A Tale of the Cold War from the Other Side

Jeff Lilley, ’86, will speak about how his education at Williams helped to put him on track to be an international correspondent in Russia at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union and make writing an essential part of his professional life. He will tell the story behind the writing of his latest book Have the Mountains Fallen: Two Journeys of Loss and Redemption in the Cold War, which has roots in his first posting in Central Asia. The book follows the lives of a writer and a broadcaster from Soviet Kirgizia who fought against Soviet authoritarianism with words not weapons. It’s a story of the Cold War from the “other side.”

April 24, 4.15 pm | Schapiro 129

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Graphic reportage: a history and particularities of the genre in Russia

Graphic reportage: a history and particularities of the genre in Russia

Russian graphic artist, activist, and journalist Victoria Lomasko will discuss the genres of “documentary comics” and “graphic reportage” by addressing the history of the genres and their development in Russia, how graphic stories can be used in social activism, journalistic aspects of graphic art, and the principles for combining verbal and visual elements.

April 26, 4:15 | Schapiro 129
Reception to follow talk

April 26 – May 11 | Other Russias
Schapiro Hallway

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Establishing an Arab Modern Visual Culture in Hilmi al-Tuni’s illustrations and Abdulkader Arnaout’s Typographic Work

Yasmine Nachabe Taan

Yasmine Nachabe Taan, Associate Professor at the School of Architecture & Design at the Lebanese American University, will discuss the breadth and depth in Hilmi al-Tuni’s illustrations and Abdulkader Arnaout’s typographic work. She will first highlight Arnaout’s contribution to the development of a rich repertoire of Arabic typographic styles., and then discuss al-Tuni’s contribution to the development of a particular visual style reflective of an Egyptian popular culture. Both Arnaout and al-Tuni’s artwork had a great impact on the generation of artists and designers in Egypt, Syria and abroad.

April 4 at 6:30 | Schapiro 129

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Winckelmann: Classical Art, Sexual Freedom, and the Prehistory of Gay Identity


Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768) rose from poverty in northern Germany to a resplendent life in Rome, as the major art historian of his time. His open courtship of other men as well as his sensational murder made his lifestyle a model for educated men who were sexually attracted to other men, much like Oscar Wilde a century later. These same erotic instincts were behind a willingness to challenge establish morality and imbue the human body with a nobility that paved the way for the emerging conception of the rights of man.

February 21 @ 4:15 | Hollander 241.

* Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian, and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Art History and the Dively Committee.

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Race, Gender, and Political Dissent: Latin American & Caribbean Film Today

Santa & Andres (The Movie)

The first Williams Latin American and Caribbean Film Festival, organized by the Department of Romance Languages, begins on April 2 with Santa y Andrés by Carlos Lechuga (2016). The film relates the improbable friendship between a revolutionary country girl and a noncompliant gay writer she has to watch over for three consecutive days. It was censored in Cuba by ministerial decision but has flourished on the international film festival circuit.

The festival will continue on April 16 with La Soledad/ The Solitude by Jorge Thielen Armand (2016, Venezuela) and on April 23 with Carpinteros / Woodpeckers by José María Cabral (2017, Dominican Republic). These are compelling and provocative tales of survival, resistance, determination, and transgression, some of them inspired by real events.

All films to be shown at Images Cinema at 7 PMAll movies are in Spanish with English subtitles. Free admission and open to the public.

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Tolstoy, Incest, and the Russian Novel

Anna Berman

The talk will explore the issue of incest in Leo Tolstoy’s novels in the broader context of the family, marriage, and law in 19th-century Russia.

April 16, 4:15 – 5:15pm | Hollander 241

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Music from Okinawa, tropical islands of Japan

Saburo (Sonny) Ochiai

Distinct exotic tunes of Okinawa will be performed by Saburo (Sonny) Ochiai with sanshin, a traditional snake skinned banjo. He’ll be accompanied by a flutist and dancer. Enjoy heartrending ballads to lively dance music, which gets everyone on their feet! Reception with refreshments will follow.

About the artist: Saburo Ochiai is a member of the Society for the Preservation of the Nomura School of Ryukyuan Classical Music based in Okinawa. The Okinawa Times newspaper company awarded him the ‘Merit of Excellence’ in 2008 and proceeded to grant him the ‘Apex Award’ in 2010. As an Okinawa Goodwill Ambassador certified by the Okinawan Governor, he continues to promote Okinawa and its culture through various festivals and ethnic events in the New York area.

Thursday, April 12 at 5:45pm to 6:45pm | Griffin Hall, 3

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Awaiting the Messiah: The Rise of Christian Television in the Middle East (1981-2000)

Febe Armanios

Febe Armanios, Professor of History at Middlebury College, explores the rise of Middle East’s first Christian television station, which was established in war-torn South Lebanon in the early 1980s and funded and operated by Americans. Over nearly two decades, the channel would introduce millions of viewers to wholesome American family programming, to American sports, and to a specific style of Arab televangelism that was heretofore unfamiliar in the region.

The talk will relate the role of local interlocutors in promoting this station, explore the messianic vision of its backers, and consider the political and religious ideologies of its supporters and detractors.

Thursday, March 1 at 6:30pm to 7:30pm | Griffin Hall, 3

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Daredevil Humanimality: Base Jumper Dean Potter or “When Dogs Fly”

Dean Potter, the BASE jumper at Yosemite National Park

On the evening of 16 May 2015, Dean Potter, the BASE jumper, leaped off Taft Point in the Yosemite National Park, clad in a wingsuit. In an attempt to clear a notch in the rocky ridgeline – into the open beyond – he fell to his death. He was 43 years old. It was initially unclear whether Potter’s dog Whisper, protagonist in the 2013 short, When Dogs Fly, had survived the jump.

Stefan Börnchen, Professor of German Language and Literature at the University of Cologne, contends that the art of extreme sport such as it was envisioned by Potter, can only be understood in terms of philosophical and theoretical traditions. This is precisely why Potter’s jump in a wingsuit, accompanied by his dog, is a matter for consideration in the academic discipline of the Humanities. Börchen will argue that this is more so the case with the humanitas, as illustrated by Potter’s act, from which the Humanities derive meaning. It is in fact a humanistic effort, therefore, to answer the question posed by Potter, namely, “What happens when dogs fly?”

Tuesday, March 13th at 4:15 PM

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Protean Masculinity: Hitler’s Soldiers and Germany’s 20th Century

Professor Kühne’s talk will address how military concepts of masculinity at first enabled German soldiers’ support of the Holocaust and, after 1945, provided them with a way to contend with the guilt and shame related to it.

March 6, 4:15 PM | Hollander 241

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