Spring 2006: American Identity
Charles Holt: A performance of Black Boy
Charles Holt has most recently portrayed Hyena in Disney's Broadway production of The Lion King and has also appeared on Broadway in Smokey Joe's Cafe. As well as being a seasoned actor, Holt is a singer and motivational speaker. His performance of Black Boy has toured throughout the United States. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Mr. Holt is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis. His television and film credits include Law and Order, Anne B. Real, Generation X, All My Children, and Autumn in New York.
Initially perceived as simply a critique of racial injustice, Richard Wright's fictionalized autobiography Black Boy, a classic in the tradition of Black writers bearing witness to oppression, details his own struggles with poverty and identity in Jim Crow America. As James Baldwin said of the novel, "Wright's unrelenting, bleak landscape was not merely that of the Deep South, or of Chicago, but that of the world, of the human heart."
Lillian Jiménez, Film Screening and Discussion:
"Antonia Pantoja: Forging a Path for Puerto Rican Civil Rights in the U.S."
For nearly thirty years, Lillian Jiménez has worked as a media arts center manager, independent producer, media activist, exhibitor, funder and educator. She founded and for a decade directed Seeing Through AIDS, a pioneering media literacy project training thousands of health care providers to incorporate media into their AIDS counseling, prevention, and support work. She has conducted media literacy workshops on Latino stereotypes, self-representation, color/race, and the construction of whiteness. Jiménez is the founding chair of the National Association of Independent Latino Producers (NALIP), a membership organization for Latino producers, and serves on the board of The Funding Exchange and The North Star Fund.
She is currently the Executive Director of the Latino Educational Media Center and serves as Producer/Director for Abriendo Camino:Antonia Pantoja, an hour-long documentary on visionary leader Dr. Antonia Pantoja, who fought for language and education rights, advocated for cultural pluralism, and in 1996 was the first Puerto Rican woman to receive the Medal of Freedom. She also produced a number of short documentaries, including What Could You Do With A Nickel?, which won a local Emmy for editing. In collaboration with the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, she is working on a series of oral histories that chronicles the Puerto Rican community's institution-building phase (1940-1960) in New York.
Dr. Peter Selz: "Art of Engagement"
Art historian Peter Selz’s most recent book, Art of Engagement, takes a comprehensive look at the key role of California's art and artists in politics and culture since 1945. A Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, and former curator at MoMA, Selz is the Founding Director of the University of California's Berkeley Art Museum. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, and has also been awarded the Order of Merit (First Class) from the Federal Republic of Germany. Dr. Selz is author of thirty-eight books and hundreds of published articles. His best-known works include Nathan Olivera, Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art, The Rosenbergs, and Beyond the Mainstream.
Fall 2005: Woman as Object, Subject, and Creator
Dr. Lisa Farrington: "Black Feminist Artists"
Dr. Farrington's most recent book, Creating Their Own Image: The History of African-American Women Artists (Oxford), is the first comprehensive history of African-American women artists from slavery to the present day. It has been called a "magnificent achievement" by the SF Chronicle and "the book that teachers and students have been waiting for" by American University's Norma Broude. Dr. Farrington's previous work includes Faith Ringgold and Art on Fire: The Politics of Race and Sex in the Paintings of Faith Ringgold.
Dr. Farrington received an Honors Degree from New York's School of Art & Design, a BFA magna cum laude from Howard University, an MA from American University, and an M Phil and PhD from The Graduate Center in New York. She has worked at Parsons School of Design/The New School since 1993, where she currently serves as senior art historian. Dr. Farrington is a Mellon, Magnet, and Ford Foundation Fellow, and a consultant for the College Board's AP Art History Program. She is widely published on issues of race and gender in the visual arts.
Ann Beattie: "Tribute to Dr. Frank Turaj"
Ann Beattie is the Edgar Allan Poe Chair of the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. Her most recent works are the short story collection Follies and the forthoming Lincoln Perry's Charlottesville, a collaboration with her husband, the painter Lincoln Perry.
Ms. Beattie is the author of seven novels, including Chilly Scenes of Winter, Another You, and Picturing Will, and seven previous short story collections, among them Secrets and Surprises, What Was Mine, Park City: New & Selected Stories, and Perfect Recall. Ms. Beattie was raised in suburban DC and received her BA from American University. Her many honors include the Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the PEN/Malamud award for Excellence in Short Fiction.
Dr. Peter Dans: "Hollywood & Women Doctors"
Dr. Peter Dans is the author or co-author of more than 100 scientific articles, books, and other contributions to medical and popular literature. His lecture will tour Hollywood's portrayals of women doctors, using film clips beginning with 1933's Mary Stevens M.D. through 2002's Blood Work.
Since 1990, Dr. Dans has written movie reviews as "The Physician at the Movies" for Pharos, the publication of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society. His book Doctors in the Movies: Boil the Water and Just Say Aah! treats the portrayal of doctors in movies from the 1930s through the 1990s. His most recent work is a children's book, Perry's Baltimore Adventure: A Bird's-Eye View of Charm City. Dr. Dans is a physician specializing in infectious diseases, geriatrics, quality assurance, and ethics.