January 26, 2024

Susquehanna University’s spring 2024 semester opens with a wide variety of events — including an art exhibition that combines poetry and photography, two rarely performed operas and a unique lecture on the use of psychedelics in treatment of addiction and mental illness.

All events, unless otherwise noted, are free and open to the public.

Lore Degenstein Gallery exhibition combines photography, poetry

The exhibition Disrupting the Expected runs through March 3 at the Lore Degenstein Gallery in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center. Student tours of the exhibition will be available Tuesday, Feb. 20, Thursday, Feb. 22, Tuesday, Feb. 27, and Thursday, Feb. 29, at 12 p.m. All gallery events are free and open to the public.

In a collaboration between the Lore Degenstein Gallery and Susquehanna University’s School of Humanities, this exhibition highlights the work of poet Tim Seibles and sociologist/photographer Jennifer Fish.

Emeritus professor of English at Old Dominion University and former poet laureate of Virginia, Seibles’ poetry engages both the political and mystical realms as well as the beauty of intimacy and the persistence of memory. Fish, professor of sociology at Old Dominion, speaks to the global movement of workers, women and refugees.

The Lore Degenstein Gallery is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the academic year. It is closed during university recesses; call 570-372-4059 for an appointment when classes are not in session.

Black Excellence Showcase brings music, dancing, spoken performances

Susquehanna University’s Black Student Union will host its annual Black Excellence Showcase on Saturday, Feb. 10, in Isaacs Auditorium in Seibert Hall.

Tickets for the event are $5 and must be purchased in advance. They will be on sale in the lower level of the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 5-9. Children under age 5 are free.

This year’s Black Excellence Showcase will include singing, dancing, the presentation of original poems, and other spoken word performances.

Award-winning author to present reading

Susquehanna’s Seavey Visiting Writers Series presents author Elizabeth McCracken at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, in Isaacs Auditorium in Seibert Hall.

McCracken is the author of eight books, including The Hero of This Book, The Souvenir Museum, Bowlaway, Thunderstruck & Other Stories (winner of the 2014 Story Prize and long-listed for the National Book Award) and The Giant’s House (a National Book Award finalist).

She has received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Liguria Study Center, the American Academy in Berlin, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. McCracken’s other stories have been honored with three Pushcart Prizes, a National Magazine Award and an O. Henry Prize and have been published in The Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, The O. Henry Prize, The New York Times Magazine and many other places.

Honors Band to present concert

Recognizing the achievements of exceptional high school musicians, the 29th annual Honors Band Festival will culminate with a gala concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, in Weber Chapel Auditorium.

­­The Honors Band Festival historically brings together talented high school musicians from across Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. This unique event is designed to give talented woodwind, brass and percussion players an opportunity to share their passion for music with similarly motivated students.

Tickets are not required; there is an admission charge at the door.

Music, theatre to stage two one-act operas

Susquehanna University’s departments of music and theatre are partnering to present two one-act operas, Fête Galante and The False Harlequin, in the Degenstein Center Theater in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, and Saturday, Feb. 24, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Both operas will be performed with a company of 20 music and theatre students and a full orchestra.

Jealousy, intrigue and mistaken identities lead to a happy conclusion in The False Harlequin, written in 1925 by Italian composer Gian Francesco Malipiero, and a shocking tragedy in Fête Galante, written in 1923 by British composer Ethel Smyth.

The performances are underwritten by Susquehanna alumna Marian Shatto ’67, an admirer of Smyth who previously donated her collection of Smyth’s works to the Jane Conrad Apple Rare Books Room in Susquehanna’s Blough-Weis Library.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors age 60 and older and non-SU students. 

Lecture explores psychedelics in treatment of addiction, mental illness

Bill Richards, a psychologist from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will present the Alice Pope Shade Lecture, The Rebirth of Psychedelic Research – Faith, Revelation and Healing, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, in the Degenstein Center Theater in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center.

Involved in psychedelic research since 1963, Richards has implemented projects with LSD, DPT, MDA and psilocybin to investigate the promise of psychedelics in the treatment of alcoholism, depression, narcotic addiction and the psychological distress associated with terminal cancer, as well as the use of psychedelics in the training of religious and mental-health professionals.

Susquehanna’s annual Shade lecture is made possible by the Alice Pope Shade Fund, established in 1983 by her daughter and Susquehanna graduate, Rebecca Shade ’54 Mignot, to bring nationally and internationally renowned religious scholars and leaders to campus.

Lecture to examine journalism and its role in democracy

Wendy Weinhold, associate professor of communication, media and culture at Coastal Carolina University, will present the lecture Democracy Needs Journalism, Journalism Needs Us at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, in Isaacs Auditorium in Seibert Hall.

Weinhold has more than a decade of experience as a journalist, serving as a reporter for newspapers and public radio stations in Nebraska, Illinois and South Carolina. She worked as a mentor and writing coach at the Daily Egyptian at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Hastings College and her doctorate from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

The event is sponsored by Susquehanna’s Department of Political Science and the Pi Gamma Mu Social Sciences Honorary.

Ticket information

Tickets can be purchased in person at the Degenstein Center Box Office Monday through Friday while classes are in session, 12 p.m. noon to 5 p.m.; by calling 570-372-ARTS; or online at https://susqu.universitytickets.com/.