James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
Connecticut College's Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) is pleased to present "A Day with John Sayles: A Voice for Social Justice." Sayles, a writer and filmmaker, was integral to the development of independent film in the U.S. The All Movie Guide describes him as "one of America's preeminent and best-respected independent filmmakers (who) has established a reputation for refusing to abandon his values in favor of becoming a studio filmmaker. As a result, his films tend to be rich, nuanced explorations of personal and political relationships." Those films include "Return of the Secaucus Seven," "The Brother from Another Planet," "Matewan," "Eight Men Out," "Passion Fish," "Lone Star" and "Sunshine State." Sayles received Academy Award nominations in the best original screenplay category for "Lone Star" and "Passion Fish." He is also a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the John Steinbeck Award for his fiction, the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award for his films, the Eugene V. Debs Award for his contributions to social justice and a lifetime achievement award from the Writers' Guild of America. "John Sayles is an extremely engaging speaker," said Mary S. Devins, associate director of CISLA. "The diversity of his written and cinema work is fascinating. He aims to engage his readers and audience in important causes of social justice and uses the lens of history to bring topics to the forefront. We live in an international world and a world of injustices, and people should learn about the present from a historical approach. We need to be engaged in the world at large." Sayles will begin his visit to the College by delivering a Common Hour lecture, "Lives, Places, Stories: Cinema as Public History," at 11:50 a.m. in Room 210 of Blaustein Humanities Center. At 1:15 p.m. in the same room, Sayles will discuss the creative process of film making and screenwriting with students. At 6 p.m., he'll give a reading from his latest novel, "A Moment in the Sun," in Room 014 of Olin Science Center. And at 7 p.m., there will be a special screening of his latest film, "Amigo," in Room 014 of Olin. Sayles will participate in a Q&A after the film. All events are free and open to the public. To view other events on campus this month, visit the Connecticut College calendar of events.