Arts & Letters
When watching a good marching band morph from one figure into another during halftime, it's easy to forget all of the work that goes into making an intricate art and science look effortless.
According to classics professor Daniel Levine,³Ancient Greek literature is a useful tool to help understand the struggles of modern war veterans, because ancient war veterans, who know from firsthand personal experiences what it was like to fight and be away from home for long periods of time, composed most of it.²
It’s one of the oldest stories on Broadway: talented guy from the hinterlands succeeds on the Great White Way only to discover what is so special about home. Michael Riha reprised this story in 2011 when he spent one harried month as the assistant designer for a Broadway play and a Met opera.
Poetry means different things to different people. For University of Arkansas professor and poet Michael Heffernan, it is an act of discovery. The journey that he knows as poetry has spanned over five decades and led to the publishing of nine books, with a tenth due out in the spring.
As an undergraduate piano performance major, Amy Herzberg spent many hours practicing alone. But because she enjoyed the collaborative efforts of theater, Herzberg decided drama was something she “couldn’t live without.” She describes her involvement in theater as having no true “beginning” but rather as something that “just was.” Since then, the University of Arkansas professor of drama has been actress and director for several plays, including Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Doubt and Cabaret.
What do the two researchers have in common? One is a professor from a Finnish university working on his fifth book, this one about the Cold War and the rise of the Christian right. The other is a University of Arkansas undergraduate who has never worked with primary source materials and hasn’t chosen a topic for an assigned paper. The short answer to their commonality: Special Collections.
When most people think of tubas, do they think ‘agile’ or ‘melodic’? Benjamin Pierce does. And in his hands, the tuba and its lighter, higher cousin the euphonium are full-throated, nimble and versatile.
Walk into any bookstore today, and you’ll see a novel with a familiar figure on the cover. She is veiled. Her dark eyes look out warily or sullenly.
Laura Terry lives and paints on a wooded hillside in the Ozarks. Just half an hour away at the University of Arkansas, she introduces architecture students to the art of developing and conveying their design ideas through hand rendering. Before students learn to communicate design concepts via computer, they learn “to use drawing as a way of thinking,” a skill that she is convinced makes them better designers.
Memory and mourning, mothers and motherhood, the quest to discover individual identity and preserve cultural identity: French scholar Nancy Arenberg has traced these themes in the work of a little-recognized group of writers, women rooted in Tunisia, who are Jewish and who write in French.
While fidgety children may be told that “patience is a virtue,” a philosopher has found patience to be much more profound than simple, passive waiting. Rather, Irene McMullin says, patience is “the living heart of ethics.”
Art professor Bethany Springer explores a sense of place with her multimedia project Flyover Territory.
In Federico Garcia Lorca’s dark drama, The House of Bernarda Alba, a tyrannical mother in 1930s Spain forces her five daughters into eight years of deep mourning upon the death of their father. In an existence circumscribed by the crumbling walls of the family villa and the brutal patriarchy of rural Spain, the women struggle against an overwhelmingly oppressive world. Written in 1936, Bernarda Alba was Lorca’s last play, finished just a few months before he was executed by a fascist firing squad in the early days of the Spanish Civil War.
For 200 years, composers and musicians have combined flute and guitar, two very different voices, to create a sound both liquid and resonant. As Novaria, University of Arkansas music professors Ronda Mains on flute and James Greeson on guitar draw on that rich history while extending the tradition into new territory.
English professor William Quinn examines how texts from the Middle Ages, intended to be read aloud, changed when they were written down.
Forget park-sized art installations and cartoon cells – in the 15th and 16th century, triptychs were all the rage, according to art professor Lynn Jacobs. The best artists painted them, religious orders used them in churches, and business people bought them for the home. Often, religious triptychs were commissioned as memorials to be placed at the gravesites of donors wanting to transcend from the secular to the sacred realm.
An important era in the state’s architectural history came to an end when architect Fay Jones, FAIA, died at home on Aug. 30, 2004. Internationally renowned, his work honored by numerous design awards, Jones inspired generations of students during his years at the School of Architecture. His 58-year relationship with the school began in 1946, when he enrolled in the first architecture classes offered at the University, and continued through 35 years of teaching and service as the school’s first dean.
As if what waited in the dark were different than what travelled through it: a chalk moon rose and filled the fossil beds with light. Print of a crinoid, print of a shell. Here at the slate bar’s end, where water swirls and eddies, I worked the bait into the dark, bent my concentration to its snags and cur- rent, the line going taut then slack. It wasn’t so much the river as it clucked and settled over eggs of chert, but how it hatched itself years deeper in its groove, how it whispered obsolescence with each cleaned hook, my own veins pressed like fish scales in a sunless, uncracked rock or book.
Brian Wilkie, an eminent scholar and an accomplished teacher who spent nearly 20 years mentoring and inspiring students at the University of Arkansas, died Dec. 14, 2003. As the author of numerous books and as co-editor of the widely used anthology "Literature of the Western World," Wilkie enjoyed a distinguished international reputation.
James Whitehead co-founded the UA Creative Writing program in 1965 and helped bring it to national prominence. He taught literary luminaries Barry Hannah, Ellen Gilchrist and C.D. Wright, among others, and made his own contributions to literature through four books of poetry and a critically acclaimed novel, "Joiner." He died August 15. Whitehead is pictured here with William Harrison, center, Miller Williams, right, and behind them, the construction of Kimpel Hall.