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Cultural Enrichment Center Sponsored Events Fall 2012

All events free and open to the public except where noted.

Photograph of Dr. Susan K. Ahern A Celebration of Susan Ahern
Thursday, November 1, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., At the Willow St. Pump Station, 811 N.
San Jacinto St., Houston, TX

6:00 p.m. gathering and wine bar, 6:30 buffet dinner, 7:30 program
Donations to the Ahern Scholarship Endowment can be given in a separate check made out to the University of Houston-Downtown.

Contact Jane Creighton for more information:, 713-221-8295

Susan Kiernan Ahern Speaker Series

The Susan Keirnan Ahern Speaker Series is named in honor of Dean Ahern’s profound commitment to students and to the fostering of culturally rich academic programming to the University of Houston-Downtown.

A Poetry Reading by Amal al-Jubouri
Thursday, October 4, 5:30 p.m., Robertson Auditorium
One of the most influential contemporary poets of Iraq, Amal al-Jubouri is the author of five collections of poetry, the latest of which, Hagar Before the Occupation, Hagar After the Occupation, has just been published in English by Alice James Books. A publisher, translator, and documentary filmmaker, she has become a major force for literary activism between the Middle East and the West. She founded the publishing house East West Diwan, which produced the first Arabic anthology of contemporary English poetry, as well as translations of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Lord Byron, Rudyard Kipling, Emily Dickinson, W.B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett, Nikos Kazantzakis and others.

Photograph of Amal al-JubouriShe went into exile in Germany in 1997 and later organized the first Arabic-German poetry conference in Yemen. She was subsequently invited to be the Cultural Counselor for the Yemeni government, a role she continued while living in Berlin. She also founded the only Arabic-German poetry magazine, Diwan, and translated three major German poets into Arabic: Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Joachim Sartorius, and Annemarie Schimmel. Returning to Baghdad in 2003, she established the Iraqi branch office of the East West Diwan Cultural Foundation, as well as a German language school for orphaned girls. In 2007 she founded the Iraqi PEN in Damascus, and the following year produced her second documentary film, Books in Iraq Between Two Occupations, a look at literary piracy in the Middle East, which was screened at both the BookExpo America and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Her poetry has excited the attention of some of the Arab world’s greatest poets and literary critics, including Adonis, Abdul-Wahab Al Bayati, and Jabra Ibrahim Jabra. American poet and critic Alicia Ostriker has described her as one who will “take her place alongside Neruda and Tsvetaeva and Celan—poets of exile, yes, and poets of difficult truth.”  

Sponsored by the Cultural Enrichment Center. Contact:

"Hey, I Recognize that Painting! Tracing the Fame of Gainsborough's Blue Boy from Bath, England to the Bathhouses of New York City." A lecture by Valerie Hedquist, associate professor of art history and art criticism at Univ. of Montana.
Thursday, October 25, 5:30 p.m. , Robertson Auditorium, University of Houston-Downtown

Painting of Blue BoyValerie Hedquist is an associate professor of art history and art criticism at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. She has published on Vermeer’s religious art, Rembrandt’s relationship with the Franciscans of Amsterdam, and on the life and painting of Gabriel Metsu. In December, her biography on the Montana artist and collector, Fra Dana, was published. In addition, Hedquist has written reviews and catalogue essays for museum exhibitions and has presented papers at local, regional, and international meetings.

Hedquist’s current research tells the absorbing history of Gainsborough’s celebrated portrait in high society and popular culture. From its origins in the resort town of Bath, England to the pages of Mad Magazine, the painting has served as a bold challenge to authority, a beloved archetype of English art and national honor, a pivotal centerpiece in the art galleries of the richest men in the world, a recognizable sign of high art for millions of viewers, and surprisingly, a sign of sophistication for the gay-rights movement. Hedquist looks at how the painting achieved and maintained its popularity for both the wealthy and the middle class through blockbuster public exhibitions, ubiquitous pictorial reproductions, and mass-produced commercial items from cookie tins to playing cards. The varied interpretations of the boy in blue over its nearly 250-year history reveal its considerable significance for viewers of every social position. For Americans, in particular, the painting, now fittingly at home in the Huntington collection in southern California, is one of the best-loved and more recognizable works of art.

Sponsored by the Cultural Enrichment Center. Contact:

Houston Poetry Fest
October 12 - 14, 2012 at the Willow Street Pump Station, 811 North San Jacinto.
Visit Houston Poetry Fest for the full schedule.

Presidential Election Discussion. A real, thoughtful discussion of the candidates and issues.
Monday, September 24, 10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Room: A-300
Co-Sponsored by the Center for Public Deliberation. Contact: Dr. Paul Fortunato.

Photograph of Kumu Paul NevesA Film Screening and Lecture by Kumu Paul Neves
Wednesday, September 26, Robertson Auditorium

Kumu Paul Neves is an Ali'i No'eau Loa, high chief of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I.
He has given workshops on spiritual, cultural and political analysis of the Native Hawaiian Nationals in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, across the United States, Puerto Rico, Europe and
at the United Nations in New York, the World Council of Churches and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland. He has participated as an official observer for the Royal Order of Kamehameha I with regards to the Hawaiian Kingdom at The World Court in the Hague, Netherlands. Paul has also written and directed, "The Shattered Vase," a hula drama based on the true story of Princess Kai'ulani.

5:30 p.m. : Film Screening of "Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege"
7:00 p.m. : Paul Neves, Lecture: "Hawai'i: The Official Stolen Property of the United States"

All events are free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Cultural Enrichment Center. Contact:

Last updated 3/30/2022 10:09 AM