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Sports pundit Smith offers Black History Month keynote Feb. 17

One of the most outspoken and provocative personalities in sports television will deliver the keynote address for MTSU’s Black History Month Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith, a featured commentator on “ESPN First Take,” will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 in the Student Union Ballroom.

His appearance is free and open to the public and will be followed by a brief question-and-answer session.

On “First Take,” Smith exchanges verbal blows with former Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald sports writer Skip Bayless on various sports issues of the day.

Smith also writes regularly for EPSNLA.com and ESPNNY.com, and since September 2014 has hosted the daily two-hour “Stephen A. Smith Show” on SiriusXM’s Mad Sports Radio.

“Stephen A. Smith is a pre-eminent voice within the African-American community and is an emerging media go-to who adeptly applies his savvy insights into the world of sports to society at large while drawing parallels to such issues as race relations, politics and current events in America,” said Daniel Green, director of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs and chair of MTSU’s Black History Month Committee.

Black History Month 2016 illus

Click on the illustration for a link to MTSU’s complete 2016 Black History Month event calendar.

Smith has held various analyst and host positions within ESPN’s television and radio empire over the years, as well as sports talk radio jobs in New York and Los Angeles.

Before moving into broadcasting, Smith worked as a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1994 to 2010. His resume also includes stints as a reporter with the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal, the Greensboro (North Carolina) News and Record, and the New York Daily News.

Visitors attending the event can find a printable campus parking map at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. For more information, contact Green at 615-898-5812 or daniel.green@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Pulitzer winner Meacham talks politics at MTSU event

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, historian and journalist Jon Meacham will discuss presidential politics and his new book, The New York Times No. 1 best-seller “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush,” at MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is set for 4:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at MTSU’s Student Union Ballroom. Meacham will be available to sign copies of his books after his talk.

A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMapOff-campus visitors attending the event should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

Ken Paulson

Ken Paulson

Jon Meacham

Jon Meacham

Speaking on the day of the New Hampshire primary election, Meacham will be joined on stage by Ken Paulson, dean of MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment. Both are seasoned veterans directing news coverage of presidential campaigns and politics.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Paulson was editor-in-chief of USA TODAY, a position he held from 2004 to 2009. Meacham was editor-in-chief of Newsweek from 2006 to 2010.

The event will kick off The Pulitzer Prize Centennial Series at MTSU commemorating the 100th anniversary of The Pulitzer Prizes, which have honored excellence in journalism and the arts annually since 1917.

Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2009 for “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.” An executive editor and executive vice president at Random House, he also is author of The New York Times best-sellers “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” “American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation” and “Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship.”

Destiny and Power cover web“Destiny and Power” debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times best-sellers list upon its November 2015 release and has remained among the top sellers in hardcover nonfiction. Drawing on President George H.W. Bush’s personal diaries and the diaries of his wife, Barbara, as well as extensive interviews, Meacham enjoyed extraordinary access to the 41st president and his family over the decade-plus course of researching and writing the book.

The book presents Bush’s candid assessments of many of the key figures of his long career in politics and public service, including Richard Nixon, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Bush, 91, served as Reagan’s vice president for two terms before his single term as president from 1989 to 1993. He previously served as a congressman, ambassador to China, and CIA director.

Bush’s criticisms in “Destiny and Power” of contemporaries Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who both served in his son George W. Bush’s presidential administration, made national headlines when excerpts of the book were released.

“Meacham’s book should be required reading — if not for every presidential candidate, then for every president-elect,” wrote The Washington Post, which named it one of the Ten Best Books of the Year.CME logo for web

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the 46-year-old Meacham graduated from the University of the South in Sewanee. He began his journalism career at The Chattanooga Times and was a former editor of The Washington Monthly before his tenure at Newsweek. He also is a contributing editor at Time magazine and is a regular guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” as well as making occasional appearances on other news talk shows.

Meacham, who has taught at Vanderbilt University and at The University of the South, is a fellow of the Society of American Historians.

The Feb. 9 event is presented by the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies, the Tom T. Hall Writers Series and MTSU College of Media and Entertainment.

The program is part of a yearlong series of events celebrating the launch of the renamed College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU. For more information about the college, visit www.mtsu.edu/media.

TBR’s Denley brings research concepts to MTSU for Feb. 10 talk

The Tennessee Board of Regents’ vice chancellor for academic affairs will bring his award-winning mathematics research to MTSU for a talk with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty.

Tristan Denley, who has been with the TBR since 2013, will speak starting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, in Kirksey Old Main Room 206.

Tristan Denley

Tristan Denley

The former Austin Peay State University faculty member will discuss “Using Predictive Analytics Data to Improve the First-Year Experience.”

In his abstract, Denley notes a longstanding reality that success in higher education is uneven among the U.S. population. In the last three decades, “racial minority, low-income and first-generation students have earned post-secondary degrees at substantially lower rates than their counterparts,” he said.

The work is an attempt to empower the advising process, not an attempt to automate it, he said.

“By providing detailed, focused and timely information to both student and adviser we can enable the advising conversation to be a much more nuanced conversation and improve student outcomes,” he added.

Dong Ye

Dong Ye

Dong Ye, an assistant professor in the MTSU Department of Mathematical Sciences, said Denley “has some very nice and deep results” in his study. “Now, he uses methods from graph theory to study the data of students enrolled in TBR system schools, which is very impressive.”

Denley’s research led to the creation of “Degree Compass,” a course recommendation system that successfully pairs current students with the courses that best fit their talents and program of study for upcoming semesters, Dong said.

Denley’s system, which combines hundreds of thousands of past students’ grades with each particular student’s transcript to take individualized recommendations for current students, was an IMS Global Learning Impact Awards winner and has received recognition from Educause, Complete College America, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and President Obama.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

UPDATE: Weather forces cancellation of lecture by Dr. John Ratey

Winter storms in the Northeast have forced the cancellation of a special guest lecture set Monday, Feb. 8, at MTSU by Dr. John Ratey of Harvard Medical School.

Ratey, an associate clinical professor of psychology at the medical school in Boston, Massachusetts, was set to explain how to energize the brain through exercise and physical activity tonight at 6 on campus.Dr. John Ratey

Instead, winter storm warnings across New England — and blizzard warnings south of Boston — on Monday resulted in the cancellation of numerous flights into and out of airports in the region.

Ratey’s lecture will be rescheduled for a later date.

Ratey, an internationally recognized expert in neuropsychology, has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and eight books, including “Driven to Distraction” and “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.”

One of the world’s foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection, Ratey has embarked on a worldwide quest to get schools, corporations and individuals to use exercise for achieving peak performance and optimum mental health.

The MTSU Distinguished Lecture Series, the MTSU departments of psychology and health and human performance, and the Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance are sponsoring Ratey’s appearance.

For more information, contact Kristi Phillips, instructor in the Department of Health and Human Performance, at 615-904-8326 or kristi.phillips@mtsu.edu.

Texas storyteller Williams brings MTSU free ‘Valentine’ Feb. 9

Actor and playwright Jaston Williams will finally be his own man on stage at MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9, after three decades portraying a dozen-plus different — and memorably deranged — citizens embroiled in daily life in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas.

Jaston Williams

Jaston Williams

Williams, half of the team that created the “Greater Tuna” series of four award-winning, crazy comedies, will bring his one-man show, “Blame it On Valentine, Texas,” to MTSU’s Tucker Theatre Feb. 9 for a free 7 p.m. public performance.

A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap.

“Blame It on Valentine, Texas” allows Williams to reach back into his own life to share his experiences as a veteran of more than 40 years in theater.

From his debut at age 4 in an ill-fated ballet to a near-death experience involving an angry pig to his journey to China to find and adopt his son, Williams’s life has been one built for storytelling.

Williams Valentine graphic webIs this latest venture, like his life, a comedy? “Oh, God. I hope so,” Williams said.

Williams is best known for his creation of and performance in the “Greater Tuna” plays, in which he and cohort Joe Sears played all of the citizens of Tuna, the “third smallest town in Texas.”

He’s trod national and international stages throughout his career, including on and off Broadway; at the Kennedy Center and Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C; at Charleston, South Carolina’s renowned Spoleto Festival USA and Scotland’s Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland, as well as two command performances at the White House.

The Tuna plays toured nationwide for more than 30 years, including multiple sold-out shows at Nashville’s Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Williams received numerous awards for his acting and writing, and until retiring the Tuna shows, he and Sears were the longest-running stage comedy team in the country.

Williams, proclaimed “Texas’ Best Storyteller,” also has received wide acclaim for his solo shows and is a recipient of the Texas Medal of the Arts and the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts by a Native Texan.

The MTSU Distinguished Lecture Fund and the sponsorship of IBERIANBANK make this free MTSU Arts performance possible.

For more information, visit http://mtsuarts.com.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Actors and playwrights Jaston Williams, left, and Joe Sears cavort as their Tastee Kreme waitress alter egos Helen Bedd and Inita Goodwin in this publicity photo for "Tuna Does Vegas," the fourth in the pair's series of plays about fictional Tuna, Texas. Williams will visit MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9, for a free performance of his new monologue, "Blame It on Valentine, Texas." (Photo courtesy of Brenda Ladd)

Actors and playwrights Jaston Williams, left, and Joe Sears cavort as their Tastee Kreme waitress alter egos Helen Bedd and Inita Goodwin in this publicity photo for “Tuna Does Vegas,” the fourth in the pair’s series of plays about fictional Tuna, Texas. Williams will visit MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9, for a free performance of his new monologue, “Blame It on Valentine, Texas.” (Photo courtesy of Brenda Ladd)

Actor and playwright Jaston Williams, left, speaks in character as "Vera Carp" during a 2009 performance of "Tuna Does Vegas" in San Diego, California, while cohort Joe Sears listens as "Pearl Burras." Williams will visit MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9, for a free performance of his new monologue, "Blame It on Valentine, Texas." (Photo courtesy of Phil Konstantin)

Actor and playwright Jaston Williams, left, speaks in character as “Vera Carp” during a 2009 performance of “Tuna Does Vegas” in San Diego, California, while cohort Joe Sears listens as “Pearl Burras.” Williams will visit MTSU Tuesday, Feb. 9, for a free performance of his new monologue, “Blame It on Valentine, Texas.” (Photo courtesy of Phil Konstantin)

MTSU president joins ’Boro mayor to talk partnerships on WGNS

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee joined MTSU alumnus and Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland recently on WGNS Radio’s “Action Line” program to talk about the longstanding partnership between the university and city.

From left, Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and WGNS radio host Bart Walker are shown inside WGNS studios Wednesday, Jan. 13, for the "Action Line" program. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

From left, Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and WGNS radio host Bart Walker are shown inside WGNS studios Wednesday, Jan. 13, for the “Action Line” program. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Hosted by veteran radio host Bart Walker, the program aired live Wednesday, Jan. 13, on FM 100.5 and 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

“We’re certainly very grateful and consider ourselves as a university very blessed to have such a partnership with the city,” McPhee said during the program.

WGNS new logo 2015_web cropAmong topics discussed included the upcoming grand opening match between the MTSU men’s tennis team and Vanderbilt University at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, at the Adams Tennis Complex at Old Fort Park. Admission is free to the match, which will be played in the new $6.2 million indoor home of the Blue Raiders tennis teams.

The complex stems from a partnership between the City of Murfreesboro, MTSU and the nonprofit Christy-Houston Foundation.

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in guesting on WGNS to promote their MTSU-related activities should contact Jimmy Hart, director of news and media relations, at 615-898-5131 or via email at jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu.

WGNS features canine pal, ‘Studio M,’ College Goal Tennessee

MTSU staff and students shared information on a variety of campus happenings, including a furry friend who helps students deal with finals, a new approach to teaching journalism students and a January event on campus to help prospective students get started with applying for college.

MTSU student Leah Chism and Canyon the Therapy Dog are interviewed by WGNS radio host Bart Walker Monday, Dec. 21, at the station's downtown Murfreesboro location. Chism discussed Canyon's recent visits to the James E. Walker Library to help students relax during final exams. (MTSU photo)

MTSU student Leah Chism and Canyon the Therapy Dog are interviewed by WGNS radio host Bart Walker Monday, Dec. 21, at the station’s downtown Murfreesboro location. Chism discussed Canyon’s recent visits to the James E. Walker Library to help students relax during final exams. (MTSU photos)

The details were shared during the Dec. 21 “Action Line” program with veteran host Bart Walker. The live program was broadcast on FM 100.5, 101.9 and AM 1450 from the WGNS studio in downtown Murfreesboro. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

WGNS new logo 2015_web cropGuests included:

MTSU student Leah Chism and Canyon the Therapy Dog discussed Canyon’s return to the James E. Walker Library at semester’s end to help students decompress from studying for their final exams. The compassionate canine, a purebred Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, is becoming an institutionalized part of a bigger library emphasis on easing exam stress, partnering with MTSU Health Promotions in compiling anti-stress care packages.

See a video from Canyon’s visit last year here.

Val Hoeppner, left, director of the Center for Innovation in Media in the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment, is interviewed by WGNS radio host Bart Walker Monday, Dec. 21, at the station's downtown Murfreesboro location. Hoeppner discussed

Val Hoeppner, left, director of the Center for Innovation in Media in the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment, is interviewed by WGNS radio host Bart Walker Monday, Dec. 21, at the station’s downtown Murfreesboro location. Hoeppner discussed “Studio M,” a new teaching project that takes a “training hospital” approach to properly train the journalists of the future.

• Val Hoeppner, director of the Center for Innovation in Media in the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment, discussed “Studio M,” a new teaching project that takes a “training hospital” approach to properly train the journalists of the future. Studio M — which stands for media, mobile, millennials and MTSU — will allow students to be immersed in tracking millennials and issues that affect them, especially in the lead up to the 2016 election.

MTSU One Stop staffer Becca Seul, coordinator of withdrawals and support programs, discussed the upcoming “College Goal Tennessee” event to be hosted at MTSU.

MTSU and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation are partnering to offer College Goal Tennessee at MTSU, which will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 9, in the south lobby of the Business and Aerospace Building at MTSU. Event organizers use these sessions to assist prospective students and their parents or guardians in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form and to share financial aid resources, how to apply and much more. To register, go to www.mtsu.edu/goal.

Students, faculty and staff who are interested in guesting on WGNS to promote their MTSU-related activities should contact Jimmy Hart, director of news and media relations, at 615-898-5131 or via email at jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu.

From left, MT One Stop staffers Emily Foust and Becca Seul are interviewed by WGNS radio host Bart Walker Monday, Dec. 21, at the station in downtown Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo)

From left, MT One Stop staffers Emily Foust and Becca Seul are interviewed by WGNS radio host Bart Walker Monday, Dec. 21, at the station in downtown Murfreesboro. Seul discussed the upcoming “College Goal Tennessee at MTSU” event. (MTSU photo)

MTSU’s Huber shares leadership advice with Blackman students

While his grandfather fought in World War I and his father in World War II, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber said he was the only person in his family to make the military a career.

The West Point graduate and Green Beret served 38 years before retiring in 2013 as a three-star general after having held leadership positions in combat zones ranging from the Persian Gulf to Kosovo to Afghanistan.

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber spoke about leadership and sacrifice to JROTC cadets and other students from Blackman High School Nov. 12 inside the school's auditorium. Huber is now senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber spoke about leadership and sacrifice to JROTC cadets and other students from Blackman High School Nov. 12 inside the school’s auditorium. Huber is now senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU. (MTSU photos by Jimmy Hart)

Now senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU, Huber spoke to several hundred Blackman High School students Nov. 12 about the sacrifices made by those serving in the military and their families and the leadership required to keep the nation safe.

MT Veterans logoHuber recalled that while serving two years in Afghanistan, he saw his family “less than three weeks” as he commanded thousands of soldiers and oversaw a budget of more than $900 million.

While being away from his wife and children was hard, he said he took some solace in knowing that he was involved in an effort to protect his then 5-year-old daughter from “the bad guys” even as she wondered when dad would get to come home.

“Unfortunately, there is an unlimited supply of evil people who would steal our freedoms and harm our families,” Huber told the students. “That is the reality of the world that you will enter as leaders of the world, regardless of the attire that you wear.”

Students attending the special assembly came from the school’s Junior Reserved Officers Training Corps, or JROTC program, as well as from its Collegiate Academy — an academic partnership started this year with MTSU — and from among Blackman’s National Honor Society students.

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, center, chats with JROTC cadets from Blackman High School inside the school's auditorium following his address there Nov. 12. Huber is now senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, center, chats with JROTC cadets from Blackman High School inside the school’s auditorium following his address there Nov. 12.

“You have got to make things happen. You have got to be willing to do hard things,” Huber said. “… Are you willing to accept the ridicule of making the right decision, the harder decision, the least popular decision? Are you willing to lose your job because you’re being ethical?”

Blackman High Principal Leisa Justus said the school brings in speakers once a month to address various topics with different student groups.

She said Huber seemed a perfect match to talk to the school’s large JROTC group as well as other students interested in improving their leadership skills.

His visit came a day after the nation’s annual observance of Veterans Day.Blackman High logo

“He made so many points that were absolutely pertinent to our kids: doing the right things, which are sometimes really hard decisions; continuing to work when things are hard and not giving up,” Justus said.

She was also struck by Huber’s “reminder” about an overreliance on modern technology these days to communicate electronically through emails, text and social media.

“Leadership is communication, and it’s face-to-face communication. We all need to be reminded of that,” Justus said. “I was so glad my students were there listening.”

Blackman junior and JROTC cadet Kyle Dallas was among the 200 cadets in the audience. Dallas, who plans to continue his ROTC training in college, perhaps at MTSU, said he hopes to get commissioned as a second lieutenant before moving into Special Forces and on a career track that’s similar to Huber’s.

“I’ve never seen a three-star general in my life, and when I saw him in here I was very attentive,” Dallas said. “He was very candid and straightforward with all of his comments. I really liked it.”

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, center, poses with JROTC cadet Kyle Dallas of Blackman High School inside the school's auditorium following Huber's address there Nov. 12. Huber is now senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, center, poses with JROTC cadet Kyle Dallas of Blackman High School inside the school’s auditorium following Huber’s address there Nov. 12.

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, right, shakes hands with JROTC cadets from Blackman High School inside the school's auditorium following his address there Nov. 12. Huber is now senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, right, shakes hands with JROTC cadets from Blackman High School inside the school’s auditorium Nov. 12.

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, second from left, spoke about leadership to JROTC cadets and several hundred other Blackman High School students Nov. 12 inside the school's auditorium. Huber is now senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU. Pictured from left are: retired U.S. Army Col. Gary Spry, senior instructor for Blackman's JROTC; Huber; Leisa Justus, Blackman High principal; and Sgt. Major Barbara Sanders, JROTC instructor. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Huber, second from left, poses for a photo with Blackman High School leaders after discussing leadership with JROTC cadets and several hundred other students Nov. 12 inside the school’s auditorium. Huber is now senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU. Pictured from left are: retired U.S. Army Col. Gary Spry, senior instructor for Blackman’s JROTC; Huber; Leisa Justus, Blackman High principal; and Sgt. Major Barbara Sanders, JROTC instructor.

MTSU conference focuses on music’s role in political dissent

Music has been one of man’s favorite ways to resist or support powerful leaders throughout history, and it’s the timely topic of an international conference hosted by MTSU’s School of Music Nov. 21-22.

Click on the poster to see a larger version.

Click on the poster to see a larger version.

“Tyranny and Music,” which is free and open to the public, will feature speakers on topics ranging from heavy metal in Egypt before and after the Arab Spring to the Irish harp and cultural genocide going back to the 15th century.

“2015 marks the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat by the allied forces at Waterloo, the 150th year since John Wilkes Booth shouted ‘Sic semper tyrannis!’ after assassinating President Abraham Lincoln, and the 800th year since the creation of the Magna Carta, perhaps the first English resistance to tyranny,” said Dr. Joseph Morgan, professor of musicology at MTSU.

Dr. Mei Han

Dr. Mei Han

“In recognition of this important date, we are hosting this conference dealing with the complicated relationship between powerful rulers and the music created to resist, support or just react to a real or perceived oppression.”

Much of the “Tyranny and Music” conference will take place in Room 104 of the Bragg Media and Entertainment Building on the east side of the MTSU campus beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

Dr. Mei Han, director of MTSU’s new Center for Chinese Music and Culture and an ethnomusicologist specializing in Chinese music, will deliver the keynote address, “Battling the Typhoon – Weathering Political Storms in Maoist China” at 11:15 a.m. Nov. 21 in the Bragg Building.

The contemporary music ensemble aTonalHits will perform “Music Under the Soviet Regime” during a free lecture/concert at 5:45 p.m. that day in Hinton Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building.

Scholars from across the nation and from as far afield as France and England will share their expertise on topics ranging from contemporary music to historical contexts and genres during the two-day event.

A searchable campus map with parking details is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking2015-16. Off-campus visitors attending the event should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at http://www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

The complete conference program is available here.

For details on this and more events in the MTSU School of Music, call 615-898-2493 or visit www.mtsumusic.com.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

Violinist Katha Zinn, left, and pianist Illya Filshtinskiy comprise aTonalHits, a contemporary music ensemble set to perform “Music Under the Soviet Regime” at a free lecture/concert Nov. 21 as part of the “Tyranny and Music" conference hosted by the MTSU School of Music. (submitted photo)

Violinist Katha Zinn, left, and pianist Illya Filshtinskiy comprise aTonalHits, a contemporary music ensemble set to perform “Music Under the Soviet Regime” at a free lecture/concert Nov. 21 as part of the “Tyranny and Music” conference hosted by the MTSU School of Music. (submitted photo)

Grammy winner Wald discusses ‘Dylan Goes Electric!’ Nov. 18

Grammy-winning music historian Elijah Wald will discuss his new book, “Dylan Goes Electric! Newport, Seeger, Dylan and the Night That Split the Sixties,” at a free public lecture set Wednesday, Nov. 18, at MTSU.

Click on the poster to see a larger version.

Click on the poster to see a larger version.

Sponsored by MTSU’s Center for Popular Music and the Department of History, Wald’s talk will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the second-floor Parliamentary Room of MTSU’s Student Union, located at 1768 MTSU Blvd.

A searchable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking2015-16. Off-campus visitors attending the event should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

Wald, a musician since age 7 and a writer for nearly three decades, has published more than 1,000 articles, mostly about folk, roots and international music for various magazines and newspapers, including more than 10 years as “world music” writer for the Boston Globe. He received a 2002 Grammy Award for his liner notes on the “Arhoolie Records 40th Anniversary Collection: 1960-2000” box set.

Wald is the author of several books, including “Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns and Guerrillas,” “How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Talking ‘Bout Your Mama: The Dozens, Snaps and the Deep Roots of Rap.”

“Dylan Goes Electric!” is his latest book, which examines rock icon Bob Dylan’s history-making performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 within its broader cultural, political and historical context.

That July 1965 evening was Dylan’s first live appearance with an electric band. One of the songs from that performance, “Maggie’s Farm,” is available on video below.

http://youtu.be/G8yU8wk67gY

You can read more about the book on Wald’s website, www.elijahwald.com.

The Center for Popular Music at MTSU is a research center devoted to the study and scholarship of popular music in America.

new-CPM-logo-webEstablished in 1985 by the Tennessee Board of Regents as one of 16 Centers of Excellence across the TBR system, MTSU’s CPM maintains an archive of research materials stretching from the early 18th century to the present and develops and sponsors programs in American vernacular music.

As part of its 30th anniversary year, the center recently honored its second “Fellow of the Center for Popular Music,” Motown hit-maker Lamont Dozier, for his extraordinary accomplishments in music.

For more information on the Center for Popular Music and its projects and special events, visit www.mtsu.edu/popmusic.

This program is part of a yearlong series of events celebrating the launch of the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University. For more information about the college, visit www.mtsu.edu/media.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)