Janice Levy, professor in the Department of Cinema, Photography, and Media Arts, will serve as the keynote speaker at the 18th annual Julia Reinstein Symposium at Elmira College. The presentation is funded by the Elmira College Women’s Studies Program and the Elmira College Arts and Lectures Committee and will take place Monday, January 30, 2012 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm at Gibson Theatre at Elmira College.
When Professor Janice Levy was invited to spend the 2010-2011 sabbatical year teaching photography to women at Princess Nora Bint Abdulraham University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, she couldn’t possibly anticipate how transformative the experience would be for her and her Saudi students. Being in a nation where culture, custom, and religion, dictates every aspect of daily life was fascinating and extremely challenging. Levy learned first-hand what women thought about wearing the mandatory long black cloak and veil called an abaya and niqab. She spoke to women about restrictions on their movement – women are forbidden to drive and must be accompanied by a male guardian when traveling. For many, full participation in public life is not an option.
In her presentation, Professor Levy will recount her experiences of living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and teaching photography in a country that, until 2006, had banned photographing in public places. She will also show her work, talk about the difficulties she encountered while photographing in Riyadh, and share some of the extraordinary photographs made by her students.
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