The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University

"Acting Homer" will give audiences an opportunity to hear and see actors’ performances of key passages from the Odyssey, which originally involved intricate oral recitation and song. Hearing the words spoken by actors in the gallery, while ringed by Romare Bearden’s paintings based on the epic, adds an unexpected dimension to the famous texts.  Devyn Tyler is an actress and an aspiring scholar. She has been trained in theater and film and has been acting professionally since the age of 8. Her research interests include the francophone diaspora, free people of color in New...

This performance centers on a sequence of prose poems entitled "Odyssey." The poems are inspired partly by Homer, and partly by a series of monotypes entitled Orbiana Oliveto by the artist James McGarrell. The images will accompany the reading. The reading will include other short lyrics inspired by Homer and Virgil. Rosanna Warren is the Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her book of criticism Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry came out in 2008. She was a Chancellor of the...

Columbia to Explore Romare Bearden's A Black Odyssey

A traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey *, will make its final stop at Columbia’s Wallach Gallery beginning in November. Centered around collages based on Homer’s Odyssey by the celebrated African American artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988) and curated by Robert O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature, the exhibition is the focal point of a unique yearlong, University-wide exploration of Bearden’s iconic work. Departments and schools, students and faculty across Columbia, from the Core Curriculum to the Global Centers, will engage in an array of public programs, including lectures and conferences, jazz and spoken word performances, and other special events on and off campus beginning in September.

For updates and to register for events please visit www.columbia.edu/bearden. Watch this Video by the Columbia News Video Team for more information about this exciting project.

*Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in cooperation with the Romare Bearden Foundation and Estate and DC Moore Gallery. The exhibition and its related educational resources are supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.