Calendar of Events

2017 - 2018 Events

Pirooz Kalayeh (Visual and Performing Arts): September 29, 12-12:50 pm, in 8-200

Artist and author Pirooz Kalayeh is an Assistant Professor in Cinema Studies for the Visual and Performing Arts Department. His films include Shoplifting From American Apparel, The Human War, Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen, and Zombie Bounty Hunter M.D. His novel The Whopper Strategies details an advertising executive's journey to package Enlightenment in a Box. His fifth feature Ctrl Alt Del is currently in post-production with ILIKENIRVANA Productions. His bi-monthly podcast with Brad Warner is Once Again Zen. He blogs at Shikow.  For his presentation, Pirooz will discuss the making of The Human War and show slides and clips from the film.

Visiting Poet: Marie Howe
Thursday, October 12, 7PM, The Forum, Reading and Book-Signing
Free and Open to the Public

Friday, October 13, 12-12:50 PM. 8-200, Poetry Workshop
Free and Open to the MCC Community

Marie Howe portrait:
MAGADELANE book cover: 

Marie Howe is the author of four volumes of poetry: Magdalene: Poems (W.W. Norton, 2017); The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (W.W. Norton, 2009); What the Living Do (1997); and The Good Thief (1988). She is also the co-editor of a book of essays, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic (1994). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, Agni, Ploughshares, Harvard Review, and The Partisan Review, among others. According to the late Stanley Kunitz, “Marie Howe's poetry is luminous, intense, and eloquent, rooted in an abundant inner life. Her long, deep-breathing lines address the mysteries of flesh and spirit, in  terms accessible only to a woman who is very much of our time and yet still in touch  with the sacred.”

Visiting Fiction Writer: Robin McLean
Thursday, November 2, 7PM, The Forum, Reading and Book-Signing
Free and Open to the Public

Friday, November 3. 12-12:50PM, The Forum, Reading and Book-Signing
Free and Open to the MCC Community

Robin McLean portrait: 
Reptile House Book Cover: 

Robin McLean's first short story collection, Reptile House (2015), won the BOA Short Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Story Prize in 2011 and 2012. McLean’s stories have appeared widely in such places as The Nashville Review, The Malahat Review, Gargoyle, The Common, and Copper Nickel, as well as the anthology American Fiction: The Best Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers. For more about Robin McLean, visit 

Elizabeth Johnston (English/Philosophy): November 17, 12-12:50 pm, in 8-200

An Associate Professor of English at MCC, Elizabeth Johnston received her PhD in 18th Century British Literature from West Virginia University and has been teaching college writing and literature for twenty years. Her work on Medusa has appeared in The Altantic, Yellow Medicine Review, and the collections Bad Girls And Transgressive Women In Popular Film And Television (Palgrave 2017) (Palgrave 2017) and Women Versed In Myth (MacFarland 2016). For her Filling Station presentation, Elizabeth will “trace the various representations of the iconic figure of Medusa from her origins in Greco-Roman myth, through the reclamation of Medusa’s narrative by second- and third-wave feminist poets, to the re-appropriation of her story by late 20th and 21st century film, advertisement, and gaming culture. Representations of Medusa in popular culture evidence a backlash against feminist gains.” Johnston will also point to “the ways in which powerful women like Hilary Clinton have historically been aligned with the monstrous female icon to dismiss and/or vilify their authority.” 

Christopher Kumar (Engineering Science and Physics): December 01, 12-12:50 pm, in 8-200

Christopher Kumar is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Science and Physics Department, where he also serves as Department Chair. He received his MS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester (2008). He also holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Burma (1992) and a BS in Biomechanics from the University of Rochester (2003). According to Christopher, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology is continuously evolving from military applications, to various industries, to that enjoyed by backyard enthusiasts. As a result, "The UAV industry expects to bring in over $90 billion by 2020. Job growth in this area is projected to be extensive for the next ten years." Christopher's Filling Station presentation will focus on how MCC's Engineering Science and Physics Department has been preparing their students through extracurricular exposure to UAV-based methods.

Professor Louis Silvers (World Languages and Cultures): February 09, 12-12:50PM, in 8-200 

Born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, Louis Silvers moved to the United States in 1981 to attend Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, and has been living in this country since. Professionally, Prof. Silvers has a background in both the corporate world and in college teaching. He has worked in marketing, sales and corporate training with the Hallmark Cards Company, both in the United States and in France, and he spent about two years as a computer linguist at AT&T. He has been teaching at Monroe Community College since September 1995. He is also one of the instructors in the Model United Nations program.  Louis’s Filling Station presentation will focus on the challenges of communicating with speakers of other languages by means of translation and interpretation. He will also discuss how technology influences spoken languages of today.

Visiting Playwright: Judith Thompson
Thursday, March 1, 7 PM, Monroe A, Reading and Book-Signing
Free and Open to the Public

Friday, March 2, 12 PM, 8-200, Playwriting Workshop
Free and Open to the MCC Community

Judith Thompson is a playwright, director, actor, and artistic director of RARE theatre. She is the author of some fifteen published plays, many translated and produced around the world .

She has won the Governor General’s Award, the Walter Carsen Performing Arts Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, the Dora Award, and the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. The mandate of RARE theatre is to stage communities seldom heard and rarely seen. The first production, rare, was performed by actors with Down Syndrome, while the second, Borne, was co-written with actors who use wheelchairs, having both quadriplegia and paraplegia. The most recent production, Wildfire, was written by Judith Thompson for performers with Down Syndrome, addressing the horror of recently closed institutions for those with differences. Judith is also a Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.

Dr. Mike Jacobs (Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences): March 16, 12-12:50PM, in 8-200 

Before serving as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at MCC, Dr. Michael Jacobs was Chair of English at Berkeley College in New York City and founding Director of the Consortium for Critical Reading, Writing, and Thinking. Dr. Jacobs’s research examines the influence of literary modernism on documentary journalism--as well as how comparable sociopolitical conditions in the U.S. during the Great Depression and Vietnam War Era gave rise to equally comparable surges in the production and quality of works that cross over the borders of literature and journalism. His most recent publications include “Confronting the (Un)Reality of Pranksterdom: Tom Wolfe and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” (published in Literary Journalism Studies) and “From Cotton Pickin’ to Acid Droppin’: James Agee and the New Journalism” (featured in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men at 75: Anniversary Essays—Univ. of Tennessee Press). For his Filling Station presentation, Mike will discuss his work with James Agee’s and Walker Evans’s seminal, Depression era text-and-picture book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Drawing on both the poetics and humanist ambitions of the so-called high modernists, Famous Men seeks to represent faithfully the lives of Alabama tenant farmers—“an undefended and appallingly damaged group of human beings.” In abandoning the conventional journalistic forms of their day, which often sought to sensationalize and commodify the poor, Agee and Evans succeeded in documenting “the uncapturable beauties of existence.”

Visiting Nonfiction Writer: Sarah Glidden
Thursday, March 29, 7 PM, Monroe A, Reading and Book-Signing
Free and Open to the Public

Friday, March 30, 12 PM, 8-200, Nonfiction Workshop
Free and Open to the MCC Community

Sarah Glidden self-portrait: 
Sarah Glidden photo (credit Sarah Shannon): 
Rolling Blackouts book cover: 

Sarah Glidden was born in 1980 in Massachusetts and studied painting at Boston University. She started making comics in 2006 when she was living at the Flux Factory artists collective in Queens, New York, and soon began working on her first book, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less. The first chapters of this were self-published as minicomics, earning her the Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent in 2008. The complete book was published in 2010 and translated into five languages. Glidden’s work has appeared in various newspapers and magazines, as well as in the Best American Comics anthology. She spent a year as an artist in residence at the Maison des Auteurs in Angoulême, France. Her second book, Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, was published by Drawn & Quarterly in October 2016, quickly becoming a New York Times bestseller and appearing on fifteen best of the year lists. Glidden lives in Seattle, Washington.

Professor Jason Flack (Visual and Performing Arts): April 20, 12-12:50PM, in 8-200 

Jason Flack is an Associate Professor of Photography and Video Production at Monroe Community College.  As an artist, photographer, filmmaker, and “want-to-be” animator, his work has been exhibited regionally and nationally, and has only been censored once by Bausch and Lomb.  He is a member of the “For Drawing Sake” group, a “Deadwood” member, is the founder of Space 86 art space, and a self-proclaimed vinyl nerd.  Jason’s current body of research is focused on the use of hand-made or modified camera technology and their subsequent images.  Currently, he is exploring the city space with these altered and built cameras, with plans to expand that exploration outward as I gain a better understanding of the equipment.  While presenting both the cameras and the final photographic images, my plan for the lecture is to discuss my process, as well as explore the concept of the intersection of technology and knowledge with chance and luck.