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Information and Syllabus

Forum in Art and Culture - Fall '22

Day / Time: F  03:00pm - 04:50pm
Location: Northlight Studio (Comm 1251)

Professor: Robert Spahr
Contact: rspahr@siu.edu
Office: MCMA 1056B
Office Hours:
W  09:00am-12:00pm
R  01:00pm-04:00pm
& by appointment

Teaching Assistant: Nathaniel Ogden
Contact: nathaniel.ogden@siu.edu
Office Hours:

Course Syllabus Location: http://www.robertspahr.com/fac/

Course Listings:
Forum in Art and Culture - 63934 - CIN 100 - 001


This course requires students to attend a selection of events and presentations by leading practitioners and thinkers on media arts, scholarship, and contemporary practices hosted by the University through the semester. These events include exhibitions, lectures, screenings, performances, conversations, and readings. The goal is to foster a deeper appreciation of art and culture and its significance in our lives.


  • Increase knowledge relevant in the analysis of the arts and culture.
  • Students will learn to speak and write critically about the arts and culture.
  • Develop an awareness and appreciation of the variety of approaches within the arts and culture.


Be sure to check back often for any updated information.

Aug 26
To be viewed BEFORE class:
How Robert Wilson Bends Time, 09:00
Steve Reich: Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ, 1973, 16:58

Aug 27 - Oct 16
Students will attend at least three events and react/reflect through written response.

Oct 07
Due: At least three written responses.
To be viewed BEFORE class:
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse 1991 - Francis Ford Coppola, 01:36:00

Oct 08 - Dec 11
Students must attend a total of at least seven events and react/reflect through written response.

Dec 13

There will be NO final class meeting.
Due: All seven written responses are due no later than 2:30pm on Tue Dec 13.

Reaction/Reflection Responses

After attending an event, students will write a short reaction/reflection response consisting of approximately 500 words. Please summarize the ideas presented at the event, and then respond to those ideas in relation to your own creative work and studies. Do not simply repeat information or facts but REFLECT on them. No plagiarism!


  • Email your response in PDF format to both the TA and Professor.
  • Naming convention of PDF: lastname_fac_event[1-7].pdf (ex: spahr_fac_event[1-7].pdf)
  • Email subject line convention: lastname_fac_event[1-7] (ex: spahr_fac_event[1-7])


Students should attend at least seven arts or cultural events during the semester. Approved events will be added to the syllabus throughout the semester.

Attendance to all scheduled classes is expected. There are no acceptable number of absences. More than one unexcused absences may result in failure for the class. Two lates are the equivalent of one absence. Leaving a class early is considered equivalent to arriving late.

Your final grade will be determined by the following:

  • 70% Participation/Attendance
  • 30% Written Reaction/Reflection

SIU Syllabus Attachment

SIU Syllabus Attachment - Fall '22 - PDF

Events List

Events will be added to the list throughout the semester.

John Quiñones: What would You Do? Words of Wisdom About Doing the Right Thing
When: Monday, Aug 29 at 6pm
Where: SIU Student Center Auditorium.
This event is the keynote address of Diversity Week. Aug 29 - Sep 02
Everyone is welcome to attend; there is no cost.

The veteran newscaster's story began in poverty, doing migrant farm work, but he carved a pathway to success, breaking down barriers and winning accolades along the way to a successful broadcast career spanning more than 30 years. During his time with ABC News, he sat on the anchor desk for "20/20" and "Primetime" and earned seven national Emmy awards.

He created "What Would You Do?" and hosts the highly rated hidden camera news show, now in its 14th season, as it explores how people react when they encounter unexpected dilemmas. The proponent of the Latino American dream will talk with the SIU audience about human nature, ethical behavior and the "What Would You Do?" moments people face on a daily basis.

Jesús Valles: (Un)Documents Performance
When: Wednesday, Aug 31 at 4-6pm
Where: SIU Student Center Auditorium.
This event focus on celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion through word, music and art.
Everyone is welcome to attend; there is no cost.

Jesús Valles, a queer Mexican immigrant, educator, storyteller and performer is a native of Juarez, Mexico, and now resides in Austin, Texas. Valles teaches high school students, especially recent immigrants, imparting social and emotional learning to them. immigrants. Valles received the 2018 Undocupoets Fellowship, is a fellow of the Poetry Foundation and Crescendo Literary's 2018 Poetry Incubator and has won other awards. Valles' published works can be found in The Shade Journal, The Texas Review and soon in The New Republic. Valles holds a master's degree in communication studies from California State University, Long Beach.

SoAD and SoM: We Art Diverse
When: Thursday, Sep 01 at 11:00am-01:30pm
Where: Faner Plaza
This event focus on celebrating diversity, equity and inclusion through word, music and art.
Everyone is welcome to attend; there is no cost.

All are welcome to join in the multi-faceted celebration of diversity, which will feature music by the Saluki marching band and jazz ensemble. SIU art students will also be painting murals on canvas.

Save the Democracy Tour
When: Thursday, Sep 22 at 07:00pm-08:30pm
Where: Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, 105 N Parrish Ln, Carbondale, IL 62901
‘39COUNTIES' documentary film is an inspiring grassroots journey of real-life activism, without guns or police, politics, or organized groups. It is a compelling story about hope and good will right here in Southern Illinois.

In the fall of 2020, in the middle of a pandemic, former US Illinois Congressman Glenn Poshard organized 39 peaceful, non-violent marches in all the Illinois counties he represented. Ordinary folks, with no agenda other than having had enough of hate and division, came together in their rural towns to participate in non-violent, peaceful civic engagement; reminding us that the strength of a democracy is in its citizenry.

This is a must-see film. While the country experiences monumental changes that reflect a deep division, it is important that we keep a watchful eye on the sanctity of our Democracy. Protecting our democracy is the key to the restoration of our humanity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhkRGV_Lo9E - 2-minute film trailer

For more information Contact Sandra Pfeifer

Southern Illinois University Museum
Museum Hours
Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 4pm
Saturday: 1pm - 4pm
Sunday & Monday: Closed
Free and open to all.

North Hall
Mitchell, Continuum, and Atrium Galleries

EARTH, WIND, FIRE: The works of Sylvia R. Greenfield
August 23rd – Dec 17th, 2022
The University Museum is proud to present and exhibition of ex-faculty member Sylvia R. Greenfield's work. In her own words, "When I was in graduate school, I had to write a statement about my work. The duality then was expressed by the words 'macrocosm' and 'microcosm.' Today those words still apply, but I would also add the duality of 'randomness' and 'structure.'"

South Hall
Southern Illinois Gallery

Our Region
Our Region is an exhibition of Southern Illinois history, featuring artifacts from the University Museum and Center for Archaeological Investigations collections.

Lutes Gallery
European Painting, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts Ongoing
This exhibition highlights paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and furniture from Renaissance Europe selected from the collection of Carl W. Lutes.

Saluki Gallery
Diversity Is
Aug 30th – October 8th 2022br The Diversity is project by Deft Lunch is an effort to recognize, celebrate, and promote the limitless value of diversity in the world.

SIMS Exhibition
October 14th - December 17th
The University Museum is proud to present the annual juried exhibition curated by the Southern Illinois Metal Smiths.

West Gallery
Imagination to Reality
August 23rd – Dec 17th, 2022
From works of art to the very house you live in, the artists or artisans behind them didn't begin these projects without a detailed plan. The University Museum's curators have perused out collection and found a wide variety of works highlighting this process.

Hall of Art
August 23rd – Dec 17th, 2022
Throughout the world many artists and artisans have manipulated the simple medium of paper into a seemingly endless number of objects.

Study Gallery
August 23rd – Dec 17th, 2022
While spiritual beliefs may differ around the world, most of these groups create iconography to reflect their beliefs. The University Museum Curators have scoured the Archives to bring you a collection of religious iconographies from our various international collections.

International Gallery
Over and Under
August 23rd – Dec 17th, 2022
Weaving is a truly ancient art, and not one that is unique to any one group or culture. It is a practice that has spanned the globe, allowing humans to create some truly amazing objects. From masks to backpacks the Curators at the University Museum have found some true woven wonders from around the world.

Southern Illinois University Theater
McLeod Theater: Three Show Season

Ticket Prices
3 show season ticket (Adults $48) (Students $18)

Individual (Adult $18) (Student $6)

The World Goes Round
Oct. 7, 8, 9 - 7:30 pm
Oct. 10 – 2:00 pm
Music by Kander; Lyrics by Fredd Ebb
Conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman, David Tompson
Director Susan Patrick Benson, Musical Director Andrew Abrams, Choreographer Darryl Clark

Filled with humor, romance, drama and non-stop melody, this is a thrilling celebration of life and the fighting spirit that keeps us all going. Five individuals find themselves careening through the world of love, babies and coffee. From Cabaret to Chicago, the hit parade features unforgettable gems, including "Mr. Cellophane", "Maybe this Time", "Cabaret" and "New York, New York", seamlessly woven into a passionate, harmonious, up-tempo evening of musical theater.

Hay Fever
Dec. 2, 3, 4 - 7:30 pm
Dec. 5 – 2:00 pm
Written by Noel Coward
Director, C. Rion Towery

Hoping for a quite weekend in the country with some guests, David Bliss, a novelist, and his wife, Judith, a retired actress, find quite an impossible dream when their high-spirited children, Simon and Sorel, appear with guests of their own. A houseful of drama waits to be ignited as misunderstandings and tempers flare. The Bliss family lives up to it's name as the "quiet weekend" comes to an exhausting and hilarious finale.

Lucky Stiff
Apr. 21, 22, 23 - 7:30 pm
Apr. 24 – 2:00 pm
Book & Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; Music by Stephen Flaherty
Director Mathew C. Williams, Musical Director Andrew Abrams, Choreographer Darryl Clark

Based on the novel, "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo" by Michael Butterworth, Lucky Stiff is an offbeat hilarious murder mystery farce, complete with mistaken identities, six million bucks in diamonds and a corpse in a wheel chair.

SIU International Guitar Festival
When: September 21-22, 2022 7-8 pm
Where: Old Baptist Foundation, 980 Faner Dr, Carbondale, IL 62901
Fee: $10 for adults/$6 for students

Left on Read: Written and performed by Zoë Freedkin
Co-Directed with Jesse Snider

When: Sept. 22-24, 2022 @ 8pm
Where: Marion Kleinau Theater
School of Communication Studies
Communications Building
Reservations & Information: (618) 453-5618

Description of event:
How has online dating altered the way we affectionately converse? For most Gen Z's and Millennials, dating apps like Tinder and Bumble have conditioned us to act a certain way when meeting potential partners for the first time. How should I act? Did I say too much? What should I say to keep the conversation going? These are all questions we have asked ourselves but don’t deeply examine justifications for. Employing personal narrative, theories of social psychology, theories of the virtual self, and digital performance, this solo show dissects how and possibly why computer-mediated communication influences how we date. MATURE THEMES.

Transmissions - a live performance of radio art works
When: Sunday, September 25, 7:00pm
Where: Moe Laboratory Theater
School of Theater and Dance
Communications Building
College of Arts and Media

Works by Jordon Bardgett, Nick Karpinkski, Kendra Keefer,
Aidan Lavoie, Ashish Kumar, Jay Needham, Nathaniel Ogden,
Leah Sutton and Drew Yepsen.

Matthew Bengtson Lecture: 2022 Southern Illinois Piano Festival
Sunday, October 2, 2022
2:00 pm- Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall
Matthew Beston Guest Recital
3 pm- Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall

Marina Lomazov Workshop: 2022 Southern Illinois Piano Festival
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
4:15- 5:45 pm- Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall

Marina Lomazov Guest Recital: 2022 Southern Illinois Piano Festival
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
5 pm- Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall

Concert Choir/Wind Ensemble Concert
When: Thursday, October 6, 7pm-8pm
Where: TBA
Music by Markowski, Holst, Daugherty and more...
Susan Davenport and Christopher Morehouse, conductors
Free Admission

Romeo and Juliet: School of Theater and Dance
October 13-16, 2022
Where: McLeod Theater
When: Thurs.-Sat. 7:30 pm, Sunday 2 p.m.

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch
When: Saturday, October 16th 9 am
Where: School of Art and Design

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch
When: Saturday, October 16th 9 am
Where: School of Art and Design

Metal Detected, SIU Metals Program
Where: SIU University Museum
When: October 14, 2022- December 17, 2022
Tuesday-Friday 10 am- 4 pm
Saturday 1 pm- 4 pm
October 14th, 5-9 pm Opening Reception, 7pm Artist Lecture by Douglas Pryor

Kingsbury Baroque Ensemble of St. Louis, School of Music
When: Fri. Nov. 4, 2022 @ 7pm-8pm
Where: Shryock Auditorium
$10 Adults/ $5 Students

SIU Percussion Ensemble, School of Music
When: Wed, Nov. 9, 2022 @ 7pm-8pm
Where: Shryock Auditorium

Robert Dennis, SIU Cinema Alum
When: Monday, Nov. 14, 2022 @ 11am-1pm
Where: Northlight Studio, (Comm 1251)
View Robert Dennis's Bio