Archive for Saturday, August 17, 1991


August 17, 1991


The director of the Joyce and Elizabeth Hall Center for the Humanities at Kansas University defines the center's purpose succinctly.

"Our main mission is faculty development," explains Andrew Debicki, who is in his third year as Hall Center director. "When I came in here two years ago, that's what I came in to do."

Debicki said programs at the center are valuable resources for KU faculty members.

The center's activities range from faculty seminars to refresher courses. The center also helps faculty members with grant applications and with research.

The goal, Debicki said, is to bring faculty members together in a setting that encourages mutual learning.

During the next academic year, he said, the center will "continue and intensify" its programs for faculty.

DEBICKI, a distinguished professor of Spanish and Portuguese, is especially excited about a $250,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation designating the center as a Rockefeller Residency Site for a "Program in Nature, Culture and Technology."

Debicki said the Rockefeller grant will bring visiting scholars from other universities to KU for study.

Two visiting fellows will be selected each year over a period of three years beginning in 1992.

"That's a big feature of what we've been able to achieve," he said.

Janet Crow, assistant director of the Hall Center, said there are 27 Rockefeller sites in the country. Crow said fellows will be studying ``the history of culture and why we do the things we do."

Crow echoes Debicki when asked about the goals of the Hall Center.

"OUR MAIN purpose is to assist faculty, but it's also to take the humanities to the university as a whole, the community of Lawrence as a whole," she said.

Although Hall Center activities are geared toward faculty, she said, students and Lawrence residents are welcome to attend most events.

Activities for the fall include a seminar on "Narrative, History and Life Writing," which begins Aug. 29. Eight faculty members were selected to participate in the seminar.

The Hall Center, established in 1976, will continue its lunchtime discussions beginning Sept. 16. The informal gatherings feature faculty members who discuss their research.

The Humanities Lecture Series will get under way Sept. 26, when Ronald Willis, KU professor of theater and film, will speak about "The Answer is Theatre! What's the Question?" The second lecture, scheduled Oct. 21, features Jacques D'Amboise, a dancer who teaches ballet to inner-city children.

A FACULTY panel discussion on "Political Correctness and the Academy" is expected to draw a large turnout, Crow said. It's scheduled for Oct. 15. A second faculty discussion, on "Translation and Creativity," is scheduled for Nov. 19.

The spring mini-course for faculty will be about modern literature. Both Debicki and Crow said the spring 1991 refresher course, about modern developments in philosophy, was a hit among faculty.

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