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Our School: Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Watch a free public screening of Our School, followed by a panel discussion, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, in the Community Room of the Drake Community Library, 930 Park St., Grinnell, Iowa.

This award-winning documentary follows the lives of three Roma (“Gypsy”) children who participate in a project to desegregate the local school in their Transylvanian town in Romania. With parallels to the Little Rock Nine and the history of desegregation in the U.S., this film uncovers an abhorrent civil rights issue in Europe but also provokes recognition of similar, ongoing racial inequities in U.S. education. Shot over four years, this poignant story captures how racism, poverty, language differences, and special education labels work to disenfranchise Roma children from equitable schooling. It is a captivating, human story wrought with humor, beauty, and tragedy.

Snacks will be provided. Film time is 94 minutes, followed by discussion.

The event is sponsored by Grinnell College's Cultural Films Committee and the Department of Education.

 

 

ACM Student Film Conference and Festival

The inaugural Associated Colleges of the Midwest Student Film Conference and Festival will be held April 1-3 at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisc.

The event showcases work from student filmmakers, screenwriters, and scholars from ACM affiliated campuses, including Grinnell College.

Theresa Geller, associate professor of English who specializes in film theory and history, is one of three faculty from across the country who secured a grant for lodging and meals for student participants.

Grinnell students are encouraged to submit materials no later than Jan. 1, 2016, and participate in the conference.

  • Film, video, and new media works of all lengths, modes, and genres, including documentary, narrative, animation, experimental, music video, PSA, and new media
  • Screenplays in every genre and of any length
  • Scholarly papers on topics from a variety of theoretical, cultural, and historical approaches to film studies and visual culture.

There is no entry fee, and multiple works are accepted.

Scholars' Convo: Cosmic Secrets

Asif SiddiqiFordham University Professor of History Asif Siddiqi will discuss the history of the Soviet space program during the free, public Scholars' Convocation at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

Much of Siddiqi's interests are focused on the history of science and technology, postcolonial science, and its intersections with popular culture. He is a recent winner of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, has held an endowed visiting chair at the Smithsonian Institution, and is a leading expert in the history of modern science and technology.

A prolific writer and speaker on Soviet history, Siddiqi serves on the National Research Council Committee on the Future of Human Spaceflight, and is a contributing editor of the journal Technology and Culture. He has written several books, including The Rockets' Red Glare: Spaceflight and the Soviet Imagination, 1857–1957," Sputnik and the Soviet Space Challenge, and The Soviet Space Race with Apollo. His upcoming book from Oxford University Press is titled Soviet Science and the Gulag.

Siddiqi also has been quoted by numerous national media outlets about topics ranging from accidents in space to engineering disasters to the Russian Space Program. He holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in economics from Texas A&M University, as well as an M.B.A from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Ph.D. in history from Carnegie Mellon University.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.

The Folklore of the Freeway: Connectivity, Creativity and Conflict in the Age of Highway Construction

Eric AvilaEric Avila, professor of history, Chicano studies, and urban planning at UCLA, will present "The Folklore of the Freeway: Connectivity, Creativity and Conflict in the Age of Highway Construction" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 11 in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center Room 101.

Avila currently serves as associate dean for equity, diversity and inclusion for the Division of Social Sciences. As an urban cultural historian of Los Angeles and the United States in the twentieth century, Avila is author of Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles and The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City.  Currently, he is writing American Cultural History: A Very Short Introduction for Oxford University Press.

He studies the intersections of racial identity, urban space, and cultural representation in twentieth century America. Anyone with an interest in American history, urban studies, race relations, or the relationship between communities and development will be interested in his talk.

For the Center for the Humanities series on “Sites of Creativity: Streets, Salons, Studios, and Schools", he will talk about communities of color and their resistance to the building of highways in this way mapping the creative strategies devised by urban communities to document and protest the damage that highways wrought.

 

Prisca Kim Awarded Dennis Perri Junior Award

Former Grinnell students Philip Guarco ’82 and Kathryn Jackson ’83 generously established an endowment that permits the Spanish department to recognize the achievement of a Spanish major through a yearly monetary award. The department selects a junior Spanish major taking into account the following criteria:

  • At least a 3.25 GPA in the Spanish major
  • Successful completion of at least three semesters of Spanish beyond Spanish 217
  • Conscientious and dedicated junior in all of his or her Spanish courses
  • Evidence of a commitment to intellectual life of the Spanish department in and outside of class (including attendance to speakers' presentations, Spanish table, Spanish House activities, participation in newsletter, and Spanish Laboratory)

Past Recipients:

  • Nora Shields (2006-2007)
  • Chao Wei Hung (2007-2008)
  • Frida Rodriguez (2008-2009)
  • Vicky Diedrichs (2009-2010)
  • Katherine Chung (2010-2011)
  • Debbie Cifuentes Ramírez (2011-2012)
  • Anam Aslam (2012-2013)
  • Nick Hunter (2013-2014)

Increasing the Quality of Our Food Supply

Man holding small boy standing next to cowsDan Kittredge, an organic farmer and executive director of the Bionutrient Food Association, advocates improving the nutritional quality of our food supply by improving the health of our soils. He will bring his message to Grinnell College on Wednesday, Nov. 18, when he presents "Bionutrient Food: Increasing the Quality of Our Food Supply."

The speech, which is free and open to the public, will start at 7:30 p.m. in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101. The Center for Prairie Studies is sponsoring the event.

Kittredge contends that little attention has been paid to the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables over the last half century because plant breeders and farmers have focused on ways to increase yields and improve the size, productivity, growth rate, transportability and pest resistance of various crops.

A number of scientific studies have found a decline in the nutritional value of some of our foods. For example, a study by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found “reliable declines” from 1950 to 1999 in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron, riboflavin and Vitamin C in 43 different fruits and vegetables.  Similar findings are reported in studies by the Kushi Institute and in Great Britain.

Various explanations have been put forward to explain these declines, from natural cycles to improved testing procedures, new transportation and storage methods, and food irradiation.  Kittredge, however, believes the explanation is to be found in a decline in the health of our soils. 

Kittredge has been an organic farmer since childhood, when his parents purchased an organic farm in Barre, Massachusetts. He grew up on that land and in his adult years managed it. In 2008 he launched the Real Food Campaign, the forerunner to the Bionutrient Food Association, to empower and educate farmers toward the production of quality food for the improvement of human health. 

Kittredge’s experience managing organic farms and developing sustainable agriculture techniques has connected him to farmers in Central America, Russia, and India in addition to the United States. "For me," Kittredge said, "it’s about looking at food and plants in a new way — providing the ideal environment for a plant’s genetic potential to manifest itself.”

Kittredge said he started the Bionutrient Food Association because he wanted to be a better farmer.  “The crops I grew regularly succumbed to pests and diseases," he added. "A crop that gets the nutritional compounds it needs can flourish and resist pests and diseases. A crop that doesn't will get sick. If nutrients are not in the plant — because they aren't in the soil to begin with or because the plant cannot access them due to agricultural practices-- then we humans aren't getting them either.”  

There are 65 different elements in the human body that are necessary for our bodies to function, Kittredge points out.  Humans evolved to get these elements from our food, and our food only gets them from the soil. Yet most soil tests only report out about three of these elements — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

The Bionutrient Food Association is helping farmers address the full spectrum of elements and build a biological system in the soil, so they can grow healthier crops for healthier food.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.

Long String Instrument Installation

Celebrated artist and musician Ellen Fullman is in residence at Grinnell College Nov. 4 -14, building, rehearsing, holding workshops and performing her Long String Instrument installation.

For nearly 30 years, Fullman has been exploring the acoustics of large resonant spaces with her Long String Instrument. The installation, at least 53 feet long, is comprised of approximately 100 precisely tuned wires strung across a room. Its strings are tuned very low so that when played, the Long String Instrument sounds similar to an organ.

Fullman's performance, which is free and open to the public, will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in Main Hall Quad Dining Hall. Although admission is free, tickets are required. They will be available beginning Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Box Office in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

Fullman has received numerous awards, commissions and residencies including:

  • A 2015 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award,
  • Two Center for Cultural Innovation Grants (2008 and 2013),
  • A Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Japan (2007), and
  • A DAAD Artists-in-Berlin residency (2000)

Throughout her career, Fullman has recorded extensively with the Long String Instrument and has collaborated with numerous artists. The Wire selected two of her releases, "Ort" and "Fluctuations," among the top 50 recordings of 2004 and 2008.

Sponsoring the installation and related events are Artists@Grinnell, the Center for the Humanities, Department of Music, and Public Events Series.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations and Events.

Preview “Happy Birthday Marsha!” with Writers/Directors

Happy Birthday, Marsha “Happy Birthday, Marsha!” is a forthcoming film about legendary transgender artist and activist, Marsha “Pay it No Mind” Johnson and her life in the hours before the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City.

Join us for a discussion and preview screening of clips of the film with the writers and directors, Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Sponsors include Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Department of History, the Center for the Humanities, and the Stonewall Resource Center.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.

Danforth Chemistry Seminar

Dale BogerDr. Dale L. Boger, Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute will present a free, public talk, “Discovery of a New Therapeutic Target in an Academic Setting” at noon Thursday, Nov. 12, in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

In this general talk, he will discuss how a new therapeutic target for the treatment of pain was discovered in an academic setting by curiosity-driven research.

Professor Boger is internationally recognized for his work in organic synthesis, heterocyclic chemistry, natural products total synthesis and biological evaluation, synthetic methodology development, and medicinal chemistry, and has made seminal contributions to improving the glycopeptide antibiotics and the understanding of DNA-drug interactions of naturally occurring antitumor-antibiotics. 

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center Rooms 101 is looped to supports telecoils. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.