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THE MYSTERY OF HISTORY

Thursday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m.
Arizona Historical Society Museum
949 E. Second St.
626-3846

A common misconception is that the terms "medieval" and "intellectual" are mutually exclusive. Contrary to popular belief, the medieval era was not composed merely of a bunch of knights wandering around jousting for no good reason and hollering "Huzzah!" (Aren't you glad your dear City Week editor was a history major in college?)

Indeed, there was such a thing as intellect in medieval times, and guess where a lot of it was? Yep, the Middle East. In fact, a substantial amount of Greek scientific and philosophical works were translated into Arabic, creating an intellectual link between the two cultures and a distinct category of Arabic classicism. It is this aspect of Islamic history that intrigues Yale Professor Dmitri Gutas.

On Thursday, Gutas will visit the Arizona Historical Society to give a lecture on "The Social Contexts of Medieval Arabic Science." A specialist in classics, the history of religions and Arabic and Islamic studies, Gutas and his colleagues have worked for years to compile "A Greek and Arabic Lexicon," providing materials for a dictionary of medieval translations from Greek into Arabic.

The lecture series is sponsored by UA's Anthropology Department and Tucsonans Entisar and Adib Sabbagh. The goal of the series is to promote public understanding and appreciation for the complexity and diversity of Arab cultures by enriching the UA Anthropology Department and the community via education. Admission to the lecture and the reception afterward are free to the public.


BORDERLAND THEOLOGY

Friday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m.
Antigone Books
411 N. Fourth Ave.
792-3715; antigonebooks.com

What constitutes a border, and do borders represent different things to different people? Take the U.S.-Mexico border, for instance. To some people, it is an indicator of opportunity. To others, it represents a societal issue to be controlled. Yet others see it as a fascinating blend of culture and society.

All borders contain elements of the tangible as well as the intangible. Borders can be controversial, to say the least: Emotional, symbolic, spiritual, social, physical and political borders affect nearly every human being at one time or another, and they are oft-cited sources of conflict.

Local philosopher Jerry Gill understands the implications of these divisions. His new book, Borderland Theology, explores the plethora of borders in today's global society. Gill's proximity to the national border--an extraordinarily physical example of a boundary--has led him to delve into the ramifications of less tangible borders. In his discussion, he expands the category of borders to include social boundaries such as racism, sexism and classism.

Spiritual boundaries are also important to Gill, who has more than 40 years of religious studies and philosophy instruction under his belt. He sees the border as, among other things, a unique and privileged place for encountering God. Whether or not readers agree with his particular ideology, Gill's ideas are sure to spark a fascinating discussion at Friday's reading.


LEAP INTO CRAFTS

Sunday, Feb. 29
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Radisson Suites
6553 E. Speedway Blvd.
747-3578 or 955-0867

It's late February, and the annual citywide Gem and Mineral Show is over. The masses of jewelry-flashing visitors have departed, and traffic has eased, but you still find yourself driving wistfully past local hotels, hankering for artsy-craftsy stuff. Fair enough; the Tucson Arts & Crafts Association wants to help those who just couldn't get their fill of the hotel-event concept. Get a fix at TACA's "Leap Into Crafts" show, at the Radisson Suites.

The event lasts well into the afternoon, with a variety of artisans selling exclusively handcrafted items. TACA is a nonprofit organization of artists and craftspeople, so you can be sure that your purchases go towards a good cause (namely, helping keep the local crafts scene alive and healthy). Admission is free, so you can load up even more on handmade items for gifts and for yourself.


LOVE YOUR OTHER MOTHER

Sunday, Feb. 29
2 to 4 p.m.
Green Fire Book Shop
925 E. Fort Lowell Road
628-4895

Feb. 29 is an interesting day. That is, when it comes around; the relative scarcity of leap years makes many easily-amused people (like myself) want to do something out of the ordinary. How about a Leap Day Wilderness Fest? That's how the folks at Green Fire Bookshop plan to celebrate the day.

A plethora of local artists will gather for an afternoon of poetry, performance art, live music, ritual, dance and more, all in honor of the Earth we live on. Featured will be Dennis Pepe, Austin Publicover, The Merrie Wolf, Quynn Elizabeth, Scott Stanley, Jim Marshall and Bryan Pearce. But wait, there's more! Linn Lane, Kaitlin Meadows, Dlyn Fairfax Parra, Doctress Nutopia, Nick van Kleek and The Birdheaded Activist are just a sample of the event's performers.

In the book shop's words, "Ten short separate performances ranging from snaky slide blues to indigijazz performance poetry to shamanic dance will liven up Leap Day with wild celebrations and love songs to yo mama ... nature." Can you really resist finding out what exactly "indigijazz performance poetry" is?

Enjoy the fabulous midday weather in the open air behind Green Fire Book Shop. Take advantage of an unusual Sunday to meet some unique local performers and artists. Tickets are $5.

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