Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra

What is "Rites. Rights. Writes."?

"Rites. Rights. Writes." (RRW) is a campus-wide engagement with human rights during the 2013-2014 academic year inspired by the 100th anniversary of the first performance of a ballet by Igor Stravinsky titled Rite of Spring (Le sacre du printemps). By acknowledging its transformative effect on audiences and profound influence on the development of music, theater and ballet, as well as serving as a prism for the ways in which society is reflected in cultural rites and human rights issues, we connect this historical artistic event to the power of the arts to create new ideas. RRW postulates that the arts can serve as a powerful catalyst for change and communication, provoking new perspectives on the human experience and encouraging deeper levels of understanding regarding crucial human issues.


Why should I know about this?

Cultures create Rites (traditions and behaviors), which develop into Rights (expectations of behaviors and fundamental rules), which are communicated through Writes (words, sounds and images).

RRW asks some important questions:

  • How does the creation of rites, rights and writes make us human?
  • How are rites, rights and writes communicated?
  • How does the examination of rites, rights and writes impact other areas of study?
  • Can we collaborate on the development of an immersive experience that illuminates these questions while engaging our campus community in diverse perspectives, reflection and growth?


When does RRW occur?

RRW lasts throughout the academic year. There are two parts to the schedule: First Rites events are the inaugural events designed to draw attention to this immersive project. Descriptions of the campus-wide events that occur from August 2013 through April 2014 are accessed from the Schedule.

First Rites Events >>

Schedule (All Events) >>


Do I have to be involved in RRW?

The Humanities Commons (HC), which serves as a cornerstone for UD's Common Academic Program (CAP), has adopted "Rites. Rights. Writes" as its theme for all First Year Students. As part of this initiative, HC students will have the opportunity to attend the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra's performance of the Rite of Spring in September.

The performance will enable students to think about ways that the Humanities disciplines connect and how the courses in the HC curriculum contextualize the Rite of Spring in similar and different ways.

Students in ENG100, ENG200H, HST103, PHL103, and REL103: SEE YOU THERE!


I'm a First-Year student. Why is my professor requiring me to attend the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra performance of the "Rite of Spring"?

Imagine having the opportunity to view an acknowledged masterpiece of art like the Mona Lisa or attend a theatrical work or film that has the potential to change your life. Hearing a live performance of the Rite of Spring is an extraordinary opportunity. It is more than just a piece of music: it is a revolutionary work from the twentieth century that still has a major impact on listeners and is recognized as a culturally transformational work.

Read more about the value of this experience >

Event Description >>

Resources >>

Humanities Commons >>


I'm not a first-year student. Do I have to be involved in RRW?

Like many events on campus, student attendance only will be mandatory if it is written into the curriculum of various courses that you are taking. Sometimes, participation will be formally encouraged by faculty through classroom announcements and extra credit. Ultimately, your involvement-whether you are a student, faculty member or a Dayton resident-depends on you.  It will be your choice to take advantage of the remarkable opportunities, many of them free, that will be offered during this year of RRW.

Since this is a campus-wide initiative it will impact many regularly scheduled activities on campus. RRW includes multiple lectures, symposia, workshops, art exhibits, theatrical presentations and concerts of diverse kinds of music. Many university programs are participants in RRW, including the UD Speakers Series, ArtStreet, Campus Ministry, the UD Arts Series, the Center for International Programs, the Office for Multi-Cultural Affairs, the UD Honors Program, the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community and multiple student-led groups. It also has support from numerous academic units and serves as a focal point for a common curricular theme. One of the goals of RRW is to demonstrate the connections between knowledge in specific disciplines and important ethical issues.


What does this have to do with my major?

Discovery of context and connections allows us to think creatively about our global culture while expanding our range of experiences and new ways of viewing our world. Professors in multiple disciplines including the arts and humanities will provide and establish themes of transformation, revolution, diversity and other important social justice issues, with a focus on human rights. Many student-oriented activities will reveal different perspectives on how these issues affect us on a personal level. Reflecting on these and other critical issues encourages our intellectual growth and connects us with our culture in new and meaningful ways


Will RRW be part of my course grades?

Since most of the activities and events are closely connected to the curriculum and content of your classes, you may be required to discuss and reflect on your RRW experiences and how they apply to a particular subject. See your individual course syllabi for more information about evaluation and grading.


Will I have to pay anything for RRW?

Almost all of the RRW events and activities are free and open to the public with a few exceptions: the events sponsored by the UD Arts Series have a modest fee priced for students.

Arts Series events, ticket information >>


Who is participating in RRW?

This is a campus-wide initiative, with enthusiastic participation from faculty, campus activity programs and other units at UD, as well as off-campus community arts organizations.

Complete list of contributors >>


How do I find more information about RRW?

This website is the primary and most accurate source of information about RRW. We have listed the most current information about "Rites. Rights. Writes." which includes details and links to all of the participating departments, programs and other campus units.

Welcome page >>


How can I become more involved?

You will have multiple opportunities to participate in on-and-off-campus activities. Watch for special events, such as the "Human Rights Week" in February and the "Consciousness Rising" event in March.

List of involvement opportunities >>


What makes RRW so unique?

"Rites. Rights. Writes." is a unique opportunity because:

  • It is a collaborative project that involves multiple academic, administrative and program units in a campus-wide common curricular theme.
  • Through diverse offerings, the initiative immerses the university community in the examination of an important topic of social justice - one that reflects the mission of the university.
  • It allows creation and high-lighting of events that engage student, faculty and the university community through broad perspectives, viewpoints and scholarship.
  • Programming reveals the interconnectedness of diverse subjects.  
  • Events illuminate the works of influential artists and scholars and their creations.
  • It draws attention to significant movements in the arts and how they deeply connect with important social aspects of our culture.
  • The initiative forces us to confront important social issues through unconventional and unfamiliar activities and events instead of experiencing them via social media.
  • It is supported by the UD administration, faculty and academic units.


Who do I contact if I have questions about RRW?

If you have questions, ask your instructors or advisors, or check this web site regularly for new information. Each event has a detailed description which lists contact information for that specific event. Also, pay attention to your email for monthly announcements of up-coming events and look for posters advertising special presentations, classes, concerts, gallery exhibits and symposia. Other information can be found on the “Contact Us” page.

Schedule of Events >>

Contact Us >>