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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Arctic author opens Neilly Series


Latin music, American foreign policy, and Alaskan history are some of the topics seven writers will cover in the second season of the Neilly Series at the University.

On Thursday, September 26, writer Kenn Harper will kick off the series with his talk on the life of Minik, an Inuit boy taken from his family in the late 1800s and brought to New York. Harper first heard the story from the Polar Eskimos of Greenland and wrote the bestseller, Give Me My Father's Body: The Life of Minik, the New York Eskimo. He tracked the story and documented the role of the American Museum of Natural History in the Minik affair.

Harper, who has lived in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland for more than 35 years, is a linguist fluent in the Eskimo language and an active participant in territorial issues. He was an advisor on setting up the government of Nunavut, Canada's third territory, established in 1999. His lecture with slides will be held in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library at 5 p.m.

Other guest appearances in the upcoming season include Simon Winchester, bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary and The Map that Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology. Winchester, whose visit coincides with Meliora Weekend, will speak October 11 in Hoyt Hall.

On November 7, Scott Ritter, a former U.S. military intelligence officer and United Nations arms control inspector, will discuss current American foreign policy in the Middle East and in Iraq. And on January 30, John Storm Roberts's lecture, accompanied by recorded music, will focus on "Gestating Jazz: The Mexican Tour of 1885."

Emil Homerin, professor of religion and chair of the Department of Religion and Classics, will discuss the religious and cultural dimensions of Islam and how they are interpreted in the West on Wednesday, February 26.

Poet, reviewer, and librarian Bruce Whiteman will present slides to illustrate his lecture on his latest writing project--a book about Constantine Simonides, a 19th-century manuscript forger--on Thursday, March 27, in the Welles-Brown Room.

On Wednesday, April 9, the series' final speaker, Linda Greenhouse, U.S. Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, will discuss the repercussions of recent Supreme Court rulings.

The Neilly Series, produced by the River Campus Libraries, is free and open to the public and is supported by a major gift from Andrew Neilly '47 and his wife, Janet Dayton Neilly.

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