Lecture: Murder exoneree Kwame Ajamu to speak at IU McKinney School of Law

Date: November 13, 2015
Time: 7:15 PM
Location: Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Wynne Courtroom

INDIANAPOLIS — On Friday, Nov. 13, the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Kwame Ajamu ImageLaw Wrongful Conviction Clinic, in conjunction with the Indiana Abolition Coalition, will host Kwame Ajamu, who was exonerated of murder in February, 12 years after his parole following 28 years in prison for the crime.

Ajamu’s story is one of a wrong righted after years of punishment. The exoneree will speak at 7:15 p.m. in the Wynne Courtroom of the law school’s building, Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York St., on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

At the age of 17, Kwame Ajamu, then known as Ronnie Bridgeman, was sent to death row from a Cleveland courtroom for the 1975 stabbing and shooting murder of a money-order salesman. No physical or forensic evidence linked Ajamu, his brother and a friend to the heinous crime. Rather, the prosecution’s case rested on the testimony of Eddie Vernon, who was 13 when he testified. All three were convicted.

Ajamu’s death sentence was commuted to life in 1978, when Ohio’s death-penalty statute was declared unconstitutional. He was paroled in 2003 after serving 28 years.

The Ohio Innocence Project agreed to reinvestigate the case after a 2011 magazine article highlighted inconsistencies in Vernon’s eyewitness testimony. In November 2014, Vernon told a judge reviewing the matter that the police gave him the details of the crime.

In February 2015, Ajamu was declared innocent.

The law school’s Wrongful Conviction Clinic, directed by professor Fran Watson, is a founding member of the Innocence Network. The international group of about 60 organizations is “dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted.” The network is also dedicated to policy reforms leading to the prevention of wrongful convictions.

About 16 to 20 students each year are accepted into the Wrongful Conviction Clinic program. Their success stories include the 2001 release of Larry Mayes of Gary, Ind., who was exonerated of rape based on DNA testing that resulted from the work of Watson and four of her clinic students. In 2008, a federal court approved a $4.5 million settlement for Mayes, who spent 21 years in prison on the wrongful conviction.

Lecture| Marcia Chatelain: “From the Great Migration to #BlackLivesMatter: African American History as a Tool for Social Change”

Date: November 13, 2015
Time: 5:00 PM-6:30 PM
Location: Butler University, JH 141Annual Emma Lou Thornbrough Lecture Flyer at Butler University

Great Migration historian Marcia Chatelain discusses her new book, South Side Girls:  Growing up in the Great Migration and its relationship to current conversations about the #BlackLivesMatter Movement by connecting the experiences of girls and young women during black urbanization and the contemporary crisis of youth incarceration, underserved schools and communities, and police violence. As the creator of #FergusonSyllabus, Professor Chatelain considers how social media has created a powerful tool for social justice and activism framed by historical inquiry and analysis. A public reception will follow this lecture.

This event is made possible by the support of the Indiana Association of Historians and through the generous funding of the Ayres Fund.

Lecture: Philanthropy expert Ken Prewitt to discuss ‘Do charitable foundations make a difference?’ at IUPUI

INDIANAPOLIS — America’s 86,192 charitable foundations frequently receive both praise Kenneth Prewitt Imageand criticism for their efforts to create change. Are they really making a difference? Former Rockefeller Foundation executive, foundation scholar and Columbia University Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs Kenneth Prewitt will explore the topic “Can Foundations Know If They Are Making a Difference? Navigating between Ivory Towers and Performance Metrics” during a talk at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis next week.

The program, presented under the auspices of the Stead Family Chair in International Philanthropy at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, will begin with a 5 p.m. reception followed by Prewitt’s lecture at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the lower level of the Lilly Auditorium at University Library, 755 W. Michigan St., on the IUPUI campus.

Prewitt’s talk will be followed by a panel discussion with local philanthropy leaders and faculty, including:

  • Dewayne Matthews, vice president of strategy development, Lumina Foundation
  • Christie Gillespie, vice president of community impact, United Way of Central Indiana
  • Catherine Herrold, assistant professor of philanthropic studies, IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Prewitt, the former director of the U.S. Census Bureau, argues that it is increasingly important for foundations to effectively track, measure and share whether the work they fund actually helps make a difference, and he deems insufficient the current reporting methods used by U.S. foundations.

Prewitt previously has written that “significant, specific achievements can be attributed to foundation grantmaking” but also notes, “Although not wishing to subtract from the worthiness and social significance of these achievements, skeptics might ask … how we can assess the magnitude of social change in relation to the funds spent.'”

“The debate about whether and how foundations’ impact can be measured is a long-standing but important conversation,” said Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school. “Ken Prewitt’s research, thought leadership and insightful questioning of how we assess foundations provide context to help philanthropic institutions evaluate their impact and consider whether adjusting or rethinking metrics could enhance the services they fund and provide.”

The event is free and open to the public; RSVPs are requested.

Lecture: Celebrated digital computer artist Jason Seiler to speak at IUPUI Oct. 29

Date: October 29, 2015Jason Seiler cover illustration for Time magazine
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Room CE 450B in the Campus Center, 420 University Blvd.

INDIANAPOLIS — Jason Seiler, perhaps the most celebrated digital computer artist in the world, will speak at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Oct 29. The event is free and open to the public.

Seiler, whose caricatures and illustrations have been featured on the covers of Rolling Stone, Billboard, Time, The New Yorker and many other publications, will discuss his work and demonstrate the illustration techniques he uses in Photoshop.

The presentation will take place in Room CE 450B in the Campus Center, 420 University Blvd., beginning at 6 p.m.

“For anyone involved in the digital computer arts field, this is a rare opportunity to see and meet a living legend who is still delivering new digital art daily,” said Dan Baldwin, director of computer graphics technology in the School of Engineering and Technology’s Department of Computer Information and Graphics Technology.

The department and the student chapter of SIGGRAPH IUPUI are hosting the event. The artist will sign copies of his book, “The Complete Artist: A Guide on How to Succeed in the Creative Industry,” following his presentation.

Seiler is a Chicago-based artist who studied fine-art illustration at the American Academy of Art in Chicago for two years before beginning his professional work in earnest.

In addition to illustrations, Seiler has worked with Imaginism Studios, including as a character designer on Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland,” helping create such characters as the Red Queen, the Tweedles and the Bandersnatch. Most recently, Seiler painted six stamps for the United States Postal Service’s Forever series.

Seiler illustrates for publications digitally using a Wacom Cintiq, the same technology the Computer Information and Graphics Technology department installed in the first full lab of Wacom Cintiqs at IUPUI.

Lecture: McKinney panel to discuss national, international responses to refugee crises

INDIANAPOLIS — Responses to the world refugee crisis are the focus of an upcoming 482544_w296public panel discussion at the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law, located on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. McKinney School of Law will present “World Refugee Crisis? Domestic and International Responses” from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 in the Wynne Courtroom of the law school building, Inlow Hall, 530 W. New York St.  The presentation is part of the McKinney Graduate Studies Lecture Series.

The informative panel discussion will address the domestic and legal frameworks for dealing with the issue of refugees, Bravo said. Panel members include Sam Sites, 2017 McKinney J.D. candidate, who through the law school’s Program in International Human Rights Law interned with the Legal Resources Centre in Accra, Ghana, and the Organization for Aid to Refugees in Prague. His internship assignments included weekly visits to a refugee camp and a refugee detention center. A better understanding of the world refugee crisis is invaluable for the typical American, Sites said.

“It’s important for Americans to have a better understanding of the world refugee crisis so that we can better aid refugees and countries that are helping them. Americans have always been generous, so it’s also important for them to know about organizations they can support to help refugees, even if they won’t necessarily meet any of the refugees,” Sites said. “There are many human-rights and refugee organizations that are based in the United States, so there are opportunities to serve and to respond within the U.S. You don’t have to travel or be fluent in a different language to help refugees.”

Other panel members are:

  • Mahja Zeon, deputy prosecutor, Marion County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Carleen Miller, executive director, Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc.
  • Bernard Trujillo, professor, Valparaiso University School of Law

The event is free, but registration is strongly encouraged. Additional information is available on the McKinney website.

Anila Quayyum Agha: Art, Education, and the Making of Future Creative Thinkers

anila_agha_mainDate: October 12, 2015
Reception: 4:30-5:30 PM
Lecture: 5:30-7:00 PM
Location: IUPUI Campus Center Theater, 420 University Blvd. Indianapolis, IN 46202

A successful art practice need not be measured solely on commercial success but also on the quality of life of the practitioner. Artistic excellence in creative fields is often the result of a great deal of time spent in research: analyzing, synthesizing and then producing well crafted art or design work that is heartfelt, layered and relevant to our times. The source of my own artwork has been interpretations of contrasts and similarities, within cultures/religions/rituals of people of myriad cultures. This subject matter requires deep intellectual introspection, concept development and research to assimilate it into the artwork. Having a disciplined approach to exploring a broad spectrum of ideas helps to formulate the foundations for a successful and self-sustaining long-term practice. Furthermore artistic training provides opportunities to explore a wide array of interests and to experiment and innovate with a variety of materials/processes along with conceptual development and a mastery of the visual language to deal with the challenges present in our current societies and which is essential for success in the world today. Such skills are transferable into myriad disciplines for professional advancement for students while simultaneously adding value to their lives through personal well being.

About the speaker:

Anila Quayyum Agha is Associate Professor of Drawing and Foundation Studies in the Herron School of Art and Design. She was born in Lahore, Pakistan. She has an MFA from the University of North Texas. Agha’s work has been exhibited in multiple international art fairs as well as in over twenty solo shows and fifty group shows. In 2005, Agha was an Artist in Resident at the Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston. In 2008 she relocated to Indianapolis to teach at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and is currently the associate professor of drawing. In 2009 Agha was the recipient of the Efroymson Arts Fellowship. She has received two IAHI grants (2010/ 2015) and a New Frontiers Research Grant (2012) from Indiana University. In 2013 Agha received the Creative Renewal Fellowship awarded by the Indianapolis Arts Council. Agha won the two top prizes at ArtPrize 2014, in the international art competition held in Grand Rapids,Michigan. Her entry, titled “Intersections”, earned the ArtPrize 2014 Public Vote Grand Prize and split the Juried Grand Prize in a tie.

Agha works in a cross disciplinary fashion with mixed media; creating artwork that explores global politics, cultural multiplicity, mass media, and social and gender roles in our current cultural and global scenario. As a result her artwork is conceptually challenging, producing complicated weaves of thought, artistic action and social experience.

Evaluating Digital Scholarship in Public History

Image of Dr. Seth DenboEvaluating Digital Scholarship in Public History
October 12, 2015
10:00-12:00
IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute
IUPUI University Library, UL 4115P, 755 W. Michigan St.

As with so many aspects of our lives, the web and digital technologies have profoundly changed communication between public historians and their audiences. From mobile-enhanced gallery guides to crowd-sourced online exhibits of local history, digital tools and methods have changed historical practice. As a result, many departments are developing guidelines for professional credit for both public history and digital methodologies.

Please join the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, the IU Bloomington Department of History, and the American Historical Association for a discussion of assessment of digital projects in the context of making history public and researching public history approaches using digital methodologies. Dr. Seth Denbo, Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives, will join us in Indianapolis on October 12 to lead the conversation about these important issues.

The event is free, but we request that you register for the session HERE.

Ari Kelman Speaks at Herron School of Art and Design on “Battle Lines”

Cover art for "Battle Lines" taken from Amazon.comA collaboration between the award-winning historian Ari Kelman and the acclaimed graphic novelist Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, Battle Lines is a completely original graphic history of the Civil War. The novel traces an ambitious narrative that extends from the early rumblings of secession to the dark years of Reconstruction, employing bold graphic forms to illuminate the complex history of this period. Richly detailed and wildly inventive, its stories propel the reader to all manner of unlikely vantages as only the graphic form can: from the malaria-filled gut of a mosquito to the faded ink of a soldier’s pen, and from the barren farms of the home front to the front lines of an infantry charge.

Join us as at Herron School of Art and Design as Professor Ari Kelman shares the experiences of creating Battle Lines, and learn about how writers and artists/illustrators can form exciting collaborations, transforming the written word into unique and compelling visuals.

About the artist:
Ari Kelman is the McCabe Greer Professor of History at Penn State University, where he teaches a wide range of courses, including on the Civil War and Reconstruction, the politics of memory, environmental history, Native American history, and America in the 1960s. He is the author, most recently, of Battle Lines: A Graphic History of the Civil War (Hill and Wang, 2015), as well as A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek (Harvard University Press, 2013), recipient of the Antoinette Forrester Downing Book Award, the Avery O. Craven Award, the Bancroft Prize, the Tom Watson Brown Book Award, and the Robert M. Utley Prize, and A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans (University of California Press, 2003), which won the Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize.

Kelman’s essays and articles have appeared in Slate, The Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, The Times Literary Supplement, the Journal of Urban History, The Journal of American History, and many others. Kelman has also contributed to outreach endeavors aimed at K-12 educators, and to a variety of public history projects, including documentary films for the History Channel and PBS’s American Experience series. He has received numerous grants and fellowships, most notably from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Huntington Library.