Birth and Rebirth of a Nation

Screening & Colloquium Sat 26 Sep 2009 9.00AM-11.00AM The New School, Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th Street
Free admission
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Where do we stand on issues of race and representation? A screening and colloquium around D.W. Griffiths notorious white supremacist manifesto The Birth of a Nation from 1915, in the context of the Obama call for change. Can our racial imagination of today be reconciled with that of hardly a century ago, when Griffiths The Birth of a Nation became the first blockbuster in American film?

The speakers hail from different backgrounds including history, film, music, journalism, and photography. Presenting analyses of some of the most recent scholarship on slavery and racism, particularly as manifested during the conception, production and distribution of The Birth of a Nation, they examine the films legacy and reverberations today.
    • Bill Gaskins on D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" (1915)
PROGRAM

Screening I 10:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
D.W. Griffith, The Birth of a Nation, 1915, silent, 180 minutes
Original sound score and live accompaniment by Michael Stein (Graduate of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music), introduced by faculty member Sonny Kompanek

Colloquium 2:00—4:00 p.m.

Introduction
Bill Gaskins, Photographer, essayist and Professor of Photography and Art History, Parsons The New School for Design

Presentations
Douglas A. Blackmon, Atlanta Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal, Social historian of Civil War, Pulitzer-prize winning author of Slavery by Another Name

David W. Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, Yale University, Author of Race and Reunion and numerous other studies and books

Michelle Materre, Assistant Professor, Media Studies and Film, The New School for General Studies

Miriam J. Petty, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies, Rutgers University-Newark

Michele Wallace, Professor of English, City University of New York

Roundtable 4:00—5:00 p.m.
All participants, moderated by Margo Jefferson, Associate Professor of Writing, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts

Screening II 5:30—7:00 p.m.
DJ Spooky, Rebirth of a Nation, 2008, color, sound, 90 minutes
Followed by Q & A with filmmaker Paul D. Miller (a k a DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid)

Presented on occasion of the Vera List Center's 2009/2010 program theme "Speculating on Change," with support of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and The Andy Warhol Foundation of the Visual Arts.