Anne Demo, Syracuse University, 'Citizenship.net: Immigrants Rights, Interactive Documentary, and Participatory Culture'
The issue of immigrants’ rights has become an increasingly prevalent focus for documentary filmmakers. Of the over twenty documentaries produced since 2000, the interactive documentary 9500 Liberty reveals not only the contemporary constraints on immigrants’ rights arguments but also the potential for online participatory cultures to facilitate civic engagement. Although broadcast on MTV as a full length documentary, my analysis examines the participatory culture that developed as the filmmakers began uploading footage to YouTube in real-time. Their chronicle of over 100 videos documents how a community in Virginia responded to the passage and subsequent revision of a controversial immigration enforcement ordinance. The online interactivity and offline activism generated by the 9500 Liberty YouTube Channel demonstrate the need for reconceptualizing notions of agency, effect, and community in a digital context.
Brad Vivian, Syracuse University, 'Up from Memory: Epideictic Forgetting in Booker T. Washington’s Cotton States Exposition Address'
Booker T. Washington’s Cotton States Exposition Address (1895) enlarges our understanding of the genre of witnessing by presenting a version of public testimony and historical remembrance sharply at odds with contemporary definitions of the genre. Survivors of historical atrocity in the post-World War II era ritually assume the difficult responsibility of testifying, with the greatest possible accuracy and authenticity, to past evils inflicted on dispossessed and violently persecuted populations. Washington, however, relates the history of slavery—most notably its legacy of heinous human rights abuses—in radically inventive ways. Washington’s address demonstrates that those who embody the putative collective voice of subaltern communities may, on particular occasions, call on the public to willfully forget, rather than somberly remember, the crimes of history in hopes of securing desired sociopolitical gains.
Special Guest Scholar/Activist:
Angela Kocze, Research Fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Sociology, Central European University, Hungary
Chris Zaluski (Documentary Film Program MFA ’13), Wake Forest University
Cory McConnell (Communication ’12), Wake Forest University
Jawad Wahabzada (Communication ’13), Wake Forest University
Mustafa Abdullah, CHANGE
Scott Assenmacher, World Relief
Qi Gu (Communication MA ’13), Wake Forest University
Paul Loeser (Spanish and Biology ’12), Wake Forest University
Pavel Guranda, American University in Bulgaria
Sally Barbour, Romance Languages, Wake Forest University
Courtney M. Dorroll, University of Arizona
Svilen Trifonov, University of Colorado at Boulder
Marnie Ritchie, Syracuse University
Hana Brown, Sociology, Wake Forest University
David Cisneros, Northeastern University
Kathleen A. DeHaan, College of Charleston
Changsup Park, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Wanda Balzano, Wake Forest University
Ananda Mitra, Communication, Wake Forest University
Mary DeShazer, English and Women and Gender Studies, Wake Forest University
Rebecca McMillion (Interpreting and Translation Studies MA ’13), Wake Forest University
Patricia Hauser, CSC, CI, CT, SC:Legal, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
Kelle Owens, Executive Director, Communication Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. and Lecturer, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Sam Parker, MFA, CSC, ASLTA Clinical Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Rachel Yaapoka Sulemanu, Ghana
Adiam Asrat, Ethiopia