James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
Photo by Professor Catherine Benoit.
The Connecticut College Department of Anthropology will host the annual International Research Film Festival on the Connecticut College campus Feb. 23 and 24. The festival is free and open to the public. This year, the theme of the traveling festival is "Culture and Citizenship in the African Diaspora." The festival tours universities throughout Europe and Africa as well as in Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean. Connecticut College is the only U.S. college to host the festival. "Such a high-profile event on the African Diaspora demonstrates that Connecticut College is committed to the internationalization and diversification of its curriculum," said anthropology professor Catherine Benoit, who is coordinating the festival. The festival films are in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, and all have subtitles. They explore a wide variety of topics and themes, including the lives of young musicians in Cuba, the struggle for political rights in Benin and the experiences shared by a group of Caribbean graffiti artists who journey to New York City. Several of the filmmakers will be visiting the campus during the festival to introduce and lead discussions about the films. Other guest speakers include professors and experts from other colleges and legendary New York City graffiti artist James Top. One of the films screened will be chosen for an award by the college. This is the second consecutive year Connecticut College is hosting the festival. Last year, students and alumni described it as a stimulating experience. The full schedule of events is as follows: Thursday, Feb. 23: - 6:45 p.m.: Coffee and Desserts, Ernst Common Room, Blaustein Humanities Center -7:20 p.m.: Welcoming and Opening Remarks, Ernst Common Room, BlausteinHumanities Center -7:45 p.m.: "Nou Yorkers" film screening, Ernst Common Room, BlausteinHumanities Center -8:45 p.m.: Q&A Session with "Nou Yorkers" director Janluk Stanislas and New York graffiti artist JamesTop, Ernst Common Room, Blaustein Humanities Center Friday, Feb. 24: -9:15 a.m.: Breakfast, Cummings Salon, Cummings Arts Center -10 a.m.: "Hollywood-Style Drama vs. Messianic Figure and Chimera: Asger Leth's'Ghosts of Cite Soleil' and Charles Najman's 'Haiti la fin des chimeres,'" alecture by Sophie Saint-Just, a lecturer of French at Fordham University, EvansHall, Cummings Arts Center -11 a.m.: "Golden Scars" film screening, Evans Hall, Cummings Arts Center -12 p.m.: Lunch, Ernst Common Room and Faculty Lounge, Blaustein HumanitiesCenter (Limited seating - RSVP required to firstname.lastname@example.org) -1:30 p.m.: "Yesterday's Slaves: Democracy and Ethnicity in Benin" filmscreening, Evans Hall, Cummings Arts Center -2:10 p.m.: "O Manuscrito Perdido" film screening, Evans Hall, Cummings ArtsCenter -3:30 p.m.: Award Ceremony and Closing, Evans Hall, Cummings Arts Center