Critical Encounters Series

Conceived and organized by Prof. Anne A. Cheng:
Sponsored by Department of English and Center for African American Studies

Critical Encounters brings together likely minds from unlikely disciplines in a series of open dialogue before an audience of campus community and the public.

The series promotes reflections and debates concerning race, cross-cultural translation, and issues of social justice at the intersection of art, theory, culture, and politics.  In bringing together dynamic artists and thinkers from disciplines that do not traditionally talk to one another who nonetheless share similar preoccupations, this series of dialogues aims to provide opportunities for unexpected, synergistic exchanges.  The artists, filmmakers, lawyers, philosophers, and scholars featured in these dialogues demonstrate the intimate and productive relationship that can exist between modes of research and creativity.  The programming has exemplified the excitement of forging a common strand between theory and art, as well as at times between the humanities and the sciences.


List of Programs

  • April 26, 2016

    Program will include a screening of filmmaker S. Leo Chiang's new documentary, entitled OUT RUN.

  • April 07, 2014

    Reading by poet, Tan Lin, followed with conversation between graphic artist and inaugural Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at the Lewis Center for the Arts, Danielle Aubert and Professor Anne Cheng.

    Click here to see a video recording of the program.

  • April 03, 2014

    A historical reenactment created by and moderated by The Honorable Judge Denny Chin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, returns to collaborate with Princeton student readers on the re-enactment of a 19th-century immigration case (Chy Lung v. Freeman, 1876) that still resonates with heated issues today about immigration reform, state vs. federal power, racial profiling. Directed by R.N. Sandberg.

    Click here to see a video recording of the program.

  • November 18, 2013

    Screening of feature film Lovelace, followed by a conversation between co-director Jeffrey Friedman and Prof. Jill Dolan on the fraught relationship and history between pornography and feminism.  Co-sponsored by the Committee on Film Studies and the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies.

    Film screening with conversation with Friedman to follow.

  • October 17, 2013

    Conversation between experimental filmmaker Alex Rivera and Prof. Carlos Decena of Rutgers University on borders, film, and politics.  Co-sponsored by the Certificate in Latino Studies.

  • March 26, 2013

    A panel on food, writing, and the intimacies this interaction engenders, featuring Frank Bruni, food writer from the New York Times; Leonard Barkan, professor and food writer; Chef Chris Albrecht of Eno Terra Restaurant in Kingston; Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune Restaurant in NYC and author of Blood, Bones, and Butter; and Chef Anita Lo of Anissa Restaurant in NYC and author of Cooking Without Bounds.

  • October 04, 2012

    A dramatic reading, directed by Prof. Robert Sandberg and featuring Princeton undergraduates, of the new play by master playwright Philip Kan Gotanda.  The play explores the extraordinary lives of the Bunker Twins, the original “Siamese Twins.”  The reading was followed by a conversation with the playwright himself.

  • April 03, 2012

    A cross-ethnic dialogue on the challenges of negotiating racial politics in experimental arts between Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, playwrightand the founder and artistic director of the Fulcrum Theater, and Young Jean Lee, playwright, founder and Artistic Director of Young Jean Lee’s  Theater Company.  Co-sponsored by the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies.

  • April 28, 2011

    Avant-garde filmmaker Silvia Kolbowski converses with feminist/psychoanalytic critic Emily Apter on the confluences of trauma,  human rights, and the politics of aesthetics.  Co-sponsored by the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies.

  • October 17, 2010

    Filmmaker Isaac Julien screens two new films: one reflects on the social and political changes of contemporary Shanghai and their impact on the environment; the other on the relation between humanity and nature in an instance of disaster.  Followed by a conversation Julien and literary critic Eduardo Cadava on memory and forgetting, politics and aesthetics, reading between the East and the West.  Co-sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Creative Arts.