The College of Arts and Sciences’ 14th annual Themester is underway with an exploration of the theme of “Identity and Identification” throughout the fall. This year’s theme explores the concept of identity and identification from many perspectives, touching on topics such as geography and culture, disability, race, gender, and more.
“One of the things I love about this fall’s theme is that it really does implicate everybody. And I mean everybody. We all have identities; every one of us. Turns out they’re extremely hard to do without,” said Colin Johnson, associate professor of gender studies and a co-chair of the Themester 2022 advisory committee. “And in different ways," Johnson continued, "we all identify with and are identified by others—sometimes in ways that accord comfortably with our own sense of who we or what we know ourself to be, and sometimes in ways that feel unwelcome, unfair, or just plain unexpected."
"Learning about personal identities and how they shape the way we see the world is critical. Developing this type of perspective can really help people understand one another better," said Sarah Junk Hatcher, head of programs and education at the new IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and a committee co-chair.
Highlights from the fall Themester calendar include:
- Cherríe Moraga, celebrated author, playwright, director and activist, will speak on her first publication This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color on Sept. 13. This event will take place at Franklin Hall. She will also be reading from her novel Waiting in the Wings and Native Country of the Heart on Sept. 15 in Franklin Hall. These events are part of the William T. Patten Foundation lecture series.
- Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the landmark “1619 Project,” will speak at IU Auditorium on Oct. 20. The event is this year’s Lou Mervis Distinguished Lecture, presented by the Union Board.
- "Punk. Race. America,” a panel featuring special guest James Spooner, graphic artist and filmmaker, to discuss the connection between race and the phenomenon of punk, including Afro-punk. Spooner is best known for his documentary film Afro-Punk and co-creating the Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn, New York. The discussion takes place on Oct. 6 at First Thursdays. Later that evening, there will be a related performance at the Bishop.