“When Should I Throw Myself on a Hand Grenade? The Nature of Morality” Collins Hall, 624 S. Wabash at 7 pm

A panel discussion will bring together art, philosophy, brain science, and social theory to examine the nature of morality. Special attention will be given to the tension between emotional/artistic and rational/scientific approaches to ethics

-Stephen Asma, Assoc. Prof. of Philosophy, Columbia College

-Rami Gabriel, Asst. Prof. of Psychology, Columbia College

-Tom Grief, Adjunct Prof. of Psychology, Columbia College

-Colin Klein, Asst. Prof. of Philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago

Sponsored by the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Research Group in Mind, Science and Culture.


*Following a morning panel discussion…


11:30-12:30 – 1104 S. Wabash Building

“The Artist As an Architect of Social Justice”

One of the distinct qualities that make us humans is our ability and desire to create and enjoy art.  Occasionally art also becomes a powerful voice about what is right or wrong in human nature and in society.  The Artist as an architect of Social Justice has been a topic of intense personal interest to Pan Papacosta for many years.  In this presentation Dr. Papacosta will produce a variety of art forms that impressed millions by conveying intense messages such as denouncing war, racism, injustice and poverty, or by celebrating freedom and human rights.  Pan will conclude by proposing that whenever artists use their medium for such a purpose, they not only author their culture, they elevate art to a higher and more respectable cultural status.

– Pan Papacosta, Columbia College science professor

“Journalism That Shook Empires: Gandhi & Dorothy Day”

This talk examines the power of journalism in mobilizing citizens, solidifying public opinion, influencing official decisions and serving the disenfranchised through case studies of Gandhi in South Africa and India and Dorothy Day in U.S.A.

-Norma Green, Columbia College journalism professor

“Youth Making Media: Using Media to Expose the Roots of Violence”

How often do youth feel they have a voice in media? New technology is giving young people an innovative opportunity to have a voice on issues that deeply affect them. One project using technology to this effect is “Chain of Change,” a participatory video project sponsored by Beyond Media Education that not only connects youth with other youth but also allows students to open the eyes of adults, open the eyes of adults, and allow youth to tell stories that never get told. The project is the product of youth breaking down barriers and borders so that they can make a difference and improve the communities they live in. This presentation will give youth from Chain of Change a chance to share their video projects and introduce attendees to the concept of participatory video.

-Rebecca Connie, Columbia College Chicago student/works with the Chain of Change Project

-Tara Malik, BeyondMedia Education


1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, 1104 S. Wabash Building

“Transformative Technology”

From mobile money in Africa to girl gamers in the inner city, simple technologies are being used in surprising, transformative ways. In this round-table discussion, we look at the myriad ways consumer tech is transforming people, communities, and economies.

-Dan Sinker

-Mindy Faber

“Good v. Evil”

Faith in essential human goodness is challenged by the fact of the presence of humans having committed evil throughout history. Focusing on media portrayals of good and evil, lessons learned about good and evil by a soldier who experienced combat in Iraq, and philosophical/spiritual insights into good and evil, we will explore the creative and destructive nature of the human journey.

-Arvis Averette

-Louis Silverstein

-Anthony Wagner

SCREENING: Early Kartemquin Films “Hum 255”“What the F*** are these Red Squares”

Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin Films, producers of Hoop DreamsGolub, will screen two early documentaries from the Kartemquin archives. “Hum 255” tells the story of a group of striking students who occupy an administration building at University of Chicago in 1968. “What the F*** Are These Red Squares” shows the connections between art, commerce & radicalism through the lens of a 1970 “Revolutionary Seminar” at the Art Institute. Both show the early seeds of activism, humanism, politics & art that would become hallmarks of Kartemquin films over the next 40 years.


3:30 – 5:00 pm, 1104 S. Wabash Building & the 916 S. Wabash Building

“The People’s Right to Fair Use & the Commons” – Gordon Quinn & Brad Lichtenstien – Room 502

The legal right that allows creators to make limited uses of copyrighted materials for purposes like comment, criticism and education is “fair use.” In this session, Gordon Quinn, a filmmaker and founding member of Kartemquin Films, discusses his role in the creation of the “Best Practices in Fair Use” document, which encourages filmmakers to educate themselves on the fair use doctrine. Placed in the context of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Quinn will cite specific examples of how fair use has been used in film. Brad Lichtenstein, who is currently working on a film, “What We Got: DJ Spooky’s Quest for the Commons,” will join Quinn and discuss the difference between Creative Commons and Fair Use and how fair use promotes a society that values the Commons.

“Anatomy and Jamming of Media Culture” (916 S. Wabash, Rm 150)

In the age of digital communication, the means of communication that major corporations and tech-savvy indivisuals have become almost identical.  In this presentation, Patrick Lichty of The Yes Men will show some of the group’s culture jamming projects, explain how they worked, and discuss how critical grass-roots groups can be Davis in the age of media Goliaths.  In addition, there will be a discussion of how attendees might create and execute their own projects.

-Patrick Lichty of The Yes Men

Reflections on “My Fellow Americans.”  Peter Carpenter

*starting at 4 pm

Peter Carpenter discusses the notion of the citizen choreographer and art-making as an act of faith.  He will show video documentation and live-performance excerpts from his recent evening-length dance-theatre work, My Fellow Americans, which interrogates the Reagan administration from the perspective of the special interest groups that his rhetoric and policies consistently admonished.  Additionally, Carpenter will discuss his own relationship with political activism as a choreographer and teacher.

-Peter Carpenter


*Following a morning panel discussion


11:30 – 1:00 PM, 1104 S. Wabash Building

“Social Media: The News & Us for the Arts” – Film Row Cinema, 8th floor

With news and communications changing, how can we get our stories out through established news outlets, other media such as online or community and ethnic news, and our own media, from newsletters to Web sites to Facebook? There are a lot more options than there used to be, but no more time or other resources. Diana Pando moderates this panel on how social media and the news are affecting how arts organizations and visual artists   tell their stories effectively. Panelists include: Andrew Huff (GapersBlock), Kerry Reid (Journalist), Alex Meda (Teatro Luna), Joyce Owens (Visual Artist/Blogger)

“We Need a National Shield Law…and We Need It Now!” with Karen Ford – Room 801A

The Patriot Act has not only run roughshod over the Constitution; it’s taken an ax to the 1st Amendment.  In particular, it’s been gunning for freedom of speech especially in regards to the media. A shield law “is a law that gives reporters some means of protection against being forced to disclose confidential information or sources in state court.” This workshop will discuss recent battles in Congress to pass a national shield law, the ramifications for professional journalists, bloggers, student journalists and student journalism organizations, and cover recent incidents that could have been prevented if a shield law had been in place.

Karen A. Ford, 3rd Vice President of the National Writers Union, UAW 1981

“The Power of Art: Building Community, Connecting Cultures” 801B

Artists from communities come together for a presentation that looks at how art is being used in Latino and African-American communities to motivate, educate, and organize communities. The ability that art has to empower members of society and transform debates on key political and social issues will be discussed and the power that art has to promote participation in democracy will be explored as well.

Victor M. Montañez, artist/educator/writer/activist/musician

Kuumba Lynx


2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, 1104 S. Wabash Building

Environmental Art & Media: A Renewable Energy Resource?” Film Row Cinema

Environmental art and media activism is explored with Jeff Biggers, journalist, educator and artist, who will perform spoken word from his book “Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland.” He will engage attendees in a performance exploring Illinois, “the Saudi Arabia of Coal,” and how the history of coal in the land of Lincoln is entwined with the history of slavery and Native Americans. Members of, former Columbia students Parson Brown and Kat Wallace, will join Biggers and share video from their film on mountaintop removal, sing for the people Appalachia, and connect what is happening in West Virginia with coal to those who live in Illinois.

Jeff Biggers, author of “Reckoning at Eagle Creek”

Parson Brown, Topless America Project

Kat Wallace, Topless America Project

Tribes Project Workshop – 8th Floor Perimeter (More Details to Come)


3:30 – 5:00 pm, 1104 S. Wabash Building

Documentary Lab Presentation

In fall 2009, Columbia College Chicago piloted a new interdisciplinary, capstone-level course called the Documentary Arts Lab.  Designed to expose students to service learning and prepare them for today’s cross-disciplinary workplace, the course brought together a team of students handpicked from the departments of Film & Video, Interactive Arts & Media, Journalism, Marketing Communication, Radio, and Television.  Their charge: to collaborate in producing a single, multifaceted web-based project, grounded in a significant social issue.  In this session, we will discuss the process of designing the course, lessons learned during the pilot semester, the resulting documentary work and its potential social impact.

-Columbia College Students from Doc Arts Lab Class

“Vietnam Vets Look at the Arts” – 801A

This panel discussion will compare and contrast the actual experiences of Vietnam veterans and the portrayal of the war in arts in movies, literature, and popular culture. The panel will include veterans who served at various points during the American involvement in Vietnam including a South Vietnamese veteran who gives a different perspective from the one usually heard concerning American involvement.

-Dominic Pacyga

-Tom Nawrocki

Control of Public Media as a Social Justice Issue 801B

A struggle is underway for control of the new U.S. public media system. This workshop explores the question of who will make decisions in that emerging system and the consequences for the next generation of aspiring journalism, media arts, and communication workers. Through overview of historical and current contests, presenters will identify the need for citizens to directly participate with media workers in the areas of governance and production to create an inclusive, accountable, democratic public media system.

James Owens

Scott Sanders

Conference Wrap-Up: 5:00-6:00, Film Row Cinema

All attendees & presenters are invited to participate in a post-conference wrap-up discussion in which we examine what was accomplished and discuss further possible action.


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