2008 Common Reading Initiative Guide

Fall 2008 Events

Musical Events

The Soul Rebels: August 25, 2008 at 8 p.m. in Dibden

Soul RebelsWith a sound that spans the wide spectrum of African-American musical styles from the brass band tradition to hip hop, the Soul Rebels are among New Orleans' finest and most innovative groups. In addition to their own recordings, the Soul Rebels can be heard on the title track to Galactic's most recent release, From the Corner to the Block. Learn more at: www.soulrebelsbrassband.com

Dumstaphunk: September 19, 2008 at 8 p.m. in Dibden

dumpstaphunkIn a city renowned for its musical families, there's probably no more respected name in New Orleans than Neville.Dumpstaphunk, led by Ivan Neville, expands upon the funk style pioneered by his uncle Art's band, the Meters. Their CD, Listen Hear, was named one of the best records of 2007 by offBeat magazine. Listen for yourself at: www.dumpstaphunk.com

Mango Jam: November 13, 2008 Stearns Stage Space, 8 p.m.

Mango JamMango Jam has been described as one of Vermont's leading bands. They draw their inspiration from the music of South Louisiana and the Caribbean incorporating Zydeco, Cajun, New Orleans R&B and Mardi Gras songs along with Ska and Reggae. Learn more at: http://members.aol.com/dlavi70356/mangojamindex

Film Series

All films will be shown in Bently 207 until the Stearns Theater is completed.

When the Levees Broke

September 15 & 17: New Orleans Music in Exile - 9 p.m.

A film about the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans music community starring Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Cyril Neville, Marcia Ball, Eddie Bo, Theresa Andersson, Kermit Ruffins, The Iguanas, ReBirth Brass Band, Cowboy Mouth, Jon Cleary, Papa Grows Funk, Papa Mali, World Leader Pretend, beatinpath, Stephen Assaf, and many others.

September 23: All on a Mardi Gras Day - 7 p.m.

Royce Osborn is a New Orleans-born writer and producer.  In 2003, he created the popular documentary All on a Mardi Gras Day, which explores New Orleans’ black carnival traditions in an historical context.  The program was broadcast nationally on PBS stations, and was awarded at the New Orleans Film Festival.  It has been called one of the best documentaries ever made on New Orleans history.

Royce will be on campus to both show and talk about his film. He will also be discussing post-Katrina New Orleans, and showing some footage of post-Katrina Mardi Gras and second line parades.

September 29 (Part 1) & October 1 (Part 2): When the Levees Broke - 8 p.m.

When the Levees Broke is part of the Student Activities' “Think Tank” film series. All films in the series are followed by a discussion with a JSC faculty or staff member. Spike Lee’s film will be shown in two parts due to its length. The second part will be followed by a discussion led by JSC professor and former New Orleans resident, Jerry Himelstein.

When the Levees Broke is an intimate, heart-rending portrait of New Orleans in the wake of the destruction tells the heartbreaking personal stories of those who endured this harrowing ordeal and survived to tell the tale of misery, despair and triumph.

The film also looks at a community that has been through hell and back, surviving death, devastation and disease at every turn. Yet, somehow, amidst the ruins, the people of New Orleans are finding new hope and strength as the city rises from the ashes, buoyed by their own resilience and a rich cultural legacy.

October 27 & 29: Interview with the Vampire - 9 p.m.

Two vicious vampires, Lestat and Louis (Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt), have survived for centuries on the blood of others. Powerful and mesmerizing, Louis reveals their captivating story of desire, horror, and immortality to an ambitious reporter (Christian Slater) in 20th century San Francisco in this adaptation of the classic Ann Rice novel Interview with the Vampire.

November 10 & 12: Down by Law - 9 p.m.

Jim Jarmusch’s follow-up to Stranger Than Paradise is described by its director as "a neo-beat-noir comedy, part nightmare and part fairytale." Opening in New Orleans, the story introduces two born-to-lose sad sacks – an incompetent pimp (John Lurie) and an unemployed deejay (Tom Waits) – who wind up in the same jail cell. Their dead-end existences are unexpectedly transformed by the arrival of a hilariously guileless Italian tourist (Roberto Benigni) who enthusiastically recites cliches from a dog-eared English phrase book and leads his cellmates in an unlikely breakout inspired by the American prison movies he has seen.

December 8 & 10: King Creole - 9 p.m.

Elvis Presley plays Danny Fisher, a young delinquent who flunks out of high school and takes a job as a dishwasher at a nightclub. One night when he gets the chance to perform, he is such a huge success that he catches the attention of local crime boss Maxie Fields who wants to hire him to perform at his night club King Creole. Danny refuses, but when Fields won't take no for an answer, Danny finds himself fighting the hoodlums of New Orleans’ Bourbon Street.

Lecture Series

The devastating Vermont Flood of 1927, the science of hurricanes, the Vermont chapter of the Red Cross' involvement in disaster relief, and JSC Break Away, will be the topics of just a few of the lectures on campus this fall.

September 25

Break Away: JSC Students Help Rebuild New Orleans

Library & Learning Center Ellsworth Rooms, 6 p.m.

The Break Away alternative spring break program gives students the chance to engage in local, national and international community service projects. Come listen to JSC students talk about their experiences helping to rebuild New Orleans.

October 1

Vermont’s Greatest Natural Disaster, the Flood of ’27

Bentley Hall Room 207, 9 a.m.

Join Nicholas Clifford, co-author of the book, In the Troubled Roar of the Waters, for a morning talk about the flood of 1927, and how Vermonters recovered from the storm.

October 16

Chris Rose Lecture

Dibden, 7 p.m.

1 dead in attic is a collection of stories by Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose, recounting the harrowing months of life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. One reviewer wrote, "Celebrated as a local treasure and heaped with national praise, Rose provides a rollercoaster ride of observation, commentary, emotion, tragedy and even humor — in a way that only he could find in a devastated wasteland." The author will sign books after the lecture.


October 29

Mindfulness Meditation Workshop with Susan Woods

Dance Studio, McClelland Hall , 5:30 p.m.

Mindfulness meditation, also known as insight meditation, is a practice that can be used to better come to terms with our understanding of tragedy, including the kind caused by Hurricane Katrina. Through focus on the breath and the sensations associated with breathing, mindfulness mediation encourages us to face and accept our thoughts and emotions regardless of whether we like them or not.

Susan Woods is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice.  She teaches the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy programs in hospital and out-patient settings and she trains health-care professionals in mindfulness-based approaches both nationally and internationally. 

October 30

The Science of Hurricanes

Library & Learning Center Ellsworth Rooms, 6 p.m.

Join Lyndon State College meteorology professor Dr. Jason Shafer for a lecture on the science of tropical storms. Come and learn about what makes hurricanes like Katrina so powerful and dangerous and what we can do to try and prepare for them.


Art Exhibition

Dan Burkholder's The Color of Loss

The Color of Loss: An Intimate Portrait of New Orleans After Katrina — Photographs by Dan Burkholder

Exhibit on display from August 22 - December 19, 2008. Exhibit walkthrough with the artist on October 23 at 12:30 p.m.


The devastation of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina has been imprinted in our collective visual memory by thousands of images in the media. Far more intense and poetic than purely documentary photographs, Burkholder's images lure viewers to linger over the artifacts of people's lives — a child's red wagon abandoned in a mud-caked room, a molding picture of Jesus — to fully understand the havoc thrust upon the people of New Orleans. View images from the exhibit here