John Pettegrew, associate professor of history and director of American studies, recently wrote an editorial that appeared in Salon. Pettegrew argues that with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, we can point to a new digitized “eye for battle” in the U.S. military and American culture overall. Springing from the intersection of the post-Sept. 11, 2001, wars with the digital revolution, the eye for battle couples high-tech sensors for killing from ever-greater distances with a visual culture of motion pictures and video simulations that eroticized and modeled the action and violence of ground war. You can read it here.
Documentary filmmaker Kirby Dick doesn’t pull any punches when addressing sexual assault on college campuses. “We’re in a crisis situation here,” said Dick, following a screening of his film, The Hunting Ground, at Lehigh last week. “This should be at the top of the agenda for schools, and they shouldn’t just be trying to slide by—which most are.” The Hunting Ground shares the stories of sexual assault survivors and the efforts of two women in particular to bring national attention to the problem and handling of sexual assault on college campuses. The film addresses survivors’ experiences with administrators suppressing information about sexual assault in an effort to protect their schools’ reputations.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year’s campaign, facilitated by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), focuses on the prevention of sexual violence on college campuses. In conjunction with the month-long focus on the issue, Lehigh will host a screening of the documentary film The Hunting Ground, which highlights the extensive scope and institutional handling of campus sexual assault through real-life stories and statistics.
From the Academy Award-nominated filmmaking team behind THE INVISIBLE WAR, comes a startling exposé of sexual assault on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families.
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Kirby Dick is a and two-time Academy Award®-nominated and a two-time Emmy Award®-winning documentary film director. His most recent film, THE HUNTING GROUND, a monumental expose about sexual assault on college campuses, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. His prior film, THE INVISIBLE WAR, a groundbreaking investigation into the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military, won two 2014 Emmy® Awards for Best Documentary and Outstanding Investigative Journalism, Long Form; a 2013 Peabody Award; and the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. It was also nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature.
In 2009, he directed OUTRAGE, a searing indictment of the hypocrisy of powerful, closeted politicians and the institutions that protect them, which was nominated for an Emmy Award® for Outstanding Investigative Journalism. In 2006 he directed THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, a breakthrough investigation of the highly secretive film-ratings system that compelled the MPAA to make long-overdue changes. In 2004, he directed TWIST OF FAITH, the story of a man confronting the trauma of his past sexual abuse by a Catholic priest, which received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature.
Dick’s other films include DERRIDA, a complex portrait of the world-renowned French philosopher Jacques Derrida, which won the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival, and the internationally acclaimed SICK: THE LIFE & DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Prize at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Dick is the recipient of the 2012 Néstor Almendros Prize for Courage in Filmmaking, the Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary of 2013, and the 2013 Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize.
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Documentary filmmaker Bill Kavanagh will talk about community engagement and uncovering grassroots history in documentary production.
In this context, he will refer to his film on a federal desegregation lawsuit in Yonkers, New York. The documentary film he produced, Brick by Brick: A Civil Rights Story, followed three families through the crucible of the litigation, known as US v. Yonkers.
The federal anti-discrimination suit lasted for 27 years, from its initial filing in 1980, to a 1985 ruling, to a final settlement, reached in 2007. During this period, the city of Yonkers integrated its schools, but appealed the litigation on housing discrimination all the way to the US Supreme Court. Yonkers skirted bankruptcy over fines incurred, but finally built some 200 units of low-income housing and several hundred units of affordable housing to satisfy its obligations under a consent decree.
Bill Kavanagh, producer / director, recently produced and directed the documentary short, "A Matter of Place," on housing discrimination and those who fight it. It won best documentary short at the first annual Catskill Mountain Film Festival in 2014 and has been used by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to educate the public and professionals in fair housing. Kavanagh is currently working on a documentary film in Bethlehem about economic changes in circumstances for workers over the last several decades.
Alexis Leon recent American Studies graduate has her article "The Cinderella Scientist: A Critical Reading of the CBS series, 'The Big Bang Theory'" published.