Events to link to ORI selection of 'Speed of Dark'

imageLectures by world-famous authors, an art exhibition, theatre performances, a film series and other programming at SUNY Oswego will complement this year’s Oswego Reading Initiative selection of Elizabeth Moon’s “The Speed of Dark” for campus-wide reading.

The book’s protagonist, Lou Arrendale, is a well-adjusted and skilled autistic man confronted with a new procedure that could take away his condition. Because the plot centers on questions of identity and what is “normal,” it lends itself to discussions across many academic fields, said Dr. Rhonda Mandel, SUNY Oswego associate provost.

An interdisciplinary Arts and Psychology programming series, made possible by campus-wide collaboration, will link related events while tying into the college’s goal of providing integrative learning opportunities in many ways. “The Arts and Psychology series serves as an umbrella that ties in a whole range of activities,” Mandel said. “This book presents tremendous opportunities inside and outside the classroom for lectures, discussions and special events.”

Moon will headline fall activities by discussing “The Speed of Dark” at 8 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Hewitt Union ballroom. She will talk about autism, identity and the creative process, among other topics. Moon’s experience with her autistic son inspired the award-winning novel. There is no admission charged for the lecture, but due to anticipated demand, free passes should be obtained in advance by contacting Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141 or

The spring semester will feature a keynote lecture April 18 by acclaimed author and neurologist Oliver Sacks at 8 p.m. in Laker Hall. His autobiographical book on clinical trials with mental patients, “Awakenings,” inspired the movie of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro. His also wrote the best-seller “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.” Admission will be free, but passes should be obtained in advance by contacting Tyler Hall box office.

“Autism Rocks at Any Speed: An Exhibition of Images Created by Autistic Artists” will kick off the year’s programs with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 9 in Tyler Art Gallery. The exhibition of work from six Oregon artists will run through Oct. 18.

Professor, poet and alcoholism counselor Michael Burkard will give a reading and discuss issues related to psychology and poetry at 3 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Hewitt Union’s Bell Auditorium.

Mardie Howe Rossi, an expressive arts therapist, and Professor Richard Zakin of SUNY Oswego’s art department will lead a two-part workshop titled “Eye, Heart and Mind.” The workshop in Room 228 of Tyler Hall from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 20 and 27 is designed to allow non-artists to create something with personal meaning. Registration or questions can be directed to Tyler Art Gallery at 312-2113. Space is limited.

Sue William Silverman, author of “Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You” and “Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction,” will speak at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in Room 105 of Lanigan Hall.

Paolo J. Knill, recognized as a pioneer in the fields of expressive art therapy and community art, will visit campus Nov. 2. He will present a 5 p.m. lecture titled “Artistic Solutions: Expressive Arts Methodology” in the Sheldon Hall ballroom followed by a 6 p.m. workshop, “Social Sense Through Communal Art,” in the Sheldon Hall lower lobby. Both sessions will be free, but registration through Tyler Hall box office is required for the workshop, due to space limitations.

Author and documentary filmmaker Robert Perkins will speak at 3 p.m. Nov. 9 in Bell Auditorium, then show and lead a discussion of his film “Talking to Angels” at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 in Room 107 of Lanigan Hall. “Talking to Angels” involves Perkins and his girlfriend, Dr. Irene Goodale, journeying through her breast cancer and the Canadian Arctic in 1993.

The SUNY Oswego theatre department’s student honors production “Proof” will look at the line between brilliance and madness, as well as the psychological family ties that bind. The production will have showings at 8 p.m. Nov. 15 to 19 and 2 p.m. Nov. 20 in Waterman Theatre.

In her one-woman play “Victoria,” Dulcinea Langfelder explores the world of a woman struggling with Alzheimer’s. She will perform the poignant piece at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 and 3 in Waterman Theatre.

Norman Holland, an internationally recognized literature and psychology scholar, will discuss his writings and observations at 7 p.m. April 4 in Waterman Theatre. He wrote the groundbreaking book “The Dynamics of Literary Response” in 1968 from his studies of the character and identity concepts of Sigmund Freud and Heinz Lichtenstein.

A film series will tackle mental health issues, with post-screening discussions led by SUNY Oswego faculty members. Offerings will include “Repulsion,” Feb. 16; “A Beautiful Mind,” March 2; “Autism Is a World,” March 30; and “Awakenings.”

For more information on the Arts and Psychology series, contact Mandel at 312-2232 or e-mail

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PHOTO CAPTION: SERIES EVENTS—SUNY Oswego’s Arts and Psychology series will feature lectures, performances, an art exhibition and other programming to complement this year’s Oswego Reading Initiative selection of Elizabeth Moon’s “The Speed of Dark” for campus-wide reading. Highlights will include an Oct. 18 talk by Moon and an April 18 appearance by acclaimed author and neurologist Oliver Sacks (pictured) whose autobiographical book “Awakenings” inspired the movie of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro.

(Posted: Aug 24, 2005)