STAIRWAY TO TOLKIEN: A ROCK LEGACY

Hearing Room 3
2:00pm–3:15pm
Presented By: Litquake

On the 125th anniversary birthday of J.R.R. Tolkien, we celebrate the author’s most improbable and continuing legacy. With The Hobbit (1939) and The Lord of the Rings (1954/55), Tolkien’s mythology infiltrated the counterculture via Pink Floyd’s “The Gnome” (1967) and Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” (1969): “’Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair.” What is it about Tolkien that encourages bands to sing about wizards and elves and hobbits?

ARTS ADVOCACY AFTER GHOST SHIP

Dalziel Building
2:00pm–3:15pm

After the December 3 Ghost Ship fire, which claimed thirty-six lives, artists and sympathizers rallied to provide mutual aid and lobbied city government for relief from a crackdown on cultural centers and other unpermitted homes. But the wellspring of fundraising and advocacy also exposed rifts in the Oakland community. This conversation examines the strengths and blind spots of arts advocacy after Ghost Ship.

THE MAKINGS OF AN AUTHOR

Council Chambers
3:30pm–4:30pm
Laura Albert in conversation with Seumas Raibéart Coutts

Many have called the saga of JT LeRoy “the great literary scandal of the 21st century.” The author of the internationally acclaimed novels Sarah and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, JT LeRoy–a reclusive, gender-fluid young man in his 20s–had created fiction out of his own turbulent past of abuse, exploitation, and homelessness. But in 2006 Laura Albert was revealed as the actual author of the JT LeRoy books, compelling people to rethink their understanding of authorship, identity, and self-expression. That conversation continues now, as Laura Albert discusses with Seumas Raibéart Coutts how JT LeRoy became the mode of expression for stories that were spawned by the personal struggles Albert suffered growing up.

BLACK RADICAL AESTHETICS & VISIBILITY

Hearing Room 1
3:30pm–4:30pm

Rodney Barnette founded the Compton chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968, and the FBI began amassing a file on his whereabouts and activities that would grow to over 500 pages. In 2016 his daughter, the artist Sadie Barnette, reclaimed and re-presented that file in an act of radical aesthetics. What do the Barnettes teach us about, in Sampada Aranke’s words, “the intimate proximity between visibility, policing, and surveillance in the wake of COINTELPRO?”

PRISON: RACE, TERROR, INJUSTICE

Hearing Room 2
3:30pm–4:30pm
Presented By: Stanford University Press

Michel Foucault famously described prison as “the detestable solution, which one seems unable to do without.” On this panel, a professor of criminal justice and the editor of a first-person account of imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay bring their experience and work to bear on the problem of prison, the detestable solutions it proposes, and the excruciating denial of justice it delivers.

ON IN-BETWEENNESS

Hearing Room 3
3:30pm–4:30pm

In his essay “The In-Betweens,” Jeff Chang examines the uneasy nuances of being an Asian-American—the “model minority,” at once oppressed and privileged. More broadly, how does one articulate and navigate states of in-betweenness when mixed identities entail mixed experiences of race, class, and privilege?

RECLAIMING THE COMMONS OF CONTEMPORARY ART

Hearing Room 4
3:30pm–4:30pm
Presented By: MATATU

The fraught nature of the relationships among capital, philanthropic networks, and the art industry threatens creative sustainability. This conversation will address the triumphs and contradictions of independent spaces that seek to generate social bonds and storytelling by activating anti-capitalist movement and the ways in which financial insecurity often weighs down culture makers’ fight for equity.

MONEY MAKES YOU MEAN

Dalziel Building
3:30pm–4:30pm

Is the image of rich people being rude, presumptuous, and morally impenetrable just a stereotype? In fact, studies have revealed interesting links between wealth, entitlement, and the egotistical appropriation of success, traits all too often attributed to the neophyte Silicon Valley bourgeoisie. Our panelists examine just how justified is its vilification, and what alternatives exist

BORDERS, BOUNDARIES, AND THE WALL

Hearing Room 1
4:45pm–6:00pm

Secure borders demand impenetrable barriers. Walls. Fences. Checkpoints. But borders are also zones where people come to engage in dialogue, development, and exchange. On this panel, a composer, a journalist and an architect bring their experience to bear on how in 2017 we might reimagine the intended use of “the Wall” and the history of the lands that have been shared by the US and Mexico for more than two centuries.

FINANCE CAPITAL AND DEMOCRACY

Hearing Room 2
4:45pm–6:00pm
Presented By: Zone Books

What does finance capital have to do with democracy? This conversation between Ivan Ascher and Wendy Brown will explore how capitalism has changed in recent decades, and what the effects are on principles and practices of freedom, equality and popular sovereignty. Is there any hope for democratic renewal in a world dominated by finance and its imperatives? How might we need to think beyond Marx, and beyond democracy, both to grasp our present and to envision more just and sustainable futures for humanity and the planet?

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

Hearing Room 3
4:45pm–6:00pm

Faith in America is a fraught subject. Society is polarized, and our faith affects and is affected by that polarization. This panel seeks to explore what faith and inclusion in particular communities of faith means for the faithful, and how that enrollment plays out in America today.

THE NEW RED SCARE: MUSLIMS UNDER SURVEILLANCE AND PERSECUTION

Chamber of Commerce
4:45–6:00pm

As a candidate, Donald Trump promised a “Muslim Ban,” and on January 27th this year he delivered. This was the first but will by no means be the last policy act targeting a specific part of the population. Our panelists will discuss the origins, future, and paths of resistance against the monitoring, scapegoating, and persecution of Muslims in America.