From the Curriculum: Some Higher-Ed News and Notes from SMU and UT-Dallas

SMU sends words of a media and human rights symposium set for next week -- which includes a tribute to director Rob Epstein, two-time Oscar winner for co-directing the docs The Times of Harvey Milk and Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt. And the April 6 night tribute-to and conversation-with at the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station promise something not even on the agenda for Dallas International Film Festival, which kicks off two days later in the same spot: a sneak peak at bits of Epstein's Howl, the must-see Sundance audience-splitter in which James Franco plays Allen Ginsberg. Rick Halperin, director of SMU's Human Rights Education Program, will keynote the April 7 luncheon, joining on the speakers list a couple of heavy-hitters from Harvard and USC, as well as Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins ...

Speaking of: The University of Texas at Dallas's Pre-Law Society is joining ranks with the Innocence Project of Texas, following a Watkins on-campus appearance last year that inspired students to start reviewing claims of innocence. SMU, UT-Arlington and the University of North Texas are already among the schools participating with the Innocence Project, and UT-Dallas will also offer a course come fall during which 20 students will investigate cases ...

And back to SMU for a second: I somehow missed Prehistoric Dallas when it debuted on the Discovery Channel earlier this month -- a little too vintage, perhaps, for my tastes, though the 6-year-old who lives in my house will dig it. Featuring commentary from SMU paleontologists Michael Polcyn and Louis Jacobs, it's on the to-watch list -- right after we get through Life sometime in the late fall.

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