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Upcoming Spring 2016 Lectures

There are no more programs for Spring 2016. Please check back later for Fall 2016 programs.

Past Spring 2016 Lectures

sun k kwak lecture

Artist Talk by Sun K. Kwak
Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 5 PM
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre

New York-based Korean American artist Sun K. Kwak created a site-specific installation at the Charles B. Wang Center’s Theatre Gallery using black masking tape. As part of the artist’s opening reception, Sun K. Kwak will talk about her choice of mediums and architectural spaces.



Space Drawing
Long Term Installation
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre Gallery


long island lecture

Unpacking our Past for the Future: Asian Americans on Long Island
by Prof. Peg Christoff, Department of Asian and Asian American Studies
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 11:30 AM
Charles B. Wang Center Lecture Hall I

Prof. Peg Christoff and her students researched Asian and Asian American groups on Long Island in order to raise awareness about stereotyping, challenges of immigration, rituals and values embedded in pop culture and film, multiculturalism, and Asian and Asian American identities. Prof. Christoff, will discuss how these projects reveal the "presence of the past."

About the Speaker

Dr. Peg Christoff is a lecturer in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies. She teaches courses on contemporary Asian studies, including studies of women in US-Asian relations and America's Wars in Asia.


webtoon lecture

Korea’s Digital Comics: The Evolution of Webtoon in a Global Context
by Ernest Woo
Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 1 PM
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre

From TV dramas to K-pop, recent years have seen Korea’s cultural industry has gain a global audience. Much of the fodder for that content has come from Korean webtoons: digitally based comics.

With an impressive range of stories (from the fantastical to the literary) in a variety of artistic styles, Korean webtoon creators and artists are the new tastemakers and pop culture heroes, and their fan base now spanning readers and consumers of all ages from around the world.

How did this come to be? The lecture will introduce webtoons, their growth and how they formed over the last decade from the interaction of Korea’s comic book market, the global publishing industry and neighboring Asian influences. The lecture will also consider network effects in what is considered by many measures the most wired country in the world—as well as the challenges webtoons face in reaching across borders, to a potential audience of billions.

About the Speaker

Ernest Woo is Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at TappyToon, overseeing the expansion of Korean comics and webtoons to a global audience. As an expert in Korean media and entertainment marketing, he has previously worked with leading organizations and companies including the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York Asian Film Festival, The Korea Society, Gamevil USA, and Manga Entertainment. A fan of all things geeky, Ernest holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus in New Media and Film.



Webtoons: South Korean Digital Comics
On View March 10 to May 31, 2016
Charles B. Wang Center Jasmine, Video, Zodiac Galleries


buddhist realism lecture

It's Funny Because It's True: Buddhist Realism and the Dark Comedy of Louis C.K.
by Dr. Christopher Kelley
Friday, April 15, 2016 at 1 PM
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre

Gautama Buddha is believed to have promulgated four basic truths about the nature of the human condition. In the first of these (the noble truth of “suffering”) he claims that stress, anxiety and dissatisfaction are endemic to life. This supposition is not exclusive to Buddhism. Any good stand-up comedian knows this already because making jokes about it usually gets big laughs. Like the Buddha, the comic can be a powerful medium for communicating life’s more difficult, discomforting truths.

In this lecture Christopher Kelly explores comedy as a vehicle for truth, and in particular, the essential meaning of the Buddha’s teaching on the four noble truths about suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path that leads to the end of suffering. Kelly combines traditional Buddhist scholarship with a novel analysis of comedy sets from the likes of Louis C.K.

About the Speaker

Christopher Kelley holds a doctorate in Buddhist Studies from Columbia University, where he studied under the guidance of Professor Robert A. F. Thurman. Kelley has taught a variety of innovative courses and workshops that examine Buddhist ideas and practices in the context of contemplative studies, palliative care and dying, science and technology, ethics and human rights, psychedelics and mystical experience, dark comedy, art, literature, and comparative philosophy. In his meditation workshops Kelley combines western mind science with traditional mind-training skills drawn from the Indo-Tibetan tradition of Buddhism. These practices are designed to mitigate stress, nurture happiness, and cultivate sustainable well-being, compassion, and altruism.

He currently teaches at Brooklyn College, New York University and The New School University as well as conducts public lectures and workshops at the Rubin Museum of Art and The Asia Society in Houston. He is a co-organizer of Consciousness Hacking NYC, the founder of the Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy, and served as the director of two international conferences on Buddhist philosophy: Mind and Reality (Columbia University, 2006) and Contemporary Perspectives on Buddhist Ethics (Columbia University, 2011).


laughing to death lecture

Laughing to Death: Overcoming Existential Anxiety with Buddhism and Comedy
by Dr. Christopher Kelley
Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 1 PM
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre

Existential anxiety is often precipitated by a direct encounter with the ephemeral nature of life. In The Life of the Buddha (Buddhacarita), Prince Siddhārtha Gautama (also known as the Buddha) resolves himself to attain Enlightenment upon discovering that the human condition is pervaded by old age, sickness and death. Any good comedian knows that making jokes about old age, sickness, and death usually gets big laughs. Like the Buddha, the comic can be a powerful medium for communicating life’s more difficult, discomforting truths.

In this lecture Christopher Kelly explores both Buddhism and comedy as a palliative for existential anxiety. Kelly argues that certain forms of "dark" comedy actually function in much the same way Buddhist discourse is intended to provide the individual with a more realistic view of life and death.


Art Crawl: A Guided Tour of Campus Galleries
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 and Thursday, April 21, 2016

Click the images below for a close-up/larger picture.

art crawlart crawl

The Art Crawl is a free event with guided tours of all the Stony Brook University campus galleries. There is a variety of artwork that will be exhibited including work from international artists, Stony Brook students and digital artists who work in the math and sciences.

This is a two day event.

The first day is Tuesday, March 22, 2016 beginning at 3:00pm at the Alloway Gallery in Melville Library, ending at 5:00pm.

The second day is Thursday, April 21, 2016 beginning at 3:00pm at the Skylight Gallery at the Charles B. Wang Center and will also last until 5:00pm. Both days of the Art Crawl will end with a public reception.

confucius lecture

Confucius: His Thoughts about Food
by Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 1 PM
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre

Though he taught over 2,000 years ago, Confucius (551 – 479 BCE) remains a major force in Chinese thinking: And his thoughts on cuisine just as potent. China’s most famous teacher, philosopher, and educator liked his rice polished and his meat cut properly and fine. He spoke about diet, food presentation, hygiene, integrity, heaven’s will, and the way things ought to be. Born in China’s State of Lu, we know about his culinary opinions thanks to Han Dynasty historian Sima Qian; The Analects compiled by his disciples centuries after his death; narrative of Zuozhuan from the 4th century CE; and the Mengzi compiled by Mencius. Nowadays, at Qufu in the Kong Mansion, they serve dinners in his memory. What are those dinners and would he indulge in them?

This lecture discusses his life, his thoughts about food, and the memorable meals served at the Kong Mansion. After the lecture related dishes will be tasted. Co-sponsored by Special Collections of the University Libraries, The Confucius institute and the Charles B. Wang Center.

confucius inst. logo

About the Speaker

Dr. Jacqueline M. Newman is a professor emeritus, Queens College and the founder and editor of the award-winning magazine Flavor and Fortune which is the first and only American, English-language quarterly about Chinese food and dietary culture. In 2002 Dr. Newman made a significant gift of 4,000 Chinese cookbooks, culinary magazines and related audio-visual materials to Stony Brook University Libraries Special Collections. It is the largest collection of its type in the world. 

Past Programs

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