Event Archive

Below is a list of our past events. By clicking on the event you can see a list of the authors who participated and links to live recordings from the event.

A Memorial Tribute to Aishah Rahman

A celebration of the life and work of Aishah Rahman through readings from her work, a critical assessment, memories and reflections, and a short film. Aishah Rahman died in December 2014; she had retired from Brown in 2011, following nearly 20 years of teaching in the Literary Arts Department. Aishah Rahman made her literary mark through her plays, perhaps most notably The Mojo and the Sayso.  She was editor of NuMuse, a series of anthologies of new plays, focused on works in the avant-garde and “Poor Theatre” tradition. Her literary memoir, Chewed Water, was published in 2001.

Participants in the memorial program will include: Obie-award winning artists Paul Carter Harrison and Stephanie Berry; actor, singer, playwright, Rose Weaver; Brown professors Carole Maso and Brenda Marie Osbey; Thadious Davis, University of Pennsylvania Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought; and Professor Rahman's daughter, the noted filmmaker, Yorbua Richen.

Alix Lambert's films: "The Mark of Cain" and "Prison Zoo"

Alix Lambert's documentary, "The Mark of Cain," was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, received an honorable mention from the French Association of Journalism and aired on ABC television's Nightline program. She has produced additional segments for Nightline as well as seven segments for the PBS series, Life 360. Ms. Lambert will discuss her films and answer questions following the screening.

Camille T. Dungy

Camille T. Dungy is the author of Smith BlueSuck on the Marrow, and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison. She edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry, co-edited the From the Fishouse poetry anthology, and served as assistant editor for Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade. Her honors include an American Book Award, two Northern California Book Awards, a California Book Award silver medal, a Sustainable Arts Foundation grant, and a fellowship from the NEA. Recent essays have appeared in VQR, Ecotone, and Tupelo Quarterly. Dungy is currently a Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University.

Michelle Ellsworth performs "Clytigation: State of Exception"

Friday, October 30, 2015 
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Granoff Center, 154 Angell Street, Studio One 

At 7, Michelle Ellsworth told her mother “I want to be a dancer”, after watching the Ernest Flat Dancers on the Carol Burnett Show. Ellsworth’s career includes a wide range of evening-length solos, short works, videos, and performative web sites. Starting from her native medium of dance, she works within video, text, web design, and installation to pursue topics ranging from gender to the human condition. Among her honors are a Doris Duke Impact Award (2015), a NEFA National Dance Project Grant (2014), and a Creative Capital Fellowship (2013). She is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. Find out more at michelleellsworth.com.


Clytigation: State of Exception was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Andrew Mellon Foundation. 

A Window on the Work: A Talk with Michelle Ellsworth on her project, "Clytigation"

Michelle Ellsworth will discuss how she has come to work within video, text, web design, and installation to pursue topics ranging from gender to the human condition. She'll address the artistic and social concerns related to her project, "Clytigation," which she is slated to perform later in the week at the Granoff Center.

Film Screening: "Language Matters" with Bob Holman

The author of 16 poetry collections, most recently Sing This One Back to Me (Coffee House Press), Bob Holman has taught at Columbia, NYU, Bard, and The New School. As the original Slam Master and a director at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, creator of the world's first spoken word poetry record label, Mouth Almighty/Mercury, and the proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, Holman has played a central role in the spoken word and slam poetry movements of the last several decades. A co-founder and co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance, Holman's study of hip-hop and West African oral traditions led to his current work with endangered languages. Holman is the producer and host of various films, including "The United States of Poetry," and "On the Road with Bob Holman." His most recent film, "Language Matters with Bob Holman," winner of the Berkeley Film Festival's 2015 Documentary of the Year award, was produced by David Grubin and aired on PBS in January. "Language Matters" takes viewers around the world: to a remote island off the coast of Australia where 400 Aboriginal people speak 10 different languages, all at risk; to Wales, where Welsh, once in danger, is today making a comeback; and to Hawaii, where Hawaiians are fighting to save their native tongue. Holman has just returned from a month-long trip visiting language revitalization centers across Alaska, sponsored by the Ford Foundation. He lives in New York City, on the Bowery, above the Bowery Poetry Club.

Joyelle McSweeney

Joyelle McSweeney is a poet, prose writer, playwright, critic and publisher.  Author of six books of poetry and prose (Salamandrine8 GothicsPercussion GrenadeFletNylundThe Sarcographer,Commandrine, and The Red Bird), she is also the co-founder and co-editor, with Johannes Göranson, of Action Books, an international press for poetry and translation.  She is, in addition, the author of a critical book, The Necropastoral:  Poetry, Media, Occults, and of a play, Dead Youth, or, The Leaks, winner of the inaugural Leslie Scalapino Prize for Innovative Women Playwrights.   McSweeney is currently director of MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame; she has previously taught in the MFA Program at the University of Alabama and was a Visiting Associate Professor of Poetry at the Iowa Writers Workshop.

Film Screening: "Counting" by Jem Cohen

Jem Cohen is a New York-based, filmmaker, photographer, and multi-media artist. His feature length projects include Museum Hours, Chain, Benjamin Smoke, Instrument, and Counting (2015 Berlin Film Festival premiere)Shorts include Lost Book Found, Anne Truitt - Working, and the Gravity Hill / Occupy Wall Street Newsreels. Cohen’s films are in the collections of New York’s MoMA and Whitney Museums. He’s had retrospectives at London’s Whitechapel Gallery and the Oberhausen, Gijon, and Punto de Vista film festivals. He has collaborated with musicians including Fugazi, Patti Smith, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Vic Chesnutt, R.E.M., Terry Riley, DJ Rupture, Elliott Smith, and the Ex, as well as writer Luc Sante. Cohen’s still photographs have shown at Robert Miller Gallery and SF Camerawork. We Have an Anchor, a multimedia documentary with live soundtrack, played on the main stages at London’s Barbican and BAM’s Next Wave series and is currently an installation at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Cohen was extensively involved in overturning proposed governmental restrictions on street photography/filming in New York City. 

Jem Cohen's visit is sponsored by the Departments of Modern Culture and Media, Literary Arts and a grant from Brown's Creative Arts Council.

Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield is the author of eight collections of poetry, including, most recently, The Beauty.  Other titles include Come, ThiefAfterGiven Sugar, Given SaltThe Lives of the Heart; and The October Palace.  She is also the author of two books of essays, Ten Windows:  How Great Poems Transform the World, and Nine Gates:  Entering the Mind of Poetry.  Her work has appeared in The New YorkerThe AtlanticThe Times Literary SupplementHarper’sThe NationOrion, and in many other publications, and has been described by the New York Times as “radiant and passionate.”  Also a noted translator, she has been the recipient of numerous honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, The National Endowment for the Arts, and Academy of American Poets.   She has taught at UC Berkeley, Duke University, and Bennington College. 

Jane Hirshfield's visit is sponsored by the Departments of Literary Arts, Contemplative Studies, East Asian Studies, Comparative Literature and a grant from Brown's Arts Initiative.

Samantha Gorman & Danny Cannizzaro

Samantha Gorman is a writer and artist who works at the intersection of text, cinema, performance and digital culture. With Danny Cannizzaro she founded the art collective/publishing initiative Tender Claws. Tender Claws’ most recent release is Pry: a hybrid of cinema, game and novel created for mobile iOS (prynovella.com). Pry won the New Media Writing Prize 2015 and was a Future of Storytelling Prize finalist, IGF finalist for ‘Excellence in Narrative’ and has been showcased at film festivals, game festivals and book review sites . Samantha holds a MFA from Brown University in Literary Arts, Digital Language Arts and has taught courses in Performance Art and Digital Literature at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2012, Samantha relocated to LA to pursue her Ph.D. in Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. samanthagorman.net


Danny Cannizzaro is a programmer, art director, interaction designer, and visual artist. After training in illustration and painting at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, Danny began working in the interactive field. After graduating, he won a $25k grant from MTV to create a transmedia band project. Since then, he has worked as an art director and creative director at New York based B-Reel. His past projects include developing the interactive game for the launch of Google’s Nexus phones, the demo page of the Google+ launch, and an album spot for Kanye West. Most recently, he art directed the ‘cardboard’ section of Google’s 2015 IO keynote. In addition to his work in industry, Danny holds an MFA in Conceptual Art from the University of California San Diego. With Samantha Gorman he founded the artist group ‘Tender Claws.’