Events | 2019-2020

Spring 2020

January 8 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema In the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and everyone is fighting for the necessities of life, there are two rebels who just might be able to restore order—Max (Tom Hardy), a man of action and few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos, and Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a woman of action who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland. R. 2015. 120 Min. Screened as part of our 2019-20 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series, a new series of screenings held monthly through April 2020 at Railroad Square Cinema. Presented by Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities and Colby Cinema Studies. FREE ADMISSION for anyone with a Colby College I.D. All others: regular admission prices apply.
February 12 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series Waking Life in 35mm (2001) 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema “The film’s protagonist, played by Wiley Wiggins from director Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, sleepwalks around—sometimes he appears to float—asking essential questions about existence, identity, the nature of the universe and whether it’s a big, stupid risk to make a plotless movie about dreams. That the Texas-based Linklater, celebrated for his 1991 debut Slacker, chose to express his ideas through animation shows he has guts. That he pulls off the innovative feat with hypnotic assurance is nothing short of amazing. This isn’t your dad’s animation, or even Disney’s. Having first shot the film digitally with live actors in Texas and New York, Linklater and art director Bob Sabiston asked 31 artists to computer-paint over that footage in their own distinct styles, assigning different characters and vignettes to each artist.2001. R. 99 Min. Screened as part of our 2019-20 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series, a new series of screenings held monthly through April 2020 at Railroad Square Cinema. Presented by Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities and Colby Cinema Studies. FREE ADMISSION for anyone with a Colby College I.D. All others: regular admission prices apply.
March 4 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series Eraserhead in 35mm (1977) 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema A dream of dark and troubling things…David Lynch’s 1977 debut feature is both a lasting cult sensation and a work of extraordinary craft and beauty. With its mesmerizing black-and-white photography by Frederick Elmes and Herbert Cardwell, evocative sound design, and unforgettably enigmatic performance by Jack Nance, this visionary nocturnal odyssey continues to haunt American cinema like no other film. Unrated.89 Min. Screened as part of our 2019-20 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series, a new series of screenings held monthly through April 2020 at Railroad Square Cinema. Presented by Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities and Colby Cinema Studies. FREE ADMISSION for anyone with a Colby College I.D. All others: regular admission prices apply.
April 7 Energy/Exhaustion Keynote Speaker 2019-2020 Mellon Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Humanities Naomi Klein 7:00 p.m., Lorimer Chapel, Colby College We are delighted to announce that Naomi Klein will be the keynote speaker for this year’s humanities theme, Energy/Exhaustion, and also serve as the 2019-2020 Mellon Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Humanities. Naomi Klein is the inaugural Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University, and an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and international and New York Times bestselling author of, No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need (2017), This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (2014), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2007) and No Logo (2000). In 2018, she published The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes On the Disaster Capitalists (2018) reprinted from her feature article for The Intercept with all royalties donated to Puerto Rican organization juntegente.org. On September 17, 2019, her next book: On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal was published worldwide. It was an instant New York Times bestseller and a #1 Canadian bestseller. Tickets available to Colby Students, Faculty, and Staff in Pulver Pavilion, Wednesday, March 30, Thursday, March 31, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., and Thursday, April 1, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. or as long as tickets last. Students: One ticket per person. Faculty and Staff: Two tickets per person. Colby ID required to obtain tickets. Students may pick up tickets for others with multiple Colby IDs. A limited number of tickets will be available to the public Thursday, April 1, beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 4 p.m. or until tickets are gone. Members of the public can pick up tickets on campus in Pulver Pavilion (in Cotter Union). Two tickets per person, please.
April 15 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series Enter the Void (2016) 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema A French drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and killed in a drug deal. His soul, observing the repercussions of his death, seeks resurrection… Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void is a visionary cinematic roller-coaster ride that “represents a revolutionary break from ordinary movie storytelling” —Andrew O’Hehir, Salon. Nathaniel Brown and Paz de la Huerta star in the visceral journey set against the thumping neon club scene of Tokyo, which hurls the viewer into an astonishing trip through life, death, and the universally wonderful and horrible moments in between. “This is a daring, thrilling, awful and wondrous film… one of the most mind-blowing and ambitious feature films ever made” (O’Hehir). Unrated. In English and in Japanese with English subtitles. 2010. 161 Min. Screened as part of our 2019-20 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series, a new series of screenings held monthly through April 2020 at Railroad Square Cinema. Presented by Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities and Colby Cinema Studies. FREE ADMISSION for anyone with a Colby College I.D. All others: regular admission prices apply.

Fall 2019

September 9 Energy/Exhaustion Series Climate Engineering: How a Curious Scientific Idea Became Serious Politics Julia Schubert, University of Bonn 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 The politics of global climate change mark the many intricate ways, in which modern societies depend on energy. Political attempts at tackling the human causes of climate change concern the generation, distribution, and consumption of energy in society¾and in doing so, they seem to question the very grounds of how we live. Since the early 2000s, however, a controversial set of techno-scientific schemes has promised to fundamentally alter the politics of climate change: Rather than addressing the societal grounds of climate change, so-called geoengineering approaches entail intervening in its physical and chemical basis. My talk traces the “career” of geoengineering through U.S. politics and demonstrates how shifting alliances between climate science and politics have shaped its particular trajectory.
September 16 Energy/Exhaustion Series Exhausting Middle English Megan Cook, Colby College 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 Language is a constant dialectic between energy and exhaustion: as new words and expressions come into use, others pass away. While dynamic is ongoing, few periods in the English language have witnessed as much, and as rapid, change as the early sixteenth century, which saw the demise of what we now term Middle English, and the rise of our modern form of the language. In this talk, I will ask how readers and writers in early modern England understood language change, and how they came to recognize certain kinds of language as archaic or obsolete. While previous studies have traced the ways that Renaissance authors made literary use of archaic language, in this talk I will also emphasize the views of printers, antiquarians, and other readers with extra-literary investments in old texts, and trace the often political and polemical uses to which outdated language was put.
September 23 Energy/Exhaustion Series Tommy Davis, Ohio State University 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 Thomas Davis specializes in modern and contemporary literature and culture, environmental humanities and aesthetic theory. He is the author of The Extinct Scene: Late Modernism and Everyday Life (Columbia University Press, 2016) and is currently at work on two book projects: The Cultural Lives of Climate Change and Fossils of Tomorrow: The Literature and Culture of the Great Acceleration. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in Twentieth-Century Literature, Textual Practice, Literature Compass, English Language Notes, Modernism/Modernity, and several edited collections.

September 30 Energy/Exhaustion Series What Feeds the Phytoplankton? Bess Koffman, Colby College 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 Bess Koffman studies past changes in Earth’s climate system using a combination of field and laboratory approaches. She is interested primarily in understanding how and why the atmospheric circulation has changed through time and the impacts these changes have had on terrestrial and marine environments. Earth’s atmospheric circulation influences large-scale climate variability in several important ways: it affects the transport and delivery of oceanic heat; it exerts a strong influence on the exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) between the ocean and atmosphere, and it plays a large role in determining global rainfall distribution. Further, because the atmosphere can respond rapidly to climate perturbations, it is central to understanding the mechanisms driving changes in Earth’s climate on a range of timescales.
October 7 Energy/Exhaustion Series “Beats Working”: French Moves Felicia McCarren, Tulane University 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 Imagine a country in which dancing counts as work. In which the state supports its performing artists. In France, the Ministry of Defense commissioned a hip hop choreography to celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-day, performed in front of heads of state representing all the Allies, on one of the Normandy beaches. French hip hop pays homage to the US origins of the form in the Afro- and Latin-American neighborhoods of the Bronx. But with local, regional and state support, French hip hop has developed as choreography: recognized around the world not only because of its battle champions but also valorized as work and as art. In French choreographies, on the world’s stages, hip-hoppers dance their modernity, the madness of machines and the freedom of expression that can come from not saying.
October 14 Energy/Exhaustion Series Steve Rodney, University of South Carolina 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 Steve Rodney is an Assistant Professor in Physics and Astronomy. He earned his PhD in Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, and then went on to Johns Hopkins University, where he was awarded a Hubble Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. His research is aimed at measuring vast distances across the universe using stellar explosions, or supernovae. He has used Hubble Space Telescope surveys to test supernova progenitor pathways and to constrain cosmological models. He has also used HST to study supernovae that are being amplified by gravitational lensing, a warping of spacetime that allows galaxies to act as cosmic magnifying glasses.
October 23 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series Run Lola Run (1998) 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema Run Lola Run is a 1998 German thriller film. The film was written and directed by Tom Tykwer, and starring Franka Potente as Lola and Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni. The story follows a woman who needs to obtain 100,000 Deutsche Mark in twenty minutes to save her boyfriend’s life. Run Lola Run screened at the Venice Film Festival, where it competed for the Golden Lion.[3] Following its release, the film received critical acclaim and several accolades, including the Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics, the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival, and seven awards at the German Film Awards. It was also selected as the German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 71st Academy Awards, though it was not ultimately nominated.
October 28 Energy/Exhaustion Series Exhausted Images: The Destruction and Renewal of Visual Culture Marta Ameri, Colby College 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 How do we deal with cultural materials that no longer suit our needs/beliefs/political inclinations? Over the summer, a school board in San Francisco voted to cover up, but not paint over, a series of WPA era murals depicting George Washington which include scenes that some viewers now consider offensive. While the removal of school murals and confederate statues is a very current issue, in truth, human beings have been destroying visual culture for as long as we have been creating it. This lecture presents case studies of destruction from different periods in history. Each instance is seen as a reflection of social, religious, or political changes that alter the relationship between the viewer and the image, leading to an intentional or unintentional devaluation of the image. As the original meaning of the image becomes obscured or exhausted and the image itself is destroyed, new images or meanings arise to take its place, perpetuating the cycle.
November 4 Energy/Exhaustion Series Debashree Mukherjee, Columbia University 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 Debashree Mukherjee works on modern South Asian visual cultures and industries, with a focus on late colonial Bombay cinema. Her research explores the relations between bodies, production practices, aesthetics, and technology within specific media ecologies. Her current book manuscript, Parallel Action: Bombay Cinema and the Practice of Modernity (1929-1945), investigates the relationship between a consolidating film industry and a nation on the verge of political independence, using the lens of material practice. Debashree has published in various academic journals and anthologies and is a core editor with the peer-reviewed journal, BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies. Trained as a filmmaker, she has worked in Bombay’s film and television industries on projects such as Omkara (dir. Vishal Bhardwaj, 2006). Committed to the missions of public and digital humanities, Debashree curated an exhibition of Indian film ephemera titled Maya Mahal in 2013, and is actively involved with the online film annotation platform www.indiancine.ma.
November 11 Energy/Exhaustion Series Karena McKinney, Colby College 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 Karena McKinney received her B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard University and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine where she studied the role of halogens in stratospheric ozone loss. After working as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology, she became an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Amherst College and a Lecturer in Environmental Science and Engineering at the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She joined the Colby faculty in 2017. She has taught courses in general, environmental, atmospheric, and analytical chemistry, instrument design, and chemistry and environmental science for non-majors. Dr. McKinney’s research focuses on the atmospheric chemistry of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), hydrocarbon-based molecules synthesized and emitted by trees and other plants.
November 18 Energy/Exhaustion Series The Illusion of Time: Testing the Bidirectional Relationship Between Belief in Free Will and Temporal Horizons Elizabeth Seto, Colby College 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 Belief in free will, operationalized as the ability to freely choose one’s own actions and determine one’s own outcomes, is the embodiment of energy and exhaustion. Belief in free will can energize us, instilling the notion that we are active agents in our social world. Disbelief in free will can exhaust us by dampening our experience of action control and highlighting the constraints in our lives. The subjective experience of time, identified as future time perspective by psychologists, is another personification of energy and exhaustion. Time can feel expansive, energizing us to pursue opportunities. Time can feel limited as if we are exhausting one of the most valuable resources in our lives. The current research examines the bidirectional relationship and dynamic interplay between belief in free will and perceptions of time.
November 20 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series Eraserhead(1977) 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema Eraserhead is a 1977 American experimental body horror film written, produced, and directed by David Lynch. The film’s editing, score, and sound design were also helmed by Lynch, with pieces by a variety of other musicians also featured. Shot in black and white, Eraserhead is Lynch’s first feature-length film, following several short works. Starring Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Jeanne Bates, Judith Anna Roberts, Laurel Near, and Jack Fisk, it tells the story of Henry Spencer (Nance), who is left to care for his grossly deformed child in a desolate industrial landscape.
November 25 Energy/Exhaustion Series Living with the Damage: Landscapes of Exhaustion in 21st-Century African-American Poetry Samia Rahimtoola, Bowdoin College 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 This talk reads Dawn Lundy Martin’s Discipline (2011) and Ed Roberson’s City Eclogue (2006) in order to uncover the social and environmental forms of relation that appear under conditions of racialized gentrification. Both books refuse easy narratives of individual overcoming, bodily cure, and environmental repair, instead proposing a catalogue of those who live on beyond hope of repair or reparation. In response to this literary representation of black exhaustion, the talk teases out the political and ethical implications of maintaining relation with what has been abjected. In other words, what can environmentalism learn from the dynamics of vacancy/vagrancy produced by gentrification?
December 2 Energy/Exhaustion Series Black Holes and Galaxy Exhaustion Dale Kocevski, Colby College 7:00-8:30 p.m., Lovejoy 100 Dale Kocevski an assistant professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. He performed his postdoctoral work at the University of California in Davis and Santa Cruz and graduate work at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. Prior to that Dale received his Bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the study of distant galaxies that host actively accreting supermassive black holes, otherwise known as active galactic nuclei (AGN). There is mounting evidence that the evolution of galaxies is closely linked to the growth of their central black holes, but how this connection is established remains one of the key unanswered questions in astrophysics today. Dale is interested in understanding the mechanisms that fuel the growth of supermassive black holes and what role AGN feedback plays in suppressing the star formation activity of massive galaxies. To investigate these issues, his work uses multi-wavelength observations ranging from the infrared to the to study the star formation activity, morphologies, and environments of galaxies undergoing active black hole growth.
December 4 Energy/Exhaustion Film Series Manufactured Landscapes(2007) 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema This documentary reveals the gritty underside of industrial landscapes. Photographer Edward Burtynsky explores the subtle beauty amid the waste generated by slag heaps, dumps and factories. Memorable scenes include a Chinese iron factory where employees are berated to produce faster, and shots of children playing atop piles of dangerous debris. The contrasts between wealth and poverty are most striking in Shanghai, with new high-rises towering above old slums.