Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Among the things Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants left behind when they fled Kandahar after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was a cache of more than 1,500 audiotapes. Discovered a year later, the recorded sermons, songs, and intimate conversations lent extraordinary insight into bin Laden and Al-Qa’ida’s theoretical and organizational development.
Flagg Miller, a University of California, Davis, professor and expert in Arabic literature and culture, was called in to study the tapes, and laid out their revelations in his new book, The Audacious Ascetic. The Kansas City native sits down with Writers at Work series organizer Whitney Terrell for a public conversation about the effort.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Until the late 18th century, Shakespeare’s works were known in America only on the page – and not the stage. Felicia Hardison Londré, the Curators’ Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, traces the Bard’s trajectory in this country from colonial times to today’s vast network of Shakespeare festivals. Her illustrated presentation explores, in part, the glory days of Shakespearean tours and the Bard’s popularity on the Western frontier.
The event help celebrate a special upcoming exhibit, First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library. All related events are made possible by a generous contribution from the David W. Newcomer IV and Gene Ann Newcomer Family Foundation Fund in memory of Gene Ann’s brother, Professor John Klier.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Efforts to combat blight and “renew” Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, took off after the end of World War II, but the results were mixed. Visionary ideas often came at the expense of established neighborhoods, architectural landmarks, and a sense of community. Adding to the difficulty, the two cities had been always tied at the hip. Although the interests of the bordering municipalities aligned, their municipal, county, and state political structures divided them.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Hollywood has adapted, sampled, and stolen from William Shakespeare for more than a century – seeing his works as a source of prestige as soon as the commercial possibilities of narrative movies were apparent. The Ciné Shakespeare series features four of the best films featuring the Bard or his works in the past 20 years. Joan FitzPatrick Dean, the Curators Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, introduces the selections and leads a discussion after each Sunday afternoon screening.
Director Richard Loncraine successfully relocates the story of the murderously scheming king to 1930, and Ian McKellan delivers a memorable performance in the title role. Also starring Annette Bening, the film drew Oscar nominations for art direction and costume design. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.
Friday, March 18, 2016
Eric Vaughn’s passion for magic started when he was 10 years old. He’s now one of the busiest magicians in the Midwest, keeping audiences laughing and scratching their heads at the same time with performances that are wacky, enthusiastic, interactive, and entertaining. Appropriate for all ages.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
The three artists behind the new exhibition Measured Space – on display in the Rocky and Gabriella Mountain Gallery through May 22, 2016 – discuss their sculptural works, which explore philosophies relating to construction, technology, and place.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Educators and researchers have long recognized the importance of mastering reading by the end of third grade. Students falling short often falter in later grades and are four times more likely than proficient readers to fail to graduate from high school on time.
What’s being done and what more is needed, to insure that local schools are helping students make the grade? The Library and American Public Square address the questions in the latest in a series of mannerly discussions of local issues.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Cassandra Clare, creator of the internationally best-selling Mortal Instruments series, now towers as an author of young-adult fantasy fiction. She discusses her life, her award-winning career, and her new Shadowhunters novel, Lady Midnight, the first in a new series, The Dark Artifices – a sequel to the Mortal Instruments.
Monday, March 14, 2016
For two years, Harvard University social sciences professor Matthew Desmond embedded himself in two poor neighborhoods in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What he found was a sobering fact of life: One of the struggling residents’ biggest challenges was holding on to a place to live. Eviction was a persistent threat.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Craig Cobb was already notorious before trying to take over Leith, North Dakota, and turn it into an Aryan enclave some three years ago. The struggle for control of the tiny hamlet culminated in the white supremacist’s arrest for intimidating its residents.
As part of the Indie Lens Pop-Up community cinema initiative, the Library and KCPT-TV screen the documentary Welcome to Leith, which chronicles the saga from the days leading up to Cobb’s arrest to his release from jail six months later (he eventually was placed on probation). The film touches on Cobb’s connection to Frazier Glenn Miller, who in 2014 killed three people outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas.