How Revolutionary – and how Scientific – was the Scientific Revolution?
Dan Cohen, Professor of Philosophy, Colby College
7pm, Lovejoy 100
The Scientific Revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries marked a sea change in Western thought about the world and humanity’s place in it. At its start, we located ourselves at the center of a finite, harmonious, purpose-filled cosmos qualitatively defined by the vocabulary of form and matter, essence and accident, and potential and actuality. By its end, the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic complex of theories that had been burnished by centuries of Medieval Arabic and Latin Scholastic “natural philosophers” gave way to a Newtonian universe quantitatively defined by space and time, matter and motion, and mass and momentum. It also gave the world two very powerful ideas: Science and a Scientific Revolution. In retrospect, neither one is a perfect fit in describing that era.
Two Cent Talks Series
Bill Roorbach and Arielle Greenberg
5:30pm, Center building, Downtown Waterville
Two Cent Talks Waterville Reading Series welcomes Bill Roorbach and Arielle Greeneber, and will be followed by a reception and a book signing. Bill Roorbach’s next book is The Girl of the Lake, a collection of stories coming from Algonquin in 2017. Also from Algonquin are The Remedy for Love, a finalist for the 2015 Kirkus Prize, and the bestselling Life Among Giants. Bill won the Flannery O’Connor and O. Henry prizes for his short story collection, Big Bend, the Maine Literary Award for Nonfiction for his memoir in nature, Temple Stream, just released in a new paperback edition by Down East Books.
Arielle Greenberg is the author of the poetry collections Slice (Coconut Books, 2015), My Kafka Century (Action Books, 2005) and Given (Verse, 2002) and the chapbooks Shake Her (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012) and Farther Down: Songs from the Allergy Trials (New Michigan, 2003). Her creative nonfiction book Locally Made Panties is forthcoming in 2016 from Ricochet Editions, an imprint of Goldline Press.
Two Cent Talks is dedicated to promoting and celebrating the literary arts in Maine and is thankful to The Center for Arts and Humanities, Office of the President, and English Department and Program in Creative Writing for support.
Music at Colby 2016-17 Concert Series
Harlem String Quartet
7:30pm, Lorimer Chapel
Since its debut in 2006 at Carnegie Hall, the Harlem String Quartet has established itself as one of America’s premier chamber ensembles. Its performances at prestigious classical venues throughout the world have earned critical acclaim. The quartet advances diversity in classical music by engaging new audiences with works by composers from underrepresented groups, and its Colby program does exactly that, with works by Celso Garrido Lecca (Peru), Rafael Hernández (Puerto Rico), and Abelardo Valdés (Cuba), along with Beethoven’s Razumovsky Quartet. Funded by the Robert J. Strider Concert Fund.
The Tambora Revolution: The 1815 Eruption that Changed the World
Gillen D’Arcy Wood, Professor of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
7pm, Lovejoy 100
What happens when the world’s climate reaches a sudden tipping point? This year marks the 200th anniversary of the so-called “Year Without a Summer,” 1816, spawned by fallout from the massive eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia. During that global climate emergency, volcanic conditions disrupted monsoons in India that contributed to a devastating new strain of cholera, while crop failure and famine crippled nations from China to Western Europe to New England, precipitating food riots and the mass emigration of refugees. The extreme weather crisis also made waves in the world of art and literature, with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein the most notable work of imagination to emerge from “The Year Without a Summer.” This lecture, based on Wood’s award-winning Tambora: The Eruption that Changed the World—the first book to present a comprehensive investigation of the environmental calamity of 1816—provides a gripping disaster narrative, with important lessons not only for historians and students, but also local communities and governments tasked with responding to today’s climate crisis.
The Life and Death of Queen Margaret
7:30pm, Runnals Theater
The Life and Death of Queen Margaret is a “new” Shakespeare play created and performed by Western Massachusetts-based ensemble Real Live Theatre. This piece, which centers around the life of Margaret of Anjou, liberates some of Shakespeare’s most poignant feminist writing from a series of plays about men and their experience of history, and illuminates that buried brilliance, amplifying and celebrating a female character who is complex, passionate, powerful, and one of the greatest antiheroes Shakespeare ever created. This dance-theatre adaptation, co-created and directed by Colby Visiting Assistant Professor Toby Vera Bercovici, combines extant scenes from Henry VI Parts I, II, and III, scenes which are a patchwork of multiple Shakespeare plays, and occasional adaptor-written chunks of iambic pentameter. It features a cast of eight extraordinary female performers.
4pm, Pugh Center
These are marginalized artists, terribly discriminated against by Indian society. Passion from generations of turmoil, and the desire for change combine to create stirring harmonies. Their joyful revolution resonates with folk songs, and with love lyrics from Sufi and Hindu traditions.
Pugh Center 20th Anniversary Kickoff
Keynote with Robin D.G. Kelley
6:30pm, Ostrove Auditorium
Robin D.G. Kelley will offer the keynote address as the Pugh Center celebrates its 20th anniversary. Cosponsored by the Pugh Center and the African-American Studies Program. Please Contact: Professor Betty Sasaki, email@example.com, 207-859-4677.
Khalid A. Ali (Khalid Albaih), Oak Human Rights Fellow, Colby College
7pm, Lovejoy 100
From Facebook pages to Whatsapp forwards, the internet and social media helped pave the way to the Arab Spring ongoing revolutions. Khalid Albaih, a political cartoonist from Sudan, is the 2016 Oak Fellow at Colby. Albaih uses his daring, often biting cartoons to champion freedom of expression and democracy in the Arab world, while criticizing Western Islamophobia and U.S. practices including torture and drone attacks. Albaih draws simple but evocative images that are primarily displayed online. Many of those images have gone viral, earning him international recognition. Huffington Post mentions him first in its list of the world’s leading Arab cartoonists. During the Arab Spring uprising in 2011, Albaih’s images were turned into stencils and reproduced on city walls in Cairo and Sana’a. He acquired thousands of followers on his Facebook site (“Khartoon!”—a play on his artistic medium and his former home in the capital of Sudan). His work also has appeared in exhibitions in Vienna, London, Montreal, Detroit, Bahrain, and The Hague and has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times and Al-Jazeera.
Doctors as Witnesses: Sacrifice and Revolution in Egypt
Sherine Hamdy, Brown University
This talk highlights the ways in which Egypt’s revolutionary doctors seek to ground their claims in bodily evidence of state-induced torture and injury against the government’s simultaneous denial and erasure of that evidence. In so doing, I raise “evidence” as itself an object of inquiry – as both the grounds for and means of claims-making. While the physicians draw heavily on forensics, medical documentation, and in some cases photography, I focus here on evidence in the form of first-hand witness accounts of the doctors themselves. As witnesses, the physicians merge their roles as (1) objective observers who have access to scientific language, and (2) moral subjects who inhabit the embodied positions of their injured patients. The moral gravity of the physicians’ testimonies is strengthened by their assertion as neutral, objective experts. Yet their ability to access the injured bodies at the site of police violence rests on the protesters’ identifying them as in solidarity with the revolutionary cause. Indeed, the Egyptian revolutionary doctors’ demonstrate, in their very willingness to sacrifice their own lives in their commitment to saving the lives of others, both the high risks of their involvement and the magnitude of their moral commitment to the cause of the protesters.
Comedy Night in Waterville
Kevin Barnett, Mike Yard, and Joel Kim Booster
8pm, Waterville Opera House
Colby College, in partnership with the University of Maine at Augusta, Waterville Creates!, and Waterville Main Street, announces the first Comedy Night in Waterville. Kevin Barnett, Mike Yard, and Joel Kim Booster will perform at the Waterville Opera House on Thursday, September 29, 2016. Barnett is known for his contributions to MTV2’s Guy Code, and it was announced in 2015 that he will produce and star in a new show on NBC. Mike Yard is a correspondent on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Joel Kim Booster is an up-and-coming comedian on the New York stage who was recently featured on Conan. All three comedians have over five thousand Twitter followers, and their fan bases are consistently growing. The Waterville comedy night show will attract a huge audience not limited to college students and young professionals but including a wide variety of people from the Waterville community and mid-Maine.
Pechakucha Night V22
6:30pm, Waterville Opera House
The PK, Volume 22 event is a collaboration with Maine Craft Weekend, Ticonic Tales, and Common Street Arts. Proposals related to craft including the history of craft in Maine are invited. PechaKucha Night Waterville is a fun, creative networking event for the entire community featuring diverse presenters faced with the same dynamic challenge: telling a compelling story in 20×20. Every event is well attended and provides its own distinctive ride. PechaKucha Night (PKN) began in Tokyo in 2003 and has turned into an international phenomenon with events happening in over 800 cities around the world. It is a format that makes presentations concise, keeps the evening moving at a rapid pace, and allows for plenty of chit-chat among participants and attendees.
PechaKucha Waterville is made possible by a volunteer Team PK, Waterville Creates!, and the Waterville Public Library. The Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities is the 2016-2017 season sponsor.
The emotional residue of an unnatural boundary
Julie Avril Minich, University of Texas, Austin
4pm, Pugh Center
Dr. Minich holds a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese from Stanford University and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Smith College. She is the author of Accessible Citizenships: Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico (Temple University Press, 2014). Drawing from Chicana/o studies and disability studies, this book works against the common assumption that disability serves primarily as a metaphor for social decay or political crisis, engaging with literary and filmic texts from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in which disability functions to extend knowledge of what it means to belong to a political community. Additionally, Dr. Minich’s articles have appeared in journals such as Comparative Literature, the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, Modern Fiction Studies, MELUS, and the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. She is currently working on a new book project, tentatively titled Enforceable Care: Health, Justice, and Latina/o Expressive Culture. In this book, Minich explores how Latina/o cultural production depicts public conflict around legislation governing health care and disability accommodations.
Photography and/as Scientific Revolution
Laura Saltz, Associate Professor of American Studies, Colby College
7pm, Lovejoy 100
Early photographic experimentation was frequently less concerned with optics—with providing a picture of the world—than with physics. Techniques such as spectroscopy were developed and deployed explicitly to investigate that which was beyond the range of human perception: the nature and behavior of light. Indeed, the invention of photography was deeply implicated in what historians of science have identified as one of the greatest scientific revolutions in history: the articulation and acceptance of the wave theory of light. Yet early techniques for measuring and visualizing light are frequently cordoned off from early photographic practices that produce narrative descriptions of the world. Photography, in other words, is typically understood as part of the history of representation rather than the history of science. This talk asks why it is worth reintegrating scientific discourses about light back into the cultural history of early photography. What might be gained by interrogating common-sense distinctions between representational and non-representational photographs? By drawing on Michel Foucault’s concept of the episteme—the conceptual grid through which a culture establishes what counts as knowledge—this talk explores the revolutionary roles played by the invention(s) of photography in western constructions of scientific knowledge in the early nineteenth century; it turn, it explores the connections between visual modes of knowledge and conventions of visual representation.
Dissecting Violence: The Humanities Respond, Part I
12pm, Pugh Center
How do Colby professors use their disciplines to respond when violence convulses our world? When police shoot and are shot, when bombs explode and refugees drown, what can the arts and humanities in particular teach us? Join us as Professors Lisa Arellano (WGSS), Gary Green (Art), and Anindyo Roy (English) explore how to parse the violence all too common in our fragile world. Lunch provided!
Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science, Harvard
7pm, Parker-Reed room, Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center
History tells us that Darwin was neither the first nor the only one to think of evolution. This talk takes the opportunity to think carefully about Charles Darwin and the revolution in thought that carries his name. How has this idea of a “Darwinian revolution” become so important? Janet Browne is Aramont Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University where she teaches the history of natural history and biology. In 2002 she published a two-volume biography of Charles Darwin. Her interest in Darwin stems from her time as an editor on the Darwin Correspondence Project, Cambridge, England
Alexis Atkinson ’15
8pm, Strider Theater
Constellations is a multimedia theater piece that aims to reflect and track the psychological and emotional development of a young black female. The one-woman play utilizes different modes of storytelling–prose, narrative anecdote, spoken word, and poetry–to explore the depth of how one can experience marginalization. An unnamed Lead takes the audience on a tour through the Garden of Dreams, a holding space for unrealized aspirations and the unresolved past. The piece travels through time and space to capture wrestling with identity politics throughout crucial moments of development and self discovery. In spite of being hopeful for a better future, how does one navigate oppression on a moment to moment basis? What if anything actually grows in the Garden of Dreams?
Part of Monday Night Movies: Revolutions
7pm, Waterville Opera House
A problematic romance; a less problematic revolution. Sean Connery (the first James Bond!) and Brooke Adams (a past Railroad Square guest who first rose to prominence in Terrence Malick’s DAYS OF HEAVEN) star in Richard Lester’s (best known for A HARD DAYS NIGHT, THE THREE MUSKETEERS and ROBIN AND MARIAN) knowing, sharp, beautiful, underrated and offbeat anti-romance set against the Cuban revolution. “A political film within which no one speaks about politics and a love story in which no one speaks about love,” as Lester put it, CUBA follows Connery’s mercenary British officer to Cuba to help train Batista’s army against Castro and Guevara’s strengthening guerilla movement while attempting to revivify a lost love affair with Adams’ Alexandra, now married to a corrupt plantation owner.
Revolutions in Climate
Kerry Emanuel, Cecil & Ida Green, Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT
7pm, Lovejoy 100
Most people today view climate science as a field wholly occupied with the practical problem of global warming. But, as with most scientific endeavors, the field has been driven forward by scientists driven by their own curiosity to meet a series of fascinating intellectual challenges, whether or not they had any practical consequences. In this talk, I will tell the stories of the most important revolutions in climate science, from the discovery of the greenhouse effect to the determination of the cause of ice ages, concluding with how these revolutions inform our current view of climate change.
Film Screening: Bend it like Beckham
3pm, Olin 01
The hit 2002 film Bend It Like Beckman, an inspiring comedy about a young Sikh girl in England who rebels against her orthodox parents to chase her dream as a soccer player, will be shown in anticipation of a lecture on campus Oct. 26 by the film’s director, Gurinder Chadha. Chadha will give the 2016 Compagna-Sennett Religious Studies Lecture at 7 p.m. the following Wednesday in Ostrove Auditorium. The film screening and the lecture are open to the public at no charge.
Capturing War: Images of Conflict, Upheaval, and Revolution
4pm, Diamond Building Atrium
In conjunction with the 2016 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism, three award-winning war photographers will display and discuss some of their most compelling work in a transformed Diamond Atrium. Nina Berman, documentary photographer, author, and educator Andrea Bruce, documentary photographer; co-owner and member, NOOR Photo Agency Carol Guzy, American news photographer, the Washington Post.
This event is cosponsored by the Goldfarb Center and Center for the Arts and Humanities.
Dissecting Violence: The Humanities Respond, Part II
12:30pm, Bobby Silberman Lounge, Pulver
How do Colby professors use their disciplines to respond when violence convulses our world? When police shoot and are shot, when bombs explode and refugees drown, what can the arts and humanities in particular teach us? Join us as Professors Carleen Mandolfo (Religious Studies), Aaron Hanlon (English) and visiting artists Brother(hood) Dance! explore how to parse the violence all too common in our fragile world. Lunch provided!
The Unfinished business of the Darwinian Revolution
Judy Stone, Professor of Biology and Dr. Charles C. and Pamela W. Leighton Research Fellow, Colby College
7pm, Lovejoy 100
Darwin’s theories on descent with modification and evolution by natural selection revolutionized biology. Both of these theories rest upon an underlying insight called population thinking, which recognizes that variation among individuals within a species is the key ingredient of evolution and adaptation. Population thinking is arguably Darwin’s most original insight because it overcomes thousands of years of typological thinking, in which variation is considered to be imperfection around the true type. Unfortunately, despite Darwin’s brilliant insight, typological thinking persists in biology, medicine, journalism, and the public mind. Typological thinking can lead to erroneous and even dangerous conclusions, especially when applied to the human species. Cutting-edge approaches in genomics have the potential to finally complete the Darwinian paradigm shift, so that the complexity of variation is fully appreciated.
Build your Revolution!
8-10 p.m, Miller Library
Get in the revolutionary spirit and join in for some friendly building competition! Recreate Immortal Moments, Rebellious Places, Legendary Leaders, and Artifacts of Change with LEGO bricks as you enjoy some nostalgic creativity and light refreshments. The most inspired creators will earn a range of awesome LEGO sets to take home, so bring your ingenuity and imagination in equal measure! The judging will take place at the tail end of the event, so the quicker you arrive, the more time you will have to build the coolest entry possible.
Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Colby College Libraries.
Regina José Galindo
7pm, Parker-Reed Room, Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center
Guatemalan poet and performance artist Regina José Galindo will discuss the role of human rights in her art. Frequently using her own body as a canvas, Galindo’s work addresses the atrocities committed by Guatemalan dictatorships, social injustice, and discrimination on the basis of race and gender. Galindo isolates and embodies the vast suffering in Latin America by inflicting direct physical violence on her own body in highly symbolic gestures of resistance.
This talk is organized by the Oak Institute for Human Rights, Center for the Arts and Humanities, and Latin American Studies Program.
Religion, Culture, Identity: A Journey Through Film
Gurinder Chadha, director of Bend It Like Beckham
7pm, Ostrove Auditorium
Gurinder Chadha, director of the hit film Bend It Like Beckham and more than a dozen other films, will deliver Colby’s annual Compagna-Sennett Religious Studies Lecture. Her lecture is titled “Religion, Culture, and Identity: A Journey Through Film.” The movie, which follows the daughter of orthodox Sikhs who rebels against her parents’ traditions to chase her dream as a soccer player, will be shown at a free screening at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, in Olin 01.
Miles and Katharine Culbertson Prentice Distinguished Lecture: Leonardo Drew
7pm, Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Building
Artist Leonardo Drew will present the museum’s annual Prentice Lecture with a discussion of his recent work and Untitled, Number 104, 2005, currently on view in the museum’s Gordon Gallery.
Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube
Reading by Blair Braverman ’11
7:30pm, Pugh Center, Cotter Union
Blair Braverman ’11, dogsledder, journalist, and essayist, has been an Iowa Arts Fellow and a MacDowell Fellow. She was an environmental policy major and creative writing minor at Colby. Her work has appeared on This American Life, and Buzzfeed, and in Orion, and Atavist magazines. Last May she was named to the inaugural Outdoor magazine 30 Under 30 list. Braverman’s first book, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North (ECOO/HarperCollins), was released in July. She is training for the Iditarod, a 1,100-mile dogsled race across Alaska.
Sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program, and the Center for the Arts and Humanities.
The Trump Card
7:30pm, The Pugh Center
Renowned playwright and Colby alum Mike Daisey (’96) has turned his keen storytelling ability to the topic on everybody’s mind: Donald Trump. Utilizing his distinctive theatrical style, Daisey explores the Trumpian phenomenon and the role we are all playing in it. This timely play forces us to ask ourselves: how did we end up here? In a unique move, the playwright has disseminated the script freely and has granted performance rights for free to anybody willing to tell this story. We have taken up that challenge. Co-sponsored by the Student Advisory Board for the Center for the Arts and Humanities, join us for this exciting performance, as well as an audience election and an cake!
Colby College Write-In
8:30pm, Pulver Pavillion
What do we– Colby students and faculty– need to say to the world at large? What forums (and forms) might we use to express discontent, frustration, new insights? I want students to think about when/how we communicate with the world outside of Colby, and how literary forms– letters, poems, manifestos, plays, essays, blog posts, song lyrics– allow us argue for righteous change. With the election around the corner, politics may be the dominant subject of this Write-In. But of course there’s much to say about all sorts of things, and the idea here is a forum within which we raise our voices together on a variety of topics. It’s an attempt to generate passion– and help that passion find vigorous form on the page.
Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Goldfarb Center, Creative Writing, and the English department.
A History of Data, Big and Little
Aaron Hanlon, Assistant Professor of English, Colby College
7pm, Lovejoy 100
For many of us, “seeing is believing”; we’re strongly influenced by an empirical understanding of what constitutes proof (“show me the proof,” as opposed to “explain to me the proof,” “tell me the proof,” etc.). Developments in how we understand data and data science, however, complicate our reliance on empiricism by introducing new standards of statistical significance and methodology, as well as new epistemological problems. This talk will trace a long history of the concept of data in the Anglo-American tradition, starting with the introduction of the word “data” into the English language in the 17th century. We will track the development of the concept of data through the British Enlightenment before addressing the ways that recent cultural developments regarding data are changing how we see, read, and interpret knowledge today. Throughout, this talk will explore the ways that literature and philosophy have contributed to debates about what constitutes data, and how reliable is data as a form of knowledge.
Iman Al Debe
7pm, Diamond 141
What does revolution in the Fashion Industry look like? Iman Aldebe is internationally recognized for her work revolutionizing and stylizing traditional hijabs and turbans with beduin tassels (http://imanaldebe.com/). Join us on Thursday, November 3, at 7pm to explore how Iman’s work helps create a political debate, empowers women to dispel the stereotypes of a Muslim woman being a weak individual, and is revolutionary.
Uncomfortable (Revolutionary) Monuments
Jeffrey Schnapp, Professor of Romance Literatures and Comparative Literature, Harvard
7pm, Lovejoy 100
Bz ’18-’45: one monument, one city, two dictatorships is an exhibition opened to the public in July 2014. It illustrates the history of the Monument to Victory, erected by the Italian Fascist regime in 1928. ‘Uncomfortable (Revolutionary) Monuments’ recounts the tale of the Monument and its reframing via BZ ’18-’45 as a work of critical contextualization. The exhibition is a commentary on the evolving social and political framework of the second half of the twentieth century to the present day. A three-banded LED ring to the third column of the monument’s façade is intended to reframe and alter the monument’s meaning.The ring unbalances the ideology embedded within the neoclassical symmetries of the façade and marks the difference between the totalitarian then of the monument’s construction and a now characterized by cultural pluralism and tolerance. By unbalancing, the ring rebalances; by defamiliarizing, it refamiliarizes. It performs a symbolic reversal that gives a state monument (and the history that it stands for) back to the local citizenry and renders visitable a site that has been fenced off for over a half-century.
Film Screening: Eva Hesse
8pm, Railroad Sqaure Cinema
Eva Hesse is one of America’s foremost postwar artists. Her pioneering sculptures, using latex, fiberglass, and plastics, helped establish the post-minimalist movement. Dying of a brain tumor at age 34, she had a mere decade-long career that, despite its brevity, is dense with complex, intriguing works that defy easy categorization. EVA HESSE is the first feature-length appreciation of her life and work. “One of the 20th Century’s more compelling life stories”—J Hoberman, Tablet.
Screening made possible with support from the Colby College Museum of Art, Colby College Cinema Studies Program, Colby College Art Department, Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities, Colby College History Department, Colby College Jewish Department, Hillel, Maine Film Center
New Perspectives on the Haitian Revolution
Jeremy D. Popkin, William T. Bryan Chair of History, University of Kentucky
7pm, Lovejoy 100
Although the events it describes occurred over two hundred years ago, the term “Haitian Revolution” has only come into widespread use in the past few decades. By putting the events that led to the western world’s first abolition of slavery on the same level as the American and French revolutions, this new language profoundly changes our understanding of the “age of revolutions.” The explosion of new scholarship on the Haitian Revolution is also changing our understanding of the meaning of this event and its place in world history. Jeremy D. Popkin is the William T. Bryan Chair of History at the University of Kentucky. His books on the Haitian Revolution include Facing Racial Revolution: Eyewitness Accounts of the Haitian Uprising (University of Chicago Press, 2007), You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (Cambridge University Press, 2010), A Concise History of the Haitian Revolution (Blackwell/Wiley, 2012), and Mon Odyssée: L’épopée d’un colon de Saint Domingue (Société française d’étude du dix-huitième siècle, 2015). He has also published on topics including the French Revolution, autobiography, and historiography.
Revolutions Keynote Address
LaToya Ruby Frazier
7pm, Page Commons
For LaToya Ruby Frazier, winner of a 2015 MacArthur “genius grant,” art is a weapon—a catalyst for social justice. Her photographs and videos document today’s America: post-industrial cities riven by poverty, racism, healthcare inequality, and environmental toxicity. Bridging the personal with the social, her gorgeous and haunting shots amplify the voices of the most vulnerable and transform our sense of place and self.
LaToya Ruby Frazier’s visit to campus, part of Colby’s Artist-in-Residence Series, is cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, Colby College Libraries, Oak Institute for the Study of International Human Rights, Pugh Center, Colby Museum of Art, American Studies, Art Department, Environmental Studies Program, and the Office of the President with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Senator Justin Alfond and Rabbi Shai Held
6:30pm, Beth Israel Congregation
Senator Justin Alfond is serving his fourth term representing Portland, Maine’s largest city in the Maine Senate. Senator Alfond has served in Senate Leadership for the past six years, including two years as Senate President from 2012 to 2014. Justin grew up in Maine, with roots in the towns of Dexter and Waterville. He attended Tulane University and earned a degree in Business Administration. In 2004, Justin founded the Maine chapter of The League of Young Voters and served four years as the Maine State Director. Justin has focused his time and energy in the legislature strengthening education, supporting economic development, and ending childhood hunger. Justin lives with his wife, Rachael, two young children and dog Tipitina. Rabbi Shai Held–theologian, scholar, and educator–is Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar, where he also directs the Center for Jewish Leadership and Ideas. Previously, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakha at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also served as Director of Education at Harvard Hillel. A 2011 recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education, Rabbi Held has been named multiple times to Newsweek’s list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America. He holds a doctorate in religion from Harvard; his main academic interests are in modern Jewish and Christian thought, in biblical theology, and in the history of Zionism. Rabbi Held’s first book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence, was published by Indiana University Press in 2013; his next book, The Heart of Torah, a collection of essays on the Torah in two volumes, is due out next year.
The Dreamers (2003)
Part of Monday Night Movies: Revolutions
7pm, Waterville Opera House
Bernardo Bertolucci, arguably one of the greatest directors of all time, whose emotional, exuberant style graced masterpieces from THE CONFORMIST to LAST TANGO IN PARIS, from his Oscar Best Picture winner THE LAST EMPEROR to his 5 hour epic, 1900, is more youthful, energetic and cinematically and politically revolutionary than ever in this relatively recent dazzler. “The personal is political” was the litany of the heady days of 1968’s spring in Paris and elsewhere as it felt like everything old and deadly was really about to crumble. While most students take the lead in the May ‘revolution’, a French poet’s twin son Theo and daughter Isabelle enjoy the good life in his grand Paris home. As film buffs they meet and ‘adopt’ modest, conservatively educated California-based student Matthew. With their parents away for a month, they drag him into an orgy of indulgence of all senses, losing all of his and the last of their innocence.
We have never been Revolutionary
Keith Peterson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Colby College
7pm, Lovejoy 100
What if science studies theorist Bruno Latour is right that thinking of ourselves as “revolutionary” is one of the central constitutive myths of Modernity? What if, as he asserts, “we have never been Modern”? This talk explores the basis of Latour’s anti-revolutionary claim and considers some responses to these questions and their implications.
Keith Peterson is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Colby College. His primary areas of interest include philosophies of nature and environment, value theory, philosophical anthropology, and Continental philosophy. He teaches courses in all of these areas, and is currently completing a monograph on environmental philosophy entitled A World not Made for Us: Topics in Critical Environmental Philosophy.
On being a Revolutionary
Marcos Perez, Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology, Colby College
7pm, Lovejoy 100
Throughout history, individuals have organized with others to bring about radical social change. What is it like to be on the front lines fighting for social transformation? Why do people risk life and limb to do so? Social science has addressed these questions in many different ways. This talk will focus on three particularly contentious debates.
First, the problem of human agency: what is the role of individuals in the outcome of revolutions? What matters more for social change, the effort of militants or the contradictions of the order they seek to change? Second, the role of rationality. Much of the discussion on revolutions and activism has centered on whether insurgency is a rational decision by individuals and groups, an emotional reaction to a particular environment, or a mix of both. What are the different motivations to become a revolutionary? Third, the location of revolution. What (and where) is the best context for revolutionary change? In more or less developed societies? In urban or rural areas? In the global south or north?
Bahar, Bahar, Bahar, Bahar, Bahar (Sea, Sea, Sea, Sea,Sea)
5:30pm, Bixler / 106 William D. Adams Gallery, Lobby
Every minute eight people are forced to flee war, persecution or terror. More than 2,500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean in rubber dinghies and rusting fishing boats so far this year, according to the UN’s refugee agency’s report.
In this multimedia/performance piece by the 2016 Oak Fellow @Khalidalbaih, you will live a few moments with these refuges at sea. Dress warmly.
May Fools (1990)
Part of Monday Night Movies: Revolutions
7pm, Waterville Opera House
The great French director Louis Malle (ATLANTIC CITY, AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS) deals with the possible coming of revolution obliquely, as a warmly human comedy, in the pastoral, Spring 1968-set MAY FOOLS. “You feel in its images a sense of sunny embrace, a feeling of comfort and leisure and warm sensuality. You absorb it, the way you do the dappled light in the paintings of Renoir, or a clear, vivid day with a blanket laid out in the grass and wine rising in your blood. You bask in it. The film’s spirit is one of affectionate satire, and its style suggests a commingling of Chekhov and Mozart and both Renoirs — the filmmaker, Jean, and his father, Pierre Auguste. The story it tells is projected against the events of May 1968 when, all over France, a wave of radicalism threatened to leave sweeping social changes in its wake. The film’s setting, though, is far away from the strikes and the riots and the free-thinking students who led them. At the rather ramshackle old country estate where the movie takes place, these upheavals are threatening only in a distant, abstract way….But with the mother’s death and the gathering of the clan for her funeral, the world teeters as precariously on the edge of revolution as the rest of the country. Everywhere, change is in the air…For a moment, they all lose their inhibitions. Picnicking under a tree, they drink wine and smoke pot and let their fantasies soar. And in that idyllic instant, something new seems to be dawning. These sun-licked afternoon scenes have a dreamy lyricism and beauty; they’re masterful in a quiet, understated way.