Friday 10/19 - Thursday 10/25
19 FRIDAY When UIC's conference on The Vulnerable Citizen: Surveillance and Privacy in Everyday Life was being planned in January, no one dreamed just how relevant its subject matter would be by October. "We were more focused on surveillance than terrorism," says Institute for the Humanities assistant director Linda Vavra. "Of course now the balance has been changed." Along with such topics as racial profiling, drug testing, and the use of Ritalin to control kids, Vavra says the conference will also explore questions like "How are your civil liberties being taken advantage of in order to protect the nation-state?" The free conference is today from 1 to 8 and tomorrow from 9:45 to 4:15 at UIC's Student Services Building, 1220 W. Harrison. Registration is recommended; call 312-996-6354.
Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame is, of course, about a half-blind hunchback named Quasimodo who lives in that medieval cathedral. So it's fitting that tonight's screening of the first film version of the story--Wallace Worsley's silent 1923 classic, starring Lon Chaney--will take place at Hyde Park's historic Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Jay Warren will accompany the film with his original score on the chapel's E.M. Skinner organ, which was installed five years after the film's release. It's at 8 at 5850 S. Woodlawn. The $10 admission fee--$7 for students and seniors--goes toward the organ's restoration; call 773-702-7059 for more.
20 SATURDAY French communist leader Daniel Bensaid cut his revolutionary teeth during the 1968 student uprising. Now a professor of philosophy at the University of Paris VIII, he's currently on a speaking tour of the U.S.; this afternoon he'll give a lecture on "Terrorism & War: The Marxist Reply" at 3 at DePaul University's Schmitt Academic Center, 2323 N. Kenmore, room 254. Tonight at 8 he'll give a talk called "Nobody Knows the Revolution of the 21st Century" at the New World Resource Center, 2600 W. Fullerton. Both events are free; for more information call 773-227-4011.
The Autonomous Zone is temporarily without digs--the lease on its space at 3204 W. Division wasn't renewed--but its members hope to relocate to a storefront attached to the Congress Theater sometime next month. The "collective space oriented toward social liberation and creative communities" celebrates its eighth anniversary tonight. Entertainment includes the bands Definite Choice, La Mantra de Fhiqria, and Systemic Infection; there'll also be a raffle featuring goods and gift certificates from local businesses. It starts at 7 at 1217 N. Milwaukee. The suggested donation is anywhere from $5 to $15; for more info call 773-220-5043 or go to www.azone.org.
21 SUNDAY "Each of us cares as much as anyone else in this room about the fight against terrorism, but we want to make sure we don't go beyond that goal and intrude on our civil liberties," said Wisconsin senator Russell Feingold last week after the United and Strengthening America Act was approved 96 to 1--Feingold dissenting--by the Senate. The measure allows law enforcement officials access to federal telephone and Internet surveillance without judicial review, grants the FBI access to business records without requiring evidence of a crime, makes it easier to conduct secret searches, and authorizes the use of roving wiretaps. At tonight's free monthly meeting of the Chicago Greens, Emile Schepers of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights will address what's at stake in a lecture called Civil Liberties in Wartime. It's from 4 to 7 upstairs at Ann Sather, 929 W. Belmont (312-939-2539).
22 MONDAY Tonight's mini film fest, Picturing a Metropolis: NYC Unveiled, features shorts made about Gotham between 1902 and 1940; they include Edwin S. Porter's Coney Island at Night (1905), Bonney Powell's Manhattan Medley (1931), and a clip of Wini Shaw singing "Lullaby of Broadway" from Busby Berkeley's Gold Diggers of 1935. The 96-minute program starts at 7 at Doc Films at the Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th. Admission is $4; call 773-702-8575 or visit www.docfilms.uchicago.edu for more.
23 TUESDAY For the past three years, Reader contributor Justin Hayford has been digging up obscure cabaret songs in flea markets, library stacks, and used-book stores and performing them professionally. Now he's released a collection of them called A Rare Find: Forgotten Gems From the American Popular Songbook. He'll perform a short set at a CD-release party tonight at 5 at Davenport's Piano Bar & Cabaret, then return for a full-blown show on November 3. The release party is at 1383 N. Milwaukee, and it's free; call 773-278-1830.
In their new book, In the Language of Kings: An Anthology of Mesoamerican Literature--Pre-Columbian to the Present, editors Miguel Leon-Portilla and Earl Shorris reinterpret Mayan glyphic writings to get the Indian view of the conquest of Mexico and Central America and offer new translations of Aztec poems, accounts of the conquest, and the philosophy of the Popol Vuh. At a lecture tonight called In the Language of Kings: Mesoamerican Literature, Pre-Columbian to Chicago, Leon-Portilla will read several poems in Nahuatl, each of which will be followed by an English translation from Shorris. The pair will also discuss "how the culture of Mesoamerica is alive and flourishing today in Chicago and the rest of the United States." The multimedia lecture starts at 6 at the Terra Museum of American Art, 666 N. Michigan. General admission is $7 (free for students); those who register in advance and pay $40 ($35 for students) will receive a copy of the book and admission to a discussion with the authors following the lecture. Call 312-654-2255.
24 WEDNESDAY During a 1994 retrofitting, one side of the Michigan Avenue bridge mysteriously shot straight up and sent a wrecking ball into the air. It broke through the roof of a car parked on Lower Michigan and landed in the front seat, awakening a bridge worker from a backseat nap. During the same period, a taxi went out of control and knocked a woman off the bridge; she was saved by a man on a boat in the river below. The "haunted" bridge is one of the highlights of the Friends of the Chicago River's Spooky River Walking Tour. It takes place tonight and tomorrow night from 7 to 9 and begins at Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan. Tickets are $10; call 312-939-0490, ext. 10, to reserve a spot.
25 THURSDAY "In the Robert Taylor Homes if you kill someone you tattoo a teardrop under your eye. The guys that hang out in front of Willie's office have chains of them running down their faces onto their necks, noble savages, hungry, feared. Others stand on the street corners, arms folded, tattooed tears streaming down their faces. You make the decision in the Taylors. Once you kill someone you can never go back. I make the decision, I take my beatings. I never kill anyone." So narrates Paul, the protagonist of Stephen Elliott's second novel, A Life Without Consequences. Like his main character, the former Chicagoan (and Stanford University Stegner fellow) spent his teen years on the streets or living in group homes. He'll read from and discuss his story tonight at 7 at Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North (773-342-0910). It's free.