Visions & Voices Fall 2020

Exposition Rose Garden



Theme Guides to selected programs from the Fall 2020 Visions & Voices program were created in partnership with USC Libraries faculty and staff.

Look for recommended books and readings on the people, performances and topics covered by these events.

Visit the current season of: USC Visions and Voices

Events are listed in ascending order.

Image source: Rose garden, Exposition Park, taken by Melissa Miller

Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle: Screening and Discussion with Director Phillip Rodriguez (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Monday, August 31, 2020 at 7 p.m.

Location: Virtual Event

USC Libraries Contributors: Barbara Robinson and Tyson Gaskill

V&V Event Details:

Event Description: In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium and killing of Mexican-American journalist Ruben Salazar, we will present a screening and discussion of Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle, produced and directed by Phillip Rodriguez. Man in the Middle explores Salazar's transformation from a mainstream, middle-of-the-road reporter to a supporter and primary chronicler of the radical Chicano movement of the late 1960s. The film features interviews with Salazar's friends, colleagues, and family members, and draws considerably from primary sources held by the USC Libraries Special Collections.

Killed under mysterious circumstances by a law enforcement officer on August 29, 1970, while covering the Chicano Moratorium, Salazar became an instant martyr to the Latino community—which had often criticized his reporting during his lifetime. Adding to Salazar’s mystique, details of his death were obscured for four decades. Man in the Middle removes Salazar from the glare of myth and martyrdom, and offers a clear-eyed look at the civil rights activist and reporter. 

Rodriguez will introduce the documentary and answer questions afterward. This event is being presented as a precursor to next spring's performance, Inflammatory Literature: The Legacy of American Journalist Ruben Salazar.

Sweet and Salty: A Conversation with Asian American Women Chefs (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Location: Virtual Event

USC Libraries Contributor: Kelsey Vukic

V&V Event Details:

Event Description: Join a wide-ranging food conversation and cooking demonstration with L.A.-based chefs Cecilia LeungIsa Fabro, and Sonoko Sakai, moderated by journalist Jean Trinh. In addition to discussing the cross-cultural aspects of culinary culture, the chefs will explore the impact of cooking on identity and memory. So many of our memories and cultural traditions are connected to food and cooking—often done by our mothers and grandmothers, while most of the professional cooking world is dominated by men. This conversation will feature women who are combining an appreciation for tradition and their cultural backgrounds with creativity and innovation as professional chefs gaining attention in Los Angeles.

Following the conversation, Chef Cecilia will teach you how to whip up some delicious homemade wontons. Be sure to come hungry and stay tuned for this tasty interactive cooking segment!

Cecilia Leung grew up in a Cantonese restaurant family, but was banished from the kitchen by her chef father. Yet she watched, taught herself how to bake and cook, and is formerly the executive chef at Little Flower Cafe and Lincoln, both in Pasadena, CA.

Isa Fabro is a critically acclaimed Los Angeles–based chef known for her pop-ups and Filipino-inspired dishes that have helped create an ongoing dialogue in the Filipino food movement. Her company IsaMADE showcases a varied repertoire of projects with creative industries, allowing for a cultural and gastronomic exchange of ideas.

For more than twenty years, Sonoko Sakai worked in the film industry as a film buyer and producer traveling around the world while freelancing as a food writer. In 2009, Sonoko decided to leave the film industry. She went back to Japan to study noodle making as a way to restore her energy and fell in love with soba, and the rest is history.

Jean Trinh (moderator) is an award-winning Los Angeles–based journalist whose work has appeared in VICE, Los Angeles Magazine, Eater LA, and KCRW’s Good Food. She writes about L.A.’s food scene, culture, and history, and was formerly the deputy editor at LAist.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by the USC Pacific Asia Museum. Co-sponsored by Asian Pacific American Student Services.

Cartography of Poets: Maps, Archives, and Locating the Poetic (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. (panel discussion)

Location: Virtual Event and will be live streamed.

USC Libraries Contributor: Ruth Wallach

V&V Event Details:

Event Description: The USC Libraries are home to archives of California poets who have influenced literary art around the globe. Some have taken inspiration from California’s geology and geography, some from its diversity of communities, and others from the regional interplay of formal poetic structures and experimental techniques. All embody aspects of California-ness that are present in the archives. Join California poets Dana Gioia, Garrett Hongo, Robin Coste LewisLuis J. RodriguezDavid St. John, and Gail Wronsky for an evening of intrepid explorations of historical and contemporary California poets and poetry, followed by a conversation about how history and place—literal and figurative—shape the poetic experience.

Following the panel discussion, the Cartography of Poets Workshop will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Workshop details and to RSVP:

Workshop Description: Participants will use the digital- and physical-making technology of the Ahmanson Lab and the USC Libraries’ archival collections to explore the poetic landscape of California and the West.

Politics and Policies: Fighting for the Health and Well-Being of Children at the Border: A Lecture by Colleen Kraft, MD, MBA (Theme Guide PDF)

The Medical Humanities, Arts, and Ethics Series

Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 12 pm

Location: Virtual Event and will be live streamed

USC Libraries Contributor: Eimmy Solis

V&V Event Details:

Event Description: Colleen Kraft is clinical professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, attending physician at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. An advocate for the humane treatment of migrant children at the border, Kraft’s work on the damage to young children caused by the “zero tolerance” policy, which included separation of children from parents, has helped mobilize people across the political spectrum to end this policy. 

Kraft will discuss the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the fight for the rights and health of children throughout the world. Since a landmark 1998 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, research has confirmed the relationship between adversity in childhood and higher levels of morbidity and mortality in adulthood, and uncovered the connections between the two at molecular, behavioral, and societal levels. The devastating effects of emotional trauma and toxic stress in children are nowhere more evident than in the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Be sure to check the V&V Event Details page for related events in this series.

The Intersection: Woke Black Folk  - A Performance by Funmilola Fagbamila (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Location: Virtual Event and will be live streamed

USC Libraries Contributor: Christy Kane

V&V Event Details: 

Event Description: Scholar, activist, playwright, artist, and one of the original organizers of Black Lives Matter Funmilola Fagbamila will perform The Intersection: Woke Black Folk, her acclaimed one-woman stage play about the complexities of Black political identity and how humans navigate difference. The Intersection premiered at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles in 2018 and has toured across the Netherlands, England, France, and Brazil. The performance will be followed by a conversation with Fagbamila led by award-winning photojournalist, producer, author, and USC professor Miki Turner.

Kristina Wong for Public Office: Live from Her Home! - A Performance by Kristina Wong (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Friday, October 23, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual Event and will be live streamed

USC Libraries Contributor: Christina Snider

V&V Event Details:

Event Description: Performance artist, comedian, and elected representative, Kristina Wong is taking her raucous campaign online to arouse civic engagement and counter-hijack our democracy! An actual elected representative of Koreatown in Los Angeles, she was once a scrappy performance artist with a bright future in reality television. Now, the political system she used to ridicule is the one she’s become! Is she more effective as a performance artist or a politician? Is there actually a difference between performance art and politics? Can she abolish ICE?!

This interactive comedic performance mashes up campaign rallies, church revivals, and solo theatre shows to uncover the history of voting, what it means to run for local office, and the impact artists can have on democracy. Originally built to tour alongside the rallies leading up to the 2020 Presidential election against a charming hand-sewn felt set she sewed herself, this rally is now being broadcast live from her home to yours!

Want a Zoom screenshot with a real-life elected official? This rally will be followed by a candidate “Meet & Greet” with Kristina!

An Evening with Chuck D of Public Enemy: A USC AMPLIFIED Event (Theme Guide PDF)

Date: Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 6 p.m.

Location: Virtual Event and will be live streamed

USC Libraries Contributor: Andrew Justice

V&V Event Details:

Event Description: There are few artists who possess as sophisticated an understanding of the music business, the entertainment industry, and racial politics in America as Chuck D,  the leader and co-founder of the legendary rap group Public Enemy, author of two critically acclaimed books, political activist, publisher, radio host, and producer.  In a powerful discussion moderated by USC professor Allissa V. Richardson, he will share his experiences, observations, and advice, addressing politics, rap and soul music, race, technology, and more.