Apart from its regular seminars, the ISI hosts a number of related activities. We are delighted to invite eminent figures for our Annual Lecture, which supplements and corresponds to our seminar in any given year; sometimes this takes on other formats, such as a symposium or panel presentation. We also host other panels and presentations from time to time, and co-sponsor other events on campus. Details on current and past activities are below.

ISI 2018 Resident, Masha Gessen, to Give Public Lecture on 4/16 at 6:30pm

MASHA GESSEN as our distinguished Resident for 2017-18. Masha Gessen
will visit the UMass campus from April 10-April 24, as part of this
year’s ISI seminar theme, ‘Dissent’. Gessen's work as an author,
journalist, and critic makes her a particularly apt choice as this
year's Resident.

U.S./RUSSIAN RELATIONS'. A reception will be held at 6:00 PM, and the
LECTURE WILL BEGIN AT 6:30 PM. Signed copies of her award-winning book
will be available to buy there.

Masha Gessen is perhaps best known for her advocacy for LGBTQ rights in
Russia, but her work forcely addresses a very broad range of central
political and social issues in present-day Russia and more recently in
the United States. Gessen won the National Book Award for nonfiction in
2017 for here book "The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed
Russia". She is currently a staff writer at The New Yorker.

Photos of "Hairdresses Are My Heroes" -- A Performance by Sonya Clark

The ISI is very pleased to pass on the news from Loretta Yarlow, of the University Museum of Contemporary Art that an event which ISI co-sponsored, “Hairdressers Are My Heroes,” a performance by Sonya Clark, was a great success. 

The performance involved an ancient African hairstyle from a sculpture in the exhibition Five Takes on African Art / 42 Paintings by Fred Wilson, re‐created by the hands of stylist Kamala Bhagat on the head of artist Sonya Clark. Clark’s work often features hair and combs to speak meaningfully about cultural heritage, gender, beauty standards, race, and identity, and this performance celebrated artists across time — from the original hairdresser who created the style, to the sculptor who created the piece, to the contemporary hair stylist, to Sonya Clark herself.

A video of the event can be seen here, and pictures of the event taken by Ed Cohen of MassLive are displayed below, with more pictures available here.