Beyond Borders

The ISI Residency at the University of Massachusetts

‘Beyond Borders’, the ISI Residency at the University of Massachusetts, hosts artists, writers, and intellectuals both from the USA and elsewhere. Our purpose is to think through and across borders of various kinds: between peoples, cultures, nations, religions—but also across borders of discipline, or the creative and the scholarly, or the academy and the world. Much of the world as we know it is shaped by social policy, yet policy often reinforces fragmentation. Our suggestion is that it may be time to change the frame of how we envision the world, and that artists and thinkers have a role in doing so. Today artists and intellectuals are not less necessary but more so, and we need to hear from them and encourage them. We are looking for powerful artistic and intellectual statements, to reshape our vision, our ways of seeing, hearing, thinking, and understanding.

Masha Gessen Residency: April 10-24, 2018

It is with great pleasure and excitement that the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute announces that Masha Gessen will be the Institute's Resident this spring. Gessen's work as an author, journalist, and critic makes her a particularly apt choice as this year's Resident, given that the theme of this year's ISI seminar is Dissent.

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 her book The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia. She is currently a staff writer at the New Yorker.

We invite you to attend Gessen's public lecture on Tuesday, April 17, in the Integrative Learning Center, N151. A reception will be held at 6 PM, and the lecture will begin at 6:30 PM. Signed copies of her award-winning book will be available for purchase.

Over the course of her time with us, Masha Gessen will also meet with students during classroom visits on April 10 and 11, and will meet with faculty and graduate students in the ISI Faculty and Graduate Student seminars on April 24.