POSTPONED-Why I Fight: Performance and panels on mental illness and the arts

Why I Fight - Performance and Conversation

Why I Fight - Performance and Conversation

A theatrical production exploring psychiatric treatment and the arts as a path to wellness

Why I Fight, a theatrical adaptation of the 2019 Michigan Quarterly Review novelette by James Munro Leaf, dramatizes the perils of being defined by a mental illness and being caught in the psychiatric system. It probes the presumption of labels and the complex dynamics of power, dehumanization, and abuse in clinical settings. Creative director Gillian Eaton and actor Malcolm Tulip, faculty of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, engage students in this production at U-M Residential College’s Keene Theater from March 26–29, 2020.

Based on collaboration with the U-M Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program and other University units, a series of panels on mental illness and the arts follow each performance. Panelists will expand on themes in Why I Fight and invite conversation with audience members. Individuals and family members who live with mental illness; U-M faculty conducting psycho-social, public health, and biomedical research; and practitioners in the arts will explore the roles of creativity and the outdoors in healing. Dr. Melvin McInnis, Director of the Prechter Program, and other U-M mental health experts, will moderate the panels.

A catered reception and information tables for community resources in the arts and mental health follow each performance.

March 26
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

March 27
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

March 28
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

March 29
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

These events are free and open to the public. Although we will have limited space available for walk-ins, we request that you reserve your tickets in advance, if possible. 100 free tickets are available for each performance and can be reserved here:


Reserve your FREE tickets here


All performances and conversations will be held in the Keene Theater:

701 E University Ave
East Quadrangle
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


This event is for those who want to:

    • ask questions about research and treatments for mental illness
    • explore the relationship between mental illness and the impact of the arts in healing
    • support family members, friends, and students with mental illness
    • prevent suicide among young adults
    • shift the legal system towards more humane interventions

The event is sponsored by 

    • U-M Residential College
    • U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance
    • U-M Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program
    • Michigan Quarterly Review

POSTPONED-Of Victims and Villains: The Targeting of Muslim Women – Vivian R. Shaw Lecture

Rana Elmir - ACLU of Michigan

Rana Elmir - ACLU of Michigan

Exploring her identity as an immigrant Muslim woman on the front lines of civil rights and liberties in Michigan, Rana Elmir will examine the well-organized Islamophobia industry and the relentless attacks on Muslim women who face unique challenges borne of both a presumption of guilt, as well as the additional presumption of victimhood. Muslim women’s status as both villains and victims not only drives discrimination, harassment and hate crimes, but promotes cynical policy proposals designed to “save” Muslim women that are actually rooted in anti-Muslim bias.

Rana Elmir is the deputy director of the ACLU of Michigan and has devoted her career to storytelling, action and activism. As part of the senior management team, she works in conjunction with the ACLU’s legal, legislative and development departments to increase understanding and appreciation of the Bill of Rights. Rana lectures often on anti-Muslim bias, the importance of storytelling, free speech and the intersection of race, faith, and gender. The Washington Post has published two op-eds written by Rana: “Stop asking me to condemn terrorists just because I’m Muslim” and “How Muslim women bear the brunt of Islamophobia.” Prior to her role as deputy director, Rana held the position of communications director for the ACLU of Michigan. Rana is a graduate of Wayne State University’s Journalism School and the Journalism Institute for Minorities.

The Vivian R. Shaw Lecture is presented biennially by the Women’s Studies Department and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Established in 1997 by Ellen S. Agress (UM 1968), to honor the memory of her mother, this lecture addresses “real-world issues” related to women and gender.

Rana Elmir (Deputy Director, ACLU of Michigan)

Learn more on event website

CANCELED-25th Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners

The Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners is one of the largest exhibitions of art by incarcerated artists in the country. Each year, faculty, staff and students from the University of Michigan travel to correctional facilities across Michigan and select work for the exhibition while providing feedback and critique that strengthens artist’s work and builds community around art making inside prisons.

March 18-April 1, 2020
Art sales begin: March 18, 6pm
Opening reception program: March 18, 7pm

Gallery hours:
Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-7pm
Sunday-Monday: 12pm-6pm
April 1, 2020: 10am-5pm

From the Great Lakes to the Global Water Crisis: Writers on Water

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts - Great Lakes Theme Semester. Image is of the Great Lakes with the words "Lake Effects".

Join us for an evening of poetry and prose dedicated to water in Michigan and beyond.

A part of the semester-long campus-wide conversation about the Great Lakes, the evening will include readings from Great Lakes area writers and Michigan Quarterly Review (MQR) contributors Donovan Hohn, Anna Clark, Keith Taylor, and Margaret Noodin. The event will celebrate MQR’s Summer 2011 issue “The Great Lakes: Love Song and Lament,” guest edited by poet and retired University of Michigan writing professor Keith Taylor (featuring writing from Margaret Noodin), and introduce the Spring 2020 issue “Not One Without: A Special Issue on Water,” guest edited by environmental journalist and author Anna Clark (U-M, 2003).

As we take a semester to consider the global implications, challenges, and transformative opportunities of the Great Lakes, we are making space for the literature of the lakes which helps shape their future.

This event is hosted in conjunction with the Winter 2020 Great Lakes Theme Semester: Lake Effects, the Michigan Quarterly Review, flagship literary journal of the University of Michigan, and the Hopwood Program.

Event website

Gender Violence, Immigrant Vulnerability, and the State: A Symposium


Ruby Robinson
Managing Attorney, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center and Winter Faculty, U-M Law

Adriana Mancillas
Counseling and Advocacy Services Coordinator, SafeHouse

Debotri Dhar
Faculty, Women’s Studies

While globalization is understood as a contemporary moment marked by an unprecedented volume of travel – goods, capital, labor, images, ideas, knowledge – what is perhaps unprecedented is not so much the travel itself, but that “world travelers” were historically white and male. With an increase in postcolonial migrations – whether forced, voluntary, or in between – of individuals and communities from the Global South to the Global North, has colonialism’s unidirectional plunder under the guise of a “civilizing mission” now given way to immigrants of color being framed as invaders, pollutants, and burdens on the state in order to maintain discursive hierarchies of race, social class, and nation? In this post/colonial era, what, then, is the relationship between immigrant vulnerability and gender violence?

In the United States, a plethora of individuals and institutions have advocated for the rights of vulnerable immigrants, resulting in Acts such as VAWA and related remedial measures for low income victims of gender-based violence (including domestic violence and sexual assault.) What are some of the strengths and challenges of these legal mechanisms? With many citizen female victims of violence already ending up as defendants in the criminal justice system, where does it leave vulnerable immigrant women, especially in cases where the perpetrators are not “their” men but members of an elite white citizenry? What about the immigrant men of color, who are already framed as violent in the nation’s political imagination? And transgender and queer immigrants – even more marginalized, seldom talked about? In other words, can the gender, race, social class, and immigration status of victims and perpetrators of gender-based violence have an impact on legal outcomes? As the nation debates its immigration policies, what services can local and national organizations for survivors of gender violence offer, in more practical terms, to immigrants and vulnerable others?

The 3 panelists of this small 2-hour symposium will address the above interdisciplinary themes in their presentations. The discussion will be followed by audience Q+&A and an Indian dinner. The event will be free and open to the public.

Event website

Queer Students Abroad

Queer students who have travelled out of the US will share their experiences living, traveling and/or working abroad. Learn about how their identities impacted their experience, as well as helpful resources to plan your own experience abroad. This event is a partnership between the International Center, the Spectrum Center, and the Center for Global and Intercultural Studies (CGIS). Register using the ticket link!

Spectrum Center Event Accessibility Statement
The Spectrum Center is dedicated to working towards offering equitable access to all of the events we organize. If you have an accessibility need you feel may not be automatically met at this event, fill out our Event Accessibility Form, found at You do not need to have a registered disability with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) or identify as disabled to submit. Advance notice is necessary for some accommodations to be fully implemented, and we will always attempt to dismantle barriers as they are brought up to us. Any questions about accessibility at Spectrum Center events can be directed to

Register Here

Dia De Los Muertos

You are cordially invited to this year’s “Dia de Los Muertos” event taking place on November 1st from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the School of Public Health’s Community Room 1680. MENA (Middle Eastern and North African) Public Health, La Salud, and PHSAD (Public Health Students of African Descent) have partnered to present a Dia de Los Muertos event which is meant to commemorate all the lives lost to any discrimination or racism in the U.S. and internationally.

Dia de Los Muertos stems from Mexican traditions and originates from Aztec practices. We use this day to celebrate, not mourn, the lives of our beloved departed and rejoice by sharing ofrendas that remember the individual as they were in life. Although this festive occasion is meant to welcome our loved ones, there are many lives that were forgotten both in life and death. These lives were victimized, racialized, and prosecuted during life as a result of structural racism and exclusion. This year, we hope to raise awareness for the lives that were silenced and empower future practitioners to advocate for these communities and prevent future injustices.
We celebrate in community to provide space for the living and dead, and invite you to join us for an evening of activities, dialogue, food and performances! 

Rethinking the University: On Discipline, Excellence, and Solidarity

We are excited to invite you to the Global Theories of Critique’s second event of the academic year, with our theme for this year being “On the Failed and Marginal,” focusing on the excluded and undermined from and in Euro-American histories. Challenging these histories or going against and beyond them demands an interrogation of the space from which we think, write, and act: the university and its various arms. Following this thinking, our second event will be a workshop on “Rethinking the University: On Discipline, Excellence, and Solidarity” with Professor Reginald Jackson, to be held on Thursday, Oct. 31st, 4-6 pm, room 1014 Tisch Hall, dinner included.

Professor Jackson is an Associate Professor of Pre-modern Japanese Literature at U of M’s department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and has been long committed to thinking and practicing knowledge production in relation to solidarity with the marginalized and forgotten, within both the university’s own space and its many outsides. As such, ahead of this event, we recommend reading Professor Jackson’s recently published article, titled “Solidarity’s Indiscipline: Regarding Miyoshi’s Pedagogical Legacy,” along with two theoretical pieces he is in engaging with. All readings are available here, and we recommend reading them in this order:

Readings, “The Idea of Excellence”
Jackson, “Solidarity’s Indiscipline: Regarding Miyoshi’s Pedagogical Legacy”
Moten and Harney, “The University and the Undercommons” (optional)

If you plan on attending this event, please RSVP here

Queer/Cuir/Feminist (Q/C/F) Américas Working Group Symposium

This is a public symposium of the Queer/Cuir/Feminist (Q/C/F) Group of the Americas to be held in Ann Arbor on September 20, 2019, to advance the publication of two scholarly journal special issues that will appear in the United States (in English) and in Brazil (in Spanish and Portuguese). We aspire to create a public space at the University of Michigan for the discussion of LGBTQ Latinx, Indigenous, and Afro- diasporic gender and sexuality through this one-day public event. Our interdisciplinary, transnational, action-based, Latinx queer feminist scholarly group includes university-based scholars and independent scholars and activists that are involved in diverse educational initiatives in several Latin American countries and U.S. Latinx communities. We will host a panel discussion, a keynote speaker, and a reception.