Themester 2018 explores the relationship between humans and nonhuman animals

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ 10th annual Themester explores the interconnectedness of animals and humans with a fall lineup of public talks, workshops, films, exhibits and visiting speakers.

Peter Singer. Photo by Alletta Vaandering

“Darwin provoked human beings to reconsider the human place among living beings,” said Steven Wagshal, professor of Spanish and co-chair of the 2018 Themester Committee. “Perhaps we are nothing more or less than one species of animals who evolved on this planet. Yet human beings are also an extremely peculiar sort of animal; we have complex social and political systems, and we have radically changed the environment.

“The purpose of this Themester is to challenge us all to think about our connections to and differences from other animals. It is to explore how authors and artists have depicted animals, to work through our strange sort of animality and to inquire about what sorts of obligations flow from it for how we ought to treat each other, other animals and our environment.”

Philosopher Peter Singer, author of the groundbreaking book “Animal Liberation” and most recently known for his effective altruism model, will speak about ethics and animals on Sept. 12 at Presidents Hall inside Franklin Hall. A groundbreaking work first published in 1975, “Animal Liberation” popularized the term “speciesism” and changed the conversation about treatment of animals. The talk is co-sponsored by Union Board, IU’s largest student programming board.

Russ Mittermeier

Other scholars giving free public talks include Russ Mittermeier, the world’s pre-eminent primate conservationist and the 2018 winner of the prestigious Indianapolis Prize. On Oct. 2, Mittermeier will discuss the importance of conservation with a particular focus on nonhuman primates.

Jill Pruetz, professor of anthropology at Texas State University, will also focus on primates for her Oct. 26 public keynote talk, “Life on the Savanna,” for the Midwest Primate Conference. Pruetz will discuss her work with chimpanzees in the hostile savanna environment of Senegal.

The Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior will present a speaker series called “Man’s Best Friend: The Science of Dog Cognition.” The first lecture, scheduled for Sept. 20, will feature anthropologist Pat Shipman of Pennsylvania State University speaking on the domestication of dogs in Ice Age Europe. Themester will partner with IU Cinema and the IU Moving Image Archive Screening Room at Herman B Wells Library to present a series of free films, beginning Sept. 12 with Charles Burnett’s critically acclaimed but rarely shown “Killer of Sheep” at Wells Library. A counter to the “blaxpoitation” films of the early 1970s, the film focuses on everyday life in a black community. It was added to the National Film Registry and named one of the 100 Essential Films by the National Society of Film Critics.

Jill Pruetz

Other films include the documentary “Jane,” which draws on hours of previously lost National Geographic footage of primatologist Jane Goodall; and “Au Hasard Balthazar,” Robert Bresson’s classic look at cruelty and compassion. “Angry Inuk” presents Arctic seal hunting from an indigenous perspective.

Exhibitions include “Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins” at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. The exhibit will explore the historical development and contemporary use of figurative coffins, which are often in the shape of animals and communicate familial and personal attributes, values or identity. Mathers will hold a number of supporting events, including a curator’s talk, artist visit and family craft day at the museum. The exhibit runs through the fall semester.

In October, the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology will present a curated exhibit that explores the animal/human connection from historic, archaeological and Native perspectives.

Daniel Anum Jasper hand-paints details on the face of a lion palanquin used by a Ghanaian chief. Jasper is also well-known in Ghana for painting movie posters. Photo by Kristin Otto, Indiana University

IU Theatre presents Edward Albee’s “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Notes toward a definition of tragedy).” A provocative play about loss, love and the limits of tolerance, “The Goat” is for mature audiences only. The show runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 8 and is a ticketed event.

For a complete list of Themester 2018: Animal/Human events and details, visit the Themester News and Events page. Most events are free and open to the public, though some require registration or tickets. Consult the Themester online calendar for more information.

Select events are limited to IU undergraduates, but most Themester events are open to the public and free.

College of Arts and Sciences Themester courses complement Themester 2018. Course include animal folklore and the behavior and evolution of animals.

Themester is an initiative of the Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences.

Guest filmmakers and directors including Michael Schultz are highlights of IU Cinema’s fall season

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Thirty years after his last visit to Indiana University Bloomington, filmmaker Michael Schultz returns to celebrate 50 years in stage and screen. Schultz will be present for screenings of several of his films as part of Indiana University Cinema’s Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Series.

Michael Schultz Photo courtesy of IU Cinema

 

The filmmaker series is supported through the Ove W Jorgensen Foundation and brings internationally known filmmakers to IU Bloomington during the fall and spring semesters.

Writer and curator Sergio Mims will lead an extended onstage interview with Schultz about his films and career at 7 p.m. Nov. 9. In addition, Schultz and his wife, creative partner and co-producer Lauren Jones will be present for screenings of “Cooley High,” “Krush Groove,” “Car Wash” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.”

The screening of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” will take place at the IU Moving Image Archive Screening Room in the Herman B Wells Library on Nov. 7. All other films will be screened at IU Cinema. Schultz’s visit is made possible through a partnership with the Black Film Center/Archive.

The fall 2018 Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Series also features:

  • Tamer El Said, filmmaker and director, who will visit Bloomington on Sept. 21 to present a lecture at 4 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. screening of “In the Last Days of the City,” his first feature film as director. El Said founded Zero Production, is an advocate for the power of cinema and established Cimatheque-Alternative Film Centre in Egypt, a multipurpose teaching and programming space for independent filmmaking.

    “78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene” is a documentary about “78 shots and 52 cuts that changed cinema forever.” Image courtesy of IU Cinema
  • Director Sara Driver, whose work is a combination of fantasy, surrealism, science fiction, comics, horror, sword-and-sorcery and the supernatural. Driver will be in Bloomington for screenings of her films “Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michael Basquiat” at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 and “Sleepwalk” at 10 p.m. Nov. 30. She’ll present her lecture at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 before the screening of “Sleepwalk.”
  • Alexandre O. Philippe, a Swiss-American filmmaker who has directed a number of award-winning films and documentaries. His most recent work, “78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene,” documents the iconic scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” which used 78 camera set-ups and 52 edits over the course of three minutes. Philippe will attend the screening of this film at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, as well as screenings of “The Exorcist” at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 and “Doc of the Dead” at 10 p.m. Dec. 7. He will present a Hitchcock Master Class at 7 p.m. Dec. 7.

“The range of talented guests visiting IU Cinema across all programs this fall should engage and entertain a broad and diverse audience for us,” said Jon Vickers, IU Cinema founding director. “There are over a dozen guests presenting their work, and the majority of them will work with students and faculty in the classroom or special master classes.”

Tickets are not necessary for the lectures in the Jorgensen series, but they are needed for the film screenings. Ticket information and additional details on all of the guest filmmakers can be found on IU Cinema’s website.

IU Cinema also hosts a full season of movies, screenings and events, often collaborating with other units on the Bloomington campus.

Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project Photo courtesy of IU CInema

“We are thrilled to partner each semester with a wealth of IU units and community organizations through our Creative Collaborations program,” said Brittany Friesner, associate director of IU Cinema. “Our fall schedule includes another strong line-up of engaging and collaborative programming, including series curated by the Mathers Museum for World Cultures, the Irish-American Community at IU, the Russian and East European Institute, and the Black Film Center/Archive.

“Our collaborative programming model allows us to reach deeply into campus and community, calling upon scholars and other subject-matter experts to present unique cinematic experiences accessible for all IU students, staff, faculty and the community at large.”

Highlights of the fall 2018 season include:

  • The 5X Ida Lupino: Fearless, Extraordinary Trailblazer film series, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of early Hollywood filmmaker Ida Lupino. Her films often addressed social issues and taboo topics. Five films directed by Lupino will be shown throughout the fall semester, kicking off Sept. 7. Dates and ticket information are available on the 5X Series page.
  • “On Your Marc,” a documentary following television icon Marc Summers as he develops a live theater show about his life. A sneak preview of this new film will be shown at 7 p.m. Sept. 14; Summers is scheduled to be present. The screening is presented in partnership with Bloomington Playwrights Project.
  • Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project, part of IU’s Integrated Program in the Environment and Environmental Resilience Institute’s celebration of how the arts and humanities catalyze science in support of environmental sustainability. The performance combines film, chamber music and spoken word to motivate sustainable action in the face of climate change. A Q&A with the performers and IU experts will follow the film. The screening begins at 7 p.m. Oct. 4. There will also be a daylong symposium with lectures, a workshop and a panel discussion hosted by the Integrated Program in the Environment.
  • The Creatures of Yes Interactive Workshop, which is part of the CINEkids International Children’s Film Series. Director and puppeteer Jacob Graham will lead a workshop filled with screenings of many of his short films at 4 p.m. Nov. 17. The workshop is suggested for kids 5 and older.

Read the original article from IU News

The Veterans’ Storyteller

Thirty-three years after he returned from service in Vietnam, Media School professor emeritus Ron Osgood felt proud to be a veteran for the first time.

Professor emeritus Ron Osgood has directed two documentaries on Vietnam veterans and is producing an oral history website that tells their stories. (Courtesy photo)

It was 2005, and he had returned to his hometown of Chicago for the dedication of a Vietnam veterans memorial.

“There were hundreds of people, many of which were Vietnam veterans wearing a cap that said, ‘Vietnam veteran’ or a shirt that said ‘First Cavalry,’ or something to represent themselves as a veteran,” Osgood said. “There were so many veterans, and I saw how proud they were.”

Simultaneously, decades-old anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War was supporting an Iraq War protest. The juxtaposition of the two events piqued Osgood’s interest.

At the protest, he heard impassioned speeches by two young men, both still on active duty. Afterward, he approached one of them and acknowledged his “courageous” speech. The man told him his father, a Vietnam-era veteran who supported the Iraq War, had all but disowned him for his opposition.

“I left and drove back to Bloomington with this emotion of feeling proud to be a veteran and sad that this young man who would soon be a veteran spoke out with his beliefs, and his father would not accept him,” Osgood said.

That, to Osgood, emphasized the generational aspect of the Vietnam and Iraq wars and inspired his first war documentary, My Vietnam, Your Iraq.

“That became the catalyst for my next 13 years of work with veterans’ projects,” he said.

Osgood is a veteran and a veterans’ storyteller, though the stories he tells are rarely his own. Rather, they’re the experiences and memories of countless other veterans he’s spoken with throughout the production of two documentaries: My Vietnam, Your Iraq and Just Like Me: The Vietnam War — Stories from All Sides, and a sprawling online multimedia project he’s developing called Vietnam War Stories.

Read More

Read the original article from IU News, written by Chris Forrester

IU Bloomington alumni nominated for 2018 Emmy Awards

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Two Indiana University Bloomington alumni — producer/director Ryan Murphy and writer/comedian Brian Stack — were recently announced as nominees for the 70th Emmy Awards.

Murphy, an Indianapolis native, is nominated in two categories — Directing for

Ryan Murphy. Photo by Kevin Winter, Getty Images

a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, and Outstanding Short-Form Nonfiction or Reality Series — for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.” Murphy served as the executive producer of the nine-episode series as well as director of the series premiere, which aired in January.

In addition to his work on this series, Murphy is the creator/producer of “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” “Glee,” “Nip/Tuck” and “American Horror Story,” among others. He’s previously won four Emmys, including awards for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for his work on “Nip/Tuck” and Outstanding Made for Television Movie for “The Normal Heart.”

Murphy majored in journalism at IU in the mid-1980s and started his career as a journalist with publications like the Miami Herald, the Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly.

Brian Stack, BA ’86, is nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Seriefor his work on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” Stack has been a part of the show’s writing team since 2015 and voices Cartoon Donald Trump and the Ghost of Abraham Lincoln on the show.

Brian Stack. Photo courtesy of Brian Stack

Before his work with “The Late Show,” he wrote for Conan O’Brien from 1997 to 2015 and played several characters in sketches on O’Brien’s shows. Stack has been nominated for an Emmy Award in writing every year since 1998 and won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program in 2007.

During his time at IU, Stack worked at the Indiana Daily Student and earned a degree in telecommunications. He started his career with Second City, a Chicago-based improv comedy group, before joining the writing team for “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” in 1997.

The 70th Emmy Awards will air live on NBC at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17.

Read the original article from IU News

Death of the Mechanical Man Featured in the Montreal Underground Film Festival

Michael Drews’s “Death of the Mechanical Man”

“Death of the Mechanical Man,” a 21-minute film directed by Big Robot’s Michael Drews, made its premier in October of 2016, deep in the City Market Catacombs. For its debut, Big Robot accompanied the film live, conjuring up memories of silent films.

Watch the trailer on Vimeo.

Now, the short film has been chosen as part of the 2018 Montreal Underground Film Festival (MUFF). The festival celebrates low-budget filmmaking and promotes films that challenge the constraints and conventions of mainstream Hollywood. The independent filmmakers, writers, teachers, and cinephiles of MUFF are committed to seeking out edgy films bristling with a sense of creative freedom, energy, and experimentation.

For more information about the festival, visit the MUFF website.

Big Robot creates media-enriched art and music, interweaving aesthetic expression with computer interactivity. Their blend of audio-visual design with acoustic instruments forms a multi-dimensional performance at the crosspoints of virtual and physical gesture, sound, and space.

To learn more about Big Robot, visit their website.

Moving Image Archive Director Gains International Attention

Rachael Stoeltje

Rachael Stoeltje’s interest in film started when she was a child growing up in Austin, Texas, but now that passion has grown to international levels: The director of the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive has been named the 2018 Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations board chair, leading meetings in Paris, Bangkok, Prague and beyond.

Read the original article from News at IU‘s Allie Hitchcock.

“I love the collections. I love working with students; that’s been incredibly satisfying,” Stoeltje said. “I love my international work, and I think for libraries in general, it’s an exciting time.”

The Coordinating Council, a partially UNESCO-founded organization created in 1982, is the umbrella organization of the eight professional organizations supporting preservation of audio, video and film archives around the world.

Carolyn Walters, the Ruth Lilly Dean of Indiana University Libraries, has been a longtime supporter of Stoeltje’s work at the Moving Image Archive. Working together to harness the mounting interest in film preservation at IU, Walters and Stoeltje first transitioned the university film collection into a secure home at the Auxiliary Library Facility, formally created the Moving Image Archive, then imagined a community space in the ground floor of Wells Library to encourage access and use of the collection.

Along the way, the strength of IU’s commitment to preservation, and the intensity of Rachael’s passion for film — especially as a primary source for learning — caught the attention of both national and international colleagues.

“Rachael sparks enthusiasm when she speaks about nearly any film or related preservation project,” Walters said. “With her new leadership role at this international level, Indiana University’s extensive collections will be incredibly visible to a worldwide community. The talents of our experts here at IU, already well known, will be illuminated in a way that greatly strengthens our efforts to preserve and share film with scholars everywhere.”

The term “everywhere” means just that. Stoeltje became chair of the Coordinating Council through her work serving on the International Federation of Film Archives Executive Committee; she also serves as the head of the training and outreach program in the federation. Through this work, which she is extending to the Coordinating Council’s mission, she has worked with the federation’s training and outreach coordinator and secretariat to find new ways to meet requests for assistance from Mexico to Myanmar.

Some countries’ archivists deal with standard needs to find new preservation methods, while others have larger issues like natural disasters occurring at the same time. On one visit to Sri Lanka, for example, the expert volunteer in the field dealt with badly deteriorating films in a storage unit. In Tunisia, members of the federation are helping open a cinema.

“It’s been a pretty enormous range,” Stoeltje said. “Trying to meet all those needs with volunteer workforces is challenging.”

Traveling all over the world to work with an international member base helps Stoeltje stay connected. The Coordinating Council and the other federations within it also try to keep an international viewpoint. The Federation of Film Archives, for example, runs its conferences in three languages simultaneously.

Another universal task Stoeltje is working on is collection digitization among changing digital platforms. Concerns that the Coordinating Council and archivists in general had 20 years ago are completely different today, so she is seeking new platforms to best serve everyone.

Back home in Indiana, Stoeltje continues to expand IU’s Moving Image Archive, a collection that has tripled in size over the past nine years. On top of her international concerns, Stoeltje stays busy by hosting regional and national visitors interested in the archive, mentoring student interns, leading film-related areas of the Media and Digitization Preservation Initiative and contributing to IU’s international presence and prominence in film studies.

“The archive has been an invaluable partner to IU Cinema since opening,” said Jon Vickers, founding director of IU Cinema. “In a short amount of time, Rachael has led the transformation of the archive and brought international prominence to IU’s moving image collections. Now she is essentially leading the organization that serves as the umbrella for preserving the world’s motion picture heritage. This speaks well to her leadership and good work, but also for all of us at IU who work in film and media.”

She credits the impressive growth and impact of the archive to support from IU Libraries and university-level leaders, who clearly understand that today’s libraries can offer more than ever before. Stoeltje said it’s exciting to play a part in the evolution.

“There’s been a shift from 10 years ago when people wanted to know, ‘How many books do you have in the library?’ to a better understanding of the diverse and relevant services and materials that IU Libraries provides.”

Exit Zero: The Documentary | Screening and Q&A

Exit Zero: The Documentary, a 2015 film by Chris Boebel and Christine Walley, tells a personal story of the lasting social and environmental impacts of deindustrialization and the key role it has played in expanding class inequalities in the United States. The film weaves a portrait of a family caught in its community’s struggles with job loss and pollution.

After the documentary, writer/producer Christine Walley will be available for a Q&A session about the film and its message.

The event will occur on March 8, 2018 at 5:00pm at the Steelworkers Union, Local 1999, on 218 South Addison in Indianapolis.

This event is sponsored by the IU Department of Anthropology at IUPUI and the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute.

2017 Heartland Film Festival accepts films from two School of Informatics and Computing students

Sam Mirpoorian (left) and Hannah West (right)

From News at IUPUI.

Two Media Arts and Science students in the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI had their entries accepted into the 2017 Heartland Film Festival held recently in Indianapolis.

Sam Mirpoorian, who received his bachelor’s degree in May and is now enrolled in the master’s program, and Hannah West, a current senior, produced their films under the guidance of Media Arts and Science faculty member C. Thomas Lewis.

Sam Mirpoorian’s short, “Little Warriors,” received this year’s Indiana Spotlight Film Award, winning $5,000 and adding to accolades already earned at the Indy Film Festival, the Napa Valley Film Festival and the Global Impact Film Festival.

“Little Warriors” captures a group of Indianapolis youth and their impassioned attempt to introduce legislation that would address climate recovery. (You can even watch the trailer on Vimeo!)

Mirpoorian created the film for his senior capstone project. He attributes much of his success to the support he received from the program and his advisors.

“The program is very hands-on and truly allows for filmmakers like me to explore and unleash their abilities and interests,” he said. “I mostly want to thank professor Lewis, as he provided excellent guidance and made sure I stayed on course.”

As an undergraduate, Mirpoorian also produced “Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness,” which received critical acclaim last year and has been released for commercial distribution.

West’s film, “Not in Vain,” was a class project created for the Video for Social Change course. She, too, credits Lewis for her success. “I’m very thankful for his help, support and guidance on this project, as well as throughout my undergrad degree work,” she said.

“Not in Vain” explores Indiana’s opioid crisis, a topic close to West’s heart. “Moving forward, it would be great to find a way to have this film shown in Indiana public schools,” West said. She pointed out that opioid abuse is a problem that is affecting many Hoosiers as early as high school, and she hopes that the film could create a dialogue with students.

The Media Arts and Science undergraduate degree with specialization in video production and sound design introduces students to the latest technical skills required in the video and sound industry and prepares them to develop, produce and ultimately deliver a professional-quality product.

“In the Media Arts and Science video courses, we educate students to create professional-level films that engage in important social issues. It is truly rewarding when we see our students get the recognition they deserve for their hard work,” Lewis said.

LGBTQ Film Festival Indy will screen “Left on Pearl”

“Left on Pearl” is an award-winning documentary about a significant but little-known chapter in the history of the Women’s Liberation Movement. On March 6, 1971, International Women’s Day marchers turned left on Pearl Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts to seize and occupy a Harvard University building at 888 Memorial Drive and declare it a Women’s Center. Hundreds of women, veterans of the antiwar and civil rights movements – among them some of the earliest out lesbian rights activists – participated in this effective action.

The screening will be on Saturday, November 11, at 2pm at the DeBoest Hall of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. A Q&A session with the film’s executive producer will follow. More information is available at LGBTFilmFest.com.

Video installation by Ragnar Kjartansson and The National headlines summer exhibitions at the Herron Galleries

This summer, the Herron School of Art and Design will feature the first Indiana exhibition of “A Lot of Sorrow,” a video installation by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson and indie-rock band The National.

“A Lot of Sorrow,” one of Kjartansson’s most well-known and acclaimed works, is a six-hour, single-channel video of a performance recorded at MoMA PS1 in 2013. For this piece, Kjartansson, best known for his durational performance and video work, invited The National to play their hit song “Sorrow” live on stage repeatedly and continuously for six hours, nine minutes, and 35 seconds. As hours pass and fatigue sets in, the band members experiment and improvise, yielding unexpected outcomes while Kjartansson periodically steps on stage to offer food and drink.

Kjartansson explores the creative potential of repetition by stretching a single pop song into a six-hour concert. Filmed with multiple cameras, Kjartansson’s large-screen video projection becomes an immersive experience that ARTnewscalled “astonishingly riveting,” and The New YorkTimes critic Roberta Smith described as “unimaginably expansive.”

The video will start from the beginning each day, allowing interested visitors to watch the entire 6-hour performance during gallery hours.

“A Lot of Sorrow” debuted at Luhring Augustine Bushwick in New York City in 2014 with more recent screenings at The Art Institute of Chicago, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

An opening reception will take place from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, July 7 in conjunction with the Indianapolis Downtown Artists & Dealer’s Association’s (IDADA) monthly First Friday art tour. The exhibition runs June 14 to September 2, 2017 in Herron’s Berkshire, Reese, and Paul Galleries. All Herron exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Also on view this summer in the Herron Galleries:

  • “Mirror Mirror,” featuring new paintings and a site-specific installation by New York-based artist Jaqueline Cedar (June 14 to September 2) in the Marsh Gallery;
  • “Fold, Staple, Riot: The Art and Subculture of Zine Making” highlighting local and national self-publishing communities (June 14 to July 15) in the Basile Gallery;
  • New work by Herron alumnus Samuel Levi Jones (B.F.A. Photography ’09) from July 26 to September 2 in the Basile Gallery.

Parking is available courtesy of The Great Frame Up Indianapolis in the visitor section of the Sports Complex Garage (west of Herron’s Eskenazi Hall), or on the upper floors of the Riverwalk Garage (south of the Sports Complex Garage) until 6 p.m. Park on any floor after 6 p.m. Bring your parking ticket to the Herron galleries for validation.

To view the original press release for this event, visit the Herron School of Art and Design website.