A Subsidiary of Provocate.org

Welcome to IndyBuzz

IndyBuzz provides information about Central Indiana's most stimulating and thought provoking events -- discussions and conferences, art exhibitions, films, music performances. It tells you what's happening … explains why you should be part of what’s happening. More than an events calendar, though, IndyBuzz tries to make events more meaningful for participants by suggesting an article or two to read before the event, recommending books or websites that will be sources of further information after the event, and pointing out related events that are worth attending.

Visit IndyBuzz's sister site, http://www.provocate.org/, which provides a context for the clusters of the events discussed in IndyBuzz.

IndyBuzz -- dedicated to the thriving intellectual community of Central Indiana

After a summer hiatus, Indybuzz is back. To keep informed about the most important and intellectually stimulating events taking place in Central Indiana, check out http://IndyBuzz.blogspot.com. Please let me know events or activities you think deserve to be publicized: e-mail me at john@sipr.org. Please forward this message to anyone you think would be interested in learning more about our booming brain-community.

If you would like a Word document with all of these events and information (not with the fancy pictures that are on the website), zap me an e-mail and I’ll send you an attachment.

Let me know what you think, and I’ll see you at these events.

John Clark



What is remarkable about the Central Indiana intellectual scene in the coming months is not the sheer quantity of excellent lectures, seminars, feasts, and cultural performances … although I guess that is remarkable. More noteworthy is the number of diversity of organizations and groups that are sponsoring these events. Central Indiana is experiencing a yeasty ferment of many different initiatives both to increase our knowledge of important problems and to find workable solutions to these problems. That is why IndyBuzz entries try to provide information about how to contact the groups who sponsor and organize these events. At the end of an event, you may not only feel entertained and enlightened. You may want to do something … and IndyBuzz is here to try to connect you with those friends you may not know yet who are also trying to do something.

Readers of IndyBuzz will see many of the “usual suspects” who regularly organize sparkling events: the Indiana Council on World Affairs, the World Trade Club, the Franciscan Center for Global Studies at Marian College, and many others. Butler University is celebrating its 150th birthday with several very high profile free events. Two very big mega-events in November open up dozens of possibilities for education and engagement. The Ann Katz Festival of Books, running from October 27 to November 16, exposes us to the very best contemporary Jewish art, journalism, and literature. It is part of the broader Spirit & Place Festival, the city’s 800-pound gorilla in the month of November. (A very benign, friendly, thought-provoking gorilla.) Spirit & Place is an annual festival of the arts, humanities, and religion, taking place Nov. 4-20 at sites around Central Indiana. Close to 100 dialogues, concerts, plays, exhibitions, and services highlight the spiritual and cultural traditions of our place. Managed by The Polis Center at IUPUI, Spirit & Place brings together more than 150 cultural, civic, and religious organizations. Many events are free. A Public Conversation featuring Wendell Berry, A’lelia Bundles, and Rabbi Lawrence Kushner takes place Sunday, Nov. 6. For a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.blogger.com/www.spiritandplace.org or call 274-2455. A printed program for Spirit & Place will be available after September 15, so readers of IndyBuzz are getting a sneak peak.

Go here if you want a chronological schedule of the events through the end November, or just scroll down the blob. Note the colorful pictures: slowly I am developing the computer savvy of a seven-year-old. For some of the musical events, I have provided MP3 links to the groups that will perform, just click and listen.

Let me draw your attention to some themes and clusters of events. For instance, if you want to learn about the Middle East you can hear lectures by experts on the Persian Gulf states, Iran, and Israel and the Palestinians. You can see Paul Volcker, head of the recent commission investigating the United Nations’ scandal-ridden oil-for-food program in Iraq, and learn about Islamic art and culture. In addition to hearing from a consul general of Israel, you can hear the story of an Iranian Jew driven from her home in the 1970s or can learn about the Jewish mystical tradition. You can go to IUPUI to hear some of the country’s top academic experts at a day-long conference on Iraq, or join a group of peace activists explain their controversial visions of healing the divide between Palestinians and Jews. (And that’s not all there is about the Middle — check out the links below to food and music!)

Learning about Africa can be fun as well as serious. A Ugandan nun who has devoted herself to preventing AIDS and supporting women in her country invites us to an evening of food, music and dance. You can watch and discuss the gripping film Hotel Rwanda, then later meet the real-life protagonist of that movie. Listen to a lawyer committed to protecting civil liberties of Haitians. Or attend the Indiana Civil Liberties Union’s annual conference if you want to hear from a lot of committed civil libertarians. The civil liberties theme informs panel discussions of the Constitution and the war on terrorism and the United Nations.

If all of that sounds too heavy, perhaps you can stretch your brain through art and culture. I’ll be joining with Indianapolis Opera to discuss the darker sides of The Merry Widow, that frothiest of all light operas. You can learn about China by attending a lecture on current politics in Beijing by a top American academic or by hearing about how an Indiana company has cornered the popcorn market in Asia. Even more fun will be to hear China’s finest classical music quarter. Contrast these tunes with a traditional Jewish klezmer performance and with a multi-national ensemble that fuses jazz with Sephardic and Latin music. You can attend a play about the “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925 performed by the Indiana Repertory Theatre, then participate in a panel discussion with some of the main players in the controversy over teaching “Intelligent Design” (or “Creationism Lite”) in public schools. Then the next day, go to Butler to hear from a paleoanthropologist who led the team that discovered what may be a new species of hominid that may still live in remote Indonesia. A Greek Orthodox theologian offers a different perspective on his faith’s attitude toward Creation and nature, while a Roman Catholic bio-ethicist explains his Church’s attitude about stem cell research and other scientific controversies.

As you might expect, issues of faith and values come up repeatedly, as so they should. You can hear about theology and the music industry, the contested separation of church and state, and religion and journalism. Lots of conversation about journalism, in fact, including visits from such national media stars as Soledad O’Brien, George Will, Naomi Wolf, Anna Quinlan and David Halberstam. Not just national journalists, we will see such world-historical leaders (or failures) as Mikhail Gorbachev and Bill Clinton. Yowza!

Many groups recognize that deep thought is very naturally paired with a nice meal with friends. (Socrates lives!) You can eat a fine dinner at a country club with the Indianapolis Committee on Foreign Relations, have lunch with the international businesspeople of the World Trade Club, or a breakfast roundtable discussing women in the workplace and at home. You also can learn more about the philosophy of food by sampling some of the best Jewish dishes from around the world, by eating with local proponents of the “Slow Food” movement, or by dining with America’s leading philosopher of farming, Wendell Berry.

These are just a few of the many topics that will engage our intellectual community in the weeks to come. Stay tuned to http://IndyBuzz.blogspot.com to be kept up to date about what is buzzing.

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Provocate strengthens the intellectual and civic fabric of Central Indiana by connecting global & local, entertainment & education, culture & policy