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Columbia College Chicago
Fall 2010
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Intersections Fall 2010

September 2010: "The Cult of Cheerfulness"

October 2010: Panel on The New Deal "The New Deal Inheritance: Reflections on the 75th Anniversary of the WPA & RA"

November 2010: "Power to Create and Innovate: The Task of the Postcolonial Intellectual"

September 27, 2010
"The Cult of Cheerfulness"

An insidious yet under-acknowledged cult is growing in the United States: the Cult of Cheerfulness. Beaming with love and joy, its members parade through our streets and invade our airwaves, seducing us with the siren call: "Yes! You, too, can be happy!" Who would want to argue with that? Feminist scholar and author Barbara Ehrenreich, for one. Is she right? Should thinking Americans pursue happiness with patriotic vigor-or should we resist the urge to march in lockstep with the Stepford generation?

Join Columbia Psychology Professor Kimberly McCarthy at our first Intersections forum of the semester as she discusses how Ehrenreich exposes our culture's happy-go-lucky message of optimism, promoted through positive psychology, as a life-ravaging monster whose real agenda is to shut down anyone who might disagree. McCarthy will show how Ehrenreich deconstructs the term "cancer survivor" and reveals the Pink Ribbon movement to be a deterrent to investigations of the environmental causes of cancer. As McCarthy will demonstrate, Ehrenreich even partially attributes the recent economic crisis to the cult's power to infiltrate our homes and boardrooms. For Ehrenreich, realism is the answer-and others agree, including Julie Norm and Shiping Tang. To what extent are they right? Don't miss this invigorating discussion on realism, defensive pessimism, and positive psychology.

Kimberly A. McCarthy, Associate Professor of Psychology, is a faculty member in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. Creativity is her primary research area, while her primary question concerns how we deal with uncertainty and adversity. She has explored creative ideation and emotional intelligence, community development through theater, evaluation of visual art, and the healing of trauma through music improvisation. Informed by classical and quantum physics, her work also examines proactive approaches to social problems. McCarthy has presented her work at national and international venues.

October 18, 2010
Panel on The New Deal: “The New Deal Inheritance: Reflections on the 75th Anniversary of the WPA & RA”

This presentation will look at the past, present, and future of some of The New Deal's most creative and artistic initiatives, including the Works Progress Administration's Federal Project Number One, and the Resettlement Administration's Photography and Film Projects and Greenbelt Towns Program. Incorporating many visual illustrations, a panel of historians, screenwriters, and documentary filmmakers will discuss the dramatic impact of these Depression-era agencies and their influence on the arts, documentary photography and film, and urban planning. The panel will consider questions such as whether these progressive, innovative ventures of yesteryear are relevant to today's critical urban and social issues, as well as whether we should consider ourselves in need of a "new" New Deal. This mix of intriguing topic, interesting visuals, and lively panelists promises to constitute a thought provoking and stimulating session.

Erin McCarthy is an oral historian and Associate Professor of History in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. McCarthy recently directed and co-curated an oral history project and exhibition entitled Hard Times Yesterday & Today for the Center for Creative Aging at Harold Washington College. In 2008, and to mark the 75th anniversary of The New Deal, she worked with the NARA to organize a New Deal film festival at Columbia College Chicago's Film Row Center and created an undergraduate course called "The Great Depression and The New Deal: the U.S. in the 1930s."

Corinne Rose is the Manager of Education at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and adjunct faculty member in Columbia College's Department of Photography. She curated an exhibition on the work of FSA photographer Dorothea Lange that was held at the MoCP in the Fall of 2008 and frequently lectures on the museum's extensive collection of Farm Security Administration photographs.

Ron Falzone is an award-winning screenwriter and Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Video at Columbia College Chicago. In addition, he hosts two screening series: Talk Cinema in Chicago and Evanston and Cinema Slapdown at Columbia College. Falzone is a recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship in Screenwriting (2000), a winner of the IAC Finalist Award (2006, 2007), and an eleven-time Artist in Residence at the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Glory Southwind is an independent documentarian who produced the film Green Towns USA: A New Deal. She grew up in Greenhills, Ohio and is president emeritus of the National New Deal Preservation Association.

November 15, 2010
"Power to Create and Innovate: The Task of the Postcolonial Intellectual"

In this talk, Associate Professor Cadence Wynter brings to light the life and achievements of the powerfully creative postcolonial intellect Ralston Milton "Rex" Nettleford, whose work reverberates across the Caribbean and beyond. As a professor of extramural studies, he directed the Adult Education Program at the University of the West Indies Mona, Jamaica, with the goal of enabling people in the Anglophone Caribbean to access higher education.

As co-founder and Artistic Director of the acclaimed National Dance Theater Company of Jamaica, Nettleford promoted African-Caribbean dance forms. As founder of the Trade Union Education Institute, he sought to bring theory and praxis into closer proximity. In 1998, he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies. Throughout his life, Nettleford worked to expose a hidden history: "the struggle of the African component to emerge from the subterranean caverns into which it has been forced." Join us for an unforgettable discussion of this important thinker's life and ideas.

Cadence Wynter teaches courses on the history of the Americas in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. She has lectured widely in North America, the Caribbean, Britain, and Australia. Her research continues to focus on the history of the people of the African Diaspora.