Spring 2015 Calendar of Events

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Sherryl Vint: "To Seek Out New Worlds: Science Fiction in a Global Perspective"

February 5, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Sherryl Vint is professor of Science Fiction Media Studies at the University of California, Riverside, where she co-directs the Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies program. She is the author and/or editor of several books, including Bodies of Tomorrow (2007), Animal Alterity (2010), The Wire (2013), Science Fiction: A Guide to the Perplexed (2014), and The Routledge Concise History of Science Fiction (2011, with Mark Bould). She co-edits the journals Science Fiction Film and Television and Science Fiction Studies.

Her talk will present an overview of science fiction in a global context, exploring the ways common science fiction icons appear differently when embedded in multiple local contexts, and will discuss the significance of the recent explosion of science fiction across the globe. 

This event is free and open to the public.  For more information contact Arielle Saiber at asaiber@bowdoin.edu.  

Sponsored by the Departments of Romance Languages and English and the Cinema Studies and Gender and Women's Studies Programs.

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Film: 'For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska'

February 5, 2015 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

In observance of Black History Month the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center presents the film, For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska.

This one-hour, award winning documentary reveals the true-life story of an extraordinary Alaskan woman who becomes an unlikely hero in the fight for civil rights. Like Native Americans in the lower forty-eight states, Alaska Natives struggled to keep their basic human rights, as well as protect their ancient ties to the land. The Bill of Rights did not apply to them.

Elizabeth Peratrovich, a young Tlingit woman and mother of three, testified before the Alaska Territorial Senate in 1945 and swayed their vote with her compelling testimony in favor of the Anti-Discrimination Act, the first civil rights bill passed in the U.S. since the Civil War.


Free and open to the public.

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Nancy Blum: "Prints, Drawings, and Public Art"

February 10, 2015 4:15 PM  – 6:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

Nancy Blum is the Spring 2015 Marvin Bileck Printmaking Project visiting artist. She received her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art and has since been creating and exhibiting extensively in the worlds of printmaking, public art, and drawing.  Her work, which explores the pattern and architecture of nature, has been recognized through such fellowships as the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Peter S. Reed Foundation, and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. 

She has been an artist in residence and guest lecturer at numerous institutions; her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at galleries and institutions across the US, and in collections as far as Brussels and South Korea.

This event is sponsored by The Marvin Bileck and Emily Nelligan Trust, is presented by the Bowdoin College Visual Arts Department, and is free and open to the public.

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Gay & Lesbian Studies Information Meeting

February 11, 2015 5:30 PM  – 6:30 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Informational meeting for students considering the Minor in Gay and Lesbian Studies, and all interested students.


Refreshments will be served.

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Considering a Major in English? Info Meeting

February 11, 2015 8:30 PM  – 9:30 PM
Massachusetts Hall, McKeen Study

If you're a first-year or sophomore thinking of majoring in English, or a junior or senior considering adding a major, you're invited to come meet English department faculty and learn about requirements, opportunities, and more.

Refreshments served.

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Linda Gradstein: "Do Women Do it Better, or Just Differently: Reflections on 25 Years as a Middle East Journalist"

February 19, 2015 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Linda Gradstein is a journalist who reports for AOL News and Public Radio International's The World, and writes for the online magazine, Slate. She has covered important events in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, including the intifada, the mass immigration of Soviet immigrants to Israel, the leadership of Yasser Arafat, Hamas in Gaza, the Persian Gulf War, and major elections in Israel.

Gradstein was also the Israel correspondent for NPR News from 1990 until 2009.  She is a member of the team that received the Overseas Press Club award for her coverage of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, as well as the team that received Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism for her coverage of the Persian Gulf War.

Sponsored by Bowdoin Hillel, the Women's Resource Center and Gender and Women's Studies


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Dancer and Choreographer Chantal Loïal: 'On t'appelle Venus (They Call You Venus)'

February 28, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

In her performance piece, On t'appelle Venus, choreographer and dancer Chantal Loial pays tribute to Sawtche (1789-1819), known as the Black Venus, who had been brought to France in the nineteenth century by a "tamer" who prostituted her and exploited her as a circus freak. Swatche's body, deemed abnormal, fascinated the European imagination. After she died, scientists dissected her body and displayed it at the Musee de l'Homme in Paris, all in the name of scientific and anthropological progress. Through this artistic expression of her body, Chantal Loial invites us to think of feminine body and the norms we use to draw laws about both the body and beauty.

Loial created her dance company in 1994. She began dancing her native Afro-Guadeloupean traditional dances at age seven and went on to become a professional choreographer and dancer, earning her diploma in contemporary dance at the National Dance Centre of Pantin, France in 2008. She reinterprets traditional Caribbean and African dances that she mixes with European ballet and other forms of dance. In 2014, Loïal received the highest French Order, the National Order of the Legion of Honor for her work in the Arts (Knight of the Legion of Honor).

Open to the public free of charge.

For more information, contact Hanétha Vété-Congolo at mvete@bowdoin.edu.

Sponsored by the Andrew Mellon Foundation (Mellon Humanities Initiative).

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Ido Misato: "Creating Gilded Spaces: Kaisho and the Gilded Folding Screens"

March 3, 2015 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Searles Science Building, 315

In her presentation, Ido Misato explores the meaning of spaces defined by gilded folding screens. A gilded folding screen is a screen for which gold is used as the background, and on which in many cases flowers and/or birds with seasonal landscape are depicted. It was regarded as an important gift and export from Japan to China and Korea; although the form of the folding screen itself originated in China, the gold background was unique to Japan.

Unlike pictures on room partitions, which are architecturally fixed, folding screens are generally portable, which enabled them to create a temporary space as the occasion demanded. Folding screens functioned as borders between interior and exterior spaces and in ritual spaces. Above all, the glittering and gorgeous surface of the gilded screens was suitable for and, indeed, could create extraordinary spaces for religious rituals. The space enclosed by the gold screens could be transformed into an ideal space, if just for a passing moment.

Sponsored by: The Annie Talbot Cole Fund, the Asian Studies Program, and the Art History Department

Misato is the project assistant professor at the Institute of Advanced Study of Asia at the University of Tokyo. She is currently a visiting fellow in the department of East Asian studies at Princeton University.


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Reception: Nancy Blum, Visiting Artist in Residence

March 5, 2015 4:00 PM  – 6:00 PM
Edwards Arts Center, Room 116 [Gallery]

Artist in Residence Nancy Blum will present her work during a reception hosted by the Bowdoin College Department of Visual Art. 

Nancy Blum received her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art and has since been creating and exhibiting extensively in the worlds of printmaking, public art, and drawing.  Her work, which explores the pattern and architecture of nature, has been recognized through such fellowships as the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Peter S. Reed Foundation, and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. She has been an artist in residence and guest lecturer at numerous institutions; her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at galleries and institutions across the US, and in collections as far as Brussels and South Korea.

This event is free and open to the public. 

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Film Screening: 'The Auschwitz Gateway Film' with Filmmaker David Conover

March 25, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Filmmaker David Conover will screen his recently-produced eight-minute film created for the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum near Krakow, Poland.

The Auschwitz Gateway Film is a compelling and heartbreaking introduction to the horrors of the Holocaust at the largest concentration camp of the Nazi era, and will be shown to museum visitors before they walk through the infamous Arbeit Macht Frei ("work makes you free") gateway to enter the camp.

The screening will be followed by a conversation with Conover and Professor of English and Cinema Studies, Aviva Briefel.

Free and open to the public. No tickets required.
Call 725-3552 or email lholland@bowdoin.edu for more information.

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Film Screening: 'Secundaria' with Filmmaker Mary Jane Doherty

March 30, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Cleaveland 151

Boston University film professor Mary Jane Doherty traveled to Cuba multiple times over a period of years to complete what the Boston Globe called a “lucid, watchful portrait of young ballet dancers desperately trying to plié their way out of poverty and into the Ballet Nacional."

Doherty’s documentary Secundaria follows one high school class on its journey through Cuba’s world famous National Ballet School.  The teenage dancers love to dance…but many of them must dance as the only way to improve the lives of their impoverished families. 

As we follow Doherty’s primary subjects—middle-class Gabriela, poor Mayara, poorer Moises— Secundaria reveals itself through cinematic storytelling (and without a script, staging, or interviews) as being less about competing in dance and more about battling into adulthood.

Post-screening discussion with the filmmaker.

Free and open to the public - no tickets required.

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Noliwe Rooks: "Because What is Beautiful is Good: Erasing Race and Selling Feminism in the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty"

April 6, 2015 7:00 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

  • This talk explores the role that Black women played at the beginning and the end of the first international Dove brand "real beauty" campaign and how and why that campaign used feminism as an advertising tool. Noliwe Rooks is currently an Associate Professor in Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, Sexuality Studies at Cornell University where she is also the Director of Graduate Studies in Africana Studies. She is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work explores the racial implications of beauty, fashion and adornment as well as the way race and gender both impact and are impacted by popular culture, social history and political life in the United States. Rooks is the author of three books. The first, Hair Raising: Beauty, Culture and African American Women (1996, Rutgers University Press) won both the 1997 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book, and the Public Library Associations 1997 award for Outstanding University Press Book. Her second book, Ladies Pages: African American Women's Magazines and the Culture that Made Them (Rutgers University Press) was published in 2004. Her most recent book, White Money/Black Power: African American Studies and the Crises of Race in Higher Education was published in 2006 with Beacon Press. She has two forthcoming edited collections: "Black Fashion: Gender. Art. Politics" a special issue of NKA: Journal of Contemporary Art, Duke University Press, Fall 2015, No. 37 and Women and Magazines in the 21st Century: Race, Writing and New Media (Under Consideration). Her current book project is about the politics of race and economics of K-12 education in the United States and tentatively titled, Apartheid in America and Why it Matters That We Have Reached the Beginning of the End of Public Education. Open to the public free of charge. For more information, contact Hanetha Vete-Congolo at mvete@bowdoin.edu. Sponsored by the Andrew Mellon Foundation (Mellon Humanities Initiative). <strong>Note: This talk will also be live streamed on Bowdoin?s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bowdoin.edu/live/">Live Webcasts page</a>.</strong>

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Sarita Gaytan "Message in a Bottle: Tequila and the Performance of Gender and Sexuality in Mexican Popular Culture

April 9, 2015 4:15 PM  – 6:00 PM
Adams Hall, Room 208

Professor Sarita Gaytan will give a talk on Tequila and the spirit of Mexico.  Her research examines gendered and national cultures of consumption. In particular, she looks at Tequila a national drink, to see how gendered practices and nationalism collide through its consumption.  Her book, Tequila: Distilling the Spirit of Mexico, was recently published by Standford University Press, 2014.

Sponsored by Sociology and Anthropology, Latin American Studies, and Lectures and Concerts.

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Leslie Morgan Steiner: "Understanding Violence in Relationships"

April 9, 2015 8:00 PM  – 10:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

At 22, Leslie Morgan Steiner seemed to have it all: good looks, a Harvard diploma, a glamorous job in New York City. Plus a handsome, funny boyfriend who adored her. But behind the appearance of her success, this golden girl hid a dark secret. She'd made a mistake shared by millions: she fell in love with the wrong person--that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. 

Steiner is a columnist, blogger, and advocate for domestic assault survivors. Using her personal narrative, she sheds light on the complexities of relationship violence. Crazy Love, her 2009 memoir about surviving domestic violence, was a New York Times bestseller, People Pick, Book of the Week for The Week magazine, and subject of the first TED Talk by a domestic violence survivor. 

Her visit is intended to bring visibility to the fact that abuse does happen, and it does happen within relationships. Sometimes we idealize relationships and assume they are safe havens, but this is not necessarily the case. Furthermore, abuse happens even in environments of privilege, intelligence, and self-respect. She speaks articulately and profoundly about these realities, and sheds light on the complicated question of why it is often difficult for survivors to leave their abusers. 
 
Sponsored by: Lectures and Concerts, Gender Violence Prevention and Education, the Women's Resource Center, the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, the Office of the Dean, the Office of Residential Life, the Kurtz Fund, Health Education, Counseling Services, Gender and Women's Studies, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Cinema Studies, and Department of Psychology.

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Brian Mello: "The End of the Liberalized Autocracy in the Middle East and North Africa"

April 13, 2015 7:30 PM  – 9:30 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Prior to the events of the Arab Spring, it was believed that controlled liberalization and the emergence of hybrid authoritarian regimes?what scholar Daniel Brumberg termed liberalized autocracies?contributed to authoritarian stability in the Middle East and North Africa.  

In this talk, Brian Mello challenges these assumptions by identifying a set of causal mechanisms that emerged within liberalized autocracies that help to explain why the wave of protest in the Arab Spring began in and contributed to regime change primarily in such hybrid regimes. He concludes by examining what this wave of contentious politics might mean for the future of liberalized autocracy and democracy in the region.

Brian Mello is Associate Professor of Political Science at Muhlenberg College. He is author of Evaluating Social Movement Impacts: Comparative Lessons from the Labor Movement in Turkey(2013, Bloomsbury Academic). 


Note: This talk will also be live streamed on Bowdoin?s Live Webcasts page.

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What is Digital and Computational Studies and How Can this Bowdoin Initiative Help you Build your Future?

April 14, 2015 6:30 PM  – 8:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, 303 [South]

Join professors Crystal Hall and Mohammad Irfan for a discussion of what is Digital and Computational Studies - including previous and upcoming courses, and the difference between Computer Science and DCS. Find out why learning the use of digital tools in your area of study will give you a leg-up in your chosen profession.

Sponsored by the Bowdoin Digital and Computational Studies Initiative. Refreshments will be served.

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Russian Language Table

April 16, 2015 5:30 PM  – 7:30 PM
Thorne Hall, Mitchell South

Come enjoy a meal and conversation while strengthening your language skills.

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Nadia Celis, Book Presentation: "The Rebellion of the Girls. The Caribbean and 'Corporeal Conscience'"

April 28, 2015 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Join Nadia Celis, associate professor of Spanish, for the celebration of her book La Rebelion de las ninas: El Caribe y la 'conciencia
corporal' 
(The Rebellion of Girls: The Caribbean and 'Corporeal
Consciousness') 
Madrid, Frankfurt: Iberoamericana Vervuert, 2015).

A study of the representation of girlhood in the work of Hispanic Caribbean women writers, The Rebellion is also a critique of the multifaceted relation of power and gendered bodies in Caribbean cultures. Combining feminist theory with Caribbean and cultural studies, Celis contextualizes the struggle for "a body of one's own" engaged by the protagonists of novels from the 1940's to the turn of the 21st century. 

Challenging dominant associations of childhood narratives with nostalgia or lost innocence, Celis sets the spotlight on the desire, anger, and the bodily expressions girls deploy to contest the patriarchal appropriation of their sexuality. These girls' embodied subjectivities inspire the coining of "corporeal consciousness" to name the force at the core of liberatory practices preceding and coexisting with the sanctioned performances of femininity faced by fictional and real girls. 

"A powerful and innovative work. Celis selected a precise and persuasive corpus that exposes how patriarchal politics work on girls' bodies and sexualities both in the ways girls incorporate and reproduce the logics of male desire in their bodies and gestures, and in the ways they subvert these parameters. A magnificent book that makes substantial contributions not only to the field of Caribbean studies but also to the study of Latin American gender culture." (Beatriz Gonzalez-Stephen, Rice University).

Students and colleagues will lead an open conversation about the book, and light refreshments will be served. 

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Panel Discussion: "What is Boko Haram? Why Should We Care?"

April 30, 2015 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Hubbard Hall, Thomas F. Shannon Room [208]

Boko Haram is a radical Sunni Islamic sect, originally calling itself Jama'atu Ahlis Sunnar Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad, "people committed to the propagation of the Prophet's teachings and jihad." The group's more widely known name of Boko Haram means "Western education is sin." While initially non-violent and preaching a doctrine of withdrawal from what they perceived as a corrupt Nigerian state, they now increasingly engage in confrontation and deadly attacks on a wide range of targets.

Join us for an informative panel discussion among professors with professors from Bowdoin and University of Massachusetts, Boston. 

  • Ericka Albaugh, Assistant Professor of Government (Bowdoin). She teaches courses on Africa, language politics, development and state-building. She has researched in Cameroon, Senegal, and Ghana, and her more recent explorations focus on violence and language spread in West Africa more broadly.
  • Daren Kew, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance in the McCormack Graduate School, and Executive Director of the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has researched and consulted on the prevention of conflicts in Nigeria and elsewhere, highlighting in particular the role of religious civil society groups in promoting peace and democratization.
  • Scott MacEachern, Professor of Anthropology (Bowdoin). He has directed archaeological research projects in different countries in Africa and North America, but much of his research since the mid-1980s has taken place around the Mandara Mountains of northern Cameroon and Nigeria. His main research interests are in state formation processes in Africa, the archaeological studty of ethnicity and social boundaries, and African and global historical genetics.

Note: This talk will also be live streamed on Bowdoin?s Live Webcasts page.

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Bishop Yvette Flunder: "Reconciling Spirituality and Sexuality - Growing the Radically Inclusive Church"

May 1, 2015 12:30 PM  – 2:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Bishop Yvette Flunder discusses the idea that trying to establish a relationship with a God that barely tolerates you but cannot truly accept and certainly will never celebrate you can do incredible damage to ones self esteem. She examines the tortured historical and theological view that suggests that some people are just flawed or born to be the underclass and should never expect to be on God's 'A list', and how that has been the convenient method used to hold women, immigrants, the poor and LGBT people in chains of self-depreciation.

Flunder is Founder and pastor of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland, California, and presiding bishop of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. She is also an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ and a graduate of the Ministry Studies and Master of Arts programs at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California. She received a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. Her Doctor of Ministry project provided a framework for her work in the AIDS and transgender communities and for her activism in marriage equality.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by Africana Studies, Gay & Lesbian Studies, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and the department of Religion.