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2006-2007 Presidential Lecture & Performance Series

Spring 2007

Engaging Young Readers: A Festival of Authors and Ideas

February 16-17, 8 am - 4 pm, College of Education

Presented with the College of Education and the Texas Tech University Press

Featuring talks and interactive presentations by the authors, book signings, break-out sessions, and more.

Texas Tech University Press Authors

Download the event poster.

Formal installation of Phi Beta Kappa set to feature Dr. John Churchill on the Importance of Liberal Arts and Sciences Education

April 11, 2007, 4 pm, Allen Theatre

Presented with Phi Beta Kappa

The importance of liberal arts and sciences will be the topic of a campus discussion featuring Phi Beta Kappa Society Executive Secretary Dr. John Churchill on April 11.

Last year, Texas Tech University gained acceptance into Beta Kappa, an elite group of the nation's finest universities, following a rigorous evaluation of the institution's intellectual integrity and academic interests.

Membership into the prestigious organization is for life. Only about 10 percent of higher education institutions earn Phi Beta Kappa membership.

There will be no charge to hear Dr. Churchill, whose visit will occur in conjunction with the formal installation of Texas Tech's new Phi Beta Kappa chapter at 4 pm in the Allen Theatre on the Texas Tech University campus.

Visit Phi Beta Kappa for more information.

A Night at the Opera

Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singers

April 22, 2007, 7:30 pm, Allen Theatre

The Presidential Lecture and Performance Series, in conjunction with the Texas Tech University College of Visual and Performing Arts, will host The Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singers for a performance on Sunday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m.

The performance, which is free and open to the public, will showcase at the Allen Theatre on the Texas Tech University Campus, with a reception to follow. Reservations for the performance are requested.

The event will feature Soprano Deborah Selig, Mezzo Soprano Lucia Cervoni, Tenor Edwin Vega, and Baritone John Boehr, who will perform arias and duets from La Traviata, Tales of Hoffman, and The Barber of Seville, among others. Call 742-0706, ext. 401, to reserve seats.

Chris Gardner on "Happyness"

Chris Gardner

April 26, 2007, 2 pm, Rawls College of Business

Update: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Mr. Gardner's appearance and book signing has been relocated to the Allen Theatre inside the Student Union Building.

Presented with the Office of Institutional Diversity, Mentor Tech, and the Rawls College of Business.

Chris Gardner, businessman, author, and the basis for Will Smith's character in the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness, will speak and sign books at 2 pm in Lecture Hall 202, Rawls College of Business; reception and book signing to follow in the adjoining foyer. Free and open to the public.

Visit Chris Garner's Web site to learn more about his amazing story.

Fall 2006

Taylor 2 Residency

Ballet Dancer

The Father of Modern Dance

Taylor 2 was created by Paul Taylor, who at 75 is described as the most sought-after choreographer working today. He established Taylor 2 in 1993 to ensure that his works could be seen by audiences all over the world, unhindered by economic or technical limitations.

In selecting repertoire for Taylor 2, Mr. Taylor chooses dances that span the broad spectrum of his work adapted from 50 years of original choreography from the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Critics and audiences cheer as Taylor 2 introduces the athleticism, humor and range of emotions found in Taylor's work.

Sept. 25-29: A Week in Residence

The company performed, gave lectures and demonstrations, and presented master classes throughout the week.

Sept. 27: A Special Address by Wallace Chappell

Wallace Chappell, executive director of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, does not usually travel with the company but visited Lubbock and delivered a public address on contemporary trends in the arts. President Jon Whitmore introducee the speaker and served as moderator for the discussion to follow Chappell's remarks.

The event was free and open to the public.

Sept. 29: Public Performance

The Taylor 2 Week in Residence culminated in a performance on September 29 in the newly renovated Allen Theatre.

Taylor 2 Dance Company

Visit the Paul Taylor Dance Company Web site for more information.

Truth in Nonfiction Symposium


October 10-11, Truth in Nonfiction Symposium with National Book Award Finalists and Judges

This event featured a symposium on the topic of truth in non-fiction, a subject much in the news in 2006.

It was a unique opportunity to host all of these talented writers together at one time: a national correspondent and author of Black Hawk Down; the biographer of Nathaniel Hawthorne and other literary notables; the foremost contemporary figure in religious humanism; and our own award-winning professor of creative non-fiction whose book Salvation on Sand Mountain was featured in area literacy discussions during the Spring of 2006.

NOTE: The 2006 National Book Award Finalists were announced in a web cast during the afternoon of October 11.

Visit the National Book Foundation Web site for more information.

Symposium Panelists

Mark Bowden

Mark Bowden, an Atlantic Monthly national correspondent, is an author, journalist, screenwriter and teacher. His book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War was an international best seller and a finalist for the National Book Award in 1999. He is also the author of Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw, which won the Overseas Press Club's Cornelius Ryan Award as the best book of 2001. Both books have been adapted for film. His other books include Doctor Dealer, Bringing the Heat, Our Finest Day and Finders Keepers. He served as a judge in nonfiction for the 2005 National Book Awards. His latest book, released this year, is Guests of the Ayatollah.

Dennis Covington

Dennis Covington is the author of five books, including Lizard, which won the Delacorte Press Prize for a First Young Adult Novel, and Salvation on Sand Mountain, which was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1995 and winner of the Boston Book Review's Rea Prize for the best nonfiction book of that year. His articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Esquire, Redbook, Georgia Review, Oxford American and other magazines. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Texas Tech University and served as a judge in nonfiction for the 2005 National Book Awards.

Brenda Wineapple

Brenda Wineapple is the author of Genet: A Biography of Janet Flanner; Sister Brother: Gertrude and Leo Stein; and Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Life. She is a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the New York University Institute for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her essays, articles and reviews have appeared in many publications, among them The American Scholar, the New York Times Book Review, Parnassus and The Nation. She chaired the panel of judges for the 2005 National Book Award in Nonfiction.

Gregory Wolfe

Gregory Wolfe is the publisher and editor of Image and Director of the Center for Religious Humanism at Seattle Pacific University. He is also writer-in-residence at the university and director of its creative writing program. Among his books are Malcolm Muggeridge: A Biography, Sacred Passion: The Art of William Schickel, and Intruding Upon the Timeless: Meditations on Faith, Art, and Mystery. He served as a judge in nonfiction for the 2005 National Book Awards.

President's Book Award Panel

November 9, President's Book Award Panel Featuring Winners of the 2005 President's Book Award

Double T
  • Philip A. Dennis, The Miskutu People of Awastarta
  • Dorothy Chansky, Composing Ourselves: The Little Theatre Movement and the American Audience
  • William Wenthe, Not Till We are Lost: Poems
Dorothy Chansky

Dorothy Chansky is the author of Composing Ourselves: The Little Theatre Movement and the American Audience (Southern Illinois UP, 2004). Her other published work has appeared in Text and Performance Quarterly, Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, Theatre History Studies, Women and Performance, Theatre Topics and is forthcoming in The Drama Review. She was education editor for InTheater from 1997-1999 and was a contributing writer to TheaterWeek. She currently writes criticism for New York Theatre Wire. Dr. Chansky is a former actress, and she wrote book and lyrics for the 1983 off-Broadway musical The Brooklyn Bridge, which she also produced.

Phil Dennis

Phil Dennis teaches cultural anthropology at Texas Tech, including courses on globalization and local peoples, the anthropology of health and multicultural America. He has done fieldwork among Zapotec people in Mexico, and most recently among Miskitu people on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. His award winning ethnography, The Miskitu People of Awastara, was published by the University of Texas Press in 2004. He has taught in study abroad programs in Mexico, Costa Rica and Spain, and has also had Fulbright grants to teach in Brazil and Nicaragua. Following the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., he helped develop an Honors course on "The World of Islam, the Middle East and the West."

William Wenthe

William Wenthe has published two books of poems: Not Till We Are Lost, which also won the Best Book of Poetry Award from the Texas Institute of Letters, and Birds of Hoboken. He has received poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Texas Commission on the Arts, and published poems in many journals, including Poetry, The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, Tin House, Orion. He wrote the libretto for Bellini's War, a musical drama composed by Steven Paxton and performed at Texas Tech University. He is a professor in the English Department, where he teaches creative writing and modern poetry.