March 3, 2021 – Grégory Pierrot

Grégory Pierrot
President, Amiri Baraka Society
Associate Professor, English Department
University of Connecticut at Stamford

From Rude Boys to Proud Boys: A Short History of Hip, Fashion and Fascism

The presidential debates and the subsequent failed coup of January 6th made a household name of the Proud Boys, the militia created by journalist-turned-fascist-goon Gavin McInnes. Seemingly diverse in its membership, claiming “Western chauvinism” rather than white supremacism, the Proud Boys and their intentions may seem puzzling from the outside. Still, recent events have convincingly exposed their commitment to fascist action and beliefs. 21st American fascism is a self-aware structure, powered by an engine dedicated to whitewashing the cultural references that fuel it. This presentation proposes a diagnostic.

(Group photo of 60s/70s rude boys/skinheads taken by Toni Tye. Photo of Enrique Tarrio of the Proud Boys taken by Maranie R. Staab).

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March 10, 2021 – Ellie Ga

American artist, writer and performer

Strophe: A Screening and Studio Visit with Ellie Ga

Strophe, a Turning is Ellie Ga’s ode to a message in a bottle. The video lets drifting objects carry her unexpectedly to the Greek island of Symi, and then to the shores of its neighbor Lesvos where she joins a team of volunteers aiding asylum seekers and refugees. The poetics of accidental drift turn into an urgent reckoning with political and humanitarian reality.

Co-sponsored by the Special Collections Department

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March 17, 2021 – Alicia Caticha

Assistant Professor
Department of Art History
Northwestern University

“Sculpting Whiteness on the Eighteenth-Century Dining Table”

With the emergence of material culture studies, the eighteenth-century aristocratic dining table has become an important locus for understanding the history of porcelain, French culinary practices, and modes of elite sociability, yet little has been written on the intermingling materials used to create these elaborate tablescapes. With the advent of biscuit soft-paste porcelain at the Sèvres Royal Porcelain Manufactory, matte white unglazed statuettes were placed side by side expensive sugar sculptures as the centerpieces of elite dining tables. The replication of whiteness—the primary characteristic aesthetically linking porcelain and sugar—has been read as evidence of the prevailing importance of Academic sculpture and the explicit antique connotations of marble. However, the eighteenth century’s fetishization of porcelain and the violent conditions of sugar’s production must be put in dialogue with the white forms adorning the dinner tables of the aristocratic elite. In doing so, this paper argues that the replication of whiteness in materials with colonial and imperialist histories alludes to a deeper political and social ideology of a society attempting to assert ideas of racial difference and hierarchy while simultaneously representing the expanding global purview of eighteenth-century Europe.

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March 24, 2021 – nia love and Lela Aisha Jones

g1(host): a series 7 years in the making: An Open Forum & Performance Research Virtual Tour with nia love and Lela Aisha Jones

nia love is a dancer and choreographer based in New York City. She is a radical thinker, artist, performer and professor that focuses on Modern dance, Post-Modern dance, and West African dance.

Lela Aisha Jones is Assistant Professor of Dance at Bryn Mawr College

Co-sponsored by the Dance & 360 Programs.

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April 14, 2021 – Julien Suaudeau

Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies
Director of Film Studies
Bryn Mawr College

The Politics of Art and Race in France

On the walls of the National Assembly in Paris, a fresco commemorates the first abolition of slavery in France (1794). Why is this piece using the codes of racist iconography? The presentation will explain how the painting has remained on display for 30 years, although it seems to be defeating its own symbolic purpose. Exploring the multiple layers of denial that protect this “work of art”, we will highlight its organic connection with the repression of France’s colonial history and with the post-racial utopia that the country has built for itself.

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May 5, 2021 – Special Lecture: An Evening with Boots Riley

American film director, producer, screenwriter, rapper, and activist. He is the lead vocalist of The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club. He made his feature-film directorial debut with Sorry to Bother You (released July 2018), which he also wrote.
7:00 PM Eastern Time
This event is co-sponsored by the Bryn Mawr College Film Studies Program, the Swarthmore College Department of Film & Media Studies, and the Haverford College Visual Studies program.
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