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Sept. 22: Carnegie Mellon's Center for Arts in Society Hosts Two Events on Protest and Freedom of Speech


Eric Sloss              

Shilo Raube                               

Carnegie Mellon's Center for Arts in Society Hosts
Two Events on Protest and Freedom of Speech

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Center for the Arts in Society (CAS) will host two timely events this week on protest and activism in advance of the Pittsburgh Summit. Under the direction of Paul Eiss, the new CAS director, "Power, Protest, Performance: A Panel Discussion" will be held at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 23 in Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall 103 (Breed Hall). At 9:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, the Waffle Shop will host "COINTELSHOW: A Patriot Act"  - an evening with Larry Bogad, Special Agent Christian White and Michael Chemers, assistant professor of drama at Carnegie Mellon. The Waffle Shop is at 124 S. Highland Avenue in East Liberty.
"Power, Protest, Performance: A Panel Discussion" will be a dialogue on street theater and protest. The panel will feature Bogad, Distinguished Lecturer in Performance and Politics at the University of California at Davis and author of "Electoral Guerilla Theater: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements," Richard Maddox, professor of anthropology and history at Carnegie Mellon, and Wendy Arons, associate professor of drama at Carnegie Mellon.
CAS is a research center in the College of Fine Arts and College of Humanities and Social Sciences that brings artists and humanists together to investigate the role of arts in societies.
Eiss, an associate professor of history whose research in Mexico focuses on diverse topics, including performance and theater, was chosen to lead CAS into a new era of critical engagement, participation and examination of art.
"I want the center to be pushed out of its comfort zone," Eiss said. "Since its inception in 2001, a space has been created to discuss the convergence of arts and humanities, but now we need to take it further and elicit new conversations and active collaborations between artists and scholars."
Eiss aspires to take advantage of artistic and cultural events that occur, such as the G-20 meetings and the scheduled protests this week, to showcase the center's perspective. "We're uniquely positioned to talk about the theatrical aspects of these events," Eiss said. "We can explore the ways policies and hierarchies are established through rituals and displays of power. We can also explore how protestors and artists use performances of their own to call these things into question and propose serious alternatives."
CAS recently conducted a podcast with Eiss and David Graeber, a lecturer in anthropology at Goldsmiths, a college of the University of London. In the interview hosted by Tim Haggerty, director of the Humanities Scholars Program at Carnegie Mellon, Graeber and Eiss discuss direct action and modern political protest and the expected activism in Pittsburgh during the G-20 events. To hear the podcast, visit
For complete event details, visit