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Campus Community Turns Out for Teach-In 2016

Guest artist Clifford Owens speaks with Teach-In coorganizer Natalie Desrosiers.
Photo: Pete Mauney '93 MFA '00
The Bard College community packed the Bertelsmann Campus Center and other campus venues for Teach-In 2016 on Tuesday, April 19, and Wednesday, April 20. The Teach-In featured lectures, workshops, performances, and exhibitions designed to educate and engage the campus. This past year, Bard students—led by seniors Abiba Salahou, Ana Borja, and Davon Blanks, and junior Salim Chagui—organized walkouts, talks, lectures, and protests in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement, including the Black Out Bard rally and conversations around mass incarceration and police shootings. These students then joined with Bard faculty and staff to organize Teach-In 2016.
 
With the tag lines "Rethinking Bard," "More than a place to think," and "Bursting the Bard bubble," organizers challenged attendees to think critically. Participants attended over 35 interactive events over the course of two days, from talks by prestigious guest artists and activists to marathon readings of works by Malcolm X, Audre Lorde, Frantz Fanon, and bell hooks.
 
The Teach-In was organized by the Difference and Media Project (DMP) in cooperation with the Studio Arts Program, with leadership from Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities Ann Seaton, director of the Difference and Media Project; Artist in Residence Daniella Dooling; Erin Cannan and Jonathan Becker in the Center for Civic Engagement; Center for Curatorial Studies Graduate DMP Fellow Bhavisha Panchia; DMP student fellows Davon Blanks, Bianka Bell, Sabrina Sultana, Salim Chagui, Will Scarfone, and Joe Fitzgerald; and DMP alumni/ae Jasper Katz, Rebeca Huntt, Jose Brito, Rose Falvey, and many others. Numerous Bard programs and centers participated, including the Center for Civic Engagement, the Art History Program, the Bard MFA, the Center for Curatorial Studies, the Bard Chaplaincy, the Bard Educational Opportunity Programs, and the Hannah Arendt Center.
 
Bard College Teach-in 2016; Bianka Bell
Bard College student Bianka Bell, senior DMP fellow, reads at the Oblivion poetry reading. Oblivion is a magazine published by the Difference and Media Project, of which Bell is the editor in chief.
Photo: Sarah Wallock '19

The Teach-In organizers called for students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and community members to come together to talk, teach, share, and celebrate. They emphasized reimagining accepted norms at Bard as well as offering opportunities to share stories, ask difficult questions, and to heal. Topics included: mapping and place, embodiment, race, gender and gender identity, pedagogy, social and economic class, aesthetics, spirituality, the canon, disciplinary structures, First-Year Seminar, and more.
 
Bard College Teach-in 2016; Camonghne Felix and Dread Scott
Keynote speaker Camonghne Felix (L) and guest artist Dread Scott (R). 
Photos: Pete Mauney '93 MFA '00

Bard MFA alumna, writer, and activist Camonghne Felix gave the keynote address on the Black Lives Matter movement, poetics, and politics to a full house on Tuesday afternoon. Other highlights included artist talks by controversial, boundary-pushing multimedia performance artists Dread Scott and Clifford Owens; a screening of the MOMA 2016 Documentary Festival–featured film INAATE/SE/, by Bard alumni Adam Khalil '11 and Zack Khalil '14; an artist talk by Ginger Brooks Takahashi; poetry and conversation with Lucas de Lima and Eunsong Kim; Beba at Bard, a film showing and interactive workshop by Bard alumnae Rebeca Huntt '12 and Sofia Geld '12 with help from Jose Brito '11; performances by the Bard Community Gospel Choir and Jazz Ensemble; the Bard Chaplaincy’s "Storylistening" session on active listening as a tool for dismantling injustice; a panel on the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) with founder/director Max Kenner '01 and BPI alumni/ae Anthony Cardenales '08 and Jennel Nesbit '15; wellness events; and student readings and performances.

Artist in Residence Daniella Dooling remarks, “As a teaching artist with an ongoing practice of engagement with the Bard Prison Iniatitive and as a Bard Posse mentor, I am very interested in the kind of work that the Teach-In represents and in political and social activism inside and outside of the classroom." 

"We hope to make the Teach-In an annual event that includes the entire Bard community," adds Professor Seaton, "and we’re especially thrilled that so many alumni/ae returned to participate. The incredible mix of arts, politics, spirituality, and activism at the Teach-In really embodies the best of Bard and will, I hope, serve as an ongoing space that will help us to keep reimagining our communities. As a working artist and academic, the Difference and Media Project students and fellows have continued to educate me. I am very grateful to them for all their hard work on the Teach-In."
 
More info: http://student.bard.edu/morethanaplacetothink/
Post Date: 04-23-2016