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PASSAGES: In Praise of Wasting Time

past event

February 20, 2020

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Open to Public

The value of wasting time.

The KANEKO, along with the University of Nebraska Omaha, welcomes distinguished physicist and bestselling author Alan Lightman for the spring session of our PASSAGES Literary Series. 

Discussion will center around the ‘art’ of wasting time. A description of Lightman’s recent book In Praise of Wasting Time includes the themes for the evening: 

We are all worried about wasting time. Especially in the West, we have created a frenzied lifestyle in which the twenty-four hours of each day are carved up, dissected, and reduce down to ten-minute units of efficiency. We take our iPhones and laptops with us on vacation. We check email at restaurants or our brokerage accounts while walking in the park. When the school day ends, our children are overloaded with “extras.” Our university curricula are so crammed our young people don’t have time to reflect on the material they are supposed to be learning. Yet in the face of our time-driven existence, a great deal of evidence suggests there is great value in “wasting time,” of letting the mind lie fallow for some periods, of letting minutes and even hours go by without scheduled activities or intended tasks. 

Doors open at 6:30; please join us early to write down your questions for Lightman. A special addition to the program, internationally recognized fiddler Bonnie Rideout will begin the evening with an informal concert in connection with her creative process of ‘wasting time’. 

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

 About Alan Lightman: “A scientist who is a humanist in the noblest sense of the word.” – Los Angeles Times

After serving on the faculty of Harvard University for a dozen years, Alan Lightman moved to MIT, where he became the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in the sciences and the humanities. In astrophysics, Lightman has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of black holes, radiation processes at the center of galaxies, and the foundation of Einstein’s theory of gravity. 

Dozens of independent theatrical and musical production worldwide have been adapted from Lightman’s novel Einstein Dreams. An international bestseller, this book is one of the most widely used texts in universities today and has been translated into 30 languages. A prolific author, Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine, 2018, and the novel Three Flames, 2019. 

Lightman’s appearance at KANEKO PASSAGES, which includes a discussion with expert panelists and the audience, will center around his book In Praise of Wasting Time, which was released in 2018.
See more about Alan Lightman here. 

About the Panelists

Kevin Clouther serves as Coordinator of the UNO MFA in Writing Program. He’s an assistant Professor at the UNO Writer’s Workshop. Clouther’s story collection, We Were Flying to Chicago, was published by Catapult. His stories have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Greensboro Review, Gulf Coast, Puerto Del Sol, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, among other journals, and he has contributed essays to The Millions, NPR, Poets & Writers, Salon, and Tin House’s “Art of the Sentence.” He is the recipient of several grants and awards, including the Richard Yates Fiction Award and Gell Residency Award. 

Dr. Christine Cutucache is UNO’s Haddix Community Chair of Science, the Acting Director of the UNO STEM TRAIL Center, and Associate Professor of Biology. She is a tumor immunologist and science education convert. Consequently, her teaching and research interests range from cancer biology to discipline-based education research methods. She has published copious primary articles on her work, authored 3 textbooks, and is a strong advocate for undergraduate professional development. 

Dr. Christopher Moore is UNO’s Haddix Community Chair in Physical Science and Associate Professor of Physics. Dr. Moore conducts research in physical science education and teacher preparation, focusing on how we learn/teach creativity and innovation in STEM Dr. Moore is author of the books Creating Scientists and Teaching Science Thinking (which was written at the UNO-Kaneko Library), over 40 peer-reviewed articles, and is co-author of the best-selling high-school curriculum Experience Chemistry. He has recently given invited lectures internationally on the parallels between sense-making in the sciences and humanities. 

Bonnie Rideout: On stages from Scotland’s Edinburgh International Festival to America’s Kennedy Center, her unique style of Scottish fiddling has charmed audiences across the globe. Bonnie has been featured on the BBC, CBS, NPR’s Performance Today, Morning Edition and The Thistle and Shamrock.  In addition to authoring seven music books for Mel Bay Publishing Company, Bonnie has recorded over fifteen solo albums. Her Scottish Christmas CD became a New York Times “Top Ten Holiday Best Seller.” Three of Bonnie’s recordings received Grammy nominations. 

About PASSAGES: PASSAGES is the core literary program at KANEKO that seeks to intersect and expand all offerings and forms of creative literacy activities across the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan area. PASSAGES programming includes critical readings, interactive writing workshops and sessions, and events featuring accomplished and diverse authors. 

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