August 2- September 13, 2014
CSA 3rd Annual “ARTworks” exhibition

478909_490622337657465_333749263_oThis community-oriented exhibition was open to any artist interested in participating, of any age or ability. The gallery provided the panels for the artists to use and artists return them transformed into a new piece of art. The final exhibition featured a wide variety of works in a range of media, all for sale. “ARTworks” brings the community together to celebrate and support local artists and arts programming.

July 7-August 22, 2014
2014 CSA Summer Art Classes for Kids

487741_391254760927557_1152826836_n1-300x225This summer, the Common Street Arts Studio offered six weeks of art camps for kids. Geared toward children of all levels, between the ages of 5 and 12, these classes ran from July 7-August 22. Each camp was one week long, Monday-Friday, 9am-12 noon. Classes that were offered covered a variety of themes and techniques, ranging from “Monster Making” to“Handbuilding with Clay”.

July 11-20, 2014
Maine International Film Festival

MIFF-2014-Poster2MIFF represents the best of American independent and international cinema. It also spotlights some of Maine and New England’s most exciting and innovative filmmakers. The center was proud to proud to support one of the premier arts/cultural events of be a day sponsor. Audiences also had opportunities to meet and talk with some of the people behind the movies – directors, producers, writers, and musicians. Every year the Maine International Film Festival honors members of the independent film industry whose contributions to cinema deserve recognition. The honored guests and visiting filmmakers host panel discussions as well as informal Q&A sessions, giving the audiences an incredible chance to hear about the art of film from those on the front lines. In 2014, Glenn Close won the 2014 Mid-Life Achievement Award.


April 28, 2014
How to drag your private life, kicking and screaming, into Public:Looking back at Thirty-five years of film making
Su Friedrich

LIVE.Arts_FriedrichWomen and Film: A Symposium centered around the campus visit of renowned avant-garde filmmaker Su Friedrich, but incorporated screenings of her films, Gently Down the Stream, Scar Tissue, and Hide and Seek, as well as a lecture from Assistant Professor Sarah Keller. Students, faculty, and members of the local community with an interest in the visual arts heard Friedrich deliver a retrospective on her thirty-five years of filmmaking.

April 27, 2014
Anti-Judaism and its Implications: A Symposium

4136h7KTuUL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Anti-Judaism and its Implications: A Symposium addressed the impact of a provocative new book by Professor David Nirenberg, University of Chicago. Scholars came from across the country and abroad to discuss its implications for Jewish Studies. This symposium was also designed to facilitate Colby students’ interaction with the visiting scholars. Students from the Arts and Humanities Lab class, Religious Studies 387: Jews and Muslims in Christian Thought, presented their research to the symposium in a poster session. Professor Nirenberg declared that he wished he could have included the work of Colby junior Spencer Traylor in his book, and encouraged him to publish his research.

April 23, 2014

Signs of Hope for LGBT Ministry
Sister Jeannine Gramick

JeannineGramickJeannine Gramick of the Sisters of Loretto visited Colby as the keynote speaker for Pride Week. Sonja Hagemeier ’15 and Anna Spencer ’16 decided to bring Sister Gramick to campus after reading about her work in Professor of Religious Studies Debra Campbell’s seminar course RE398: Censoring Sisters, and they were happy to introduce the Sister to a large audience in Ostrove Auditorium. She recounted that she had never encountered LGTBQ issues until she went to college at the University of Pennsylvania, where she encountered a wider range of people and saw a different side of the queer community. Sister Gramick’s keynote speech was well received by the entire College community, and served as the perfect start to Pride Week. Members of the Bridge expressed the hope that her message of love and acceptance would resonate across campus for the rest of the year.

April 17, 2014
Public Events, Private Lives: Literature and Politics in a Modern World
Sir Salman Rushdie

Rushdie-600x400.jpgSir Salman Rushdie delivered the keynote speech for the Center’s Annual Humanities Theme: Censorship Uncovered. Sir Salman is one of the most celebrated authors of our time—of any time. After paying homage to Gabriel García Márques who had died earlier that day, Sir Salman gave a wide-ranging talk about literature, the human necessity for reading, and the need to resist censorship and closed minds. He passionately defended free speech, recalling the terrible years when he lived in hiding under armed guard because of the fatwah imposed on him. Finally, he also offered a stirring and inspirational defense of the value of the arts and humanities. His staggering intellect, sharp wit, and charming personality made it a memorable evening.  At the end of his speech he received a standing ovation from the packed chapel audience.

April 16, 2014
Film screening: Midnight’s Children

1011111_754710484560061_5042083008300461496_nIn concert with the pending visit of Salman Rushdie, the Center screened Deepa Mehta’s wonderful film adaptation of Rushdie’s prize-winning novel, Midnight’s Children, based on a screenplay by Rushdie. The film was introduced and contextualized by Ibraheem Baqai ’16, a member of the Center’s Student Advisory Board.

April 7, 2014

Film screening: WHAM! BAM! ISLAM!
Conversation with director Isaac Solotaroff

10151435_752115164819593_1807320987_nWHAM! BAM! ISLAM! tells the story of Naif Al-Mutawa and his venture to create the first team of superheroes from the Muslim world called THE 99. Following the tumultuous journey of THE 99 from concept to reality, from acclaim to censure, from the edge of bankruptcy to a multi-million dollar animation series, Al-Mutawa dodges cultural minefields and confronts the harsh realities of the global marketplace in pursuit of his vision to bring new heroes to children around the world. Following the film, Solotaroff led a lively discussion of the film, and of the concerns it raised about censorship both in the Islamic world and in the USA.

April 3, 2014
Censorship Day
CensorshipDayPoster The Student advisory board mounted a day long series of events that focused on censorship. Events included: Burn It or Bind It, a Censorship Around the World panel discussion, Censorship Debate, a Censorship Photo Booth and a display of censored materials from the Library’s Special Collections.

April 1, 2014
Film Screening: Granito: How to Nail a Dictator
Conversation with Kate Doyle

1606402_747505958613847_459075543_oGranito is the story of how former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt was brought to trial for genocide. The screening was followed by a conversation with Kate Doyle, senior analyst at the nonprofit National Security Archive. Doyle discussed her use of the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to declassified documents and uncover the extent of political violence in Mexico and Guatemala during the 1980s.

February 26, 2013 – April 15, 2014
Galileo’s 450th Birthday! Event Series


450 years ago Galileo Galilei, the father of modern science, was born in Pisa. He was the first man to point a telescope to the heavens and the first to see the moons of Jupiter. He believed the sun was at the center of our solar system, and set out to prove it. The Holy Office of the Catholic Church saw his beliefs as a challenge to scriptures, tried him as heretic, and eventually found him guilty. This famous victim of censorship has earned a birthday celebration! The Center was proud to support Professor Gianluca Rizzo, Department of French and Italian, in organizing a celebration of Galileo’s life and works with a series of events that explored the legacy of this remarkable intellectual in various fields of the arts and science.

April 9 

Galileo, First Scientific Dissident
A lecture by Professor Paul Josephson


Colby’s own Paul Josephson, Professor of History, situated Galileo at the start a long line of scientists who have faced censorship and oppression. Galileo’s example was often in the minds of later scientists who had to choose how much they dared resist the powers that wished to silence them.

March 19
Galileo: A New Look
A lecture by Professor Mark Peterson

UntitledGalileo is known and remembered for his Copernicanism, for his trial, and for his early experiments in physics, but his most important contribution, Professor Peterson argued, is to philosophy. In his late 50s he began to bring together his knowledge of the arts and mathematics, combined with his experimental observations, into what was briefly called “the new philosophy,” a world view that is essentially identical to modern science. Recent discoveries in the Galileo Archives suggest that a person almost lost to history, Galileo’s student Niccolo Aggiunti, was a crucial participant in the creation of the new philosophy, and, most astonishingly, that his knowledge of medieval scholastic theology played a pivotal role in it.


March 18 
GALILEO: An evening at the observatory
Hosted by Professor Elizabeth McGrath and the Colby College Space Club

JupitermoonIn 1609, Galileo Galilei’s observations of celestial bodies in orbit around Jupiter helped pave the way for acceptance of the heliocentric model by demonstrating that Earth was not the center point around which all heavenly bodies orbit. With expert guidance, students recreated these famous observations of Galileo at Colby College’s Observatory. Using multiple telescopes they examined the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. They also observed other celestial objects such as the Orion nebula and some star clusters.


March 12
What we learn about Science, Religion and Censorship from Galileo’s ‘Letter to Grand Duchess Christina’
Lecture by Professor Joe Martin

display_imageGalileo Galilei, as a popular icon, is often collapsed into a single aspect of his legacy: revolutionary astronomer, thorn in the side of the church, the first truly modern scientist, etc. These assessments, while they all highlight important component’s of Galileo’s influence, tend to paint him as apart from his own time. This talk examined one piece of his work, his “Letter to Grand Duchess Christina”, in order to develop an understanding of Galileo as a man thoroughly of his own time, and no less important for it.

March 5

Galileo and the Essence of Modern Science
Lecture by Professor Dan Cohen
1932411_736377609726682_393093116_nGalileo’s signal contribution to the Scientific Revolution was to re-define the essence of science in stark contrast to the established Aristotelian-Ptolemaic scientific world-view -despite the fact that the very idea of an “essence” to science is inconsistent in many ways with the whole tenor of Modern science. Essentialist thinking enabled Galileo to overthrow Aristostelian physics. At the same time, it prevented him from fully grasping Kepler’s overthrow of Ptolemaic astronomy. As a result, Galileo’s claim to the title of the “New Aristotle” is only partial. That honor must be shared with the legacies of Francis Bacon, René Descartes, and Isaac Newton.

February 26
Fabrica Inferni: Manetti, Galileo, and the Architecture of Dante’s Inferno
Lecture by Professor Gianluca Rizzo

1900114_732898943407882_631199200_nWhere is Hell actually located? How large is it? We know it is divided into circles, but exactly how wide are they? And do they gently slope one into the next, or do they end in a vertical drop? Why would anybody take the time to seriously entertain the idea of mapping Hell, you might ask. Well, GalileoGalilei did, and he gave two lectures on these very issues at the Florence Academy, even providing blueprints with precise measurements. How did he come up with those numbers and those designs? Professor Rizzo offered informative, insightful, and witty answers!

March 15, 2014

The Colby Symphony Orchestra presents Mendelssohn’s fifth symphony

Screen-Shot-2013-12-11-at-9.21.54-AM-300x208 The Colby Symphony Orchestra presented Mendelssohn’s fifth symphony, Reformation, composed in 1830 in honor of the 300th anniversary of the presentation of the Augsburg Confession. Never performed at the intended occasion, this marvelous work underwent many layers of censorship—even from the composer himself. This concert showcases the symphony in all its glory along with three of Brahms’s enchanting Hungarian Dances and Aaron Copland’s hauntingly beautiful Quiet City.

March 13, 2014

Colby On Common
Nov_160131-300x298 Colby on Common is an annual collaborative exhibition between Colby College and Common Street Arts, showcasing the work of Colby students, faculty, and staff. This year’s show included work by students in upper level painting, printmaking, and photography classes, as well as by faculty and staff from the Art Department, Colby College Museum of Art, Biology Department, Theater and Dance Department, and many more. The diverse array of artwork included both three dimensional objects and two dimensional work, from quilts, oil painting, and black and white photography to Etch-A-Sketch artwork!

March 7-13, 2014

NEA 4 Residency

nea-4-640There was a time when the United States government subsidized the work of individual artists. In the early 1990s all of that changed as Karen Finley, Holly Hughes, Tim Miller, and John Fleck, known as the NEA 4, had their funding revoked and were effectively censored by the U.S. government. This provocative quartet sued and successfully fought all the way to the Supreme Court. Colby College Theater and Dance Department was proud to host a week of residencies by all four artists so they could they perform, visit classes, lead workshops, and participate in a roundtable discussion on the relationship of censorship, society, and the arts.

March 13

NEA 4: Holly Hughes

Holly-Hughes.jpgHolly Hughes performed her Sapphic Sampler Platter, which she has described as “monologues about being reared in Michigan by feral republicans” and “becoming a major irritant of the moral majority.”

March 12
NEA 4: Roundtable Discussion

nea-4-640In a coup for Colby, every member of the NEA4 was able to participate in one event! All four engaged in a lively roundtable discussion of censorship, society, and the arts with a group of Colby students. In a freewheeling conversation, the issue of boundaries came up repeatedly, boundaries between the sacred and profane; between sexuality in art and pornography; between access and censorship made possible by digital technology. Underlying all of these topics was the central question of how much an artist should acknowledge, respect, or transgress boundaries. The evening ended with a reception where students mingled with Karen Finley, Tim Miller, John Fleck, and Holly Hughes, and continued their conversation in a relaxed setting.

March 11
NEA 4: Tim Miller and John Fleck

Tim Miller performed Sex! Body! Self! exploring the artistic, spiritual, and political topography of his identity as a gay man, and John Fleck performed his emotionally revealing Mad Women, in which he focused on his mother’s later years with Alzheimer’s, her relationship with his abusive father, and parallels to the late Judy Garland. Photo of John Fleck by Ed Krieger.

March 7
NEA 4: Karen Finley
Karen-Finley2-300x208.jpgKaren Finley performed Written in Sand, a dramatic reading of her writings on AIDS. In the early 1990s Finley and fellow performance artists Holly Hughes, Tim Miller, and John Fleck, known collectively as the NEA Four, had their funding revoked and were effectively censored by the U.S. government.

March 8, 2014
Believing is Seeing
Lecture by France Moore Lappé, Matt Jenson and the Liquid Revolution Band

1654787_737422369622206_85673573_oRenowned author Frances Moore Lappé, reggae artist Matt Jenson, and the Liquid Revolution Band provided an evening of mixed music and poetry. While the event was a concert at its core, Lappé layered in spoken-word excerpts from her latest book, EcoMind. Lappé is the author of 18 books, including Diet for a Small Planet, the bestseller that challenges conventional thinking on world hunger and the environment. Jenson is an associate professor of piano at Berklee College of Music.


March 6, 2014
A Brief History of Cartoon Censorship in Modern China
Lecture by Professor Christopher Rhea

ReaChristopher Rea, assistant professor of modern Chinese literature at the University of British Columbia, examined how Chinese cartoonists from three historical periods encountered and dealt with (or were themselves “dealt with” by) government censorship. In 1912 a wave of new pictorial newspapers and magazines appeared that charged themselves with overseeing the administration of the Republic of China. In 1936 Ye Qianyu, one of Shanghai’s most popular cartoonists, launched a new comic strip focused on exposing the wanton cruelty and corruption of officials, and within six months his editor was receiving threats and Ye was forced to end his strip. In the 1950s, during the early years of the People’s Republic of China, all cartoon “labor” was institutionalized under the auspices of the party-state. Rea examined how cartoonists anticipated, challenged, and succumbed to censorship under these different regimes, and he considered what has (and hasn’t) changed in China’s Internet age.

February 21, 2014

Independent Theatre: New strategies in the Cuban theatrical scene
Lecture by Lili Lugo Herrera

1956903_729466250417818_1725157982_o Prize-winning Cuban playwright and theatre professor, Lili Lugo Herrera, gave a talk describing the challenges and rewards of staging plays and editing/publishing a drama journal in modern Cuba. Her perspective was enriched by her experience as an artist in residence in Stuttgart, Germany in 2011, and by directing several of her works in Cuba and in Europe, most recently in Stockholm, where she was invited as part of the 9th Congress for Women Playwrights International.

February 10, 2014
Russian Media and the 2014 Olympics
Lecture by Professor Elena Sivyakoya

dt.common.streams.StreamServer A journalism professor at Moscow State University and a specialist in public and policy and political journalism, Sivyakova has written extensively about the 2011-2012 Russian protest movement, issues of civic engagement and social media, and the media’s role in shaping political discourse in Russia. Addressing the Colby community three days after the opening of the Olympic Games in Sochi, she addressed up-to-the-minute developments. A Q&A followed her talk.

January 25, 2014-June 8, 2014
Histories of Now: Six Artists from Cairo
still from Merge and Emerge2.crop_ An exhibition of video installations by leading contemporary artists based in Egypt. Co-curated by Ahmed Abdalla and Joanna Soltan for the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

December 4, 2013

Evening of Ekphrasis

1399611_690304857667291_2135838875_o Colby students enrolled in Creative Writing Workshops read aloud their poetry written in response to works of art in the fabulous collection of Colby’s Museum of Art. As a point of departure, students focused on the meaning of ekphrasis or ecphrasis, “from the Greek description of a work of art, possibly imaginary, produced as a rhetorical exercise, and is a graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art. In ancient times it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis, ‘out’ and ‘speak’ respectively, verb ekphrazein, to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name.”

December 5, 2013
Global Uprisings
Lecture by Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maecklebergh

1401724_690306921000418_2100909887_o Since 2010, streets and squares across the world have become the site of massive demonstrations, strikes, occupations, riots, rebellions and revolutions. From the Arab Spring to the movement of the squares in Southern Europe, and from there to the global Occupy movement and the uprisings in Turkey and Brazil, people everywhere have been rising up against the power of governments, corporations and repressive regimes, representing a global legitimation crisis that affects authoritarian regimes and liberal democracies alike. Filmmaker Brandon Jourdan and anthropologist Marianne Maeckelbergh (Leiden University) came to Colby to screen some of their documentary shorts, reporting from the front lines of Cairo, Athens, Oakland, Madrid, Lisbon and most recently Istanbul, as well as to answer questions.

November 23, 2014

Banned Band Works
Colby Wind Ensemble

Banned-Band Further uncovering censorship, the Colby Wind Ensemble presented a program of music by composers whose works have been banned, including Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Hanns Eisler’s “Auferstanden aus Ruinen,” Aram Khachaturian’s Armenian Dances, and Richard Wagner’s “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral.” Another portion of the program featured clarinet and saxophone ensembles, with Asymmetric Miniatures from the Doumka Clarinet Ensemble and a work by prolific contemporary composer and saxophonist Barbara Thompson.

November 21-23, 2014

Runnals XXX

RunnalsXXX_poster for printing-page-001

Runnals XXX is an immersive theater experience exploring how censorship (as an action and as a theme) operates in and through the history of performance. Audiences travel between three different performance spaces in Runnals as they experience: Susan Glaspell’s Trifles (about the silencing of women’s voices in early 20th century America); a mashup of scenes from 2500 years of banned plays (Oedipus Rex to Angels in America); and a collage of movement, music, comedy and hip hop all responding to the promise—seen, unseen, erased—of the American Dream.

November 17, 2013
Let’s talk about sex: Student Presentations on a selection of works from the Museum

1470234_678806432150467_1529012118_nFive students in the seminar AR497 Sex in Art presented research on works of art, discussing themes of sexuality from an art historical perspective. Students then facilitated a provocative dialogue with the audience about sexuality in art and issues of censorship.

November 11, 2013
Laverne Cox: “Ain’t I a woman: My journey to Womanhood”

Laverne CoxTransgender Advocate and Critically Acclaimed Actress of Orange is the New Black. Her portrayal of the incarcerated Sophia Burset has touched the hearts of viewers. In 2012 Cox garnered critical acclaim for her role in the independent feature film Musical Chairs directed by Susan Seidelman. Cox is the first African-American trans woman to produce and star in her own television show, VH1’s critically acclaimed TRANSForm Me. Cox was named as one of the most influential tans people in America in the inaugural Trans 100 in 2013.
She is committed to telling diverse and three dimensional trans stories in the media. She travels the country speaking about issues that affect the trans community. She is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

November 12, 2013

Film Screening Bully
Conversation with writer-producer Cynthia Lowen

the-bully-project-movie-poster-2As chronicled in the movie Bully, bullying thrives in certain school and community ecosystems where bullying has been normalized by peers, where adults are not equipped to effectively respond, and where targets have internalized the abuse and stopped seeking help. This breakout session will be an open dialogue on disrupting the ecosystems where bullying thrives. At 7 p.m., the film Bully will be screened, followed by a discussion with the film’s writer and producer, Cynthia Lowen.

November 3-10, 2013
Identity uncovered at Colby
Film Series

1401580_673607329337044_1812071511_oIdentity Uncovered showcased student films investigating the role specific identities play for members of the college community on a daily basis. These pieces, collectively entitled Identity Uncovered at Colby, covered a number of different subjects, including but not limited to, race, gender, sexuality and class.

October 17, 2013

Censorship and the Music of the Counter-Reformation

CensoredMusicReformation Concerns about the vulnerability of young people to the corrupting influence of music extend back to the very beginnings of music criticism in the West. But at the end of the sixteenth century, Bavarian officials translated those concerns into formal regulations aimed at controlling the music heard by college students. In completing their work, they evaluated hundreds of specific compositions, accepting or rejecting each in turn. David Crook examined the criteria they employed, and, in live performances provided by the Colby College Collegium Chamber Singers, provided samples of both what officials approved and what they censored.

October 1, 2013
Film Screening Faire Quelque Chose
Conversation with filmmaker Vincent Goubet

Faire Quelque choseFrench filmmaker Vincent Goubet introduced, screened, and discussed his new film Faire quelque chose (Do Something – in French with English subtitles), a chronicle of the French Resistance through interviews with surviving members. From their motivation to act to their arrest, torture, deportation, and decision to kill, Goubet probed all the sensitive areas.

September 18, 2013
Film Screening: Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry
Conversation with Director Alison Klayman

Ai-WEi-Wei-never-Sorry-Dokumenation-1As part of the Center for the Arts and Humanities theme of censorship, Alison Klayman, director of the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, visited the College for a screening of the film and a subsequent question and answer session to allow students further insight into one of China’s most provocative artists. The story of Ai Weiwei showcases an oft-censored prodigy whose primary medium is danger; both the film and the subject’s artwork are intelligent, stimulating and inspiring. Weiwei uses a contemporary style and has dedicated his work to public awareness and social change in China—as well as in the international community.

September 12, 2013
Monitoring ‘Bad’ Language
Professor Anderson

Anderson-Nword-page-001Expletives are a class of expressions that are used to express a range of strong emotive attitudes. They are also the kinds of words many view as unsuitable for “polite company,” and thus find necessary to censor in certain contexts. Some expletives admit of appropriate contexts but one kind has very specialized rules of use. In this lecture Professor Anderson, whose scholarly work concentrates on the semantics and ethics of racial language and racist humor, looked at the specialized use rules for the N-word and why it seems okay for some people to use it in an appropriated, positive (or at least non-negative) sense, and not okay for others.