Gospel music is the subject of this lively film, which explores the history of the faith-rooted musical style. While the documentary features a number of gospel musicians, it spends the most time looking into the considerable contributions of Thomas A. Dorsey, a pioneering songwriter and pianist, and his popular associate, singer “Mother” Willie Mae Ford Smith. Also included are numerous concert performances by the Barrett Sisters, Sallie Martin, and other gospel luminaries. Sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Contact: Megan Fossa, mefossa@colby.edu, 207-859-4165


Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice documents the dramatic life and turbulent times of the pioneering African-American journalist, activist, suffragist and anti-lynching crusader of the post-Reconstruction period. Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison reads selections from Wells’ memoirs and other writings in this winner of more than 20 film festival awards. The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords is the first film to chronicle the history of the Black press, including its central role in the construction of modern African-American identity. It recounts the largely forgotten stories of generations of Black journalists who risked life and livelihood so African Americans could represent themselves in their own words and images. Sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Contact: Megan Fossa, mefossa@colby.edu, 207-859-4165


Beginning in the 1920s, the Surrealists sought to instigate a revolution that was both mental and material. Art making was central to this endeavor. As a concrete manifestation of poetic thought, visual art was proof that it was possible to remake reality to accord with the unrestrained inventions of the creative mind. This talk by Kim Grant, associate professor of art history and chair of the art department, University of Southern Maine, will discuss the multiple strategies used by Surrealist writers and artists in the 1920s to undermine accepted reality and foment revolution through the creation and presentation of art. Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities with the Art Department, Colby College Museum of Art, Phi Beta Kappa (Beta Chapter of Maine), and the Department of French and Italian.

Contact: Megan Fossa, mefossa@colby.edu, 207-859-4165


Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965 an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Contact: Megan Fossa, mefossa@colby.edu, 207-859-4165


Spring Awakening is a rock musical set in Germany in 1891 that tells the story of a group of teenagers fighting against a world dominated by adults. The main character, Wendla, discovers what it means to fall in love and to explore the meaning of her body when she finds herself falling for one of her classmates, Melchior Gabor. As Wendla’s naivety slips away and she learns that some of her friends are abused by their fathers, she craves to feel and experience more so that she might understand the harsh realities of the world in which she lives.

Contact: Courtney Pomerleau, courtney.pomerleau@colby.edu, 207-859-4520


Spring Awakening is a rock musical set in Germany in 1891 that tells the story of a group of teenagers fighting against a world dominated by adults. The main character, Wendla, discovers what it means to fall in love and to explore the meaning of her body when she finds herself falling for one of her classmates, Melchior Gabor. As Wendla’s naivety slips away and she learns that some of her friends are abused by their fathers, she craves to feel and experience more so that she might understand the harsh realities of the world in which she lives.

Contact: Courtney Pomerleau, courtney.pomerleau@colby.edu, 207-859-4520


Artist and educator Luis Camnitzer, whose conceptual artwork, The Museum Is a School, occupies the façade of the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion, will combine a personal reflection on revolution with a prescription for renewal without complacency in the overlapping realms of art and education. Having come of age in Uruguay during a period of widespread revolution in Latin America, Camnitzer grew to distrust immediate, totalizing shifts in the social sphere. Instead, he will explore the potential for “micro-revolutions” based on the idea of the artist as an agent of empowerment and communication, like the best of teachers. A demonstration of critical thinking by a lifelong skeptic, provocateur, and idealist, this lecture will counter the narrative of exceptionalism by reiterating the essential human right of education, which Camnitzer sees as gradually freeing the collective mind and spirit, one person at a time. This lecture has been commissioned for the 2016–17 humanities theme of Revolutions. It is cosponsored by Colby’s Art and Philosophy departments, the Education Program, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, and the Colby Museum of Art.

Contact: Megan Fossa, mefossa@colby.edu, 207-859-4165


The much-hyped Malcolm X happens to be a spiritually enriching testament to the human capacity for change—and surely Spike Lee’s most universally appealing film. An engrossing mosaic of history, myth, and sheer conjecture, this ambitious epic manages to sustain itself for three hours and 21 minutes and overcomes an early frivolity of tone and Lee’s intrusiveness to achieve a stature befitting its subject. Lee, whose enormous affection for his hero suffuses his work, nevertheless resists the temptation to sanitize Malcolm as Richard Attenborough did Gandhi. The civil rights leader, as eloquently portrayed by Denzel Washington, emerges as an immensely likable human being—a one-time black separatist who overcame his own prejudices. Sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Contact: Megan Fossa, mefossa@colby.edu, 207-859-4165


The last in a series of conversations centered around the theme “wealth,” this conversation is between Alyssa Gray, the Emily S. and Rabbi Bernard H. Mehlman Chair in Rabbinics and professor of codes and responsa literature at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, and Adam Howard, professor of education and director of Colby’s Education Program. In discussing the topic of philanthropy, they will seek to answer the question, “What is the relationship between dignity and wealth?” Sponsored by the Center for Small Town Jewish Life.

Contact: Rabbi Rachel Isaacs, risaacs@colby.edu, 207-859-4271

 


Winona LaDuke, this year’s Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Humanities, is an internationally renowned writer and activist working on issues of climate change, sustainable development, and the rights of indigenous communities. She lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota and is a two-time vice presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party.

The Environmental Humanities Initiative at Colby is supported by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This initiative builds on the College’s strengths in the study of the arts, the humanities, and the environment with the goal of inspiring innovative interdisciplinary opportunities and collaborations at the intersection of these fields. Faculty and students across the humanistic and environmental disciplines will be empowered to apply artistic, cultural, ethical, historical, and literary perspectives in a collective exploration of pressing questions concerning the environment through interdisciplinary research, teaching, and learning.

Contact: Megan Fossa, mefossa@colby.edu, 207-859-4165