Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Brown Symposium

Brown Symposium XXXVIII was preceded on November 4, 2016 by the keynote colloquium
Directed by SU Professor of Spanish Katy Ross and featuring three distinguished guest speakers

Brown Symposium 38

Art & Revolution

Alma Thomas Theater
Southwestern University
March 1-3, 2017

Art and revolution go hand in hand. Since time immemorial, the arts have given voice to the issues and themes that have spurred revolutions. Revolutions have been fueled by contributions from visual artists, musicians, playwrights, and literature. And the arts themselves have experienced major conceptual and technical revolutions that have affected how they address themselves not only the worlds of which and for which they are created, but also to posterity and its own revolutions. Revolution can denote an attempt to seize and wield power, or it can refer to a set of conceptual or political changes that change the lives and works of contemporaries and posterity. Either way, it is difficult to escape the notion that the arts and revolution have historically intersected in profound and profoundly symbiotic ways and continue to do so today.

Brown Symposium XXXVIII will explore these intersections. In November 2016 we sponsor a Keynote Colloquium featuring three distinguished speakers on the theme of Language and Revolution: How Words Change the World. Then, in March 2017, we feature five distinguished guest speakers, a performance of an acclaimed play about the sexual revolution in the Victorian era, the world premiere of a new composition inspired by art and revolution, and a gallery exhibit featuring an internationally acclaimed revolutionary conceptual artist. There will also be two public salons on the prompt of “art and revolution” – opportunities for you to converse publicly with our guests about the arts, revolution, the changes their intersection has wrought historically, and those that continue today.  


  • Luis Camnitzer

    Luis Camnitzer

    Luis Camnitzer is an internationally renowned German-born Uruguayan conceptual artist, whose work explores issues such as institutional critique, repression, and social injustice. An emeritus member of the College at Old Westbury in the State University of New York, Professor Camnitzer is a two-time recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and is the author of three major books. He has work in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and elsewhere in Buenos Aires, Houston, London, Madrid, and Zurich, among others. Concurrent with Brown Symposium XXXVIII will be a special gallery exhibit featuring Professor Camnitzer’s works.  He will participate in both public salons and give a special talk at a gallery exhibition closing reception on Friday, March 3, 2017.

  • Felicia Hardison Londré

    Felicia Hardison Londré

    Felicia Hardison Londré is Curators’ Professor of Theatre at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dr. Londré is a theater historian specializing in American, French, and Russian theatre, as well as Shakespearean dramaturgy. The author of fourteen books, she is also recipient of numerous Theater honors, including induction into the College of Fellows at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and two prestigious national awards for outstanding teacher in theater in higher education. She is well known internationally as a speaker, having lectured in Beijing, Brussels, Moscow, Nanjing, Tokyo, Osaka, Paris, Rouen, and Venice, and given a lecture tour of Hungary. She will speak to us on intersections of theater and the European revolutions of 1989-90.

  • Reiland Rabaka

    Reiland Rabaka

    Reiland Rabaka is Professor and Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is the author of more than fifty scholarly articles and book chapters, as well as more than a dozen books including: Against Epistemic Apartheid: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Disciplinary Decadence of Sociology; Forms of Fanonism: Frantz Fanon’s Critical Theory and the Dialectics of Decolonization; Concepts of Cabralism: Amilcar Cabral and Africana Critical Theory; The Negritude Movement; Hip Hop’s Inheritance; Hip Hop’s Amnesia; and The Hip Hop Movement. Rabaka’s research has been recognized with several awards, including funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Science Foundation, the National Museum of African American History & Culture, the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian Institution, the Eugene M. Kayden Book Award, the Cheikh Anta Diop Book Award, and the National Council for Black Studies’ Distinguished Career Award. He will speak to us on the subject of music and the Civil Rights Revolution.

  • Domnica Radulescu

    Domnica Radulescu

    Domnica Radulescu is professor of French and Italian at Washington and Lee University, and is the founding director of the National Symposium of Theater in Academe. She has authored, edited, or co-edited nine scholarly books and collections of essays on subjects ranging from early modern and modern French and Italian theater to representations of women, exiles, and Gypsies in Western literature and culture. She is also the author of two acclaimed novels, one of which has been translated into nine different languages. She will speak to us on the intersection of Theater and Feminist Revolution. 

  • Barbara M. Stafford

    Barbara M. Stafford

    Barbara M. Stafford is Distinguished University Visiting Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and, before that, longtime professor at the University of Chicago. Professor Stafford’s work explores the intersections between the visual arts and the physical and biological sciences from the early modern to the contemporary era. Her current research charts the revolutionary ways the neurosciences are shaping our fundamental assumptions about perception, sensation, emotion, mental imagery, and subjectivity. She is the author of ten books and more than seventy-five articles on these and other subjects. She will speak to us on intersections between the visual arts and scientific revolution, particularly where the neurosciences are concerned. 

  • James von Geldern

    James von Geldern

    James von Geldern is Professor of Russian and International Studies and Chair of Russian Studies at Macalester College, where he teaches courses on Soviet culture and international law.  He is author of Bolshevik Festivals, 1917-1920, co-author ofMass Culture in Soviet Russia: Tales, Poems, Songs, Movies, Plays and Folklore, 1917-1953, and Entertaining Tsarist Russia: Urban Entertainments, 1798-1917. He is also a practicing attorney, representing asylum seekers pro bono in collaboration with the Advocates for Human Rights, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He will speak on the intersection of the visual arts and mass culture in Bolshevik Russia in 1917.