Dr. Janneken Smucker
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Lecture and Dinner to support the Mennonite Archives of Ontario and Mennonite Studies at Conrad Grebel
“Abstract Art or Country Craft: The Quilts of the Amish”
In this informal presentation Smucker will explore the diverse output of Amish quilt makers, challenging cultural assumptions while placing this beloved tradition in historical context, demonstrating just how hard it is to answer the question, “What makes an Amish quilt Amish?”
Friday, February 5, 2016 at 7:00 pm
Public Lecture, Great Hall, Conrad Grebel University College
“Unexpected Intersections: Amish, Mennonite, and Hmong Textiles and the Question of Authenticity”
Smucker will discuss how the distinct needlework traditions of Amish/Mennonite and Hmong needleworkers entered the consumer marketplace and how they unexpectedly intersected, resulting in both cultural tensions and expressive adaptations.
Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies
The Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies were established in 2000 through the generosity of Lester Bechtel. As a devoted churchman with an active interest in Mennonite history, Lester’s dream was to make the academic world of research and study accessible to a broader constituency and to build bridges of understanding between the academy and the church. This lecture series provides a forum through which the core meaning and values of the Anabaptist-Mennonite faith and heritage might be communicated to a diverse audience and be kept relevant and connected to the rapidly changing world of our day.
2014-15 Bechtel Lectures
with Jeff Gundy,
Thursday, November 13
Lecture 1: “Poetry, the Sleeping King, and Creative Doubt.”
This lecture will make a case for doubt (of the right sort) as a useful and positive force, with plentiful illustrations, considerable hedging and making of distinctions, and a few claims that may be considered wild and unsettling. In some ways a supplement and continuation of the work on theopoetics I undertook in my recent book of essays Songs from an Empty Cage, this lecture will carry those explorations into new territory, including legends of sleeping kings, canonical poets like T.S Eliot, fabulist fiction, and Mary Szybist.
Lecture/Reading 2: “Circling Defiance.”
I have lived near Defiance for thirty years, though only rarely do I visit that place where two rivers meet. Once the land held a native village, then a white man’s fort, and today a small city remarkable for little other than its name. This presentation will weave poems from my new book Somewhere Near Defiance into a meditation on Defiance, on the strange, awful, lovely world we inhabit and out place in it. Might find our way toward some measure of integrity, wonder, and use to the others who share this place with us? Even from Defiance, I realized not so long ago, nothing is more than half a world away.
Jeff Gundy's Biography
Jeff Gundy, longtime professor of English at Bluffton University, has published six books of poems, including Somewhere Near Defiance (Anhinga, 2014) and Spoken among the Trees (Akron, 2007), winner of the Society of Midland Authors Poetry Award. His four prose books, all on Mennonite themes, include the new Songs from an Empty Cage: Poetry, Mystery, Anabaptism, and Peace (Cascadia, 2013), and Walker in the Fog: On Mennonite Writing, winner of the 2006 Dale E. Brown Award for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. Other new work appears in The Sun, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Christian Century, and Nimrod. He has twice presented C. Henry Smith Peace Lectures, and been awarded multiple grants from the Ohio Arts Council. A 2008 Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Salzburg, he will spend the spring 2015 semester teaching and writing at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania.
Bechtel Lectures 2014
Writing the Amish into North American History, by Dr. Steven Nolt.
Writing Low German Mennonites into a History of Canada, by Dr. Royden Loewen.
Bechtel Lectures 2013
The Four Loves and the Pursuit of Justice, with Chris Marshall
Compassion, Justice and the Work of Restoration, with Chris Marshall
Bechtel Lectures 2012
Dr. John Roth was the 2012 Bechtel Lecturer.
The Challenge of Church Unity in the Anabaptist Tradition
What Hath Zurich to do with Addis Ababa? Ecclesial Identity in the Global Anabaptist Church
2011 Bechtel Lectures
The Settler Problem
Conrad Grebel University College140 Westmount Road North,
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6