Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State University's Community Semester - Events the week of March 17

March 11, 2014

Indiana State University's Community Semester has five events planned for the week of March 17. Programs include a walking tour of downtown Terre Haute, a lecture on video art and discussions related to the book "The Magnificent Ambersons," the impact of German immigrants on the Crossroads of America and the role of Native Americans and fur traders in the area.

The 2014 Community Semester, which focuses on the theme "Crossroads," is a way for the College of Arts and Sciences to showcase what it does best and to encourage faculty and students to share with the community what they are learning. It is also a way to bring innovative ideas in the science, humanities, liberal and creative arts to the area.

On March 19, the department of history will team up with the Vigo County Public Library to present "Behind the Book: Booth Tarkington's The Magnificent Ambersons" from 1:30-3 p.m. at Westminster Village, 1120 Davis Drive.

Professor Lisa Phillips will provide a glimpse into early 20th century America as part of the library's "One Big Read" of Tarkington's book. With attention to the social and economic upheavals that industrialization brought to Indiana and the nation, the discussion will contrast the decline of "old money" with the rising fortunes of industrial tycoons and other "new money" families such as the Ambersons of Indianapolis. This event is co-sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

A program examining the German-American immigrant experience in Terre Haute is the topic of a Community Semester program March 20 at the German Oberlander Club beginning at 3 p.m.Professor Sandra Kohler of the department of languages, literatures and linguistics will address not just the factors that led so many Germans to leave their homeland throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, but also the lasting impact they have had on our town, the Wabash Valley, Indiana, and the nation as a whole. This event is co-sponsored by the Terre Haute German Oberlander Club, located at 1616 Lafayette Ave.

The University Art Gallery will welcome international artist Hiraki Sawa, who will lecture about using sound and image to create video art beginning at 5:30 p.m. on March 20 in the Recital Hall of the Landini Center for Performing and Fine Arts.

Through video and installation, Sawa forms immersive worlds of sound and image. Employing a combination of digital manipulation and hand-made methods of cutting, pasting and photography, his art shifts between reality and imagination, and often addresses childhood memories and identity. His works "Elsewhere," "Dwelling," and "Migration" are all featured in the gallery's spring exhibition, Rewritten by Machine and New Technology.

The "crossroads" of the Wabash Valley were traversed by human beings long before Terre Haute was established. Native American peoples and, later, fur traders of French descent used the valley's waterways for fishing, transport, and other purposes. Join David Nichols, department of history; Shawn Phillips, department of earth and environmental systems; and Jane Creedon of the Dobbs Park Native American Museum at 7 p.m. March 20 as they present historical and archaeological research to explore how the area was utilized and the changing political, social, and economic dynamics during the decades that preceded the emergence of Terre Haute. This program will take place at the Native American Museum, 5170 E. Poplar Dr.

The public is invited to join in a walking tour of historic downtown Terre Haute, hosted by Terre Haute native and instructor of classics and honors Marilyn Bisch, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. March 22. The informal walking tour of the campus and downtown will highlight historical people, places, and events that helped shape the center of America's "crossroads." Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes, and should gather at 5th and Chestnut Streets, by the fountain in front of the Hulman Memorial Student Union.

These events are free and open to the public. A complete list and description of the Community Semester's activities may be found at:  .

Media contact and writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3783 or