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Scholarship in Service to Community

Those who attended last Wednesdays outstanding talk by Greg Fulkerson, fellow of the Center for Small Cities and Rural Studies at The Other Side had a unique chance to experience what it feels like when scholarship speaks directly to our lives.  The focus of this unique research center is  communities like ours, the ones that lose out in global corporate economy, through no fault of ours, but due to dominant forces over which citizens have had little control and do not even fully grasp.  But having these regular talks  brought to us from the CSCRS the larger picture begins to fall gradually into place.  Not that solutions suddenly appear, but we begin to feel that our own common sense is being met by academic scholarship; we feel less alone and consequently we feel something like hope, or at least, like renewed energy.  

Orin and I had a second chance this week to enjoy superb scholarship.  This was over in Johnstown, where the final lecture in the series commemorating the death of Sir William Johnson (pre-revolutionary superintendent for Indian Affairs for the King) was held on Saturdaymorning, 9/27.  In that substantial lecture, called The End of An Atlantic Life: The Death of Sir William Johnson in Imperial Context 1774, I learned so much about the geo-politics of the pre-revolutionary period in this region, with the chief players being England, France and the indigenous nations, about the real (and surprising) basis of Sir William's great power (and astonishing wealth), and some very interesting and plausible "what ifs" concerning the timing of his death in 1774.  The speaker, Jon Parmenter, a historian from Cornell University, had "done his work," and was engaged and enthusiastic.  What ties the two lecture experiences together for me was their focus on this region, my place, showing once again that what is ours, and local, is as intensely interesting a focus of serious thought and scholarship as those better funded research areas that are often of no direct interest to you and me (and sometimes antithetical to our real interests) !

Coming up in October

(all events free unless otherwise indicated)

If you wish to respond directly to me about The Other Side programs, please email me at  I use this gmail account only for the large The Other Side emails and do not check it frequently.

Friday, October 3, 6-9 p.m. Opening Reception,  A Luminescent Spirit: Scenes from Utica, NY.  Recent oil paintings by Jan Burke. Extended reception with artist, Saturday, October 4, 11-2

Wednesday, October 8, 7:30 p.m.  Beyond the Common Core: Recentering Literary Education.  A lecture in the Imagining America series, co-sponsored by Hamilton College and The Other Side.  Speaker: Peter Rabinowtiz, Carolyn C. and David M. Ellis '38 Distinguished Teaching professor of Comparative Literature

In a recent article called Euclid At the Core: Recentering Literary Education,, co-authors Peter Rabinowitz and Corinne Bancroft reject the controversial Common Core standards in favor of a new framework for teaching literature in secondary schools. Their revolutionary model is grounded partly in cognitive psychology, partly in their respect for what they call “Kid Knowledge”—their recognition that students often know more than we give them credit for.  Professor Rabinowitz's talk will set out the basic principles underlying their proposed pedagogy—and show how it offers a more flexible, liberating, and exciting alternative to the Common Core.  The talk with be non-technical, offering plenty of opportunity for participation, conversation, and (hopefully) heated argument.  

Wednesday, October 15, 7:00 p.m.  Readings of An Italian American Storyteller Former Utican, author Mario G. Fumarola, returns to read from 3 of his works: Wasn't It Only Yesterday, Immigrants All, and Last of the First.  Books will be available for signing, along with refreshments.  For more information call Dick Chancia at 315-281-5150, or email at

Wednesday, October 22, 6:30 p.m. Guswenta: Renewing the Two Row Wampum  won the award for best short film at the 2014 Rated SR Socially Relevant Film Fest in New York City. The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring: Daygot Leeyos Edwards, Liseli Haines, and Buffy Curtis. 

Daygot Leeyos Edwards(Oneida Nation, Wolf Clan) is a musician and spoken word artist. She produces music that empowers, educates, and  uplifts our consciousness. Her lyrics and music reflect the struggles and  triumphs of being a human being, with significant emphasis on her  indigenous heritage. Daygot Leeyos paddled the full journey from the  Onondaga Nation to New York City. 

Liseli Haines and Buffy Curtis are Quakers who live in Clinton, NY. Liseli served on the planning committee for the Two Row Enactment and both were involved in organizing. They paddled a tandem kayak from Albany to New York City. 

This 33-minute film features stunning footage of the 28 day paddling journey from the Onondaga Nation to the United Nations in New York City during the summer of 2013, along with powerful words from Haudenosaunee leaders including Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons, Onondaga Clanmother 
Freida Jacques, Mohawk spiritual leader Tom Porter, and Tadodaho Sid Hill. The film inspires people, indigenous and non-native, to consider our collective responsibility 400 years after the Two Row Wampum Treaty was created. The event is free.  Donations to cover use of the space & for the two row wampum renewal campaign will be accepted 

Live Jazz Returns!

Friday, October 24, Pass It On: The Jazz Legacy features the Joe Magnarelli Quartet, with Joe "Mags" on trumpet, Dino Losito on Hammond Organ, Rich Thompson drums, and special guest Piero Odorici, from Bologne Italy, on tenor saxophone.  Tickets will be $15, $8 for students,  Reserve early!  Call 735-4825, email, or stopping by the Cafe Domenico and leaving your name.  I know Orin wants to write more about this exciting Jazz event; look for the notices in forthcoming emails.

Film@UC The feature this Thursday 10/2  (7:00 p.m., MacFarlane Auditorium on UC campus) Aatsinki: the Story of Arctic Cowboys(2013, USA)