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Week of February 21, 2011

Don’t miss: ‘Afghan Star’: Where one risks a life to sing

The 2009 film “Afghan Star,” which tells the story of four contestants of an “American Idol”-style TV series staged in Afghanistan, is presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Michigan Theater.

Havana Marking directed the 87-minute film, in English, Pashto and Dari with English subtitles. The film shows that after 30 years of war and Taliban rule, pop culture has returned to Afghanistan. Millions are watching “Afghan Star,” and 2,000 people audition.

As with “American Idol,” viewers vote for their favorite singers by mobile phone. For many, this is a first encounter with democracy. As the film focuses on the stories of four young contestants looking for a new life, their journeys take a troubling turn as one young woman dances on stage, threatening her own safety and the future of the show.

The film is sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies.

Marc and Constance Jacobson Lecture explores the state of the humanities

Cultural critic, author and Harvard Professor Marjorie Garber looks at the present and the future of the humanities in her talk “After the Humanities” at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Rackham Amphitheatre.

Garber, who has been called “the liveliest, wittiest and most scintillating of writers about culture,” has published 15 books and has edited seven collections of essays. Her topics range from animal studies to literary theory, but her work has mostly been centered on Shakespeare. Garber has written five books on the playwright and works of cultural criticism and theory.

In her book “Patronizing the Arts” (Princeton University Press, October 2008), Garber discusses the way patronage by government, business or individuals has influenced the reception of the arts in the 20th and 21st centuries. Drawing on her own experience as director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard, and chair of the department of Visual and Environmental Studies, she argues for the centrality of the arts and culture in education and promotes a vision of the university as arts patron.

This Marc and Constance Jacobson Lecture is sponsored by the Institute for the Humanities.

 

STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Amanda Krugliak, arts curator, Institute for the Humanities, on returning to Ann Arbor: “I love where I’ve landed. Perhaps I don’t know what’s coming next, and I never expected to find myself back here, but I have a sense of what matters.”

EVENTS

The School of Art & Design Emeritus Faculty Exhibition is presented from noon-7 p.m. through Feb. 25 at Work • Ann Arbor, 306 S. State St.

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