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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Kylee Roberts at 12:11PM
From L-R: Dr. Asma Barlas, Professor Suh-Gee Gage, Dr. Crystal Peebles, Professor Maria Mejia Yepes and Provost Cornish

“How do we move forward from disruptions?”

Ithaca College Provost, Dr. La Jerne Cornish, prompted the Faculty Research Forum audience with this question: Welcoming students and faculty to critically think about all that we learn this week.

On Monday, April 1, Klingenstein Lounge was packed by Ithaca College students and faculty to hear the first Faculty Research Forum: A panel of professors conducting research outside of their typical school days.

The panel featuring Dr. Asma Barlas, Dr. Carlos Figueroa, Dr. Crystal Peebles, and Professor Maria Mejia Yepes briefly reviewed their research which overarchingly exhibited the nuances of disruptions in various lives and groups of people.

Dr. Barlas, a politics professor and founding director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity (CSCRE) up about how her research has been influenced by or affected her life.

“My whole life is described by dislocations and disruptions,” Dr. Barlas said in her introduction. This quote became the perfect precursor to my FLEFF 2019 experience.

Similarly to the courses she has taught, work has focused on Islam, precise readings of the Quran and the patriarchy.

“God is unlike any creation,” Dr. Barlas told us, in that they should be un-gendered, even though the idea has been patriarchal in several different religions. In fact, according to Barlas 0.01% of the Quran text says men are valued higher than woman.

Last semester I had the honor of taking the Politics of Identity course with Dr. Barlas, in which she constantly motivated us to challenge each other. A member of the crowd asked how we can further challenging dialogues of disruptions.

“People are afraid of dialogue,” Barlas said. In reference to her work, Dr. Barlas has observed that opening up conversations which spotlight certain lives can also be damaging to those highlighted people.

Dr. Crystal Peebles quoted Carolyn Shaw, a classical violinist, saying music can transcend conversation. Dr. Peebles research has focused on music that has disrupted the classical norms.

For example, she referenced Kendrick Lamar who was the first rapper to become a Pulitzer Prize winner for his album DAMN. Dr. Peebles explained this as the first time academic musicians accredited modern sounds, exemplifying disruption in culture.

In consensus, the forum agreed Ithaca, New York is a place where everyone can enact change. It is a place where we can move dialogue to policy, but in order to do so, we must acknowledge our differences.

Overall I was excited to experience this forum because there are professors we regularly see on this campus who are doing extraordinary things behind closed doors. Except, this information is out there and they’re eager to talk about it!

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