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rgilm3@uis.edu
 

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UIS to host new series examining "political art"

September 15, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield will host Political Art and the Public Sphere, a new series of monthly events that will be held on the UIS campus. Programs in the series will be presented free and are open to the public.

Series facilitator Richard Gilman-Opalsky, assistant professor of political philosophy, explained that each program will feature a showing of some kind of "political art," such as a film, piece of music, or visual artwork. After the showing, Gilman-Opalsky or the artist will lead a discussion about the issues it raises and in what ways the featured piece of art could influence people’s political thinking or discussions.

"Music vs. Military," by Eric Drooker

Gilman-Opalsky, whose recent research focuses on theories of the public sphere, noted that the inspiration behind the series is film director and author Alexander Kluge's statement, "The public sphere is the site where struggles are decided by other means than war."

"Public spheres are the spaces in society where people come together to communicate, to evaluate, and to circulate ideas and arguments," said Gilman-Opalsky. "They are the places where new political discourses are generated and where people consider and form a collective opinion and a collective political will. Ultimately and ideally, the public sphere brings the interests and demands of the public to bear on those who hold power."

He continued, "The basic concept of the PAPS series is to consider the ways that 'art' raises provocative social and political questions, how it influences, or may influence, public debate on important issues."

The series will begin Thursday, September 28, with "The Weather Underground," a documentary about the 1960s radical group that rioted and bombed in hopes that their actions would spark a revolution. The film will be shown at 6 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium and will be followed with a discussion about political violence.

For more information, contact Gilman-Opalsky by phone at 206-8328 or by e-mail at rgilm3@uis.edu.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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