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Friday Forums

Spring 2016 Schedule

All Forum events are free.
Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex, Room 215 at 12:30pm
Unless otherwise noted.

For more information about the Forums, please contact
Kenneth Townsend via email at Kenneth.Townsend@millsaps.edu, or 601-974-1061.


Millsaps College Honors Symposium – Honors Students

February 12-13, beginning at 1:30 PM on February 12 and concluding 3:45 PM Saturday - AC 215

The Millsaps Honors Program Committee cordially invites you to attend the 2016 Honors Research Conference on February 12th and 13th. Seniors graduating with Honors will give public presentations on their year-long thesis research projects. Topics will cover everything from Art History and Religious Studies to Anthropology and Biology. View the schedule of presentations here.

Contact: Brent Hendrixson


Natasha Trethewey: In Conversation – Natasha Trethewey

Friday, Feb. 19, 4:30 PM - Academic Complex Recital Hall

During this special late afternoon forum, Natasha Trethewey will read selected excerpts from her poetry and will take part in question-and-answer session with Katy Smith. Trethewey, a Gulfport native, was named in 2012 the Poet Laureate of the state of Mississippi and the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States.  Trethewey received an honorary degree from Millsaps in 2015.  This event is made possible in part through the support of the Eudora Welty Foundation.

Contact: Michael Pickard


Picturing 1000 Words: Digital Archaeology at Pompeii and Herculaneum – Jaqueline DiBiasie

Friday, Feb. 26, 1:00 PM - AC 215

Ancient graffiti were typically lightly scratched into wall plaster, which makes them difficult or impossible to photograph with normal photography techniques. Dr. DiBiasie will show how Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) enables researchers to read the graffiti more easily and is a better method of digital preservation for the future. RTI is a computational photography technique that combines multiple photographs of an object under different lighting conditions into one file to produces clear images of any artifact that can be manipulated to create the best possible lighting conditions for examining the object. Further, these computer enhanced images can be disseminated to allow interested scholars to examine high quality images of the objects for themselves.   While this presentation will focus on the application of this technology to ancient graffiti, she will illustrate how it could easily be applied to a wide variety of artifacts or fields.

Following the presentation, there will be a separate workshop for attendees to see how RTI files are produced. Attendees will learn how to photograph an object using this method and how to compile these images on the computer. Prof. DiBiasie will also introduce other computational photography methods including 3D Image Scanning and photogrammetry. Participants will be encouraged to bring their computers and/or smart phones so they can practice with the technology during the workshop.

Contact: Holly Sypniewski


Human Rights and Female Genital Mutilation in Africa – Johanna Richter

Friday, March 18, Noon - AC 215

Dr. Richter studied in Frankfurt, Paris, and Berlin and received her PhD in political science from the UNESCO chair of human rights education in Magdeburg, Germany. Her thesis focuses on the question how the medium of film can be used as a tool for raising awareness regarding harmful traditions such as Female Genital Cutting in rural Burkina Faso. Her research concentrates on “Cinéma Débat,” a movement where local NGOs travel to the countryside in order to present films of social importance. She is the winner of 2009/10 “Goldene Bild der Frau” award in Germany for socially engaged women in development and has received numerous scholarships acknowledging her social activism, including, among other things, for her creation of a kindergarten in Togo. Dr. Richter has been a speaker and panelist at many conferences around the world and has produced and directed several documentary films.

Contact: Rahel Fischbach


Disney’s Pedagogies of Pleasure and the Eternal Recurrence of Whiteness – Jennifer Sandlin

Tuesday, March 22, 4:00-7:00 p.m. (includes film screening) - AC 215 

During this special Tuesday program, Dr. Sandlin will explore how Disney participates in an affective economy through an analysis of how it engages with pleasure, and she will ask questions about what Disney’s manufacturing and selling of pleasure does pedagogically.  She will examine how Disney’s pedagogies of pleasure, which operate from the notion that escape is attainable via the pleasurable experiences offered at Disney parks, teach us how to be particular kinds of Disney subjects who escape into safe and controlled forms of pleasure.  Through a reading of Escape From Tomorrow, a recent surrealist horror film that explores the “dark side” of the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Dr. Sandlin analyzes how pleasure and the false promise of escape from conflict are illustrated in the film. Taking up Nietzsche’s concept of “eternal recurrence,” she argues that we must acknowledge the inescapability of our own complicity in the perpetuation of white, heteropatriarchal narratives through our repetitive affective engagements with Disney.  This acknowledgment, according to Sandlin, is not, however, a nihilistic trap that suggests only an unbearable despair, but an active choice that holds productive potential for acknowledging and exposing the racist myths of Western humanism perpetuated through Disney’s pedagogies of pleasure.

Contact: Anita DeRouen


Peace Tales from Traveling Students  Cheryl Cole, Brittany Hardy, and Daniel Kees

Friday, April 1, 1:00 PM - AC 215

These student presentations highlight the role of traveling abroad in bringing together worlds and creating understanding across difference. If part of the global peace puzzle requires Millsaps students venturing beyond U.S. borders, another part requires learning from our voyagers upon their return.  

Millsaps students Cheryl Cole and Daniel Kees (seniors) and Brittany Hardy (junior) will tell of encounters, different ways of life, and studies ranging from Tanzania and Southeast Asia to Yucatan and Greece. Cheryl lived in Tanzania through a wildlife management, conservation, and field research program which inspired her subsequent work to save rhinos. Daniel experienced language immersion, studying Spanish while living in the Yucatan with a local family; and Brittany followed the refugee and political crisis in Greece while studying the Classics in Athens.

Contact: Kristen Golden


Journalism and Social Change – A panel discussion featuring Fred Anklam, Hank Klibanoff, and Leslie McLemore, and moderated by Charles Overby

Friday, April 8, Noon - AC 215

This panel is taking place in partnership with the Mississippi Humanities Council and the Overby Center at the University of Mississippi. The panel is one of three discussions that will be held different locations around the state, each of which will journalism’s role in public while including different panelists and themes.

The all-star panel includes the following:

  • Fred Anklam, a longtime editor at USA Today, who recently returned to Mississippi to serve as inaugural co-editor of the Mississippi News and Information Corporation, a new digital-only nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering Mississippi government;
  • Les McLemore, the founding director of the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy, who has worked in Mississippi for many years as an educator, activist, and higher education administrator;
  • Hank Klibanoff, former reporter managing editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and deputy managing editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He had also been a reporter for six years in Mississippi and three years at The Boston Globe.  Klibanoff is currently the director of the journalism program at Emory University.
  • Charles Overby will moderate the panel discussion. Overby is the former chairman and CEO of the Freedom Forum, Newseum, and Diversity Institute. He currently serves as chairman of the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics. Overby supervised the news and editorial coverage that led to the Clarion-Ledger winning the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1983.

Contact: Kenneth Townsend


Nussbaum Lecture – Details TBD

Friday, April 15, Noon - AC 215

Contact: Susan Womack