"Digital Africas: Texts, Publics, Genre" at Amherst College

ISI is supporting the symposium, “Digital Africas: Texts, Publics, Genre” that will take place at Amherst College from October 12-14. The symposium addresses how 21st century sub-Saharan writers use and respond to digital technologies when they publish traditional print texts, experiment with online platforms, or interact with local and international audiences through social media. The symposium will commence with a keynote address on October 12 at 5:00 p.m. by Ato Quayson, in the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) in the Frost Library on the Amherst College campus. ISI’s former director Stephen Clingman will be facilitating a panel discussion on Friday, October 13. The symposium is free and open to the public. Further details about the program, including affiliations of the participants, can be found on the Amherst College website.

Fred Wilson at the UMass Museum of Contemporary Art

On October 11, ISI is cosponsoring a visit by Fred Wilson to the UMass Museum of Contemporary Art. Wilson, an acclaimed artist who has created a diverse range of work challenging assumptions of history, culture, and race, will be giving a talk titled, “The Silent Message of the Museum, and Other New Works.” The talk will take place in room 151 of the Integrative Learning Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m, and is free and open to the public.

Celebrating the ISI and Stephen Clingman

On September 13, the ISI celebrated its seventeenth year of existence, originally as the Interdisciplinary Seminar in Humanities and Fine Arts, and since 2012 as the ISI. This was also a fitting occasion to pay tribute to our founding director, Stephen Clingman. The tribute consisted of remarks from Julie Hayes, Dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, from former ISHA/ISI fellows Milliann Kang and Jenny Adams, from past residents, including Daniel Kanstroom of Boston College, ISI's most recent resident, and finally, words of appreciation and a reading by Caryl Phillips, the Institute's first resident. The ISI wants to thank Stephen for his tireless efforts in creating the Institute, developing it into what it has become today, and championing interdisciplinarity in and outside of the academy. 

Linda Sarsour, “The Resistance: Organizing in the Age of Trump”

On Friday, April 28, the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is hosting Linda Sarsour, award-winning racial justice and civil rights activist and national co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington for a lecture. Sarsour will speak at 3:30 p.m. in the Mahar Auditorium on the UMass campus. ISI is among the many cosponsors of the event, which will be free and open to the public.

ISI Cosponsors African Cinema Symposium and Festival

The ISI is a cosponsor of this year's African Cinema Symposium and festival, held from April 5-8 across the 5 College campuses. The event brings together leading filmmakers, festival programmers and scholars from Africa, Europe, and the United States. The schedule includes feature film screenings, question and answer sessions with African filmmakers, and scholarly panels. More information about the schedule can be found on the five college website.

Kanstroom to Lead Interdisciplinary Workshop at UMass

On March 23 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in ILC N400 the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute will sponsor a workshop for faculty and graduate students led by this year’s ISI resident, Professor Daniel Kanstroom. The workshop is open to all scholars and graduate students with an interest in incorporating collaboration with community-based groups into their scholarship and teaching on immigration policy issues. 

ISI Sponsors Di Maio Lecture

On February 15, Professor Alessandra Di Maio will give a lecture at 4:30 p.m. in Herter 601. Her talk, "AfroItalia: Voices and Images Across the Mediterranean," is related to her most recently edited poetry collection, Migrazioni/Migrations, and addresses the migrations, connections, and--in connection with this year's ISI theme--trespassings that have marked the relationship between Italy and the African continent. The recent arrival in Italy of migrants from Africa, while sparking controversy and igniting a heated debate on immigration to the EU, has urged Italians to reconsider their historical connections with the African continent and assess new cultural relationships. Among the first communities who crossed the Mediterranean and found a new home in Italy are Nigerians. In Migrazioni/Migrations, renowned Italian and Nigerian poets, headed by Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, join their voices in telling the choral story of how Africa and Italy have always been united by a common sea and a shared experience of migration.