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Category: Arts & Humanities

Wisconsin Film Festival announces 115 films to be streamed online for 2021

Wisconsin State Journal

Usually running in April, this year’s festival will take place May 13-20 and will feature 115 films — from narratives to documentaries, international, independent, animated films, shorts and more. The lineup was announced Friday, and single tickets are now on sale at Viewers can buy tickets for particular works for $10, a series for $50 or an entire festival pass for $140.

Book review of Assignment Russia: Becoming a Foreign Correspondent in the Crucible of the Cold War by Marvin Kalb

The Washington Post

In 1957, when Marvin Kalb joined CBS Radio in New York to write local news, television was called “electronic journalism,” and the backdrop for the “CBS Morning News” was a cardboard sign hanging above a desk on the fifth floor of the Grand Central Terminal building. The United States had yet to recognize what it referred to as “Red China” diplomatically, and Edward R. Murrow still worked for CBS

-Kathryn J. McGarr is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the author of “The Whole Damn Deal: Robert Strauss and the Art of Politics.” Her forthcoming book is about Washington foreign policy reporters in the early Cold War.

Why Disability Studies Scholars Are Protesting a Prominent Textbook

Chronicle of Higher Ed

A few lines above hers in the table of contents, Pickens saw the name of Sami Schalk, another colleague. Schalk, who studies race, gender, and disability in American literature as an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, also did not know she was going to be included in the reader. She messaged several of the other authors and soon formed a group text, which migrated to Facebook, then an email chain.

Here’s how pop culture has perpetuated harmful stereotypes of Asian women


Quoted: When a national tour of the musical came to Madison, Wisconsin, in 2019, Lori Kido Lopez — a media and cultural studies professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison — protested outside of the theater. As she told TODAY over Zoom, “Miss Saigon” embodies “the classic story of the self-sacrificing Asian woman.”

Kim, the protagonist, is a sex worker who falls passionately in love with an American GI — a romance that is, as Lopez pointed out, “already extremely uncomfortable because there’s a power dynamic where he’s paying her for sex.” He promises to take her back to the states; she promptly becomes pregnant. But the plan fails, leaving her languishing in war-torn Vietnam with a child to raise on her own.

How Wisconsin’s Charlie Hill Influenced Native American Comedy

Wisconsin Public Radio

After majoring in speech and comedy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he joined the American Indian Theatre Ensemble Company. He portrayed the Nez Perce trickster figure Coyote in a production called “Coyote Tracks.” The ensemble went on a six-week tour of Germany but infighting and an inability to receive regular payments led to the end of the troupe. When Hill returned to the United States, he began hanging out at new comedy clubs like Catch a Rising Star and the Improvisation in Greenwich Village.

U.S. Lawmakers Suggest 25 Movies About Latinos to the Film Registry – The New York Times

New York Times

The list speaks to many parts of the Latino experience, including people who are native to the United States and its territories and those who migrated to the country because of its politics and interventions in Latin America, Theresa Delgadillo, a Chicana and Latina studies professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in an interview.

Golden Globes: Mark Ruffalo wins 1st Globe for ‘I Know This Much Is True’; Aaron Rodgers gets a shoutout from Jodie Foster

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Ruffalo had been nominated for Golden Globe awards three times before: for best actor in a comedy or musical for the 2014 movie “Infinitely Polar Bear”; best actor in a TV movie or miniseries for “The Normal Heart”; and best supporting actor in a movie for 2014’s “Foxcatcher,” as former University of Wisconsin-Madison wrestling coach David Schultz.

Poem: Smokey

New York Times

Born and raised in Compton, Calif., he is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he directs the M.F.A. program in creative writing. His latest collection, ‘‘Imperial Liquor,’’ was published by University of Pittsburgh Press in 2020 and nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry.

American Hegemony Is Ending With a Whimper, Not a Bang

The Nation

Today, in the era of a 78-year-old president, a veritable Rip Van Biden, Americans and the rest of the world are, it seems, waking up in a new age. It could well be a daunting one.Invest your way with Schwab.From automated investing to financial consultants, get tools and resources that match your needs.

-Alfred McCoy is the J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A TomDispatch regular, he is the author of In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power and Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State.

Nathans And Ronstadt Premier A New Music Video For ‘Ghost Writer’

Wisconsin Public Radio

Nathans has roots in Madison. He said he “began playing guitar and writing songs when I lived in Madison roughly two decades ago. I worked for The Capital Times covering the (University of Wisconsin) System, and I remember sitting at the Board of Regents meetings at the top of Van Hise Hall and scrawling song lyrics in my reporter’s notebook.

Artist Vicki Meek’s Nasher Exhibit is a Profound Celebration of African Ancestry

D Magazine

Noted: Meek knows a thing or two about the symbols and rhetoric associated with the African American race dialogue. She earned her MFA at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which she calls “the Whitest place in the world.” In the 1960s, the university was a hotbed of civil rights activism. By 1971, when Meek arrived on campus, the administration had purged the campus of “most of the so-called radical element,” she says. “And I had gone to that school because of the radical element.”

Mellon Foundation grants $72 million to humanities projects focused on issues of racial justice

Inside Higher Education

Another $5 million grant, awarded to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, focuses on antiracism literacy in the sciences and medicine. “Over the summer in response to Black Lives Matters protests, my history of science colleagues and I were talking about how we could ramp up the teaching we do on histories of race in the sciences and medicine,” said Elizabeth Hennessy, the project leader and an associate professor of history and environmental sciences at Madison. “A typical education in the sciences doesn’t include a history of your own discipline. It rare that is an emphasis in scientific training, but I think it’s a really important emphasis.”

Local performer’s pro-staying-at-home video goes viral, thanks to Rafael, Ava & Oprah

Madison 365

James Gavins, the creative director of the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has taken to making music, dance and comedy videos during the COVID pandemic. Performing is nothing new for Gavins — an alum of the UW’s First Wave performing arts scholarship with a degree in theater, he worked with the Youth Arts Initiative and mounted a one-man show before returning to UW to join OMAI.

“The comedy and the sketches, and things like that, I’ve been doing that for a while, but as far as the music … that really started once quarantine hit, because I was an artist at home figuring this all out for myself, this is how I communicate. You try to communicate, and this is how I relate to most people,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

How Susie Yang Went From Tech Entrepreneurship to Literary Stardom

Wall Street Journal

Around the same time, her high school friend Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised, got into the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s MFA program. “I remember when she told me, I was like, ‘What is an MFA program?’ When she explained it to me, I just remember being so inspired, but also shocked.” Yang was surprised to learn there was a professional track for literary writers.

New UW acting prof Baron Kelly uses arts to open doors

Capital Times

As an educator, actor, director and author, Kelly has built his career on making lasting connections. This fall, Kelly joined the UW-Madison Department of Theatre and Drama, where he earned a Ph.D. in theatre research in 2003. He’s teaching a small, upper-level Shakespearean performance course this fall.

12 fall movie inspired trips

Washington Post

Back to School – To embody Rodney Dangerfield this autumn, you’ll need to get in a car and drive through Wisconsin’s stunning changing foliage. End up at the University of Wisconsin at Madison (called “Grand Lake University” in the 1986 film) to see the lakeside college dressed in fall colors. Bonus points if you take this trip wearing a cardigan or find time to drink champagne in a hot tub.

Yung Gravy talks about the message he wants his listeners to take away from his music – The Observer


The 24-year-old rapper grew up in Rochester, Minnesota and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His song “Mr. Clean” blew up when he had two semesters left, leading him to drop one of his majors and graduate a semester early. Although “Mr. Clean” was released in August 2016, he only revealed his identity later on in the song’s music video, released in March 2017.

‘Wisconsin Funnies’ highlights comics artists from the Badger State, including Denis Kitchen and Lynda Barry

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Formats and preoccupations change, but comics never lose their power to communicate, criticize and entertain.

“Wisconsin Funnies: Fifty Years of Comics,” presented through Nov. 22 by the Museum of Wisconsin Art in two locations, surveys our state’s role in the great hurly-burly of funny words and pictures, especially from underground and alternative points of view.

Amid independent inquiry of Jacob Blake’s shooting, advocates question Wisconsin’s police reviews

The Washington Post

The proposed legislation, which stems from a summit Bell organized in 2017 with the S.C. Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Law School, would create an independent use-of-force advisory board that includes members of law enforcement organizations, legal scholars, mental health professionals and criminal defense attorneys.

Quanda Johnson reads James Baldwin: A conversation with one of UW-Madison’s bright stars


Johnson, a UW-Madison doctoral candidate in interdisciplinary theater studies, was a spectacular interviewee. I was impressed with her experience and her clear-eyed description of the challenges of being a Black artist transplanted to Madison. She is a polymath, seamlessly shifting between academic research, writing, singing, activism and poetry. In her hands, the lines between these areas blur.

The Goonies, Museum Rejects


I think of the frictions in my life, too. Legos underfoot. Track changes. Heavy books. Grading. Laundry. Emails. Cardio. Recycling. Which frictions are about privilege, and which help me move in the world with weight and worry, using that friction to open the jar, to pay attention, to feel the potential in the things around me?

Sarah Anne Carter runs the Center for Design and Material Culture at UW-Madison. She writes about museums and making sense of the world.

Color-blindness isn’t a virtue. Let’s stop teaching our kids that it is.

The Washington Post

In 2018, according to the Children’s Cooperative Book Center at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Education, fewer than a third of all children’s and young adult books in the United States featured a person of color as a main character. Only around one fifth were written or illustrated by a person of color, despite the fact that now most young children in this country are nonwhite.

6 times that Jon Stewart’s politics comedy ‘Irresistible’ has a Wisconsin accent

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

At the end of the credits, Stewart thanks Rockport and Polk County, in Georgia, and Kathy Cramer. The former were the locations where “Irresistible” was filmed. Cramer is the University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor whose 2016 book “The Politics of Resentment” explored the role of disaffected rural voters in Wisconsin’s shift to the right. In 2017, Stewart reached out to Cramer, spending a day with her in Wisconsin, visiting some of the places and people she visited while researching her book.

Real-life scientists inspire these comic book superheroes

Science News

In 2015, Gardiner and two other friends, Khoa Tran and Kelly Montgomery, founded an online publishing company called JKX Comics. At the time, the three were pursuing Ph.D.s in different fields at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. And they knew how tough it can be to explain research or engage students in the nuances of science.

Most Of Your Books Were Written By White People

Data collected in 2018 by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education program, showed that approximately six percent of children’s books worldwide were written by African or African American authors; Latinx authors claimed roughly five percent of the lot.

How To Get Away with Writing


Last summer, UW–Madison alumna Taren Mansfield had just two weeks to pack her belongings and relocate to Los Angeles after finding out about the opportunity of a lifetime. She left Madison to spend the next four months in Shondaland — Shonda Rhimes’s television production company — working on alongside actors such as Viola Davis on the hit TV show How to Get Away with Murder.