Faculty lecture at Pellissippi State focuses on communication choices

“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”  ― J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Hobbit” 

We build our internal universe out of language.

Pellissippi State Community College speech communication faculty Anita Maddox and Shaquille Marsh will explore this concept – and provide tools to help you make effective language choices to minimize pain – in their upcoming lecture “O No U Ditin’: Levels of Abstraction and Perception in Communication Choices.”

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Faculty Lecture Series and The Arts at Pellissippi State. It will be held at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“Speech is immediate and actually changes the neurons firing in the listener’s brain,” explained Maddox, an associate professor of speech communication. “What comes out of your mouth changes the people who hear it. You can’t take it back. You can’t undo it.”

What you can do, she said, is become aware of your language and use specific tools to be more effective at coordinating and managing meaning between yourself and others.

Maddox and Marsh are presenting the faculty lecture together to explore the scholarship behind semantics, ladders of abstraction and the process of perception – as well as some practical applications.

“Speech is more than just talking,” stressed Marsh, a speech communication instructor who also coaches Pellissippi State’s debate team. “We need to understand ourselves and coordinate with others to craft realities we can share across a broad spectrum of experience.”

The use of non-gender-specific pronouns is one example.

“It may not matter to you, but it matters to someone else,” added Maddox. “When people say to someone disparagingly, ‘You’re so politically correct,’ I want to point out that, ‘No, not really. This language is more accurate.’”

Maddox’s and Marsh’s presentation will move from the vague to the specific, with real-life examples they feel will resonate with the audience.

“Our goal is to have fun and learn at the same time,” Marsh said of the faculty lecture . “You choose your words whether you are conscious of it or not. Hopefully, a little deeper understanding of how that works and more options for how to choose will help you mitigate painful situations.”

For more information on upcoming visual arts, theatre and music events, as well the Faculty Lecture Series, at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.


Pellissippi State performs world premiere of new play, “Soft Animals”

Pellissippi State students rehearse a scene for the upcoming play "Soft Animals."
Pellissippi State students Abby Reber, Peyton Southworth, Morgan Edwards, Kyle Walton, Katherine Wilcox-Chelimsky and Fredderick Richardson, from left, rehearse a scene in the upcoming play “Soft Animals,” a new play written for Pellissippi State in collaboration with The Farm Theater in New York.

It’s not every day theatre students get to produce an original play in collaboration with the playwright, but Pellissippi State Community College students have that rare opportunity this November.

Pellissippi State will present the world premiere of “Soft Animals,” a new play written by Erin Mallon for Pellissippi State in collaboration with The Farm Theater in New York.

The play, a comedy that explores the perceptions we have about people’s physical appearances and our relationships with our bodies, will be performed Nov. 9-11 and 16-18, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday performances at 2 p.m.

All performances will be held in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the College’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“We are the first production of this play, and we really wanted to be the first,” said director Grechen Lynne Wingerter, associate professor of theatre at Pellissippi State. “This experience allows students to know what it’s like to build a play from the ground up.”

The Farm Theater commissioned Mallon – a writer, actor and voice artist – to write the play, which will be produced at Pellissippi State in November and at Arkansas State University in February. As the name College Collaboration Project indicates, the entire process has been collaborative.

“I had to pitch the idea, as the play had not been written yet,” explained Mallon, the playwright. “We discussed a question that has been swirling in my brain for a long time: Does the mind create the body? I felt like that was a worthy theme to explore in a play because I truly don’t know the answer, but the question fascinates me.”

The collaboration with Pellissippi State began in the spring, Wingerter noted, with a Skype meeting with Mallon.

“She took what the students had to say on the topic of body image and incorporated that into her writing,” Wingerter said. “It’s a funny play, but it also has some depth, in that it deals with the imperfections/quirks we all have and learning what we can and cannot control.”

In August Wingerter traveled to New York to attend a workshop reading of the play by professional actors and to meet the playwright in person. Rehearsals started at Pellissippi State in September. Wingerter “double cast” the play so that more students could participate, she noted, with the two casts alternating performances – and Mallon traveled to Knoxville to work with the students in mid-October.

“This team of actors is brave and game to try anything,” Mallon said of the Pellissippi State students. “The play is an absurd-ish comedy that carries some darker themes, but it is definitely comedy forward. The actors have to be bold and willing to try some weird stuff. This is a very funny and talented group.”

Two Pellissippi State students rehearse a scene for the upcoming play "Soft Animals."
Pellissippi State students Anna Czeh and Jeremy Kington rehearse a scene in the upcoming play “Soft Animals.” The play was “double cast” so that more students would have an opportunity to participate in the world premiere of this new play, with casts alternating performances.

Wingerter stressed how special this opportunity has been for Pellissippi State.

“This is unique for our students, to be the very first to bring a play to life,” she explained. “When you do the classics – say, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or ‘Death of a Salesman’ – there are preconceived notions of how those plays are supposed to be done, and there always will be comparisons. With a new play, our actors are allowed to experiment, to explore character development, and they’re focusing on applying what they’re learning in the classroom to the stage.”

Wingerter is hopeful that the relationship the students are forming with Mallon also may serve them well later on.

“She’ll remember these guys because this is the first time ‘Soft Animals’ has been produced,” Wingerter said. “Maybe she will think of one of them in the future. Theatre is a lot of networking, and I want our students to have meaningful opportunities.”

Audiences at the Nov. 10 performance of “Soft Animals” will have a unique opportunity as well: to participate in a “talk back session” with the playwright after the play.

“I’ve noticed lately that what I seem to be writing over and over again are characters who are learning to love and accept themselves,” Mallon said. “That is incredibly hard for a lot of us to do, but I hope audiences will come away from the play with a little more kindness toward themselves – and enjoy a lot of laughter along the way.”Logo for The Farm Theater in New York

To purchase tickets for “Soft Animals,” visit www.pstcc.edu/tickets. To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.


Arconic provides grant to Pellissippi State to aid manufacturing education

Check presentation from Arconic to Pellissippi State on Oct. 19, 2018
Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr., left, and Pellissippi State Foundation Executive Director Aneisa Rolen, right, accept a $25,000 grant from Jeff Weida, plant manager at Arconic Tennessee Operations, on Friday in Alcoa.

A $25,000 grant from Arconic Foundation will help Pellissippi State Community College teach middle and high school students about the careers available to them in manufacturing.

The grant, which was awarded July 25 and announced Friday, will support Pellissippi State’s efforts to bring the Dream It. Do It. Tennessee initiative to Blount County.

“Pellissippi State has a rich tradition of working closely with the local manufacturing community to prepare our students with the skills they need to succeed in this rapidly evolving workplace,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr., who accepted the grant from the Arconic Foundation on Friday as he toured Arconic’s North Plant with high school students, teachers and counselors from the Alcoa, Maryville and Blount County school systems. “To be able to reach out to middle and high school students, as well as to introduce them to these in-demand careers as they start thinking about what they want to do after graduation, is a next step Pellissippi State is excited to take.”

Dream It. Do It. Tennessee was co-founded by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services to respond to an ongoing need to fill the hundreds of job vacancies each year in advanced manufacturing. Nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs likely will be available over the next decade, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

Dream It. Do It. Tennessee is designed to create awareness among young people and those who influence their career decisions about the training and job opportunities that exist in advanced manufacturing today. Careers highlighted on the Dream It. Do It. Tennessee website – along with their average salary in Tennessee and the level of education needed for an entry-level position – include machinist, electronics engineering technician, industrial designer, electrician, welder, chemical engineer, computer hardware engineer, assembler and mechanical engineer.

“Arconic creates products that shape industries and solve our customers’ toughest challenges – those that require ingenuity and engineering and technical expertise from the brightest minds,” said Jeff Weida, plant manager at Arconic Tennessee Operations. “That’s why Arconic and Arconic Foundation continue to partner with educational institutions like Pellissippi State, to expose students to a wide array of STEM career opportunities.”

Plant manager talking to students
Jeff Weida, plant manager at Arconic Tennessee Operations, talks to Blount County students about advanced manufacturing careers Friday in Alcoa.

Pellissippi State’s Dream It. Do It. Blount County initiative will include outreach activities in middle and high schools as well as a Young Manufacturers Academy designed to engage students in hands-on learning with industry partners and Pellissippi State faculty.

Pellissippi State’s goal is to engage 185 Blount County students in the initiative.

Middle school students chosen for the Young Manufacturers Academy will participate next spring in a four-hour block of activities at Pellissippi State focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and manufacturing career pathways, while their parents will be invited to the Blount County Campus to learn more about career opportunities in advanced manufacturing.

Meanwhile, high school students chosen for the Young Manufacturers Academy will be immersed in manufacturing for one week next summer, with morning tours to industry partners’ facilities and afternoon sessions with Pellissippi State faculty.

“Alcoa City Schools is excited to participate in Pellissippi State’s Dream It. Do It. program sponsored by the Arconic Foundation,” said Director of Schools Brian Bell. “With our recent introduction of an advanced manufacturing pathway for high school students, this initiative will serve to further expand the strong partnership between Alcoa City Schools, Pellissippi State and Arconic. We are dedicated to providing early postsecondary opportunities for students that lead to high-skill, high-wage, high-demand jobs, including those in advanced manufacturing, in our community.”

Pellissippi State will work with the Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley along with faith-based and community-based agencies in Blount County to identify participants for the Young Manufacturers Academy.

For more information on Dream It. Do It. Tennessee, visit www.dreamitdoittn.com. For more information on Pellissippi State, visit the website at www.pstcc.edu or call 865.694.6400.


Pellissippi Preview shows prospective students what Pellissippi State has to offer

Anyone who has considered taking classes at Pellissippi State Community College has an opportunity next week to check out the school: from the academic programs offered to the financial aid available.

Pellissippi State’s fall open house, now called Pellissippi Preview, will be held 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 27, at the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Pellissippi Preview is open to prospective students of all ages.

Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. will kick off the event in the Clayton Performing Arts Center before those who attend are let loose to explore the campus at their leisure for one hour, explained Sarah Davis with Enrollment Services.

Each building on the Hardin Valley Campus will be open for the program showcase, 9:45-10:45 a.m., with maps showing participants where to find out more about the academic programs that interest them and the student services that are available at Pellissippi State.

“We hope they will go to every building and check out as many programs as they want,” Davis said, noting academic programs will be showcased in the buildings where those classes are taught.

Pellissippi Preview will feature two presentations after the program showcase ends: one on transferring from Pellissippi State to four-year colleges and universities and one on financial aid. Each of the presentations will be given twice – once at 10:45 and once at 11:25 – so that prospective students have the opportunity to attend both presentations, if they choose.

“They will get hands-on information about one of the questions we hear the most: ‘Will my Pellissippi State classes transfer?’” Davis said. “They’ll also learn more about scholarship opportunities, including Tennessee Promise for high school seniors and Tennessee Reconnect for adult learners.”

Throughout the day, participants can snag some refreshments in the college’s cafeteria or mug for the camera with fun props in a photo booth. All those who attend Pellissippi Preview will be entered in a drawing for two $250 scholarships from the Pellissippi State Foundation to attend Pellissippi State; winners will be contacted at a later date.

“This is a fun way to get on campus and see everything we have to offer – not just our academic programs, but our services as well, from Advising to Financial Aid to Student Life,” Davis said.

To RSVP for Pellissippi Preview or see the full agenda, visit www.pstcc.edu/prsvp.

To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.


Pellissippi State hosts free workshop for young writers

Young writers who want to hone their craft and learn how to get their works published have the opportunity this November at the fifth annual Young Creative Writer’s Workshop at Pellissippi State Community College.

The day-long event for area high school students and Pellissippi State students is scheduled for 9 a.m.-2:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, on the college’s Strawberry Plains Campus, 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike.

Students may attend all or part of the event. All workshops and lunch are free, but space is limited. Students can register at www.pstcc.edu/events/writersworkshop.

“We feel it is vital to encourage young authors since they are the dreamers, the poets and the true visionaries who will lead us into the future,” said Pellissippi State Assistant Professor Patty Ireland, who organizes the workshop. “There is no power greater than that of words, and we want to provide an opportunity to encourage and inspire young writers in our area so that they may use their words to reach others.”

The Young Creative Writer’s Workshop has grown each year, from fewer than 20 participants its inaugural year to 120 students in 2017.

This year’s Young Creative Writer’s Workshop will feature sessions on fiction, poetry, songwriting, screenplay writing and publishing led by both Pellissippi State instructors who are published writers and by award-winning professional writers.

Students who attend the entire event will have the opportunity to choose three 45-minute workshops over the course of the day in addition to a featured workshop with nationally recognized poet Lisa Coffman, who also will be providing a keynote address during lunch.

The Young Creative Writer’s Workshop will include a “Writer’s Room” session as well, during which professional writers will answer students’ questions one-on-one.

“Students will have the opportunity throughout the day to meet and interact with Pellissippi State professors, professional writers, students and staff,” Ireland said. “At the end of the day, attendees may perform their original works at a ‘showcase’ event, to which family members and high school instructors are invited.”

New to the Young Creative Writer’s Workshop this year is the “Lenox Avenue Jazz Café,” a creative space that will allow attendees to share their original work with one another and with workshop leaders who gather between sessions to chat with them. The café will feature specialty coffees and pastries, along with decor and live music focused on a Harlem Renaissance theme, and those who do not wish to share their work in real time will have the option of uploading their work to a social media site created for the workshop.

“Also new this year are our publication workshops, sessions specially designed to orient young writers to the basics of how to get their works published,” Ireland added.

The Young Creative Writer’s Workshop is sponsored by the Pellissippi State Foundation, Pellissippi State’s Common Academic Experience and In/Out Pizza. For the complete workshop schedule and registration form, visit www.pstcc.edu/events/writersworkshop.

To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.


Pellissippi State alumna celebrates cosplay in photography exhibit

A cosplayer dressed as Sakura Kinomoto from the anime series "Cardcaptor Sakura"
Sakura Kinomoto from the anime series “Cardcaptor Sakura” is among the characters brought to life by cosplayers in the upcoming “Amanda Swanson Photography” exhibit at Pellissippi State Community College.

The colorful world of cosplay is coming to Pellissippi State Community College this fall with a photography exhibit celebrating the custom costumes, props and make-up that bring fictional characters to life.

“Amanda Swanson Photography” will be on display in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery on the Hardin Valley Campus Oct. 29-Nov. 16, with an opening reception with the artist scheduled for 4-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29.

The exhibit, the latest installment in The Arts at Pellissippi State, is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Cosplay — short for costume play — is a social activity in which fans dress up like characters from works of fiction such as comic books, video games or television shows. Cosplaying is the practice of constructing or wearing these types of costumes.

Swanson, a professional photographer who graduated from Pellissippi State in 2015, enjoys cosplaying and has been photographing cosplayers for five years, both at conventions and on location. She sees cosplay as both art form and self-expression.

“What we’re doing is portraying the characters we love,” said Swanson, who started photographing cosplayers to show off their hard work and talent with costumes and makeup. “I love the cosplay community because it’s fun to find others also dressed from the same series you are cosplaying from or even as the same character that you are cosplaying as. You get to have that instant connection with all these people you just met.”

While Swanson describes herself as having “a huge passion” for taking portraits of children, dogs and families, as well as for photographing weddings, she decided it would be fun to focus on cosplay portraiture for her first exhibit at Pellissippi State.

“Cosplay is colorful, vibrant and interesting,” she said. “There wasn’t a cosplay club when I went to college here, but I have a lot of friends who are in it now, and I get to hear about it from them.”

“Amanda’s work embodies the kind of professionalism we like to see from our graduates, while also bringing a level of fun that is rare and sure to be appreciated by the Pellissippi State community,” said Associate Professor Kurt Eslick, who recommended Swanson for The Arts at Pellissippi State series.

Swanson’s favorite cosplay photo shoots include a Batman group at a convention in Atlanta and a recent portrait of a cosplayer dressed as Violet Evergarden, the title character from a Japanese light novel series that was adapted into an anime television series now on Netflix.

“I was able to recreate a scene (in “Violet Evergarden”) I was super excited about, a scene that brought me to tears. So being able to recreate that was very special for me,” said Swanson, who highly recommends watching the heartfelt series.

Swanson’s goal for her exhibit at Pellissippi State is to represent as many different characters as possible through the 17×22-inch prints hanging in the gallery and 4×6-inch prints displayed on a kiosk.

“Some characters will be familiar ones that you know and love from comic books and video games, while others will come from movies with princesses and princes, or lands like Rivendell from ‘Lord of the Rings,’” she said. “I love how no matter what size, race, age or gender you are, you’re able to cosplay whatever character you feel inspires you.”

Regardless of which character she’s shooting, Swanson’s aim is the same: to capture special memories and laughter, as well as to give clients a sense of happiness with themselves.

“My style has been described as bubbly, bright, vibrant and magical, but I personally like to describe my work as happy,” she said.

For more information on upcoming visual arts, theatre and music events, as well the Faculty Lecture Series, at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

Pellissippi State student appointed to Tennessee Board of Regents

Carlos Gonzalez
Carlos Gonzalez, a student at Pellissippi State Community College, has been appointed Student Regent for the Tennessee Board of Regents.

A Pellissippi State Community College student has been appointed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to serve as Student Regent for the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Carlos Gonzalez will represent the students of the 40 community and technical colleges governed by TBR, the largest system of higher education in Tennessee, for a one-year term that ends June 2019.

“I will be talking to student leaders throughout the state, both trying to convey messages from TBR to students and also hearing from students and letting TBR know what they think,” said Gonzalez, who previously served as a New Student Orientation Leader and as a mathematics and Spanish tutor at Pellissippi State.

Gonzalez, 29, was nominated for the position by Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity at Pellissippi State. Gonzalez works for Access and Diversity, where he helps his fellow adult learners transition into college.

Gonzalez started Pellissippi State in fall 2016, almost 10 years after an unforeseen setback thwarted his plans to attend college after his high school graduation.

“I always liked school, but when I was applying for college, I found out I was undocumented, and my dream of being a math teacher went poof,” explained Gonzalez, a native of Guerrero, Mexico, who has lived in Knoxville since he was 4 years old.

Unable to attend college as an undocumented immigrant, Gonzalez joined the family business, handling the accounting and managing the finances. He married in 2012 and applied for his Permanent Resident Card, also known as a Green Card.

The Green Card Gonzalez received in March 2016 opened the door for him to start his college education but, like other adults considering enrolling in college for the first time, he was nervous.

“When I came here to Pellissippi State, I was scared because life had been putting me down,” Gonzalez said. “But being here was a breath of fresh air. It brought life back to me. It revived my dream of being a teacher.”

Wood remembers her first meeting with Gonzalez, who she described as “anxious, fearful, unsure and insecure — characteristics of many adult learners as they begin the process of enrolling in college.” Gonzalez participated in Pellissippi Achieves for Adult Learners, a mentoring program for adult learners who are first-generation college students and first-time freshmen, and has never looked back.

“Carlos’ accomplishments are enormous: he has soared academically; he is a sought-out tutor for math and Spanish; he volunteers at the Admissions office as a translator; he has been guest speaker for a UT instructor’s class; and he introduced the guest speaker at the 2017 Convocation,” Wood said. “Although Carlos is a student, he is also a student advocate. His personality, character, contagious spirit and willingness to help fellow students, faculty and staff make him the ideal TBR Student Regent.”

Gonzalez is double majoring in accounting and mathematics at Pellissippi State. He plans to graduate in spring 2019 and continue his education at the University of Tennessee. Gonzalez’s goal is to return to Pellissippi State as a math professor.

“That’s another reason I applied for this position as Student Regent for TBR,” he noted. “I want to know what goes on behind the scenes, to understand the policy decisions that affect community college students.”

Being Student Regent involves traveling throughout the state, not only to TBR meetings, but also to meet with student leaders from other schools. Still, Gonzalez is taking 12 hours of classes this semester and cannot say enough about his experience at Pellissippi State.

“The professors here are accessible to you and really try to make that connection with students,” Gonzalez said. “That’s why I want to come back and teach here.”


Pellissippi State partners with Jewelry Television to offer gemology certificate

Do you ever wonder why one diamond is priced more than another? And how do you know which one to select?

Pellissippi State Community College is offering a noncredit class this October that will teach you the ins and outs of diamonds, pearls and colored gemstones.

Gemology with Jewelry Television is a 12-hour class – three hours over four days – that Pellissippi State is offering in partnership with Jewelry Television in Knoxville. The noncredit class will teach you how these raw materials are formed, mined, identified, graded and priced.

Hobbyists, artists, jewelry lovers and anyone looking to explore gemology will enjoy this series, scheduled for 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 15-18 at Jewelry Television’s Jewel School Institute, 140 Hayfield Road, Knoxville.

“This class is an opportunity to learn extremely technical gem information in an easy-to-understand and enjoyable environment,” said instructor Hillary Spector. “Participants get to touch and feel product and use high-tech lab equipment to identify gems.”

Spector, a graduate gemologist and former Gemological Institute of America instructor, has more than 25 years of experience in the gemological industry and now serves as the instructional specialist for Jewelry Television.

Cost for the four-day session is $229 and includes all labs. To register, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs, click on “Find a class” and search for Gemology.

For more information about other noncredit courses at Pellissippi State, visit www.pstcc.edu/bcs or call 865-539-7167. To request accommodations for a disability for one of these classes, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State offers lifelong learning classes on Second Saturdays

Excel, YouTube and managing change in the workforce are among the skills you can learn in just one Saturday at Pellissippi State Community College’s Weekend College in downtown Knoxville.

Every second Saturday throughout the fall, Pellissippi State Business and Community Services offers a selection of popular lifelong learning classes at the college’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.

Several of the classes are free, but you must register in advance.

“These noncredit classes provide a mix of small business seminars, hobby classes and professional development courses,” said Teri Brahams, executive director of Business and Community Services. “We’re excited to offer these classes on weekends for those who can’t attend during the week.”

Second Saturday classes scheduled for Oct. 13:

  • Excel Workshop: Build on what you already know about Excel to set up a custom Excel environment. 9 a.m.-noon. $29.
  • Managing Change in the Workforce: Learn ways to deal with change productively, whether you are managing a team or learning personal skills for your own employment. 9 a.m.-noon. Free.
  • YouTube – Your Visual Voice: Marketing is constantly changing, from the shift from print media to web-based solutions, including more video content and less print. Learn to understand video content, creation, production and how to determine your video’s effectiveness. 9 a.m.-noon. Free.

Lifelong learning classes are noncredit continuing education courses. Course registration is required either online at www.pstcc.edu/bcs or by calling 865-539-7167.

To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.

Faculty lecture at Pellissippi State explores 1970s funk as music of revolution

What Beyonce brought to Coachella in April, Claude Hardy is bringing to Pellissippi State Community College next week.

Hardy, an associate professor of theatre, will present “Black Power: Funk and Heavy Music from the 1970s” at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the Goins Building Auditorium on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

The faculty lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State.

“I really like this genre of music, and not a lot of people know about it,” Hardy said Monday, as he played vinyl records in the Goins Building Rotunda to drum up interest in the upcoming lecture. “Selfishly, this is a way to get more people to listen to it because this is music people aren’t necessarily going to seek out on their own.”

Hardy discovered the Afrobeat genre on the now-defunct website voodoofunk.com, which was created by a German deejay who traveled throughout Western Africa collecting Afrobeat records.

Since then there has been a resurgence in the music, helped by artists such as Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, who produced FELA! on Broadway in 2009, and Beyonce, who performed one of Fela’s songs during her Coachella set this year.

“Fela was a big influence in his country, having stood up to the government and been arrested a bunch of times,” Hardy explained of the Nigerian musician. “He released 25 or 30 albums in the ’70s. He’d get worked up and write a politically charged album.”

For example, Fela’s song “Zombie,” which Beyonce covered at Coachella, was about the Nigerian Army coming and taking over his compound, Hardy said.

Hardy’s lecture will include history on the bands and songs that he is sharing – “Black Power” by The Peace and “Acid Rock” by The Funkees are two of the tunes on his list – and then the opportunity for the audience to listen to the songs in their entirety.

“We will be playing actual records,” Hardy noted. “One of the great things is to just listen; don’t worry about the outside world right now.”

Hardy’s hope is that those who attend the lecture will learn something new.

“I hope they keep their ears open and not settle for what they know, not just the Led Zeppelins and the Pink Floyds, which I love,” he said.

For more information on upcoming visual arts, theatre and music events, as well as other upcoming faculty lectures, visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email accommodations@pstcc.edu.