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September 2017

Product Design

September 26 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Stephen Lim, Product Design. We finally have a full quarter to work on a game at Stanford, so we must make the most of that time and carefully choose what we deliver. We often get caught up with what we want to do, but it is more important to think about what we offer. What do you want to stand out for? Games are a subjective art, so it’s not easy to convince players why your game will be especially…

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Film Screening: “Reza Abdoh: Theatre Visionary”

September 28 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Directed by Adam Soch, Reza Abdoh: Theatre Visionary (2015, 104 minutes) covers the extraordinary life of Iranian-born American theatrical maverick Reza Abdoh (1963-1995). Soch is an award-winning filmmaker and producer. Throughout the 1990s, he collaborated closely with Reza Abdoh on many of his most acclaimed productions, including Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, Bogeyman, Tight Right White, and Quotations from a Ruined City. In many ways, Reza Abdoh resembles the seminal Romantic composer Franz Schubert. Both of these prodigiously talented artists reflected in…

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October 2017

Reiko Ohnuma: “When Animals Speak: Speaking Animals in the Pāli Jātakas”

October 5 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Abstract: The Pali Jātaka collection contains many stories that might be described as “animal fables,” featuring highly anthropomorphized animal characters who think, speak, plan, and reason, much in the manner of human beings. Their use of human language and the fact that they speak, not only to each other but also (in many cases) to the human beings they encounter, sharply distinguishes them not only from the more naturalistic animals depicted elsewhere in Buddhist literature, but also from the Buddhist doctrinal…

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Pegasus Physician Writers: The Body as Temple

October 5 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Physicians, residents and medical students read their original poetry, essays and short stories on the topic of  “The Body as Temple”

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Shahnameh and its Oral Traditions

October 5 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Jalil Doostkhah is an eminent scholar of Iranian literature and culture, with an abiding interest in the country’s grand epic, Shahnameh. He has published extensively on different aspects of the country’s ancient culture and religion as well as on the textual history and meaning of Shahnameh. He will be discussing his research on some of the oral sources of Shahnameh as well as the role of the rich tradition of ritualized recitation of the text, or Naggali, in its preservation…

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Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study

October 5 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study and Leon Levy Professor since 2012, is a mathematical physicist who has made significant contributions to string theory and the advancement of science education. He is President of the InterAcademy Partnership, a past President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a distintguished public policy adviser and advocate for science and the arts. For his contributions to science, he has received the Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific award…

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A Conversation with Karen Joy Fowler

October 5 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This event is part of the Tehnology & Human Values series. Fowler is one of three authors this year, who will speak about their work in relation to ethics and science fiction.  Karen Joy Fowler is the author of three story collections and six novels, including We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award as well as the California Book Award for Fiction for 2013, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize the first year the prize…

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An Evening with National Geographic Photographer Randy Olson

October 5 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

We are proud to invite you to an evening lecture and screening of photographs by Randy Olson, one of the most celebrated documentary photographers working today. This is the second in our series of appearances at Stanford by internationally award-winning photographers; last Fall we hosted David Burnett, and in Winter quarter this year Ed Kashi will join us.  Randy Olson’s work has appeared in numerous publications, but he is best known as a National Geographic photographer. He has traveled to over fifty…

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Workforce & Learning Pathways In A Period Of Dynamic Change

October 6 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

The pipelines for highly skilled talent are global. Around the world, organizations compete aggressively to recruit the best and the brightest minds to invent a digital transformation. There is a shortage of highly skilled talent for the digital transformation. Older workers are now falling out of the workforce because they lack means to upgrade to the digital mindset and technologies. The pipeline of young STEM-savvy talent is not sufficient. Access to global talent, once a panacea for Silicon Valley and…

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Graduate Students Workshop: “Buddhist Theories of Embodiment”

October 7 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Graduate Students Workshop: “Foul Wombs, Lacquered Devices, and the Ancient Tampon: Reading (Critically) for Female Agency in Indian Buddhist Texts” Abstract: Scholarly literature on the female body in Indian Buddhism has focused on the extreme negativity of its representations and usually posited its bad effects on women.  Vinaya scholarship on Buddhist monasticism has emphasized its paternalism, assuming the creation and implementation of vinaya to be elite, androcentric, and rigidly hierarchical. This paper reconsiders the question of the agentive female in…

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Malcolm Bilson: Piano Colloquium – NEW TIME!

October 10 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Malcolm Bilson’s presentation, “Urtexts, Old Recordings, Taste,” will examine new ideas about taste in composition and especially in performance, with particular attention to evidence from historical recordings. Mr. Bilson has been in the forefront of the period instrument movement for more than forty years. He has been a key contributor to the restoration of the early piano to the concert stage and fresh recordings of the mainstream repertory. He has toured with many of the world’s most important early instrument…

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Income and Wealth Inequality: Evidence and Policy Implications

October 10 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

SERIES: A New Social Compact? Rising Inequality, Intransigent Poverty, and the Path Forward We are all familiar with the social sciences as an academic category, but we don’t often stop to think about how much is bundled into this modest label: anthropology, economics, law, linguistics, political science, communication, psychology, and sociology, just for a start. Scholars in these fields have a shared goal: to understand how we live together, what works and what doesn’t in our social lives, and how we could…

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Robert Huw Morgan Organ Recital

October 11 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

University Organist, Robert Huw Morgan, in concert.

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Those First Flowers of the Americas: Cafà, Bernini, and ‘Soft Sculpture’ at the Crossroads | Shawon Kinew

October 16 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

The Department of Art & Art History presents Those first flowers of the Americas: Cafà, Bernini, and ‘soft sculpture’ at the crossroads, a lecture by Shawon Kinew.  In 1670, a sculpture of Rose of Lima carved of Carrara marble —weighing approximately 1.6 tons— was shipped from Rome, traversing a sea, an ocean, an isthmus, and cruising along the Pacific coast, before finally landing in Lima, Peru. Carved by Melchiorre Cafà in the beautiful “soft style” of Roman Baroque art, the…

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Artist Talk: Akram Khan in Conversation

October 16 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Internationally renowned choreographer Akram Khan speaks with Professor Jisha Menon (Department of Theater and Performance Studies, Stanford Center for South Asia) about his varied career merging the classical Indian Kathak with contemporary dance forms, collaborating with an array of noted artists from Peter Brook to Kylie Minogue, and creating his current dance-theater work Until the Lions adapted from the classical Indian epic The Mahabharata.

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Ajahn Jayanto: “A Call of the Heart: A Monk’s Life Today”

October 17 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Abstract: Ajahn Jayanto will offer reflections on his life as a Theravada Buddhist monk in England, Thailand, and the U.S., and why the ancient Buddhist monastic vocation has become meaningful to increasing numbers of people in our modern societies. Bio: Ajahn Jayanto was born in Boston in 1967. During his university years a period of world travel kindled a great interest in the spiritual life. In 1989 he joined the monastic community of Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Sumedho at Amaravati…

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Finding Fibonacci

October 17 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

In 2001, Stanford mathematician Keith Devlin set out to research the life and legacy of the 13th-century mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, popularly known as Fibonacci. Leonardo introduced the Hindu-Arabic numeral system and arithmetic to the Western world and thereby helped start a global, social, and economic revolution. Devlin recounted Leonardo’s story in his 2011 book The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution. In a simultaneously published companion ebook, Leonardo and Steve: The Young Genius Who Beat Apple to Market by 800 Years, Devlin…

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The Destruction of Hood’s Ordnance Train: A Love Story | Professor Alex Nemerov

October 18 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

The Department of Art & Art History presents The Destruction of Hood’s Ordnance Train: A Love Story, a lecture by Professor Alexander Nemerov, Chair and Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities.  How is something that is not there still present in a photograph?  What is the importance of seeing a photograph in this way? This lecture is free and open to the public with advance registration Image: George Barnard, Destruction of Hood’s Ordnance Train, 1864.…

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Anti-Clericalism in Medieval Persian Poetry

October 19 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Dr. Leonard Lewisohn is Senior Lecturer in Persian and Iran Heritage Foundation Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies of the University of Exeter where he teaches Islamic Studies, Sufism, history of Iran, as well as courses on Persian texts and Persian poetry in translation. He specializes in translation of Persian Sufi poetic and prose texts. He has authored many books including Beyond Faith and Infidelity: The Sufi Poetry and Teachings of Mahmud Shabistari (London: Curzon Press 1995), and…

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The Pill: Chemistry, Art & Art History and the Legacy of Carl Djerassi

October 20 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

The Departments of Art & Art History, and Chemistry at Stanford University present The Pill: Chemistry, Art & Art History and the Legacy of Carl Djerassi. A renaissance man in every sense of the word, Stanford professor Carl Djerassi is widely known for his remarkable achievements in chemistry and the arts. The world-renowned scientist, artist, poet and novelist is remembered most as the man who sparked a cultural revolution by developing the first oral contraceptive, which earned him the nickname,…

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Between Information Aesthetics and Design Amplification | Professor Claus Pias

October 23 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Media, Architecture, and Computing (ca. 1970) Around the year 1970, “technocratic” themes such as planning theory, semiotics, mathematics, cybernetics, and designs based on algorithms and set theory became widespread aspects of architecture. A juxtaposition of the “Stuttgart School” and the “Architecture Machine Group” will reveal the fundamental differences between the reception of cybernetics in Germany and the United States. Whereas in Germany the discussion centered on scientific aesthetics, a computer-based critique of art, and the promises of quantification and objectivity,…

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San Francisco Stories: Belva Davis—A Pioneer in Journalism

October 24 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

In 1963, Belva Davis became the first African American woman in television journalism on the West Coast. She was already established as a reporter in print and radio, and her career in Bay Area journalism went on to span five decades. She covered stories as varied as the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, the Black Panther Party, the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, the mass suicide at Jonestown, and more. In this talk, Davis will…

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Pedro de Lemos: A Visionary Who Transformed American Art

October 25 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

An Illustrated Public Talk with Curator, Dr. Robert W. Edwards After a brief introduction, which summarizes the advancement of Pedro de Lemos (1882-1954) as a celebrated artist, educator, and proponent of the Arts & Craft Movement, the focus turns to his astonishing innovations in the field of printmaking.  In the early 1900s etchings, aquatints, and color block prints were considered esoteric and expensive disciplines that were taught at a few established art schools and universities.  In a series of publications…

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The Russian Revolution Comes to Stanford: Alexander Kerensky on Campus

October 26 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Speaker: Bertrand M. Patenaude, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution Alexander Kerensky was the charismatic leader of the Provisional Government that held a tenuous grip on power in Russia between the fall of the Romanovs in February 1917 and the storming to power of the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution. Kerensky first visited Stanford in 1955 and spent much of the next ten years on campus, conducting research in the Hoover Library & Archives, teaching seminars, giving guest lectures, and appearing on…

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The Destruction of Hood’s Ordnance Train: A Love Story | Professor Alex Nemerov

October 26 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

The Department of Art & Art History presents The Destruction of Hood’s Ordnance Train: A Love Story, a lecture by Professor Alexander Nemerov, Chair and Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities.  How is something that is not there still present in a photograph?  What is the importance of seeing a photograph in this way? This lecture is free and open to the public with advance registration (opens early September) Image: George Barnard, Destruction of Hood’s…

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Daniel Pearl World Music Days Concert

October 26 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Stanford musicians, including members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, curate this annual free concert honoring the life and memory of alumnus Daniel Pearl, the violin-playing Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered in 2002 in Pakistan. This year’s concert will feature the premiere of Stanford composer Jonathan Berger’s Death by Drowning, performed by violinist-collaborators MoVE, as well as the poignant and intense Duo (1925) for Violin and Cello by Erwin Schulhoff, performed by Owen Dalby and Christopher Costanza of…

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The Death of Jesus: Comparing Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Accounts

October 30 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Christian, Jewish, and Muslim representations of how Jesus/Yeshu/`Isa died developed over centuries, promoting very different understandings and valuations of the event itself, its aftermath, and its significance. At stake in these competing narrations were claims about messiahship, prophethood, divine sonship—and God’s favored people. This talk involves a close weighing side by side of (a) select Christian interpretations of the meaning of Jesus’s death in Gospels, creeds, and art; (b) two Jewish writings—a parody of the life of Yeshu/Jesus and a…

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Tracy K. Smith Reading, part of the Lane Lecture Series

October 30 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths Part of the Lane Lecture Series Tracy K. Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light (Knopf, 2015) and three books of poetry. Her collection Life on Mars won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Duende won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The Body’s Question was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe…

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November 2017

2017 Contemplation by Design Summit: Nov 1 – Nov 9

November 1 12:00 am

SAVE THE DATES Free events will be offered Nov. 1-9, 2017 to further balance, tranquility, resilience, and creative excellence. CBD Summit participants will have the opportunity to take a break from their high-level output of productivity and innovation in order to rest and renew the mind-body-spirit. The full 2017 Summit schedule is posted at: http://contemplation.stanford.edu/summit.php

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In Search of Miki: Hayakawa, a “Forgotten” American/Japanese/Woman Artist in Pre-WWII California | ShiPu Wang

November 1 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

THE OTHER AMERICAN MODERNS: Matsura, Ishigaki, Noda Hayakawa ShiPu Wang, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Merced, recounts his circuitous pursuit of the “lost” paintings of Hayakawa (ミキ早川, 1899-1953), a critically-acclaimed California artist who is largely unknown today. Through piecing together scattered details of Hayakawa’s enigmatic life, Wang recovers an Exclusion-era history of a vibrant, multi-racial/cultural artistic community in which the artist and her compatriots defiantly thrived. This talk is drawn from Wang’s new book, The…

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Whose city? Reclaiming public space as a step towards municipal approach to politics in Belgrade

November 2 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Photographer Luka Knežević-Strika will deliver a lecture on the topic: “Whose city? Reclaiming public space as a step towards municipal approach to politics in Belgrade.” More details to be announced.

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In Conversation: Jed Perl with Alexander S. C. Rower

November 2 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Jed Perl, art critic and writer, discusses his new book Calder: The Conquest of Time: The Early Years: 1898 – 1940 with Alexander S. C. Rower, President of the Calder Foundation. Perl’s book is the first ever biography of Alexander Calder, the acclaimed twentieth-century sculptor. This program is presented in collaboration with PACE Palo Alto. Books will be available for purchase and a book signing will follow the program. This program is free and open to the public, but seating…

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A Celebration of the Life and Poetry of Denise Levertov

November 2 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Denise Levertov was one of the most distinguished and engaging poets of the 20th century. Her work is characterized by moral courage, passionate imagination, exquisite craftsmanship, and unpretentious accessibility. Stanford was fortunate to have Levertov on the faculty for a number of years, and her influence on poets throughout the Bay Area has been indelible.  Early in her career, through her friendships with Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan, she became associated with the so-called Black Mountain School, experimenting in what…

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CBD 2017: Carillon Concert and Quiet Contemplation

November 3 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

SAVE THE DATE – Carillon Concert and Quiet Contemplation – Friday, November 3rd. The Hoover carillon bells ring again this year to signal the university’s commitment to emotional well-being. All members of the Stanford community are encouraged to pause, reflect and take time to unwind. Gather in Dorhmann Grove, the Oval Ear and/or Meyer Green Lawn to share the concert and contemplative pause together as a community. You may also enjoy the experience by pausing wherever you are on or off…

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CBD 2017: The Hidden Life of Trees: Book discussion on nature and interconnectedness

November 3 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm

The Hidden Life of Trees illustrates in vivid ways how trees in the forest are social beings. Join us as we use the book as a starting point to open up discussion about how trees interact with each other in similar ways to human beings, exploring and cultivating appreciation for the uncanny parallels between our lives and theirs. NOTE: Feel free to join us even if you have not finished the book. Facilitator: Sairus Patel is co-editor of Trees of…

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CBD 2017: The Hidden Life of Trees: Book discussion on nature and interconnectedness

November 4 5:15 pm - 6:30 pm

The Hidden Life of Trees illustrates in vivid ways how trees in the forest are social beings. Join us as we use the book as a starting point to open up discussion about how trees interact with each other in similar ways to human beings, exploring and cultivating appreciation for the uncanny parallels between our lives and theirs. NOTE: Feel free to join us even if you have not finished the book. Facilitator: Sairus Patel is co-editor of Trees of…

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CBD 2017: Tea Ceremony: An experiential contemplative practice

November 5 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Enjoy the tranquility of the tea-brewing process and appreciate the history of Chinese tea ceremonies in this culturally rooted contemplative practice. Attendees will learn about the origins and related cultural activities of the Chinese tea ceremony, then participate in a ceremony themselves alongside a host. Learn how the simple act of making tea can become an experience of shared presence, relaxation, and honoring of tradition. The ceremony will also feature a contemplative performance from the Stanford Chinese Music Ensemble. Chairs…

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CBD 2017: The Hidden Life of Trees: Book discussion on nature and interconnectedness

November 5 5:15 pm - 6:30 pm

The Hidden Life of Trees illustrates in vivid ways how trees in the forest are social beings. Join us as we use the book as a starting point to open up discussion about how trees interact with each other in similar ways to human beings, exploring and cultivating appreciation for the uncanny parallels between our lives and theirs. NOTE: Feel free to join us even if you have not finished the book. Facilitator: Sairus Patel is co-editor of Trees of…

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CBD 2017: Using Stories to Deepen Your Presence to Life

November 6 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

Like meditation, stories and storytelling have long been a vehicle for creating greater presence to ourselves, others, and our world. In this workshop, you will explore how to turn your encounters with stories into contemplative practices, with many of the same benefits of mindfulness and compassion practices. Join us to experience how to use stories and storytelling to reflect deeply and create more intimacy in all of your relationships. Instructor: Jonah Willihnganz, MFA, PhD, has taught literature and writing at…

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CBD 2017: Walking Meditation and Contemplation of Memorial Church Inscriptions

November 7 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Join us in the awe-inspiring tranquility of Memorial Church for a walking meditation. The event will be centered on the inscriptions carved in the sandstone interior walls of this beautiful sacred space. Assembled by Jane Stanford, these inscriptions represent a collection of instructive and inspirational quotes to nourish the soul and spirit. Facilitators: The Rev. Joanne Sanders, D.Min, Associate Dean for Religious Life at Stanford, preaches and presides regularly at services in Memorial Church. She has brought contemplative practices such…

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History Changes Gears: The Russian Revolution of 1917—A Centennial Lecture

November 7 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

The centennial of the Russian Revolution of 1917 serves as the occasion for this lecture, which will recount the broad sweep of events that led to the downfall of the Russian autocracy in the February Revolution and then, eight months later, the storming to power of the Bolshevik Party in the name of the Soviets—an event once celebrated as the Great October Socialist Revolution. The lecture will assess the role of individual actors on the scene, from the last Romanov…

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CBD 2017: What Makes Living Things Tick, The Restless Clock

November 8 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Ever since the beginnings of modern science in the 17th century, philosophers and scientists have used clockwork as a metaphor to describe the universe and the natural world. Clockwork generally makes one think of something rigid, rote, constrained, something that ticks along without changing. However, hidden within this centuries-old clockwork metaphor is a tradition of people who have understood clocks, and nature, very differently: as restless, responsive, and dynamic. These renegades include the German philosopher Leibniz who first described living…

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CBD 2017: Keynote with Alice Walker – Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart: Noticing where you are, and who or what is there with you

November 8 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Tickets for this Contemplation By Design keynote event are available through the Stanford Ticketing Office starting Tuesday, September 12th at 9:00am by clicking HERE. (Registration for all other Contemplation By Design Summit sessions is available at: contemplation.stanford.edu/summit.php  The summit is November 1-9, 2017.) “No one escapes a time in life when the arrow of sorrow, of anger, of despair pierces the heart. For many of us, there is the inevitable need to circle the wound. It is often such a surprise to find it…

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CBD 2017: Contemplative Concert in Bing Concert Hall

November 9 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Through music, dance and song, experience PEACE: Pause, Exhale, Attend mindfully, Connect with nature/yourself/others and Express. The concert includes performances by the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Stanford Symphony Orchestra, pianist Eric Tuan, baritone Steve Goodman and original choreography by Diane Frank. Faculty and Staff will earn a BeWell berry by attending this concert.

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In Conversation with Samantha Bee

November 10 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Meet America’s Canadian sweetheart, the only female comic to host her own network late-night show. Bee, a Canadian who learned her craft as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, has become a sharp political commentator with a ribald voice that never loses its charm or its funny. NOTE: This event has been rescheduled from October 6 and is currently at capacity. Please sign up for the notification list to receive any ticketing and event updates.

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The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China

November 13 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

This event is for current Stanford students and faculty only. About the talk: China’s entry in to modernity was not just traumatic, but uproarious. As the Qing last dynasty fell, prominent writers compiled jokes to form collections called “histories of laughter.” In the first years of the republic, novelists, essayists, and illustrators used humorous allegories to make veiled critiques of the new government. Yet political and cultural discussion repeatedly erupted into invective, with critics gleefully jeering rivals in public. Farceurs…

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Building a Shared Urban Future: From Creative Democracy to Participatory Planning

November 13 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

With the growing changes in cities across the world, citizens are demanding and expecting new ways of engaging with their urban environments. This special evening panel will bring together interdisciplinary perspectives from design, public policy, and the arts to explore theories and framing of citizen participation and new possibilities for engaging the urban populace at large. From topics of creative democracy in public policy, participatory planning in public housing, to maker activities in public spaces, how might we build a…

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World of Thieves: A Global History of the Chinese Swindle Story

November 14 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Please RSVP here.  Free and open to the public. About the talk: Why do collections of swindle stories appear at certain times and places? In China, for example, the swindle story has experienced bursts of popularity during the late Ming, the early Republican era, the early Mao era, and during the last 20 years. And comparable works exist around the world. What, for example, do Zhang Yingyu’s Book of Swindles (Ming China, 1617), Richard King’s The New Cheats of London…

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Stanford University Press: Celebrating 125 Years of Publishing (tentative date)

November 14 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Speakers: Alan Harvey, Director, Stanford University Press Kate Wahl, Editor-in-Chief, Stanford University Press

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Serve a Year, Fulfill a Mission: Service Year Programs

November 16 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Interested in education, the environment, disaster relief, health care, or any other imaginable pressing world issue? Consider taking a service year to help leading organizations achieve their missions. Service Year Alliance CEO Shirley Sagawa, along with representatives from a variety of service year programs, will share opportunities to spend a year doing meaningful work alongside diverse, driven people. CREAM will be served to those who RSVP.

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Studio Lecture Series: Nicola López

November 16 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Human-built Structures: Giants, Hybrids and Unnatural Systems Born in Santa Fe, NM, Nicola López lives and works in Brooklyn and teaches at Columbia University in New York City.  Through her work in installation, drawing and printmaking, López describes and reconfigures our contemporary—primarily urban—landscape.  Her focus on describing ‘place’ stems from an interest in urban planning, architecture and anthropology and it has been fueled by time spent working and traveling in different landscapes.  López has received support for her work through…

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December 2017

A Bridge Taken for a Wall, a Wall Taken for a Bridge: On Persian Art, Poetry, and Translation

December 7 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Jahan Ramazani is University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is currently writing a book on poetry in a global age. This talk on poetry, art, and East-West translation ranges from ancient Iran to medieval Byzantium and the Abbasid era to modern Iran and Ireland. The lecture is in three parts. The first looks at the Persian artistic influences via Byzantium on a modern Irish poet that have passed largely unrecognized (a bridge…

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A Festival of Lessons and Carols

December 8 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

All are welcome to this Service of Advent and Christmas readings and music, based on the famous Lessons and Carols Service held annually at King’s College, Cambridge. Festive music will be sung by the Memorial Church Choir and the Stanford Chamber Chorale.

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A Festival of Lessons and Carols

December 9 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

All are welcome to this Service of Advent and Christmas readings and music, based on the famous Lessons and Carols Service held annually at King’s College, Cambridge. Festive music will be sung by the Memorial Church Choir and the Stanford Chamber Chorale.

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January 2018

Claire Messud Reading, part of the Lane Lecture Series

January 22, 2018 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Claire Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Author of six previous works of fiction including her most recent novel, The Burning Girl, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her family.

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Heterogeneous Critique; A Proposal from a Latin American(ist) Point of View

January 26, 2018 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Speaker: Dr. Friedhelm Schmidt-Welle By introducing the concept of “heterogeneous critique”, I propose a theoretical and methodological framework and an alternative to universalist approaches in literary and cultural criticism, approaches which even include the trend to apply Anglo-Saxon postcolonialist positions on Latin American cultures. I will analyze the decline of universalist theory exemplified by the crisis of literary history and the emergence of a new regionalism in Latin American cultural critique which tries to overcome the invisibility of local theoretical…

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February 2018

Phillip E. Bloom: “Born in the Latter Days of the Dharma: Ecology and Eternity in a Song-Dynasty Buddhist Monastery”

February 8, 2018 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Abstract: What are the spatial and temporal environments of a Chinese Buddhist monastery? What place does nature hold therein? To answer these questions, this talk will examine Shizhuanshan (Dazu County, Chongqing Municipality), a hilltop sanctuary in southwestern China constructed by a wealthy layman in the late eleventh century. It will argue that at Shizhuanshan, architecture, image, and text work together to transform the natural environment itself into a site for the eternal performance of Buddhist ritual. Bio: Phillip E. Bloom…

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Pioneers in Educational Globe-trotting: Stanford Travel/Study at 50

February 20, 2018 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Speaker: Brett S. Thompson, Director, Stanford Travel/Study Program

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Heather Blair: “What Counts? Buddhism, Picturebooks, and Japanese Culture”

February 22, 2018 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Abstract: Jokes about hell, fake sutras that, though specious, exert miraculous effects, and stories about a bodhisattva who is as well loved for his failures as for his assistance. These and other playful engagements with Buddhist ideas and imagery pervade picturebooks from Japan’s secular mainstream. But do they count as Buddhist? Focusing on picturebooks published for children from the 1960s to the present, this talk asks what it might mean to be culturally—without necessarily being confessionally—Buddhist. It presents an argument…

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March 2018

Barbara Rossetti Ambros: “On Talking Terms with Mihotokesama: Material and Bodily Practices of a Jōdo Shin Healer”

March 1, 2018 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Abstract:  The life story of Takumi Toyoko (b. 1929) illustrates the material and corporeal practices of popular Jōdo Shin in the Hokuriku region. At the intersection between a secret Jōdo Shin confraternity and a healer with an open clientele, Takumi and her devotees challenge stereotypical notions of Jōdo Shin as being opposed to magic and folk traditions. Rather than emphasizing scriptural authority, Takumi communicates directly with the Buddha Amida and wields her own body as a vehicle of salvation. Yet Amida…

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Rev. Shojun Ogi: “Re-Focusing Buddhism in Modern Japanese Society: New Dimensions in Contemporary Japanese Buddhism”

March 8, 2018 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Abstract: Historically, especially after World War II, Japanese Buddhist temples became focused mainly on conducting funeral rituals, various commemorative memorials, the selling of talismans, and conducting prayer rituals in the name of good fortune, happiness and safety. This led Japanese society, including both Buddhist priests and public at large to come to believe that Buddhism was only relevant regarding death or wishes. However, recognizing the declining position of Buddhism in contemporary Japan, some Buddhist priests have begun creating and implementing…

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April 2018

James A. Benn: “Controversies in the Doctrine and Practice of Self-immolation in Medieval China”

April 21, 2018 12:00 am

Abstract: In this seminar we will read selected passages from the chapter on self-immolation (sheshen pian 捨身篇) in the seventh-century Chinese Buddhist compendium Fayuan zhulin 法苑珠林. We will see how the compiler of the work—Daoshi 道世 (596?–683) places a range of somatic practices including burning the body within the context of the propagation of Buddhism. We will note how he deploys key jātaka tales and Mahāyāna sutras as scriptural supports for the practice, and reflect on his choice of hagiographical material from China. Bio: James A. Benn…

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Hisham Matar Reading, part of the Lane Lecture Series

April 23, 2018 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Photo by Diana Matar Part of the Lane Lecture Series Hisham Matar was born in New York City to Libyan parents, spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo, and has lived most of his adult life in London. His critically acclaimed 2016 memoir The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between won the Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography and received the PEN America Book of the Year Award. In The Return, he recounts his search for his father, who was…

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May 2018

Tim H. Barrett: “A Possible Buddhist Influence on Chinese Political Thought”

May 3, 2018 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Abstract: Much work has been done in recent decades on the way in which Chinese rulers made use of Buddhism to bolster their power, but in fact some Buddhist ideas concerning kingship found in South Asian materials were quite negative. China was in imperial times an autocracy in which such negativity towards kingship generally did not flourish. But if we look carefully, is there really no trace at all of these Buddhist ideas entering the Chinese tradition of political thought? …

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Rupert Gethin: “On Death and Rebirth, and What Happens in Between: Two Buddhist Accounts of Why it Matters”

May 17, 2018 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Abstract: Ancient Indian Buddhist thinkers for the most part took it as given that death was followed by rebirth, but they disagreed on whether death was followed immediately by rebirth or by an in between state (antarābhava). The lecture will consider two accounts of death and rebirth, both from the fourth to fifth centuries CE but representing the traditions of two different schools: (1) the account found in Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakośa, which presents the traditions of the Sarvāstivāda school and advocates an in between state, and (2) the account found in the…

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Oliver Freiberger: “Lines in Water? On Drawing Buddhism’s Boundaries in Ancient India”

May 24, 2018 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Abstract: This talk explores the ways in which religious agents – and modern scholars – distinguish religions. Illustrated by examples from ancient India, it will problematize the popular notion of blurred boundaries and suggest a multilayered approach for analyzing religious boundary-making. The paper argues that scholars should be prepared to find, even within one religious community, numerous and possibly conflicting ways of drawing a boundary between “us” and “them.” Bio: Dr. Oliver Freiberger is associate professor of Asian Studies and…

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