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Fear project graduation 2020
The Kahn 2019-20 project Fear hosted an anticipatory graduation celebration for Student Fellows in early March during a weekly colloquium at the Kahn Institute before students departed campus. The Kahn projects Fear and TranslationS have continued weekly seminars online this month.

What’s Happening at the Kahn

The stories and updates formerly featured in our printed newsletter, the Kahn Chronicle, are now featured on this News & Events webpage. Check back regularly to read profiles of students and faculty, notes from the Kahn staff, and to learn more about Kahn projects and events.


The Third Founding: The Struggle for Multiracial Democracy—and the Authoritarian Reaction Against it, by Steven Levitsky, co-author of How Democracies Die

Steven Levitsky, Professor of Government, Harvard University and co-author of How Democracies Die, will speak on "The Third Founding: The Struggle for Multiracial Democacy—and the Authoritarian Reaction Against it" as part of the Kahn Institute yearlong project Coping with Democratic Precarity and the Prospects for Democratic Renewal.

Voices, Visibility and Versatile Artistic Praxis: Asian/Asian Americans at Smith College

Two artworks at Smith represent the culmination of “Voices, Visibility, and Versatile Artistic Praxis: Asian/Asian Americans at Smith College, a multi-project collaboration between Boston-based multimedia artist Yu-Wen Wu (https://yuwenwustudio.com/) and Smith community members: 1) Belonging: A Voice at the Table, on display at the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute (21 Henshaw Ave.) on Thursday, April 28, 2:30-5 p.m., is an installation of symbolic cloth bundles adorned with narratives and stories exploring ideas of home, identity and belonging; and 2) Belonging: Asian/Asian American Voices at Smith, an accordion book on display on the third floor of Neilson Library through the summer.

Starbucks, Amazon and How Labor Unions Lift Workers and Strengthen Our Democracy, by NYT Journalist Steven Greenhouse

Steven Greenhouse, award-winning author and long-time New York Times reporter on labor and the workplace, will speak on "Starbucks, Amazon and How Labor Unions Lift Workers and Strengthen Our Democracy" as part of an event sponsored by the Kahn Institute, Journalism Concentration, Provost's Office and the departments of Sociology and Education. 

Whistleblowers: Heroes or Traitors? by Jesselyn Radack

Jesselyn Radack, lawyer, whistleblower, and National Security and Human Rights Director of the Whistleblower and Source Protection Program (WHISPeR), will speak on "Whistleblowers: Heroes or Traitors?" as part of the Kahn Institute yearlong project Coping with Democratic Precarity and the Prospects for Democratic Renewal. 

Neilson Professor Lecture III: "A Focus on the Environment as a Source for the Recuperation of Memory"

Neilson Professor Miguel Angel Rosales, filmmaker and anthropologist, will give his third of three spring lectures, "A Focus on the Environment as a Source for the Recuperation of Memory," on Tuesday, April 5, at 5 p.m. in Neilson Browsing Room.

Neilson Professor Lecture II: "Surviving Stories"

Neilson Professor Miguel Angel Rosales, filmmaker and anthropologist, will give his first of three spring lectures, "Submerged Stories," on Tuesday, February 22, at 5 p.m. in Neilson Browsing Room.

The Data Will Not Save Us: Afropessimism and Racial Antimatter in the COVID-19 Pandemic, by Anthony Ryan Hatch

Thursday, March 3, 5 p.m., Online

Anthony Ryan Hatch, Chair of the Science in Society Program at Wesleyan University, will give an online lecture, "The Data Will Not Save Us: Afropessimism and Racial Antimatter in the COVID-19 Pandemic." An analysis of how the COVID-19 pandemic joins an already ongoing racial spectacle and system of structural gaslighting organized around “racial health disparities” in the United States and globally. View the lecture video.

Submerged Stories, Neilson Professor Lecture I, Miguel Angel Rosales (transcript)

In the long history of Spanish colonial domination, there is an element virtually ignored by historians: the decisive role that the Spanish and Portuguese Empires played in the African slave trade, dispersing millions of Africans across the shores of the Atlantic.

Director's Note: Democracy as Making Hope

In its modest way, the work of the Kahn, where we incubate eggs whose creatures we cannot predict and whose shape we will neither prescribe nor proscribe, where imagination is the foundational term, even before thinking, is designed to contribute to the idea of the parallel polis (even by other names) that is a precondition for liberation in a democracy not yet realized.

Spring Visiting Speakers at the Kahn

The Kahn Institute will host several speakers, both online and in person, this spring in conjunction with current long-term and short-term projects, as follows. Next up: Anthony Hatch, Chair of the Science in Society Program at Wesleyan University, on "The Data Will Not Save Us: Afropessimism and Racial Antimatter in the COVID-19 Pandemic," on Thursday, March 3, 5 p.m., online (register to attend) as part of the short-term project Democratizing Health II. 

The Afrodiaspora in Spanish Culture

Miguel Angel Rosales, the 2022 Neilson Professor, is a filmmaker and anthropologist affiliated with Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville, Spain. Rosales will give three lectures through the spring, the first, "Submerged Stories," on Tuesday, February 22, at 5 p.m. in Neilson Browsing Room. Rosales recently responded to questions for KahnTact.

Neilson Professor Lecture I: "Submerged Stories"

Neilson Professor Miguel Angel Rosales, filmmaker and anthropologist, will give his first of three spring lectures, "Submerged Stories," on Tuesday, February 22, at 5 p.m. in Neilson Browsing Room.

Health Policy, Structural Racism, and Democracy

Jamila Michener, associate professor of government, Cornell University, will lecture on "Health Policy, Structural Racism, and Democracy," as part of the Kahn yearlong project Coping with Democratic Precarity and the Prospects for Democratic Renewal.

Presentation by Boston Multimedia Artist Yu-Wen Wu

Boston multimedia artist Yu-Wen Wu presented "The Space Within: Private and Public Narratives," as part of Voices, Visibility, and Versatile Artistic Praxis: Asians/Asian Americans at Smith College, a short-term visit amplifying Asian and Asian American presence at Smith through an artistic lens. View a Zoom video of this event.

Kahn Student Fellows for 2021-22 Yearlong Projects

Nine students have been awarded Kahn Fellowships in the 2021-22 yearlong projects Democracies Redux: Resumptions, Resilience, Reconciliation, and Restoration and Coping with Democratic Precarity and the Prospects for Democratic Renewal.

Focus on Fellowship: Zoe Birnhak ’21

Zoe Birnhak ‘21 recently participated in the Kahn short-term project The Notorious RCG: Race, Class, and Gender in STEM. She was one of two student fellows among some 25 faculty research fellows in the project, and discussed with the group her experience in STEM classes at Smith.

Not THOSE Birds and Bees

Director’s Note (Spring 2021)
Alex Keller, Director, Kahn Institute
We’re fully into many kinds of spring. We have sprung forward, there’s a spring in our step, things that sprang to mind now spring to life beyond it.

Focus on Fellowship: Espy Thomson ’21

Espy Thomson ’21, a fellow in Technophilia/Technoskepticism, has spent much of her final spring semester at Smith researching the reproductive technology industry, including interviews with some of her 65 half-siblings.

Focus on Fellowship: Amanda Jiang ’20

Amanda Jiang ’20 has been working on a new protocol to explore the efficacy of an alternative-based intervention to reduce stress and improve the quality of life for COVID-19 healthcare workers.

Spring Short-Term Projects at the Kahn

More than 150 Faculty Fellows participated in the following short-term projects.
Click on each project to read descriptions and see participants.

The Notorious RCG: Race, Class and Gender in STEM
Organized by Rob Dorit, Biological Sciences, and Mary Harrington, Neuroscience
March 10-12, 19

Curriculum: Protest and Process
Organized by Darcy Buerkle, History, and Frazer Ward, Art
April 9

Thinking Post-Nationally, Teaching Transnationally
Organized by Anna Botta, Italian Studies, and Joel Westerdale, German Studies
May 17-18

Is Inclusivity in My Classroom the Same as in Yours?
Organized by Alex Keller, Director, Kahn Institute, and Sara Pruss, Director, Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning
May 26

Excavating the Image, Part I: Isaac Julien's Lessons of the Hour (2019)
Organized by Emma Chubb, Charlotte Feng Ford '83 Curator of Contemporary Art, Smith College Museum of Art, and Alex Keller, Film and Media Studies and Director of the Kahn Institute.
June 2

Racialized Medicine, Past and Present: Teaching and Research in the Spaces Between STEM and the Humanities
Organized by Suzanne Gottschang, Anthropology, and Kathleen Pierce, Art
June 11 and 14


Kahn Past Events

Beyond Big Data: Communicating Climate Change Through Indigenous Voices & Art

An online conversation between Indigenous scientist/artist James Temte and special guest, Alaska native Ahtna Elder Wilson Justin. Temte, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe who leads the NSF Navigating the New Arctic Community Extension Office, will share a conversation with Ahtna elder Wilson Justin on the topic of Indigenous knowledge, connection to the land and the role of art in communicating the realities of climate change beyond the Arctic. This public conversation is presented as part of the Kahn Institute yearlong project Imagining Climate Change: From Slow Violence to Fast Hope. 

WATCH THE EVENT

On Rising Together: Collective and Creative Responses to the Climate Crisis

Elizabeth Rush, award-winning author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore, speaks on her book and related themes as a guest of the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability (CEEDS) and the Kahn Institute’s yearlong project Imagining Climate Change: From Slow Violence to Fast Hope. Rush's most recent book, Rising, a Pulitzer finalist, lyrically documents the transformation of shorelines around the United States as a result of climate change and rising seas.

WATCH THE EVENT 

Reversing Knowledge Loss

What does it mean to regain knowledge and practice of lost technologies? Why do some successful technologies disappear? MacArthur Fellow Sven Haakanson, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Washington, works with the Alutiiq in Kodiak, Alaska, and other communities in preserving and relearning languages and cultural practices. Haakanson received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work reviving Alutiiq language and culture. He recently worked with Kodiak communities in relearning, building and using angyaaq again. He lectured as part of the yearlong project Technophilia/Technoskepticism.

WATCH THE LECTURE

 

Year on Democracies Logo

In 2021–22, Smith College will host an ambitious set of programs and events under the organizing theme “Year on Democracies.” Everyone in the Smith community is invited to participate and collaborate in this collegewide initiative.

VISIT THE YEAR ON DEMOCRACIES WEBSITE