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President Renu Kahtor Dean Antel


State of the Union


Student volunteers

POD People Rule


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New minor in GLBT studies


Mike Barajas

Do you know this alumnus? He’s Houston’s news fav


Powell and Granato

Granato on public policy and the current financial crisis

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Around CLASS and Campus

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Homecoming: Be there or, uh, be not there

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Renu Kahtor

Sometimes working here is just like living in Oz. You know, like when Dorothy remarks about how quickly things change. Actually, she was commenting on how quickly people come and go, but we’re using poetic license here, OK?

Well, our original budget for the Feature section of this month’s Graffit-e was to have featured the dandy new television commercials for the University of Houston. Then, we scrapped that story for a really big announcement regarding the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication. But, that announcement wasn’t ready in time for us to get this in your e-mail box on schedule.

So, that meant we went back to the original idea of the television commercials. Not so fast, there, Bunkie!

Now, we can tell you about the NEW plans for the investiture of President Renu Khator.

Cue guy with deep voice: In a world prepared for the Sept. 18 Investiture of Renu Khator at the Cullen Performance Hall on the campus of the University of Houston came that scourge of nature known as Hurricane Ike, which caused the postponement of the Investiture and the black-tie-optional Scholarship Dinner that evening.

OK, so now, here’s the latest.

  • The Investiture will be Friday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. in the Cullen Performance Hall.

  • A reception for the UH community, friends, and special guests will follow immediately (about 4 p.m) at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Donors who gave funds in honor of the investiture - with the purpose of supporting student scholarships - will be our honored guests at this reception.

Also, the Farfel Lecture by Thomas Friedman, another event affected by Ike, will be Monday, Nov. 17 at 7 PM in the Cullen Performance Hall.

Check the UH Web page for more information.

Please note that specific donations underwrite these events, and no taxpayer or student funds will be used.

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A Message From Dean Antel

Dean Antel

If we had seams, we’d be bursting out of them.

As of a few days ago, our CLASS enrollment totaled 8,412 undergraduate and graduate students. That means we have nearly a fourth (23.3 percent) of the 36,098 students on campus this fall. Here’s a breakdown:

Department Undergrad Graduate Total
Unspecified 204 15 219
Anthropology 159 28 187
School of Art 882 35 917
Jack J. Valenti School of Communication 1,417 91 1,508
Communication Sciences and Disorders 138 58 196
Economics 311 52 363
English 676 128 804
History 429 87 516
Modern and Classical Languages 183 74 257
Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music 388 153 541
Philosophy 89 28 117
Political Science 645 79 724
Psychology 1,429 114 1,543
Sociology 222 36 258
School of Theatre and Dance 219 43 262
Total 7,391 1,021 8,412

Those numbers also represent future alumni, which brings me to Homecoming, which is the week of Nov. 1-8. You can get information about this year’s Homecoming activities by going to the Around CLASS and Campus section of this newsletter.

I also want to thank all of our CLASS students, faculty, and staff who volunteered to help distribute relief supplies at the FEMA Point of Distribution in the Robert Stadium parking lot on Sept. 18 and 19. Our UH volunteers served about 400 vehicles per hour over the two-day period, handing out water, ice, and food to more than 35,000 Ike victims.

We have more information in the Student section of Graffit-e, including a link to a video put together by students from the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication. And, speaking of the Valenti School, “stay tuned” for a major announcement.

John Antel


State of the Union

Noelle Mason, Assistant Professor of Sculpture in the School of Art, is one of three artists who’ve put together a show at the Thomas Robertello Gallery in Chicago. State of the Union addresses terrorism, police brutality, immigration, political greed, and the Bush administration, among other issues.

The Chicago-based blog, What to wear during an Orange Alert (a reference to the Homeland Security color-coded threat levels) posted an interview with Noelle. You can read it here.

Thomas Degre

UH Econ Prof disagrees with Obama economics plan (but not the prof we first identified)

Boy are our faces red! The original October edition of Graffit-e carried a story that Economics professor Thomas DeGregori is one of a hundred economists – a group that includes five Nobel laureates – who warn that Barak Obama’s economic proposals could throw the economy into a deep recession, given its current financial condition.

Well, we got a call from DiGregori, who nicely pointed out that he's an Obama supporter, and that we probably meant his colleague Paul Gregory, the Cullen Distinguished Chair of Economics.

He's right. We're wrong. We regret the error, but we're happy he read the newsletter and pointed out the mistake!

By the way you can read the economists' statement here.

Digitizing Homer

Iliad manuscript

In May 2007, Casey Hackney Due, Associate Professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, led a team of Classics scholars to Venice’s Biblioteca Marciana to coordinate the academic aspects of a seven-year project to digitize the Venetus A, the 10th century AD manuscript of Homer’s Iliad, from which all modern editions of the Homeric Iliad are based.

This project used the latest imaging techniques, including 3-D virtual flattening of the cockled manuscript pages. Wired News ran a nifty piece on the project last year.

The imaging was done under the aegis of the Homer Multitext project, of which Casey is one of two co-editors. Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation sponsor the project.

You can view these extremely high-resolution images for free on the CHS website, which provides the tools for viewing them. You’ll need a browser other than Internet Explorer, though, unless you’re crafty enough to dig through the site to find the parent directory (hint: click here). The Firefox or Oasis browsers (which you can download for free, and by the way, your editor uses Firefox as his home browser), work just fine.

Casey also is the editor of a book about the Venetus A, which includes many full-color images and contributions from prominent scholars and the outgoing director of the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, Dr. Marino Zorzi. That book, Recapturing a Homeric Legacy: Images and Insights from the Venetus A Manuscript of the Iliad, will be published by Harvard University Press in this fall.

New book on Chinese grammar

Xiaohong Wen

Xiaohong Wen, Associate Professor and Director of Chinese and Japanese Programs in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, has a new book out. Studies of Chinese Language Acquisition by English Speakers: from Theories to Practice was published by Peking University Press in March 2008. This is a book for teachers of Chinese who want to understand the acquisition processes of Chinese grammar and use research-based curriculum and instruction in their classroom teaching. It focuses on second- or foreign-language acquisition of Chinese by English-speaking learners in the United States.

Doty on Houston in Smithsonian Magazine

Mark Doty

Drive down the freeway (this is a city built on the premise of the personal vehicle, a private sphere to propel you through public spaces) and you become a reader of the telegraphic messages the city pulses out all day, all night: Bail Bonds, Paternity Tests, Taqueria, Weight Loss, Wireless, Margaritas, No Credit? Bad Credit?, God's Got a Plan for You, Gentlemen's Club, Nails, BBQ, Christian Singles. The city's welter of signs is a crazy patchwork of human desires given material form.

OK, so some of those billboards blew away when Ike came through, but we get the idea. This excerpt comes from “My Kind of Town: Houston”, written by Mark Doty, John and Rebecca Moores Professor in our Creative Writing program, for the current issue of Smithsonian Magazine.

Mark joined our poetry faculty in the fall of 1998 after teaching at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and other universities. He has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, two Lambda Literary Awards and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. Mark is the only American poet to have received the T.S. Eliot Prize in the U.K., and he has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill and Lila Wallace/Readers Digest foundations, and from the National Endowment for the Arts.

He is the author of eight books of poems, among them Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems. Dog Years, one of four works of non-fiction prose, a New York Times bestseller in 2007.

You can listen to conservation between Mark and Mark Lopate on WNYC radio in New York by clicking here.

This just in . . .

The National Book Critics Circle announced just before we sent out Graffit-e that Mark is one of five National Book Award finalists in poetry for Fire to Fire, the collection of the best of his seven books of poetry, along with selections of new work.

From the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication:

Joe Leydon (’07 MA, Communication), lecturer and award-winning film critic and historian, has been asked to host a Paul Newman homage at the Denver Film Festival in November.

Fred Schiff

Fred Schiff, Associate Professor of Communication, was invited by the Fulbright Commission to participate in a national panel of faculty judges in Brazil. Fred spent three days in Brasilia interviewing doctoral candidates who have applied for Fulbright Scholarships to study at U.S. universities.

Bob Heath

Bob Heath, Professor of Communication, is one of the four editors who recently published: Terrorism: Communication and Rhetorical Perspectives, Hampton Press. He is co-author of two chapters: “The Communication and Rhetoric of Terrorism” and “Shifting Paradigms and New Directions for Managing Terrorism.” Bob was the lead author of a third chapter: “Terrorism: From the Eyes of the Beholder.” Bob also is an area editor for advertising, public relations and strategic communication in the International Encyclopedia of Communication, edited by Wolfgang Donsbach of Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany. This project is sponsored by the International Communication Association and appears both in print (12 volumes, nearly 6,000 pages) and online. Bob authored and co-authored the entries on “Public Affairs/Organizational-Public Relationships and Public Relations.

Mike Ryan, Professor of Communication, and Les Switzer (Professor Emeritus) wrote a chapter in Terrorism: Communication and Rhetorical Perspectives entitled, “Mirror on a War Agenda: Conservative Christian Activists and Media Coverage of the Iraq Invasion.”

Garth Jowett

Garth Jowett

William Douglass, Professor of Communication, wrote the entry in International Encyclopedia of Communication for “Initial Interaction”; and Garth Jowett, Professor of Communication, wrote “Visual Communication of Propaganda” for the publication.

David McHam’s Advanced Reporting class is launching a campus news site which will be independent of The Daily Cougar. The WordPress site may be accessed via a link from The Daily Cougar site. Students from the reporting class and possibly the Opinion Writing and Feature classes will post news and opinion pieces on the site:

Julie Fix

Julie B. Fix, APR, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Instructional Assistant Professor, was elected as one of two assembly delegates from the Houston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Julie is also the faculty advisor for the UH chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, and president and principal of Fix & Associates, Inc. Public Relations.

In Memoriam

. Earl Williams

J. Earl Williams, a former Professor of Economics and a leader in the War on Poverty during the 1960s, died Oct. 1 in a Houston nursing home. He was 86. Prof. Williams joined the UH faculty in 1966 to teach on the graduate level. He also headed the university's Center for Human Resources.

Find out more faculty news on the CLASS News and Events page.

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POD People Rule

On Sept. 18 and 19, about 950 UH students volunteered to help distribute relief supplies at the FEMA Point of Distribution in the Robertson Stadium parking lot. In all, about 1,600 UH volunteers handed out around 1440,000 liters of water, 480,000 pounds of ice, and 65,000 MRE’s (meals ready to eat) to more than 35,000 victims of Hurricane Ike. If you’re into such stuff, that means our people served about 400 vehicles per hour.

Students from the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication put together a dandy video, including interviews with President Khator and Dean Antel. Watch it by clicking on the screen.

A gathering of Coogs


Nov. 1–8 is Homecoming Week, and the UH student chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators has put together a gathering of Coog communicators during “Media Homecoming” at 5:30 p.m., Oct. 29, in the Aegean Room (aka Room 82) in the University Center Underground.

A panel of former Coogs and communication vets will discuss how UH prepared them for their careers and what students should be doing to be ready for the industry. A few guests are still pending, but the line-up right now includes Marisa Ramirez (’00 English), former KTRH and KUHF reporter and current UH media relations rep; Doug Miller (’80 History), KHOU Ch. 11 reporter; and Dave Dalati (’86 Radio and Television), afternoon announcer for 790 AM The Sports Animal.

This event is open to all IABC members, so if you’re a former Coog, please show up. If not, show up anyway.

Marisa Ramirez Doug Miller David Dalati
Marisa Ramirez Doug Miller David Dalati



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Women’s Studies Program Offers Minor in GLBT Studies

Logo  for Women's Studies program

The Women’s Studies Program will offer a minor in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Studies beginning in January 2009.

“Women’s Studies has long included courses that analyze the role of gender and sexuality in the experience of people of both sexes,” says program director Professor Elizabeth Gregory.

The interdisciplinary minor will require fifteen hours of approved courses in the humanities and the social sciences, and an introductory course required of all minors. Students may choose from courses such as Sex and Culture, Queer Theory, History of Private Life, Sexuality and Society, Gay and Lesbian Literature, and Epic Masculinity: Ideologies of Manhood in Ancient Epic and Modern Film, among others.

Guillermo de los Reyes, Assistant Professor in the Hispanic Studies program, will direct the new minor. He has conducted research in colonial Mexican history and literature, gender and sexuality, cultural studies, secret and fraternal societies, Latin American political culture and policy studies.

“The GLBT Studies minor will be pivotal in the mission of the university to promote diversity and equality,” de los Reyes says. The new GLBT minor reflects the continuing growth of the Women’s Studies Program, founded in 1991. The program now offers two minors, Women’s Studies and GLBT Studies, and is in the process of changing its name to reflect its expanding curriculum. Interested students may call 713-743-3214 for more information. (Marisa Ramirez contributed to this story)

Clinic joins the digital age

Almost since the Golden Age of Dirt, the University Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has used an analogue video system as part of its clinical training for students and as part of the services provided to the community.

Well, welcome to the 21st century!

The Clinic has installed a Landro system that digitizes audio and video recordings of clinic sessions. The system also provides the capability of rapid editing and indexing of files for use in clinical training and classroom teaching, which allow students to review their own clinical sessions to identify effective techniques and find out where they need more practice. Clinical supervisors can monitor and edit therapy sessions from their desktops. The total cost of the project was around $150,000.

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Mike Barajas

Mike Barajas (’81 Radio and Television), is Houston’s favorite local TV news anchor. At least that’s the result of this year’s “Best of Houston” voting by readers of the Houston Press. Mike’s been anchoring FOX 26 News at 9 since 1992. He started out there as a weekend anchor before moving to the midday newscast. He also does the 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekday newscasts.

After graduating from UH, Mike took a job at KLVL radio, which was Houston’s only Spanish-language station at the time. He’s also done time at KENR radio, KPRC radio, and KPRC-TV, where he worked as a reporter.

Also making the “Best of Houston” list: Renu Khator

President Renu Khator, under Best Start by a New Boss (yes, she’s not a CLASS alumna, but she is our boss!)

Susanne Theis

Susanne Theis (’82 History), Programming Director for Discovery Green, downtown Houston’s new 12-acre, $122 million park, Best Bureaucrat. Susanne joined Discovery Green after 25 years at The Orange Show, sponsor of Houston’s popular, off-the-wall Art Car Parade. She’s a published writer and an art curator who has lectured around the country on Folk and Outsider Art. Click on this clip from HoustonPBS and hear her talk about the importance of public art. (Video will open in a separate tab.)

A Woman of Excellence

Selia Redmon-Jones

Shelia Redmon-Jones (’96 Journalism) of Spring, Texas, is one of this year’s recipients of the Woman of Excellence award from the Federation of Houston Professional Women. Shelia, the Communication Director for the Greenspoint Management District, was one of 37 women honored by the organization.

CLASS alumni on PR board

The Public Relations Society of America, Houston chapter, announced new members to its board of directors, and CLASS alumni are among them!

Jennifer Evans

Jennifer L. Evans (’00 MA, Public Relations) has more than 14 years of experience in public relations, marketing, and CSR/philanthropy. A PRSA member for more than 10 years, she is chairing the 2008 PR Day Conference. Jennifer has worked for both large and small companies, including The Health Museum, Marathon Oil, Cooper Industries, and the Alley Theater.

Michelle McCormick

Michelle McCormick (’02 MA, Public Relations Studies) is a senior account manager with Toby Stark Public Relations, LLC, where she has managed client accounts for non-profit, consumer products, automotive and professional services clients. Michelle previously worked for the Region of Peel in Ontario and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia.

Stroike picked as new manager

Tamara Stroike

Tamara Stroike (’90 Social Sciences) is the new Health Services Sales Manager for The Village at Gleannloch Farms, Northwest Houston’s newest life-care retirement community. Tamara has more than 18 years of healthcare experience, which includes stints as Regional Marketing Director for Tutera Health Care Services, ARC Retirement, and NGH/Marriott Corporation. She also served as Director of Sales and Marketing for Houston Junior Forum where she worked to provide charitable service for seniors.

Work by Kelli Vance

The Words Fade Into a Whisper, 2007

Roswell Artist in Residency

Kelli Vance (’08, MFA Painting), is one of only a few artists accepted for a year-long residency at the Roswell Foundation immediately upon graduation from an academic program. Kelli will be participating in the 2008-2009 Roswell Artists in Residency Program.

In Memoriam

Robert Kendrick

Robert (Bob) Warren Kendrick (’69 General Arts and Sciences), 62, Sept. 22, 2008.

No photo available

Jacob Scanlan (’05 Philosophy), Sept. 23, 2008

Edward Osborne Gaylord

Edward Osborne "Ted" Gaylord (’58 General Arts and Sciences), Sept. 28, 2008

No photo available

Shirley Ann Anderson, age 60, October 10, 2008.

Read more about CLASS alumni on our Web page. If you would like to share your accomplishments with your CLASS family, please send us an email note.

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The presidential elections are about two weeks away, but it seems the top issue on the minds of the American people these days is not so much presidential politics as it is their personal pocketbooks.

The present financial crisis and how public policy contributed to it is the subject we look at with Jim Granato, Director of the University of Houston Center for Public Policy and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science.

Professor Granato received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1991, and became the director of the Center for Public Policy two years ago.

He also has served as the political science program director and visiting scientist at the National Science Foundation.

His recently published book, The Role of Policymakers in Business Cycle Fluctuations, published by Cambridge University Press, looks at how monetary policy can stabilize business cycles.

Interview talking points

  1. We hear a lot about the causes of the present financial crisis. What exactly happened?
    • When we look back at this we will trace the root cause to the mortgage market.
    • Mortgages traditionally were done with a bank.
    • This changed over time where financial “intermediaries” “bundled” mortgages together and sold as investment opportunities (mortgage pools). The mortgage payments served as the income stream for purchasers of these bundles.
    • Rating agencies rated weak and risky bundles as sound investments.
    • There was political pressure to expand home ownership.
    • Lending practices became more risky (little money down for example). 1930s used to be 40% down.
    • Housing prices leveled off or fell and other factors affected ability to pay.
    • Mortgage defaults rose dramatically but these defaults affected the value of the mortgage bundles above.
    • Holders of these assets faced total loss in value of these holdings.
    • How did intermediaries deal with the losses? Fannie Mae, for example, would foreclose on the house and then take the proceeds of the sale. Usually getting about 50% back.
  2. What was the role of public policy in contributing to this situation?
    • Probably the dominant role.
    • Promoting home ownership became a Federal goal in the 1930s.
    • We see this in mortgage interest deduction but also in the creation of Fannie Mae (1938).
    • Fannie Mae and later Freddie Mac are government sponsored enterprises (GSEs). GSE’s have enormous reach in the economy, funding up to half of all mortgage debt. In early 2008, they funded 70% of new mortgages.
    • A GSE is a financial institution, created by the U.S. Congress, for a limited purpose.
    • A GSE works in the secondary mortgage market: it purchases mortgage loans (bundles) from other sources. It can keep or resell these bundles.
    • A GSE is privately owned, BUT their ties to government imply a federal guarantee.
    • This structure creates a moral hazard.
    • 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). (Response to “redlining”), the 1995 CRA Treasury Department regulation(s) changes, and Fannie Mae (late 1990s) all contributed to the emphasis on more risky lending practices (subprime).
    • Combination of the moral hazard and the pressure to subprime lending meant loans to individuals (who were at high risk of default) were made.
    • Another policy concern: accounting rules accelerate downward spirals.
  3. What new public policies do you expect to come out of this crisis?
    • Policies must eliminate the moral hazard.
    • Policies must “localize” losses. “Churning.”
    • Accounting practices must be structured to not accelerate asset devaluation.
  4. Do you expect both short-term and long-term public policy proposals?
    • Yes.
    • Short-term policy changes going on now. Goal is to loosen credit. Fed can help here by purchasing commercial paper. Also, rules can be changed so that capital requirements for low risk mortgages can be loosened, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can have their activities frozen, and FDIC deposit insurance can be expanded.
    • Long-term policy requires an independent commission. These structural changes will address moral hazard and creating a mortgage market that is less concentrated. Eliminating GSE’s needs to be considered.
  5. What are the consequences of this crisis for the current election?
    • Helps Obama and Democrats.
    • However, if it turns out the Democrats are thought to be responsible for GSE involvement and blocking reform, then there will be a boomerang effect on the Democrats.

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Around CLASS and Campus

Logo for 2008 Homecoming

Homecoming 2008: Old Traditions and New Beginnings

Come celebrate your Cougar Spirit at the 2008 University of Houston Homecoming celebrating Old Traditions and New Beginnings.

Enjoy a week of fun, food, friends, family, and football the week of Nov. 1-8, ending with the big game against Tulane at Robertson Stadium.

Find out everything you’d want to know about this year’s Homecoming, and more, on the UH Homecoming Web page.


Theatre and Dance Logo

School of Theatre and Dance Raises Curtain on Season of Premieres

Contemporary works by veteran, emerging artists highlight 2008-2009 productions

New plays take center stage at the University of Houston. During the upcoming 2008-2009 season, the School of Theatre and Dance will present local debuts and world premieres of works by rising playwrights and esteemed masters of the craft.

For additional details, call 713-743-2929 or visit the School’s box office.


The following five productions are included in the School’s subscription series. Tickets for individual productions are also available. For additional details, call 713-743-2929 or visit the School’s box office.

  • Oct. 3 - 12, 2008
    Bridges by Nathaniel Freeman; Directed by Steven Wallace, World Premiere

Presented in collaboration with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, this world premiere production focuses on the oral histories of Hurricane Katrina survivors who were stranded on the I-10 overpass after their neighborhood was decimated. The script was adapted from interviews gathered as part of the UH Surviving Rita and Katrina Project.

Mary Zimmerman

Mary Zimmerman

Nov. 7 - 23, 2008
Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; Directed by Jack Young Houston Premiere

Zimmerman’s stunning Tony Award-winning adaptation of some of Roman poet Ovid's humorous, heartbreaking myths is set in and around a large pool. An ensemble cast depicts the transformations that define the human experience. Created at Northwestern University, Metamorphoses was produced at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Berkeley Stage Company before moving to Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre in 2002. That year, Zimmerman earned the Tony Award for Best Direction for this play.

Edward Albee

Edward Albee

Feb. 13 - 22, 2009
Peter and Jerry by Edward Albee; Directed by Sidney Berger, Houston Premiere

Fifty years ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and former UH professor Albee dazzled audiences with the provocative A Zoo Story, which detailed a Central Park meeting between Peter, a publishing executive, and Jerry, a disturbed young man. In 2008, Albee added a first act, Homelife, which details Peter’s marriage and the events leading up to his meeting with Jerry. Paired as Peter and Jerry, the combined works will have its local debut after its New York debut.

Charles L. Mee

Charles L. Mee

Feb. 20 - March 1, 2009
“bobrauschenbergamerica” by Charles L. Mee; Directed by Kim Weild, Houston Premiere

The artwork of Robert Rauschenberg has long intrigued and challenged art aficionados. This imaginative production explores the American landscape through a creative lens that is inspired by the recently departed artist. Not unlike his unique “combine” paintings, the play melds a host of diverse characters, settings, music, dancing, and stories.

Amy Lanasa and Mark Medoff

Amy Lanasa and Mark Medoff

April 3 - April 19, 2009
Buy 1 Get 5 Free by Amy Lanasa; Guest Director, Houston Premiere

What do you do when your sister is a convict, your momma can't kick her bingo habit, and your husband is still missing from your honeymoon skydiving trip two years ago? Lock yourself in your trailer, of course. This comedy farce, by up-and-coming playwright Lanasa, won the Best Short Play Award at the 2001 Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.

Holes Movie Poster
Oct. 13 - 24, 2008
Theatre for Young Audiences presents
Holes by Louis Sachar; directed by Jackie deMontmollin, Houston Premiere

Adapted from Sachar’s book and the film of the same name, Holes tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, a young man sentenced to hard labor in West Texas for a crime he did not commit. Between dodging poisonous yellow-spotted lizards and trying to play nice with other inmates, he finds himself unraveling a century-old mystery.

The school will continue to develop new work for dance and theatre with these annual offerings:

  • Nov. 22 - 23, 2008
    Emerging Choreographers Showcase

The creative energies of up-and-coming choreographers are showcased in this annual concert that has become a favorite among dance enthusiasts.

  • April 24 - 26, 2009
    Spring Dance Concert

Dance aficionados look forward to this annual show featuring contemporary works by faculty and guest artists that is set on the pre-professional dance company, the UH Dance Ensemble.

  • April 30 - May 3, 2009
    New Play Festival

The New Play Festival offers Houstonians a chance to enjoy the city’s freshest theater. Tomorrow’s star scribes develop scripts under the supervision of Tony winner and UH professor Mark Medoff and present them during intimate readings.

Logo for Women's studies program

Conference header

The Women's Studies program is preparing for two major event for the upcoming Fall semester.

The 2008 Women's Conference on "Gender, Creativity and the New Longevity", November 13 -15.

The conference will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars, artists, and practitioners to consider the social and personal consequences of the new longevity.

Logo for DiverseWorks

The exhibition: Thrive (DiverseWorks, Houston) November 14 - December 20.

Time plays through the work of fifteen notable Houston artists, all women, in Thrive.

This event was organized in conjunction with the UH conference Gender, Creativity, and the New Longevity. The exhibition and accompanying programs are a co-presentation of DiverseWorks and the Women’s Studies program.

Annual Cougar Marching Band Dinner/Concert
Friday, November 21

"Spirit of Houston"Marching Band

Underwritten by Sterling Bank

Come support the "Spirit of Houston" Cougar Marching Band in a fun-filled, exciting evening of music and dance. All proceeds benefit the Cougar Marching Band/Cheer/Dance scholarship and program funds.

Dinner 6:30 p.m., Moores School of Music Courtyard
Concert 8 p.m., Moores Opera House

UH Entrance 16 at Cullen Boulevard
Tickets: 713-743-3388

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts logo


Image credit: Jennifer Lester

Chopin in Paris: Epigraph for a Condemned Book

Saturday, Oct. 18
8 pm (7 pm Pre-concert talk by Richard Howard)

Conceived, directed, and performed by Sarah Rothenberg, pianist and artistic director of Da Camera of Houston, Epigraph for a Condemned Book is a unique tapestry of sight and sound that reveals the daring genius of Chopin’s piano works. Rothenberg is the Mitchell Center’s Fall 2008 artist-in-residence.

Pre-concert talk with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Richard Howard.

Presented in conjunction with the Blaffer Gallery exhibition “Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion,” which surveys a strand of contemporary art that puts emotions front and center, built on the knowledge that rebirth grows out of experiences of things gone horribly wrong.

Location: Cullen Theater, Wortham Center downtown (6th Floor)
Tickets and Information: Please call Da Camera of Houston at 713-524-5050

Epigraph is a Da Camera of Houston production, co-commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre, New Haven; University Musical Society, Ann Arbor; and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Champaign-Urbana.


Discussing Dickinson
Wednesday October 22
2:30 pm

A discussion led by University of Houston Professor Dorothy Baker with nationally recognized Emily Dickinson scholars Dr. Martha Nell Smith and Dr. Eliza Richards to discuss the life and work of American poet Emily Dickinson.

Location: The Honors College, University of Houston M.D. Anderson Library, Room 212
Free Admission
Information: Mitchell Center Hotline 713-743-5548


Mark Doty

A Long Shadow: Emily Dickinson and Contemporary Poets
Wednesday October 22
7 pm

Organized by beloved outgoing University of Houston faculty member and celebrated poet Mark Doty, this evening will focus on contemporary poetry inspired by Emily Dickinson. Doty, as well as special guest poets Alice Fulton and Susan Howe, will read samples of their own works alongside poems by Dickinson.

Presented in conjunction with the commission and production of Ridge Theater’s “Lightning at our feet,” a multimedia song cycle created from the poems and letters of celebrated American poet Emily Dickinson.

Location: The Rothko Chapel
Free Admission
Information: 713-524-9839


Bill Morrison: Collaborations with Michael Gordon
Friday October 24, 8 pm
Saturday October 25, 7 pm

Back-to-back evenings of film screenings by award-winning filmmaker Bill Morrison, Ridge Theater member and co-creator of Lightning at our feet, featuring music by composer Michael Gordon.

Included in the festival is Decasia: The State of Decay (2001), a new kind of documentary, with music composed by Michael Gordon, in which Morrison uses decomposing film stock as raw material and draws on the tension between the fact of film’s unstable surface and the fragile nature of what was once photographically represented. An artist talk with Morrison will follow the film program.

Presented in conjunction with Ridge Theater’s “Lightning at our feet,” a multimedia song cycle created from the poems and letters of celebrated American poet Emily Dickinson.

Location: Aurora Picture Show and Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Tickets and Information: Please contact Aurora Picture Show at 713-868-2102 and MFAH at 713-639-7300


Image from Lightning at your feet

Lightning at our feet, Michael Gordon and Ridge Theater
Wednesday October 29
Thursday October 30
Saturday November 1, 8 pm

The Mitchell Center presents the world premiere of Lightning at our feet, a multimedia song cycle created from the poems and letters of American poet Emily Dickinson that reunites composer Michael Gordon and New York’s Ridge Theater – the creative team behind the critically acclaimed Decasia (2001). Setting Dickinson’s poems to music and motion, Lightning at our feet straddles the genres of music, theater, and dance, encompassing its elements in a world of projections from filmmaker Bill Morrison and visual artist Laurie Olinder (Shelter, BAM 2005, Next Wave).

Come join us for the Opening Night reception following the performance on the 29th!

Commissioned by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston for its world premiere performance, and by BAM for the 2008 Next Wave Festival.

Location: Wortham Theater, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center University of Houston (Entrance 16 off Cullen Blvd; Free parking in Lot 16)
Admission: $15 general admission; $10 students and seniors
Tickets and Information: 713-743-2929


cellist: Sonia Wieder-Atherton

Damaged Romanticism
Saturday November 8
8pm (7pm - Pre-concert conversation with Terrie Sultan, director of The Parrish Art Museum and organizer of Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion, and Sarah Rothenberg, pianist and artistic director of Da Camera of Houston)

An international all-star concert that incorporates projections of paintings and photographs to create a compelling dialogue between music and visual art, evocative of some of the most powerful art created in recent years.

Presented in conjunction with the Blaffer Gallery exhibition “Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion,” which surveys a strand of contemporary art that puts emotions front and center, built on the knowledge that rebirth grows out of experiences of things gone horribly wrong.

Location: Moores Opera House, University of Houston (Entrance 16 off Cullen Blvd; Free parking in Lot 16)
Tickets and information: Please call Da Camera of Houston at 713-524-5050

Damaged Romanticism is a Da Camera of Houston production with support from the Mitchell Center.


Adam Zagajewski

Poetry and Music: A Conversation, with pianist Sarah Rothenberg and poet Adam Zagajewski
Friday November 21
7 pm

Poet Adam Zagajewski and pianist Sarah Rothenberg present an evening of readings, performance and conversation inspired by the themes and ideas of the recent Blaffer Gallery exhibition, Damaged Romanticism.

Presented in conjunction with the Blaffer Gallery exhibition “Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion,” which surveys a strand of contemporary art that puts emotions front and center, built on the knowledge that rebirth grows out of experiences of things gone horribly wrong.

Location: The Rothko Chapel
Free Admission
Information: 713-524-9839


Melvin Chen and Joan Tower

Damaged Romanticism: Joan Tower with Pianist Melvin Chen

In accordance with the Blaffer Gallery exhibition Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion, the Mitchell Center will present several events featuring the work of Joan Tower, one of the nation's most original composers of modern music. Tower will join us in residence, with acclaimed piano soloist and chamber musician Melvin Chen.

Presented in conjunction with the Blaffer Gallery exhibition “Damaged Romanticism: A Mirror of Modern Emotion,” which surveys a strand of contemporary art that puts emotions front and center, built on the knowledge that rebirth grows out of experiences of things gone horribly wrong.

Location: Dudley Recital Hall and Moores Opera House, University of Houston
(Entrance 16 off Cullen Blvd; Free parking in Lot 16)
Tickets and Information: 713-743-3313

Crowned Plaza, Houston, Downtown
November 14-15, 2008

The two general themes for the conference:

1. Mapping the Contact Zone(s) of Nuestra América.

Rather than revisit “contact zones” as initiated and dominated by European travelers, merchants and conquistadores, the conference seeks to investigate later evolutions of the “contact zone” with its potential as a space for a multiplicity of diverse cultural clashes and/or syntheses. The conference advocates for a more thorough mapping of cultural, political, linguistic, gendered and historical connections or disconnections between individuals and groups of any particular “contact zone.” The evolving nature of the metropolis as found in New York City, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Antonio, Albuquerque and San Francisco, among others, should be ideal places to imagine the mutability and multiplicity of the “contact zone,” but so are places visited by violence and forced displacement

2. The bicentennial of Hispanic newspapers in the United States.

In September 1808, the first issue of El Misisipí was published in New Orleans. It was the first Spanish-language newspaper to be published north of the Rio Grande and was soon followed by others in the Northeast, Texas and Florida. Since the beginnings of Hispanic publishing in all areas that became part of the United States, Latinos have made the newspaper, as well as other types of periodicals, the most important and prolific medium for their political, social, literary and religious expression, even more so than books. In the process of recovery of our written legacy, thousands more texts worthy of preservation and study have been found in newspapers than in books.

For more information about the conference, visit the Arte Público Press Web site

More Moores news

Moores School of Music logo

Here’s a list of upcoming events from the Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music. You can obtain more information by calling 713-743-3388..


Monday, October 20, 7:30 pm Free
Quartetto Italiano di Clarinetti*
(Maurizio Morganti, Carlo Franceschi, soprano clarinets; Giovanni Lanzini, alto clarinet; Augusto Lanzini, bass clarinet)
Robert Nelson: Quartet for Clarinet (United States premiere)
Dudley Recital Hall


Buck Ross, producer/director
Lucy Arner, music director

Friday, October 24, 7:30 pm
Saturday, October 25, 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 26, 2 pm
Monday, October 27, 7:30 pm RS $15/10
Orpheus in the Underworld
by Jacques Offenbach

Let's go to hell! Greek mythology has never been the same since Offenbach got through with it. Sung in a witty English version by Buck Ross, we start the year off with a wild, naughty, comic romp that concludes with an infernal can-can!

Sung in English with English subtitles

Thursday, October 30, 7:30 pm $10/5
Dominique Røyem, Jaemi Blair Loeb, Roger Kalia, conductors


Saturday, November 1, 7:30 pm
TEXAS COLLEGIATE WOMEN'S CHORUS FESTIVAL CONCERT WOMEN'S CHOIR with University of Texas - San Antonio,* Texas Women's University,* Texas A&M,* University of Texas - Austin,* Texas State University*
Richard Robbins, Gary Mabry,*, Joni Jensen,* Jess Wade,* Annie Byrom,* Lynn Brinckmeyer,* Sandra Snow (faculty, Michigan State),* conductors
University of Texas, Austin, Bass Recital Hall
Info: 512-471-5401

Monday, November 3, 7:30 pm $10/5
Blake Wilkins, director
Works by Varese, Xenakis, Hollo, DeSantis, Fitkin

Saturday, November 8, 8 pm
Damaged Romanticism
DA CAMERA OF HOUSTON* Vera Beths,* Kyung Sun Lee, violins
Hsin-Yun Huang,* Ivo van der Werff,* violas
Norman Fischer,* Sonia Wieder-Atherton,* cellos
Timothy Hester, Sarah Rothenberg,* pianos
7 pm Pre-concert lecture with Terrie Sultan and Sarah Rothenberg. In collaboration with Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and in conjunction with Blaffer Gallery's Damaged Romanticism exhibition.
Tickets/Info: 713-524-5050

Sunday, November 9, 3 pm $10/5
Andrzej Grabiec, violin
Jeffrey Lerner, clarinet
Timothy Hester, piano
Works by Thompson, Harbison, Dohnanyi, Beethoven

Monday, November 10, 7 pm Free
with Clear Lake, Kerr, Klein Collins, Seven Lakes high schools* Betsy Cook Weber, LaRinda Horan,* Patsy Dupree,* Jan Juneau,* Shannon Carter,* conductors

Tuesday, November 11, 7:30 pm Free
with Houston Baptist University,* University of St. Thomas* Betsy Cook Weber, John Yarrington,* Brady Knapp,* conductors

(Celebrating Adler's 80th Birthday)

Thursday, November 13, 7:30 pm RS $15/10
Charles Hausmann, David Bertman, directors
Works by Adler, Maroney, Piston, Welcher

Friday, November 14, 7:30 pm RS $15/10 100-80-60-40-30
Rob Smith, director Jaemi Blair Loeb, assistant director
Works by Carter, Adler, Welcher, Smith, Maroney

Sunday, November 16, 7:30 pm $10/5
Blake Wilkins, percussion
Kimberly Clark, flute
Andrzej Grabiec, violin
Randall Griffin, clarinet
Paula Page, harp
Timothy Hester, piano
Alec Warren, percussion
Works by Toru Takemitsu

Tuesday, November 18, 7:30 pm $10/5
Noe Marmolejo, director

Friday, November 21 Dinner 6:30 pm, MSM Courtyard
Concert 8 pm, MOH
Underwritten by Sterling Bank
David Bertman, director

Come support the "Spirit of Houston" Cougar Marching Band in a fun-filled, exciting evening of music and dance. All proceeds benefit the Cougar Marching Band/Cheer/Dance scholarship and program funds. Info:

Sunday, November 23, 6 pm
17th Century Vespers
Matthew Dirst, director
Richard Robbins, conductor
Works by Leandro Gallerano
Christ the King Lutheran Church Rice Blvd at Greenbriar
Info: 713-523-2864

Tuesday, November 25, 7:30 pm $10/5

David Bertman, John Alstrin, directors
Works by Creston, Wilson, Tichelli, Sousa, Holst, Lauridsen

Saturday, November 29, 7:30 pm
present a GIRLS CHORUS premiere concert with HGO STUDIO ARTISTS*
Britten: Ceremony of Carols
Villa de Matel 6510 Lawndale Street
Info: 713-228-OPERA (6737)


Wednesday, December 3, 7:30 pm Free
Christmas in the Chapel
SYMPHONIC BRASS, CONCERT WOMEN'S CHORUS, UNIVERSITY MEN'S/WOMEN'S CHORUSES, FLOREAT David Bertman, Richard Robbins, Justin Smith, Jennette Roesner, conductors
Works by Pinkham, Gabrieli, Michael Haydn, Wessman, Morales, Stroope
UH Main Chapel, A.D. Bruce Religion Center

Friday, December 5, 7:30 pm RS $15/10
Franz Anton Krager, conductor
Winners - 2008 Concerto Competition
Dvorák: Symphony No. 6

Sunday, December 7, 3 pm RS $10/5
Matthew Dirst, conductor
Handel: Messiah

* Guest Artist/Group
RS Reserved Seating

For more information about what’s going on at CLASS, please visit our Web site.

Transcript of Intro for Discovery

Hello. My name is John David Powell, and from the television studios of the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication on the campus of the University Of Houston, this is discovery.

The presidential elections are about two weeks away, but it seems the top issue on the minds of the American people these days is not so much presidential politics as it is their personal pocketbooks.

The present financial crisis and how public policy contributed is the subject we’ll look at today with Jim Granato, Director of the University of Houston Center for Public Policy and associate professor in the department of political science.

Professor Granato received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1991, and became the director of the Center For Public Policy two years ago.

He also has served as the political science program director and visiting scientist at the National Science Foundation.

His recently published book, The Role Of Policymakers In Business Cycle Fluctuations, published by Cambridge University Press, looks at how monetary policy can stabilize business cycles.

^ back to table of contents ^


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