November 6-8, 2015 · Madison, Wisconsin

Speakers

Schedule Speakers Sponsors

Tales from Planet Earth 2015 was pleased to welcome a tremendous array of speakers from a broad variety of filmmaking, academic, religious, and activist backgrounds. We are grateful to all of them for sharing their insight and enhancing the festival's film offerings.

Peter Boger

Peter Boger
Programming Director, Tales from Planet Earth, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Roots of Heaven, Sunday, November 8, 2015, 1 p.m., Chazen Museum of Art; Merchants of Doubt, Sunday, November 8, 2015, 7:30 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Peter Boger earned his Ph.D. in environmental studies from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and was the primary programmer for Tales from Planet Earth from 2009 to 2015. He first became involved with Tales in 2007, when his student film, In a Badger State of Mind, was one of the festival trailers and later played at the Hazel Wolf Film Festival in Seattle in 2008. In addition to his work on Tales, he has served as a volunteer programmer for the Wisconsin Film Festival and guest curated for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's Rooftop Cinema Series. His research in animal studies and media studies explores the impacts of film and media celebrity on modern American wildlife conservation.


Chuck Cohen

Chuck Cohen
Professor, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Arctic Mosque, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Charles (Chuck) Cohen is the E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Director of the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions. He specializes in colonial British North America, early American religious history, the history of the Woodlands Peoples, 1500-1800, and the braided history of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and received the Allan Nevins Prize of the Society for American Historians for his work on the psychology of Puritan religious experience. Since 2008 he has been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. He has won the Emil Steiger Distinguished Teaching Award and a Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award from UW–Madison. He is currently at work editing an English text of the Qur'an.


Marcy Cravat

Marcy Cravat
Director, Angel Azul
Discussed via Skype Angel Azul, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 3:30 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Marcelina Cravat trained at The Berkeley Digital Film Institute and Art Center College of Design and is recently completed her third documentary, Angel Azul. Making a transition from photography to film came later in life when her love for storytelling motivated her to return to school to pursue a career as a writer/director. Upon graduating she co-founded ARTiDOCs, a small production company specializing in portrait style documentaries on artists. Marcy grew up around Hollywood sets as daughter of character actor Nick Cravat, Burt Lancaster's co-star and circus partner. She currently is preparing to direct Fish Can't Scream, which she wrote while in film school. The award-winning Angel Azul reflects her love for art and for nature.


Suzanne Crocker

Suzanne Crocker
Director, All the Time in the World
Discussed via Skype All the Time in the World, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 11 a.m., UW Cinematheque

Suzanne Crocker is a Yukon-based filmmaker who switched careers from rural family physician to filmmaker in 2009. Her award-winning short film Time Lines (2010) screened at film festivals in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, and was selected for a National Film Board Filmmakers Assistance Grant. Times Lines has been praised for its visual storytelling and its ability to evoke emotion, winning the International Short Film Excellence Award at the Columbia Gorge Festival. All the Time in the World is her feature film directing debut.


John Francis

John Francis
Planetwalker
Discussed Into Great Silence, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 1:30 p.m., Chazen Museum of Art

John Francis is known the world over as the Planetwalker. In 1971, he witnessed an oil spill in San Francisco Bay, which compelled him to stop using motorized vehicles. Several months later, to end the arguments he found himself getting into about the power of one person's actions, he took a vow of silence. His non-motorized lifestyle lasted 22 years and his silence 17. During that time, Francis walked across the United States, earning a B.A at Southern Oregon State College, an M.S. in environmental studies at the University of Montana and a Ph.D. in UW-Madison's Nelson Institute. After graduation, Francis wrote oil spill regulations for the U.S. Coast Guard for a year, before walking the length of South America as a goodwill ambassador to the World's Grassroots Communities for the United Nations Environment Program. He is an education fellow at the National Geographic Society and the author of Planetwalker and The Ragged Edge of Silence: Finding Peace in a Noisy World.


Anna Gade

Anna Gade
Professor, Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Sepideh -- Reaching for the Stars, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 4 p.m., UW Cinematheque

Dr. Anna M. Gade is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Chicago with a doctorate in the History of Religions, specializing in Islam. Her research explains global cultural, historical and religious responses to environmental change, specializing in history, knowledge and practices of Southeast Asia. This project and ones before it have been based on extensive fieldwork in Indonesia and elsewhere in in the region, such as Cambodia and Malaysia. Her previous published work emphasizes theory and method in the academic study of religion and Islamic Studies. She teaches academic courses on Islam, the study of global religion, Asian Studies, and comparative environmental ethics and environmental studies from a humanistic perspective. She is currently completing a book manuscript, Islam and the Environment. She is also beginning new field-based research on religion, culture and resources in Ambon, Indonesia. She is Co-Chair of the Qur'an Group of the American Academy of Religion, and has authored two books dedicated to understanding the Arabic Qur'an with respect to diverse Muslim perspectives worldwide.


Peter Galison

Peter Galison
Director, Containment
Discussed via Skype Containment, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7 p.m., UW Cinematheque

Peter Galison is a professor of History of Science at Harvard University and director of its Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments. Galison's main work explores the complex interaction between the three principal subcultures of twentieth century physics--experimentation, instrumentation, and theory. In addition, Galison has launched several projects examining the powerful cross-currents between science and other fields, such as in his book (with Lorraine Daston), Objectivity (2007), asking how visual representation shaped the concept of scientific objectivity, and how atlases of scientific images continue, even today, to rework what counts as right depiction. He is director of three films -- Ultimate Weapon, Secrecy, and Containment, the latter about the debate on how and where to bury nuclear materials.


W. Nathan Green

W. Nathan Green
Ph.D. Candidate, Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced I Am Chut Wutty, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 4 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Nathan Green is a graduate student in geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include hydropower development, the history of antimalarial drug resistance, and agrarian change in Cambodia and Southeast Asia more broadly. For his dissertation, he plans to study how microfinance and new financial technologies (e.g. mobile banking) are changing rural land relations in southern Cambodia, where he lived and worked as a Peace Corps volunteer (2009-2011).


Rachel Gross

Rachel Gross
Ph.D. Candidate, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced The Wild Life and All the Time in the World, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 11 a.m., UW Cinematheque

Rachel Gross is a graduate student in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work on the consumer culture of outdoor recreation builds on her master's thesis "Synthetic Wilderness: Gore-Tex and the Paths to Mastery in Outdoor Recreation." The thesis examined the evolution of synthetic clothing and gear in wilderness recreation in the 1970s and 1980s. Her dissertation shows how the process of selecting and purchasing outdoor clothing and gear has become central to the outdoor recreational experience since the late nineteenth century. What to buy has raised question about the role of technology in nature, who is an authority about nature experiences, and how to get back to nature the right way. Wilderness might seem far removed from consumption, but the marketplace of outdoor recreation was nonetheless persistently intertwined with the search for authentic wilderness experiences. Her work explores how Americans have struggled with that tension.


Katharine Hayhoe

Katharine Hayhoe
Director, Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University
Participated in Opening Night Roundtable, Friday, November 6, 2015, 7 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South; Spoke on Climate Change and Religion, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7 p.m., UpperHouse

Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist, communicator, and educator. An associate professor of political science, she is also the director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. Her research focuses on establishing a scientific basis for assessing regional to local-scale impacts of climate change on human systems and the natural environment. She is also founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, which aims to bridge the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant, state-of-the-art information on how climate change broadly will affect our lives. She has led climate impact assessments for a broad cross-section of cities and regions from Chicago to California. She also serves as a scientific advisor to the Citizen's Climate Lobby, the EcoAmerica MomentUS project, the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, the Evangelical Environmental Network, and the International Women's Earth and Climate Initiative. She is the co-author of A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions and has been named one of Christianity Today's 50 Women to Watch as well as Time's 100 Most Influential People.


Elizabeth Hennessy

Elizabeth Hennessy
Assistant Professor, History and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Anima Mundi, Still Life, and Killers in Eden, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 11 a.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Elizabeth Hennessy is an Assistant Professor of World Environmental History in the History Department and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She is also affiliated with the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies program (LACIS). Trained as a geographer, she works at the intersection of political ecology, science and technologies studies, animal studies, and environmental history. Her main research project focuses on the most iconic species of the Galápagos Islands, giant tortoises, to trace intertwined transnational histories of capitalist development, evolutionary science, and conservation in the archipelago. She teaches courses on both global and Latin American environmental history as well as the role of animals in world history.


Linda Hogle

Linda Hogle
Professor, Medical Social Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced NoBody's Perfect, Saturday, November 7, 2015, Noon, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Linda F. Hogle is a professor of medical social sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on stem cell and tissue engineering policy and ethics; socio-cultural, political and ethical issues in emerging biomedical engineering technologies; and transnational issues in governance of novel technologies. She is the author of Recovering the Nation's Body: Cultural Memory, Medicine, and the Politics of Redemption (Rutgers University Press, 1999) and editor of Regenerative Medicine Ethics: Governing Research and Knowledge Practices (Springer, 2014). She is a former director of the Robert F. & Jean E. Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies.


Tracey Holloway

Tracey Holloway
Professor, Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Unogumbe and Sun Come Up, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 8:30 p.m., UpperHouse

Tracey Holloway is a professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She leads an air quality research program in the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE). Holloway's research employs computer models and satellite data to understand links between regional air quality, energy, and climate. Holloway has joint appointments in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS), and Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), and advises students in the Nelson Institute, AOS, and CEE. She earned her Ph.D. in AOS from Princeton University in 2001, and completed a certificate in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She is deputy director of the NASA Air Quality Applied Sciences Team, a 2016-2017 AAAS Leshner Leadership Fellow and a 2011 Leopold Fellow, with research supported by NASA, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Depart of Transportation through the National Center for Freight Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE).


Armando Ibarra

Armando Ibarra
Assistant Professor, School for Workers, University of Wisconsin-Extension
Introduced Cesar's Last Fast, Friday, November 6, 2015, 9 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Armando Ibarra is an assistant professor in the School for Workers in the University of Wisconsin-Extension. His research and fields of specialization include Chicano/a Latino/a working communities, adult education on issues of diversity in the workplace, international labor migration, leadership development, organizing workplaces, and applied research. He is the author of Man on Fire: Selected Writings of Ernesto Galarza (2013), The Latino Question: Capital, Critique, and Alternate Futures (2015), and the forthcoming Poverty in the Valley of Plenty: Mexican Families, Migration, and Work in America.


Judd Kinzley

Judd Kinzley
Assistant Professor, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Discussed Under the Dome, Sunday, November 8, 2015, 1 p.m., UW Cinematheque

Judd Kinzley is a historian of modern Chinese history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with research and teaching interests that include environmental history, state power, industrial development, and wartime mobilization. His research tends to center around understanding the connections that exist between state power and the natural world in various Chinese peripheral and border regions. He is currently working on a manuscript on mining and the extension of the Chinese state into Xinjiang province in China's far west during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


Fran Lambrick

Fran Lambrick
Co-Director, I Am Chut Wutty
Discussed I Am Chut Wutty, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 4 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Fran Lambrick is the co-director of I Am Chut Wutty, a work-in-progress film about a murdered Cambodian forest activist. She is completing her doctorate in ethnobiology at Oxford University and has been working in Cambodia studying community forestry for the last four years. Some key words she uses to describe her work include: sticky, spikey, green, confusing, intriguing, sa'art (a Khmer word meaning beautiful), depressing (sometimes), and inspiring (other times). She became interested in ethnobiology because she has always been intrigued by peoples' relationship to the natural world, with her past educational background having focused both on animal behaviour and on the philosophy of environmental education.


Patty Loew

Patty Loew
Professor, Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Discussed In the Light of Reverence, Sunday, November 8, 2015, 1 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Patty Loew is a Professor in the Department of Life Science Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also works as a producer for WHA-TV (PBS) and as co-host of In Wisconsin, a weekly news and public affairs program that airs statewide on Wisconsin Public Television. Her interests lie in television documentary production and Native American media, particularly how indigenous people use the media to form identity, reconstruct the past, and assert their sovereignty and treaty rights. She has authored two books -- Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal and Native People of Wisconsin, a social studies text for elementary school children. She has produced the PBS documentary, Way of the Warrior, which examines the role and cultural meaning of Native American military service in the 20th Century. She is an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe.


Mouna Mana-Hannouchi

Mouna Mana-Hannouchi
Researcher, Arabic Language Education
Discussed Atlantic, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 9:15 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Mouna Mana-Hannouchi is an Arabic language education specialist and researcher. She conducts research on language education and assessment and develops Arabic teaching material. She received her Ph.D. in Foreign Language & Literacy from UCLA. She has served as a leader of the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions' Exchanges on Religions in America.


Cathy Middlecamp

Cathy Middlecamp
Professor, Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Babushkas of Chernobyl, Sunday, November 8, 2015, 5:30 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Cathy Middlecamp's work lies at the the intersection of science, people, and the planet. Her scholarship centers on designing, teaching, and assessing courses that connect chemistry to topics such as radioactivity, air quality, and climate change. Middlecamp serves as the editor-in-chief of Chemistry in Context, a 25-year national curriculum project of the American Chemical Society that engages undergraduate students in learning chemistry in the context of real-world issues. She is a fellow of the Association for Women in Science (2003), American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004), and the American Chemical Society (2009) and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Cornell University (1971).


Felipe Milanez

Felipe Milanez
Director, Toxic: Amazon
Discussed Toxic: Amazon, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 2 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Felipe Milanez is a doctoral candidate and junior researcher at Centro de Estudos Sociais of the University of Coimbra, Portugal. His current research focuses on violence, institutions and cultures in the Amazon. He holds a Master's degree in political science by the Universitè des Sciences Sociales Toulouse. He has worked as a specialized journalist in the Amazon for 7 years as editor of Brasil Indígena, the official magazine of Brazil's indian agency FUNAI, and as editor of National Geographic Brasil. He has also worked as an independent journalist, listening to the most vulnerable people of the forest and telling their stories, raising the public awareness about the reality of the Amazon and its destruction.


Gregg Mitman

Gregg Mitman
Professor, History of Science, Medical History, and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Moderated Opening Roundtable, Friday, November 6, 2015, 7 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South; Introduced Koyaanisqatsi, Saturday, November 7, 1 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Gregg Mitman is William Coleman Professor of History of Science and Professor of Medical History and Science & Technology Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. His research and teaching interests span the history of ecology, nature, and health in twentieth-century America across scientific and popular culture. He is the author of The State of Nature: Ecology and American Social Thought, 1900-1950 (1992), Reel Nature: America's Romance with Wildlife on Film (1999), and Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes (2007). He has written extensively on nature and film, and served as the interim director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies from 2008 to 2012.


Robb Moss

Robb Moss
Senior Lecturer, Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University
Discussed Containment, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7 p.m., UW Cinematheque

Robb Moss is a senior lecturer in Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, as well as an accomplished filmmaker. His film Secrecy (co-directed with Peter Galison), explored the issues of maintaining government secrets in a democratic society and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, with subsequent screenings at festivals in Tribeca, San Francisco, Austin (SXSW), Boston, Nantucket, Philadelphia, Palm Beach, Ashland, Croatia, Warsaw, Rio de Janeiro, and Vancouver. As a cinematographer, he has shot films in Japan, Ethiopia, Turkey, Liberia, The Gambia, and Mexico on such topics as famine and the large-scale structure of the universe. He was on the documentary jury at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and the 2005 Denver and Chicago International Film Festivals, and has thrice served as a creative adviser for the Sundance Institute Documentary Labs.


Eric Nost

Eric Nost
Ph.D. Candidate, Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced The Great Invisible, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 9:15 p.m., UW Cinematheque

Eric Nost is a graduate student in geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research describes how technology - from interactive webmaps to sediment diversions and environmental modelling tools - shapes how regulators, non-profit conservationist groups, and the private sector design and evaluate ecological restoration and climate adaptation projects. He is currently looking at efforts to plan coastal restoration in Louisiana following decades of land loss, focusing on questions about: nature's (economic) value; the intransigence and resilience of ecosystems; how technology mediates science and policy; the purpose of environmental law and the pursuit of environmental justice.


Brad Paul

Brad Paul
Fellow, Land Tenure Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Toxic Amazon, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 2 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Brad Paul is a social and economic development researcher specializing in work culture and the impact of private and public sector investment on community change. For TechnoServe Mozambique he authored numerous studies on labor, community and economic development. His writings have appeared in such publications as Clearinghouse Review, Ms. Magazine, International Union Rights, and the Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working Class History. He is currently a fellow with the Land Tenure Center in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison through which is he also associated with the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. Brad earned his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where his research focused on U.S. and comparative labor and industrialization in the American South and South Africa.


Nilufer Rahman

Nilufer Rahman
Co-Director, Arctic Mosque
Discussed Arctic Mosque, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Nilufer Rahman works as a photographer, videographer, writer, director, and producer. Her first short film called Foreign Film, a comedy about misunderstandings that emerge amongst a group of culturally diverse moviegoers, was completed as part of the Digital Film Production program at Langara College in Vancouver. It was accepted into five film festivals in Canada and the US. Nilufer won the People's Choice Award in 2007 and First Prize in 2008 for her photography at MuslimFest, an annual art exhibition in Toronto. During the summer of 2007, she interned on the set of CBC's hit television sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie. Nilufer has a master's degree in History from the University of Manitoba, and a Diploma in Photography from Prairie View School of Photography in Winnipeg.


Saira Rahman

Saira Rahman
Co-Director, Arctic Mosque
Discussed Arctic Mosque, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Saira Rahman was a teacher and principal before pursuing filmmaking. She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Education. In 2003, she was invited by producer friends, Michael Milo and Flordeliza Dayrit of Milo Productions, to research and write a 3-part documentary series about Muslim Canadians called A New Life in a New Land, which aired across Canada. Saira completed the Digital Film Production program at Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2009. Grad Day, her graduation short film, was accepted by several festivals in Canada, the UK, and India. Saira received a "Rising Star" award at the Canada International Film Festival in Vancouver in January 2011.


Godfrey Reggio

Godfrey Reggio
Director, Koyaanisqatsi and Anima Mundi
Participated in Opening Roundtable, Friday, November 6, 2015, 7 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South; Discussing Koyaanisqatsi, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 1 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Godfrey Reggio is an inventor of a film style that creates poetic images of extraordinary emotional impact about the clash between modern society and the natural world. He is most prominently known for his Qatsi trilogy of films, the first of which -- Koyaanisqatsi -- was voted onto the National Film Registry in 2000. Born in New Orleans in 1940 and raised in Louisiana, Reggio spent 14 years in a Roman Catholic religious order of men (the Christian Brothers) —- living in community, dedicated to prayer, study, and teaching -- before becoming a filmmaker. Based in New Mexico during the 1960s, Reggio co-founded Young Citizens for Action, a community organization project of juvenile street gangs. Following this, he co-founded La Clinica de la Gente, a Santa Fe community medical clinic, and La Gente, a community organizing project in the barrios of Santa Fe.


Ulrich Rosenhagen

Ulrich Rosenhagen
Associate Director, Lubar Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Lazy Lama and Walking the Camino, Sunday, November 8, 2015, 3:30 p.m., UW Cinematheque

Ulrich Rosenhagen is Associate Director of the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions and Lecturer in Religious Studies at UW-Madison. He is an ordained pastor, originally in the Evangelische Kirche von Kurhessen-Waldeck and now in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in 2012. A revised version of his dissertation on religious communication during the American Revolution was published in 2015 as Brudermord, Freiheitsdrang, Weltenrichter: Religi&oumo;se Kommunikation und öffentliche Theologie in der amerikanischen Revolutionsepoche [Fratricide, Desire for Freedom, Judge of the World: Religious Communication and Public Theology during the American Revolution] with Walter de Gruyter, Berlin. He was a researcher at the Technical University of Dresden, has held a research fellowship at Boston University, and has published papers on Jewish-Christian Relations and 19th- and 20th-Century Social Protestantism. His next book project is an intellectual biography of the liberal theologian Rudolf Otto.


Damon Sajnani

Damon Sajnani
Assistant Professor, African Languages and Literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced May Allah Bless France!, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 9:15 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Damon Sajnani, a.k.a. "ProfessorD.us" (pronounced Professor D dot U.S.) is an accomplished HipHop artist and a professor in the African Literature and Languages program at UW-Madison. He received his Ph.D. in African American Studies from Northwestern University. As leader of The Dope Poet Society, one of Canada's top selling independent HipHop acts, he has toured worldwide and released four critically acclaimed CDs, including his latest, "THIRD WORLD WARriors." His writing and research concerns race, neo/colonialism, geopolitics, and popular culture. He is the winner of the Inaugural Nasir Jones HipHop Fellowship at the DuBois Institute at Harvard where he completed his dissertation on the politics of HipHop in Senegal.


Raluca Scarlat

Raluca Scarlat
Assistant Professor, Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Containment, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7 p.m., UW Cinematheque

Raluca Scarlat is an assistant professor at UW Madison in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics. She has a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from UC Berkeley, and a B.S. in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Cornell University. Prior to her doctoral studies she has worked for GE and ExxonMobil. In 2011, she advised for Hitachi-GE, in Japan, on post-Fukushima changes to severe accident guidelines for the Japanese fleet of reactors. She has published articles in Nuclear Engineering and Design, Nuclear Instruments and Methods, Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, and Progress in Nuclear Energy. Her research interests are in the area of heat and mass transport, reactor safety and design, and engineering ethics.


Simone Schweber

Simone Schweber
Associate Professor, Education and Jewish Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Transit, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Simone Schweber is the Judith B. and Michael S. Goodman Professor of Education and Jewish Studies and the director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches courses on social studies methods, qualitative research, religion and public education as well as Holocaust history, theory and representation, and American Jewish identity. She is the author of Making Sense of the Holocaust: Lessons from Classroom Practice (2004), Teaching the Holocaust (2007), and the forthcoming Mystifying History: Holocaust Narratives in Fundamentalist Schools.


Marc Silberman

Marc Silberman
Professor, German, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Edge of Heaven, Sunday November 8, 2015, 1 p.m.; Polluting Paradise, Sunday, November 8, 2015, 3:30 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Marc Silberman, professor of German and director of the Center for German and European Studies, joined the UW faculty in 1988. He teaches twentieth-century Germany with special emphasis on postwar issues (east and west) as well as courses in the film studies program (Communications Arts). He is an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Theater and Drama and also sits on the steering committee of the UW Havens Center for the Study of Social Structure and Social Change. His research and publications cover three related fields: the history of German cinema, Bertolt Brecht and the tradition of political theater, and East German literature and culture. He edited the Brecht Yearbook from 1990-1995 and is also active as a translator of German literary texts.


Bron Taylor

Bron Taylor
Professor, Religion and Nature, University of Florida
Discussed Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Sunday, November 8, 2015, 3:30 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Bron Taylor is a Professor of Religion and Nature at the University of Florida and has also been an Affiliated Scholar with the Center for Environment and Development at the University of Oslo. He works principally in the areas of religion and ecology, environmental ethics and environmental philosophy. He is also a prominent historian and ethnographer of environmentalism and especially radical environmentalist movements, surfing culture, and nature-based spiritualities. Taylor is Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature and subsequently founded the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, serving as its President from 2006-2009. He also founded the Society's affiliated Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, serving as its editor since 2007.


Alberto Vargas

Alberto Vargas
Associate Director, Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies (LACIS) Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Introduced Angel Azul, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 3:30 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Alberto M. Vargas has extensive training and work experience in the institutional, social and technical aspects of community-based natural resource management and the conservation of natural resources. In the past 20 years, Alberto's consulting has engaged him in work in Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico working for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Federal Environmental Attorney's Office of the Mexican Government, the International Institute for Environment and Development, the Inter American Development Bank, the World Wildlife Fund-U.S., the Overseas Development Authority, the National Wildlife Federation, the Integral Institute, and the UW-Madison Land Tenure Center. In the early 1980s, Alberto helped found the Centro de Investigaciones de Quintana Roo (CIQRO), an eco-development research center in the Mexican Caribbean, a region rich in natural resources that is dominated economically by tourism. He has been an Honorary Fellow with the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies since 1998.


Mike Wiggins

Mike Wiggins, Jr.
Chairman, Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Ojibwe
Discussed In the Light of Reverence, Sunday, November 8, 2015, 1 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Mike Wiggins, Jr., serves as Chairman of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. Raised on the Bad River Reservation, he learned how hunting, fishing and harvesting were essential to the Tribe's cultural and spiritual traditions and why the Tribe's ceded territory rights were important to protect for this generation and the next. He has been a moving voice and strong leader in defending the rights of the Ojibwe as they've sought to protect their sacred and sovereign lands from a proposed taconite iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin.


Youcai Yang

Youcai Yang
Chairman of the Board, Youcai, Inc.
Introduced Butter Lamp, Saturday, November 7, 2015, 7 p.m., The Marquee Theater at Union South

Youcai Yang is the Chairman of the Board of Youcai, Inc., a creative professional company that provides TV commercials, film productions and investment and co-Production. Its short film Butter Lamp was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2015 Academy Awards. Additionally, Yang is a Ph.D. student studying experimental psychology, neuroscience, and cognition at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.