September 10
Build your own Origins
2:00 pm-5:00 pm, Miller Library

New year, new bricks! The Center for the Arts and Humanities and Colby Libraries are proud to bring you another day of LEGO excitement, now with more bricks and prizes than ever before! Get in the spirit of the Humanities and join in a friendly LEGO building competition as you partake in nostalgic creativity and light refreshments in Miller. In this latest installment of the Build Your Humanity series, we kick off a new year for the Center for the Arts & Humanities with their latest theme – Origins: Order & Chaos. The most exceptional creators will earn a range of awesome LEGO sets to take home, so bring your inspiration, ingenuity, and imagination! You can create entries during the event for as many of the Challenges as you want – your only restriction is time! Entries will be judged on their aesthetics, accuracy, creativity, and originality. The judging will take place in the last 15-20 minutes of the event, so the quicker you arrive, the more time you will have to build the coolest entry (or entries!) possible.


September 19
ST132: Origins: Order vs Chaos
Dale Kocevski
7:00 pm, Lovejoy 100

Does our Universe have a finite origin or has it existed unchanged for all eternity? Either answer has profound implications about the nature of our reality. I will discuss how astronomers came to the conclusion that the Universe, and time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 14 billion years ago. I will describe the physics behind the Big Bang and what modern observations tell us about the structure and evolution of the Universe over cosmic time and how the contents of the Universe will dictate its ultimate fate. Dale Kocevski is an assistant professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Colby College. Dale attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate and later obtained a PhD in Astrophysics at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. He performed his postdoctoral work at the University of California in both Davis and Santa Cruz. Dale’s research focuses on the study of supermassive black holes and how they affect the growth and evolution of distant galaxies.

September 19
Whose Streets Film Screening with Sabaah Folayan
7:00 pm, Ostrove Auditorium

An account of the Ferguson uprising as told by the people who lived it. The filmmakers look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement. Following the film, audience members will be able to take part in a Q&A with the Director, Sabaah Folayan.

Cosponsored by the Oak Institute for Human Rights and the Center for the Arts and Humanities.

September 26
ST132: Origins: Order vs Chaos
David Bercovici
7:00 pm, Lovejoy 100

Although our existence on a habitable planet can largely be taken for granted, how Earth arrived at this state of ‘habitability’ is far from obvious. How the planets even formed is still not well understood. There are not only numerous hurdles to forming a solar system let alone a planet, but their formation must all be done extremely quickly (on a cosmological/geological time scale) before the Sun ignites its fusion furnace. Once a terrestrial planet is created, its evolution is controlled by how it slowly cools to space, which drives its internal motion by convection, much like any fluid, such as soup or coffee, cools. On Earth, convection led to plate tectonics, which in turn led to the formation of continents and ocean basins, and set the geological carbon cycle that keeps our oceans liquid and makes our atmosphere and climate habitable. But only Earth has plate tectonics amongst all the terrestrial planets we know, and why that so also remains a major scientific mystery. David Bercovici received his BS in Physics from Harvey Mudd College (1982) and his Ph.D. in Geophysics and Space Physics from UCLA (1989). After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (1989-1990), he joined the faculty at the University of Hawaii (1990-2000). He moved to Yale in 2001 and has been there ever since as Professor and even Chair (2006-2012).

October 3
ST132: Origins: Order vs Chaos
Aaron Hanlon, Colby College
7:00 pm, Lovejoy 100

When we think about the factors that led to the creation of the novel as a literary form in English, we might not think of the rise and institutionalization of experimental science. Yet the chartering of the Royal Society for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge in 1662 had a profound impact on what novels and novelistic fiction would become in the 17th and 18th centuries, the formative years of the novel as we know it. This talk by Assistant Professor of English Aaron Hanlon will address two important origin stories in Enlightenment history: the origins of the Royal Society and the origins of the novel. But it will also explain how these two origin stories overlap in telling ways that would change the histories of science and literature forever. Sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities.

October 3
Jeanette Unite: Artists Talk
7:00 pm, Olin 1

Jeannette Unite is a visual artist who is immersed in the materiality of the art making process whether it is using her own large hand-made chalk-based pastels with mineral oxides or using similar metal oxides in glass artworks, paintings or prints. She uses images, information, and metaphors from mining as a point of departure for her reflections on her own personal journeys.She travels to mining and industrial sites for samples, to research and photographically record evidence of the residual remains of power, industrialisation and neo-colonialism on the African landscape. She studied towards a BA Fine Art at the Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town from 1981 until 1986, and studied further at UNISA while teaching at Frank Joubert Art Centre until demand for her artwork propelled her into full-time art practice in 1997. She continues to live and work in, and travel from her studio in Cape Town.

October 5
Film Screening: The Maribor Uprisings
7:30 pm, Ostrove Auditorium

Associate Professor Maple Razsa (Global Studies) and Milton Guillén ’15 will be screening The Maribor Uprisings: A Live Participatory Film on October 5. The film, which started as Guillén’s honors project in anthropology, grew into a major collaboration with Razsa. Edited with the award-winning Mary Lampson (Harlan County, USA; This Changes Everything), Uprisings tells the story of the dramatic protests that brought down Maribor’s mayor before spreading across Slovenia and toppling the national government. Drawing on footage shot by dozens of protesters, the film positions viewers in the midst of the uprising and demands that they decide collectively in the theater how they participate—and how the film will unfold. For more information see

October 6
“Somehow a Past”: New England Regionalism, 1900 to 1960
9:00 am, Ostrove Auditorium

Marsden Hartley, City Point, Vinalhaven, 1937–38. Oil on commercially prepared paperboard (academy board), 181/4 x 243/8 in. (46.4 x 61.9 cm). Colby College Museum of Art, Gift of the Alex Katz Foundation.

A symposium presented in conjunction with the exhibition Marsden Hartley’s Maine at the Colby College Museum of Art and the Colby College 2017–18 Humanities theme “Origins.” On the occasion of Marsden Hartley’s Maine, an exhibition organized by the Colby College Museum of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Colby College will present the symposium, “Somehow a Past”: New England Regionalism, 1900 to 1960. Taking its title from the autobiography of Marsden Hartley, an artist closely associated with Maine, this gathering of leading scholars will explore the interest in regional, New England subjects among American artists who contributed to the development and maturation of modernism. For more information please visit:

October 6
H.M.S. Pinafore
New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players
7:30 pm, Waterville Opera House

Ride a wave of music and laughter as romantic sailors, sisters, cousins, and aunts sing and dance their way across the deck of the fanciful British naval vessel with the improbable name. The very proper Captain Corcoran and ridiculously pompous Sir Joseph Porter preside, the villainous Dick Deadeye speaks the ugly truth, and Little Buttercup reveals the outrageous mistake that allows true love to overcome the problems of class distinction. Memorable signature tunes abound on board ship and the riotous “Bell Trio” sparks a celebration in Act II.

This touring production is in a very special partnership with the Waterville Opera House, and Colby College’s Theater and Dance Department, Office of the Provost, Department of Music, and Center for the Arts and Humanities!

October 9
Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza
Peter Cole and Adina Hoffman
1:00 pm, Lovejoy 208

One May day in 1896, a meeting took place between a Romanian-born maverick Jewish intellectual and twin learned Presbyterian Scotswomen who had assembled to inspect several pieces of rag-paper and parchment. It was the unlikely start to what would prove a remarkable saga, and one that has revolutionized our sense of what it means to lead a Jewish life. Based on their Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza, which was named the best Jewish book of the year by the American Library Association, this talk by Peter Cole and Adina Hoffman will bring us inside the story of one of the greatest discovery of Jewish manuscripts ever made. Harold Bloom described Sacred Trash as “a small masterpiece,” and David Nirenberg, writing in the Nation, called it “a literary jewel whose pages turn like those of a well-paced thriller, but with all the chiseled elegance and flashes of linguistic surprise that we associate with poetry . . . Sacred Trash has made history beautiful and exciting.” Co-sponsored by the Jewish studies program, religious studies department, and Center for the Arts and Humanities.

October 9
Poetry Reading
Peter Cole
4:00 pm, Robinson Room, Miller Library

Peter Cole is the author of five books of poems –most recently Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations (FSG)—and many volumes of translation from Hebrew and Arabic, medieval and modern. Praised for his “prosodic mastery” and “keen moral intelligence” (The American Poet), and for the “rigor, vigor, joy, and wit” of his poetry (The Paris Review), Cole has created a ramifying vision of connectedness, one that defies traditional distinctions between old and new, foreign and familiar, translation and original. He is, Harold Bloom writes, “a matchless translator and one of the handful of authentic poets in his own American generation.” Among his many honors are an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a Jewish National Book Award, the PEN Prize in Translation, the American Library Association’s Award for the Jewish Book of the Year (with Adina Hoffman, for Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza) and, in 2007, a MacArthur Fellowship. He divides his time between Jerusalem and New Haven.

October 9
Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a New City
Adina Hoffman
5:30 pm, Robins Room, Roberts Building

Please join us for a talk by award-winning essayist and biographer Adina Hoffman about her book. Till We Have Built Jerusalem is a gripping and intimate journey into the lives of three very different architects who helped shape modern Jerusalem. A powerfully written rumination on memory and forgetting, place and displacement, the book uncovers multiple layers of one great city’s buried history as it asks what it means, in Jerusalem and everywhere, to be foreign and to belong. The Los Angeles Times called the book “brave and often beautiful,” and Haaretz described it as “a passionate, lyrical defense of a Jerusalem that could still be.” All are welcome and dinner will be served: please RSVP by Oct. 4 to Sherry Berard, Co-sponsored by the Jewish studies program, religious studies department, and Center for the Arts and Humanities.

October 10
ST132: Origins: Order vs Chaos
Origins at the Colby Museum
Shalini Le Gall
4:00 pm, Colby College Museum of Art

This session will provide an overview of the Origins theme as it relates to the collection of the Colby Museum and will include works of art by Ai Weiwei, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Marsden Hartley, and John James Audobon.Shalini Le Gall is an art historian and museum educator with extensive experience in object-based teaching and learning. In her current position as the Curator of Academic Programs at the Colby College Museum of Art, she works with faculty across the College to integrate the museum’s collection into their teaching, assignments, and research, through installations and exhibitions. Le Gall received her Ph.D. in Art History from Northwestern University, specializing in nineteenth-century European art.

October 12
Two Cent Talks Series
Monica Wood and Stuart Kestenbaum
5:30 pm, Redington Museum, Waterville

Monica Wood is a novelist, memoirist, and playwright. Her most recent novel, The One-in-a-Million Boy, has been published in 20 foreign editions and won a 2017 Nautilus Award (Gold) and the New England Society in the City of New York Book Award. She is also the author of When We Were the Kennedys, a New England bestseller, Oprah magazine summer-reading pick, and winner of the May Sarton Memoir Award and the 2016 Maine Literary Award. Her novel Any Bitter Thing was an ABA bestseller and Book Sense Top Ten pick. Her other fiction includes Ernie’s Ark, My Only Story, and Secret Language, her first novel. Her recent play, Papermaker, debuted at Portland Stage in an extended run, its best-selling play ever.

Stuart Kestenbaum is the author of four collections of poems, Pilgrimage, House of Thanksgiving, Prayers and Run-on Sentences, and Only Now, and a collection of essays The View From Here. He has written and spoken widely on craft making and creativity, and his poems and writing have appeared in numerous small press publications and magazines including Tikkun, the Sun, the Beloit Poetry Journal, Northeast Corridor, and others and on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He was appointed poet laureate of Maine in 2016 and directed the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine for 27 years.

Sponsored by Colby College’s Office of the President, Center for the Arts and the Humanities, English Department, and Creative Writing Program.

October 23
Monday Night Movies: Origins
High and Low
7:00 pm, Waterville Opera House

The series opener, High and Low, is a departure from the period settings of director Akira Kurosawa’s best known films (RASHOMON, SEVEN SAMURAI, RAN) and instead points the way to the kind of present-set societal investigation—in the guise of a police procedural—later adopted by the likes of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in HIGH AND LOW, the highly influential domestic drama and police procedural from director Akira Kurosawa. Adapting Ed McBain’s detective novel King’s Ransom, Kurosawa’s film moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating an unforgettable, widescreen black-and-white thriller that’s much more—in fact, some consider it the Japanese master’s greatest film. 1963. Unrated. In Japanese with English subtitles. 143 Min.

October 24
ST132: Origins: Order vs Chaos
Professor Vittorio Loreto
7:00 pm, Lovejoy 100

Creativity and innovation are key elements in many different areas and disciplines since they represent the primary motor to explore new solutions in ever-changing and unpredictable environments. New biological traits and functions, new technological artifacts, new social, linguistic and cultural structures, new meanings, are very often triggered by the mutated external conditions. Unfortunately, the detailed mechanisms through which humans, societies, and nature express their creativity and innovate are largely unknown. The common intuition that one new thing often leads to another is captured, mathematically, by the notion of adjacent possible, introduced by Stuart Kauffman. Originally introduced in the framework of biology, the adjacent possible metaphor already expanded its scope to include all those things (ideas, linguistic structures, concepts, molecules, genomes, technological artefacts, etc.) that are one step away from what actually exists, and hence can arise from incremental modifications and recombination of existing material. Vittorio Loreto is Full Professor of Physics of Complex Systems at Sapienza University and Research Leader at the ISI Foundation in Turin where he coordinates the Information Dynamics group. He recently joined the Faculty of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna. His scientific activity is mainly focused on the statistical physics of complex systems. In the last few years he has been active in the fields of granular media, complexity and information theory, complex networks theory, communication and language evolution, social dynamics.

October 28
Music at Colby Series
Masterworks – Origins, Annual Humanities Theme Event
7:30 pm, Lorimer Chapel

In its first concert of the season, the Colby Symphony Orchestra presents works by three German masters: Wagner’s the overture and the dramatic “Pilgrim’s Chorus” from Tannhäuser; Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Haydn, and Beethoven’s timeless Sixth Symphony, “The Pastoral”, which abounds with the sounds and images of the beauty of the German countryside.

October 31
ST132: Origins: Order vs Chaos
Voice and Verse
Professor Stefano Colangelo
7:00 pm, Lovejoy 100

Since the early 20th Century, the theory of poetry in Italy has been accustomed to a set of authoritative statements and categories shaped by Benedetto Croce’s general aesthetics: poetry as the individual intuition of a spiritual state of mind; poetry as the result of a strict selection among the possible ways of expressing that intuition. Thus, poetic inspiration has been often identified with this entirely individual creative process, an idea that is still widely accepted today, especially in the context of higher education. Stefano Colangelo is Associate Professor of Contemporary Italian Literature at the University of Bologna. He graduated cum laude in Italian Literature, and obtained a Ph.D in Italian Studies at the University of Bologna, under the tutorship of Ezio Raimondi, who designated him as a teaching assistant in rhetoric, metrics, and theories of literary style in 1994. He has also taught Greek and Latin Literature, Italian Literature, and History in Italian high schools, and developed a primary interest in the theory and analysis of poetry, especially related to music and the performing arts.

November 1
Matter and Desire: An Erotic Ecology
Dr. Andreas Weber, eco-philosopher
7:00 p.m, Diamond 122

Andreas Weber asks a radical and challenging question: Could it be that our planet is not suffering primarily from a financial crisis, or even an ecological one, but from a critical lack of love? In speaking of love and of eroticism, Weber is not referring to sentimental feelings, but to a new basis for ontology itself, based on a mix of cutting-edge biological findings and philosophical insights. In this talk, he will discuss his new book Matter and Desire: An Erotic Ecology. Written in the tradition of John Muir and Rachel Carson, the book weaves personal narrative and lyrical descriptions with a discussion of ecology and psychology, offering a new—and necessary—way to move through nature to ultimately achieve a heightened sense of self-awareness. The book is part of Weber’s larger project of developing an eco-philosophy—or as Weber calls it, a “biopoetics”—for the Anthropocene.

November 4
Music at Colby Series
Origins, Annual Humanities Theme Event
Colby Wind Ensemble, Eric Thomas, Director
7:30 pm, Lorimer Chapel

Maurice Ravel’s Bolero has been featured in numerous films where it is used to suggest “evolution” from a primal point of origin. The Colby Wind Ensemble will show a few of these films and provide live accompaniment. The program continues with an exploration of the evolution of the jazz trumpet with Allen Vizzutti’s stunning American Jazz Suite with guest soloist Mark Tipton, the new head of the jazz program for University of Maine at Orono. Also on the program is a visit into the world of comics with composer Jess Langston Turner’s “Black Bolt,” a tribute to the passage of time with Julie Giroux’s “Before The Sun,” and a homage to the British Isles with David Mairs’s “A Touch of the Union Jack.”

November 4
Fall Shabbaton
Neshama Carlebach
7:30 pm, Waterville Opera House

The fall Shabbaton brings students and community members together for a full day of musical events with top-tier Jewish musicians from around the world. We specifically attract students from Colby, Bowdoin, and Bates Hillels, along with Mainers from across the state. This year, we will be welcoming the world-renowned Neshama Carlebach for a Friday night service at Colby, Shabbat afternoon learning, and a Saturday night concert with Neshama and the Glory to God Gospel Choir at the Waterville Opera House.

Cosponsored with the Center for small town Jewish life.

November 6
The Global Environmental Justice Documentary on Asia Event Series
Journalist/Activist Jianqiang Liu and Director Gary Marcuse
4:00 pm, Olin 1: Lecture
7:00 pm, Olin 1: Screening of “Walking the Green Tiger”

Jianqiang Liu, and Gary Marcuse will speak about “Search for Secret Mountain: Tibetan Culture and Environmental Protection” which highlights issues on global environmental justice documentaries on Asia.

Screening of the Award Winning “Waking the Green Tiger” (2011) dir. Gary Marcuse, the dramatic story of the rise of the first major grassroots environmental movement in China. Seen through the eyes of farmers, journalists, activists, and a former government insider, the film traces the historical evolution of the movement and highlights an extraordinary campaign to stop a huge dam project slated for the Upper Yangtze River in southern China.

November 7
Buddhism, Gender, and a Woman’s Search for Identity
Professor Jin Y. Park
1:00 pm, Lovejoy 205

Professor Park will explore the life and philosophy of a twentieth-century Korean Zen Master, Kim Iryŏp (1896-1971), the first-generation Korean feminist and a writer who became a Zen Buddhist nun. Iryŏp’s life and her Buddhism demonstrate a multi-layered encounter between women and Buddhism in a woman’s search for identity and meaningful life. So in this context, Professor Park will discuss the meaning of autobiography, narrative identity, writing as testimony, and meaning construction in daily life. The themes of gender, religion, spiritual practice, community, and narrative identity should engage a wide group of Colby students and faculty.

November 9
Alok Vaid-Menon
7:00 p.m, Ostrove Auditorium

Alok Vaid-Menon (they/them) is a gender non-conforming performance artist, writer, educator, and entertainer. Their eclectic sense of style, political comedy, and poetic challenge to the gender binary have been internationally renowned. Alok was recently the youngest recipient of the prestigious Live Works Performance Act Award granted to ten performance artists across the world. They have been featured on HBO, MTV, The Guardian, National Geographic, The New York Times, and The New Yorker and have presented their work at 300 venues in more than 30 countries.

November 13
Monday Night Movies: Origins
Red Desert
7:00 pm, Maine Film Center

Michelangelo Antonioni’s RED DESERT helped coin the term “Antoniennui,” reflecting the philosophical origins of German romanticism and of Kant and Schopenhauer. But in fact, his alienated characters and landscapes, bathed in colors both rich and washed out, full of what Thelonious Monk called “Ugly Beauty” in one of his compositions, proved not just an accurate indicator of its era, but also the mother of the slow-paced, long-take-based style that was to mark so many cutting edge international films of the succeeding decades. 1964. Unrated. In Italian with English subtitles. 117 Min.

November 14
ST132: Origins: Order vs Chaos
Origins of the Origins of species
Janet Browne
7:00 pm, Lovejoy 100

This lecture takes readers inside Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species and shows why it can fairly claim to be the greatest science book ever published. An immediate and influential sensation in 1859, the book sold its first print run in one day and profoundly shocked Victorian readers with its description of evolution through natural selection. Janet Browne, widely acclaimed as “Darwin’s biographer,” explains Darwin’s readings as a university student, his five-year voyage on the Beagle, his experiments in his home and garden, his correspondence and debates with other naturalists, and his urgency to publish his theory of evolution.Janet Browne is Aramont Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University where she teaches the history of natural history and biology. In 2002 she published a two-volume biography of Charles Darwin, and in 2006 Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography. Her interest in Darwin stems from her time as an editor on the Darwin Correspondence Project, Cambridge, England.

November 21
ST132: Origins: Order vs Chaos
Origins of Superheros
Chris Gavaler
7:00 pm, Lovejoy 100

This lecture traces the conceptual etymology of “Superman,” drawing connections to eugenics, Darwin, 19th-century hero philosophy, the American revolution, and contemporary politics. Chris Gavaler is an assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee University, where he teaches fiction, creative writing, and comics. He has published two non-fiction studies, On the Origin of Superheroes: from the Big Bang to Action Comics No. 1 (Iowa 2015) and Superhero Comics (Bloomsbury 2017), and two novels, Pretend I’m Not Here (HarperCollins 2002) and School for Tricksters (Southern Methodist 2011).

November 28
ST132: Origins: Order vs Chaos
The Origins of Science and the History of Science
Elena Aronova
7:00 pm, Lovejoy 100

This lecture examines the role of the 17th C Scientific Revolution (as well as generic scientific revolutions) as a master narrative in the history of science (from George Sarton to Thomas Kuhn) focusing on an approach that called for the use of quantitative methods. The protagonists of this approach, such as J.D. Bernal, sought to apply the methods of science to the study of science itself, linking their drive for quantification to their claims of objectivity. This practice, called scientometrics, has evolved from a marginal technique to become a respected academic specialty with both political and intellectual appeal. The lecture further examines the theme of the seminar — “origins” — and compares it to that of “revolution.” Elena Aronova is a historian of science working on the history of environmental and evolutionary sciences in the twentieth century. Elena received a Ph.D. in History and Science Studies from the University of California at San Diego in 2012, after earning a doctorate in Biology and History of Science from the Russian Academy of Science.

November 28
Artist Talk: Chakaia Booker
5:00 pm, Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center

Sculptor Chakaia Booker fuses ecological concerns with explorations of racial and economic difference, globalization, and gender by recycling discarded tires into complex assemblages. Cosponsored with Colby’s Art Department.

December 1
Noontime Talk: Faculty Perspectives on the Humanities theme Origins
Shalini Le Gall, Gianluca Rizzo, Arnout Van deer Meer
12:00 pm, Bixler / 115 Upper Jette

Shalini Le Gall, Curator of Academic Programs; Gianluca Rizzo, Paul D. and Marilyn Paganucci Assistant Professor of Italian Language and Literature; and Arnout van der Meer, Assistant Professor of History, are sponsors for this year’s Humanities theme ‘Origins.’ They will explore connections between this theme and works of art in the Colby Museum.

December 18
Monday Night Movies: Origins
Mulholland Drive
7:00 pm, Maine Film Center

David Lynch’s MULHOLLAND DRIVE is a singular masterpiece, harnessing the director’s deepest emotions in an inimitable way, and narratively playing with multiple diegetic levels in a mise-en-abyme structure, continuously deferring the story’s origin within another origin. This masterwork has spawned cinematic stepchildren in topsy-turvy American independent films of the next two decades. 2001. R. 146 Min.