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Coastal's Cultural Controversies series begins Feb. 15

January 18, 2006

Join members of Coastal Carolina Universitys faculty for the community dialogue series Cultural Controversies, an exploration of seven timely and provocative topics from cloning to the DaVinci Code. The free sessions are open to the public. All sessions will be held at Coastals Waccamaw Higher Education Center at 160 Willbrook Blvd. west of U.S. 17 next to the Hampton Inn in Litchfield.

Cultural Controversies is the fourth such series sponsored by the Board of Visitors of Coastals Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts. These community dialogues are designed to involve area citizens and Coastal faculty members in discussions about significant issues. For more information call 349-4030.

Songs of the Marginalized: Politicized Voices

Wednesday, Feb.15, 7 p.m.

The American Musical Theatre has been, since its birth, a place for societys others to have a voice. Historically, these characters, their songs and the contextual themes in which they are presented transcend cultural, social and political boundaries and provide insight into the hearts and minds of Americas under-represented. Theater professor Greg London will offer examples of this phenomenon, discussing the relationship of each song he performs to the culturally marginalized.

The Ethics of Genetic Meddling: Stem Cells, Human Embryos, Cloning and All That!

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m.

Science professor Philip Schneider describes what genes do and dont do, provides a working scientific vocabulary and dispels some of the confusion regarding complex medical breakthroughs reported in the news media. His presentation will include discussion of genetic testing, somatic cell therapy, germ cell (germ line) therapy, stem cell therapy and production of human embryos by cloning. More importantly, Schneider will explore the ethical principles that he feels should govern the use of these capabilities.

Songs of Life and Love: Music by American Women Composers

Wednesday, March 1, 7 p.m.

Professors Amy Tully, flute, and Patti Edwards, soprano, joined by pianist Deborah Stewart Bellamy, will perform music by five American women composers who between 1867 and the present wrote songs dealing with life and love in their own unique styles. Tully and Edwards will discuss the creative process, compositional style differences and newly required vocal techniques and perform Amy Beachs The Thrush, Nancy Nourses Psalm 126, Katherine Hoovers Seven Haiku, Thea Musgraves Primavera and Andrea Clearfields Love Song.

Multiculturalism, Diversity and the American Political Order

Wednesday, March 8, 7 p.m.

America has often been described as a land of immigrants. That description has taken different forms, ranging from the idea of a melting pot to the current and increasingly popular pursuit of identity politics. Politics professor Paul Peterson will put these different views into historical perspective by focusing on Abraham Lincolns understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the Supreme Courts ruling in the notorious Dred Scott case in 1857. He will explain why the 19th-century debate over the proposition of equality has profound implications for us and our understanding of the nature of the American political order.

From Sheridan to Seinfeld: The 18th-Century Dramatic Roots of Prime Time Television

Wednesday, March 15, 7 p.m.

The English stage evolved from Shakespearean practice (afternoon, outdoor presentations of a single play) to a much more recognizable playbill structure. Professor Dan Ennis will describe how that structure, formalized and popularized by an 18th-century playwright, persisted through the 19th century theatre and then into the age of radio. He will also discuss its reemergence in television programming, where the tendency to reference current events and to present farces, skits, musical entertainment and serious main pieces increase ratings by attracting viewers from a broad cross section of gender, class and social strata.

The Da Vinci Code: Investigating the Book and Its Critics

Wednesday, March 22, 7 p.m.

Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, wanted his novel to serve as catalyst and a springboard for people to discuss the important topics of faith, religion and history. Since its initial publication, more than a dozen books have been written either discrediting or supporting the information in The Da Vinci Code. Professor Cheryl Rhodes will examine the cause of the uproar and the allegations made both by and about Brown and his book, including such topics as the Opus Dei, the Priory of Sion, the Knight Templars, the Holy Grail and the work of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Chaz Plays Jazz: Southern Music and the Sound Track of Freedom

Wednesday, March 29, 7 p.m.

The Southern roots of jazz are well known, but the Southernness of its modern and post-modern phases is less often recognized. Charles Joyner, past president of the Southern Historical Society and director of Coastals Waccamaw Center for Cultural and Historical Studies, will explore how jazz, embodying the essential elements of all music, nevertheless differs in some significant ways from the norms of the Western musical tradition in its use of those elements. Joyners presentation will be in a lecture-concert format, with Chaz illustrating his discussion on the piano.