Tucson Humanities Festival Has Theme of Resistance and Revolution
UA College of Humanities faculty and special guests will focus on what history’s turning points reveal about today’s grand challenges. The monthlong festival begins on Oct. 3.

By Eric Swedlund, UA College of Humanities
Sept. 27, 2017

With an expanded, monthlong format, the 2017 Tucson Humanities Festival will explore the theme of "Resistance & Revolution," presenting lectures on topics ranging from early Christianity to contemporary human rights activism.

The 10 presentations, from Oct. 3 to Nov. 7, will feature faculty from across the University of Arizona's College of Humanities as well as special guests, including Nadya Tolokonnikova of the Russian art collective Pussy Riot, poets Martin Espada and Odilia Galván Rodríguez, and Diana Taylor, president of the Modern Language Association.

The theme, selected by College of Humanities faculty, will examine moments of principled defiance, quiet dissent and thundering discord throughout history — and the profound changes they created: toppled governments, religious schisms and abrupt disruptions in the ways we live.

"When humanities scholars look out across the globe, and back through the pages of human history, we can see in every culture crucial turning points, when new ideas take root and create ripples of change," said Alain-Philippe Durand, dean of the College of Humanities. "In studying the human condition through the lens of language, literature and culture, we've often centered on these turning points to ask timeless questions and search for answers to what it means to be human."

This year, the festival will celebrate all of October as National Arts & Humanities Month encourages public participation in the arts and humanities. The festival is intended to open a dialogue between the University and the Tucson community and share faculty research and expertise about topics with wide interest: the Reformation, 20th-century conflicts, freedom and liberty, immigration and borders, and cutting-edge science and technology.

"We've selected a theme that allows our faculty and guests to examine humanity's ongoing struggle for dignity, equality and understanding," Durand said. "The focus is on how the humanities play a central role in dealing with today's grand challenges."  

For more information about the festival, go to humanitiesfestival.arizona.edu.


Tuesday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m.

Punk Prayer: Pussy Riot's Fight for Global Freedom of Expression

Nadya Tolokonnikova

Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. (tickets $11; $6 with CatCard)

Wednesday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m.

Imperfect Legacy: From National Liberation to Meaningful Freedom in Africa

Phyllis Taoua, French and Italian

UA Poetry Center, Rubel Room

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m.

Crown Vs. Cross: Resistance and Resilience of Religion in the Roman Empire

Panel: Grant Adamson, Cynthia White and Courtney Friesen of religious studies and classics; Ed Wright of  Judaic studies

UA Poetry Center, Rubel Room

Thursday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.

Poetry of Resistance: A Plea for Social Change

Readings: Martin Espada and Odilia Galván Rodríguez

Moderator: Mari Herreras

UA Poetry Center, Rubel Room

Friday, Oct. 13, 5 p.m.

Virtual Study Abroad: A Digital Humanities Experience

Bryan Carter of digital humanities and Judd Ruggill of public and applied humanities

Owls Club, 236 S. Scott Ave.

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 7 p.m.

Forces Unleashed: Why the Spanish Civil War Still Matters

Malcolm Compitello, Spanish and Portuguese

UA Poetry Center, Rubel Room

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 7 p.m.

Symbols of Revolution: Legacies of Luther in Germany

Steven D. Martinson, German studies

UA Poetry Center, Rubel Room

Friday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.

Exploring the Universe: Science and Humanities United

Dante Lauretta, planetary sciences

UA Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 5:30 p.m.

Seeking Life on the Roads of Death: The Madres Movement in Central America

Diana Taylor, New York University

UA Center for Creative Photography

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m.

The Mexican Suitcase (film and discussion)

Presented by the Humanities Seminars Program

The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.


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