Keynote Speaker: Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie
sml-Opie Earthenware: A History of Table Traditions and Related Recipes

This global history of earthenware is based on the travel accounts of explorers in West and Central Africa, Mesoamerica, and the Iberian Peninsula. The central figures are the artisans who made, merchants who hawked, and the cooks who served meals made in clay pots. Clay pots had been essential items in the kitchen and on the table with cooks using earthen vessels to make one-pot meals such as puddings, stews, and soups. By looking at the recipes made in these clay cooking pots, we can uncover the historical context in which people made both the earthen vessel as well as the food in them.

Frederick Douglass Opie is a thought leader on teaching with technology, coalitions and social movements, and food traditions.  He has been a Fellow at The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard, an author, contributor on radio and television, and the editor of a food and history blog.  He is completing a biography and a movement study through the lens of food for multiple platforms.  Opie’s most recent book is Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black and Latino Coalitions in New York From Protest to Public Office (Columbia University Press, 2014) which looks at the history of black-Latino coalitions in New York City during the years of 1959 to 1989.  This is a story which highlights largely unknown agents of historic change in the city and the noted politicians, political strategist, and union leaders whose careers are built on this history.  It is a story that delves into the role that food plays in social movements with representative recipes from the U. S. south and the Caribbean planted throughout.

This roundtable discussion will expand on themes explored in our 2015 keynote lecture. Namita Gupta Wiggers will moderate this lively discussion with Aruna D’Souza, Julia Galloway,Frederick Opie and Vipoo Srivilasa,

As writers, artists, curators and historians these individuals all deal with the complex ways that we understand place and memory through objects, food and community engagement.

Randall Session: ETHEL
Always striving to demonstrate the unifying power of music, ETHEL has initiated innovative collaborations with an extraordinary community of international artists including David Byrne, Bang on a Can, Todd Rundgren, Carlo Mombelli, Ursula Oppens, Loudon Wainwright III, STEW, Ensemble Modern, Jill Sobule, Dean Osborne, Howard Levy, Simone Sou, Andrew Bird, Iva Bittová, Colin Currie, Thomas Dolby, Jeff Peterson, Oleg Fateev, Stephen Gosling, Jake Shimabukuro, Polygraph Lounge and Vijay Iyer.

For ten consecutive years, ETHEL has served as the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Grand Canyon Music Festival’s Native American Composers Apprenticeship Project. The group’s ongoing dedication to working with indigenous people and music culminated in the 2010 release of Oshtali: Music for String Quartet (Thunderbird Records), the first commercial recording of American Indian student works. ETHEL is also the 2014-2015 Ensemble-in-Residence at Denison University.

ETHEL’s debut eponymous CD was a Billboard Magazine “Best Recording of 2003.” Its second CD, Light, ranked #3 on’s “Best of 2006” and #5 on WYNC’s “Best of 2006 Listener Poll.” The group’s most recent CD, Heavy, was released in 2012 to great critical acclaim. ETHEL has appeared as a guest artist on many albums, including The Paha Sapa Give-Back by Jerome Kitzke, (Innova, 2014), Cold Blue Two (Cold Blue Music, 2012), Glow by Kaki King (Velour Recordings, 2012); Blue Moth by Anna Clyne (Tzadik, 2012); AMap of the Floating City by Thomas Dolby (Redeye Label, 2012); The Duke by Joe Jackson (Razor & Tie, 2012); John the Revelator: A Mass for Six Voices by Phil Kline (Cantaloupe Music, 2008) with vocal group Lionheart; and the Grammy Award-winning Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman (Concord Records, 2009). Over the past five years, ETHEL has premiered 100+ new works by 20th- and 21st-century composers including: Phil Kline’s “SPACE” at the gala reopening of Alice Tully Hall; “RADIO” by Osvaldo Golijov at the debut of WNYC Radio’s Jerome L. Greene Space; ETHEL’s TruckStop®: The Beginning and ETHEL’s Documerica at BAM’s Next Wave Festival; ETHEL Fair: The Songwriters at opening night of Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors; “WAIT FOR GREEN” with choreographer Annie-B Parson commissioned by Arts Brookfield; and “HonBiBaekSan” by Dohee Lee at Meet the Composer’s 3-City Dash Festival. ETHEL’s HomeBaked series has commissioned and premiered works by emerging NYC composers Andy Akiho, Hannis Brown, Anna Clyne, Lainie Fefferman, Dan Friel, Judd Greenstein, Matt Marks, and Ulysses Owens Jr. to date. ETHEL has debuted original scores in combination with new choreography by Aleksandra Vrebalov/Dusan Tynek Dance Company and Son Lux/Gina Gibney Dance; and works by contemporary music luminaries such as Philip Glass, Julia Wolfe, John Zorn, Evan Ziporyn, Steve Reich, John King, Raz Mesinai, John Luther Adams, JacobTV, Hafez Modirzadeh, David Lang, Kenji Bunch, Don Byron and Marcelo Zarvos.

Founded in 1998 and based in New York City, ETHEL is comprised of Ralph Farris (viola), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello) and Tema Watstein (violin).

ETHEL – Documerica, part 2 from Baylin Artists Management on Vimeo.

Closing Lecture: Jack Troy
sml-JackTroy Anecdotal Evidence

Troy graduated as the sub-salutatorian of his high school class, became a physical education major who switched to English, and eventually taught ceramics for 39 years at Juniata College, where his job was to “think stuff up” and encourage students to be on good terms with their original, originating selves.

Jack Troy made his first pot in 1962, when he was a high school English teacher. The following year his teacher, Louis Mendez, asked him the clarifying question of his career: “Jack, do you want to keep making what you’re making, or do you want to make really good pots?”


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