Acclaimed author Elizabeth Spencer held a reading at Meredith on October 15, 2014, sponsored by the Department of English.
Spencer has been an important force in Southern literature since her first novel, Fire in the Morning, was published in 1948. Since that time, she has published eight other novels, including the well-known Light in the Piazza (1960), which was adapted for film in 1962 and won six Tony Awards as a Broadway play in 2005.
Alongside her prolific writing career, Spencer spent many years teaching English and writing, finishing her teaching career as a visiting professor of creative writing at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.
Fashion Forecaster Philip Fimmano
Students in Meredith’s fashion program had the opportunity to learn from world-renowned fashion forecaster Philip Fimmano on November 13. The Paris-based Fimmano is an analyst of trends for fashion, design, and lifestyle clients.
Fimmano conducted an Innovative Fashion Forecasting workshop attended by all of Meredith’s fashion students. As a contemporary design specialist, Fimmano provides concept, color, and strategy consulting services to companies in industries as varied as fashion, textiles, interiors, architecture, food, beauty, finance, and retail.
Interfaith Leader Eboo Patel
During his fall 2014 convocation at Meredith, Eboo Patel, the founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), pulled stories from current headlines and religious history to demonstrate why knowledge of religious diversity is vital.
“If you are going to be a leader and an educated person in the 21st century, you need to have knowledge about religious diversity,” said Patel, who noted that the United States is the most religiously diverse nation in history.
Patel recommended that people develop an appreciative knowledge of other faiths. He asked the audience to identify admirable qualities of their faith traditions that they would want others to know. He also suggested considering how they had been inspired by people of other faiths.
“What is the relationship between what [you] believe, and the people around you who believe different things?,” Patel asked. “Asking this is part of owning your own faith tradition.”
IFYC is an organization that works primarily with college campuses to build a movement of interfaith cooperation. Patel made an impact at Meredith College in advance of his September 30 visit. Students in Associate Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies Shannon Grimes’ class were inspired to form an Interfaith Council after reading one of Patel’s books. The Interfaith Council led an effort to create an on-campus Interfaith Meditation and Prayer Room, which Patel helped to dedicate while on campus.
Chefs Discuss the Changing Culture of Southern Food
Chefs from around the Triangle joined John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and a columnist for Garden & Gun, Oxford American, and Southern Living, at Meredith on November 3, for a film premiere and a panel discussion about the evolution of southern cuisine as a result of the region’s changing demographics. The event was sponsored by the Meredith Master of Science in Nutrition program.
Edge introduced Un Buen Carnicero, a short documentary that explores the ways Mexican and southern culture complement each other at Cliff’s Meat Market, a butcher shop located in Carrboro, N.C.
After the screening, Edge moderated a conversation between Chef Ricky Moore of Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham; Chef Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar, and Joule Coffee, all located in downtown Raleigh; Chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern Restaurant in Chapel Hill; Chef Scott Crawford of Standard Foods and Nash Tavern; and local farmers and entrepreneurs Jamie DeMent and Richard Holcomb of Coon Rock Farm and Bella Bean Organics, Heirloom Provisions, and Piedmont Restaurant.