Coming this spring: Campanile turns 100, national parks and privacy in the spotlight

coming Attractions

Photographs of Jim Marshall, Campanile centennial, SPEED: Science in Motion, the Joffrey Ballet

UC Berkeley is ringing in spring 2015 with a celebration of towering importance on campus: the 100th birthday of UC Berkeley’s most visible and beloved landmark, the Campanile. And that’s not all: 2015 is also the 100th anniversary of the Berkeley conference that set the wheels in motion for the formation of the National Park Service.

Prospective students and their families, current students, staff, faculty, parents, alumni and friends will be welcomed to explore life at Berkeley on Cal Day, Saturday, April 18. Cal Day is open to all and offers more than 300 events and demonstrations. (10 a.m.-4 p.m., campuswide).

While the Berkeley Art Museum transitions to a new downtown home over the course of the year, art lovers will still find a wealth of events on campus this spring, including global film festivals, an uncovered trove of botanical drawings, and music photography that shaped a generation. And for sports fans waiting impatiently for winter to end, Cal’s free annual spring football game is just around the corner.

Highlights of the spring calendar at Berkeley include:

The Campanile turns 100

Campanile centennial celebration. Photo courtesy of the Bancroft Library.

Campanile centennial celebration.(Photo courtesy of the Bancroft Library)

We’re celebrating the 100th birthday of the Campanile with events and special performances throughout the year. Spring chimes in first with Natural Frequencies, an installation and performance where a unique composition of bells and lighting are modulated in real time by data from the UC Berkeley seismometer inside the Hayward Fault, which runs below the Campanile and much of campus. (Tuesday, Feb. 3, three 10-minute live performances at 6:30, 7 and 7:30 p.m.)

Bells in the Cultural Soundscape explores one of the most remarkable chapters in the history of bells: the Nazi confiscation of approximately 175,000 bells from Europe’s bell towers during World War II.The lecture starts with a carillon performance by Jeff Davis, followed by a talk by Institute of European Studies senior fellow Carla Shapreau, and a tour of the Campanile’s bells. (Wednesday, Feb. 25, noon, 201 Moses Hall)

National Park Service centennial

U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, Thursday, March 26

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Thursday, March 26

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of a pivotal conference hosted by UC that led to the creation of the National Park Service in 1916. UC Berkeley is hosting a series of events in March to both celebrate the anniversary and look forward on the next 100 years of national parks, including a can’t-miss conversation, America’s Two Best Ideas – Public Education and Public Lands, featuring U.S. Interior Secretaray Sally Jewell, UC President Janet Napolitano and historian and author Douglas Brinkley, and moderated by Michael Krasny, host of KQED’s Forum. (Thursday, March 26, 7 p.m., Wheeler Auditorium)

Science for Parks, Parks for Science: Next Century, a two- and-a half-day summit keynoted by Edward O. Wilson. The legendary biologist and conservationist will speak on “Setting Aside Half the World for the Rest of Life,” anad will be joined by natural scientists, social scientists and land managers from around the country helping to launch a second century of stewardship for the parks. (Wednesday–Friday, March 25–27, various campus locations)

Privacy, data and free speech

The question of privacy and free speech in the era of big data is getting a lot of attention in 2015. Drawing from examples in the popular press and technical literature for her talk I’m in the Database (But Nobody Knows), Cynthia Dwork, a distinguished scientist at Microsoft Research, scrutinizes the idea that privacy is ensured by aggregation and shows that information flows in mysterious ways. (Wednesday, Feb. 4, 4:10 p.m., 210 South Hall)

The Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium continues its program celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement with Art, Activism, and Technology. An array of international activist artists and curators will consider contemporary issues at the intersection of aesthetic expression, emerging technologies and cultural history from a critical perspective. (Mondays, 7:30 p.m., David Brower Center)

How can open data promote trust in government without creating a transparent citizenry?  Open Data: Addressing Privacy, Security, and Civil Rights Challenges attempts to address this question. Six projects that were selected for funding by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology and Microsoft will be presented and discussed by outside experts in the field of open government data. (Friday, April 17, 8:30 a.m., Bancroft Hotel)

Global issues

Edible Education 101, Mondays through April 27.

Edible Education 101, Mondays through April 27.

Edible Education 101: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement, with co-hosts best-selling food author Mark Bittman and US Poet Laureate Robert Hass, is available as a free live-stream for anyone interested to follow along. In this course, experts on organic agriculture, school lunch reform, food safety, hunger and food security, and other food issues will offer perspectives making the food system more sustainable and equitable. (Mondays, Jan. 26–April 27, 6:30 p.m. live online)

The essence of public health is the prevention of preventable suffering and the creation and promotion of a world in which all can truly thrive. In Bending the Arc to Health Equity: Social Justice and the People’s Health, Dr. Nancy Krieger, will draw on the ecosocial theory of disease distribution to articulate why we would do well to conceptualize health inequities as embodied history. (Tuesday, Feb. 3, 4:30 p.m., 101 Morgan Hall)

Over the past two decades neoliberalism and biopolitics have emerged as essential terms for critical theorists attempting to analyze transformations in social and political life. The Neoliberalism + Biopolitics Conference, a free event open to the public, aims to produce a conversation among major thinkers currently working to develop and problematize these two concepts. (Friday–Saturday, Feb. 27–28, Wheeler Hall)

American politics

Ambassador Frank Wisner, Thursday, February 26

Ambassador Frank Wisner, Thursday, Feb. 26

California Votes: A Postmortem of the 2014 Election brings together California’s political community to dissect the broad issues of the election, and the long-term questions facing the California political process. (Friday, Jan. 30, 1 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 31, 9:30 a.m., Hotel Shattuck Plaza)

In Climate Policy and Politics: Changing the Conversation, Tom Steyer, energy advocate, investor and philanthropist, will discuss how to align politics and climate policy to enact change. Moderated byJennifer Granholm, the former Michigan governor and current Berkeley faculty member in the School of Law and the Goldman School of Public Policy . (Wednesday, Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m., International House)

Ambassador Frank Wisner, whose diplomatic career spans four decades and eight American presidents, will discuss U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis, covering current challenges in the Middle East and the obstacles President Obama faces as he seeks to define his foreign-policy legacy. (Thursday, Feb. 26, 4 pm, 223 Moses Hall)

Former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank examines how substantial reductions in the U.S. military budget are necessary to protect our quality of life. The lecture will be followed by a question-and-answer session. (Wednesday, Mar. 11, 5:30 p.m., International House)

Kathleen Sebelius, Saturday, March 31

Kathleen Sebelius, Tuesday, March 31

In Healthcare 2024, Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will offer insights into the healthcare reform debate, implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the future of health care in the United States. (Saturday, Mar. 31, 4:10 PM, International House)

Lord Patten, chancellor of Oxford University, will discuss Old friends, New world — the U.S. and the UK in the 21st Century. Lord Patten was appointed governor of Hong Kong in April 1992, a position he held until 1997, overseeing the return of Hong Kong to China. (Thursday, May 7, 4 p.m., Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall)

Women today

Haas School of Business professor Laura Tyson will share some of her own experiences, observations and analysis as she makes a case for greater gender parity for economic growth, including how economic policy can influence the recruitment and retention of women in workplaces worldwide, in Women’s Work in the World Economy: A Personal and Political Perspective. (Tuesday, Feb. 17, 4:10 p.m., International House)

Laura Tyson, Tuesday, Feb. 17

Laura Tyson, Tuesday, Feb. 17

Pope Francis’ gestures to open dialogue on homosexuality, divorce and other issues are positive signs for the global Catholic community and the family of man. But what about the family of women? Who are the women who could help Pope Francis? This topic will be explored in The Conversion of Pope Francis and the Women He Needs by Berkeley anthropology professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes and UC Riverside associate history professor Jennifer Scheper Hughes. (Thursday, Feb. 19, 4 p.m., 180 Doe Library)

Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO of SpaceX, will discuss The Road to Mars, exploring SpaceX, the engineering technologies used and exciting developments in the company. She will also share her personal story of becoming an engineer and her rise within the aerospace industry to become a leader of one of the country’s most innovative companies. (Monday, Feb. 23, 5:30, p.m. Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center)

Wendy Davis shot to national fame in 2013 when she took to the Texas Senate floor in pink sneakers for an 11-hour filibuster to block restrictive abortion legislation. She then became the state’s first female nominee for governor since Ann Richards in 1994. Wendy Davis: From Filibuster Fame to the Race for Governor is a conversation about Davis’ journey from single mom to Harvard Law School to Democratic icon, and what her story can teach us about women in politics and leadership. (Wednesday, March 4, 4 p.m., Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall)

Readings and artist talks

Michael Ondaatje, Friday, February 13

Michael Ondaatje, Friday, Feb. 13

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks hosts a conversation with acclaimed author Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient, Running in the Family) as part of the Berkeley Talks series in Cal Performances’ new performance venue, the University Club at California Memorial stadium. (Friday, Feb. 13, 8 p.m., University Club)

Berkeley Book Chats continues in spring with lunchtime readings and talks with authors, starting with The Language of Dreams with professor Myra Melford, an interdisciplinary project inspired by Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire trilogy, incorporating music, movement, video and spoken text. (Wednesday, Feb. 18, noon. 220 Stephens Hall)

Author Nhã Ca and translator Professor Olga Dror will discuss the new English translation of Mourning Headband for Hue, an eyewitness chronicle of the suffering of Vietnamese civilians caught in the city of Hue during the 1968 Tet offensive. (Wednesday, Feb. 25, 4 p.m., 180 Doe Library)

South Africa After Mandela, Friday, March 13

South Africa After Mandela, Friday, March 13

South Africa recently marked the 20th anniversary of its first democratic elections and the momentous passage of one of the great leaders who made this political transition possible, Nelson Mandela. South Africa After Mandela is a symposium featuring key voices from the generation of South Africans who have come of age in a post-apartheid world, held in conjunction with a March 11 Cal Performances concert by Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela and a March 12 screening of the film A Letter to Nelson Mandela. (Friday, March 13, 10 a.m., 220 Stephens Hall)

In April, Joyce Carol Oates, who has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde, will discuss her life and work. Most recently, she published Carthage and The Sacrifice, and the story collections High-Crime Area and Lovely, Dark, Deep. (Thursday, April 9, 5 p.m., Morrison Library)


Carl Lumbly, Monday, February 23

Carl Lumbly, Monday, Feb. 23

Montreal-based contemporary circus troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main performs Sequence 8, exploring connection, isolation and alienation through trapeze acts, somersault routines, juggling and clowning. Featuring an eclectic music score from artists ranging from C2C and Ben Harper to the Squirrel Nut Zippers and selections from Puccini’s opera Tosca. (Wednesday–Friday, Feb. 4–6, 8 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 7, 2 p.m., Zellerbach Hall)

Actor Carl Lumbly, best known for his roles in Alias, Cagney and Lacey and Southland, will discuss his successful career on stage, screen and television in an onstage interview with playwright and professor Philip Gotanda. (Monday, Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m., Durham Studio Theater)

Combining animation, live actors, music and puppets, Ubu and the Truth Commission by Handspring Puppet Company (War Horse) examines the apartheid regime in South Africa through the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (Friday–Saturday, May 1–2, 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 3, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Playhouse)

Aulis: An Act of Nihilism in One Long Act will make its world premiere this spring. The play is a humorous, absurdist take on Euripides by award-winning playwright and Berkeley alumnus Christopher Chen. (Friday–Saturday, March 6–7 and 13–14, 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 8 and 15, 2 p.m., Zellerbach Playhouse)


Cine Latino shows Anina, Wednesday, February 25

Cine Latino shows Anina, Wednesday, Feb. 25

The Center for Latin American Studies’ free Wednesday film series Cine Latino continues in spring with Cantinflas, the story of Mexico’s most beloved comedy film star; the Uruguayan animated feature Anina,;Colombia’s entry for the 2015 Academy Awards, Mateo; and Democracy in Black and White, a documentary on Brazil’s 1980s-era re-democratization movement. (Wednesday, Feb. 11 and 25, March 18, and April 1, 7 p.m.)

Film festivals are coming to Berkeley this spring, starting with the African Film Festival, focusing in 2015 on liberation movements, and on women filmmakers, including one of the first women to make films in Africa, Sarah Maldoror. (Jan. 17–Feb. 17, Pacific Film Archive Theater). CAAMfest 2015, the annual presentation of the Center for Asian American Media that brings moviegoers the best in contemporary cinema from Asia and the Asian diaspora, comes to Berkeley. (March 13–18, Pacific Film Archive Theater). BAM/PFA will also be the exclusive East Bay venue for the San Francisco International Film Festival 2015 with screenings and special guests in person. (April 24–May 7, Pacific Film Archive Theater)

Visual arts

This spring, trip out with The Haight: Love, Rock, and Revolution, featuring the work of legendary rock and roll photographer Jim Marshall. The opening reception will include a psychedelic light show by Harold Adler, and a conversation and book signing with music critic Joel Selvin and photographer Amelia Davis. (Friday, Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m., North Gate Hall. Exhibition on display through May 2015 in North Gate Hall.)

Designing People, February 11–May 19

Designing People, Feb. 11–May 19

The Secret Language of Flowers: Botanical Drawings from Israel, 1949–1950 displays the botanical art of Shmuel (Samuel) Lerner, a Ukraine-born amateur artist from California who worked to document the plants of Israel at a pivotal time in history. Lerner painstakingly listed the dates and places where the plants had been found, creating a botanical map of the shifting borders of Palestine, Israel and Jordan around 1949. (Tuesday–Friday through Jun. 26, Magnes Collection)

The figures that inhabit architectural and landscape renderings are the subject of Designing People. From the watercolor Victorian to the scalie hipster, this exhibit features more than a century of designers’ representations of people. (Feb 11–May 19, Environmental Design Library, 210 Wurster Hall)


Joffrey Ballet returns to Cal Performances with the West Coast premiere of Alexander Eckman’s Episode 31 and Stanton Welch’s Son of Chamber Symphony, which is set to renowned Bay Area composer John Adams’ restless score. (Saturday, March 14, 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 15, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall)

Joffrey Ballet, Saturday, March 14

Joffrey Ballet, Saturday, March 14

Pandit Chitresh Das, who passed awayJan, 4, was considered one of the greatest practitioners of the Indian classical dance form kathak. Das’ company performs his recent work Shiva, which examines the balance between destruction and creation.(Saturday, March 28, 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 29, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall)


Leave the band behind this spring, and come hear the finest college a cappella groups throughout the western United States compete as the UC Choral Ensemble hosts the quarterfinals for the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella. (Saturday Feb. 7, 8 p.m., Wheeler Hall)

The Nile Project, Thursday, February 19

The Nile Project, Thursday, Feb. 19

The Nile Project, a collection of more than a dozen instrumentalists and vocalists from Sudan, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Uganda, connects artists, activists and entrepreneurs to inspire citizens to work together to foster the sustainability of their river ecosystem through the cultural exchange of music. The performance features songs in a dozen languages and traditional string instruments (Thursday, Feb. 19, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall)

Cal Performances’ annual orchestra residency continues in 2015 with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, featuring clarinetist Martin Frost and soprano Ying Fang, as well as such works as Son of Chamber Symphony and Shaker Loops by local composer John Adams. (Friday–Saturday, March 20–21, 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 22, 3 p.m., Hertz Hall)

Renowned mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli returns to Cal Performances to perform works from her Grammy Award-winning album Sacrificium, which have never before been performed in the United States. (Tuesday and Thursday, March 31 and April 2, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall)

Cecilia Bartoli, March 31 and April 2

Cecilia Bartoli, March 31 and April 2

The UC Alumni Chorus presents a powerful performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, staged by the world- renowned Smuin Ballet and sung by Tony Award-winning baritone Eugene Brancoveanu, Shawnette Sulker, Brian Staufenbiel, the UC Alumni Chorus, UC Chorales and the Santa Barbara Choral Society. (Saturday, April 11, 7:30 p.m., Berkeley Community Theatre)

Family events

Budding artists should head to Learning to See: Botanical Art for Young Artists at the UC Botanical Garden. All levels are welcome to join artist and educator Sally Petru for an afternoon investigation to learn to draw both botanically accurate and artful representations of plants. (Saturday, Feb. 7, 1 p.m., UC Botanical Garden)

Spring Weeks: wonder every day, March 28–April 12

Spring Weeks: wonder every day, March 28–April 12

It’s fast. It’s fun. It’s SPEED: Science in Motion. Experience the thrill of Formula One racing as you learn about the science, engineering and finesse involved in racing a 1,400-pound car at over 200 miles per hour. (Feb. 7–May 3, Lawrence Hall of Science)

Discover how plants, animals and our environment have mixed with humans’ curiosity about the world around us in Spring Weeks at the Lawrence Hall of Science. From natural wonders like earthquakes and weather to manmade innovative technology and cinema, explore the world as scientists do. (March 28–April 12, Lawrence Hall of Science)


Watch six of the best women’s gymnastics teams in the country compete for coveted spots at the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Regional Championships. Cal, a preseason top-15 team, is coming off its best season in more than a decade and expects to be in the hunt for a place at nationals. (Saturday, April 4, Haas Pavilion)

Cal’s annual Spring Football Game will cap off the Bears’ spring practice sessions. Fans are invited to this free event, which will include an opportunity to meet players and coaches, as well as participate in a number of special activities. (Saturday, April 18, 11 a.m., Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium)

For many more events at Berkeley this semester, visit the Critic’s Choice calendar