Black Life Matters

Scholars, writers, artists, activists, policymakers, and community members will come together to discuss WHY Black life matters and WHAT can be done about sustained, racialized state violence. The conference will include lectures, hands-on working sessions, performances, and social justice actions, as well as significant time for conversation. The end of the conference will lead into planned Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities in Tucson, and visitors are invited to stay for these. More information is available here.

iBorders: Drones & Designs

Come take a journey to the so-called “virtual border” and hear Confluencenter’s Visiting Scholar, Professor Benjamin Muller “drone on” about borders and borderlands through the lenses of technology, identity, surveillance and society. In this journey to the virtual border we consider how drones, biometric technologies, artificial intelligence, surveillance and architectural designs reformulate borders and the bodies that cross them, radically altering how we experience, understand and interact with borders. In this borderland of data doubles, bodies as passwords, drone apps, and technospaces, you may even discover that you have already crossed the virtual border without even knowing it!
Read the Arizona Daily Star article here, read the Zócalo Magazine article here.

Translating Transgender

Join us for a rare and inspired evening of poetic performance and literary readings on transgender and translation from three leading international voices.
 •    Rabih Alameddine, National Book Award Finalist
 •    Trish Salah, Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction
 •    Nathanaël, Winner of the Prix Alain-Grandbois
Hors d'oeuvres and refreshments served.
More information at (520) 822-6251 or

Creative Collaborations: The Great American (Art) Songbook and How it Grew

Veteran vaudevillian and Regents’ Professor Dr. David Soren (Classics) joins the inimitable pianist-singer Professor Emeritus Jeff Haskell to examine a time in American song when the classical and popular turned their backs on each other. Join us for some musical snapshots of one of the most engaging periods in all of music.

Playground Games

Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry & Institute for the Environment are teaming up for “Playground Games!" Five groups of UA faculty will speed-network + plan a project + pitch it and get funded before the night is over! Think speed dating meets Shark Tank. 
A panel of three judges evaluate the project pitches and the audience helps to make the final decision on what two teams are funded. Audience participation space is limited, so RSVP here today!

Show & Tell @ Playground: “The Geotourism Corridor: Southern Arizona’s Gateway to Discovery”

Joaquin Ruiz, Dean of the UA College of Science and Vice President for Innovation, presents a new vision of Southern Arizona as a destination for international tourism by preserving and celebrating our region’s unique culture heritage, history, geology and biodiversity.

Sacred Geography: What it Means to be Human

A symposium brought to the University of Arizona by MAS 508. At 1:00pm is keynote speaker Mr. Vernon Masayesva, former Hopi Tribal Chairman. Other events include presentations by high school students, panels/presentations by graduate students, and performances by MECHA, Danza Azteca, Folklorico and more. Contact Graciela Jauregui, or 626-7182. More information here.

Foreign Debt & Human Rights: Reframing Debates on Foreign Debt Regimes

The restructuring of Argentina’s foreign debt and its controversial dispute with the so-called “vulture funds” has demonstrated the need for re-examining the international regimes pertinent to foreign debts of state. With this, the United Nations and Human Rights organizations are recognizing that foreign debt obligations must not hinder the promotion and protection of human rights. Join us for a panel discussion featuring distinguished experts from Latin America, including: Eric LeCompte (Executive Director of the Jubilee USA Network); Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky (United Nation Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debt of States on the full enjoyment of human rights), Gastón Chiller (Executive Director of Centro de Estudio Legales y Sociales – an Argentine Policy Think Tank). Moderated by Matías Bianchi.

Show & Tell @ Playground: Focusing the Universe

School of Theatre, Film and Television faculty Peter Beudert and Michael Mulcahy are making a film that explores the influence of one of the University of Arizona’s greatest treasures: The Steward Observatory. The original observatory was conceived and built by A. E. Douglass nearly 100 years ago. The influence and presence of both the Observatory and Douglass are the bedrock of modern astronomy at the University, in Southern Arizona, around the world and even in space. Come to see excerpts of this film and hear how The Steward Observatory changed the world.
Listen to Peter Beudert's KXCI interview.

An Afternoon with Jimmy Santiago Baca Presented by UA’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry & UA’s College of Education

Poet and community activist Jimmy Santiago Baca – who was a runaway at 13, served a five-year maximum security prison sentence and emerged from lock-up in 1979 as a writer – comes to Tucson for a reading, and a screening of the documentary based on his 2002 memoir "A Place to Stand," with a Q & A to follow. 1:00pm - 4:00pm.

Lauded by the Associate Press for “his raw poetry and vivid essays that seek to capture the experience of Mexican-Americans and American Indians in the Southwest,” Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love and beyond.

He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries and universities throughout the country.Baca is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award and, for his memoir "A Place to Stand," the prestigious International Award.

View the documentary trailer here.

As The Wheel Turns: A Colloquium on Potters’ Communities in Ancient Greece and the Mediterranean

Discussions from a cross-section of scholars on topics ranging from “Plato on Craft and its Meaning,” “The Skills and Secrets of Ancient Greek Potters,” to “The Technology of Corinthian Pottery” and more! The day also includes wheel-throwing demonstrations and a presentation of Mediterranean Ceramic Objects from the Arizona State Museum.

Please visit for more info.

Closing Reception - Picking Up the Pieces: Artifacts From the Migrants’ Journey

Artist Deborah McCullough creates evocative installations from objects that migrants leave behind as they cross the desert of Southern Arizona in order to appeal to the viewers’ sense of humanity. Please join us for the closing reception for this compelling exhibit.

Death: Customs & Cuisine

Southwest Folklife Alliance’s Executive Program Director Maribel Alvarez, Ph.D. (a founding board member of Confluencenter), and Folklorist-in-Residence Nic Hartmann are presenting a review of food traditions associated to death rituals and ceremonial family gatherings in Tucson and other regions of the United States and the world. They are joined by local baker and tradition bearer Erica Franco, of the La Estrella Bakery in Tucson. The talk, demonstration and sampling will include tasty stories from a large (and whimsical) spectrum of funerary foodways ---from the sweet and venerated "pan de muerto" from Mexico to the often-ridiculed Jell-O salad ring so popular at Anglo-Saxon Protestant potlucks.



Creative Collaborations: Changing the Face of Death

The appearance of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ groundbreaking book On Death and Dying in 1969 addressed a subject avoided by many physicians. How did her theories change the way we approach the terminally ill today?  “Everyman” and the stages of his journey are explored in song by the distinguished Welsh baritone, Jeremy Huw Williams, and in story by Hospice Chaplain Greg Griffey.

Picking Up the Pieces: Artifacts From the Migrants’ Journey

For years, artist Deborah McCullough has walked the migrant trails with the Tucson Samaritans, and has collected many objects that migrants leave behind as they cross the desert of Southern Arizona. She creates evocative installations from these artifacts to appeal to the viewers’ sense of humanity.

“What inspires me? Sore feet, weary, lost people, and the stories of someone who found water that had been placed along the trails in the desert. I find objects left behind, personal items, an embroidered cloth used for wrapping tortillas, a child's toy, a baby carrier, a Bible or a notebook with hand-written prayers. My objective is to present these things in such a way that the viewer is reminded that these are human beings who are walking mile after mile; people who are caught in a political web. They are people struggling to feed their families or they may be people trying to return to families in the USA." 

The gallery is open 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday. The closing reception is Saturday, November 1 at 1:30pm. See related November 1 events below.

Creative Collaborations: The Bard's Birthday Bash

Shakespeare turned 450 this year, and it’s never too late to celebrate. What is it about the immortal Bard that has captivated audiences throughout the ages? What is it about his language that continues to inspire composers? Can we light 450 candles in his honor? Cakes welcome! Professor Emeritus Dr. Peter Medine(English) is our leader as we brush up on Shakespeare.

Cosponsored event: Community Platica with Ana Tijoux

Ana Tijoux-rapper, mother, and activist- will be performing at the Rialto on Wednesday night, and on Thursday will be offering a community conversation about politics, feminism, and the power of music to inspire social change. The platica is introduced by Alisha Vazquez and facilitated by Elva De La Torre from KXCI. The event is  cosponsored with Gender and Women's Studies at Arizona, the UofA Graduate Association of Spanish and Portuguese (GASP), the Earlham Border Studies Program.

Show & Tell @ Playground: Global Revolution from Harlem to Havana

Throughout the 1960s-70s, U.S. Black Power activists traveled to Havana, Cuba where they helped build a global revolutionary movement called the Tricontinental. This movement, which produced films, posters, and magazines in four languages, played a central role not only in U.S. civil rights but also in the defeat of apartheid in South Africa and in the emergence of the anti-globalization movement. In this talk, Spanish professor Anne Garland Mahler guides us through a geography of Cold War radicalism from Harlem to Havana, Hanoi, and Cape Town sharing the Tricontinental’s politically charged and artistically innovative cultural production and reflecting on its relevance today.

Digital Literacies In and Beyond The L2 Classroom

This symposium will explore the wide array of practices captured by the concept of digital literacies from social networking to gaming to fan fiction to micropublishing as they relate to particular circumstances of learning and living in a second or additional language and culture. Includes a roundtable, talk and a keynote presentation: “Integrating Literacies Past, Present, and Future.” Free, registration required at

Special Event: "The Documented Border: An Open-Access Digital Archive" Launch with Luis Urrea

The Documented Border: An Open Access Digital Archive is an effort dedicated to providing access to images, oral histories and other research efforts on the US-Mexico border. Its aim is to advance understanding and awareness of the border and its people. Contributions to the archive will include audio interviews conducted by UA Associate Professor, Celeste Gonzales de Bustamante, and UA Assistant Professor, Jeannine Relly, with reporters discussing difficulties in reporting in the US-Mexico borderlands. The Archive will also include illustrations by Artist and UA Associate Professor Lawrence Gipe of "Operations Streamline" proceedings created in courts and detention facilities where photography is prohibited.

From Repression to Regulation: Drug Policies in Latin America

Moderated by Matias Bianchi. Participants include Pedro Isern, Carla Musto, Marcela Vasquez and Eduardo Vergara.
Sponsored by LAS, SGPP, Asuntos del Sur and The Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry

Special event: “The Heart Sutra,” a lecture by Bill Porter, aka Red Pine, translator of Chinese Buddhism and Buddhist scholar

The Heart Sutra, a mere 35 lines, is one of Buddhism's best-known teachings, "Buddhism in a nutshell," according to Red Pine, an award-winning translator of Chinese poetry and religious writings. On September 25, at 6:30 p.m., in a lecture sponsored by the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry, Red Pine, or Bill Porter in his more mundane existence, will be discussing those 35 lines at the University of Arizona Student Union. In the course of explicating the Heart Sutra in its concentrated entirety, Red Pine will delve into the Abhidharma of early Buddhism, cajole his way through the famous Mahayana pronouncement "form is emptiness, emptiness is form," and leave those who dare to attend scratching their heads with the wonder of the get-out-of-jail-free mantra at the sutra’s end. Come one, come all. Free copies of the text for the first 50 people who attend.
Free and open to the public.

Cosponsored Lecture: "Yellow River"

As a part of the Confucius Institute’s Chinese Culture Week, this lecture will focus on the long history of civilization along the Yellow River. Poems will be recited and Chinese music will be played as the background. Through a series of slides, Mr. Bill Porter, award-winning author and translator, will take those lucky enough to attend from the river’s mouth in the Bohai Sea to its source high on the Tibetan Plateau, a journey of more than 3,000 miles through nine Chinese provinces. As Porter traveled through the cradle of Chinese civilization, he visited the hometowns and graves of its key historical figures, men such as Confucius, Laozi and Bodhidharma, even Genghis Khan, as well as China’s most sacred mountains and its great repositories of Daoist and Buddhist art. Porter's talk will be based on his recently released Yellow River Odyssey, already a bestseller in China in its Chinese translation, which recounts his journey to the river's source in 1991, when " … his hair was thick and his belly was flat and the world was black and white."

Show & Tell @ Playground: Documenting the Border in Unprecedented Times

Over the past two decades, people living on the north side of the U.S.-Mexico border have seen an unprecedented build-up; while those on the south side have experienced unprecedented violence. This has done little to foster understanding across borders. Professors in the School of Journalism and School of Art along with the UA Libraries are working to improve understanding about the borderlands through the creation of The Documented Border: An Open-Access Digital Archive. Join professors Celeste González de Bustamante, Jeannine Relly, and Lawrence Gipe, and Associate Librarian Veronica Reyes-Escudero for a multimedia presentation about this innovative project that will launch later this fall.

Junot Díaz @ the Fox: Presented with the Tucson Pima Arts Council

Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
For ticket information visit


Show & Tell @ Playground—Confluencenter’s Multimedia Learning Experience. Tales from the (Video Game) Archive II

Ken McAllister (UA) & Judd Ruggill (ASU), co-curators of the Learning Games Initiative Research Archive, one of the largest video game collections in the world, will uncrate and highlight a few of the Archive's more unusual artifacts. From arcade machines sponsored by the CIA to video game sex toys to a game controller with nearly fifty buttons, Ruggill and McAllister will traverse the perverse of gaming's half-century history, putting some of it in context and leaving the rest for garbologists to sort out. 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
Show & Tell is always free and open to the public.

Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America

Dianne Harris is director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, and professor of Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Art History, and History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The lecture will focus on portions of her recently published book of the same title, examining the ways the consumption and display of material goods in ordinary postwar houses, and the design and representation of the houses themselves, contributed to the construction of personal and family identities, and specifically contributed to the formation of white, middle-class identities in the immediate postwar United States. 
Free and open to the public.

“Voices Across Borders” Confluencenter’s Latina/o Auditorium: Tucson Festival of Books

Authors Rosina Conde, Briceida Cuevas Cob, Norma Cantú, and Cristina Rivera-Garza have been invited by UA’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry to speak, read and engage with the public during the two- day Tucson Festival of Books, March 15-16, 2014. From eclectic border insights, to poetry from indigenous heartlands, these authors’ works span genres as diverse as fiction, poetry, theater, biography and memoire. They span geographies across Mexico and the United States. The Confluencenter’s “Voices Across Borders” Auditorium joins the Tucson Festival of Books for the first time and opens a new venue at the Stevie Eller Dance Theater, with a new concept to promote Mexican and Latina/o authors, multi-lingual literacy and cross-cultural dialogue.

“Voices Across Borders” panels include other noted commentators and scholars. The panel “Conflict on the Border” features drug war analyst Sylvia Longmire and Prof. Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith. “Poetry in Three Languages” features Maya poet Briceida Cuevas Cob together with Ofelia Zepeda and Arizona’s first Poet Laureate Alberto Álvaro Ríos. Ríos also moderates the special “Tribute to Miguel Mendez” to honor the celebrated local novelist and UA professor, who passed away in 2012. 

Show & Tell @ Playground: What’s Climate Got to Do, Got to Do with It?

Gregg Garfin, lead editor of Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States, contributor to Ground|Water The Art, Design and Science of a Dry River, and fervent apocaloptimist, will reflect on the current and future climate of the southwestern United States, and Tucson. In keeping with the theme of the venue and the Show & Tell series, the talk will be an apocaloptimistically playful look at the climate system, the challenges of communicating with climate graphics, and reflections on what the heck managers of our precious natural resources are doing to safeguard us from a climate apocalypse.

Creative Collaborations with Dr. Paula Fan —The “Choiceless Choice” and the Children of the Holocaust

The traumatic events of the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of children are presented in musical settings from chamber music to musical theater. Dr. Susan Crane (History) examines the concept of options in an unsettled world and the options open to the “choiceless.” Music will include I Never Saw Another Butterfly, a song cycle based on poetry by Jewish children who lived in the Theresienstadt ghetto and I Remember, set to the writings of Anne Frank. Presented in collaboration with UApresents’ performance of “Quartet for the End of Time,” Feb. 27 at Crowder Hall, UA Music Bldg.

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Humanities for the 21st Century: Passionate, Public Scholarship and Teaching

The Confluencenter cordially invites you to attend “Humanities for the 21st-Century—Passionate, Public Scholarship and Teaching,” a talk by Teresa Mangum, professor of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa, and the director of the University of Iowa’s nationally renowned Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.

Oceans and Deserts: Charting Transdisciplinary Currents in Environment and Culture

Oceans and Deserts: Charting Transdisciplinary Currents in Environment and Culture within the Arts and Sciences 

A Symposium hosted by the Transcultural German Studies Ph.D. Program

Click here for the event flyer.

Click here for the full event calendar.

A Quartet for the End of Time with David Krakauer, Matt Haimovitz & Friends

“The most ethereally beautiful music of the twentieth century was first heard on a brutally cold January night in 1941, at the Stalag VIIIA prisoner-of-war camp, in Görlitz, Germany.”
This is how musicologist Alex Ross introduces Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time,” written while the composer was imprisoned in an internment camp. Premiered with the camp’s German officers seated in the first row, the quartet’s unusual instrumentation resulted from the available musicians among Messiaen’s fellow prisoners.
Click here for more information.
Rarely heard in live performance, this stunning work will be performed by some of chamber music’s most respected artists.

Humanities, Medicine & Wellness Conference
Lives in the Humanities!

The Confluencenter cordially invites you to attend “Lives in the Humanities,” a talk by Sidonie Smith, a professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, and the director of the University of Michigan’s nationally renowned Institute for the Humanities. “Lives in the Humanities” offers reflections on the state of the humanities, collaboration across the humanities, the future of doctoral education, and scholarly inquiry into life writing, especially autobiographical writing.  Professor Smith will address some of the challenges of adapting the humanities to changing institutional and cultural landscapes - challenges facing faculty and students working within and alongside the humanities at universities all over the country.
Click Here for the PDF Flyer

Show & Tell @ Playground: Take Two Apps and Call Me in the Morning: How Intelligent Wearables And Game-Based Therapies are Changing our World

The Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) and its subsidiary, the interdisciplinary Consortium for Advanced Motion Performance (iCAMP) have goals to improve stability, healing and mobility worldwide. SALSA’s work has especially benefitted patients suffering from diabetes, which impacts more than one in four older adults in United States. Its research and design teams have been developing the first of their kind "smart" wearable technologies--from jewelry to socks--that have shown enormous promise in identifying and preventing limb and life-threatening gangrene as well as providing early warnings to prevent falls and fractures in older adults. These "game changing" technologies are actually "game-based" in that they allow the wearers to improve their stability and mobility through novel video-game-like therapies. Join us for an interactive demonstration, and Q &A.


Confluence Co-sponsored Lecture: “Origen, Camino, Trabajo”

Working in a wide array of media and materials, Marcos Ramírez ERRE is best known for site-specific sculptures that subvert the nature of the places in which they are located. For his project “Century 21” he constructed makeshift dwelling, typical of the colonias located on the periphery of Mexican border cities, on the grounds of the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT), which is the city’s showpiece museum. More recently he has produced works that examine narco-violence and the burden of complicity, shouldered by all spheres of Mexican society, in the perpetuation of such violence. His work has been featured in numerous venues including InSite94, InSite97, the 2000 Whitney Biennial, the 2007 São Paolo/Valencia Biennial, the California Biennial 08, and the Moscow Biennial among others. Marcos Ramírez ERRE was born in Tijuana, Baja California Mexico in 1961.

This free event is co-sponsored by the School of Art.


Creative Collaborations with Dr. Paula Fan —Every (Black) Woman - An Exploration of Identity

In commemoration of African American History Month, soprano Shermayne Brown  (winner, Harlem Opera Theater Voice Competition and UA  alumna) and Dr. Bryan Carter (Africana Studies) will present scenes from the life of “Everywoman” in the context of the African-American experience.  Within the virtual reality created by Dr. Carter, Ms. Brown’s “striking spinto sound” (Opera UK) will illuminate settings by Margaret Bonds and Hale Smith of the poetry of Langston Hughes, as well as other partnerships of charismatic composers and writers.

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Confluence Co-sponsored Lecture: “Tall Tales from a Large Man”

Aaron James Draplin of Draplin Design Co. talks about laughs, careers, and truths! He is travelling around the country telling his tales of chasing his career as a graphic designer, how he launched his own graphic design firm, and other adventures in the design world and reminding us all to find our passion Aaron Draplin started his own firm, Draplin Design Co., North America in 2004 and has developed a client base that includes Ride Snowboards, Forum Snowboards, Grenade Gloves, Chunklet Magazine, Cobra Dogs, and Absinthe Films. His design background in logos, graphics and other design projects includes working at Snowboarder Magazine as art director, and during his time there he won “Art Director of the Year” for Primedia 2000. His firm is based in Portland, Oregon.

This free event is co-sponsored School of Art.


Parking available on east side of building.

Desert Song Festival: The Intimate and Fascinating Thing Called Song: A Discovery Talk by Paula Fan and friends

From the pop-tinged stylings of today's American songwriters to the subtle yearnings of the world famous composers of Lieder and mélodie, song is all about how you feel.  One of America's foremost accompanists and a Tucson favorite, pianist Paula Fan, with her colleagues will explore the collaboration of poet and composer, singer and instrumentalist, to bring to life this most visceral yet intimate form of communication. This presentation, part lecture, part performance, will be followed by a Q & A session and a Meet and Greet Reception. For more information:

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Confluencenter Gala Dinner: Parallels, Ploys and Perception: The Confluence of Science and Music

When musicians get together, backstage laughs and gaffes give way to flights of imagination. Add science to the mix and the result is a heady brew of intellectual and emotional exploration.  Dr. John Hildebrand, neuroscientist and former professional musician, and Dr. Fan, who surprisedher scientist-mathematician parents by becoming a pianist, engage in a free flowing dialogue exploring the shared worlds of science and music, how musicians are really brain surgeons and why no one is immune to the great and powerful interval of a third.

Tickets are $275 each ($165 is a tax-deductible donation to Confluencenter) and include the salon-style presentation by Dr. Fan and Dr. Hildebrand as well as cocktail, hors d’oeuvres and a three-course dinner at Hacienda del Sol. 

If you cannot attend, perhaps you can send one of our Graduate Fellows to the dinner for a tax-deductible donation of $110!

Click here to order tickets or make a donation for a Grad Fellow with a credit card or send a check made payable to UA Foundation/Confluence Circle Gala to:

P.O. Box 210302

Tucson, AZ 85721-0302

Click here to see the event flyer.

Show & Tell @ Playground: Rough & Tumble: Taking Play Seriously

Could something as frivolous as play be critical to our evolution as social and moral beings? Filmmaker Yuri Makino and the primatologist team Dr. Dieter Steklis and Netzin Steklis will share clips from the in-progress documentary Rough & Tumble: Taking Play Seriously, which features the Steklis’ 20 years of field observation experience studying family dynamics and the play of mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and also includes what we can learn from the play of dogs and wild dolphins. Human play is usually thought of as a childhood pastime, but play imparts critical skills or experiences that are life-enhancing. While play may seem trivial in our lives, it may define who we are and how we came to be. What better place to value play than at the Playground! Join us!

I-19 Series "Voices from The War to End All Wars” an Afternoon of Music and Dialogue with Regent’s Professor Dr. Paula Fan

World War I is often described as the conflict that produced the most poetry. Could it have been the unforeseen horrors, the magnitude of the casualties, the sheer length of combat that magnified the usual wartime themes of love and loss? English professor Dr. Jerrold Hogle joins the distinguished tenor Robert Swensen (Eastman School of Music) in this examination of the music and poetry composed by those who fought and died in the War to End All Wars.

This event is free and open to the public.

Creative Collaborations with Dr. Paula Fan—Testament: The AIDS Quilt Songbook Revisited


“For singers, we are being pretty unvocal about AIDS.” Baritone William Parker’s call to action in the late 1980s prompted 18 American composers to write songs in memory of the many members of the artistic community who were lost to AIDS. Since Parker’s 1993 death following the premiere of the Songbook, the face of the disease has changed, as has the prognosis, and more songs have been added to the collection. Like the squares of a quilt, the songs run the gamut of emotions and styles. This performance honors World AIDS Day (Dec. 1). In addition to talented vocalists joining Dr. Fan, people living with HIV/AIDS will tell their stories of survival.

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Show & Tell @ Playground: The Poetics of Noise: Poetry and Punk, 1965 – 1980

Poetry and punk rock? In this talk, English professor John Melillo will take us on a tour of the Downtown New York art world in 1960s and 1970s. The phenomenon of punk grew out of an artistic “scene” of intense and often unsettling experiments with words, images, and sounds. But we will not only revel in the linguistic chaos and performative excess that defined this time and place. We will also look at the concrete networks—in little magazines, poetry readings, and nightclubs—that supported these experiments. From little known counter-culture heroes like Ed Sanders to international pop stars like Patti Smith; from poetic experimenters like Clark Coolidge to performers like Richard Hell; from the self-consciously disturbing writers like Kathy Acker to the neo-dada of No Wave bands like DNA, we will hear, see, and feel the birth of a new way of engaging with and critiquing the world—a new noise. 

Global Tangos: A Multimedia Lecture Presented by Melissa Fitch Part of the I-19 Series

Dr. Melissa Fitch will take us on a trip around the world to discover how communities of dancers are transforming Argentine tango in unusual ways in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, incorporating it into local cultures and using it as a source of art, activism, therapy, and even social justice. Dr. Fitch will explore the global networks that have emerged among artists, dancers and health practitioners over the last 30 years. These collaborations are creating new understandings of the dance that have very little to do with the well-worn, rose-in-mouth clichés. Join us for an unusual afternoon filled with surprises!

Show & Tell @ Playground V-> T-> D - A World Premiere of A Piece for Live Electronics and Jazz Trio

Composer and collaborative digital artist Christopher Jette and UA saxophone professor Kelland Thomas present an electronic composition stemming from the translation of a saxophone improvisation. The composition, v->t->d ("vee to tee to dee"), is an exchange of musical ideas with a saxophone improvisation translated by custom software developed by Dr. Jette. Then this material is used as the basis for two works: an experimental/classical saxophone and electronic work, and a live improvisation in a jazz ensemble. The project showcases the process of turning improvisation into composition and back again, varying, translating and deriving new works. The classical work will be for saxophone and electronics, and the jazz set will feature Dr. Thomas with guitarist Matt Mitchell and drummer Angus Forbes. Both performances will draw from the same sound material to re-imagine and contextualize them in new ways.
Click here to see a video of the event.

Creative Collaborations with Dr. Paula Fan— Bon Appétit! - presented at the Loft Farmers Market

In 1963, an unlikely six-foot two-inch tall TV personality burst upon the sceneand with a warbly “Bon appétit!” changed the way America thought about food. Chef Doug Levy of Feast shares culinary memories and philosophy and mezzo-soprano Kathryn Cowdrick (professor, Eastman School of Music) appears as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s mini-opera in this musical and gustatorial celebration of food, glorious food.

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Justice for My Sister: Free Screening

Presented by:
UA Center for Latin American Studies, UA Confluencenter, UA Department of Gender and Women's Studies, UA Hanson Film Institute, UA Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences- Frances McClelland Institute, UA School of Anthropology, UA School of Journalism, and UA School of Theatre, Film & Television
Q&A with filmmaker, Kimberly Bautista, after the film
Open to UA students & faculty
Click here to see the event flyer.

Creative Collaborations with Dr. Paula Fan—Before the Candelabra: The Martyrdom of Oscar Wilde

Before the “famously flamboyant closeted-in-plain-sight entertainer” that was Liberace, there was Oscar Wilde, celebrated playwright, novelist, raconteur and face of Aestheticm in Victorian England. To mark LGBT History Month, Distinguished Professor Dr. Jerrold Hogle (English) discusses Wilde’s rise and fall in the context of his literary and private personae, and special guest, Confluencenter Graduate Fellow M. Kevin Chau  performs Frederic Rzewski’s setting for speaking pianist of Wilde’s De Profundis.

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RELSEC Inaugural Event & Conversation

How is political life changing across the globe in response to forces of religion and secularism?

On October 25 from 7-9pm, please join us for RelSec’s Inaugural Conversation in the UA Student Union’s Tucson/Catalina Room. Internationally distinguished scholars Janet Jakobsen and Mayfair Yang will lead a conversation-style panel concluding with visiting scholars from Holland, China, Israel, and North America.

Click here to see the event flyer.

“Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States and an Epic History of Misunderstanding” Part of the Confluencenter’s “Security, Technology and Society” Lecture Series

Husain Haqqani is a Pakistani scholar and public figure who most recently served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2008-2011. He is widely credited with managing a difficult partnership during a critical phase in the global war on terrorism. Haqqani started his public life as an Islamist student leader and has, over the years, emerged as a strong voice for democracy and civilian control of the military in Pakistan and an exponent of liberal values in the Muslim world.  His distinguished career in government includes serving as an advisor to three Pakistani Prime ministers, including Benazir Bhutto, who described him as a loyal friend in her last book Reconciliation. He also served as Pakistan’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka in 1992-93.
Ambassador Haqqani is the author of the book Pakistan between Mosque and Military and hundreds of articles published in major international newspapers, magazines and scholarly journals. He is currently Senior Fellow and Director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute. Haqqani also co-edits the journal “Current Trends in Islamist Ideology” published by Hudson Institute’s Center for Islam, Democracy and Future of the Muslim World.
He is also Director of the Center of International Relations, and Professor of the Practice of International Relations at Boston University.

Virtual Dialogues With Latin America: Social-Environmental Conflict in Latin America

The Yasuni-ITT Initiative was a proposal of the Ecuadorian government that aimed to indefinitely prevent the exploitation of oil reserves in Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse reserves on the face of the earth. In exchange, the government of Rafael Correa asked the international community to pay for half the estimated value of reserves, or roughly $3.6 billion. Last August, the government of Ecuador decided to abandon the initiative after collecting only .37 percent of the desired sum over six years. This case is symptomatic of dozens of similar conflicts all over the region and raises important questions about North-South relations, the tension between economic developmentn and environmental care, the rights of indigenous peoples and the role that the region wants to play on the international stage. Please join us for a thought provoking panel discussion with four distinguished experts on the lesson from the Yasuni-ITT initiative. 

TEDx Tucson Salon

TEDxTucson and Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry join forces for a special TEDxTucsonSalon

 This TEDxTucsonSalon features three talks. UA Regents' Professor Dr. Paula Fan will perform for us on the piano. Alejandra Platt will speak about her photography project currently on view at the Arizona State Museum. Alon Efrat is a UA Professor of Computer Science and will demonstrate some cool technology he has invented.

On the Line: Border Images from Two Perspectives

Photographers Alejandra Platt-Torres and David Taylor have spent years along the U.S./Mexico border, each separately documenting the landscape and the people. Platts’ black and white work focuses on the plight of the migrants and portraits of indigenous people while Taylor examines the dramatic increase in security apparatus along border. They will show and discuss their work in a forum moderated by Dr. Scott Whiteford, professor at the UA Center for Latin American Studies, whose current project focuses on globalization, borders, and environmental security in Latin America.

Show & Tell @ Playground - Planes...Cars...Buildings: Computer Controlled Complexities

Systems on things we use every day are so complex that we need computers to help us safely control them. Dr. Jonathan Sprinkle, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, takes us on a tour of how engineering design makes our interactions with systems safer, more cost effective and more enjoyable. He will talk about and exhibit the Cognitive and Autonomous Test Vehicle (CATVehicle), a driverless car that he is developing with engineering students.  He also will discuss and demonstrate his Confluencenter-funded projects including viewing history at your current location through your phone's camera and using technology to enable non-technical experts to create innovative technical solutions with model-based design.

Click here to see the event flyer. 

Facebook event.

Wired for War: Drones, Warfare & Politics in the 21st Century

Peter W. Singer is the director of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. Singer’s research focuses on three core issues: the future of war, current U.S. defense needs and future priorities, and the future of the U.S. defense system. Singer lectures frequently to U.S. military audiences and is the author of several books and articles, including Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century.

This event is free and open to the public.

Ground|Water Discussion at Antigone Books

Join us for a discussion of the book, Ground|Water: The Art,  Design and Science of a Dry River, edited by Ellen McMahon, Ander Monson, and Beth Weinstein (U. A. Press, $48).  Ground/Water brings together a diverse community of artists, designers, and scientists interested in understanding and raising public awareness about local water and its relationship to global climate.  Ellen McMahon will provide an overview of the project that led to the book, and three of the contributors will read from their essays: Allison Dushane, Gregg Garfin, and Ander  Monson.  “There is wisdom as well as beauty in this book, which starts from the premise that we do have choices and that the future brings great promise. [It encourages] us to examine our own roles in this desert ecosystem and to individually and collectively invest in the social and natural systems that support us.”— Katherine L. Jacobs, Director of the Natl Climate Assessment

Click here to see the event flyer.

This book is the result of a project funded by the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry and is the first in Confluencenter’s Beyond Boundaries Series with UA Press.

The reading will be followed by a question and answer period.
Refreshments will be served.
Confluencenter I-19 Series— Looking Beyond the Sky - A Musical Dialogue with Paula Fan

Musical and astronomical imagery combine in this examination of man’s eternal fascination with the skies above us. Which composer wrote about a trip to the moon in 1777 and of what one might see through a telescope? Who immortalized in music the three stars in Orion’s Belt? Dr. Richard Powell, Emeritus Vice President for Research and Professor (Optical Sciences), presents his magnificent astronomical photos, as scientist and musician ponder the wonder and inspiration that is part of looking up.

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Water: Where Science and Art Meet

The Center for Creative Photography and the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry will explore the issues surrounding water and sustainability in the desert with a panel discussion titled Water: Where Science and Art Meet on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. in the Center’s Auditorium. The focal point of the discussion will be the Confluencenter’s highly acclaimed book Ground|Water: The Art, Design and Science of a Dry River and photographs from CCP’s Water in the West archive collection.  Confluencenter director, Dr. Javier Duran, will moderate the panel which will include Ellen McMahon, one of the editors of the Ground|Water book and a professor of art at the UA; Dr. Rebecca Senf, Norton Family Curator of Photography at CCP and the Phoenix Art Museum; Dr. Gregg Garfin, deputy director for Science Translation and Outreach at the Institute of the Environment; and Edgar Cardenas, doctoral candidate at the ASU School of Sustainability.

Click here for more information.

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Creative Collaborations with Dr. Paula Fan—Looking Beyond the Sky: A Dialogue

Musical and astronomical imagery combine in this examination of man’s eternal fascination with the skies above us. Which composer wrote about a trip to the moon in 1777 and of what one might see through a telescope? Who immortalized in music the three stars in Orion’s Belt? Dr. Richard Powell, Emeritus Vice President for Research and Professor (Optical Sciences), presents his magnificent astronomical photos, as scientist and musician ponder the wonder and inspiration that is part of looking up.

List of compositions played:
Clair de Lune - Claude Debussy excerpt at beginning
The Three Maries - Heitor Villa Lobos
The Comet at Yellham - Gerald Finzi
Nebula - Lee Evans
Ganymede - Judith Lang Zaimont
Spiral Galaxy - George Crumb
Representation of Chaos from the Creation - Joseph Haydn arranged by Muzio Clementi
Stardust - Hoagy Carmichael

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Arizona Big Glass and the Edge of the Universe

Distinguished Professor of Astronomy Chris Impey takes us on a tour of mirror-making and the quest to capture light from remote regions of time and space. The largest mirrors in the world are created under the football stadium at the University of Arizona, and we use them to see billions of times fainter than the human eye. Big telescopes are time machines, taking us close to the big bang, and a time when the universe was hot and dense and no stars of galaxies had yet formed. Join us for a multimedia tour of frontier technology and the limits of cosmic vision.

Click here to see the Facebook event.

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“Papers, Please”: Theorizing Border Discourses after Arizona House Bill 2281 & Senate Bill 1070

Arizona state laws SB1070 and HB2281 have positioned issues of immigration, education, and language, and public policy near the center of the public eye. As a case study, these laws demonstrate the complications of concepts such as border, il/legal immigration, nationality, identityand English, concepts that are interlaced within and erupt out of SB1070 and HB2281. Perhaps equally important, these laws call upon scholars to problematize and critique the lived experience that they effect. "Papers, Please" brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines to examine such issues at one-day symposium at The University of Arizona.

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Show & Tell @ Playground - Border Remix: Nor-Tec, Tijuana and the Politics of Cultural Representation

Dr. Duran, professor of Spanish and Border Studies and Omar Pimienta, interdisciplinary artist, VJ and writer who lives and works in the Tijuana border region, will discuss what happens when we look at the U.S.-Mexico border as a place where asymmetry and tension seem to define identity, discourse and spatial representation. They will explore how Nor-tec emerged from Tijuana and captured a global audience. Marketed as a kind of "ethnic" electronic dance music, Nor-tec incorporates sounds of traditional music from northern Mexico with techno and electronic music. Nor-tec questions centralist notions of the border and encapsulates the border's struggle, resonating with global issues, while holding vastly different meanings for many communities that embrace it.

Show & Tell @ Playground - Global Tangos: Adventures in the Transnational Imaginary

Dr. Melissa Fitch will take us on a trip around the world to discover how communities of dancers are transforming Argentine tango in unusual ways in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, incorporating it into local cultures and using it as a source of art, activism, therapy, and even social justice. Dr. Fitch will explore the global networks that have emerged among artists, dancers and health practitioners over the last 30 years. These collaborations are creating new understandings of the dance that have very little to do with the well-worn, rose-in-mouth clichés. Join us for an unusual evening filled with surprises!
Click here to view the event flyer.

Rethinking Mortgage-Based Homeownership
Rethinking Mortgage-Based Homeownership

A Symposium About Home Ownership In The 21st Century
For a complete list of speakers, locations and other details, click here

Ted X: Urban Renaissance

The Art of Conversation, inspired by "Machines of Loving Grace," a poem by Richard Brautigan, will focus on Romanticism and our alienation from nature due to technology. Giving TED-style talks will be artist Daniel Martin Diaz discussing his "Sacred Heart Machine" works; Kep Taiz, a rocking chair designer; Dr. Allison Dushane, discussing the Romantic period of art, literature and music; and Dr. Joaquin Ruiz speaking about Biosphere II.
Click here to see the event poster.

"The Changing Face of Immigration," Pt. 2
Héctor Acosta and Verania Luzero

“Desvariaciones de la Canción Mexicana/Un-variations of Mexican Song.” In Part Two, pianist Héctor Acosta and singer-actress Verania Luzero from the Universidad de Sonora perform some of the most popular songs from Mexico, tinged with blues and jazz, to tell a humorous tale of a Mexican immigrant looking for the American dream and his culture shock as his everyday life transforms into a Mexican-American blend.

"The Changing Face of Immigration," Pt. 1
Alan Louis Smith

“Give me your poor?” How has the American view of immigration changed over time? Part One of this double bill features the song cycle Vignettes: Ellis Island by Alan Louis Smith which chronicles American immigration in the early 20th century through the stories of 20 refugees taken from interviews in the Ellis Island Oral History Project. Faculty will speak about their immigration experiences. Moderated by Dr. Javier Duran.

Show & Tell @ Playground—Imagine the Real in the Virtual: Experience the Arts in Second Life

Africana Studies professor Bryan Carter will demonstrate how literature, the arts and performance are enjoyed by residents of Second Life. During this tour the audience will hear live music performed by jazz artists from a variety of physical locations, explore art created by talented artists in both real and Second Life and learn how literature is experienced differently by students enrolled in classes taught within the environment. Come on out—you may discover that one life is just not enough...

Social Media: From Monopolies to Alternatives
Geert Lovink, Director of the Institute of Network Cultures

Geert Lovink, founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures, is a Dutch- Australian media theorist and critic. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne and in 2003 was at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland. In 2004 Lovink was appointed as Research Professor at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam. He is the founder of Internet projects such as nettime and fibreculture. In 2005-06 he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin Institute for Advanced Study where he finished his third volume on critical Internet culture, Zero Comments (2007). Since then he published the book Networks Without a Cause (2012). Other book titles by Geert Lovink are The Art of Free Cooperation (2007), The Principle of Notworking (2005), and My First Recession (2003).

A World Separated by Borders

Join photographer Alejandra Platt-Torres, Dr. Maribel Alvarez, associate research professor in English and associate research social scientist at the Southwest Center, and Dr. Otto Santa Ana, associate professor of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA, in a conversation moderated by Confluencenter director Dr. Javier Duran. They will discuss how the photographic works give a unique perspective on the subject of border culture and the issues surrounding migration.

Juan in a Hundred: Failings of Today's Network News Representations about Latinos

Dr. Otto Santa Ana will present the key findings of his new book, Juan in a Hundred. He reviews a full year of contemporary news stories about Latinos. He reveals significant journalistic limitations that are hidden by the networks’ (ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN) high production values. To capture the full semiotic range of televised network reporting about Latinos, he has expanded earlier work about cognitive metaphor analysis (of newspapers) by blending recent cognitive science with humanist scholarship. His work explains why news viewers form misunderstandings about Latinos from the news they watch. He offers a range of recommendations, from modest to radical, to address these limitations.

Classical African: Spirituals and Beyond
WIlliam Chapman Nyaho

Ghanaian-American pianist William Chapman Nyaho discusses and performs works by composers from Africa and the African diaspora. The Trinity Missionary Baptist Church Gospel Choir will sing from 6 to 7 p.m.  Part of Confluencenter’s Creative Collaborations with pianist and Regents’ Professor Paula Fan (School of Music) and guest scholars and performers in a musical exploration addressing the grand challenges facing the world. In collaboration with UApresents The Underground Railroad, with Kathleen Battle, 3/22, 8 p.m. at Centennial Hall.

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Tucson Cine Mexico
Tucson Cine Mexico

Confluencenter is proud to be a sponsor of Tucson Cine Mexico
March 21-24
Movies and documentaries by some of Mexico’s finest filmmakers and up-and-coming artists will be screened at the Harkins Theatres and the Fox Tucson Theatres.  All the presentations are free and open to the public. Visit for more information.

Mediating Indigenous Identity: A Panel on Representations of Indigenous People in Mexican Film

This panel examines how indigenous people in Mexico have been represented in Mexican film by considering stereotypical representations and how they have been mobilized for nation-building purposes. In particular, the panel will discuss the double discourse of making indigenous people visible on the screen to wider audiences while at the same time relegating the actual lived experiences to the margins of society or to a grand mythified past. Clips from films will highlight discussion points. This panel will also move forward and highlight some recent videos made by indigenous people, creating their own self image, and asks what it means in contemporary Mexican discourse.
Panelists include: Carlos Gutierrez, Director, Cinema Tropical, New York; Elena Fortes, Director, Ambulante, Mexico; Laura Gutierrez (Facilitator), Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, UA Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
Sponsored by Tucson Cine Mexico
Follow the links below to see the Tucson Cine Mexico 2013 Trailer.
English version
Spanish version

Show & Tell @ Playground: Tucson’s Heart and Soul: El Casino Ballroom
El Casino Floor

The last survivor of an era of ballrooms that served Tucson’s Latino community, El Casino Ballroom has been a cultural Mecca for the whole community. Documentary filmmaker Dan Buckley talks about this historic Tucson landmark and decades of concerts and events that took place there.

Tucson Festival of Books

Visit us at our booth (#213 in front of the administration building). We’ll have T-shirts and other memorabilia, and there will be a panel Discussion on Ground|Water: The Art, Science and Design of a Dry River at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Kachina Room in the Student Union. A book signing will follow.

A World Separated by Borders
A World Separated by Borders

Mexican photographer Alejandra Platt-Torres shares her powerful images of the people, the border, and the landscape between Arizona and Sonora in a new exhibit at Arizona State Museum (ASM) co-presented by the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry on the University of Arizona campus. A World Separated by Borders runs at ASM from March 8 to October 19, 2013.
The show is supported by Agri Packing Supply, Consulate of Mexico in Tucson, Gobierno del Estado de Sonora, Jumex, Los Descendientes del Presidio de Tucsón, The Offshore Group, and Tucson Mexico Sister Cities.

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Tom Zoellner: "A Safeway in Arizona"

Tom Zoellner’s book A Safeway in Arizona: What the Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Tells Us About the Grand Canyon State and Life in America is not just the story of the tragedy of January 8, 2011 and what led up to it and what transpired afterward. It gives a detailed history and analysis of Tucson. He has worked as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and The Arizona Republic, and as a contributing editor for Men’s Health magazine. A Tucson native, he is an Associate Professor of English at Chapman University and lives in Los Angeles.

Zoellner will have a question and answer period following his talk about the book. This lecture will interest journalism, sociology and history students alike.

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UA Museum of Art: Air/Water/Mexico

"Air/Water/Mexico" speakers Stacie Widdifield, UA School of Art; and Jeffrey Bannister, Southwest Center and School of Geography.

UA Museum of Art: The Rillito River Project

"The Rillito River Project" book signing and panel discussion about bats and Tucson's Bat Night with Gregg Garfin and Ellen Skotheim, UA School of Natural Resources & the Environment; Yar Petryszyn, Rillito River Project; moderator: Ellen McMahon, UA School of Art and author of Ground Water|An Ode to a Dry River.

Cabaret! Singing it Like it Is
Dr. David Chisholm

Explore the sociological commentary that was and is cabaret with Dr. David Chisholm (German) and Dr. Paula Fan (Music), featuring twentieth century German cabaret songs and William Bolcom's wry musical glimpses of contemporary human relationships drawn from his three volumes of Cabaret Songs. In collaboration with UApresents Come to the Cabaret! on March 23.

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Show & Tell @ Playground—Christine in the Cutting Room: A Queer Multimedia Event
Susan Stryker, associate professor of Gender and Women's Studies

Dr. Susan Stryker, associate professor of Gender and Women's Studies and director of the Institute for LGBT Studies, will present excerpts from her newest film, Christine in the Cutting Room. It’s about the remarkable life of Christine Jorgensen, who underwent a sex change in 1952, and became an international celebrity, actress and filmmaker. No ordinary documentary, it’s a multi-media project with electronica club music and video wallpaper. Click here to see the movie trailer. (In collaboration with UApresents’ Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo on Apr. 20.)

Subject to Deportation: IRCA, "Criminal Aliens" and the Policing of Immigration
Jonathan Inda, Ph.D.

Dr. Jonathan Xavier Inda earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997. His research areas include the anthropology of globalization, the politics of immigration, governmentality and life politics, the critical study of race, science, and medicine, and Latino populations in the U.S. Dr. Inda is Associate Professor of Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The targeting of criminal offenders for removal has become one of the central priorities of contemporary immigration enforcement in the United States. Scholars have rightly highlighted the importance of a series of laws passed during the 1990s, in particular the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Criminal Responsibility Act, in laying the foundations for this targeting of immigrants. These laws increased the penalties for breaching U.S. immigration laws and expanded the class of noncitizens who could be deported for committing crimes.

In this talk, Dr. Inda draws attention to an earlier immigration law that has played a key, but less studied, role in laying the groundwork for the contemporary policing and removal of immigrants: the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). IRCA is well known for its part in criminalizing the hiring of undocumented workers, increasing the resources of the Immigration and Naturalization Service to patrol the nation’s borders, and providing undocumented immigrants with a path toward legalization. But the law also contained a small provision that required the U.S. Attorney General to deport noncitizens convicted of removable offenses as expeditiously as possible. This provision dealing with the removal of “criminal aliens” has turned out to be highly significant. In many ways, it has helped to dramatically shape the nature of contemporary immigration enforcement. IRCA basically helped set in motion the contemporary practice of targeting “criminal aliens” for deportation. In turn, this practice has morphed into a mechanism for policing immigrant “illegality” more generally. 

Click here to see the event flyer. 


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The Poetics & Politics of Hip-Hop Cultures

Funded by the Collaboration and Innovation Faculty Grant, this two-day symposium explained hip-hop's role in challenging stereotypes, destabilizing and unsettling the meaning of blackness and bridging cultural divides in the USA and abroad.
Click here for the feature on Arizona Illustrated.

Everyday Poems, Everyday Songs: The Path to Populism in American Poetry
Seth Kershisnik

Susan Hardy Aiken, Ph.D., University Distinguished Professor of English, teaches and writes in the fields of 19th- and 20th-century British and American literature and culture, women and literature, gender theory and poetry. Along with pianist, Dr. Paula Fan, she will explore the evolution of the American poetic voice and the role of poetry in our lives. Baritone Seth Kershisnik will sing Tom Cipullo’s All-American song cycle “Another Reason I Don’t Keep A Gun in the House” to poetry by Billy Collins, former U. S. Poet Laureate, and other selections from the Great American Art Songbook.

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Show & Tell @ Playground—I Rap Therefore I Am: Why France is the Second-Largest Hip-Hop Market in the World
Hip Hop Graffiti Art in France

French Professor Alain-Philippe Durand, the author of a book on rap music and hip-hop culture in France, will explore this phenomenal cultural force that has influenced local, national, regional and global issues and discuss hip-hop's role in challenging stereotypes and bridging cultural divides. This will be a preview of the international symposium The Poetics and Politics of Hip-Hop Cultures to be held Feb. 7-8 at the UA.

Show & Tell @ Playground—Confluencenter’s Multimedia Learning Experience. Lowriders in Chicano Culture: From Low to Slow to Show
Purple Lowrider

Professor of Spanish Dr. Chuck Tatum, the author of this 2011 book, will enlighten the audience on how the expressive culture of lowriding fits within the broader context of Chicano culture and how it reflects the social, artistic and political dimensions of America's fastest-growing ethnic group. With striking photos, he will demonstrate the unique aesthetics of lowrider vehicles, the mechanics of building a lowrider vehicle, and lowrider culture in the media. He will also trace how lowrider culture has recently expanded beyond the urban streets and into the massive exhibit halls of lowrider shows, exposing lowrider culture to even more enthusiasts. 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Free admission, happy hour prices and free snacks at the Playground Bar & Lounge, 278 E. Congress. Click here to see the event flyer.

Desperately Seeking Shahjahan: French Overseas Expansion and Mughal India
Dr. Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Dr. Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Distinguished Professor of History at UCLA and Doshi Endowed Chair in Early Modern India, will speak on intersections between the early modern empires of France and India. The author or editor of more than 25 books, Dr. Subrahmanyam is the founding Director of UCLA's Center for India and South Asia. He has held an endowed chair in Indian History and Culture at the University of Oxford, served as Directeur d'études in the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and taught comparative economic history at the Delhi School of Economics.

"Still Falls the Rain": Songs of Love, Loss and War
Professor of English Peter E. Medine

Professor of English Dr. Peter E. Medine introduces lyric meditations on the devastating effects of World Wars I and II on human relationships, and on individual efforts to come to terms with those effects. These musical explorations of the universal themes of love, loss, and war ultimately suggest the possibility of affirmation, if not redemption in an age of unparalleled anxiety and destruction. Featuring baritone Seth Kershisnik, tenor Dennis Tamblyn and Daniel Katzen, Horn.

Show & Tell @ Playground—Ground|Water: An Ode to a Dry River Book Launch Party
Professor Ander Monson

Ground|Water: The Art, Design and Science of a Dry River Book Release Party— A work of art in itself, this publication brings together a diverse community of artists and scientists interested in understanding and raising public awareness about local water and its relationship to global climate. This 112-page, full color, 9” x 9” volume, with letterpress printed hard cover, features collaborations with the Rillito River Project, a Tucson-based arts group, as well as photographs, graphic design, architectural proposals, artist books, essays and poems by University faculty and students. This ode to a dry river is an experiment in making something desecrated and overlooked both beautiful and understandable and carries a strong message about community and responsibility.  This is the first in Confluencenter’s Beyond Boundaries series on UA Press. Edited by Ellen McMahon (School of Art), Ander Monson (Creative Writing faculty) and Beth Weinstein (College of Architecture).
See a video of Anders Monson speaking about the Ground|Water publication process.

Culture, Symbolism, and What it Means to be Human
What it Means to be Human

Join University of Arizona Regents’ Professors Paula Fan (Music) and John Olsen (Anthropology) in an interdisciplinary dialogue about what it means to be “human.” John will provide a discussion and hands-on presentation of prehistoric artifacts. From the piano, Paula will discuss the evolution of music as a tool for communication to music as art. Expect some lively discussion as they explore the complementary themes which define the human experience. Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 6 p.m. at the Arizona Inn, 2200 East Elm Street. The evening begins with hosted cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with the professors, is followed by a salon-style discussion and ends with a gourmet dinner of wild sea bass and beef tenderloin. To maintain an intimate atmosphere, the number of guests will be limited. Tickets are $275 and are available by calling 621-4587.

To see more information or to register for this event, please click here.

Día de los Muertos Celebration with Luis Urrea
Renowned author Luis Urrea

<p style="text-align: justify;">November 1 Dia de los Muertos Celebration with an altar exhibit, music, dance, a processional and prize-winning author, <a href="" target="_blank">Luis Urrea,</a>&nbsp;speaking and signing his books. Urrea, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, is a prolific and acclaimed writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and an American mother, Urrea has won numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. <i>The Devil's Highway,</i> his 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. This event is free. People or groups who are interested in creating an altar for this event should send an email to Yvonne Ervin,</p><p style="text-align: justify;">UA Student Union: 4 p.m. party at the BookStore; 5:00 processional to the South Ballroom for Urrea’s reading/lecture.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p>

Christian Coalitions in American Politics: Conservative Evangelicals and their Alliances with Catholics and Mormons
Dr. Karen Seat, Associate Professor in Religious Studies Program

Karen Seat, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, specializes in the history of American evangelicalism. With a grant from the University of Arizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry (2011-2012), Professor Seat has traveled the country interviewing politically active conservative evangelicals as they have been gearing up for the 2012 presidential election. Professor Seat will discuss conservative evangelicals' engagement with politics in American history, with a particular focus on the complex relationship they have had with Catholics and Mormons in building political alliances.
Suggested parking: Second St. Garage
See this flyer for more info about the Institute for the Study of Religion and Culture Lecture Series (2012-2013).

The Trouble with Scheherazade: Romance and Reality
Iranian-American composer Richard Danielpour

Iranian-American composer Richard Danielpour (Manhattan School and Curtis Institute of Music) and Dr. Anne Betteridge (Middle Eastern Studies) will present musical and historical commentary highlighting the inventiveness and resilience of Persian women beginning with the ancient story of the Persian consort who avoided being beheaded by spinning stories over 1001 nights. Dr. Danielpour will present excerpts from a full symphonic work, Darkness in the Ancient Valley, the composer's heartfelt tribute to Iran's long-suffering people, and his trio, Remembering Neda, honoring Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman killed in 2009, who became a symbol of hope unrealized in Iran. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra is performing two of Danielpour’s compositions in October. With Kristin Dauphinais, mezzo soprano, Paula Redinger flute and Anne Gratz, cello.

Confluencenter Solar Soiree: An Afternoon of Innovative Technology and Music
Solar Soirée

A gala event on the grounds of a private estate on Campbell Avenue. The Solar Storytellers—a solar-powered electric piano, violin and cello with Dr. Paula Fan—will entertain partygoers with light classics and enlighten them about the workings of solar power. Dr. Roger Angel of the Steward Observatory (as featured on NPR) will speak about how he is working with the technology he developed for the world's most precise astronomical mirrors to create affordable solar energy. Meanwhile, Confluencenter Director Dr. Javier Duran and special guests will explore the culture of Mexican cuisine . . . with delicious results.


Once Upon a Virus: AIDS legends, Public Health and the Law
Diane Goldstein, Professor of Folklore at Indiana University

A lecture by Diane Goldstein, Professor and Chair of the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University. Author of Once Upon A Virus: AIDS Legends and Vernacular Risk Perception (Utah State University Press, 2004).
Dr. Goldstein has been extensively involved in AIDS priority-setting and policy-making initiatives over the last twenty five years, including a three year appointment to the Canadian National Planning and Priorities Forum for HIV/AIDS. She is currently President of the American Folklore Society.
Presented with the support of Arizona Humanities Center and Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry/UA.

Beyond Kung-Fu: Sounds of the Shaolin Temple
Shaolin Monk

With guests Purple Bamboo, yangqin artist Huiqing Cheng and ethnomusicologist Dr. Janet Sturman. While the Shaolin tradition of martial arts has captured the imagination of the West, prominently displayed in countless Buddhist temples are four imposing figures, one of whom, Chi Guo Tian Wang, Watcher of the Lands, always carries a lute. Drs. Fan and Sturman will discuss the “celestial sounds” of the traditional instruments played by the members of the Purple Bamboo Asian Music Ensemble. Confucius Institute, 11 a.m., 1215 E. Helen St. To promote the UApresents Shaolin Warriors, Oct. 21.

Show & Tell @ Playground—Confluencenter’s Multimedia Learning Experience. Tales from the (Video Game) Archive
Sega Genesis Controller

Ken McAllister (UA) & Judd Ruggill (ASU), co-curators of the Learning Games Initiative Research Archive, one of the largest video game collections in the world, will uncrate and highlight a few of the Archive's more unusual artifacts. From arcade machines sponsored by the CIA to video game sex toys to a game controller with nearly fifty buttons, Ruggill and McAllister will traverse the perverse of gaming's half-century history, putting some of it in context and leaving the rest for garbologists to sort out. 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Free admission, happy hour prices and free snacks at the Playground Bar & Lounge, 278 E. Congress.

The Hydro-Aesthetics of the Mexico City Water System: From the Cája de Agua to the Cárcamo, 1900-1952
Cárcamo. Photo by Flickr user "ojoqtv"

"The Hydro-Aesthetics of the Mexico City Water System: From the Cája de Agua to the Cárcamo, 1900-1952," and an exhibition of student research from the Waterworks graduate seminar (Spring 2012).
You are invited to an informal presentation by Dr. Jeffrey Banister (Southwest Center and Department of Geography) and Dr. Stacie Widdifield (Art History, School of Art and Affiliated Faculty, Latin American Studies)  about a project being developed with U.S. and Mexican scholars that analyzes the visual/artistic aspects of the Mexico City water system in Chapultepec Park and Xochimilco. Graduate students in Art HIstory, Studio Art, and History also will be on hand to discuss their research from a related Art History seminar: Waterworks, held in Spring 2012.

State Violence, Border Topologies and the Execution of Law
Dr. Joseph Pugliese

Joseph Pugliese, Associate Professor in the Department of Media, Music, Communication, and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University (Sydney), is a founding member of the Somatechnics Research Network. His research and teaching are oriented toward issues of social justice. He deploys critical and cultural theories in order to examine and address the relationship between knowledge and power, issues concerned with discrimination and injustice, state violence, institutional racism and regimes of colonialism and empire. He examines these issues in the context of everyday cultural practices, institutions of power such as the law and the state, and the interface of bodies and technologies. His current research includes a critical analysis of regimes of torture and state violence in the context of the CIA Black Sites and the U.S. military's use of predator drone technologies in the ongoing “war on terror.”

In this lecture, he will reflect on the complex relations between two modalities of state violence: the contemporary waging of the United States’ international war on terror/al-Qaeda and the ongoing colonial expropriation and militarization of Native American lands.  He will examine this system of relations through the figure of topology. As the “science of nearness and rifts,” Michel Serres identifies topology as that figure that “folds” space-time and produces simultaneous rifts and nearness. The topology of the fold captures the complex spatio-temporal dimensions that connect different geopolitical sites and wars. What emerges, he will argue, is a transnational matrix of imperial state violence that inextricably binds diverse subjects (Native Americans and Afghans) and seemingly unrelated geographical sites (Western Shoshone country/Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and the Afghan tribal lands) and borders (US/Mexico). At the heart of this matrix of state violence, he concludes, are contested sovereignties.

Show & Tell @ Playground—Confluencenter’s Multimedia Learning Experience. Jackson Boelts: The Community, Watercolor and DNA
Professor of Art Jackson Boelts

Art professor Jackson Boelts will speak about his role as designer, educator, visual artist and facilitator, punctuated by examples of his artwork dramatically depicted on Playground's multiple video screens. His works range from realistic to nonfigurative: his watercolor landscapes are photorealistic in direct contrast with his abstract watercolor, photograhy and digital DNA sequences and his Shield Series depicts large, watercolor, shield-shaped images as metaphors for the personas we affect. Download the flyer for The Community, Watercolor and DNA here.

Poetry Off the Page

Performances, Classes, Panels, and Exhibits by:
The Black Took Collective, Amaranth Borsuk, Julie Carr & K.J. Holmes, Jeff Clark, Brent Cunningham, Johanna Drucker, Christine Hume, Douglas Kearney, Ander Monson, Julie Patton, Claudia Rankine, Cecilia Vicuña, Danielle Vogel, Dan Waber, and Joshua Marie Wilkinson.
Screenings of Work by:
Eula Biss & John Bresland, Brandon Downing, John Gallaher, Forrest Gander, Kate Greenstreet, Deborah Poe, Sawako Nakayasu, Robyn Schiff & Nick Twemlow, Zachary Schomburg, and Joshua Marie Wilkinson.
Events will take place at the Poetry Center and The Rogue Theatre. Art exhibits, art installations, and library exhibits will be on display concurrently with the symposium.
Visit the Poetry Off the Page website

An Evening with Javier Sicilia

On April 30th Confluencenter is a co-sponsor of An Evening with Javier Sicilia from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Room 150 of the UA’s Harvill Building, 1103 E. Second St. Since the murder of his son a year ago, the Mexican poet has become the most prominent voice against President Calderon’s militarized war against the Mexican drug cartels. He will provide a powerful testimony, with a unique perspective, at this free event.

Binational Migration Week

Please join us for the inaugural celebration of the Binational Migration Institute as an official unit with within the Department of Mexican American Studies. Building on five years of collaborative faculty and student research on the impacts of immigration enforcement policy on our communities, we look forward to the challenges of the future.

"Taco USA": A talk by “Ask a Mexican” columnist Gustavo Arellano
Gustavo Arellano

“Ask a Mexican” columnist Gustavo Arellano will present his new book Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America at a talk in the Student Union Kiva Room from noon to 1 p.m. on April 16. He will explore the history and culture of Mexican food in the US from the 1880s, to the 1990s when salsa overtook ketchup as this country’s favorite condiment, to the present with billions of dollars in annual sales of Mexican food. Download the flyer for Arellano's talk.

AZ 100 Indie Film Festival
AZ 100 Indie Film Festival

Confluencenter is proud to sponsor the AZ100 Indie Film, an ongoing project designed to showcase the creative work of Arizona filmmakers, with the ultimate goal of establishing an independent film archive. AZ100 Indie Film is a project of the Arizona Media Arts Center (AZMAC) which fosters the appreciation, production and understanding of independent media expression. The films include 33 features and 67 shorts by 93 filmmakers. A selection of these films also will be shown at the Arizona International Film Festival at The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress and Crossroads Festival, 4811 East Grant Road, April 13-29. A weekend-long film festival is planned for the summer. For more information, visit

“Multilingual, 2.0?”

“Multilingual, 2.0?” an International Symposium on Multilingualism, will be held at the UA’s Center for Creative Photography April 13-15. Coming from disciplines as diverse as computational linguistics, anthropology, second language acquisition, comparative literature and translation studies, a body of prominent scholars from around the world will come together in Tucson for a public discussion about what it means to live in more than one language in the 21st century, including all of the emotions, politics, identities, practices, pleasures, and dangers that doing so can involve. More information is available at

6th International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics

The 6th International Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics will be held April 12-14 at the Tucson Marriot University Park, 880 E. Second St. Sponsored by the UA Department of Spanish and Portuguese, it will gather scholars who focus on the sociolinguistics of several monolingual and bilingual zones around the Spanish-speaking world, with special emphasis on the contact of Spanish and English among bilinguals in the US, and on the linguistic consequences of this contact on the formation of US Spanish.
6th International Workshop website

Jose Esteban Munoz

This lecture will explore contemporary “brownness” not simply as a realist or empirical account of Latino/a or migrant experience, but rather as a way of encountering the entire world. Muñoz does so through a discussion of Wildness, a riveting new film by Los Angeles artist Wu Tsang that documents radical queer performance at East L.A.’s Silver Platter--a longstanding Latino gay bar that caters to resident and immigrant communities, and features old-school drag performers as well as young genderqueer artists.
José Esteban Muñoz is Professor of Performance Studies at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, where he teaches courses in comparative ethnic studies, queer theory and critical theory. He is the author or editor of several highly regarded works, including Pop Out: Queer Warhol (1996), Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics (1999), Cruising Utopia: The Here and Now of Queer Futurity (2009) and the forthcoming The Sense of Brown.
See more info about this and other events hosted by the Institute for LGBT Studies.

Marie Darrieussecq

Marie Darrieussecq was was born in 1969 in the Basque Country in France. She graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris and wrote her Ph.D. dissertation on auto-fiction. At the same time, she wrote her first novel Truismes in six weeks (1996, translated in 1997 under the title Pig Tales) which met with immediate worldwide success. Since then, she has published 15 more books with Editions. P.O.L., six of which have been translated into English. Marie Darrieussecq is today a notable figure in the distinguished younger generation of French writers. Contact info: Prof. Alain-Philippe Durand (; 520-621-5664.
Download the flyer for Darrieusecq's talk.

An Evening with Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona, in collaboration with the Confluence Center for Creative Inquiry and the Department of Linguistics, is pleased to present “An Evening with Noam Chomsky: Education for Whom and for What?"” 

Join Noam Chomsky — a world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist — as he discusses the current state of higher education and answers questions from the audience.

Date:   Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Time:  7:00 pm, doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Location: Centennial Hall, The University of Arizona
Cost:  this event is free and open to the public

About The Lecture

How do we characterize the contemporary state of the American education system? What happens to the quality of education when public universities become more privatized? Are public universities in danger of being converted into facilities that produce graduates-as-commodities for the job market? What is the role of activism in education?  These are questions that Chomsky has been concerned with in recent years. With unprecedented tuition increases and budget struggles occurring across American campuses, these are questions that are more relevant than ever.

Video: "What is Special about Language?"

Public Lecture by Gayatri Spivak: "A Borderless World?"
Gayatri Spivak

Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry is bringing Gayatri Spivak, one of the founders of postcolonial and cultural studies, to the University of Arizona. Spivak will kick off her visit with the talk “A Borderless World?”, which will feature her views on globalization and borders, to be followed by a question and answer session. Her talk is co-sponsored by the Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese.

The lecture will be held on Jan. 19, 2012, at 5 p.m. on the University of Arizona campus at Crowder Hall in the School of Music. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public. For more details, navigate to, which will always feature the latest details about any events. You can also subscribe to the organization’s Facebook page or follow them on Twitter if you prefer to receive your updates through social media.

As the question mark in the title “A Borderless World?” suggests, there is no certainty of such a world; yet, Spivak says, it is feasible. While visas and passports might never become obsolete, a seamless world where the walls have been demolished by capital, technology and knowledge of languages is certainly possible. But that possibility also hinges largely on economic justice, and on our ability to dream of a world where nations rethink their loyalty to borders and frontiers.

Full Video of the Lecture


Click here to see a video of the Brown Bag seminar held on January 20th.