Editor's Note

When people ask me to describe Wide Angle, I often say that the defining feature of the lunchtime lectures is that they defy categorization—the series is deliberately eclectic, aiming to explore, as its name suggests, a truly wide range of ideas and fascinations. And yet, for this fall's Series IX, I can't help but see a common thread connecting all six speakers. They are all, in a most fundamental way, story-tellers. Be it through photographs, music, or the written word, each speaker has dedicated his or her life and work to revealing to us all worlds we might not otherwise see, perceive, understand, or learn from. That they will come to us this fall to tell their stories at an institution founded on the premise that such stories, that all stories, matter, has to me the arc of a compelling narrative. I personally can't wait to hear our speaker's stories, and maybe even witness a new one be written: that of Wide Angle Lunches, Series IX.

— Ceara Donnelley

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Thursday 23 October 2014

Vince Musi
The Art of the Ace Basin

For the last 30 years Vincent J. Musi has travelled the world photographing everything from volcanoes to mummies, capturing enduring images of vanishing cultures, history, and archaeology. He currently specializes in animal portraiture for National Geographic Magazine, and his work is an often quirky look at the world of exotic pets, domestication, and cognition. Yet in between assignments, Musi, who lives on Sullivan's Island, has focused on the Lowcountry, producing a portfolio celebrating the ACE Basin for the November 2014 edition of National Geographic.

Musi's photographs of the Ace Basin tell a story, in pictures, of an unprecedented 25 years of public-private partnership that has protected more than 217,000 beautiful and biodiverse acres just 30-some miles from downtown Charleston.

Photographs from this portfolio will be on exhibit at the Charleston Library Society from October 21 through November 30.

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Thursday 30 October 2014

John McMillian
Beatles vs. Stones

Historian John McMillian has built his career studying one of the most culturally rich and politically pivotal decades in American history: the Sixties. Having explored that decade's underground press in his first book, Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America, he has turned his attention to another of the Sixties' defining contributions—its music. In Beatles vs. Stones, McMillian explores the complex relationship between these two iconic bands, equal parts friends and rivals. He reveals how each came to embody a powerful ideology that, five decades later, continues to influence music and culture alike.

McMillian is an assistant professor of American history at Georgia State University. He earned his PhD at Columbia University, and from 2001—2010 he taught in the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature at Harvard University. In addition to his two books, he is also co-editor of The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics and Culture, which is published bi-annually by Routledge. His writing appears in scholarly journals, magazines, and major newspapers.

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Thursday 6 November 2014

Dana Beach
Documenting Deveaux

Well-known throughout the Lowcountry for his tireless and pioneering work at the helm of the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Dana Beach has also been honing a different craft: wildlife photography. While Beach's passion for shooting birds (not that kind of shooting) takes him all over the Lowcountry and beyond, for him no place rivals Deveaux Bank, the seabird rookery and sanctuary at the mouth of the North Edisto River. In Deveaux, Beach has captured in both words and photographs the unparalleled beauty of this slice of South Carolina coast—and the concomitant imperative to protect it and other places of wildness and beauty.

Beach's lifelong devotion to the Lowcountry has earned him the South Carolina Order of the Palmetto, the James L. Dockery Southern Environmental Leadership Award, the EPA and Environmental Law Institute National Wetlands Award, and the S.C. Legislature's Environmental Awareness Award. He graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College and received an MBA in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is married to Virginia Christian Beach from Richmond, Virginia. They have two children, Nellie and Francis.

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Thursday 13 November 2014

Andrea Raynor
Incognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School

In the early 1980s, Andrea Raynor was a bright young girl from Ohio who had landed—in her words, almost by accident—at Harvard Divinity School. Today she is a United Methodist minister whose work brought her to Ground Zero, where she served as a chaplain to the morgue after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In her most recent book, Incognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School (March 2014), Raynor reveals how life's challenges and surprises led her to discover her calling as a hospice chaplain, spiritual counselor and writer. She is currently employed at Greenwich Hospital Home Hospice in Greenwich, CT, and lives with her family in Rye, New York, where she is also chaplain to the Rye Fire Department. She has also written The Voice That Calls You Home: Inspiration for Life's Journeys (November 2009).

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Thursday 20 November 2014

Timothy Birendra Marthand
Excellence and a Calling: Clues

Wide Angle is thrilled to welcome back concert pianist Timothy Marthand, who will build upon his Series V lunch by tackling a new topic: excellence. With the aim of understanding the nature of excellence and why it is more relevant than ever before, Marthand weaves into his exploration of excellence the value in mistakes, of distinguishing one's self from one's identity and the capriciousness of creativity.

Hailing from Hyderabad, India, where he is currently pursuing twin passions for classical music and education through an effort to create the first all-Indian symphony orchestra, Marthand has studied in Singapore, the United States and Europe with legendary musicians such as Leon Fleisher, Fou Ts'Ong, Dimitry Bashkirov and William Grant Naboré. He is the only Indian in residence at the International Piano Foundation headed by Martha Argerich on Lake Como, Italy.

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Thursday 4 December 2014

Deb Ebenstein
Mani Pedi STAT

Diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease at age 16, Deb Ebenstein underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment during the years of prom, pimples and SATs. At 28 she tackled a rare blood condition that led to months of hospitalization, surgery, and more treatment. And then, at 33, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, eight weeks after the birth of her son. In her first book, Mani Pedi STAT, Ebenstein's honest and unfiltered account of her experience with serious illness and recovery reveals her prescription for survival: girlfriends, family, and an unapologetic devotion to the mani-pedi (and other seemingly trivial indulgences).

Ebenstein is a Jersey girl turned wife, mother, therapist, and writer. She is a graduate of Rutgers College and received her Masters in Social Work from Yeshiva University. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children.

Charleston Library Society: The South's oldest cultural institution, founded 1748

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Next session:
Thursday 25 May

Barry Svigals
Re-Membering Community: Inspiring a Process of Creative Participation

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