Wynton Marsalis speaking with a student
Open your mind

Arts Unplugged

The College of Arts & Sciences’ Arts Unplugged series brings research and creative works into the public sphere for discussion and inspiration. These outreach events invite a broad audience to explore the work of scholars and faculty from all disciplines, all backgrounds and all time periods and to celebrate the impact that work continues to have on our daily lives.

An Evening with Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis holding a trumpet

An Evening with A.D. White Professor at Large Wynton Marsalis and the Cornell Wind Symphony

Cornell welcomes Pulitzer and Grammy-winning artist Wynton Marsalis as A.D. White Professor-at-Large for a concert with the Cornell Wind Symphony on Nov. 6. This is the sixth event in the College of Arts & Sciences' Arts Unplugged series.

The 7 p.m. concert at Bailey Hall will be conducted by Barbara & Richard T. Silver '50, MD '53 Assistant Professor of Music James Spinazzola, along with Marsalis and his rhythm section. They will perform a wide-ranging program including ragtime, blues, and jazz. The concert is free, but a ticket is required for entry. Bags are discouraged, and subject to inspection. Doors will open at 6:15pm.

Tickets are already available for the Cornell community at cornelltickets.com and will be available at 5 p.m. on Oct. 21 for the general public. The concert will also be livestreamed at this site.

Marsalis will also offer a Nov. 5 talk, open only to members of the Cornell community. That talk, "The University’s Place in Promoting American Democracy in the Disciplines," will take place at 1 p.m. in Goldwin Smith  Room 132. 

News about Arts Unplugged

News about Arts Unplugged

band members on trumpet, bass, drums and piano
Ryan Young/Cornell University A.D. White Professor-in-Large Wynton Marsalis (left) plays with members of his quintet – Philip Norris (bass), Sean Mason (piano) and Domo Branch (drums) – Nov. 6 at Bailey Hall. Not photographed is Abdias Armenteros (tenor sax, soprano sax).
Morrison's son film poster

Morrison’s son visits campus for film screening

Celebrating Toni Morrison
Wynton Marsalis
Joe Martinez Wynton Marsalis

Cornell Celebrates Toni Morrison

Cornell Celebrates Toni Morrison

A yearlong series honoring our beloved alumna and literary icon on the 50th anniversary of her first book, "The Bluest Eye"

Toni Morrison at 90

Feb. 18, 2021

A colloquium featuring a panel of international Morrison scholars will coincide with Toni Morrison's 90th birthday. Participants will discuss Morrison's literary legacy and her scholarly work. This event will also be livestreamed and powered by eCornell. Watch this event now!

Illustration of Toni Morrison

Past event: Encore presentation of “The Bluest Eye” reading

Feb. 19, 11 a.m. to roughly 6 p.m., online powered by eCornell

Click here to view a complete list of readers.

Past event:"The Pieces I Am" Screening and talkback

Feb. 15-20, talkback at 4 p.m. Feb. 20

View the documentary of Morrison's life free on demand, then join us for a talkback. View the talkback on Facebook here.

Past event: "The Bluest Eye" reading

Oct. 8, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hear “The Bluest Eye” read in its entirety by Morrison scholars, authors, poets, celebrities and members of the Cornell and Ithaca communities. Event streams from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., powered by eCornell, and will include memorable photos and archival footage of Morrison. Please note that "The Bluest Eye" will be read in its entirety and does includes racially-charged language and scenes of sexual violence. See this story for a discussion about this issue.

Click here to view a complete list of readers.

Past event: Toni Morrison Teach-in

Oct. 15, 4:30-6 p.m.

Toni Morrison Teach-In. Listen to Cornell faculty talk about Morrison's work and her impact, then participate in a Live Q&A. Recordings of the faculty talks are available at the links below so you can view them on your own time before the live session. Powered by eCornell. 

 Watch this event

See videos below.

Other activities/events include:

Teach-in video resources

Writing is really a way of thinking — not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet.

– Toni Morrison

Reading the Writing: A Conversation with Toni Morrison@Cornell University
'We Do Language': History, Meaning & Language in the Novels of Toni Morrison

Past Events

Past Events

Policy, Politics and Ethics of the Coming AI Revolution

A free virtual event powered by eCornell
Thursday, April 15 at 7 p.m.
Watch the event here.

Join us for an interactive discussion with leading experts on the enormous changes and considerations of how we can enact policy that supports democracy and an ethical society as AI technology continues to expand.

Andrew Ross Sorkin
Andrew Ross Sorkin, financial columnist for the New York Times and co-anchor of CNBC's Squawk Box

Moderated by Andrew Ross Sorkin ’99, of CNBC and The New York Times .

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is characterized by the fusion of the digital, biological and physical worlds. Artificial intelligence (AI) is central to this new era, and its influence on our lives is growing quickly. Given the enormity and the breathtaking pace of technological change, not to mention the tremendous promise and the potential peril, it is critical to examine the roles of policy, politics and ethics in shaping emerging technology – and vice versa.

Researchers in Cornell’s Tech Policy Lab warn of the expanding gap between technology and policy, and draw upon the broadest range of disciplines to learn how AI can empower as well as pose challenges to governments. Cornell’s Moral Psychology research group in our Sage School of Philosophy leads the world in the study of ethical human behavior, and is applying the framework of moral decision-making to the complex issues related to the ethical use of technology in the 4IR.               

Students in the Milstein Program in Technology & Humanity, who are researching the use of artificial intelligence on social media, have created a quiz to test your ability to distinguish AI-generated content from human-generated content. See how you fare by taking the quiz here.

Watch the event here.

AI Revolution

How has politics already been shaped and disrupted by technology and artificial intelligence?

If intelligent machines are going to be a part of our political system, can they make ethical decisions?

How can we develop public policy that harnesses the positive aspects of artificial intelligence? 

How can malicious actors be reined in, and how can we minimize their potential to harm our democracy? 

Image of Sarah Kreps

Sarah Kreps

John L. Wetherill Professor

White Hall, Room 313
Government, Milstein Program in Technology & Humanity
Image of Baobao Zhang

Baobao Zhang

Klarman Postdoctoral Fellow

Image of Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols

Professor, Director of Cognitive Science

Goldwin Smith Hall
Philosophy, Psychology
Poster for 'Odyssey in Ithaca' event

Odyssey in Ithaca

From tales of sinking ships to murderous fights to bedroom shenanigans, a cast of 75 readers told the story of Homer’s “Odyssey” during a daylong event in Klarman Hall, our inaugural Arts Unplugged event. The reading, spearheaded by Athena Kirk, assistant professor of classics, featured speakers from the community and local colleges, state and local representatives, as well as special audio segments from Annie Lewandowski, senior lecturer in music.

Read more about The Odyssey in Ithaca

Students at the 'Odyssey in Ithaca' reading
Students, faculty and staff followed along with the story in books available for borrowing during the event.
Faculty at the Odyssey in IThaca reading
Annie Lewandowski, senior lecturer in music, played a series of whale sounds during Chapter 12, “Difficult Choices,” which includes a run-in with a group of Sirens.
Poster for N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear

Words from a Bear

Cornell’s newest film professor, Jeff Palmer, shared advice for creating a Sundance documentary and screened his latest feature film during our second Arts Unplugged event at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. “Words from a Bear,” Palmer’s first feature film, explores the creative works of N. Scott Momaday. Our event also included a talk by Gus Palmer, professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma, and one of the narrators of the film.

Read more about Words from a Bear

A lecture by filmmaker Jeffrey Palmer at the "Words from a Bear" film screening
Filmmaker Jeff Palmer offered a masterclass on making a Sundance documentary as part of the celebration of his film release on campus.
Fillmmaker Jeffrey Palmer, left, and Austin Bunn, associate professor of performing and media arts, show off Palmer’s early plans for “Words from a Bear.”
Palmer, left, and Austin Bunn, associate professor of performing and media arts, show off Palmer’s early plans for “Words from a Bear.”
Cornell According to Sound event poster

Cornell According to Sound

Our third event in the series featured a sonic look at campus, brought to us by Chris Hoff ’02 and Sam Harnett, creators of The World According to Sound. The duo spent the fall semester finding and recording sounds across the university – from fish and frogs, to Latin speakers and dirt. Along with four performances at the Schwartz Center, listeners were able to visit five pop-up listening stations across campus to help them become more aware about the role and impact of sound in their lives.

Read more about Cornell According to Sound

During his visit to campus, Chris Hoff ’02, standing, of the World According to Sound, worked with students on recording techniques.
During his visit to campus, Chris Hoff ’02, standing, of the World According to Sound, worked with students on recording techniques.
Sam Harnett, left and Hoff, right, install sound equipment in a phone booth on the Arts Quad, one of five “listening stations” installed around campus as part of the event
Sam Harnett, left and Hoff, right, install sound equipment in a phone booth on the Arts Quad, one of five “listening stations” installed around campus as part of the event