Feb. 18-24, 2000
Vol. 30, Issue 6
Back Issues
New film features U.Va., local writers
What's the University for? Series of speakers will address the role of higher education in a changing world
Holt book honored
University to begin drug testing for safety-sensitive positions

New book of personal essays reveals what teachers hope will last a lifetime

Q&A: Karen Van Lengen's challenge as dean
Bush stumps for involvement in politics
Notable - awards and achievements of faculty and staff
From the Desk of ... Jill Hartz, Bayly Art Museum director
Hot Links - theangle.com
In Memoriam - Dr. Wayne Stephen Cail
Gates' film gives new view of African history

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New film features U.Va., local writers

Photo credits: Rita Dove (Fred Viebahn); Charles Wright (Photo courtesy of WHTJ-TV); and John Casey (Lynn Brubaker).

By Rebecca Arrington

The premiere of "Writers," one of the two programs filmed thus far in the new, locally produced TV series, "East of the Blue Ridge," will be screened Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. in Newcomb Hall Theater, free of charge.

Sponsored by the Virginia Festival of the Book and Central Virginia's public television station, WHTJ-TV 41, "East of the Blue Ridge: Writers" taps the wealth of local literary talent and Charlottesville's love of reading and books, says the series' executive producer Conni Lombardo. "It's the people of this area who are the stars -- the writers and poets. Everyone who lives here appreciates the beauty of central Virginia. This program looks at what makes it vibrant and interesting -- and that's the people."

Key segments of the film feature U.Va. English professors. Poet Rita Dove talks about life with her writer-husband Fred Viebahn and rebuilding their Charlottesville home after a devastating fire. Novelist John Casey is filmed sculling on the Rivanna River Reservoir and explaining why he prefers Charlottesville to Rome. Poet Charles Wright discusses the inspiration he finds in his Charlottesville backyard and visits a poetry class at U.Va. Other local writers in the series include novelists John Grisham and Rita Mae Brown.

The other program, "East of the Blue Ridge: Horses," follows an entire year of equestrian activities in central Virginia. Full story.

What's the University for?
Series of speakers will address the role of higher education in a changing world

By Robert Brickhouse

Peggy Harrison
Sunlight casting column shadows on the Lawn's brick walkway gives one pause for reflection.

Is the main purpose of a college education to prepare students to achieve economic success? Is "the life of the mind" increasingly irrelevant? Have some professors so refined their scholarly interests that they can't help solve pressing issues facing American society? Do universities have a moral purpose?

Some of the country's foremost thinkers on higher education's role today, not all of them likely to be in agreement with each other, will address such questions at U.Va. this spring in an intensive, three-part public conference titled "What's the University For?" Speakers, from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives, include Mark Edmundson, T.J. Jackson Lears, Gerald Graff, Russell Jacoby, Ross Posnock, George Marsden, Julie A. Reuben and Richard Rorty. Full story.


© Copyright 2000 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

Managing Editor
Anne Bromley

Online Web Editor
Karen Asher

Staff Writers
Rebecca Arrington
Dan Heuchert
Nancy Hurrelbrinck

Robert Brickhouse
Charlotte Crystal
Jane Ford
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