Monday Noon Series

monday noon series

A Free Arts & Cultural Series Presented by the UMSL Center for the Humanities.


Upcoming Monday Noon Series Events for Spring 2020

Full list of Monday Noon Series Events for Spring 2020

Flyer (PDF)


February 3rd

Caught in the Act: An Ode to Prison Theater

Kimberly Welch, UMSL assistant professor of English, explores the intersections of black experience, theater, and incarceration. The plays discussed were created in conversation with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. Welch describes how race, gender, and class affect engagement with the prison system and how theater can serve as a form of activism and resistance. This is an UMSL Common Read Initiative event.

February 10th

Consuming Kinetics Dance Company (CKDC)

Arica Brown, Founder and Executive Director of CKDC, invites you to join us for a preview and discussion of their spring dance concert, Human Disturbance. This dance is an interrogation of humankind’s impact on Earth. In Human Disturbance, we acknowledge the duality of humankind’s destructive and creative impact on the planet; we hold loss, chaos, and apocalypse together with abundance, possibility, and regeneration. Brown has an UMSL BA in Dance and Washington University Certificate in Somatic Studies. Learn more at www.ckdc.org.

February 17th

The Lucky One: Fiction from Truth and True Crime

Lori Rader-Day reads from and discusses her new novel, The Lucky One, based on a real-life true-crime amateur sleuth community that solves cold-case missing persons cases. Rader-Day is the award-winning author of Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour, as well as national president of Sisters in Crime, a crime-writing association dedicated to equality in crime fiction writing and publishing. She has a Ball State University MA in creative nonfiction and an MFA in Creative Writing from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Learn more at www.LoriRaderDay.com. Books available for signing.

February 24th

Unnatural State, Artist Ilene Berman

Ilene Berman, St. Louis University professor of fine and performing arts, invites you to enter Unnatural State, a place both familiar and strange. Specifically, a space that asks you to consider the social structures that prevent schools from being places to practice freedom and asks “Who is hurt by and who benefits from this constructed absence of freedom?” Her Gallery 210 installation is a collection of objects, materials, video, sound, and emptiness placed in relationship to each other and to you, the viewer. You complete this work, in the hope that, within this space, we will become partners in an exploration of art’s capacity to make us feel and act to address the important issues of our time. Unnatural State Gallery 210 exhibition opens with artist talk 4:00pm and reception 5-7pm, Feb. 8, and runs until May 9. Learn more at gallery210.umsl.edu and nodhouse.com.


March 2nd

Poetry of the 1920s—One Century Later—Foreign Language Poetry

The UMSL Foreign Language Faculty celebrates National Foreign Language Week with a reading of poems from around the world in their original languages and English translation. Join us for this remarkable yearly event, as we hear from poets in French, Spanish, German, Japanese, and Portuguese. This is a chance to think in creative ways about how things have changed and stayed the same over the last century.

March 9th

Katarra: Original Sounds and a Self-Love Story

Katarra Parson, pianist, composer, singersongwriter, moves from serenading ballads in St. Louis’ Dark Room to championing all-women beat battles and performing across the nation. Come hear Katarra perform and tell her story as a performer whose career quickly blossomed after years of suffering from anxiety. Her music blends jazz, soul, R&R, hip-hop, and classical influences. Learn more at www.kranzbergartsfoundation.org/ music-artists-residence and www.Katarramusic.com. Please note location: Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8454 Glen Echo Drive, Bel-Nor, 63121

March 16th

Life as a Creative

Ryan Marquez, musician and painter, asks, “Ever wondered how to turn your creative ideas into a passionate lifestyle that reaps opportunities, income, and personal fulfillment? Join Marquez for some musical performance and a discussion about the journey, triumphs, and struggles of building and sustaining a full time career in the creative arts. A St. Louisan since 2005, Ryan leads, writes, and performs nationally as well as maintaining three projects: the pop-funk band Fresh Heir, The People’s Key, which performs jazz takes on popular favorites, and an electronica pop duo, The Belief Cycle. Learn more at www.ryanmarquez.com. Please note location: Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8454 Glen Echo Drive, Bel-Nor, 63121

March 30th

MOCRA: A Brief History of the World’s First Inter-Religious Contemporary Art Museum

Terry Dempsey, S.J., founded St. Louis University’s Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA), the world’s first interfaith museum of contemporary art that engages religious and spiritual themes. Dempsey discusses their mission to highlight the range of contemporary religious and spiritual artistic expression. MOCRA serves the diverse Saint Louis public by facilitating personal discovery, experience, and inspiration, while contributing to a wider culture of interfaith encounter and dialogue. MOCRA has received critical acclaim in the local, national, and international media, and has been named by USA Today as one of America’s top 10 religious museums. Learn more at www.slu.edu/mocra/index.


April 6th

Tennessee Williams and Italy: Fifth Annual Tennessee Williams Festival Overview

Carrie Houk, Founder and Executive Artistic Director of the Tennessee Williams Festival, discusses Tennessee Williams’s history and connection to St Louis while sharing highlights of past festivals. Get an inside view of the fifth annual festival, Tennessee Williams and Italy. Williams wrote “As soon as I crossed the Italian border, my health and my life seemed to be magically restored. There was the sun and there were the smiling Italians.” The Festival runs at the Grandel Theatre and in and around Grand Center, May 7-17. Learn more at www.twstl.org.

April 13th

The News from Poems

Karen Craigo, Missouri’s poet laureate, is also the editor of a small weekly newspaper, and as one daily writing habit melts into the other, she has plenty of occasions to think about the intersection of news and poetry. In “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower,” William Carlos Williams also ponders the relationship between the two, and writes,

“It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.”

This Monday Noon Series feature offers some discussion and some poems about poems, the news, and how to keep life lyrical. Learn more at betterviewofthemoon. blogspot.com; www.missouriartscouncil.org/ missouri-poet-laureate; marshfieldmail.com. Books available for signing.

April 20th

Digital Humanities Times 2

Suellynn Duffey, associate professor of English, UMSL, and Kara Moskowitz, assistant professor of history, UMSL, discuss their innovative projects in the digital humanities. Come find out what that may mean and whether you can expand your intellectual horizons through the prism of digital humanities. Duffey leads a team of graduate students and faculty in creating a digital archive of literacies of St. Louis, and Moskowitz’s new research project, which explores the politics of Kenyan athletics during the 1960s and 1970s, incorporates a digital humanities initiative exhibiting, curating, and narrating her collected historical evidence.

April 27th

St. Louis Civil Rights Stories: Norman Seay, a Hometown Hero

The St. Louis Storytelling Festival, in its 41st year, presents local master storytellers and spoken word artists who share stories celebrating the life of the St. Louis civil rights icon Norman Seay. Reminisce with us at this Monday program about Mr. Seay’s determination, deep knowledge, and never-fading courage to stand up and fight for justice and equality in our region. This is an UMSL Common Read Initiative event. The Storytelling Festival runs Apr. 23-May 2, with events for all ages and interests. Learn more.