KMAC Presents Naamani Lecture Event, Katchor Lecture & Exhibit

Each year, the University of Louisville honors the memory of Professor Israel T. Naamani with a lecture bearing his name. This year, however, the lecture is an arts event that is designed to attract a wide audience.

The 2014 Naamani Memorial Lecture Event; Kentoki: Kentucky through Jewish Eyes, 1925; is a theatrical reading with commentary and music. It will be presented Sunday, April 6, from 2-4 p.m. at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC), 715 W. Main St.

In addition, on April 27, at 1 p.m., KMAC will present the Ben Katchor Lecture, “Halftone Printing in the Yiddish Press and Other Objects of Idol Worship,” and from 3-5 p.m., Katchor will present a Graphic Narrative Workshop.

Naamani Lecture Event

In 1925, Jewish immigrant I.J. Schwartz published a remarkable poem. Penned in Yiddish – and with nods to the freewheeling lyric style of Walt Whitman – Kentoki tells the moving story of Jewish family pioneers in Kentucky: a fresh new land of promise.

The Naamani Memorial Lecture Event, Kentoki, will feature commentary by renowned scholar Dov-Ber Kerler and others, and music by Louisville’s own bluegrass-flavored klezmer band, Lost Tribe.

Dr. Kerler holds the Dr. Alice Field Cohn Chair in Yiddish Studies and is a professor of Jewish studies and Germanic studies in the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University Bloomington.

This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended. Go to

Kentoki is organized and sponsored by the Naamani Memorial Lecture Fund at the University of Louisville.

The Naamani Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1979 to honor the memory of Professor Israel T. Naamani, lifelong key educational figure, Political Science scholar and teacher at the University of Louisville, and beloved member of the Louisville Jewish community. The series is supported by donations to the Naamani Memorial Lecture Fund.

Ben Katchor Lecture & Exhibit

“Halftone Printing in the Yiddish Press and Other Objects of Idol Worship” is a dreamlike presentation of words, images, facts and fictions by MacArthur “Genius” Award-winning cartoonist, graphic novelist and multimedia theater artist Ben Katchor.

Katchor will speak on memories of his father, art history, technology, a haunting and strangely beautiful South American artifact and the Biblical declaration: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Katchor will read from his own comics while projecting his drawn narratives.

Katchor’s picture-stories include Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, Hotel & Farm, The Jew of New York, The Cardboard Valise and Shoehorn Technique. He produces a monthly strip for Metropolis magazine. His latest book, Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories (Pantheon) was published in 2013. He’s collaborated with composer Mark Mulcahy on six music-theater shows, most recently Up From the Stacks (2011) set in the New York Public Library and 42nd Street, circa 1970.

Ben Katchor was a 2009 TED Talk speaker and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin. Currently, he is an associate professor at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City and resides in Brooklyn.

The Ben Katchor lecture is sponsored by The University of Louisville Humanities Ph.D. Program and Art Department, The Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society, and Jewish Studies Committee.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Registration is recommended at Eventbrite,

Katchor’s Graphic Narrative Workshop will provide a series of introductory exercises in storytelling through text and image. No drawing or fiction-writing experience is required.

The workshop is sponsored by the University of Louisville Humanities Ph.D. Program and Art Department. It is free and open to adults ages 18 and older. Space is limited. Registration is required at

An exhibit of Katchor’s uncollected and new artwork will also be on display at the Cressman Center for Visual Arts, 100 E. Main, from April 26-May 10. There will be a public reception and book signing on Saturday, April 26, from 3-4 p.m.

The exhibit is sponsored by The University of Louisville Humanities Ph.D. Program, Art Department and Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society.


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