Skip to Main Content

Fall 2017 Humanities Forum


7 p.m., Proscenium Theatre, Performing Arts and Humanities Building

Show Me Your Papers: The Political Cartoons of Lalo Alcaraz
Lalo Alcaraz, visual and media artist/writer

The political cartoonist and film & TV writer, Lalo Alcaraz, will explore his history as an editorial cartoonist and creator of the first politically oriented and Latino themed syndicated daily comic strip, La Cucaracha. In this strip, Lalo chronicles the history of the modern Latino political movement in the U.S., starting with the rise of anti-immigrant laws like Prop 187 in California through Arizona SB 1070 and today’s SB4 in Texas. Not to mention the current occupant of the White House. Laughs abound!

Sponsored by the Latino/Hispanic Faculty Association; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication Department; and the Visual Arts Department.



7 p.m., Linehan Concert Hall, Performing Arts and Humanities Building

MEMS Colloquium Lecture

Harmonious Monk: Martin Luther and His Reformation through Music
Christopher Boyd Brown, Associate Professor of Church History, Boston University

Dr. Christopher Boyd Brown and UMBC’s Camerata and Collegium Musicum will present an interdisciplinary concert-lecture on Martin Luther’s use of music and the community practice of hymn-singing in the Protestant Reformation. Brown will discuss how Lutheran hymns, sung in the streets and homes as well as in community spaces, were central to the success of the Reformation. UMBC students will provide live musical examples of plainchant, Reformation hymns, and multi-part choral works by Walter and Bach.

Sponsored by the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program, the Music Department, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the Religious Studies Program.



4 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Ancient Studies Week

Life, Love, and Law in Classical Athens

Victoria Wohl, Professor of Athenian Literature and Culture, University of Toronto

Pericles’ Citizenship Law defined an Athenian citizen as the child of an Athenian father and mother, but real life in classical Athens was much messier than this clear-cut definition suggests. Court cases from Classical Athens are full of mistresses and prostitutes, bastard children, and secret love-affairs. Focusing on Demosthenes’ speech against Neaira and Euripides’ Medea, this lecture shows how Athenians negotiated the law in everyday life and the tragedy that ensued when they transgressed it.

Sponsored by the Ancient Studies Department, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the Gender + Women’s Studies Department.



4 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Webb Lecture

The Changing Face of Modern War: Chemical Weapons and Civilian Bodies in the Aftermath of the First World War
Susan R. Grayzel, Professor of History, Utah State University

Lethal chemical warfare entered the modern era in 1915. Denounced as horrific, nonetheless all sides participating in the war utilized chemical arms. Yet in 1939, the British government was testing gas masks on Indian civilian women. In this talk, Susan R. Grayzel will explore the complex legacy of World War I through a focus on the development of civil defense, especially the gas mask, designed to protect every man, woman, and child from the terrifying new weapons that this war unleashed.

Sponsored by the History Department and the Dresher Center for the Humanities.



7 p.m., University Center, Ballroom

W.E.B. Du Bois Lecutre

The Contemporary African Immigrant Communities in the United States

Toyin Falola, Professor of History, Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, and University Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas, Austin

Many citizens of continental Africa now live in the United States. In this talk, celebrated scholar Toyin Falola will discuss how African immigrants create a new, contemporary form of citizenship between the United States and Africa. The lecture will highlight differences in trends, particularly between migration of enforced slavery and voluntary migration. It will point to patterns of cultural transformation that are emerging and the ambiguous future of transnational engagements between the United States and Africa.

Sponsored by the Africana Studies Department and the Dresher Center for the Humanities.



4 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Nuclear Pain and Humanitarian Photography: Morizumi Takashi, the Gulf Wars, and Fukushima
Julia Adeney Thomas, Associate Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

Can photography help us see suffering and end nuclear destruction? Linking three moments of atomic calamity – the Hiroshima atomic bombing, the uranium-tipped weapons in the First Gulf War, and the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown – photographer Morizumi Takashi’s images attempt to find aesthetic leverage against the nuclearization of war and energy. This lecture explores the ethics of sight and how humanitarian efforts are both enabled and circumscribed by the shifting situations in which a photographer works.

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the History Department. Funded by a grant from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies.



4 p.m., Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

The Mark Rice Collection and the Homo-Erotics of Photography after Stonewall
James Smalls, Professor of Visual Arts, Affiliate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, and Affiliate Professor of Africana Studies, UMBC

This talk considers the social, cultural, and aesthetic dynamics of the nude figure in gay male photography. It explores the aesthetics and reception of the Mark Rice Collection of photographs, on exhibit in the Albin O. Kuhn Gallery, whose subject matter engages the mostly nude male body. The collection constitutes part of what is classified as gay male photography produced after the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion. The majority of the images date to the 1990s and will be considered in this historical context.

Sponsored by the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery, Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the Gender + Women’s Studies Department.