The Humanities Division will kick off its third annual Celebrating the Humanities program by hosting a pair of live readings by writer and poet Alan Kaufman, at both the Valencia and Canyon Country campus.
With events taking place throughout the fall and spring semesters, Celebrating the Humanities will feature presentations from college faculty members specializing in subjects including English, philosophy, cinema and modern language.
Each of the presentations will be related to the overarching theme: “Against the Grain” and aimed at helping to engage students and community members by using the humanities to address topics related to mental health.
“It’s our hope that the theme for this year’s program, Against the Grain, will provide students and community members a forum to talk about what is a very sensitive, but important, social topic,” said Dr. Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, COC instructor and an event organizer.
As the program’s launch event, guest presenter Alan Kaufman will be reading passages from his latest memoir ‘Drunken Angel’ from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Canyon Country campus’ Carl A. Rasmussen Amphitheater, and again from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in Mentry Hall, Room 343, located on the college’s Valencia campus.
Kaufman will also take part in an open lecture and class/community discussion from 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at the Valencia campus TLC, Room 144.
A founder of the Free University of San Francisco — which strives to deliver free educational instruction available to any individual who wants it — Kaufman has also served as editor for the ‘Outlaw Bible of American... ’ series, which includes volumes dedicated to poetry, fiction, essays and literature spanning the Beat poetry of the 1950s to the spoken word of today.
An enthusiastic leader in the "post-Beat" generation of writers, Kaufman’s early efforts in the spoken-word genre earned him comparisons to Jack Keroac, Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsburg.
“We are very pleased to kick off this year's Celebrating the Humanities program by hosting an engaging writer and poet like Mr. Kaufman to discuss his writing along with some of the social stigmas surrounding mental health issues,” said Cheng-Levine. “In the COC Humanities Division, we strongly believe in the power of words to help facilitate the critical transition from ideas to action.”
Celebrating the Humanities will continue at the Valencia campus with the following events:
• Film Screening — ‘The Beat That My Heart Skipped’ by director Jacques Audiard, 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, in Hasley Hall, Room 101.
• Film Screening — ‘Breathless’ by director Jean-Luc Goddard, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, in Hasley Hall, Room 101.
• Poetry Reading — A Celebration of ‘Living with Noise’ by Joseph Voth, with poetry from Andy McCutcheon and Alene Terzian, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Nov. 6, in Mentry Hall, Room 343.
• Lecture — “James Baldwin and the Great Divide: Adapting ‘Equal in Paris’ for Golden Age Television” by Adam Kaiserman, 12:30 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Mentry Hall, Room 343.
• Film Screening — ‘A Prophet’ by director Jacques Audiard, 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Hasley Hall, Room 101.
All events are free and open to the public, however seating may be limited.
These events are made possible thanks in part to grant support from the California Mental Health Services Authority CalMHSA, the COC Foundation, and the college’s Associated Student Government (ASG).