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Princeton Weekly Bulletin   November 20, 2006, Vol. 96, No. 10   prev   next   current

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  • Editor: Ruth Stevens

    Calendar editor: Carolyn Geller

    Staff writers: Jennifer Greenstein Altmann, Eric Quiñones

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    Design: Maggie Westergaard

    Web edition: Mahlon Lovett

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Nassau notes

Annan to give major policy address

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will deliver a major policy address at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall. As part of the event, undergraduate students plan to present Annan with the Crystal Tiger award for serving as an “agent of progress.”

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Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep (photo: Brigitte Lacombe)

Meryl Streep to speak on her career

Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep will present a public lecture about her career and the theater at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in McCosh 50 when she comes to the University as the Belknap Visitor in the Humanities.

An actress of stage, film and television, Streep has appeared in such plays as William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” and Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and her Children,” which was produced in New York’s Central Park this summer. The 13-time Academy Award nominee also has appeared in more than 50 films, most recently “The Devil Wears Prada” and “A Prairie Home Companion,” in addition to “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” “The Hours,” “Sophie’s Choice” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” The two latter films earned Streep Oscars. 

Streep was selected to deliver this year’s Belknap lecture because of the range of her experience, extending to television appearances that include the miniseries “Holocaust” and “Angels in America,” where she gained recognition for playing three different roles: male, female and angelic. Streep’s many honors include the two Oscars, two Emmys and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.

As a Belknap Visitor in the Humanities, Streep joins a distinguished roster of eminent writers and artists — including Twyla Tharp, Nadine Gordimer, Arthur Miller, Chuck Close, Don DeLillo, Richard Serra, Maurice Sendak and Toshiko Takaezu — who have come to Princeton through a program created in memory of Chauncey Belknap of the class of 1912. 

The free public lecture is being presented by the Council of the Humanities. Tickets for Princeton students, faculty and staff with valid PUIDs will be distributed from noon to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 27-28, at the Frist Campus Center ticket office. There is a limit of two tickets per person bearing a PUID.

A limited number of tickets also will be available to the public from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29, at the Richardson Auditorium ticket office in Alexander Hall, with a limit of two tickets per person. On Nov. 30, doors will open at 4:30 p.m. for ticket holders, and at 4:50 p.m. there will be general admission from a “wait line” for any available seats. 

The talk will be broadcast live to overflow locations in McCosh 60, 62, 64 and 66. No ticketing is required for the overflow locations.

War powers is topic for McPherson

Renowned Civil War historian James McPherson will deliver a lecture titled “Abraham Lincoln’s Invention of Presidential War Powers” at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall.

McPherson is Princeton’s George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History Emeritus. He is the author of 15 books, including “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era.” That work, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1989, covers the military aspects of the war and provides a framework describing the complex economic, political and social forces behind the conflict.

During the Civil War in 1861, Lincoln invoked his “war powers” as commander-in-chief, defying Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney and suspending the writ of habeas corpus by presidential decree. He also declared martial law, authorized the trial of civilians by military courts and proclaimed the emancipation of slaves. Lincoln’s actions vastly expanded presidential war powers and established precedents invoked by later presidents.

McPherson’s talk is the third annual Herbert W. Vaughan Lecture on America’s Founding Principles, sponsored by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. The Vaughan Lectures are intended to promote understanding of the founding principles and core doctrines of American constitutionalism.

Morrison to offer first talk in series

Simon Morrison, associate professor of music, will present the first talk in this year’s President’s Lecture Series on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

He will speak on “The Unknown Prokofiev” at 4:30 p.m. in McCosh 10.

Morrison will discuss his efforts to track down lost scores and choreographies as part of his research for a forthcoming monograph with Oxford University Press. In 2005, Morrison and colleagues re-created the choreography, costumes and elaborate mechanical set of one of the great lost ballets of the 20th century, “Le Pas d’Acier” by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. This spring, Morrison will co-produce a staging of “Boris Godunov” featuring a Prokofiev score that has never been used for a live performance of Alexander Pushkin’s play.

Morrison, who earned his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1997, focuses his research on Russian and Soviet music (especially ballet and opera), French and Russian Symbolism, and neo-classicism. In 2007-08, he will be working with choreographer Mark Morris on a restoration of the ballet “Romeo and Juliet.”

The lecture series was initiated by President Tilghman in 2001 to bring together faculty members from different disciplines. The other lecturers scheduled for this year are: Andrew Moravcsik, professor of politics and director of the European Union Program, on Wednesday, March 28; and Elizabeth Gould, professor of psychology, on Wednesday, April 25.

The lectures will be webcast; for viewing information, visit

Noted filmmaker to present on his work

Austrian avant-garde filmmaker Peter Kubelka will discuss his work at noon Tuesday, Nov. 28, in the Stewart Film Theater, 185 Nassau St.

Kubelka is renowned as both an innovative filmmaker and a distinguished film theorist. An Old Dominion Fellow in Visual Arts at Princeton this fall, he is offering a course on cinema and the related arts.

Kubelka has been an independent filmmaker since 1952. His “Metric Films” preceded and laid the ground for structural cinema.

He also has worked in cooking, music, architecture, speaking and writing. Kubelka communicates through lectures that also use nonverbal elements “to free our worldview from being the exclusive property of language.”

His lecture is sponsored by the Council of the Humanities and the Program in Visual Arts.


“Rondori,” a wordless ballet by John Pilson

Video artist and photographer John Pilson will discuss his work

New York video artist and photographer John Pilson will discuss his work at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, in Room 219 of 185 Nassau St.

His work explores the shifting relationships between work and play, talk and action, and the daily and the dramatic. “Rondori” (shown here) is a wordless ballet, with a group of women twirling into dance-like rhythms on a divided widescreen of three cameras on the same Aikido sparring exercise. The talk is sponsored by the Program in Visual Arts.


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