Value/Values Speakers Series:
Dr. Marcus Folch (Columbia University)
"Prisons Before Penitentiaries: Incarceration
in the Ancient Mediterranean"
This talk considers the role of the prison in the ancient Greco-Roman Mediterranean, with particular emphasis on classical Athens. Whereas prisons are recognized as part of the fundamental architecture of the modern state, it is often assumed that in antiquity prisons were merely jails: temporary detention facilities for short-term custody of inmates before trial and after conviction. As such, prisons are thought to have played a limited role in ancient history. In this presentation, Marchs Folch pushes against the conventional, custodial model of ancient imprisonment. He makes two arguments. First, Folch suggests that prisons were—and were perceived as—integral parts of premodern states. In other words, prison was a thing, and imprisonment was far more prevalent in ancient societies than previously thought. Second, prison in the ancient Mediterranean has a history, a history profoundly shaped by fifth and fourth century Athenian democracy. The dynamics of political polarization and intra-elite competition in classical Athenian democracy produced a model of incarceration that outlasted Athenian democracy itself. Long after Athens' experiment in direct democracy came to an end, ancient authors, politicians, and religious innovators continued to represent the prison and prisoners within conceptual categories that emerged in the democratic period of Athenian history.
Humanities Building (formerly English & Philosophy) Room 108 - 7:00 PM
Values and Vernaculars Workshop Series
What does it mean to be “literate”? Literacy has been defined as the way that we interact with the world around us, how we shape it and are shaped by it or the way in which we achieve goals and/or develop knowledge and potential (Burnett & Merchant, 2015). Many historical and contemporary “literacies” (visual, oral, musical, academic, vernacular, cultivated, and other) are crucial to 21st century community. In educating 21st century citizens, how do we teach, learn, and assess these literacies? How do we make the case for their relevance to the quality and meaning of public life, especially in the age of social media, artificial intelligence, and instant gratification (Cardon, 2023)? In this interactive session, the Vernacular Music Center (VMC) and the Humanities Center (HC) at Texas Tech are teaming up with the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center (TLPDC) to explore ways in which "literacy" can be understood, fostered, and assessed. Following introductory remarks from the directors of the VMC and the HC, a TLPDC facilitator will guide participants through reflective exercises to help them identify and articulate how their field defines and makes the case for literacy.
Participants will then work in small groups to develop ideas for assessments in their area that measure student literacy beyond essays and term papers. Lunch will be provided for participants who register by October 16th.
TLPDC 153, 12pm-12:50pm.
Register at https://ttu.elementlms.com/all-events/
Value/Values Film Series:
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Alamo Drafthouse-Lubbock, 7:30pm.
Discussion to follow the screening.
Faculty Fellow Talk:
Dr. Fareed Ben-Youssef, "Visibility as a Trap for the Police and the Policed: Drones
as Weapons in State of Emergency Banlieue Cinema"
This talk examines films that show two sides of France's ongoing state of emergency, Opération Sentinelle - the perspectives of the policed and the police. Olivier Babinet's Swagger (2016), a poetic documentary, presents the dreams and nightmares of the policed -- migrant children from the banlieue (akin to the housing projects in the U.S.) who are under constant surveillance. The documentary presents a dystopian sequence where police drones patrol the Paris banlieue. The young subjects of Swagger are trapped under drone eyes. Their dreams are tempered by the dread of a future or a strange present where they are seen as enemies of the state. Meanwhile, Ladj Ly's drama Les Misérables (2019) presents the inverted subject-position of the police. Their fragility is exposed when a boy's toy drone films them assaulting an adolescent with a flash-ball. As their attack is made visible, the police find themselves trapped. Ly's film depicts a surveillance from below that condemns the police officers to the social (and perhaps even literal) death experienced by the banlieue youth. By depicting a surveillance state's weapons as understood, exposed and re-directed, the filmmakers also provide surprising portraits of victory, of new futures where transcendent hopes reside. Analyzing scenes of surveillance through theories of sousveillance along with filmmaker interviews, this talk highlights the importance of today's banlieue cinema for those looking to sense the psychic toll of a life under police surveillance. Moreover, these films teach audiences how the policed can effectively resist by wielding the spotlight for themselves.
Online at 4pm Central. Register for this talk at https://texastech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIpcuGsrDIsHNO1SUsWzK0-i7U1oj5bxRER