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Coastal Carolina University's Celebration of Inquiry begins Feb. 11

February 3, 2009

Sylvia Nasar, author of the bestselling biography "A Beautiful Mind," will give the keynote address at Coastal Carolina University's 2009 Celebration of Inquiry confereence. Her address, titled "A Beautiful Mind Revisited: Creativity, Mental Illness and the Brain," is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public, but tickets are required from the Wheelwright Box Office.

More than 150 programs and presentations exploring the theme "Sharing Stories: Learning through Discovery to Build a Better World" will be offered during Coastal Carolina University's eighth Celebration of Inquiry conference, Feb. 11 to 13. All events are free and open to the public.

Nasar, an award-winning reporter, economist and professor, will discuss new research findings on schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and behavior, social isolation and emotional blunting. The bestselling author will shed light on the illness and explain how people can learn from individuals diagnosed with the disease. "A Beautiful Mind" is a biography of John Nash, the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician who suffered from schizophrenia.

Nasar attended Antioch College and earned a master's degree at New York University. She has been a writer for Fortune magazine, a columnist for U.S. News & World Report and an economics reporter for The New York Times. Nasar is the first James S. and John L. Knight Professor of Business Journalism at Columbia University, where she co-directs the M.A. program in business journalism. She is currently writing a book on 20th-century economists titled "Grand Pursuit."

The Celebration of Inquiry is a two-day, universitywide academic conference that redirects all classes to presentations and events held on campus. Many of the sessions are planned and presented by students with faculty direction and they cover a diverse range of topics, from literature, science, history and social issues to online dating and biking through Europe.

Three plenary speakers will be featured during the conference.

* Patricia C. Nichols, author of "Voices of Our Ancestors" and professor of linguistics at San Jose State University. Her presentation, "Hearing Voices of Our Ancestors in Stories of Today," will be on Thursday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m. in Wall Auditorium.

* Corey Arnez Griffin, director of the International Development Aid Agencies, will give a talk titled "The NAACP Centennial: Celebrating 100 years of service and civic engagement" on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in Wall Auditorium.

* Composer Meira Warshauer will present "Meira Warshauer: My Life In Music" on Friday, Feb. 13 at 11:30 a.m. in the Recital Hall of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

A sampling of some of the Celebration of Inquiry presentations:

* "The Animals' Side of the Story," a session reflecting the humor and horror of animals' relationship with humans, Thursday, 8:30 a.m., Prince 101

* "The Cellphone and Hollywood," a presentation and discussion of film clips involving computers, Internet and cellphones, Thursday, 1:30 p.m., Prince 117

* "Why We Love the Ukulele," a session featuring musicians telling stories of how they became interested in the ukulele, followed by performances of classic Hawaiian and mainland ukulele songs, Thursday, 10 a.m., Edwards Recital Hall.

Performing the Celebration's closing session on Friday will be Dan O'Reilly, instructor of music at Coastal Carolina University, presenting Jazz After Hours, a variety of American-born jazz songs and the stories of the musicians who created them.

For a complete schedule of Celebration of Inquiry events, visit This conference is sponsored by the University's Office of Student Activities and Leadership, the Office of Multicultural Student Services, the Honors Program, the Office of the Provost, the Department of Music and the Department of English.

To view videos about "Sharing Stories," click here: or or