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How Can We Know the Dancer from the Dance? The Challenges of #MeToo and the Morally Compromised Artist

headshots of event panelists

Organized by the NCAC and PEN America and its Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) program, panelists will debate challenges raised by #MeToo regarding exhibiting, publishing, and performing works created by morally compromised artists and writers. Free and open to the public. With Svetlana Mintcheva, Judith Shulevitz, and Pamela Sneed, moderated by Jonathan Friedman.

Svetlana MintchevaSvetlana Mintcheva is NCAC’s Director of Programs. She joined NCAC after years of academic teaching and research on post World War II art and literature. Having spent a large part of her academic career analyzing provocative art and its socio-political contexts, she is happy to be on the front lines protecting the coexistence of a diversity of voices in the cultural sphere. Svetlana has published and presented multiple papers on contemporary art and writing—most recently, she co-edited Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression (2006, The New Press). She curated the 2007 exhibition “Filth, Treason, Blasphemy?: Museums and Censorship,” at the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum in Chicago, IL, and conceived “Exposing the Censor Within,” a traveling interactive public art installation, which opened in California in March of 2007. An academic and an activist, Mintcheva has taught literature and critical theory at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, and at Duke University, from which she received her Ph.D. in critical theory in 1999. She currently teaches part-time at New York University. Her academic research and writing focus on postmodern literature and aesthetic provocations as well as issues in censorship and ethics.

Judith ShulevitzJudith Shulevitz is a critic and journalist and author of The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time (2010). She has been a columnist at The New York Times Book Review, Slate, The New Republic, and New York Magazine, and contributed articles and essays to many other publications, including The Atlantic and The New Yorker. Shulevitz was the editor of Lingua Franca, deputy editor of New York Magazine, and science editor of The New Republic.

Shulevitz was born in Detroit and grew up in Puerto Rico and Miami. She graduated from Yale University. She is married to Nicholas Lemann, Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism and Dean Emeritus at the Columbia Journalism School. They have two children and live in New York City and the Catskills.

Pamela SneedPamela Sneed is a New York-based poet, writer, and performer. She has been featured in the New York Times magazine, the New YorkerTime OutBombVibe, and on the cover of New York magazine. She also appeared in ArtforumBlack Book, and the Huffington Post, and in Nikki Giovanni’s, The 100 Best African American Poems. Sneed has hosted Queer Art Film at the IFC in New York City. She is author of Sweet DreamsImagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than SlaveryKong & Other Works, chapbook Lincoln, and the chaplet Gift. She has performed at Lincoln Center, P.S. 122, Ex-Teresa in Mexico City, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, the Green Room in Manchester, BAM Cafe, Joe’s Pub, the Public Theater in New York City, Central Park Summer Stage, Bronx Summer Stage, Columbia University’s Tribute to James Baldwin, the Whitney Museum, BRIC, and Artist Space.

Sneed taught at Sarah Lawrence College as a guest faculty member and is an online lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago teaching the courses Human Rights and Art and Writing Art. In 2017, she was featured in Hyperallergic and OUT magazine. She was also a guest critic at Yale and Columbia Universities. Sneed both curated and performed poetry as part of the Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturdays. She performed at the Highline as part of Zoe Leonard’s event, I want a president. In 2016 she was a mentor/consultant for the Poet-Linc program at Lincoln Center and directed a final show at Lincoln Center Atrium. She was also a guest curator for a spoken word series in the Platforms Series at Dancespace on the impact of the AIDS crisis on art, and presented at a symposium at New York University on Humor and Politics. In summer 2016, Sneed received a residency at Denniston Hill. Sneed’s visual work will be part of a group show Found: Queer ArchaeologyQueer Abstraction at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in June 2017. Pamela is a visiting professor at Columbia School of the Arts 2017–18.

Jonathan FriedmanJonathan Friedman is the project director for campus free speech at PEN America. He oversees PEN America’s advocacy, analysis, and outreach in the national debate around free speech and inclusion at colleges and universities. Prior to joining PEN America, Friedman was an adjunct professor at New York University and Columbia University, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in comparative and international education, higher education, and social theory. His research on American and international higher education looks at such topics as university administration, organizational cultures, nationalism, and cross-cultural understanding. He also previously managed the Multinational Institute of American Studies, an exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State for international scholars to learn about American society and culture. Friedman holds a Ph.D. in International Education from New York University, and has received awards for his teaching, research, and leadership.