Since 1919, The New School has been home to scholars, creators, and activists who challenge convention and boldly make their mark on the world.
To celebrate this groundbreaking legacy, we are opening our doors to the public for a weeklong festival of innovative performances, talks, workshops, screenings, exhibitions, and more.

On October 1–6, 2019, join us as we reflect on a century of world-changing ideas and together imagine a new kind of future.

The Festival of New is free and open to all.
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Thursday, October 3 • 6:00pm - 9:30pm
Birthing a Nation: History, Memory, and The Artist Self

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What happens when an artist’s behavior as a “private” citizen overshadows the critical acclaim of their artistic endeavors?Using Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation,” this screening and panel discussion aims to dissect some of the complex forces at play that determined the outcome of this film and the resulting career pathway of its director.  Beset by scandal, its proximity to the #metoo movement, and systemic racism, the film is simultaneously a recipient of the Sundance Film Festival’s prestigious Audience Award and Grand Jury Prizes, as well as a record-shattering acquisition by Fox Searchlight.  The panel will include one of film’s lead actors, Aunjanue Ellis, and New School faculty members – in the areas of filmmaking and media history, as well as gender and African American studies – who will consider whether it is possible to determine the value of a work of art as a distinctive element, rather than as a convergence with the artist’s personal history.  Are we able to consider the artist and their work separate from their personal mistakes and misjudgments?  These tensions will be explored through the lens of race and access in artistic production.

avatar for Aunjanue Ellis

Aunjanue Ellis

Actress and Producer
Aunjanue L. Ellis is an Emmy-nominated American actress and producer whose career in film, television, and theater spans the past 24 years.Ms. Ellis graduated Brown University & NYU Tisch School of the Arts, she began her acting career in the theater where her stage credits include... Read More →
avatar for Shireen Soliman

Shireen Soliman

Part-Time Assistant Professor, Parsons School of Design
Shireen Soliman has been teaching at Parsons School of Design for more than 20 years. She is a Muslim-Egyptian-American with extensive experience in the world of fashion, education, art and design. Aligning her unique professional and personal worlds as an artist, educator, and community... Read More →
avatar for Marcus Turner

Marcus Turner

Assistant Professor of Filmmaking, Schools of Public Engagement, The New School
Mr. Turner graduated Cum Laude from The University of Cincinnati’s Communications Arts program and attended New York University’s MFA in Film program. Before joining The New School faculty, Marcus taught Film Production and Film Studies at The City University of New York and Hollins... Read More →

Faculty Organizer
avatar for Michelle Materre

Michelle Materre

Associate Professor of Media Studies and Film, The New School
In addition to holding a position as Associate Professor of Media Studies and Film at The New School where she has been teaching since 2001, Ms. Materre is currently the Director of the Media Management graduate program in the School of Media Studies. Materre’s professional background... Read More →
avatar for Tracyann Williams

Tracyann Williams

Director of Academic Affairs in the Bachelor's Program For Adults and Transfer Students, Schools of Public Engagement
Tracyann Williams earned her Ph. D. and M. Phil. in English from The Graduate Center/City University of New York.  She also holds a Certificate in Women’s Studies. Before becoming the Director of Academic Affairs, she was full-time faculty for 13 years at The New School.  She... Read More →

Thursday October 3, 2019 6:00pm - 9:30pm EDT
Kellen Auditorium