.

This week’s reading features Zahir Janmohamed and Joumana Altallal.

Zahir Janmohamed is a fiction writer from Sacramento, California.

Joumana Altallal is an Iraqi-Lebanese poet and educator. Before moving to Ann Arbor, she lived in Charlottesville, Virginia.