Academic Festival slated for April 3

For full details about the Academic Festival, visit the Academic Festival 2019 website.

Norwalk Community College will hold its 22nd annual Academic Festival from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 in venues throughout the campus. The festival is free and open to the public.

This year’s theme is Postmemory: Hidden Trauma, Healing Narratives. “Postmemory” is a term that describes the experience that the “generation after” bears to the personal, collective, and cultural trauma of those who came before them.

For example, parents who have experienced traumatic events such as war or forced migration pass on their memories to their children through stories, images and behaviors. These postmemory experiences are transmitted to the next generation so deeply and affectively as to seem to constitute memories in their own right.

“To grow up with overwhelming inherited memories, to be dominated by narratives that preceded one’s birth or one’s consciousness, is to risk having one’s own life stories displaced, even evacuated, by our ancestors,” notes scholar Marianne Hirsch, who is the 2019 Academic Festival keynote speaker.

In addition to a lecture by Hirsch on “Postmemory for the Future,” the festival will feature more than a dozen events including art and photo exhibitions, a live drama performance, panel discussions, film screenings and a book signing and talk by Claudia Jimenez Salazar, author of “Blood of the Dawn.”

Keynote speaker Marianne Hirsch is William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a Professor in the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a former President of the Modern Language Association of America. She was born in Romania, and educated at Brown University where she earned B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

Hirsch’s work combines feminist theory with memory studies, particularly the transmission of memories of violence across generations.  Her recent books include The Generation of Postmemory: Writing and Visual Culture After the Holocaust (Columbia University Press, 2012); Ghosts of Home: The Afterlife of Czernowitz in Jewish Memory, co-authored with Leo Spitzer (University of California Press, 2010); and Rites of Return: Diaspora, Poetics and the Politics of Memory, co-edited with Nancy K. Miller (Columbia University Press, 2011). Hirsch is the former editor of PMLA and the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the ACLS, the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, the National Humanities Center, and the Bellagio and Bogliasco Foundations.

She has served on the MLA Executive Council, the ACLA Advisory Board, the Board of Supervisors of The English Institute, and the Executive Board of the Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, and is on the advisory boards of Memory Studies and Contemporary Women’s Writing.

Guest author Claudia Salazar Jimenez, a native of Lima, Peru, is a critic, scholar and founder of Perufest, the first Peruvian film festival in New York City. She won the 2014 Americas Narrative Prize for her debut novel, Blood of the Dawn. The novel follows three women whose lives intertwine and are ripped apart during what is known as “the time of fear” in Peruvian history, when the Shining Path militant insurgency was at its peak.

Festival schedule of events:

8:30 a.m. and ongoing
Anamaria Carozi Martinez, Photo Exhibit “Immigrant Photo Stories”, Foyer East Campus

8:30 to 9:50 a.m.
Catherine Miller/Wendy Mendes, “Suicide prevention workshop”

8:30 to 9:50 a.m. in Gen Re Forum                                                                               Panel discussion on trauma, healing and criminal system involvement of the formerly incarcerated

All day, in East Campus Baker Library                                                                          Exhibition presented by Library Director Linda Lerman

All day, in West Campus art gallery                                                                        Photography Professor Joan Fitzsimmons presents photo exhibition of student work

10 to 11:20 a.m. in East Campus PepsiCo Theater                                                Keynote talk by Marianne Hirsch on “Postmemory for the Future”

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in East Campus Art Gallery                                             Professors Renae Edge and Sue Seidell will moderate an Open Mic on “What’s Your Story?”

11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. in West Campus Multicultural Center                         Professor Mary Frances Carmell to present “Stolen Childhoods,” with guest speaker TBA

11:30 a.m. to 12 noon in East Campus Gen Re Forum                                                  Student drama performance, directed by Professor Christine Mangone

11:30 am to 12:50 pm in West 103
Professor Ed Grippe to discuss “Viktor Frankl: Tragic Optimisim and the Distinction between being a Victim and Acknowledging Victimhood.”

Noon to 1:20 p.m. West Campus Culinary Arts Dining Room                            Academic Festival Luncheon (by invitation only)

1:30 to 2:20 p.m. in East Campus Gen Re Forum                                               Author Claudia Jimenez Salazar will sign and discuss her book, “Blood of the Dawn”

2:30 to 3:50 p.m. in East Campus Gen Re Forum                                         Professor Althea Seaborn will moderate a panel discussion on Immigration, Trauma-Informed Legal Representation and Humanitarian Relief. Guest presenters: Alicia Kinsman, Director and Managing Attorney for the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI); and Keighley Rector, CIRI Survivor Services Staff Attorney and Pro Bono Coordinator.

2:30 to 3:50 p.m. in West Campus Rm 105                                                                Barbara Cartsounis of the Lifetime Learners Veterans Committee will lead a program on “American Warriors—Trials and Triumphs—In Their Own Words”

2:30 to 3:50 p.m. in West 218
Professor Jeff Kenausis will moderate a panel discussion on “Non-Violent Trauma”

2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in East Campus Rm 229                                                   Professors Margaret Dana and Joan Parris will lead a program on “The Resilience of Stress and the Science of Hope” with Shannon Queiroga of Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance

7 to 9 p.m. in Gen Re Forum                                                                                                Film screening of “The Milk of Sorrow”

For full details about the Academic Festival, visit the Academic Festival 2019 website.