STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State's Maroon Edition 2012 kicks off the academic year Thursday [Aug. 23] with a 7 p.m. free public program in the Colvard Student Union.
Michael Kardos, assistant professor of English at the university, will lead a discussion in the third-floor Fowlkes Auditorium about this year's Maroon Edition book selection, "Unbowed" by Kenyan author Wangari Maathai.
As founder of the Green Belt Movement, Maathai is best known as an environmentalist, but "Unbowed" is more than a memoir of her environmentalism. She takes readers through her childhood and education, including growing up in a polygamous home, going to school when most girls stayed at home, and being part of the first group of post-colonial Africans to get an American college education.
Also this semester, Elkanah Odembo, Kenya's ambassador to the United States, will visit campus Nov. 1 to deliver a 7 p.m. address in McCool Hall's Taylor Auditorium. Formerly his country's ambassador to France, he holds a bachelor's degree in biology and sociology from Bowdoin College in Maine and a master's in community health/epidemiology from the University of Texas. (Additional program information to be provided later.)
Also free and open to all, other events include:
Aug. 31-Oct. 6: "Inside-Out, Outside-In: African Inspired Fiber Arts of Mary Hark & Nnenna Okore," Art Department's Visual Arts Center Gallery at 808 University Dr. The opening reception takes place 5:30-7 p.m., Sept. 6.
Sept. 4-Oct. 13: "Betty Press: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb," Colvard Union Art Gallery. The opening reception takes place 5:30-7 p.m., Sept. 27.
Sept. 6: Mary Hark, an artist, papermaker and professor of design studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will lead an 11 a.m. program at Giles Hall's Harrison Auditorium. For more information, contact Lori Neuenfeldt, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 9: "An African Musical Journey," a 3 p.m. concert featuring MSU music professor Robert Damm at the McComas Hall main theater.
Sept. 20: Green Belt Movement leader Vertistine Beaman Mbaya will discuss the organization's mission during a 7 p.m. program in McCool Hall's Taylor Auditorium. Mbaya is the honorary treasurer of the Green Belt Movement and an associate professor of biochemistry at the University of Nairobi.
Sept. 26: Maroon Edition Children's Book Reading Day in local schools, conducted by the College of Education's Future Educators Association. Contact faculty adviser Karen Brown at email@example.com.
November (date to be announced later): Starkville Habitat for Humanity House dedication at 276 Steadman Lane. For details, visit the Maroon Volunteer website, www.mvc.msstate.edu.
During the 2013 spring semester, "Africa Rhythms . . . and the Blues" will feature Habib Koite, one of Africa's most influential contemporary musicians and renowned blues/folk singer Eric Bibb for a 7:30 p.m. March 5 Lyceum Series performance in Lee Hall's Bettersworth Auditorium. For more, visit www.lyceum.msstate.edu.
The complete list of 2012 Maroon Edition events also may be found at www.maroonedition.msstate.edu.