Rhodes College’s “Communities in Conversation” series will present five sets of events during the spring semester of 2014. Preeminent scholars and outstanding intellectuals such as internationally renowned philosopher Judith Butler and The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates will discuss contemporary issues and contentious topics. From a French Film Festival to a weekend-long conference, “From the Civil War to Civil Rights,” this public series highlights how scholarly conversations can illuminate a variety of subjects of general interest. All lectures are free, open to the public and take place on the Rhodes campus.
Jan. 22-Feb. 5: Tournées French Film Festival
For a second year running, Rhodes will host the Tournées French Film Festival featuring contemporary French films. All films are screened in Blount Auditorium, Buckman Hall at 7 p.m.
Feb. 13: Aram Goudsouzian, “Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear,” Blount Auditorium, Buckman Hall at 6 p.m. (reception 5:30 p.m. reception)
Goudsouzian will tell the story of the last great march of the civil rights era, and the first great showdown of the turbulent years that followed, including discussion of the roles of James Meredith, Martin Luther King Jr., and Stokely Carmichael.
Feb. 27-March 1: Memphis Center Conference: “From the Civil War to Civil Rights: Race, Region and the Making of Public Memory,” Bryan Campus Life Center
Through presentations and workshops, documentary screenings and musical performances, the conference will engage a wide audience in discussions of how the journey from civil war to civil rights continues to affect an understanding of the past, present and future. Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor of The Atlantic, will present the keynote address on Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. Other presenters include Thavolia Glymph and Timothy Tyson of Duke University, Aram Goudsouzian and Susan O’Donovan of The University of Memphis, Hasan Jeffries of Ohio State University, and Kate Masur of Northwestern University.
March 24: Maud Mandel, “Muslims and Jews in France: History of a Conflict,” Blount Auditorium, Buckman Hall at 6 p.m. (5:30 p.m. reception)
Mandel will discuss how Muslims and Jews in France have related to each other as former residents of French North Africa, as immigrants competing for limited resources, as employers and employees, as victims of racist aggression, as religious minorities in a secularizing state, and as French citizens.
April 10: Judith Butler, “Thinking Binationalism with Martin Buber and Edward Said,” Bryan Campus Life Center at 6 p.m. (reception 5:30 p.m.)
Butler will explore the concept of binationalism in the context of the Israel/Palestine conflict, considering its different legacies in Jewish and Palestinian political struggles, bringing together the thought of Said and Buber to ask, does binationalism have a history that can be told, a future that might be lived?
For more information about the series, contact Dr. Jonathan Judaken, the Spence L. Wilson Chair in Humanities at Rhodes, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (901) 843-3292.