In February Spike Lee spoke on campus to an overflow crowd; video monitors were set up in the coffeehouse to accommodate the hundreds of audience members who couldn't fit into Emerson Suites. The acclaimed director of such films as She's Gotta Have It, School Daze, Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Get on the Bus, 4 Little Girls, Bamboozled, and 25th Hour spoke extemporaneously on filmmaking, the state of race relations in the United States, and his recent experience with DNA testing, through which he and his wife were able to pinpoint the African origins of their ancestors, who were brought to the United States as slaves.
Michael Eric Dyson
Best-selling author, social critic, and scholar Michael Eric Dyson shared insights and signed books during his three-day campus stay as part of the Park Distinguished Visitor Series. Dyson writes a weekly column for the Chicago Sun-Times and is a weekly commentator for The Tavis Smiley Show on National Public Radio.
Internationally renowned Japanese sculptor Katsumi Ida (at right) spent the past semester at IC engaging in his craft and working with art students. While he and his artistic partner, Jesse Salisbury, created two large-form marble and granite canoe sculptures, students from Ray Ghirardo's intermediate/advanced sculpture class had the opportunity to observe his techniques.
Ida's sculptures were donated to the College upon his departure. One of the canoes will most likely grace the new business school building. As of now there are no plans for the location of the second sculpture, but Ida wants it to be within the view of art students.
Award-winning short story writer George Saunders was the Department of Writing's distinguished visiting writer this year. An assistant professor of creative writing at Syracuse University, he is currently at work on a screenplay of his book of short fiction, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. It is being adapted for a movie starring and directed by Ben Stiller.