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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Scott Joplin public lecture on April 15

  • The cultural legacy of African American composer Scott Joplin is the subject of an upcoming lecture at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
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  • The cultural legacy of African American composer Scott Joplin is the subject of an upcoming lecture at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
    Dr. Susan Curtis will present the lecture titled "Scott Joplin's Interview a Century Later: Composing an African American Cultural Legacy." It will be held from 3-4 p.m. Monday, April 15, in the Missouri Room of the Havener Center. Refreshments will be provided. The lecture is free and open to the public.
    “The subject of the talk is an interview with Scott Joplin conducted a century ago and appearing in an influential African American newspaper called the New York Age,” says Curtis, this semester’s Maxwell C. Weiner Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Missouri S&T and a professor of history and American studies at Purdue University.
    Curtis' research examines the ways social formation, social change and cultural discourse connect. Her works highlight the role of ideas and cultural values in contests over power in the United States during the 20th century.
    “In my lecture, I explore what Joplin wanted readers to know about his musical compositions—he was, thus, ‘composing a musical legacy,’” Curtis explains. “And the larger point of the lecture is to consider the high price our society has paid for not understanding what it meant for Joplin to be taken as a serious composer instead of a hack writer of popular rags.”
    Missouri S&T's Maxwell C. Weiner Distinguished Professorship in Humanities, established by an estate gift to the university in 1999, is rotated among S&T's arts, languages and philosophy department, the English and technical communication department, and the history and political science department.
    Weiner graduated from Missouri S&T when it was known as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. He also studied at the University of Hawaii and at Washington University in St. Louis. He retired from Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Curtis will present a lecture on 1890s economic recovery from 3-4 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in the St. Pat's Ballroom of the Havener Center. More information will be made available closer to the day of the lecture. Both presentations are free and open to the public.
    For more information about either upcoming lecture, contact Missouri S&T's history and political science department at 573-341-4801 or email Dr. Michael Bruening, interim chair of history and political science, at bruening@mst.edu.
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