Events

You Can't Miss

October 4, 2021

What Does Abolition Sound Like?
Paul Rucker and Robin Kelley
Freedom and Captivity lecture series
7:00 p.m., Live Zoom Webinar

A performance workshop with artist-musician Paul Rucker creating music in response to prompts by Robin D. G. Kelley (History, UCLA, author of Freedom Dreams).

To register for the event, please click here.

The Freedom and Captivity lecture series is sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, Art, English and Creative Writing, Music, Philosophy, Sociology, Theater and Dance, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the African American Studies program, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, Colby Libraries, and the Cultural Events Committee.

Snowpiercer

October 5, 2021

Snowpiercer (2013) with Seth Kim, Colby Cinema Studies
Cinema in Conversation: Films of Freedom, Captivity, and Human Rights
7:00 p.m., Maine Film Center

A post-apocalyptic ice age forces humanity’s last survivors aboard a globe-spanning supertrain. One man (Chris Evans) will risk everything to lead a revolt for control of the engine and the future of the world. A film that’s “just as interested in examining topics like climate change, class, and cultural disparity as it is in revealing just how the film’s core team navigates a never-stopping hell train to take on the bad guys” – ArsTechnica.

Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, Cinema Studies, and the Maine Film Center.

The Torture Letters: Reckoning with Police Violence

October 6, 2021

The Torture Letters: Reckoning with Police Violence
Laurence Ralph, Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University
7:00 p.m., Ostrove Auditorium

Laurence Ralph is a Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. His research and writing explore how police abuse, mass incarceration, and the criminalization of the drug trade naturalize disease, disability, and premature death for urban residents of color, who are often seen as expendable by “polite” society. Theoretically, his research lies at the nexus of critical medical and political anthropology, African American studies, and emerging scholarship on disability. Combining these literatures, he shows show violence and injury play a central role in the daily lives of Black urban populations. His most recent book, Torture Letters, is about torture as an open secret in Chicago. Between 1972 and 1991, at least 125 black suspects were tortured by Chicago police officers working under former Police Commander John Burge. For more than fifty years, police officers who took an oath to protect and serve have instead beaten, electrocuted, suffocated, and raped hundreds—perhaps thousands—of Chicago residents. The Torture Letters chronicles the history of torture in Chicago, the burgeoning activist movement against police violence, and the American public’s complicity in perpetuating torture at home and abroad.

Cosponsored with the Oak Institute for Human Rights.

October 11, 2021

Reparations as Black Antagonism
Cameron Rowland
Freedom and Captivity lecture series
7:00 p.m., Live Zoom Webinar

Performance and talk by artist Cameron Rowland. Cameron Rowland is an American artist. Rowland graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in 2011, and after being awarded the MacArthur Fellowship returned there to address the student body. He spoke about his 2018 work Depreciation that critically examined the economics of slavery.

The Freedom and Captivity lecture series is sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, Art, English and Creative Writing, Music, Philosophy, Sociology, Theater and Dance, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the African American Studies program, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, Colby Libraries, and the Cultural Events Committee.

October 14, 2021

Keynote Event on Wabanaki Place Names
Penobscot Tribal Historian James Francis, Moderated by Darren Ranco

7:00 p.m., Live Zoom Webinar

During the event, James Francis will discuss his important work on returning Wabanaki place names to locations in Maine. There will be ample time for discussion, in a Q&A moderated by Penobscot scholar Darren Ranco. This event is part of the Critical Indigenous Studies Initiative’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day Event Series 2021, in partnership with the University of Maine’s Native American Programs.

Sponsored by the American Studies Program’s Critical Indigenous Studies Initiative, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, Environmental Studies Program, History Department, Oak Institute for Human Rights, Theater and Dance Department, Center for the Arts and Humanities, and the University of Maine’s Native American Programs.

October 25, 2021

Visualizing Incarceration
Sean Kelley, Brett Story, and Rowan Renee
Freedom and Captivity lecture series
7:00 p.m., Live Zoom Webinar

A conversation with curator Sean Kelley (Eastern State Penitentiary), filmmaker and author Brett Story (Prison in 12 Landscapes; Prison Nation), and artist Rowan Renee.

The Freedom and Captivity lecture series is sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, Art, English and Creative Writing, Music, Philosophy, Sociology, Theater and Dance, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the African American Studies program, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, Colby Libraries, and the Cultural Events Committee.

Safe

October 27, 2021

Safe (2015) with Steve Wurtzler, Colby Cinema Studies
Cinema in Conversation: Films of Freedom, Captivity, and Human Rights
7:00 p.m., Maine Film Center

Safe is a 1995 British-American psychological drama film written and directed by Todd Haynes and starring Julianne Moore. Set in 1987, it follows a suburban housewife in Los Angeles whose monotonous life is abruptly changed when she becomes sick with a mysterious illness caused by the environment around her. The film topped the “best film of the 1990s” poll by The Village Voice, and was described by critics as “the scariest film of the year”, “a mesmerizing horror movie”, and “a work of feminist counter-cinema”. 20 years after the film’s release, Haynes said its themes—disease and immunity in a post-industrial landscape and how recovery is a burden often put on victims of illness—were even more relevant than they were when the film was released.

Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, Cinema Studies, and the Maine Film Center.

November 1, 2021

Abolitionist Futures and Queer Liberation
Uri McMillan, Danielle Jackson, and Sable Elyse Smith
Freedom and Captivity lecture series
7:00 p.m., Live Zoom Webinar

A conversation with Uri McMillan (African American Studies, UCLA, author of Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance), Danielle Jackson (curator, Artists Space), and artist Sable Elyse Smith.

The Freedom and Captivity lecture series is sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, Art, English and Creative Writing, Music, Philosophy, Sociology, Theater and Dance, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the African American Studies program, the Oak Insitute for Human Rights, Colby Libraries, and the Cultural Events Committee.

Medical Humanities and Artificial Intelligence: A Critical Nexus for Data Ethics and Racial Equity

November 3, 2021

Medical Humanities and Artificial Intelligence: A Critical Nexus for
Data Ethics and Racial Equity
Kirsten Ostherr
7:00 p.m., Page Commons

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in a wide range of healthcare settings, often without patients’ (or even doctors’) awareness, and with little transparency or ethics oversight. This recent addition to the technological armamentarium of medicine has given rise to concerns about algorithmic bias and has prompted debates about the changing role of human clinicians in the evolving ecosystems of digital health. Yet, some researchers have argued that AI will augment the capacities of physicians and increase their availability to provide empathy and other uniquely human forms of care to their patients. This talk will explore several concrete examples of AI use in healthcare, with a focus on social determinants of health and racial equity. Prof. Ostherr will explore the questions: What would it take for AI to be “ethical,” in a society that is still shaped by racial discrimination and disparate access to care? What methods can medical and health humanities provide to help create a more humane and just healthcare future? And, how might we reimagine health technology with ethics and equality truly at the center of the design process?

Cosponsored by the Medicine and Race Public Humanistic Inquiry Lab, the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology, the Science, Technology and Society Program, and the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

November 8, 2021

Solitary Confinement
Lisa Guenther and jackie sumell
Freedom and Captivity lecture series
7:00 p.m., Live Zoom Webinar

A conversation between philosopher Lisa Guenther (Queens University) and artist jackie sumell.

The Freedom and Captivity lecture series is sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, Art, English and Creative Writing, Music, Philosophy, Sociology, Theater and Dance, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the African American Studies program, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, Colby Libraries, and the Cultural Events Committee.

Medical Humanities and Artificial Intelligence: A Critical Nexus for Data Ethics and Racial Equity

November 9, 2021

November 9, 2021
All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D.
7:00 p.m., Zoom Webinar

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and Brooklyn native. She is founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities, and co-creator and co-host of the Spotify/Gimlet podcast How to Save a Planet. With Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, she co-edited the climate anthology All We Can Save, and co-founded The All We Can Save Project. Recently, she co-authored the Blue New Deal, a roadmap for including the ocean in climate policy. Previously, she was executive director of the Waitt Institute, developed policy at the EPA and NOAA, served as a leader of the March for Science, and taught as an adjunct professor at New York University. Dr. Johnson earned a BA from Harvard University in environmental science and public policy, and a Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in marine biology. She publishes widely, including in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Time, and she blogs on Scientific American. She is on the 2021 Time 100 Next List and was named one of Elle’s 27 Women Leading on Climate. Outside Magazine called her “the most influential marine biologist of our time.” Her mission is to build community around solutions to our climate crisis. Find her @ayanaeliza.

Cosponsored by the Goldfarb Center for Public Policy, Center for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Oak Institute for Human Rights.

Un Prophète (2009)

November 9, 2021

Un Prophète (2009)
Cinema in Conversation: Films of Freedom, Captivity, and Human Rights
7:00 p.m., Maine Film Center

A Prophet (French: Un Prophète) is a 2009 French prison crime film directed by Jacques Audiard with a screenplay by Audiard, with Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri, and Nicolas Peufaillit, from a story by Dafri. The film stars Tahar Rahim in the title role as an imprisoned petty criminal of Algerian origins who rises in the inmate hierarchy, becoming an assassin and drug trafficker as he initiates himself into the Corsican and then Muslim subcultures.

Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Oak Institute for Human Rights, Cinema Studies, and the Maine Film Center.

November 15, 2021

Gender, Feminism and Abolition
Victoria Law
Freedom and Captivity lecture series
7:00 p.m., Live Zoom Webinar

A workshop with journalist Victoria Law. Victoria is an American anarchist activist, prison abolitionist, writer, freelance editor, and photographer.

The Freedom and Captivity lecture series is sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, Art, English and Creative Writing, Music, Philosophy, Sociology, Theater and Dance, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the African American Studies program, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, Colby Libraries, and the Cultural Events Committee.

All Light, Everywhere (2021)

November 16, 2021

All Light, Everywhere (2021)
Cinema in Conversation: Films of Freedom, Captivity, and Human Rights
7:00 p.m., Maine Film Center

The film follows the biases inherent to the way humans physically see the world, focusing primarily on the usage of police body cameras and other forms of police surveillance, but also tracing studies of solar eclipses as well as the parallel development of automatic weapons with the motion picture camera.

Cosponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities, Oak Institute for Human Rights, Cinema Studies, and the Maine Film Center.

December 6, 2021

December 6, 2021
Performance of Felon
Reginald Dwayne Betts
Freedom and Captivity lecture series
7:00 p.m., Live Zoom Webinar

Reginald Dwayne Betts is an American poet, memoirist, and teacher. As a result of a carjacking he committed at the age of sixteen, he was sentenced to over eight years in prison. He has since gone on to author several award-winning works, including poetry, a memoir, and legal scholarship. 

The Freedom and Captivity lecture series is sponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology, Art, English and Creative Writing, Music, Philosophy, Sociology, Theater and Dance, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the African American Studies program, the Oak Institute for Human Rights, Colby Libraries, and the Cultural Events Committee.