A Novel Idea 2012 kicks off with an overview of events, followed by a presentation
from COCC professor of English Stacey Donohue on this year’s featured book, Rules
of Civility by Amor Towles, and an exhibit of quilts by the members of QuiltWorks.
If you’ve never gone to a book discussion before, you’re not alone. Each of us has
a different opinion due to personal experiences, choices, and frames of reference.
There are no right or wrong answers.
Film Screening: “Jazz: Swing, the Velocity of Celebration”
This documentary film by Ken Burns gives an in-depth look at the jazz musicians
and singers of the late 1930s. Swing-mania is still going strong on 52nd Street,
but it has been reignited with pulsing, stomping sounds from the bands of Count
Basie, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw, and infused with the blues by the unforgettable
voices of Billie Holiday and a newcomer— a teenage singer named Ella Fitzgerald.
University of Oregon professor of English William Rossi discusses why Henry Thoreau’s
Walden, much like Moby Dick, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is known
by many and read by few. But, for Americans, why does no other nineteenth-century
writer comes to mind prepackaged with a myth that makes his book less likely to
be read than Thoreau?
During April, QuiltWorks Quilt Gallery is exhibiting 40 quilts, each inspired by
the novel Rules of Civility. Each quilt, uniquely different in color, style, setting,
and shape celebrates Rules of Civility and the quilters who have woven together
their love of reading and quilting. More information: (541) 728-0527,
The Social Documentary Photographs of Walker Evans
Lewis & Clark professor of Art History Matthew Johnston examines how different types
of written texts played a role in making the photographs of Walker Evans effective
instruments of social change. Striking on their own terms, Evans’ images were not
only frequently accompanied by text (as in his collaboration with James Agee in
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men), which provided a crucial means for bridging
“high” and “low” culture, that was seen as integral to the success of his documentary
Money Enough for a Martini an Hour: Women, Work & Leisure in 1930s New York
Did the economic crisis of the 1930s thwart the progress made by women in the “Roaring
Twenties? ” Professor Jamie Bufalino from the University of Oregon explores the
relationship between single women’s work outside the home, their consumption of
leisure, and their efforts to be independent in 1930s New York.
The American Dream?: Rules of Civility and The Great Gatsby
What are the connections between Tinker and that embodiment of modern literature,
Jay Gatsby? Modernist literature scholar Joel Clements examines the traits the two
share, explores the American notion that we can be any identity we construct, and
discusses the modern concept that the American Dream can become a delusion.
Professional jazz musician Tim DuRoche discusses the emergence of swing jazz in
the 1930s as the dominant form in American music and how virtuoso soloists such
as Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday who joined Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington,
and Jimmy & Tommy Dorsey became famous as band leaders.
The Art of the Possible: Jazz and Community Building
Jazz is a highly democratic art form that is deeply concerned with participation
and community, where risk, collaboration, and individual voice are all highly valued.
Independent scholar and professional jazz musician Tim DuRoche explores the literature,
economics and history of jazz as well as look at how jazz as a “community of memory”
can inspire us to embrace cooperation once again as an important cornerstone of
our culture. (No tickets needed.)
This event is part of Oregon Humanities statewide Conversation
History and Mixology of 1930s Cocktails
Cocktail anyone? Mixologist Columbine Quillen highlights the history of the cocktail
and shows you how to mix up something special using Bendistillery Gin & Vodka. Participants
must be over 21 and space is limited. Signups are required. Register online at one
of the links below, by calling (541) 312- 1032, or via email -
An Evening With Rules of Civility Author Amor Towles
The presentation is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available online
(www.towertheatre.org, (541) 317-0700,
or at the Tower Theatre box office during regular business hours beginning Saturday,
April 14 at 10:00 a.m.).