Events
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen’s bestselling novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, and a Carnegie Medal from the American Library Association. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Nguyen is also the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America and Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.

  • Tonya Foster

    Sep 21| Lectures
    More

    Poet Tonya Foster is the author of the collection A Swarm of Bees in High Court. Her work has appeared in nocturnes, Callaloo, Traffic, Gulf Coast, and other journals. Her essays have appeared in NY Arts Magazine, NYFA Quarterly and The Poetry Project Newsletter. A co-editor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing Through Visual Art, Foster teaches at California College of the Arts and lives in the Bay Area.

  • Opening Reception

    Sep 24| Special Event
    More

    New York-based artist Polly Apfelbaum’s work has situated itself as a hybrid of painting, sculpture, and installation over a career spanning 30 plus years. Exploring the intricacies of color, Apfelbaum weaves her way, both literally and conceptually, through ideas of Minimalism, Pop aesthetics, and Color Field painting to blur the lines between two and three dimensional art making.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with Connie Butler, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

  • John Keene

    Oct 05| Lectures
    More

    John Keene is the author of the novels Annotations and Counternarratives, as well as several other works, including the poetry collection Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, and a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst's novel Letters from a Seducer. The recipient of a Whiting Award, Keene has been a member of the Dark Room Writers Collective and a Cave Canem fellow. He has served as the managing editor of Callaloo and taught at Northwestern. He currently teaches at Rutgers University-Newark and lives in New York.

  • Artist Polly Apfelbaum in conversation with David Pagel, within Apfelbaum's exhibition Face (Geometry) (Naked) Eyes.

     

  • Renee Gladman

    Oct 19| Lectures
    More

    Renee Gladman is the author of eight books of prose and poetry, including the Ravicka triology, published by Dorothy (Event Factory, The Ravickians, and Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge). Other titles include Arlem, Not Right Now, Juice The Activist, A Picture Feeling, and Newcomer Can't Swim. Since 2004, she has been the publisher of Leon Works, a perfect bound series of books of experimental prose, and also has edited the Leroy chapbook series.

O-Tube

Heather Joseph-Witham: 2004-05 Faculty Development Grant Report


Report:

UFO's in Derbyshire, a 28 minute documentary video

By Dr. Heather Joseph-Witham, Folklorist, partially funded by an Otis Faculty Development Grant

I traveled to Derbyshire to film interviews with many ufo sightees. I have been visiting relatives in the rural region of Derbyshire in Northern England for a number of years. I usually stay with family in a 500 person strong village called Winster. The surrounding countryside has pastoral rolling hills, flocks of lambs, occasional pot-bellied pigs and numerous tors and circles of druidic standing stones. Traditional cultural activities and beliefs are highly prized in Winster and its surrounding villages. Such customs include summer carnival and English folk Morris dancing, well-dressings, Christmas mummer plays and local churches that risk schism with the Anglican church by refusing all female vicars sent their way. Of course, normal 21st century life exists, with satellite dishes and cars, and more recently - UFO sightings.

Incredibly, every other person I ask in Derbyshire claims to have seen a UFO. In England, it is well-known that Derbyshire is the new UFO 'hotspot'. I interviewed individuals from Winster and nearby Bonsall Moor who have seen flying objects, as well as one person who saw aliens. I also visited and filmed at the Barley Mow pub at Bonsall which has become a hub for UFO interest. Each person I interviewed had a completely different experience. Some saw flying triangles, some saucers, others saw cigar-shaped flying vehicles or odd hovering lights. Each was convinced that what they saw was not of earthly origin and believed they were in Derbyshire due to the large amount of minerals in the soil and the relative tranquility and quiet of the countryside.

I believe that these sightings and their accompanying narratives are not new, but rather the continuation and modernization of old English traditional beliefs in Faeries and will o' the wisps. People have reported sightings of strange, fiery lights at lead mines in Derbyshire for centuries. Additionally, many have experienced strange things at standing stone circles, on windswept moors, and at many other Derbyshire sites. I absolutely accept that my informants had very real experiences. I also believe that these experiences are interpreted in a manner consistent with the zeitgeist of the times. Perhaps yesterday's ghost-lights and firedrakes are today's UFO's.

For further information about screening or purchase: hwitham@otis.edu

--Heather Joseph-Witham
Associate Professor, Liberal Arts and Sciences

Screencaps:

Joseph-Witham: UFO's in Darbyshire screencap

Joseph-Witham: UFO's in Darbyshire screencap

Joseph-Witham: UFO's in Darbyshire screencap

Joseph-Witham: UFO's in Darbyshire screencap

Joseph-Witham: UFO's in Darbyshire screencap

Joseph-Witham: UFO's in Darbyshire screencap

Otis College Ranked 6th in Nation by The Economist