Clarke Historical Library
Spring 2014 Speakers
February 24: Patricia Lay-Dorsey: Falling Into Place: Exhibit Opening (Third Floor, Park Library) and Presentation
In 1988 metro Detroit artist Patricia Lay Dorsey was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Over time she noted that most of the stories about the disease were told from the an outsider's perspective:, portraits painted of MS victims as tragic, brave, and fundamentally "other." It was a viewpoint she both resented and resisted.
In 2008 she turned her camera on herself, with the intention of showing the day-to-day life of someone with a disability from the inside. What she discovered was an emotional roller-coaster where she suddenly began to view herself as "other." Eventually she came to realize that the viewpoint that was changing was her own. The exhibit and the presentation discuss this transformation, as does Patricia Lay Dorsey's website, http://www.patricialaydorsey.com.
March 5: Don Faber, author of The Boy Governor: Stevens T. Mason and the Birth of Michigan Politics.
The book is the definitive biography of Stevens T. Mason. At twenty-four Mason became Michigan's first governor, and remains the youngest person in the nation's history to serve as a state's governor. George Weeks, a longtime political columnist and former member of the Clarke Board of Governors described the book this way:
"With exhaustive research and engaging writing, Don Faber weaves an extraordinary account of one of Michigan's most extraordinary political figures, the Boy Governor who led Michigan to statehood. Stevens T. Mason, branded 'Young Hotspur' by President Andrew Jackson, achieved young and died young in the 19th century but remains a compelling story today for those who follow and pursue politics, with all its highs and lows."
Mr. Faber's presentation is made possible by the John and Audrey Cumming Endowment.
March 17: William Rapai, author of The Kirtland's Warbler: The Story of a Bird's Fight Against Extinction and the People Who Saved It
At a time when the world is seeing its species rapidly go extinct, the Kirtland's warbler is not just a survivor, it's a rock star. The Kirtland's warbler is the rarest warbler species in North America and will always be rare because of its persnickety nesting preferences. But in the 1970s when the total population fell below 400 birds a small group of dedicated biologists, researchers, and volunteers vowed to save the Kirtland's warbler despite long odds.
The Kirtland's warbler is often described as a "bird of fire" for its preference for nesting in areas cleared by wildfire. But it also warrants the name for the passion it ignites in humans. Both tragic and uplifting, the story of this intriguing bird is a stirring example of how strong leadership, vision, commitment, sustained effort, and cooperation can come together to protect our natural world.
April 14: "Gentle Friday: A CMU Tradition" discussed by Marcie Otteman, Cynthia Drake, and Bryan Whitledge
"Gentle Friday," a CMU tradition going back to the 1960s, was invented to help relieve tension on campus, and continues to serve as a reminder unique to CMU about how all of us benefit from a culture built on the concepts of civility, good will, and a free ice cream cone. Cynthia Drake, editor of CMU's Alumni publication Centralight (which will feature an article about Gentle Friday in its Spring issue), Marcie Otteman, the Executive director of CMU Alumni Relations and Executive Editor of Centralight, and Bryan Whitledge, the reference assistant at the Clarke Historical Library, will each contribute to the discussion.
All presentations will be held in the Park Library Auditorium, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Each will be followed by a reception in the Clarke Library.
For more information about any of these presentations please contact the Clarke Library at Clarke@cmich.edu or call (989) 774-3352. Individuals in need of an accommodation for any of these events should call (989) 774-1100.