Relativity Talk Back
Friday, April 28, after the performance
The title of Mark St. Germain’s new play, Relativity, is, we discover, a wonderful pun, since the play focuses on Albert Einstein. But St. Germain is more interested in the personal than the scientific, and writes his play about Einstein as a father, specifically a father whose baby daughter, Lieserl, seemed to disappear from Einstein’s history. In Relativity, St. Germain speculates about what might have happened, and what might happen if the daughter suddenly reappeared to confront her father. Join Miriam Gilbert, Professor Emerita of English, and her colleagues, Diane Jeske, Professor of Philosophy, and Connie Mutel, Senior Science Writer at the UI's IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering and co-author of Hans Albert Einstein: His Life as a Pioneering Engineer, a book dealing with Einstein’s oldest son, as we respond to the ethical and biographical questions raised by this play.
Miriam Gilbert is Professor of English (Emerita) at the University of Iowa, where she taught Shakespeare for 44 years. Her primary interest, both as a teacher and a scholar, concerns Shakespeare in performance, and she indulges that interest with a second home in Stratford-upon-Avon. She has co-edited literature anthologies for both secondary and college students. Her work with performance has been the focus of many workshops and seminars, including eight seminars sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Diane Jeske is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Iowa. Her research has focussed on the ethics of intimate relationships, examining questions about the nature of love and friendship and what we owe to our near and dear. She has stressed, in her work, the importance of understanding and weighing not only our moral obligations to those we care about but also our obligations to persons and animals more generally. Diane is currently working on a project in which she uses case studies of evil people to show why the study of moral philosophy is a critical component of moral education and of the moral life more generally.
Connie Mutel has co-authored (with Robert Ettema) the definitive scientific biography of Albert Einstein's elder son. This book was the product of many years of research, which included discovery of previously unknown family records and interviews with many of the remaining members of Albert's family—a project that some might say was more intriguing than the final publication. Connie has also written or edited numerous books and articles on Midwestern environmental features and problems and is a regular speaker on these topics across the state.