Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - Lunch Program
Racial Hierarchies and the Historical Process: A Panel Discussion
Daniel Livesay, Sarah Sarzynski, and Tamara Venit-Shelton, panelists

CMC history professors Tamara Venit-Shelton, Daniel Livesay, and Sarah Sarzynski will discuss the strategies they have used to document and analyze racism, racial hierarchies, and the experiences of under-represented groups. The discussion is intended to help students deepen their understanding of the historical process and identify new strategies as they engage in archival research and historical analysis. 

Daniel Livesay, assistant professor of history, focuses his research on slavery in the Colonial Americas, free people of color in the Atlantic world, and the intersections between ideas of race and family in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; slavery and aging in North America and the Caribbean. He is the author of Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race West Indians in Britain and The Atlantic Family, 1733-1833, forthcoming from University of North Carolina Press. He is currently at work on a new project that explores slavery and aging in North America.

Sarah Sarzynski, assistant professor of history, research focus examines modern Brazilian cultural and political history, popular culture and film, the Amazon, the Cold War, social movements, memory and oral history, regionalism and regional identities in Brazil related to poverty, religion, race and gender. She is currently completing a book entitled Revolution in the Terra do Sol: The Cold War in Brazil, which will be published by Stanford University Press.

Tamara Venit Shelton, associate professor of history, focuses on the social history of the American West, with a particular interest in race, labor, and environment. She is the author of A Squatter’s Republic: Land and the Politics of Monopoly, 1850-1900, published by University of California Press. She is currently working on a book project about Chinese doctors in the United States between 1850 and 1945.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - Evening Program
Art Thinking or Inventing Point B in any area of life
Amy Whitaker

Whether making sense of your career or the future of the geopolitical world order, Amy Whitaker asserts that art thinking is a way of creating space to focus on big messy questions, whether you can answer them or not.

Amy Whitaker is a writer, artist, and teacher who works at the intersection of creativity, business, and everyday life and is the author of Art Thinking, a “manifesto and a love story” for how creativity and business go together. A graduate of Williams College, she holds an MBA from Yale University and an MFA in painting from the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London. She is an assistant professor at NYU in Visual Arts Administration.

Whitaker has worked for museums including the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate as well as for international financial institutions. She teaches and lectures widely. Her first book, Museum Legs, was selected as the common summer reading assignment for the first year class at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) in 2010.

The premise of her most recent book, Art Thinking, is that if you are making a work of art in any field, you aren't going from a known point A to a known point B, but rather inventing point B. That process is exploratory and open-ended—and therefore sometimes at odds with the cultural pressures to succeed economically and professionally. The independent thinking behind inventing point B is closely tied to robustness of democratic exchange, to the values of a liberal arts education, and to interdisciplinary approaches to addressing the great problems of our day.

Professor Whitaker's Athenaeum talk is sponsored by the Mellon Creativity Roundtable, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), the Kravis Leadership Institute (KLI), and the Center for Writing and Public Discourse (CWPD).

Food for Thought: Podcast with Amy Whitaker