The Cooper Series returns for the 2022-23 academic year with eight artistic events, ranging from dance performances, concerts, discussions with preeminent scholars, and even beatboxing with nature.
The series begins Sept. 7 with a lecture by one of the world’s most preeminent scholars on international relations. Professor Margaret MacMillan is an international bestselling author and frequent media commentator, known for her grasp of the subjects war and peace, as well as her gift for vivid storytelling.
She is emeritus professor of international history at the University of Oxford, former warden of St. Antony’s College (University of Oxford), and visiting distinguished historian at the Council on Foreign Relations (2020-21). MacMillan’s lecture “Friend or Foe?: War and Society” will be in Science Center Room 101 at 7 p.m. The event will be followed by a reception.
The learning continues with a fireside chat on Sept. 29 with historian and activist Rebecca Hall ’85. Hall will discuss her graphic novel Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Intercultural Center Dome and Terrace. The following day, Sept. 30, she will lead a workshop on using graphic novels and primary sources to illustrate and uncover history at 10 a.m. in the Black Cultural Center, rooms 108 and 109. An exhibition related to her work, “Re-Presentation: An Exhibit of Subaltern Graphic Narratives,” will be on display in McCabe Library’s second-floor lounge from Aug. 15 until Oct. 1.
The programming continues in the spring semester with a visit from Kizuna Dance. Artistic Director Cameron McKinney’s movement language blends elements of street and house dance with capoeira and contemporary floorwork to create scenes of organized chaos and structured impulsivity. All Kizuna’s works are inspired by various aspects of Japanese language and culture.
They will offer dance workshops Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 4:30 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. at the Troy Dance Studio in the Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC). Before the workshop on Thursday, they will give a lecture and demonstration at 4 p.m., also in the Troy Dance Studio. Don’t miss their performance, Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. in LPAC's Pearson-Hall Theatre.
These events are presented by the Swarthmore College Dance Program and co-sponsored by the Japanese Language Program.
The Moscow School of Literary Practices will bring Russia’s leading feminist and LGBTQ+ writers and critics — Oksana Vasyakina, Evgenia Nekrasova, Evgenia Vezhlyan, Alesya Atroshchenko, and Tatiana Novosyolova — to campus for a week-long residency. During lectures and roundtable discussions, Moscow School members will discuss their own artistic practices and explore the relationship between art, memory, and social change. At a time when the global community is grappling with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, these visionary creatives will provide perspectives on the role of the arts and humanities in bearing witness and charting a path forward.
Moscow School of Literary Practices events include:
- Monday, Feb. 27 – “LGBT Visibility and Feminist Coalition-Building in Russia,” a conversation with the Swarthmore Queer Union and Gender & Sexuality Studies. Free food provided by Swarthmore Project For Eastern European Relations (SPEER). This event is open to everyone, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Kohlberg’s Scheuer Room. Oksana Vasyakina will offer a reading followed by a Q&A in Science Center Room 101 from 4 – 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, Feb. 28 – “Lunch and Learn” at 11:30 a.m. in Kohlberg’s Scheuer Room. Free food provided by SPEER. This event is open to everyone. “The Contemporary Literary Landscape and Publishing in Russia” lecture and a Q&A will be held 4 – 6 p.m. in the Science Center, Room 101.
- Wednesday, March 1 – Poetry workshop by Oksana Vasyakina and Evgenia Vezhlyan in the Scheuer Room from 1 – 2:30 p.m. There will be a prose workshop by Evgenia Nekrasova and Alesya Atroshchenko at 4 p.m. in the same room.
- Thursday, March 2 – “Project Curation and the Public Humanities,” a lecture followed by a Q&A, will be held from 1 – 3 p.m. in the Science Center, Room 101. Evgenia Nekrasova will give a reading, followed by a Q&A, from 4 – 6 p.m. in the same room.
- Friday, March 3 – “The Decanonization of Russian Literature” panel followed by Q&A from 4 – 6 p.m. in room 101 of the Science Center.
Rosine 2.0 Collective will offer an exhibition about harm reduction, mutual aid, and collective creative practice in Philadelphia throughout history and today. It features selections from the Mira Sharpless Townsend papers along with ephemera and artworks created by the Collective. The exhibition runs from March 1 until April 15 in McCabe Library. An exhibition reception, artist talks, a film screening, and a symposium will be offered March 15 – 17 at various locations on campus. Major support for Rosine 2.0 has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, with additional support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Sager Fund.
In March, Blue Heron will offer a concert and a master class. Combining a commitment to vivid live performance with a study of original source materials and historical performance practices, the vocal ensemble Blue Heron has been acclaimed by The Boston Globe as “one of the Boston music community’s indispensables” and hailed by Alex Ross in The New Yorker for the “expressive intensity” of its interpretations. The ensemble has released 11 albums of music from across time, place, and language, and its 2018 recording of Music from the Peterhouse Partbooks, Vol. 5, won the 2018 Gramophone Classical Music Award for Early Music.
Blue Heron’s program at Swarthmore, “Last Works and Legacies,” is the last installment in the ensemble’s “Ockeghem@600” effort to perform the complete works of a great European composer of the 15th century, Johannes Ockeghem. Their concert will be Sunday, March 26 at 3 p.m. in Lang Concert Hall, Lang Music Building. Details for the master class are forthcoming.
Collage Dance Collective will be on campus offering ballet classes and a performance. Memphis-based Collage Dance presents a program featuring their signature work “Rise,” set to a score that brings together Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech with original music by Jonathan Kirkscey and Kirk Smith. The program also features a world premiere by Amy Hall Garner that brings Collage Dance together with Swarthmore Dance and features "A Time For" by Princess Grace Award-winner Joshua Manculich.
Collage will offer:
- Intermediate ballet classes on Tuesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 30 from 2:40 – 4:10 p.m. in Room 3 of the Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC).
- Advanced ballet classes Monday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 29 from 11:30 – 1 p.m. in the same room.
- Performances on Friday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 1 at 3 p.m. in the Lang Performing Arts Center’s Pearson-Hall Theatre. Reception to follow opening night.
The 2022-2023 season of the Cooper Series wraps up with award-winning sound artist Jason Singh. Singh explores the possibilities of nature as composer and collaborator by using microphone technologies and biodata sensors to capture nature-based sounds, such as electrical impulses in plants. Through art, science, and activism, Singh's three-week residency will engage the College community and the public with our hyper-local environment, the Crum Woods, and explore the nature that surrounds us in a new way.
- Saturday, April 8 – “Nature Beatboxing” at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Scott Outdoor Amphitheater. If it rains, these events will take place in Upper Tarble.
- April 14 – 23 – “Sound and Augmented Reality Exhibition” in the Science Center, Eldridge Commons.
- Opening Concert and Reception on Saturday, April 15 from 7 – 9 p.m. The first hour, the concert will take place in the Science Center, Chang Hou Hall (Room 101). The second hour, for mingling and engaging with the exhibit, will take place in Eldridge Commons.
- Saturday, April 22:
- Earth Day Symposium taking place across campus from dawn to dusk.
- “Energetics of Plants” workshop by Pamela Boyce Simms in Crum Woods from 10 – 11:30 a.m.
- Birdhouse decorating with the Bird Club from 2 – 3 p.m. on the terrace of Singer Hall.
The William J. Cooper Foundation provides a varied program of lectures, performances, and exhibitions that enrich the academic life of the College. The foundation was established by William J. Cooper, who specified that the income from his gift should be used “in bringing to the College eminent citizens of this and other countries who are leaders in statesmanship, education, the arts, sciences, learned professions, and business.”