ALTOONA, Pa. — Penn State Altoona will present a series of Common Read events throughout the 2021-22 academic year. Events will highlight and explore themes featured in this year’s Common Read selection, “Ghostographs" by Maria Romasco Moore.
Common Read is sponsored by Penn State Altoona’s Division of Arts and Humanities. More information and a listing of events will be posted on the Common Read website as it becomes available. Read more about Maria Romasco Moore on the author's website.
The following events are free and open to the public:
“Ghostographs and Ecosystem Health: The Past, Present, and Future of Seminar Forest”
Presented by Carolyn Mahan, professor of biology, and Todd Davis, professor of English and environmental studies. Monday, Sept. 13, from 4 to 5 p.m. at Seminar Forest. In the event of inclement weather, the event will take place in the Titelman Study of the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts
Playing off Romasco Moore’s use of photos to examine history and the present, Mahan and Davis will lead attendees in an imaginative exploration of Penn State Altoona’s Seminar Forest when it was clear-cut and then a literal walk through the forest to see what it appears like now. Mahan and Davis will also talk about successional species, the threat of non-native species, what trees and plants are likely to survive in that small patch of forest 50 years from now, and what was there 50 years and 100 years in the past.
“The Phantoms of Time and Light”
Presented by Gary Weisel, professor of physics. Wednesday, Sept. 22, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Edith Davis Eve Chapel.
From Isaac Newton, to Albert Einstein, to recent speculation about parallel universes, physicists and astronomers have developed ever-more-strange ideas about light and time. Such ideas often serve as jumping-off points for writers and filmmakers. But the work of artists like Maria Romasco Moore demonstrates that what goes on inside the human mind and memory is weirder than anything found in scientific research.
“Why Seeing Should Not Always Be Believing…Ways our Eyes Lie To Us”
Presented by John Conner, technical director and assistant teaching professor of theater arts. Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Wolf Kuhn Theatre of the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts.
Describing the event that will highlight the powers of light, Conner says “Vision is like the enjoyment of literature—both are a manner of communication. Whether picture or page, our minds work to turn stimuli into comprehension. At this event, we will talk about some of the ways our minds, our physiology, and trained individuals can and will feed us false information.”
“'Every Story is A Ghost Story’: How I Created ‘Ghostographs’ and other Creative Insights”
A talk and reading presented by Common Read author Maria Romasco Moore. Thursday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Author Maria Romasco Moore will present a multimedia reading from her flash fiction and vintage photograph collection "Ghostographs" and an account of her journey as a writer—from a flea market in Duncansville to a punk house in Pittsburgh to now, with two published books and two more on the way. Registration for the event is available online. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions for the author online.
“Ghosts from Our Pasts: A Creative Excavation”
Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 10:35 to 11:50 a.m. in rooms 101-103 of the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts.
In this creative writing workshop, participants will mimic Romasco Moore's project, writing in response to found objects and photos to make their own "Ghostographs."
“Ghosts from Campuses Past: Sharing your Penn State Altoona Experience with Future Students Through the Library’s Archives”
Presented by Cori Biddle, assistant librarian, and Daniel Thacker, reference and instruction librarian.Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. in room 202 of the Eiche Library.
Cori Biddle and Daniel Thacker will introduce participants to what the Penn State Altoona Library has collected (especially images and stories) from previous generations of students and then discuss what it would mean to share their photographs and accompanying stories with the archives. They will explain how to submit to the archives and give participants time (and help) to work on their submissions.
“Dare I Mingle with Shadows”
Presented by KT Huckabee, teaching professor of integrative arts and dance, and Sam Tanner, associate professor of literacy education. Thursday, Nov. 4, from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in the Wolf Kuhn Theatre of the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts.
This performance will use elements of improv and dance to explore the improvisational dimensions of "Ghostographs." KT Huckabee and Sam Tanner invite you to spend some time mingling with the shadows in this improvisational workshop. Dare you join them in responding to some of the inspiration behind the creation of "Ghostographs?"
“Family Jewels: The Photographs, Dissections, and Recombinations of #365Grams”
An exhibition in the Sheetz Gallery, presented by Rebecca Strzelec, distinguished professor of visual arts. Thursday, Feb. 10, from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. in the Titelman Study of the Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts.
Strzelec will introduce attendees to her #365Grams Exhibition that showcases a large group of works (estimating 75 pieces) that all either include found objects or are directly inspired by them. These are the pieces that resulted from that year she wore a piece of her Gram’s jewelry every day. She will also highlight the exhibition’s photographic component, 40 neckpieces that include selfies of her wearing the jewelry each day.