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SACRAMENTO– Screening of AGENTS OF CHANGE at the Organization for American Historians Annual Meeting
April 14, 2018 @ 6:00 am – 7:30 am
SACRAMENTO– The Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians will include a film festival featuring California Humanities-supported film AGENTS OF CHANGE which will be followed by a panel including Abby Ginzberg (Co-Producer, Co-Director, Social Action Media) and Frank Dawson (Co-Producer, Co-Director, Santa Monica College). The full line up of screenings can be viewed here. Over the past decade, the release of historical dramas like Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and Ava Duvernay’s Selma have raised important questions about the strengths, limitations, and possibilities of film as a form of historical documentation. Can film as a visual medium convey ideas and information that lie beyond written forms of historical documentation? How do filmmakers draw from history to imagine new futures? How have recent technological shifts in the making and distribution of film transformed the ways artists, historians, and the public engage the past? And lastly, how might historians as teachers better incorporate the diverse forms of film (animation, narrative documentaries, historical dramas) into our pedagogical activities? The OAH’s 2018 conference in Sacramento will explore these and other issues in a series of film screenings, panels, and lectures specifically designed to elicit sustained dialogue and exchange about film as a form of history. Combined with exploring a variety of topics, ranging from the environment to racialized violence to student activism, the selected films showcase multiple aesthetic forms. There are feature length documentaries, as well as animated short films. Since new media along with new interdisciplinary opportunities have rendered film making more accessible, this conference also takes seriously historians’ growing role as creators and producers of art. AGENTS OF CHANGE (film synopsis): From the well-publicized events at San Francisco State in 1968 to the image of black students with guns emerging from the takeover of the student union at Cornell University in April, 1969, the struggle for a more relevant and meaningful education, including demands for black and ethnic studies programs, became a clarion call across the country in the late 1960’s. Through the stories of these young men and women who were at the forefront of these efforts, Agents of Change examines the untold story of the racial conditions on college campuses and in the country that led to these protests. The film’s characters were caught at the crossroads of the civil rights, black power, and anti-Vietnam war movements at a pivotal time in America’s history. Today, over 45 years later, many of the same demands are surfacing in campus protests across the country, revealing how much work remains to be done. Agents of Change links the past to the present and the present to the past–making it not just a movie but a movement. Panelists: • Abby Ginzberg, Social Action Media • Frank Dawson, Santa Monica College Registration for the Annual Meeting: http://www.oah.org/meetings-events/2018/registration/