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Public Humanities - Past Events

The Tisch College Program for Public Humanities hosts a spring semester series of speakers whose work in various fields intersects with and contributes to civic life. Learn more about past events below:

Spring 2019

Roopika Risam: Digitial Humanities in Crisis"Digital Humanities in Crisis: The Case of Torn Apart/Separados"
Roopika Risam
February 4, Rabb Room, Tisch College

Tisch College hosted a conversation with Roopika Risam, Professor at Salem State University and core member of Torn Apart/Separados. In June 2018, a group of librarians, faculty, and graduate students responded to the Trump administration's family separation policy by creating the digital humanities project “Torn Apart/Separados” in the span of a week. In this talk, Professor Risam will discuss the process of conceptualizing and deploying rapid-response research at moments of crisis and engaging with digital humanities methods to intervene in civic life.
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Flyer for Humanities event with Jeremy Eichler"Silencing Sound & Sounding Silence: Shostakovich's 'Babi Yar' Symphony and the Music of Conscience"
Jeremy Eichler
March 25, Rabb Room, Tisch College

Tisch College hosted a conversation with Jeremy Eichler, Public Scholar at the National Endowment for the Humanities and Classical Music Critic of The Boston Globe. After the Second World War, the Soviet Union suppressed the memory of the Jewish massacre at Babi Yar and attempted to erase the site itself from the landscape. Critic and cultural historian Jeremy Eichler charts both the earliest attempts at forced amnesia as well as the highly fraught creation of Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony, a ‘musical monument’ that broke the official silence. The talk also explored, more broadly, how certain works of music today carry forward the cultural memory of the wartime past. Co-sponsored by the Department of Music.
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Flyer for Quorum Boston event"Quorum Boston: Queer Composers and Resistance to Erasure"
Lorraine Fitzmaurice & Quinn Gutman
April 17, Rabb Room, Tisch College

Tisch College hosted this special event, as part of our Program for Public Humanities, featuring Lorraine Fitzmaurice and Quinn Gutman of the choral group Quorum Boston. They discussed their organization’s work to resist and reveal the history of queer erasure in choral music and to bring these composers back into the musical canon. Co-sponsored by the Department of Music.

Spring 2018

Public Amnesias Panel"Public Amnesias"
Kendra Field, Kerri Greenidge, Aditi Mehta, James Rice
February 21, Rabb Room, Tisch College

In this public roundtable, panelists discussed the ways that identifying "amnesias" – as dynamic omissions in the narratives of experience – can operationalize critique and activism. Panelists addressed "forgetting" in sites that include the histories of African-descended and Native families and communities, environmental catastrophes, and as borders of academic disciplines. These inquiries and their implications have a considerable trajectory, extending from the Tufts campus and Boston area to broader regional and transnational locations. Co-sponsored by the Center for Humanities at Tufts and the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.
Read the Tufts Daily's coverage of this event

Robert Lee Civic Life Lunch“Against Invisibility: Chinese America, History, and the Family Album”
Robert G. Lee, Brown University
March 26, Rabb Room, Tisch College

“Against Invisibility” is a project and seminar created by Professor Lee that explores how Chinese Americans have used vernacular photography to assert agency and resist erasure from authorized narratives of nation and citizenship. His presentation introduced this work and drew from a digital archive of 4000 family photos and slides that date from 1866 to 1990. Co-sponsored with the Civic Life Lunch series at Tisch College

Amruta Patil flyer“Rasa Replete”
Amruta Patil
April 9, Rabb Room, Tisch College

One of India’s foremost graphic novelists, Amruta Patil (MFA, Tufts/SMFA 2004) discussed constructions of beauty as a means of resistance within her award-winning work, recognized for its representations of queer identities, alternative sexualities, and feminism, often in the retelling of traditional Indian epics and mythologies. She is the author of Kari (2008), Adi Parva: Churning of the Ocean (2012), and Sauptik: Blood and Flowers (2016). Organized in conjunction with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts.