Lecture and Film Series

Lecture Series

An annual lecture series hosted by the MDHI brings leading practitioners of the digital and public humanities to campus to present their individual research work and projects, and to share insights into new digital forms of teaching, scholarship and chronicling community. Lectures provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and community members to engage in instructive and enlightening conversations with expert colleagues in the field. Events and details for the 2017-2018 academic year will be added below as they are scheduled.

Please visit the website for the Our (Digital) Humanity: Storytelling, Media Organizing and Social Justice Conference which will take place at Lehigh University April 20-22, 2018.

Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning and Department of Art, Architecture and Design present:
 Talk and Workshop with Stephen Cartwright
Talk: “Art and Data”
March 1, 2018 | 4:10 p.m. | EWFM 520
Stephen Cartwright is an artist and self-tracker. He creates his work through the intersection of analog and digital
technologies—from pencil on paper to 3D computer modeling and digital fabrication. His personally collected data
includes his exact latitude, longitude and elevation for every hour since June 21, 1999 and many other data sets.
From this information, Cartwright creates multi-dimensional maps and objects and offers a unique perspective of
one person’s transit through life. Cartwright’s sculptural visualizations are more than just illustrations of data—they
create new forms and topographies.
Workshop : “Turning Data into Art: Behind the Scenes”
March 2, 2018 | 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | EWFM 520
Stephen Cartwright will discuss his process for turning data into art and visualization projects. This session will
expand on his lecture and get into the details of using a range of software to collect, organize, draw, visualize and
fabricate data based work. 
Please register for the workshop
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 | 4:15 pm | The Humanities Center
Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, and Humanities Center Information Session on the
Please come learn about funding and collaborative opportunities available through the Lehigh Valley
Engaged Humanities Consortium Mellon Grant. Funding is available for events, course development/
enhancement, digital collections, and artist/writer collaborations focusing on the LVEHC main themes in the
context of the Lehigh Valley in the past 50 years. These themes include:
• The diversity of communities
• The changing nature of work
• The process of storymaking
• The evolving landscape, environment, and sense of place.
You will learn about the upcoming Spring deadlines as well as about larger-scale, on-going community
projects and exhibitions that are a part of the LVEHC Mellon Grant. 
Global Studies, Co-sponsor Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative
“The Disaster Industrial Complex”
Dr. Juliana Svistova and Dr. Loretta Pyles
March 22, 2018 • 4:10 p.m. • Roemmele Global Commons, Williams Hall
Natural disasters have long been seen as naturally generated events, but as scientific, technological, and social knowledge of disasters has become more sophisticated, the part that people play in disaster events has become more apparent. Production of Disaster and Recovery in Post-Earthquake Haiti demonstrates how social processes impact disasters as they unfold, through the distribution of power and resources, the use of discourses and images of disaster, and the economic and social systems and relations which underlie affected communities. The authors show how these processes played out in postearthquake Haiti to set in motion the mechanics of the disaster industrial complex to re/produce disasters and recovery rather than bringing sustainable change. 

Film Series

The film series is free to the public, and is screened at the ArtsQuest Center theaters at SteelStacks in South Bethlehem and other community venues. It screens new and recent documentaries on topics relevant to the local community, as well as films that showcase innovative new documentary practices and technologies. Films arefollowed by roundtables and open discussion led by visiting filmmakers and speakers, resident faculty, and community experts.


Three Tours
Mon, Jan 29, 7:15 pm
Three Tours is an award-winning documentary film that captures the lives of
three U.S. military veterans, Nicole Goodwin, Ramon Mejia & Ryan Holleran,
as they work to heal their wounds and battle with PTSD resulting from their
deployments in Iraq. The film follows their transformation from U.S. military
trained soldiers to agents of change advocating for proper mental health
treatment of veterans and an end to unjust wars.
Directed by Betty Yu (2016), 50 minutes
Citizen Jane
Mon, Feb 26, 7:15 pm
In 1960 Jane Jacobs’s book The Death and Life of Great American Cities
sent shockwaves through the architecture and planning worlds, with its
exploration of the consequences of modern planners’ and architects’
reconfiguration of cities. Jacobs was also an activist, who was involved in
many fights in mid-century New York, to stop “master builder” Robert Moses
from running roughshod over the city. This film retraces the battles for the city
as personified by Jacobs and Moses, as urbanization moves to the very front
of the global agenda. Many of the clues for formulating solutions to the
dizzying array of urban issues can be found in Jacobs’s prescient text,
and a close second look at her thinking and writing about cities is very
much in order. This film sets out to examine the city of today through the
lens of one of its greatest champions.
Directed by Matt Tyrnauer (2017), 1 hour 32 minutes
The Chinese Exclusion Act
Mon, Mar 26, 7:15 pm
With the Chinese Exclusion Act, filmmakers Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu tackle a
complicated yet under-told story about a significant piece of U.S. history—
the only legislation barring an entire group of immigrants based on ethnicity
and race. More significant, as highlighted through first-person interviews and
archival materials, is the resistance against racism and the resilience of
people that shaped the fabric of the United States well into the 21st century.
Directed by Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu (2017), 2 hours 10 minutes
Mary Lui, Professor of American Studies & History at Yale University, mary.lui@yale.edu
John K. Smith, Associate Professor of History at Lehigh University, jks0@lehigh.edu


Past Events of 2017-2018

Pull of Gravity 

700,000 inmates are released every year.  What happens when they come home?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
6:30 - 8:30 PM
Civic Theatre Allentown
527 N. 19th St., Allentown, PA 18014
Free Non-Ticketed Event/Open to Public
For more information
Lehigh University, Office of Interdisciplinary Programs
610-758-3996 | incasip@lehigh.edu
Featuring Local Leaders, Activists & Filmmakers
A dialogue on fostering pathways to successful reentry with the formerly incarcerated community.
LVAIC Documentary Storymaking Programs, Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative, Lehigh University Media and Communication and Film Studies, Muhlenberg College
Power Northeast, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley


Whose Streets?
Free Film Screening and Talk Back Panel
October 10, 2017 | 7:15 p.m. 
Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema
The ArtQuest Center at SteelStacks
Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back while sparking a global and revolutionary movement. ArtsQuest and Lehigh University are proud to partner up for this incredibly important screening which will feature a group of panelists engaging in a talkback afterwards. The panel includes:
James Peterson - Professor of English/Director of Africana Studies
Natanya Duncan - Assistant Professor of History/Africana Studies 
Daniel Bosket - Director for Community Action Development of Allentown/former President of the Allentown NAACP
This is a FREE screening. Please reserve tickets by calling 610-332-3378 or in person at the ArtsQuest Center Box Office

Communities Film Series Fall 2017

Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema
Sponsored by Lehigh University’s Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative
All films will be shown at 7:15pm with post-screening discussions
Free Admission

This semester’s Communities film series will focus on the theme of health. These films address various issues related to health and their effects on different communities. 

Care: September 25
Care delves deep into the world of home elder care through the eyes of both paid caregivers and their elderly clients. Through personal stories, Care reveals the deep humanity and poignancy of care work, as well as the challenges faced by elders, their families and their care workers. It also reveals the beginning of a movement to improve how we care-both for the growing number of older adults and for those who make their lives livable. At a moment of great division in our country, Care highlights an issue that affects us all - urban and rural, immigrant and native born, red state and blue. Providing quality care for an aging population will require reimagining how we value and compensate care workers and how we support families who need their services. 
Film will have a talkback afterward with: 
Tonya Morrow, Member Leadership and Action Coordinator, SEIU Health Care PA 
Judith Lasker, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Lehigh University
Fix It: October 9
The film was two years in the making, with more than forty voices advocating for reform, including: activists, health policy experts, economists, physicians, nurses, patients, business and labor leaders. This documentary takes an in-depth look into how our dysfunctional health care system is damaging our economy, suffocating our businesses, discouraging physicians and negatively impacting on the nation's health, while remaining un-affordable for a third of our citizens. 
Film will have a talkback afterward with: 
Jude-Laure Denis, Executive Director, POWER Northeast 
Kristin Clague Reihman, MD, Associate Faculty, LVHN Family Medicine Residency Program Laura Katz Olson, Professor of Political Science, Lehigh University 
Resilience: October 23
Researchers have recently discovered a dangerous biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood. As the new documentary Resilience reveals, toxic stress can trigger hormones that wreak havoc on the brains and bodies of children, putting them at a greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time, and early death. While the broader impacts of poverty worsen the risk, no segment of society is immune. Resilience, however, also chronicles the dawn of a movement that is determined to fight back. Trailblazers in pediatrics, education, and social welfare are using cutting-edge science and field-tested therapies to protect children from the insidious effects of toxic stress-and the dark legacy of a childhood that no child would choose.
Film will have a talkback afterward with: 
Roberta Meek, Director, Africana Studies, Muhlenberg College 
Hasshan Batts, Lehigh Valley Social Impact Center 
Sirry Alang, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Lehigh University 
Yuriko de la Cruz, MPH, Lehigh Valley Health Network 
Past 2016-2017 Film and Lecture Series (2016-2017)

Communities Film Series Spring 2017

Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema
Sponsored by Lehigh University’s Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative
All films will be shown at 7:15pm with post-screening discussions
Free Admission
This semester’s Communities film series will focus on the theme of migration. These films address various issues related to migration and their effects on different communities. As the very concept of migration suggests movement from one location to another, we will use this series to consider the impacts of immigration, refugee crises, and cultural diaspora on different communities, especially the Lehigh Valley. We are presenting films that showcase the traumatic effects of displacement, and point to the joy and promise of new community.

After Spring: March 21
With the Syrian conflict now in its sixth year, millions of people continue to be displaced. After Spring is the story of what happens next. By following two refugee families in transition and aid workers fighting to keep the camp running, viewers will experience what it is like to live in Zaatari, the largest camp for Syrian refugees. With no end in sight for the conflict or this refugee crisis, everyone must decide if they can rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.

Post-screening panel:
Katie Morris, Lehigh University, class of 2018, Global Studies and Journalism
Sarah Stanlick, Lehigh University, Director of the Center for Community Engagement
Timothy Daly, Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley

The Other Side of Immigration: April 4
Based on over 700 interviews in rural Mexico, The Other Side of Immigration asks why so many Mexicans migrate to the United States and what happens to the families and communities they leave behind. Through an approach that is both subtle and thought-provoking, director Roy Germano reveals a perspective on undocumented immigration rarely witnessed by American eyes, challenging audiences to imagine more creative and effective bilateral solutions. The Other Side of Immigration is an American Library Association Notable Video and has screened at hundreds of film festivals, universities, high schools, government institutions, and public libraries.

Post-screening panel:
Hugo Cerón, Lehigh University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
José Antonio Ortiz, Nuestro Valle, Producer/Host
Erika M. Sutherland, Muhlenberg College, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

CANCELLED :The Great Fallacy: April 18
Paco Vázquez’s award-winning documentary treats the political, economic, and social situation of Puerto Rico. Based on current circumstances of the Island and using history as the foundation for the film, Vázquez reveals how politicians manipulate the system so big corporations can maintain control. The Great Fallacy also promotes solutions for the people to force changes to the system through themselves and not through the government.

Post-screening panel:
Javier Toro, Community Activist, Bethlehem
Alexis Torres, B. Braun Medical, Inc.

Past Events (2016-2017):


MDHI Beyond the Bars Spring Series 2017

Prison Poetry: An Active of Resistance
Public Lecture with Rend Smith, Prison Poetry Workshop>
Thursday, March 23, 4:10pm
Location:The Roemmele Global Commons, Williams Hall,
31 Williams Drive, Bethlehem, PA Lehigh University
Sit in any prison classroom or juvenile center and ask: How many writers are in the room? How many people are writing rhymes or poems? From pockets, carefully folded pieces of paper will emerge, each with words upon them written in precise, tightly composed handwriting. They are written on the backs of grievance forms and scrap paper, and each week, they are mailed off to loved ones. Considering our country’s two-million-plus prisoners, these exchanges constitute one of our largest literary movements to date. Taken individually, these poems are powerful testaments to highly individual struggles. Collectively, they are also part of an important literary practice involving citizens speaking from and representing their humanity despite being behind bars – from Voltaire to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Poetry Beyond Bars- Spoken Word event with Host Professor Kashi Johnson
Thursday, March 23
8:00pm (Doors open @ 7:30pm)
Location: Touchstone Theater, 321 E 4th St, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Performances by:
Miles J. Davis
Yodi Vaden
Tariana Hernandez
Basement Poets
...as well as contributions form poets incarcerated in PA prisons

Wednesday, March 29
Film Screening & Panel Discussion: Prison in Twelve Landscapes
Location: Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts 
321 E 3rd St, Bethlehem, PA 18015
6:00 pm- Movie Screening of the Prison in Twelve Landscapes
More people are imprisoned in the United States at this moment than in any other time or place in history, yet the prison itself has never felt further away or more out of sight. The Prison in Twelve Landscapes is a film about the prison in which we never see a penitentiary. Instead, the film unfolds as a cinematic journey through a series of landscapes across the USA where prisons do work and affect lives, from a California mountainside where female prisoners fight raging wildfires, to a Bronx warehouse full of goods destined for the state correctional system, to an Appalachian coal town betting its future on the promise of prison jobs.
7:30 pm- Panel discussion with:
Brett Story- Filmmaker of The Prison in Twelve Landscapes
Jude Laure- Denis- Executive Director of Power NE (Pennsylvanians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild) - An Interfaith Movement
Hasshan Batts- Father, son, brother, friend and community healer; survivor of the NYC public school system and juvenile detention and adult prison survivor.
Brenda Harris, Coalition Against Death By Incarceration (CADBI) from Philadelphia
Moderator: Shanita Hubbard, Professor of Criminal Justice at Northampton Community College

Co-sponsors: Southside Initiative, Southside Film Institute

Master Class with Yeong-Ung Yang and Public Lecture For Undergraduates & Graduates
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 , 1:10-3:00 pm
Williams Hall 070
An afternoon master class for undergraduate and graduate students with award-winning independent New York photojournalist and photographer Yeong-Ung Yang. Yang will discuss the present state and challenges of the industry of photojournalism, how he has progressed through his own freelancing career, and the relationships he has developed with editors and media outlets through his projects.
Bus-kkun: Documenting a Community on the Move
Public Lecture by Yeong-Ung Yang
Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 4:10 pm, 
STEPS 101, Lehigh University
Yeong-Ung Yang, a New York based photojournalist, will speak about how his documentary photography work from school became his everlasting long-term project, bus-kkun—which documents Korean and Chinese immigrants who ride buses daily from Flushing, New York, to the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in order to make money selling the complementary gambling vouchers the casino provides. Yang will discuss how his photo essay on the bus-kkun lead him to writing articles, producing a multimedia piece, and reporting for a major publication about his subjects. He will talk about the process of documentation, the challenges of being an independent journalist, and maintaining long-term relationships with his subjects.



Memories of Steel: Women of Bethlehem Steel
Friday, 12/2, 6:30 p.m.
Northampton Community College/Southside Center
511 E. Third Street, Bethlehem PA

Come hear about the many roles that women played at Bethlehem Steel, from a previously funded MDHI-funded project "Women of Bethlehem Steel."

This event will feature a panel discussion, exhibits of photographs and memorabilia, and a demonstration of the "Beyond Steel" digital archive that contains interviews from women who worked at Bethlehem Steel.


Master Class with Laura Israel and Screening of “Don’t Blink”

For Undergraduates & Graduates Master class with Laura Israel
Tuesday, November 1, 2:30-4:00 pm
Williams Hall 070
Mellon Digital Humanities Initiative in partnership with the Lehigh University Art Galleries and ArtsQuest

An afternoon master class for undergraduate and graduate students with Laura Israel, director of Don’t Blink-Robert Frank, the recently released documentary about the eminent photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank. Israel will discuss the process and challenges of documentary filmmaking, and reflect on her recent work documenting the life of Robert Frank. As part of the class, Israel will screen an early sample trailer for her film that she created for seeking financing for production, as well as several short films that she worked on in collaboration with Frank.

Don’t Blink - Robert Frank
Free Film Screening / Open to All
Tuesday, November 1, 7:15 pm
Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas
ArtsQuest, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem

Robert Frank, now 91 years old, is among the most influential photographers and filmmakers of the last half-century. He is a cult figure whose ties to the Beat Generation and Rolling Stones earned him both respect and a certain infamy. Most celebrated for his seminal photo book The Americans (1958) and the landmark independent film Pull My Daisy (1959), Frank has spent hiscareer ignoring aesthetic and cultural boundaries. Frank’s multi-layered life and work are largely inseparable, and he has never been ready to let someone tell his story until Don’t Blink, directed by Laura Israel, his longtime film and video editor. Don’t Blink offers audiences revelatory insight into theintricacies of his photos, films and personal history while artfully revealing Robert Frank’s complex life story.

The E-Word: Ebonics, Race and LanguagePolitics- Thursday, October 13
(event co-sponsored by Africana Studies, College of Education, and Office of Multicultural Affairs)
Film Screening
Thursday, October 13, 4:10 p.m.
Sinclair Auditorium
Free and open to the public


Last Day of Freedom Film Screening- Monday, October 3
(event co-sponsored with Muhlenberg College and Lafayette College)
Film screening and discussion 
Monday, October 3, 7 p.m.
Civic Theater
527 N. 19th St.
Allentown, PA 18014
See flier and workshops page for more information about animation Workshop with filmmaker Nomi Talisman on Tuesday, October 4


Walking Towards Autonomy- Friday, October 7 
The film Walking Towards Autonomy (53 min) examines traditional communal forms of self governance practiced in Cherán, Mexico after community members expelled all government officials, police, military, and political parties. 

Lecture & Discussion with filmmakers Simón Sedillo and Eugénie Tailhandie
Friday, October 7 from 12:00-1:30pm in the Roemmele Global Commons of Williams Hall
Cosponsored by Latin American Studies & the Humanities Center
Light lunch provided
5 X 10 Collaborative Communities Track



Free Community Screening of Walking Towards Autonomy
Friday, October 7, 7pm at Victory Firehouse, 205 Webster St., Bethlehem
Cosponsored by the South Side Initiative and the southside film institute
Light Dinner served









See 2016-2017 Film and Lecture Series Here 

See 2015-2016 Film and Lecture Series Events Here