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Past Events

Winter Semester 2018 Events

  • A January 2018 talk by Steven Salaita, a BDS Activist and Independent Scholar.

  • A January 2018 talk by Erica James, Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology at MIT, called "The Matter of Black Lives: Hauntology, Infrastructure, and the Necropolitics of History in the American South.”

  • A February 19 to March 9 art exhibit in the II Gallery by Prof. Phoebe Gloeckner from the Penny Stamps School of Art and Design. The exhibit will focus on the US-Mexico border town of Ciudad Juarez, where thousands of girls and women have been murdered or gone missing amidst larger waves of political, economic, and drug-related violence.

  • Co-sponsorship of a February 16 talk by Dr. Khatharya Um, chair of UC Berkeley's Peace and Conflict Studies. Her research focuses on refugees, particularly the Southeast Asian diasporic communities who have experienced war, genocide, and ongoing trauma.

  • Co-sponsorship of a March 15 talk by Chelsea Manning, an advocate of queer and transgender rights and government transparency.

  • Co-sponsorship of a March 23-24 performance by Syrian-American poet Mohja Kahf, aimed at igniting a larger conversation about migration, transnationalism, and conceptions of home.

  • A May/June multi-disciplinary faculty workshop on questions related to conflict (e.g., genocide, civil war, and revolution) and peace (e.g., non-violent direct action, negotiation).

Winter Semester 2017 Events

CPI’s first major event was graphic novelist Joe Sacco’s three-day visit to U-M in January 2017, which CPI co-presented with the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series with support from 26 additional co-sponsors. Activities included a presentation in the Michigan Theater, two lunch discussions with students, two dinner discussions with faculty and students, and an art workshop at Ann Arbor’s juvenile detention facility.

In February 2017, CPI co-hosted a Q&A with Professor Stephen Sheehi titled “Islamophobia: Then and Now.”

In March 2017, CPI hosted a roundtable titled “Xenophobia in the Age of Trump: The Roots, Context, and Remedies”with Anne Berg (History), Vincent Hutchings (Political Science), and Fatma Müge Göçek (Sociology).

In March 2017, CPI co-sponsored the Islamic Peace Studies Conference and the Communal Violence in Myanmar Roundtable.

Fall Semester 2017 Events

CPI’s major fall 2017 undertaking was a series of social justice and civil rights events called Marching Forward. In addition to talks and film screenings spearheaded by other departments, the series included a social justice comics contest and a Social Justice Research Symposium.

The keynote event of the Marching Forward series was a visit to campus by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell on November 27 and 28, 2017, which CPI co-presented with the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series and the King-Chavez-Parks Visiting Professors Program. The three guest speakers-- all co-creators of March, the National Book Award-winning graphic novel trilogy about Congressman Lewis’s experiences during the Civil Rights Movement-- gave a keynote presentation at Hill Auditorium. This talk was live-streamed on Detroit Public Television’s website and on the radio (WCBN 88.3 FM); the video can be viewed here. Nate Powell, the graphic illustrator behind March, also participated in discussion groups with students and local community members, and gave a public talk at the Ann Arbor District Library.

To maximize the impact of Congressman Lewis’s visit, CPI partnered with the School of Education’s Center for Education Design, Evaluation, and Research (CEDER) to create a comprehensive reading guide for March.  At least 13 U-M professors and fifteen book clubs used the reading guide in their courses. CPI also partnered with local libraries-- which collectively ordered 425 copies of March-- and secured funding from multiple community-engaged campus units to purchase 450 copies of March for local high school students, who then read March as part of their high school curriculum.

CPI’s second major undertaking of the fall semester was a November 9-10 talk and campus visit by graphic novelist Art Spiegelman, author of Maus. Spiegelman’s talk at the Michigan Theater was co-presented by Judaic Studies and the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series. Spiegelman also visited multiple classes and student groups.


Additional CPI co-sponsored events included: