Event Review: Jeremy Mulderig at Unabridged Bookstore

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The stacks at Unabridged Bookstore

By Riley Jane McLaughlin
Contributor to the Underground

On Wednesday, April 23rd at Unabridged Bookstore, DePaul professor Jeremy Mulderig presented his latest published project, The Lost Autobiography of Samuel Steward. The autobiography is a compilation that Mulderig created using primarily sections from Steward’s 1979 original, unpublished, autobiographical manuscript, as well as the slim volume in which selections of autobiographical content of Steward’s were published, entitled Chapters. With the help of these two works, among other essays, novels, and sources on Samuel Steward, Mulderig produced the fascinating accomplishment that is The Lost Autobiography of Samuel Steward.

At the book launch, Mulderig introduced Samuel Steward by briefly recounting Steward’s extraordinary life. I, along with the other audience members, learned much about Steward as a person, as well as about his diverse experiences. Mulderig explained that Steward grew up with certainty of his homosexuality, and began experimenting in the sexual world at a fairly young age. He attended Ohio State University and worked as a professor before moving to Chicago and continuing his professorial work at Loyola University, and later DePaul. Besides being a professor, Steward was an author and a tattoo artist. He also shot pornographic photography and wrote gay pornography. He developed close, personal friendships with Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Tolkas. He also was very sexually active; in fact, Steward kept record of his sexual activity, which included over 800 men and 4,500 encounters.

Following his debrief on Samuel Steward, Mulderig read for the audience several excerpts from the autobiography, which focused on various significant periods of Steward’s life, most of which Mulderig had mentioned or alluded to during his introductory summary. After the readings had concluded, Mulderig answered audience questions and was available for book-signings.

Overall, this book launch was fascinating and unique, informing me on a figure of DePaul’s who was previously unknown to me. What additionally made this event so special—other than the stories of the comical and bizarre happenings in Samuel Steward’s life—was Mulderig’s affection for Steward, evident in his excited oration and emotional readings.

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Healing Arts: Cultivating Resilience and Resistance

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Healing Arts: Cultivating Resilience and Resistance

A gathering to share healing justice practices which feed our resilience and resistance.

Friday, April 20, noon-5 PM
Arts and Letters Room 412.

All are welcome to come to one, two, or all of the presentations/workshops. They are all interactive and all are offered by amazing women artists, writers, performers, healers, scholars. Following the schedule below is more information about each of the workshop presenters.

12:00-1:45
My Body’s Narratives and The Narratives of My Body

a writing workshop with Dorothy Bell Ferrer

An interactive writing workshop about the elements of personal narrative from an Afro-Caribbean perspective which encourages participants to take charge of their voices and discover their personal narrative as a measure of resistance to capitalism and colonialism.

2:00-3:30
A Full Circle: Storytelling Art for Resistance & Healing
a talk and performance with Ada Cheng

In this workshop, Ada Cheng will weave personal stories with reflections on the art of storytelling. She will demonstrate how, through examples of the stories she has told, storytelling can be used as a tool for resistance as well as that for healing from trauma. In the last part of the workshop, participants will collectively explore how they can integrate storytelling into their respective work for effective engagement.

3:45-5:00
Opening the Heart Ceremony
a workshop with Misty DeBerry

This workshop seeks to create a space where participants can explore and practice ideas of closure, passing on, and transitioning out of the activities from the day. Through gentle embodiment, reiki based visualization, and collective collaging, we will ask ourselves what does it mean and/or feel like to engage in shared modes of healing?

Workshop Facilitators:

Dorothy Bell Ferrer – https://insurgentprieta.wordpress.com/

Ada Cheng  – http://www.renegadeadacheng.com/

Misty DeBerry – Misty De Berry is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. There her scholarship sits at the intersection of performance studies, Black Feminist Thought, Marxist theory, and art history. Currently she is at work on her dissertation, which examines modes of debt and temporality in the lives of Black women. Ultimately concerned with embodied aesthetics as strategies for interrupting harm in the lives Black women, her scholarship is deeply informed by her work as a performance artist, playwright, and master reiki practitioner.

Event Review: Kathleen Rooney at American Writers Museum

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By Paige Gilberg
Contributor to The Underground

On April 11, 2018, author Kathleen Rooney visited the American Writers Museum to celebrate the paperback launch of her newest novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk. On December 31, 1984, Lillian Boxfish strolls through Manhattan, recalling events from her past and confronting the realities of a changing America.

Rooney, an English and Creative Writing professor at DePaul, has published a variety of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction works. Her most recent book, Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk, is a national bestseller. Published in 2017 by St. Martin’s Press, the novel has also received glowing reviews from the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Booklist, and other notable publications.

Wednesday’s event began with Rooney reading from the first chapter of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, titled “The Road of Anthracite.” The reading was followed by a Q&A session, facilitated by AWM program director Allison Sansone. The night closed with a book signing.

Rooney drew an impressive crowd and provided great insights on her writing process for Lillian Boxfish and beyond. She discussed Margaret Fishback, the highest-paid female copywriter of the 1930s and the inspiration for the novel’s protagonist. Other topics discussed included her interactions with Fishback’s son during the editing process and her publishing work with Rose Metal Press.

When asked where Lillian would fit in at present day, Rooney took some time to think. She determined that she would be an excellent cultural critic, maybe even a writer for VICE.

As for what’s next, Rooney shared that she has completed a collections of stories titled The Listening Room. She also shared that she is currently working on a WWI story about US Army officer Charles Whittlesey.

The Art of the Con

We are performing our identities at all times, and there is no “true” self beyond such performance. But some of us explore and perfect this way of being with true artistic brilliance. Andy Kaufman performed as Tony Clifton, Foreign Man, and a variety of other personas, once claiming that “Andy Kaufman” was the true fake. Andy’s sister, Carol Kaufman Kerman, joins us to tell stories about what it was like to be in Andy’s family when Andy was exploring who he was and wasn’t. On the eve of his solo show opening at the DePaul Art Museum, we are also joined by DHC Fellow Zachary Ostrowski—a graphic artist, musician, and performance artist who often performs under the personae of Beverly Fre$h and Mr Midwe$t. The DHC is honored as well to host headliner Alan Abel, the greatest prankster and hoaxer of the past century, who will discuss his life of brilliant cons and put-ons. The evening also features a live musical performance by world-renowned tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Come as you are—or as someone else—and ask, “Who am I now?” with the DePaul Humanities Center!

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Jeremy Mulderig at Unabridged Bookstore

Flyer-uabJoin Prof. Jeremy Mulderig at a book launch celebrating The Lost Autobiography of Samuel Steward  published by the University of Chicago Press.

Wednesday, April 18 at 7 PM
Unabridged Bookstore
3251 N. Broadway

On August 21, 1978, a year before his seventieth birthday, Samuel Steward (1909–93) sat down at his typewriter in Berkeley, California, and began to compose a remarkable autobiography. No one but his closest friends knew the many different identities he had performed during his life: as Samuel Steward, he had been a popular university professor of English; as Phil Sparrow, an accomplished tattoo artist; as Ward Stames, John McAndrews, and Donald Bishop, a prolific essayist in the first European gay magazines; as Phil Andros, the author of a series of popular pornographic gay novels during the 1960s and 1970s. Steward had also moved in the circles of Gertrude Stein, Thornton Wilder, and Alfred Kinsey, among many other notable figures of the twentieth century. And, as a compulsive record keeper, he had maintained a meticulous card-file index throughout his life that documented his 4,500 sexual encounters with more than 800 men.

The story of this life would undoubtedly have been a sensation if it had reached publication. But after finishing a 110,000-word draft in 1979, Steward lost interest in the project and subsequently published only a slim volume of selections from his manuscript.

Fake Nous: Knowing What We Don’t Know

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It’s arguably getting harder and harder to know what’s true.  Fake news is in the news, but what if fake nous—a problem with mind, rationality, and epistemology themselves—is the problem?  Surely, knowing what we don’t know becomes the first step toward a corrective.  Following the screening of Damien Hirst’s new documentary revealing heretofore undiscovered treasures from the deep, three scholars take the stage.  Lorraine Code (York University), the most important voice in contemporary feminist epistemology, investigates “manufactured uncertainty” and how male-oriented ways of knowing have obscured truth rather than uncovered it.  Angie Blumberg (DHC Visiting Fellow) looks at fake records in history, thus challenging our understanding of our past as well as our present.  And Andrew Shtulman (Occidental College), author of the best-selling book Scienceblind, explains why common sense often leads us to false scientific conclusions about the world.  Nothing is necessarily what it seems as the DHC investigates what it means to know truth and to know truly!

Play in the Dirt Workshop: Social Network Analysis with Gephi

GephiWorkshopThe workshop is open to anyone in the DePaul community who wants to learn how to do social network analysis of literary and historical data sources using Gephi, an open-source network analysis and visualization software package.

Friday, April 6 at 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Richardson Library Lincoln Park Campus, 103

RSVP 

No previous experience needed!

Light refreshments will be served.