Water Works ACADEMICS FALL 2012

Professor Richard Senghas
Fall 2012

In its examination of culture and linguistics, Anthropology 200 will in part focus on how water and its physical presence figures into linguistic systems.  This introduction to the anthropological study of language surveys core topics in linguistics (e.g., phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) and the relationship of language to social, cultural, and psychological factors. Nonverbal communication, evolution of language abilities, and historical linguistics are included, with linkages to the other subfields of anthropology. Satisfies GE Area D5.

Professor Richard Senghas
Fall 2012

Examination of the anthropological approach to the study of human behavior. Exploration of human dependence on learned, socially transmitted behavior through consideration of ways of life in a broad range of societies. The course will examine ethnographies of peoples ranging from Africa to Alaska that have connections to the Water Works theme.

Professor Laura Watt
Fall 2012

Environmental history offers an earth’s-eye view of the past, by addressing the many ways in which humans have interacted with the natural environment over time. How has the environment shaped the course of human history, and how have human actions and attitudes shaped the environment? And how does studying past environments help us understand our present-day challenges? We will explore the value of integrating these different perspectives, and argue that a historical perspective is absolutely crucial if one hopes to understand contemporary environmental issues. In particular we will be exploring the importance of water for all early transportation and commerce in the US, the changes in types of water pollution as the US urbanized and industrialized, connections of water to energy development and use, and other topics.

Professor Laura Watt
Fall 2012

This course focuses on the relationship between land use planning and environmental and natural resources concerns, using property and landscape as our primary lenses. We will then look at how ideas regarding resource management, open space, biodiversity, “sustainability,” etc., are reflected in land use planning processes and practices. We’ll also discuss a variety of tools and approaches along the way, including the application of the public trust concept to protecting and planning for waterways, and special considerations in planning for aquatic or marine ecosystems.

Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith
Fall 2012

The topic of this course is water regulation and policy. We will explore the following questions: What are key water policy issues? What roles do science, technology, economics, law, and social and political factors play in the policy process? We will examine the basics of water supply and use, the science of water systems and watersheds, key concepts in water regulation and management, and we will cover the basics of water law as a fundamental element of water policy. Lectures will involve presentations, short clips of films and documentaries, several guest lecturers, and student presentations. The course telescopes from the local, examining water supply and regulation in Sonoma County and California, to national water policy (or lack thereof), to international water agreements and the human right to water.

Professor Michelle Goman
Fall 2012

This course explores the different aspects of the natural environment, including the atmosphere and hydrosphere (weather, climate, oceans), lithosphere (landforms, earth processes), and biosphere (plants, animals), and emphasizes the fundamental relationships between these spheres. The primary goal of the course is for the student to gain a deeper understanding of how these systems work and how they are intimately connected in the earth's natural environment as a whole. By the end of the course, you will have a good foundation for understanding important environmental problems facing our planet and society today, including climate change, pollution, natural hazards and loss of biodiversity.  Wherever possible, current events in the world associated with natural phenomena and human interactions with those phenomena will be discussed.

Professor Michelle Goman
Fall 2012

This course provides hands-on experience with laboratory analysis techniques commonly used in physical geography. Course topics include sample collection methods, stratigraphic and laboratory analyses (e.g. grain size, organic composition, macro- and micro- fossil analysis), report writing and data presentation. Data collected from sediment or soil profiles will be used to interpret environmental conditions both past and present. Throughout the course students will be exposed to laboratory methods, protocols and analytical equipment.






Monday, Aug. 20, 3-5pm

Campus Recreation will highlight its opportunities and offerings for the semester ahead through a special two-hour window of games, activities, and demonstrations. They will also provide Hydration Education to help participants understand why drinking water during exercise is so important, how much to drink and when, and how to tell if they are staying hydrated or not. There will also be a How Long Can You Conserve Your Water water balloon toss, with prizes going to the winners. Finally, in addition to all of Campus Rec’s other programs, participants can learn about Campus Rec Swim, which is SSU’s open swim program at the SSU Pool. Come to SonFest dressed to play and to have fun!



Eleanor Nichols, Director
Warren Auditorium (Ives 101)
The Southerner
Friday November 9 at 7:00 and Sunday, November 11 at 4:00

Jean Renoir is best known for his great French films of the '30s, including GRAND ILLUSION and RULES OF THE GAME. But he made five films in six years after emigrating to America to escape the Nazi invasion of France, and remained a Hollywood resident till the end of his life. THE SOUTHERNER, the best of his Hollywood movies, tells the story of one year in the life of a Texas tenant farmhand (Zachary Scott), who is tired of working for others and decides to go it alone with his wife (Betty Field), his mother (Beulah Bondi), and his two small children. "What attracted me to the story was precisely that there was really no story, nothing but a series of strong impressions - the vast landscape, the simple aspiration of the hero, the heart and the hunger," wrote Renoir. The film also returned Renoir to the river motif so potent throughout his career. THE SOUTHERNER was conceived “with the counsel” of novelist William Faulkner; it won the Grand Prize for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, and garnered the director his sole Oscar nomination in 1945. (91 min.)

Last Call at the Oasis
Friday November 16 at 7:00 and Sunday, November 18 at 4:00

“’Water is everything,’ observes Erin Brockovich (the real woman, not the Julia Roberts version), opening the new documentary from Oscar-winning filmmaker Jessica Yu. LAST CALL AT THE OASIS—inspired by Alex Prud’homme’s The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the 21st Century—offers interviews, sleek production values and hard evidence to bolster an urgent message: The fresh, clean water that H2O-hogging Americans take for granted will not last forever. Moreover, the supply is both shrinking and being polluted faster than most of us realize. Experts chiming in alongside Brockovich include droll, deadpan UC Irvine hydrologist Jay Famiglietti and UC Berkeley biologist Tyrone Hayes, a frog expert who discovered pesticides in the water were turning his male study subjects into hermaphrodites. Yu also highlights grassroots water activists, bottled-water opponents and a PR firm trying to market eco-conscious recycled water to skeptical consumers (hint: Get Jack Black to star in your ad campaign). Though most of the film concentrates on the United States—with a focus on thirsty places like Las Vegas—LAST CALL also travels to Australia’s disastrously drought-affected cattle country. By the end of Yu’s informative, surprisingly entertaining film, it’s clear why she titled it LAST CALL, not WAKE-UP CALL. It’s already too late for that. (2011, 105 min.) Trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLE3i92LkQk



Under Water
Nov. 8 - Dec. 9, 2012
Opening Reception on Thursday, Nov. 8, 4-6 pm

The exhibition Under Water presents a selection of regional, national, and internationally recognized artists who portray water both directly and metaphorically, and in one instance literally as a material in her sculpture. Participating artists include Jenny Bloomfield, Pegan Brooke, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Christel Dillbohner, Minkeo Grimmer, Doug Hall, Helen and Newton Harrison, Eirik Johnson, Michael Kenna, Tony King, Danae Mattes, Vik Muniz, Pat Steir, Larry Sultan, and Catherine Wagner.


Water Works PERFORMANCES FALL 2012 / SPRING 2013


BAD PENNY by Mac Wellman
Directed by Judy Navas
October 3-14, site specific performance at The University Lake near the Art Building
Scene from "Bad Penny"


GREAT DIVIDE by Adam Chanzit
Directed by Doyle Ott
November 1-10, Person Theatre

 Scene from "Great Divide"

Students, staff, and faculty from across campus experienced the mythic power of water in Mac Wellman's Bad Penny, a contemporary site-specific play performed on an outdoor lake, and Adam Chanzit's Great Divide, a contemporary drama set in a small town ripped apart by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a controversial method of natural gas mining.


A rural Colorado town revives its economy by inviting a natural gas company to begin a “fracking” operation in its area, injecting chemicals into the ground to mine natural gas.  But when the chemicals get into the water table, the health of the town is at stake.  What’s more important, getting energy to power our lives and putting food on the table, or saving the environment and the water we need to survive?  And how do the residents of the town remain friends, families, and lovers as this conflict threatens to rip them apart?

Great Divide is a deeply compassionate play that is truly ripped from today’s headlines.  Artfully adapted from Henrik Ibsen’s modern classic An Enemy of the People, it will receive its professional premiere at Shotgun Players in Berkeley in Spring 2012.  The SSU production in November 2012 will be the next step in the play’s life, with writer Adam Chanzit in residence. 



Ruth Wilson, director

Friday, November 30 @ 4 pm, Weill Hall, Green Music Center

Splish, splash! Brass Ensemble joins the Water Works movement on this enticing program including Mendelssohn’s Venetian Boat Songs, Gliere’s Russian Sailors Dance, and Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water under the baton of guest conductor Brian Wilson. The water-themed program anticipates the ensemble’s upcoming tour to the Korean island of Jeju. Other works include Wagner’s “Gathering of the Armies” from Lohengrin; Bloch’s “Chanty” from Poems of the Sea; Prokofiev’s “March” from Love of Three Oranges; Sousa’s march, Hands Across the Sea; selections from Handel’s Water Music and the Semper Paratus “Coast Guard song” March. Founded in 2004, the 16-member Brass Ensemble plays a major concert each semester and performs community outreach in local churches. Free.


Two One-Act Operas
RIDERS TO THE SEA by Ralph Vaughan Williams,
adapted from the play by John Millington Synge

Music Director – Lynne Morrow
Stage Director – Danielle Cain
February 7-17, 2013, Person Theatre
A co-production of the Departments of Music and Theatre Arts & Dance

These operas represent a brief Water Works departure from inland water flow, heading out to sea with these two magnificent short operas.

Similar in some respects to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, The Deserted Island is about mistaken identity and about two stranded girls on a strange island.  When a ship lands, they struggle with conflicting desires:  to stay far away from the injurious world of traitorous men, or to embrace the possibility of desire and love. The great composer Haydn’s music is sublime, from the overture which uses a contrast of dark and light themes, to the sumptuous arias for the two female singers, to the impressive tenor and bass arias, and the magnificent concluding ensemble.

Adapted from the classic play by great Irish playwright John Millington Synge, Riders to the Sea goes deep into the world of a traditional Irish fishing village that lives and dies by the sea.  Maurya is mother of a family whose many sons have been claimed by the waves.  Can she save her remaining son from a similar fate?  A stirring tale made beautiful and atmospheric through the evocative melodic gifts of Vaughan Williams, one of the great composers of the twentieth century.