A major voice in the use of film as personal essay, queer documentarian Jenni Olson has been making 16mm durational urban landscape voiceover films for more than 20 years. Her feature-length essay films The Joy of Life (2005) and The Royal Road (2015) both premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and have earned awards and acclaim worldwide. In this presentation, Olson will share select excerpts from her work as well as discussing her unique storytelling style—in her films, contemplative 16mm urban California landscapes are accompanied by lyrical essayistic voiceovers reflecting on an eclectic array of topics ranging from the history of the Mexican American War to the pleasures of pining over unavailable women.
“I’ve been filming the landscapes of San Francisco since just a few years after I arrived here. In capturing these images on film, I’m engaged in a completely impossible and yet partially successful effort to stop time.” —from The Royal Road
Positing the ambition that landscape cinema has the capacity to transform how we see the world, Olson will also discuss some of her cinematic influences and engage attendees in dialogue about broadening our expectations for film form.
In addition to being an award-winning filmmaker, Olson is also an acclaimed LGBT film historian, co-founder of the pioneering LGBT website PlanetOut.com, proud proprietor of Butch.org and a 2018 MacDowell Colony Fellow.
Note: An emergency snow date has been reserved for this event: March 20, 4-6 p.m., in the Keefe Campus Center Theater.
The biomechanics of terrestrial legged locomotion has been extensively studied, but underwater legged locomotion is virtually unstudied. On land, animals change gaits as they increase in speed, e.g., from walking to running. These gaits are different in that step-by-step fluctuations in the kinetic and potential energy of the center of mass change from being out of phase in walking to being in phase during running. The transition from walking to running can be interpreted in terms of a dimensionless number, the Froude number, which is a ratio of inertial to gravitational forces. We have developed underwater versions of the Froude number to account for drag, fluid accelerations and buoyancy. We have discovered that sea stars use two gaits that are neither walking nor running, for two different speed ranges. And we have described how the multitude of legs work to develop effective steps. Octopi and crabs show similar oscillating patterns of motion as sea stars. A biomimetic approach based on sea stars is being used by engineers to design underwater soft-bodied robots.
Roberto G. Gonzales, Ph.D.
Graduate School of Education
Due to the political gridlock in the U.S. Congress, the fate of more than 2 million young immigrants remains uncertain. With legalization efforts stalled, on June 15, 2012, President Obama introduced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a change in his administration’s enforcement policy that would temporarily defer deportations from the United States for undocumented youth and young adults, in addition to providing temporary Social Security numbers and two-year work permits. At the six-year mark, more than 814,000 young people have benefited from the program and, as a result, had taken giant steps towards the American mainstream. Things changed under the Trump administration, on Sept. 5, 2017, when U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced an end to what had become a very successful policy. What does this termination mean for these young people and their families? Based on a multi-year study, Professor Gonzales provides some interesting answers to these vexing questions.
Roberto G. Gonzales is professor of education at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Since 2002 he has carried out one of the most comprehensive studies of undocumented immigrants in the United States. His book, Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America, is based on an in-depth study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles for 12 years. To date, Lives in Limbo has won seven major book awards, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems C. Wright Mills Award, the American Education Research Association Outstanding Book Award, and the Law and Society Association Herbert Jacob Book Award. It has also been adopted by several universities as a common read and is being used by K-12 schools across the country in teacher and staff training. In addition, Professor Gonzales’ National UnDACAmented Research Project has surveyed nearly 2,700 undocumented young adults and has carried out 500 in-depth interviews on their experiences following President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.