Department of Performing Arts presents “Trojan Barbie”

Tuesday-Saturday, February 5-9; Feb. 5-8 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.
Roberts Studio Theatre, Scott Studios at Arts West

Written by Christine Evans, Directed by Kim Shively

Past and present violently collide when Lotte, an English tourist who repairs dolls, is captured while on a tour of current-day Troy and flung back into the ancient camp of Euripides’ Trojan Women. “Trojan Barbie” explores the timeless themes of conflict and loss in this sharply witty, compassionate and accessible adaptation of the Greek classic. Not suitable for audiences under 13. Admission: $15 or Elon ID. Reservations are highly recommended and will be offered beginning January 11 by calling (336) 278-5650 or visiting

Searching for the Soul in the Doll’s Body: Spiritual Technologies from Golem to Barbie and Sex Dolls to Artificial Intelligence

Thursday, February 7
Yeager Recital Hall, 5:30 p.m.

The machines are coming for us, threatening to take over our jobs, ideas, creative works and even our most intimate relations. But a look at a history of dolls–from automatons to action figures to robots–provides a historical and religious backdrop for thinking through our cyborgian futures by showing us how we have always merged the human body with our technology. This keynote address for the “The Religious Body Imagined” symposium highlights how dolls are vital technological tools that find their way into our rituals, personal devotional lives, workplaces and social spaces.

S. Brent Plate, PhD, is a writer, public speaker, editor and part-time college professor whose books include “A History of Religion in 5 1/2 Objects” and “Blasphemy: Art that Offends.” His essays have been published in Newsweek, Slate, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Christian Century, The Islamic Monthly, Huffington Post and elsewhere. Sponsored by the Elon Center for the Study of Religion, Culture and Society

Cowan Collection of Religious Art, opening reception

Friday, February 8
Numen Lumen Pavilion, 4:30 p.m.

This exhibition highlights the artistic skill and religious significance of Christian, Hindu and Buddhist figures in the Cowan collection of religious art, on extended loan to the Elon University Art Collections. The opening reception is taking place in conjunction with “The Religious Body Imagined” symposium sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society (Feb 7-9, 2019). As a result, a written gallery guide focuses on the theme of embodied wisdom and compassion and explores the iconographic attributes and ritual functions of these beautifully painted and sculpted figures.

The Cowan Collection was presented to the Elon University on extended loan thanks to the generosity of the children of James Costello Cowan and Judith Harcourt Ryder Cowan. The Cowans are parents of Dr. Cynthia Bennett (School of Health Sciences) and Christina Benson (Love School of Business). Sponsored by the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, Elon University Art Collections and the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture and Society

Steven Labadessa: Damnatio Memoriae

Monday, February 11
Artist talk and opening reception, Gallery 406, Arts West, 5:30 p.m.

Mr. Labadessa’s painting arises from a deep interest in stark realism, which strips away the veil of vanity. His work is confrontational and raw, vivid and compulsive. In his nudes, he portrays the human figure as uncontrovertibly carnal, possessed of an almost preternaturally keen sexual awareness that is both challenging and defiant.

Steven Labadessa will be on campus to give an artist talk surrounding his exhibition in Gallery 406 in Arts West. An excerpt of his exhibition statement follows: “I exact a preference for hyperbole (i.e., operatic) and psychological texture in my work, exploring within the confines of self-portraiture, that typically runs counter to modern western notions of beauty.  Hence, figuratively and literally theatrical, friends and relations, lasting and temporary, serve as a surrogate for me, as I re-render their flesh by “compositing” my imagery from a variety of sources.  Ultimately, the work, in the abstract, considers the ways in which a person or persons can take on an iconic quality in memory, at the same time they emblematize, retrospectively, a more universal human experience.” Exhibition continues through Thursday, March 7.

Sheila Patek, “From Fast to Ultra-Fast: The Biological World of Extreme Movement”

Monday, February 11
Oaks 212, McCoy Commons, 7 p.m.

Voices of Discovery Science Speaker Series

Applying highly sophisticated technologies, scientists are now able to more clearly observe and accurately measure the designs and strategies that enable even very small organisms to succeed in challenging environments. Sheila Patek is an organismal biologist who studies innovative strategies for communication and movement in arthropods, using mantis shrimp and trap-jaw ant models. She advocates for basic research as a process that frequently and sometimes unpredictably reveals information that informs the development of practical applications for solving human problems.

Active Citizen Series: Deepening Civic Engagement on College Campuses and How College Student Social Media Use Impacts Student Civic Learning and Engagement

Tuesday, February 12
Koenigsberger Learning Center 230 (Belk Library Second Floor)
4:15 p.m.

Elon students, faculty, and staff will engage in a conversation with Dr. Adam Gismondi, Director of Impact in the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University. Gismondi’s research largely focuses on how college student social media use affects student civic learning and engagement. Advance registration is required using this link.

The Active Citizen Series is designed to cultivate the next generation of informed leaders who will help strengthen communities and shape our democracy. Sponsored by the Elon Political Engagement Work Group, Elon Votes!, Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, and the Council on Civic Engagement

Maureen Vandermass-Peeler, “I wonder why? Children’s thinking and learning across contexts and cultures”

Tuesday, February 12
LaRose Digital Theatre, Koury Business Center, 6:30 p.m.

2018 Distinguished Scholar Award Lecture

Maureen Vandermass-Peeler will describe her research examining how people learn in everyday social and cultural contexts. She will focus on early childhood as a critical time for building knowledge and co-creating meaning through joint participation in engaging activities and explore how early childhood learning lays the foundation for lifelong inquiry, discovery and curiosity.

Tectonic Plates: Alamance County’s Science Café: “Using community-based participatory research with Montagnards to explore lingering effects of the Vietnam War”

Tuesday, February 12
Fat Frogg Bar and Grill, Elon, 7 p.m.

Learn cutting edge science in a relaxed informal atmosphere without all the technical jargon. Programs held on the second Tuesday of each month (September through May). In February, Catherine Bush, Assistant Professor of Biology will discuss the lingering effects of the Vietnam War on Montagnard communities of North Carolina.

Information is available at

The Vagina Monologues

Thursday, February 14
Whitley Auditorium, 6:30 and 9 p.m.

Based on V-Day founder/playwright Eve Ensler’s interviews with women of different ages, nationalities, ethnicities and circumstances, the monologues celebrate women’s sexuality and strength and are performed by Elon students as part of the National V-Day campaign to stop interpersonal violence. Admission: $5. Proceeds benefit CrossRoads Sexual Assault Response and Resource Center of Alamance County.  Sponsored by EFFECT.  A catered reception for the cast, sponsored by WGSS, will be held between performances.

Lunar New Year

Thursday, February 14
McBride Gathering Space, Numen Lumen Pavilion, 7-10 p.m.

Join the Asian-Pacific Student Association (APSA) as we usher in the Year of the Pig as part of our annual Lunar New Year Festival! Activities will range from live performances to cultural stations including a calligraphy table, chopstick competitions, dumpling wrapping, lantern making and more! Food will be provided, mimicking local and traditional Asian cuisines and followed by a fan favorite, Boba Tea. Don’t spend Valentine’s Day alone or bring your significant other with you in celebrating this year’s Lunar New Year! Sponsored by Asian-Pacific Student Association, Truitt Center for Religious & Spiritual Life, CREDE

Department of Performing Arts presents “Once On This Island”

Thursday-Sunday, February 14-17
McCrary Theatre, Feb. 14-16 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 17 at 2 p.m.

Book and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Music by Stephen Flaherty; Directed by Kirby Wahl; Music direction by Valerie Maze; Choreography by Duane Cyrus

Orphaned by a hurricane, the hapless Ti Moune has been raised by a kind pair of elderly peasants. When she comes of age, she falls in love with a young man from the privileged class, and the island’s gods disagree about whether or not she can ever achieve her heart’s desire. From the creators of Ragtime comes this charming tale, which examines the limits of love’s power in this Caribbean paradise.

Admission: $15 or Elon ID. Tickets available January 17 at the Center for the Arts Box Office. For information, call (336) 278-5610.

2019 Ripple Conference: Making Interfaith Happen

Friday-Sunday, February 15-17
Numen Lumen Pavilion

Check-in begins Friday at 4 p.m.

Ripple is an Elon student-created interfaith conference that seeks to, instead of simply talk about interfaith, make interfaith happen. Participants will engage in dialogue, reflection and training through keynote speakers, panels and interactive breakout workshops. This year’s Ripple theme “Finding Your Voice: Interfaith and Storytelling” will explore the value of engaging our diverse stories as a way of promoting rich interfaith dialogue. Registration/Admission: $20 for Elon faculty, staff, and students; $40 for students and $80 for faculty and staff from surrounding colleges and universities before the January 15 deadline. Register at  Sponsored by The Truitt Center

Core Forum #4: The impact of globalization in an increasingly connected, technological and rapidly changing world

Wednesday-Thursday, February 20 & 21
Great Hall of Global Commons, both days

Themes: Technology, aid organizations

9:25-10:35 a.m. – Interactive Media Fly-ins (international service project)

12:15-1:25 p.m. – Periclean Scholars Class of 2019


8:00-9:10 – Interactive Media Fly-ins (international service project)

2:20-3:30 – Periclean Scholars Class of 2019

Information can be found at

Boston Brass

Wednesday, February 20 
McCrary Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Elon University Lyceum Series

Boston Brass has established a one of a kind musical experience, performing exciting classical arrangements to burning jazz standards. The ensemble treats audiences to a unique brand of entertainment with a lively repartee touched with humor and personality.  Through more than 100 performances each year, Boston Brass regularly plays concerts, educational venues, jazz festivals and special engagements with orchestras, wind ensembles, brass bands, marching bands and a variety of other ensembles.

Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, “Emerging Geopolitical Challenges for Singapore and its Asian-Pacific Neighbors”

Thursday, February 21
LaRose Digital Theatre, Koury Business Center, 4:15 p.m.

His Excellency Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States, speaks about his country’s excellent partnership with the United States in business, security and technology. He will discuss the ease of doing business in Singapore, the second most competitive economy in the world, which offers a regional hub for U.S. companies. He will also address education and the future economy and Singapore’s recent top ranking in the World Bank’s Human Capital Index.

APO Theatre Honor Society presents “Bent”
by Martin Sherman

Thursday-Sunday, February 21-24
Black Box Theatre, Center for the Arts
Feb. 21-23, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 24, 2 p.m.

“Bent” follows the story of Max, a gay man in Nazi-occupied Germany who is sent to Dachau for his sexuality. Bent is directed by Jaclyn Kanter as a part of her Lumen/College Fellows Thesis: “Creating Empathy: How Sensory Stimulation in Theatre Advances Audience Understanding of Holocaust Historiography.”

The production includes violence, harsh language and sexual content. Not suitable for audiences under the age of 17. Admission: Free, donations to APO Honor Society accepted. 

“Bent” Discussion Panel

Friday, February 22
Black Box Theatre, Center for the Arts, 3 p.m.

A cross-disciplinary panel discussion presented connected to public performances of Martin Sherman’s Bent. Panelists from the departments of English, History, and Performing Arts will discuss the history behind the show, queer persecution, and the overall production process.

Elon Jazz Festival Concert

Saturday, February 23
McCrary Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

The annual Jazz Festival Concert is a show not to be missed, featuring three wonderful guest artists. Bryan Carter, drummer for the NBC Studio Orchestra and Burlington’s own Liesl Whittaker, lead trumpet with the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors, will join the Elon Jazz Ensemble for a very special night of large format jazz music. Composer and Grammy nominee Chuck Owen will also be on hand as the band and guests perform several of his compositions. Sponsored by the Department of Music

Deliberative Dialogue: Land of Plenty – How Should We Ensure that People Have the Food They Need?

Monday, February 25
McKinnon Hall, Moseley Center, 4:30 p.m.

A Deliberative Dialogue is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to gather together to exchange diverse views and experiences to seek a shared understanding of a challenge facing our society and to search for common ground for action. This spring’s dialogue will focus on the topic of food. While we have one of the most productive and efficient food systems in the world, millions of people in America still fall between the cracks. People who may have enough to eat today worry about the availability and quality of food for future generations. This discussion model has been established by the National Issues Forum, a nonpartisan, nationwide network of locally sponsored public forums for the consideration of public policy issues. Advanced registration is required at this link. Sponsored by the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement and Council on Civic Engagement

Cody Keenan, ” Idealism and Impatience”

Monday, February 25
Whitley Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Liberal Arts Forum Lecture

Cody Keenan will draw on his eleven years as a speechwriter for President Barack Obama to talk about what happens when youthful idealism and inspiration go up against the hard reality of a cynical and divisive politics – and why those values are, in fact, more important than ever before.

Office of Cultural and Special Programs presents “SAGA”

Tuesday, February 26
McCrary Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Directed and choreographed by Jason Aryeh; Guest artist: Gaspard Louis

As we observe, remember and celebrate Black History Month, SAGA embraces the long historic story of heroic achievement of the African and African Diaspora through performance.

Matthew Lincoln, “Predicting the Past: What Data Science Gets Wrong About The History Of Art, And Why That Makes It Useful”

Wednesday, February 27
LaRose Digital Theatre, Koury Business Center, 6 p.m.

Art History Lecture

What makes a painting “British?” What makes an artist an “Old Master?” We can define these categories as a function of historical factors like birth place or time, or of style, technique or subject matter. But we also know full well that these are highly constructed categories; as much as anything else, “britishness” (and other categories) can be imparted by shared rhetorical conventions for describing an artwork or an artist, and that definition can change with time, or diverge depending on who is doing the describing. As part of a larger project in the history of the art market, Dr. Lincoln will examine rhetoric and word choice in a large corpus of public sales catalogs, comparing auctioneers’ language to the kinds of categories like nationality or period that today structure so much of our art historical work. What simulation and statistical modeling gets right when trying to predict these categories, as well as what it gets wrong, give crucial insights when we talk about art, and shows that studying the art market can be about much more than prices.

Matthew Lincoln is the Digital Humanities Developer at dSHARP, the digital scholarship center at Carnegie Mellon University, where he focuses on computational and data-driven approach to the study of history and culture. His current book project with Getty Publications, co-authored with Dr. Sandra van Ginhoven, uses data-driven modeling, network analysis, and textual analysis to mine the Getty Provenance Index Databases for insights into the history of collecting and the art market. He earned his PhD in Art History at the University of Maryland, College Park, and has held positions at the Getty Research Institute and the National Gallery of Art. He is an editorial board member of The Programming Historian.

“A Conversation with the Honorable Loretta Lynch”

Thursday, February 28
Elon University School of Law Library, Greensboro, 6:30 p.m.

Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series presented by The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation

Lynch was the 83rd Attorney General of the United States from 2015 to 2017, the first African-American woman to serve in the role. A distinguished former federal prosecutor, she was appointed Attorney General by President Barack Obama after twice previously serving as the head of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Described by Obama as “the only lawyer in America who battles mobsters, drug lords and terrorists, and still has the reputation for being a charming “people person,” Lynch has been instrumental in shaping the direction of the nation on a number of tough issues. Admission: $15 or Elon ID. Tickets available February 7 at the Center for the Arts Box Office. For information, call (336) 278-5610.