Spring 2019

January 9 Presence of the Past Film Series The Visitor 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema It’s the post-9/11 U.S. when Tom McCarthy (who was to go on to make the Oscar-winning Spotlight Movie) made this “heartfelt human drama that sneaks up and floors you” about our fear of immigrants. Richard Jenkins notched a Best Actor Oscar nomination as a nerdy Connecticut professor “who seems to move through life in a trance. We meet Walter as he leaves his safe, dull perch, teaching global economics at a Connecticut college, and travels to Manhattan to present a paper at an academic convention. At a barely used apartment he and his late wife kept in the city, Walter finds a beautiful young woman soaking in his bathtub. She’s Zainab (the wonderous Danai Gurira), from Senegal. Zainab and her boyfriend Tarek (Haaz Sleiman excels), a Syrian musician, aren’t squatters. They rented the place from a scam artist. After a few awkward moments, Walter invites the couple to stay till they find new digs. But it’s Walter who finds something — himself. When Tarek, who gives the uptight Walter lessons on the African drum, is arrested, Walter tries to intercede with U.S. Immigration.” —Peter Travers, Rolling Stone. PG-13. 104 Min. 2007. FREE ADMISSION for anyone with a Colby College I.D. All others: regular admission prices apply.
February 6 Presence of the Past Film Series Cave of Forgotten Dreams 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema “To call this movie fascinating is akin to calling the Grand Canyon large” —The Hollywood Reporter. Legendary director Werner Herzog takes us on a literal journey to our past. For over 20,000 years, Chauvet Cave has been completely sealed off by a fallen rock face, its crystal-encrusted interior as large as a football field and strewn with the petrified remains of giant ice age mammals. In 1994, scientists discovered the caverns, and found hundreds of pristine paintings within, spectacular artwork dating back over 30,000 years (almost twice as old as any previous finds) to a time when Neanderthals still roamed the earth and cave bears, mammoths, and ice age lions were the dominant populations of Europe. Since then, only a handful of specialists have stepped foot in the cave, and the true scope of its contents had largely gone unfelt—until legendary director Werner Herzog managed to gain access. Herzog captures the wonder and beauty of one of the most awe-inspiring sites on earth, all the while musing in his inimitable fashion about its original inhabitants, the birth of art, and the curious people surrounding the caves today. G. 89 Min. 2010. FREE ADMISSION for anyone with a Colby College I.D. All others: regular admission prices apply.
February 11 Presence of the Past Lecture Series The Presence of the Past in Angela Merkel’s Political Discourse Jennifer Yoder, Colby College 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium When Angela Merkel assumed the German chancellorship in 2005, there was little indication that she would emerge as a leader adept at memory politics. The unassuming physicist was a relative newcomer to politics, lacking media savvy and skill at public speaking. During the early years of her leadership, she was criticized for her cautious style and her indecision, eventually inspiring a new German verb, merkeln, or to dither. In my lecture for the Presence of the Past series, I will explore how and why Chancellor Merkel has invoked the German past, particularly when addressing Germany’s role in Europe and the world. I will suggest that Merkel has drawn upon several pasts – from different points in time and from different configurations of Germany – to present an integrated collective memory for a unified Germany. What is more, she has referenced the past to justify particular policy positions and, occasionally, a particular vision for Germany’s role in European and global affairs. At Colby since 1996, Jen Yoder is jointly appointed in the government department and the global studies program. Her courses focus on European politics, including this semester’s “Memory and Politics.” Yoder’s research addresses various aspects of post-unification German politics and identity. Her ongoing research project on European memory explores the memory divides that have emerged in recent years between new/eastern and old/western members of the European Union.
February 12 Presence of the Past Music Series Music of ‘Cello and Theorbo & Guitar Ensemble ScheckMate: Raffael Scheck, ‘cello & Timothy Burris, theorbo and classical guitar 12:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium 17th-century Italy witnessed unparalleled musical experimentation, including the creation of new instruments and the expansion of improvisatory instrumental styles. The ensemble ScheckMate uses historic instruments to recreate—and indeed bring forward—that spirit of invention, making the music of the past a present and living tradition. The Age of Invention focuses on several remarkable talents of the era, including Domenico Gabrielli, Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger, and Girolamo Frescobaldi. Works of these and other composers bring the Italian style of the 17th century to the present.

February 18 Presence of the Past Lecture Series Indians on the Reservation: Missionary Priests from India and Catholic Settler Colonialism Sonja Thomas, Colby College 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium Many Catholic dioceses in rural areas of the US are recruiting and hiring missionary priests from India. The Great-Falls-Billings diocese of central and eastern Montana is one of them. Priests from India are entering into an area of the country that Winona LaDuke has called “the Deep North,” where anti-immigrant sentiments, white supremacy, and anti-Native racism is prevalent. Priests serve not only white parishioners, but on Indian reservations as well and may face a myriad of cultural and racial disconnects—not to mention a history of settler colonial violence perpetrated by the Catholic Church. This (autoethnography?) examines settler colonial history, Catholicism in rural Montana, and the migration of priests from India to the region. Sonja Thomas grew up in eastern Montana in a devote South Asian American Catholic family. At Colby, she teaches courses on South Asian feminisms, gender and human rights, feminist theory, critical race feminisms, and postcolonial and native feminisms. She has written articles on education and religious minorities in India, Black vernacular traditions in the US and globally, and on Indian missionary priests in Montana. She is the author of Privileged Minorities: Syrian Christianity, Gender, and Minority Rights in Postcolonial India. Sonja is associate editor for South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.
Friday, Feb. 22 — Thursday, Feb. 28 MIRAI! Railroad Sqaure Cinema, Waterville Oscar Nominee—Best Animated Film! Only one non-Hollywood monolith fought its way to an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film this year—the fantastic (in all the senses of the word), “dazzling” (Rolling Stone) MIRAI! Kun, a little boy, enjoys a happy childhood until the arrival of his baby sister, Mirai. As the new baby becomes the center of his parents’ attention, he becomes increasingly jealous. Little by little, he withdraws into himself. In the backyard where he likes to take refuge, grows a magical family tree. Kun finds himself suddenly catapulted into a fantastic world where the past and the present mingle. “You’ll be enchanted.”—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone. PG. 98 Min.Daily at 4:10 EXCEPT no 4:10 Sunday! Also Sat. and Sun. at 12:05pm.
February 25 Presence of the Past Lecture Series Action After Nature: Climate Crisis and the Force of Literature Nathan Hensley, Georgetown University 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium When Alice falls into Wonderland in Lewis Carroll’s 1865 classic, she wonders how anything in the world will ever feel normal again. In this lecture, Hensley draws on the experience of Alice and other 19th century literary figures to sketch how it feels to live at the tail end of a long history of climate crisis. With our upside-down contemporary world in view, the talk will trace our climatic unwinding from its origins in nineteenth century coal extraction to our moment of capital intensive “tight oil” and shale gas fracking. The goal will be to show how poetic and literary thinkers from this long modern period –Lewis Carroll; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; and the Brontë sisters among them– invent new languages, poetic resources by which we might begin to imagine, and then to create, a just and livable future. Nathan K. Hensley is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University and author of Forms of Empire: The Poetics of Victorian Sovereignty (Oxford 2016). He is also the coeditor of Ecological Form: System and Aesthetics in the Age of Empire (Fordham 2018), and co-director the 2016-2018 Mellon-Sawyer Seminar, “Approaching the Anthropocene: Global Culture and Planetary Change.”
February 26 The Death of an Immortal Goddess: Sacrifice and Power in Hindu Religious Traditions Paul B. Courtright, Professor Emeritus, Emory University 4:00 p.m., Robinson Room, Miller Library The goddess Sati, wife of Shiva, is especially remembered for her self-immolation in her father’s fire sacrifice, protesting his rejection of her husband’s share in its benefits. Since the advent of British colonial rule sati has served as the term for a Hindu wife who is immolated on the cremation fire of her deceased husband. Since the abolition of sati in Bengal in 1829 sati has also figured as an atrocity of a patriarchal regime appropriating religion for its legitimacy. Through the long event of Hindu history, core myths of the goddess Sati’s fiery death and narratives of sati as the terminal event in the lives of some Hindu wives have played an important in marking the margins of ideal action (dharma) for married women. Examining sacred narratives and iconographies this lecture will explore the underlying perspectives which continue to haunt and inspire Hindu understandings of sacrifice, power and gender. Cosponsored with the Department of Religious Studies, and the Engish department.
March 5 Presence of the Past Lecture Series Collecting Bodies, Bodily Collectives: Trace Identities in British India, 1918-47 Projit Bihari Mukharji, University of Pennsylvania 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium Roughly, the last three decades of British rule in South Asia produced a host of new scientific ways, such as serology and statistical analysis, for determining the identities of human beings. British administrator-ethnographers, however, were no longer the primary users of these new scientific methods. Rather, South Asian scientists now enthusiastically embraced these techniques. Their objective was to determine both the “racial history” and the “national futures” of subcontinental populations. Projit Bihari Mukharji is an Associate Professor in History & Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His work explores the intersections between the histories of science and the political and cultural histories of modern South Asia. His articles have appeared in journals such as the Comparative Studies in Society and History, Journal of Asian Studies, Indian Economic and Social History Review, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Social History of Medicine and History of Science.
March 6 Presence of the Past Film Series The Lady Eve 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema Do you think the movement for women’s equality in movies is a recent development? How about a movie that clearly—and charmingly, and hilariously and wittily—argues casually for her absolute SUPERIORITY in a Hollywood romantic comedy from 1941? The Lady Eve is all that and more as the fantastic Barbara Stanwyck runs comic, erotic and romantic circles around her handsome but befuddled paramour Henry Fonda in Preston Sturges’ masterpiece. Stanwyck plays Jean Harrington, a card shark on an ocean liner who plies her trade on the outclassed rich boy played by Fonda. Featuring one of the great closing lines in cinema history as well as everything else in its treasure trove. What a trove! Unrated. 94 Min. FREE ADMISSION for anyone with a Colby College I.D. All others: regular admission prices apply.
March 11 Presence of the Past Lecture Series William Blake and Elizabeth Bishop in the Anthropocene Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium Reading Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Sandpiper” along with William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence,” the talk makes a case for the continuing resonances of two poets who, writing before climate change was an available term, nonetheless spoke to the vulnerabilities of the planet — of humans and nonhumans — in a way newly meaningful in the climate-endangered twenty-first century.. Wai Chee Dimock is William Lampson Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University. Editor of PMLA, she also writes for Critical Inquiry, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Los Angeles Review of Books, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. She was a consultant for Invitation to World Literature, a 13-part series produced by WGBH and aired on PBS. Her new book, Weak Planet: From Vulnerability to Resilience, is forthcoming from U of Chicago Press. Her lecture, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, is available from Open Yale courses.
March 18 Presence of the Past Lecture Series The Past that has never been Present: The Changing Role of the a priori in Philosophical Anthropology Keith Peterson, Colby College 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium The content and function of what has been considered to play a preconscious-determining role in human cognition and experience has changed from Kant to the present. Whether the determining factors are described as concepts and categories, stereotypes and intuitions, or historico-cultural expectations, the view that human experience is shaped by prior determining factors of which individuals are usually entirely unaware has remained an important finding of critical philosophy. After discussing some historical versions of the notion, I consider one current account that attributes our widespread inability to act on knowledge of global climate disruption, at least in part, to certain properties of human cognition that function in an automatic and a priori way. 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 his monograph on environmental philosophy entitled A World not Made for Us: Topics in Critical Environmental Philosophy should appear sometime in 2019.
April 1 Presence of the Past Lecture Series The Natural History of Sexuality in Early America Greta LaFleur, Yale University 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium If sexology—the science of sex—came into being sometime in the nineteenth century, then how did statesmen, scientists, and everyday people make meaning out of sex before that point? In this talk, Greta LaFleur explores how eighteenth-century natural history—the study of organic life in its environment—actually provided the intellectual foundations for the later development of the scientific study of sex.” Greta LaFleur is Assistant Professor of American Studies. Her research and teaching focuses on early North American literary and cultural studies, the history of science, the history of race, the history and historiography of sexuality, and queer studies. Her first book, The Natural History of Sexuality in Early America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018), brings together the history of sexuality and early environmental studies to explore how sexual behaviors were understood in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. She is currently at work on a new book project on the relationship of cultural and legal responses to sexual violence to the history of sexuality. She is also the editor (with Kyla Schuller) of a special issue of American Quarterly, organized around the theme of “Origins of Biopolitics in the Americas” (forthcoming Sept. 2019).
April 8 Presence of the Past Lecture Series How current genomes are shaped by evolutionary pasts Suegene Noh, Colby College 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium Lives of organisms are shaped by their social interactions, including those with other individuals of the same species, as well as with individuals of different species. These interactions affect how our genomes evolve so that current patterns of DNA sequence variation from genomes can be used to detect past evolutionary events. Using the social amoeba and its microbial symbiont as an example, I will show how competitive interactions among amoebas has caused certain genes to evolve more rapidly, and how associating with an amoeba host may have caused symbiont genomes to shrink in size. Dr. Suegene Noh is an evolutionary biologist whose research focuses on understanding how social interactions among microbial organisms shape their genomes. Her curiosity for the natural world found a foothold while watching foraging Korean wasps interact with nestmates as an undergraduate. She received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. Her past research interests include mating signal evolution and cold adaptation, particularly in insects.
April 8 Beyond the Island Shores: Oceans, Memory, and Poetics of Creolization Emmanuel Bruno Jean-François, Professor of Francophone Studies at PennState 4:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium While colonial imagination has persistently represented islands and archipelagoes of the Global South as vulnerable and fragmented isolates, one needs only consider Creole islands of the Mascarene region and the Antilles to appreciate how ‘insular’ histories and experiences relate more to stories of exchanges and encounters than one would initially imagine. Using the ‘New Thalassology’ and Oceanic Creolization as a relational framework for exploring multipolar connections, minor solidarities, and long-ignored forms of cosmopolitanism, this presentation discusses how the transcolonial and transoceanic imaginaries of two Mauritian authors—Edouard Maunick and Khal Torabully—disrupt the colonial taxonomies that have construed islands as spaces of colonial difference, isolation, and vulnerability. While their “de-insularization” of islands and their rewriting of geographies, temporalities, and epistemologies bridge the gap between landmasses and seas, oceans and archipelagoes, it also configures fluctuating horizons and symbolic spaces of relation from which minority, racialized, and subaltern subjects across multiple sites can interact in fruitful and lateral ways.
April 10 Presence of the Past Film Series Leviathan 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema Kolia lives in a small town near the Barents Sea in North Russia. He has his own auto-repair shop. His shop stands right next to the house where he lives with his young wife Lilya and his son from a previous marriage. Vadim Shelevyat, the mayor of the town, wants to take away his business, his house and his land. First he tries buying off Kolia, but Kolia cannot stand losing everything he has, not only the land, but also all the beauty that has surrounded him from the day of his birth. So Shelevyat starts being more aggressive. Screened as part of our 2018-19 Presence of the Past Film Series, a new series of screenings held monthly through April 2019 at Railroad Square Cinema. Presented by Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Maine Film Center. FREE ADMISSION for anyone with a Colby College I.D. All others: regular admission prices apply.
April 15 Presence of the Past Lecture Series Anatomists and the Stolen Statues: Stories of Science, Art, and Religion Carin Berkowitz, Executive Director of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium In 1807, the London surgeon and anatomist Charles Bell was called by his friend Thomas Bruce, the Earl of Elgin, to view the friezes of the Parthenon, recently brought to London, having been taken from their original home in Greece. Bell was asked to assess the statues as an anatomist and to analyze their representations of the human form. Why would an anatomist participate in such an activity? The answer, as it turns out, has a great deal to do with the ways in which science, art, and religion were fundamentally related to each other. Those relationships, I will argue, are lasting, and we can find evidence of them in today’s science as well.Carin Berkowitz is the executive director of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. She is the author of the book Charles Bell and the Anatomy of Reform, co-editor of Science Museums in Transition: Cultures of Display in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America, and author of several articles on the uses of images and objects in anatomy that have appeared in Bulletin of the History of Medicine, The British Journal for the History of Science, and History of Science.
April 23 Presence of the Past Keynote Speaker Roxane Gay 7:00 p.m., Lorimer Chapel, Colby College We are delighted to announce that Roxane Gay will be the keynote speaker for this year’s humanities theme, Presence of the Past. Roxane’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects. Tickets available to Colby Students, Faculty, and Staff in Pulver Pavilion, Friday, April 19 and Monday, April 22, 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 Monday, April 22, 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. The event will be live streamed on campus with overflow seating in Ostrove Auditorium in the Diamond Building.
April 29 Presence of the Past Lecture Series Turning Back the Clock on Ocean Declines: Using Historical Ecology in Marine Conservation Loren McClenachan, Colby College 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium Historical marine ecology has revealed long-term, and previously unknown, changes to marine species and ecosystems, providing information vital for managing and conserving marine resources. This talk will use examples from diverse taxonomic groups to demonstrate the ways that historical data can be mobilized to better assess long-term ecological change, and the ways in which historical data can improve management, particularly for species in the early stages of population recovery. Loren McClenachan is a marine ecologist interested in long term changes to marine animal populations. Her research focuses on historical ecology and the applied use of baselines, fisheries conservation, and marine extinction risk and consequences. Loren aims to quantify ecological change and identify conservation success over centuries and across large geographic areas in order to halt declines and promote recovery of marine animals and ecosystems.
May 6 Presence of the Past Lecture Series Using Distant Galaxies as Cosmic Time Machines Elizabeth McGrath, Colby College 7:00 p.m., Kassman Auditorium The night sky is filled with stars and galaxies whose light was emitted at different times throughout the entire 13.6 billion year history of the Universe. Each one provides us with a snapshot in time, which we can use collectively to gain insight into some of the most fundamental questions about the nature of the Universe. When did the first stars and galaxies form? How do galaxies and their stars evolve with time? What causes galaxies to stop forming stars and die? The answers to these questions will help us understand our own Milky Way galaxy’s past, present, and future, including the fate of the stars and planets within it. In this talk, I will discuss what images from the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing about the early history of galaxies, and how our current theories of galaxy formation and evolution may need to be modified to properly account for recent observational results. Elizabeth McGrath is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Colby College. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2007 from the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. After leaving Hawaii, she was a researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she worked on designing new adaptive optics technologies to improve the image quality of ground-based telescopes. McGrath is a leader in the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS), which is the largest sky imaging survey ever carried out by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Fall 2018

September 20-21 The Prague Spring Fifty Years On: Meaning, Legacy, Future Prospects Colby College In early 1968, after two decades of totalitarian dictatorship under Soviet domination, the Czechoslovak state and society experienced a remarkable period of political and economic liberalization that became known as the Prague Spring. Under public pressure, control of the ruling Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) passed to reformist members led by Alexander Dubček, who began partially decentralizing the economy and administrative authority and relaxing restrictions on the media, speech, and travel. This process took place in the broader context of an extraordinary flowering of the arts, including film, music, literature, and theatre, all of which acted as its catalysts. The Prague Spring abruptly ended in August 1968, when Czechoslovakia was invaded by its Warsaw Pact allies led by the Soviet Union, its reformist leaders were deposed, and pro-Soviet hardliners were reinstalled. The processes of political and economic liberalization and cultural renaissance were reversed, ushering in a period of “normalization” and stasis under Soviet military occupation that would last until the fall of Communism in Europe in 1989. For more information, or conference schedule please click here.
September 26 Poor People’s Campaign/Maine at Colby 5:00 p.m., Brewster Reading Room, Miller Library In late 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. launched his nonviolent Poor People’s Campaign to bring awareness about poverty and economic injustice in America and to initiate substantial change. Months later, he was assassinated. But in recent years activists across America have revived his campaign, which seeks to address the interrelated crises of “systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation, and the nation’s distorted morality.” Come learn about the Poor People’s Campaign, meet two of its key leaders in Maine, and find out how you can be involved in one of the most important social justice movements of our time. This event is co-sponsored by African American Studies, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Center for Small Town Jewish Life, Colby Libraries Special Collections, the Multi-Faith Council, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Office of the President, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, and the Pugh Center.
October 8 Presence of the Past Film Series Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks and Pathways 6:00 p.m. Opening reception for Titi de Baccarat: With the heart and the reason 7:15 Screening of ‘Black Girl’ with post-screening discussion On October 8, the Maine Film Center will take part in the statewide initiative Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks and Pathways. Events include companion exhibitions, lectures, films, performances, poetry readings, and community conversations. At Railroad Square Cinema, we will host Portland artist Titi de Baccarat‘s work as our “Art in the Lobby” show for the month of October. On October 8 at 6:00 we will hold an opening for his show With the heart and the reason. At 7:15 we will screen the powerful 1966 film Black Girl, and follow that with a community discussion hosted by Mouhamedoul Niang, Associate Professor of French at Colby. ‘Black Girl’ is about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white couple and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a figurative and literal prison—into a complex, layered critique on the lingering colonialist mindset of a supposedly postcolonial world. Featuring a moving central performance by Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Black Girl is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement—and one of the essential films of the 1960s. Unrated. 59 Min.
October 10 The American Shakespeare Company Presents: Sophocles’ Antigone Directed by Doreen Bechtol, Sponsored by Richard B. Smith 7:30 p.m., Strider Theater Antigone, the ASC’s first foray into Greek tragedy, reaches across 2,500 years to speak to us today with surprising relevancy. Our young heroine, Antigone, intentionally breaks a newly imposed law when she buries her brother’s corpse; a divine ritual that honors the dead, ushers them into the underworld, and is a woman’s domain to perform. This act earns a death sentence from the recently throned king, yet she faces this terror with a pragmatic resolve to do what she knows is right for her beloved kin and, thus, tells her uncle-king, “And if by chance I seem to you to act in foolishness, it may just be it is a fool himself condemns my foolishness.” In her unflinching dedication to do what is right rather than buckling under the pressure of what is easy, Antigone reaches across time to invite us to challenge injustice, honor the memories of those we love, and continue speaking up for others even (and especially) when our words are unpopular. -Doreen Bechtol, Director Presented by American Shakespeare Company with support from the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Classics Department, Government Department, and the Cultural Events Committee.
October 11 Luc Sante 5:00 p.m., Olin 1 Luc Sante will present “The Genius of the System,” a lecture and slide talk concerning the vernacular tradition in American photography. It proposes that regional photographers in the twentieth century, far outside the discussions occurring in major cities, were experimenting with the medium in often radical ways. Many of these photographers were little documented–we may not even know their names–and we can have little idea of what they were thinking. Did they comprise a hidden avant-garde? Or was photography itself the disruptive force? Luc Sante’s books include Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, Kill All Your Darlings and The Other Paris. He began writing for the New York Review of Books in 1981 and has contributed to hundreds of periodicals over the years. His honors include a Whiting Writers Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Grammy (for album notes), an Infinity Award for Writing from the International Center of Photography, and Guggenheim and Cullman Fellowships. He teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College.
November 12 Giovanna Faleschini Lerner Ghost of the Past, Fears of the Present in Italian Migration Cinema 7:00 p.m., Wormser Room, Miller Library Since the early 1990s, Italian cinema has grappled with questions of migration, integration, and identity, both reflecting and shaping the broader preoccupations of Italian society at large. In this talk, Giovanna Faleschini Lerner, Associate Professor of Italian and Chair of the Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Franklin & Marshall College, focuses on two tropes that Italian filmmakers have used to connect current migration flows to past history, and on the ways in which these tropes have helped shape what she calls an aesthetic and ethics of hospitality in their films. This hospitality is not unproblematic, and the work of foreign-born or second-generation filmmakers has helped de-center it as the main theoretical framework in which to situate stories of migration.
November 14 Presence of the Past Film Series Jonah who will be 25 in the year 2000 7:15 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema A sweet, smart, hopeful and funny visionary film from our past imagines a future very different than the one we now know has happened. Alain Tanner’s beloved film follows eight casually utopian veterans of the consciousness of the ‘60s as they navigate a new world they themselves are trying to create through their eccentric but very deep idealism. The European equivalent of The Return of the Secaucus 7 (though Jonah came first!), looking at the lives of a group of men and women in their 30s as they confront the slim gains of the “revolutionary” sixties. Max, a dissatisfied copy editor; Myriam, a redhead into tantric sex; and Marie, a supermarket checker who gives unauthorized discounts to the elderly, search for renewed meaning on a communal farm. Director Alain Tanner collaborated with John Berger on a nonpareil screenplay, and a cast of great French actors take flight with their somewhat disillusioned but still very real hopes. In French with English subtitles. Unrated. 116 Min. 1976.
December 1 Colby Symphony Orchestra Presence of the Past Humanities Theme event Minji-Ko, violin, 2018 Concerto Competition Winner Jinwook Park, director 7:30 p.m., Lorimer Chapel In its second concert of the season, the orchestra explores The Presence of the Past as it performs Mozart’s timeless Jupiter symphony, and, in celebration of the Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Minji Ko ‘21 will also be featured in the first movement of William Walton’s Violin Concerto. This concert series is in conjuction with the annual humanities theme, Presence of the Past.
December 5 Presence of the Past Film Series The Great Dictator 7:15p.m., Railroad Square Cinema Charlie Chaplin sees the present in 1940…and turns Adolph Hitler into a deeply satirized figure before the full force of World War 2 even happens in this astonishing comedy, forever memorable for the image of Chaplin’s Hitler clone, here named Adenoid Hynkel, literally playing with a world globe, which he bounces off his butt and head. Chaplin plays the part of both Hynkel, dictator of Tomania, and of a humble Jewish barber in this one-of-a-kind classic…with echoes that reverberate still…An Oscar nominee in its day for both Chaplin and Best Picture, it’s now simply seen as among the greatest films ever made, simultaneously funny and chilling. Unrated. 125 min. 1940.