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Director's Dialogue on Art and Social Change: Culture, Ethics, and Controversy

Mon, September 19 | 4 PM

Advancing the role of the arts in sparking meaningful discussion about contemporary issues, this fall’s Director’s Dialogue explores the intense and contentious debate surrounding the upcoming release of The Birth of a Nation, a cinematic account of Nat Turner’s 1831 rebellion directed, written by, and starring Nate Parker. The sold-out member preview screening of the film at the Wex is September 20; the film releases nationally October 7.

The Wexner Center has invited esteemed colleagues from across Ohio State to address the multiple issues raised by extensive media coverage about The Birth of a Nation—including (but not limited to) the sexual assault charges filed in 1999 against Parker and his former college roommate (Jean McGianni Celestin, who shares a story credit on the film). This dialogue will also explore today’s culturally charged climate surrounding gender, race, and sexual consent, as well as the impact an artist’s personal life can have on the reception of his or her work.

Panelists are Ohio State’s Wendy G. Smooth, associate professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Joni Boyd Acuff, assistant professor in the Department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy; and Leslie Alexander, associate professor in the Department of African American and African Studies. Jennifer Beard, director of The Women’s Place, will serve as moderator. A Q&A session will follow the discussion.

Wexner Center’s Director’s Dialogues are made possible in part by a lead endowment gift from an anonymous donor.

Josef Albers, Leaf Study IX, c. 1940Leaves on paper28 x 24 ¾ inches© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/ Artists Rights Society New YorkPhoto: Tim Nighswander/Imaging 4 Art

Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957
opens September 17, 2016.

Join us for the Fall Exhibition Preview on September 16.