2009 Working Group Activities
Funded Corridor Activities by Cluster
Long-term collaborative relationships among the three research universities have evolved for decades in Philosophy and form an important core for establishment of the Humanities Corridor. These collaborative relations have evolved, and have been sustained, largely because of concordant scholarly strengths and goals:
- Anglo-American tradition, all with special strengths in the core field of Metaphysics & Epistemology
- History of Philosophy, with complementary faculty among the universities: Cornell has a cluster in Ancient Philosophy and Classics, Syracuse in Kant and post-Kantian German Philosophy, and Rochester in German Philosophy, as well.
- Other areas in Philosophy in which all three universities have shared priorities and a national scholarly presence include Ethics & Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Education, and Philosophy of Language.
The Philosophy departments at Rochester, Syracuse, and Cornell share a long history of mutual interchange and cooperation. Graduate students can and do take courses at each other’s campuses through an exchange program. Faculty members occasionally teach in each other’s program or sit in on seminars offered on one another’s campus. Information about visiting lecturers and conferences is shared among the three programs on their websites, and faculty and graduate students regularly travel to attend events on the other campuses. All three faculties take an active role in a long established regional philosophy organization, the Creighton Club, which, since its inception in 1920, has held an important position in bringing the departments together.
PH1: Research Workshop: On Metaphysics (Organizer: Karen Bennett, Philosophy, CU)
Spring 2009: This two-day Workshop on Metaphysics, to be held at Cornell University, will feature faculty lectures and graduate students specializing in metaphysics, a strong core research area among the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor research institutions. Three to five members of various departments will present work-in-progress at the workshop.
PH2: Philosophy Joint Graduate/Faculty Seminar (PHI2) Reductionism (Organizers: Alyssa Ney, Philosophy, UR and Kevin Edwards, Philosophy, SU)
Fall 2009: The Joint Graduate/Faculty Seminar on Reductionism, offered across two of the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor institutions, Syracuse University and the University of Rochester, will explore the topic of reduction—an emergent issue in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science. Seminars will alternate between participating institutions and focus specifically on the potential reduction of (cognitive) psychology, in particular whether one should expect psychology to eventually reduce to a more fundamental physical science, such as neuroscience. It will be open to students from SU, Cornell University, and the University of Rochester, and will include 2-day visits from four senior philosophers working on the cutting edge of the topic. These visits will also involve a colloquium presentation by the visitor and post talk receptions.
PHI3: Upstate NY Early Modern Workshop and Speaker Series (Organizers: Melissa Frankel, Philosophy, SU and Andrew Chignell, Philosophy, CU)
October 2009: The Upstate NY Early Modern Workshop and Speaker Series, to be held at Cornell University, will host visiting scholars from the Upstate/Central New York region who work in 17th and 18th century philosophy. This group of philosophers convenes a few times each semester to present and discuss ongoing work in early modern philosophy and to review work by regional scholars from SU, Cornell, the University of Rochester, but also featured work from scholars at Colgate University, Hamilton College, and University at Albany-SUNY.
PHI4 Support for CU and UR Graduate Student Philosophers to Participate in Syracuse Philosophy Annual Workshop and Network (SPAWN) Conference (Organizers: Kara Richardson, Philosophy, SU and Melissa Frankel, Philosophy, SU)
Summer 2009: The SPAWN Nature and Purpose Conference, to be held at Syracuse University, will explore causation and teleology in early modern philosophy. SPAWN, a themed conference, hosted by the Department of Philosophy each summer, traditionally features papers by younger speakers with commentaries by established scholars. It includes 24 invited participants and offers opportunities for scholarly networking.
PHI 5: Philosophy Research Workshop Philosophy of Education (Organizer: Emily Robertson, Cultural Foundations of Education, SU)
August 3-7, 2009: The Philosophy of Education Research Workshop, to be held at Syracuse University, will expand and deepen a prior relationship among the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor research institutes on questions of the philosophy of education. Education philosophers such as Barbara Applebaum and Kenneth Strike from Cultural Foundations of Education at SU, Randall Curren from Philosophy at the University of Rochester, Troy Richardson from Education and the American Indian Program at Cornell University, among others, will participate in the workshop. Up to ten paper submissions from philosophy and philosophy of education doctoral students will be accepted from each university. Students will present their work as the focus of daily working sessions led by the author and responded to by a discussant.
The Linguistics Departments at the three research universities are very different, but they have still formed energetic scholarly partnerships. Moreover, all three universities have special foci in Computational Linguistics, with Syracuse and Cornell Linguistics departments possessing strengths in Syntax. Projects include:
- Visits by Distinguished Research Collaborators from outside the consortium; these collaborators would not teach courses but would promote scholarly dialogue and would offer a series of lectures and classroom visits at all three schools during the semester;
- Program for Humanities Corridor faculty to visit a consortial institution;
- Technology investments critical to simultaneous teaching and research projects across the universities no matter what the weather; and
- Selective use of both Mellon funds and the endowed Alice L. Hooker conference fund (Syracuse) to create occasional workshops and conferences with highly targeted goals of swiftly building cohesion in sub-areas such as ethics or semantics.
LIN1-4: Linguistics Cluster Activities (Organizer: Jaklin Kornfilt, Linguistic, SU)
Fall and Spring 2009: Hosting distinguished visitors – Invited talks by linguistics faculty – Collaborative courses – State of the Art Workshop
This series of projects includes: hosting a distinguished visiting lecturer specializing in phonology at Syracuse University and Cornell for the Spring and Fall semesters, respectively; collaborative courses co-taught at SU, one per semester; and invited talks by linguistics faculty at SU, Cornell, and the University of Rochester, three times throughout each term. The final event, the State of the Art Workshop, to be held in the Fall at Syracuse University, will explore interfaces between syntax, phonology, and morphology and include student and faculty presentations, as well as talks by two invited participants.
LIN5: Fall 2009 Workshop: Global Englishes: Language Mixing, New Cultural Forms, and the Bilingual Mind (Organizers: Silvio Torres-Saillant, English, SU and Tej Bhatia, Linguistics, SU)
Fall 2009: The Global Englishes Workshop, to be held in Fall 2009 at Syracuse University, includes a two-day intensive series of lectures exploring bilingual and trilingual language mixing with English. It will focus on two aspects of the bilingual mind in sociolinguistic literature: language separation coupled with language integration, and bilingual switching and mixing. Such topics to be explored will include cultural dynamics such as colonial history and neocolonialism that trigger large migrations and produce hybrid cultural, language, and literary forms, and new emerging domains of mixing as witnessed in advertising, popular culture, and literature.
CULTURES AND RELIGIONS [CR]
The study of the interplay of culture and religion is essential to an informed understanding of the contemporary world, especially as these factor into national and international politics, and a range of critical issues, from stem cell research to international terrorism. At the same time religions transcend national boundaries, though different cultural contexts shape discrete ways in which any religion is understood, practiced, valued, and even studied. The interplay of cultures and religions is an area of what former University of Rochester President Robert Sproull called “applied humanities”—it is valuable not only for its own sake, but also for its concrete relevance to cross-cultural understanding and effective public policy. The three universities possess distinctive collective resources for such a study. Syracuse and Rochester have strong and established departments of religion, and at Cornell religion is studied across a variety of departments. Syracuse has a well-known doctoral program in religion, and at Rochester religion is the second most popular undergraduate major in the Humanities. Both formal and informal interchange between the departments has taken place for years. Cornell’s strength in the study of religion in South and East Asia adds a distinctive overlap with the two departments that can be developed further – especially given the well-established and longstanding partnership in South Asia with Syracuse. At Rochester, the study of the world’s literate religions is integrated with the study of the languages of their canons. Cornell also connects language study with the teaching of religion, and Syracuse and Cornell have collaborated on language instruction. Our library resources for this project in cultures and religions are exceptional. In addition to the strong collections at Syracuse and Cornell, Rochester’s recent acquisition of the library of the Colgate-Rochester Divinity School gives it perhaps one of the largest theological libraries in North America.
CR1: Conference: Place/No Place: Spatial Aspects of Urban Asian Religiosity (Organizer: Ann Gold, Religion, Syracuse University)
October 1-3, 2009: The Place/No Place: Spatial Aspects of Urban Asian Religiosity Conference, to be held at Syracuse University, will explore the social, physical, and mental spaces created by new or changing religious influences, attending to individual identities and experiences at the intersection of religion and urban places. Themes might include the physical spaces opened up by religious buildings, less tangible new mental spaces urged by spiritual leaders in response to consumerism or globalization, making grand spaces or erasing places in global cities, and constructing identity/subjectivity in relation to urbanization.
CR 2: Workshop: Islam and International Humanitarian Law (Organizer: William Banks, College of Law/Public Administration, Syracuse University)
April 17, 2009: The Islam and International Humanitarian Law Workshop, Syracuse University, will explore the role of Islam in the ongoing development of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with special attention to its present-day challenges. The Workshop serves two purposes: to establish an interdisciplinary working group of Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor faculty that address questions of culture and religion in international armed conflicts, and to reassess the value of humanitarian mechanisms in international law that deal with new conflicts involving non-state entities, failed states, and vulnerable states.
INTERFACE OF HUMANITIES AND SCIENCES/TECHNOLOGY [HST]
This cluster affords significant scholarly opportunities that span many units across the three universities with great potential for connecting a series of high-quality but small faculty groups. These interdisciplinary sites between Humanities and Science also represent a high strategic priority for the institutions: Cornell is investing $600 million in its New Life Sciences Initiative; Rochester’s president announced in his inaugural activities, an institutional priority for expansion in the life and medical sciences and in engineering; and at Syracuse, groundbreaking for a new $107 million Life Sciences Complex took place in 2006. The Humanities have much to say about these initiatives, and this cluster provides one key approach to those university-wide needs. This key area of mutual collaboration emerged offers opportunities in the study of the interdisciplinary Humanities with Cornell’s established program in Science and Technology Studies, Rochester’s deep commitments to medical sciences and engineering, and Syracuse’s investments in ethics.
HST1 Planning Workshops and Conferences
Spring and Fall 2009: (organizers: Cathryn Newton, Earth Sciences, SU and Sam Gorovitz, Philosophy, SU)
- Understanding Translational Research Planning Workshop (Organizers: Ted Brown, History, University of Rochester and Evan Selinger, Philosophy, RIT)
- Disability, Bioethics, and Society Planning Workshop (Organizers: Amy Campbell, and Robert Olick, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Bioethics and Humanities)
- Sustainability Ethics Conference (Organizers: Evan Selinger, Philosophy, RIT, Ryne Raffaelle, Physics and Microsystems Engineering, RIT, and Wade Robison, Philosophy, RIT)
The Understanding Translational Research Planning Workshop will plan a future conference in 2010 that gathers leading scholars to address how to move basic biological knowledge efficiently to practical, health-improving applications in the clinic and community. The Disability, Bioethics, and Society Planning Workshop will plan to develop a major conference that examines the many health issues facing persons with disabilities and the growing interest in disability issues within clinical care, research, and health policy. This initiative brings together faculty from the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor, SUNY Upstate Medical University Center for Bioethics and Humanities, and the University of Rochester Medical Center to explore such topics as: the concept of disability, cognitive impairment and personal autonomy, and new technology, ethics, and policy. The Sustainability Ethics Conference, to be held in May 2009 at the Rochester Institute of Technology, is designed to clarify the central ethical issues in sustainability and inspire others to work in the area. Participating scholars from Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Arizona State University, and University of Colorado at Boulder will contribute a written version of their presentation to Five Questions in Sustainability Ethics.
HST2: Research Project in the Digitized Humanities: Virtual Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor will be the “Network/Mobilities” Conference at Cornell (Organizers: Tim Murray, Romance Studies, CU, Thomas DiPiero, Art and Art History, UR, Gregg Lambert, Humanities, SU).
October 2009: The Research Project in the Digitized Humanitiesis a Humanities Center research initiative that attempts to build capacity and provide technical support for developing virtual interdisciplinary humanities projects, including distance initiatives for Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor events between the three research institutions (SU, Cornell, and University of Rochester). The project seeks to virtually link the Society of the Humanities at Cornell with both the SU Humanities Center and the University of Rochester, with the intention of facilitating faculty and student participation from all sites. The inaugural event for this research initiative of the virtual Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor will be the“Network/Mobilities” Conference at Cornellin October 2009.
VISUAL ARTS AND CULTURES [VAC]
The visual arts – and their cultural context and impact – are an area of intense interest within various schools and colleges at Cornell, Rochester, and Syracuse. Formidable developments in technologies of visual and digital reproduction and communication in the late 20th century have prompted the emergence of the new, interdisciplinary field of Visual Studies. At Syracuse, Rochester, and Cornell both institutionalized and informal collaborations in the area of Visual Studies are associated with many of the dynamic new trends in the humanities and are of broad interest to many humanities faculty. The University of Rochester has attained international prominence for its faculty in the Visual and Cultural Studies (VCS) program, which combines faculty from Modern Languages, Film Studies, Art, Art History, and Anthropology. A socio-historical perspective brings coherence to the collaborate work of these diverse faculties. This premier program and the acclaimed electronic journal Invisible Culture, now located at Rochester, command worldwide attention for their imaginative interdisciplinary approach to visual rhetoric. There are cognate programs at both Cornell (visual arts and culture) and Syracuse (art, architecture, and art history, as well as languages, anthropology, and other departments). These overlapping interests, which span several humanistic areas, constitute a significant regional opportunity to combine our strengths at the faculty and doctoral level.
VAC1: Speaker Series Word and Image (Organizer: Steve Cohan, English, SU)
March 26-28, 2009: The Word and Image Speaker Series features a talk by Priya Jaikumar, Associate Professor, University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts: “Insurgent and Location Shots: Destruction and the Visual Productions of Place in the Indian Rebellion of 1857.” The lecture will be held at Syracuse University, and will explore themes of film location, memory, architecture, and theories of space/place.
VAC2: Film and speaker tour featuring Philip Scheffner and Merle Kröger: Indo-German Cultural Transfer and the Halfmoon Files (Organizer: Roger Hallas, English, SU)
Fall 2009: The Film and Speaker Tour, which takes place at each Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor site, will present public screenings of the German filmmaker Philip Scheffner’s film The Halfmoon Files (2007), followed by a question and answer session. These events will also include presentations on Import-Export, the interdisciplinary project on cultural transfer that Kröger curated in Berlin, Vienna, and Mumbai in 2005.
VAC3: Conference: Visual and Cultural Studies: The Next Twenty Years (Organizers: Kendall Phillips, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, SU, Joan Saab, Art and Art History, UR, Anne Demo, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, SU).
October 8-10, 2009: The Visual and Cultural Studies: The Next 20 Years Conference, to be held at the University of Rochester, is a two-day conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of the cutting-edge Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester focused on the achievements of the past with an eye towards the future. A yearlong series of talks will follow from the kick-off conference that will include: Fall 2009 Visual Arts and Culture Key Words Shared Speakers Series (VAC4) to be held at Syracuse University and the University of Rochester; Fall 2009 Visual Arts and Culture Joint Graduate Seminar to be held at SU and University of Rochester (VAC5), and includes a coordinated/joint graduate seminar among Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor participating students.
VAC 4: Key Words Shared Speakers Series to be held at Syracuse University and the University of Rochester
VAC5: Joint Graduate Seminar to be held at SU and University of Rochester, and includes a coordinated/joint graduate seminar among Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor participating students
VAC 6: Winslow Homer
August 18-October 11, 2009: Visual Arts and Culture Gallery Exhibition
September 25-26 Symposium Winslow Homer in the 1870’s: A Time of Crisis in American Art and Catalogue Project (Organizer: David Prince, SUArt Galleries, SU)
This project explores Winslow Homer’s time at Houghton Farm in Mountainville, New York between 1877-1879, a period which marked a crucial turning point in his work as a painter in oil and watercolor. The exhibition,Winslow Homer’s Empire State: Houghton Farm and Beyond,will run from Aug 18-Oct 11 at the SUArt Galleries at Syracuse University. This exhibition will coincide with the symposium,Winslow Homer in the 1870’s, includes a keynote address and other presentations on the history of the artist’s work. One important research product from this event includes a new catalogue project.
VAC 7: Graduate Student Forum Imagining America (IA)- SU Humanities Center Graduate Student Forum on Publicly Engaged Scholarship (Organizers: Jan Cohen-Cruz, SU-Imagining America and Gregg Lambert, Humanities Center, SU)
Spring 2009: The IA-SU Humanities Center Graduate Student Forum on Publicly Engaged Scholarship, to be held at each of the three Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor campuses, will bring together masters and dissertation students for three discussion series on publicly engaged scholarship to address the various shared interests, needs, and obstacles facing the next-generation of researchers involved in scholarship in action and collaborations with community partners. The discussions will include intellectual and emotional support as well as project feedback. Imagining America (IA) is a consortium of 85 colleges and universities committed to civic engagement though the arts, humanities, and design.
VAC 8: Conference Positioning Practice in Architecture, Featuring Sergio Fajardo, Teddy Cruz, Alejandro Echeverri (Organizers: Jon Yoder, Architecture, SU and Greg Lambert, SU Humanities Center)
February 18-19, 2009: The Positioning Practice in Architecture Conference will explore the ways in which architects shape their community and the built environment and the role they play in civic engagement. It features some of today’s leading architectural visionaries: Sergio Fajardo, Alejandro Echeverri, Teddy Cruz, Aaron Levy, and William Menking. The conference will include three signature events—two lectures and a gallery exhibition. “The Urban Transformation of Medellín, Architecture, and Politics” lecture will be co-presented by Fajardo and Echeverri at 5 p.m. 18 Feb, and will be followed by a reception in Slocum Gallery. On 19 Feb at 3:30 p.m., Levy, Menking, and Cruz will jointly deliver the lecture “We, the Unsigned: Dispatches from the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale” in Slocum Auditorium.
MUSICOLOGY/MUSIC HISTORY [MMH]
The Central New York region has an especially rich and ethnically diverse musical tradition, and accordingly the three universities have outstanding groups of faculty in music, musicology, and music history. The Eastman School of Music, affiliated with University of Rochester, stands among the very top-ranked programs in musicology in the country. At Syracuse, the School of Music in Visual and Performing Arts, emphasizing composition and performance, and the Department of Fine Arts in Arts and Sciences, with eminent music historians, have been identified as institutional priorities by both Deans and by Chancellor Cantor. Syracuse has in the past year developed the endowed Goldring Arts Journalism Program, hosted jointly by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Architecture, and The College of Arts and Sciences, whose mission is to elevate the quality of reporting on the arts in America. Music is a central component of that initiative. At Rochester, the Sibley music library at Eastman is the largest academic music library in North America and contains numerous special collections, including the papers of composers Howard Hanson, Richard Rodgers, and Alexander Courage, as well as a significant collection of manuscripts by Kurt Weill (including an original manuscript for The Threepenny Opera). Sibley is also the repository for Carl Fischer, one of the most important American publishers for classical music. (Other special collections are noted on the web page). At Syracuse, the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive is one of the four largest archives of recorded sound in the country and is particularly rich in holdings from the early period of sound recording – holdings that have yet to be the subjects of serious scholarly inquiry. These include acoustic (pre-1925) recordings of Wagner, the so-called “race” records of African American artists during the 1930’s and 1940’s, Latin American music of the 1940’s, and many others. The Belfer also houses a large collection of early playback technologies, including Victrolas and cylinder machines – a collection that has great potential for study in its own right. The Cornell University Music Library has unusually rich holdings, including the library of the eminent musicologist Donald J. Grout, which contains an extensive collection of original scores and printed libretti extending from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. In summary, these audio, manuscript, and print archives form an exceptional scholarly resource in support of this cluster.
MMH 1: Musicology/Music History Music and Spectacle Series “Music as Text/Text as Music Colloquium” (Organizer: Andrew Waggoner, Music, SU)
March 2-5, 2009: This Music and Spectacleseries of concerts and a colloquium explores the topic of “Music as Text/Text as Music” by setting well-known literary works to music. It includes four events, each with performances by Sequitur, a premiere contemporary music ensemble from New York City: March 2 Sequitur Concert Featuring Music by Andrew Waggoner, Donald Crockett, and Harold Meltzer, at noon at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester; March 3 Sequitur Open Rehearsal and Colloquium, featuring workshopped final products by student and faculty composers, 2-5 p.m. at the Eastman School of Music; March 4 Sequitur Concert by Donald Crockett and Student Composers, 8 p.m. Setnor Auditorium, Syracuse University; March 5 Sequitur Concert at the Red House, a reprisal of the first concert, at 8 p.m. downtown Syracuse. These events are multi-disciplinary collaborations between Mellon Corridor student-composers and faculty with guidance by faculty members in creative writing and English, resulting in a pluralistic music culture.
MMH2: New Chamber Music Intensive: Musicology/Music History Event (Organizers: Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester and Roberto Sierra, Music, Cornell University)
November 1, 2009: The New Chamber Music Intensive will bring two established chamber groups to the Syracuse University campus for a 4-day series of readings, workshops, and concerts. The program’s core will involve students in performance and composition and an emphasis on collaboration between students and guest artists, culminating in concerts of new chamber music. The guest ensembles are Nordlys of Denmark and the Meridian Phase II Ensemble from the United States. The events will include: chamber music coaching, open rehearsals with students and guest ensembles playing side by side; open rehearsals of student works coached by ensemble members and composition faculty; improvisation workshops including student work and work by established composers. At the end of the week, concerts will be performed at each university including works by students and established composers.
MMH3: Symposium on Music, Sound, and Film: The Moving Image, Musicology/Music History (Organizers: Theo Cateforis, Music History, Syracuse and Stephen Meyer, Fine Arts, Syracuse University)
October 15-17, 2009: The Music, Sound, and Film: The Moving Image Symposium, to be held at Syracuse University, includes film screenings and a performance by acclaimed composer Michael Nyman (The Piano), who will perform his score to the 1929 experimental silent film Man with a Movie Camera. Three accomplished film music scholars will speak on the subject of Film, Music, and Sound, and a banquet will follow to encourage lively discussions among symposium attendees. In conjunction with Owen Shapiro’s Syracuse Film Festival and the Humanities Center’s Syracuse Symposium “Light,” keynote speaker Richard Dyer, Professor of Film Studies at King’s College, University of London, will kick off this event (Oct 15, Syracuse University).
MMH 4: Brave New Works: Musicology/Music History Performance (Organizer: Andrew Waggoner, Music, Syracuse University)
Fall 2009: The mission of Brave New Works, a vibrant performing ensemble of ten musicians dedicated to performing and promoting new music, is to engage, enrich and educate the community through contemporary music. The ensemble is presenting three concerts in three cities, Ithaca, Syracuse, and Rochester, and includes new works from students and faculty. The tour offers several master-classes aimed at the production of large-scale chamber works.
MMH 5: Roundtable and Research Project: CNY Recorded Sound Collections (Organizer: Sean Quimby, E.S. Bird Library, SU)
September 1-November 1, 2009: The CNY Recorded Sound Collections Roundtable and Research Project, at Syracuse University, is an effort to increase awareness of the rich resources of the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive, as well as the recorded sound collections at Cornell and the University of Rochester. The roundtable will provide a panel of leading experts on copyright and recorded sound who will discuss sampling, reproduction, and digitization, which will be video-streamed from the E.S. Bird Library website to the Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor participating humanities programs: the SU Humanities Center, Cornell Society for the Humanities, and the Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester. A doctoral student will also conduct analysis of the Belfer Audio collection’s strengths and the areas of recommended growth.
MMH6: Performance Cornell’s Organ Scholarship and Performance Project: Four Recitals (Organizers: Kola Owolabi, Music, SU and Andrew Waggoner, Music, SU)
Spring 2009: This two-day Workshop on Metaphysics, to be held at Cornell University, seeks to raise the visibility of a shared area of research and importance to all three collaborating Mellon CNY Humanities Corridor research institutes. “The Historical Organ and Improvisation across Three Centuries Symposium” is a series of four lecture-demonstrations with master classes, followed by four recitals. The emphasis is on practical application of historical research in actual improvisation. The first event, “17th-Century: Sacred Music and Improvisation,” by William Porter from the Eastman School of Music, features organ by Helmuth Wolff and will take place at the Unitarian Church in downtown Ithaca. The second event, “18th-Century: Virtuosity in Solo and Accompaniment,” by David Yearsley from Cornell University, will feature baroque violin by Martin Davids and Italian baroque organ and will take place at Sage Chapel. The third event, “19th-Century: Franz Liszt and the Art of Precluding,” by Shane Levesque, University of Hong Kong, will take place at Sage Chapel. The fifth event, “20th-Century: Gospel Music and the Art of Jimmy Smith,” by David Higgs of the Eastman School of Music, features the Hammond B-3 organ and will take place at the Carriage House Café in Ithaca.