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SF Public Library: Celeste-Marie Bernier, Judith Butler & Isaac Julien in Conversation

This online conversation with Celeste-Marie Bernier, Judith Butler, and Isaac Julien, explores Douglass’ legacy and the influence of key historical figures featured in Lessons of the Hour.

While widely acknowledged as an icon of abolitionism, Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) is less understood as an early figure in the intersectional pursuit of human rights, a dissonance which informed filmmaker and artist Isaac Julien’s immersive moving-image installation Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass (2019). In this wide-ranging conversation, Julien is joined by the celebrated philosopher and educator Judith Butler and acclaimed Douglass scholar Celeste-Marie Bernier to explore Douglass’ legacy as well as the influential role of figures such as his wife Anna Murray-Douglass, the suffragettes and others important to his life and voice. Butler’s renowned scholarship in the fields of philosophy, ethics, and feminist, queer, and literary theory guides her moderation of the conversation.

Currently the Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature at University of California, Berkeley, Butler’s theories have compelled generations of activists, artists and students to grapple with notions of gender performativity, individualism and power. As professor of United States and Atlantic Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Bernier specializes in the literatures, histories, politics, visual cultures and philosophies of women, men and children living in the African Diaspora. Julien worked closely with Bernier on Lessons of the Hour’s narration to construct “tableaux vivants” that reimagine Douglass’ relationships to a range of key historical figures, including Murray-Douglass, his second wife Helen Pitts, and the suffragette Susan B. Anthony

The West Coast premiere of Lessons of the Hour at McEvoy Foundation for the Arts (October 14, 2020 – March 13, 2021) is joined by an exhibition of Julien’s related photography and selections from the McEvoy Family Collection that further explore questions of identity, justice, history and image-making in the film. New Labor Movements, a resonant original program of film and video shorts curated by Leila Weefur, explores contemporary visions of America and concepts of transnational Blackness. Online conversations with these artists and invited thinkers and scholars take place throughout the run of the exhibition. Admission to the exhibition and conversations is free.

Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.


Event Details


Cost: FREE*
*Free Event, Registration Required
Categories: *Top Pick*, Lectures & Workshops, Online

Thursday, March 4, 2021

7:00 am   San Francisco Performances Beethoven Concert  FREE*
*Free online.
9:00 am   “ChickTech” Event: Pivoting to Data Careers: Insights from DISQO  FREE
12:00 pm   SF Public Library: Celeste-Marie Bernier, Judith Butler & Isaac Julien in Conversation  FREE*
*Free Event, Registration Required
12:00 pm   SF Public Library Talk on Legacy of Frederick Douglass  FREE*
*Free Event, Registration Required
12:00 pm   SF Public Library’s Women’s History Month in Conversation  FREE*
*Free with registration.
12:00 pm   Storytellers on Schizophrenia  FREE*
*Register on Eventbrite
6:00 pm   How to Build an ADU in Healdsburg (w/ Local City Planning & Building Staff)  FREE
6:00 pm   Virtual Green Apple Book Talk: Jamie Figueroa & Marie-Helene Bertino  FREE
6:00 pm   “Project Open Hand” Ruth Brinker Book Celebration  FREE*
*Registration Required
7:00 pm   Thu 7p Show – “HellaSecret” Outdoor Comedy Show & Cocktail Night (SF)  $15*
*Get $5 off Tickets - Early Bird tickets $15 adv w/ code FUNCHEAP (otherwise $20). General Admission tickets $20 adv with code FUNCHEAP (otherwise $25) - limited to 40 tickets due to maintain social-distance. There is a two drink minimum
7:00 pm   On the Therapeutic Applications of Ketamine  FREE*
*$20- Suggested Donation
7:00 pm   Exploratorium “After Dark Online” Art + Science  FREE*
*Not Specified
7:00 pm   Classical Bach Harpsichord Concert w/ Mahan Esfahani  $15*
*$15 for a single viewer, $30 for two viewers, and $60 per household viewing. $5 tickets are available for UC Berkeley students.
7:30 pm   Effects of Altered Wildfire Regimes on California Plant Diversity Webinar  FREE
7:30 pm   Thu 7:30p Show – “HellaSecret” Outdoor Comedy Show & Cocktail Night (Oakland)  $15*
*Get $5 off Tickets - Early Bird tickets $15 adv w/ code FUNCHEAP (otherwise $20). General Admission tickets $20 adv with code FUNCHEAP (otherwise $25) - limited to 40 tickets due to maintain social-distance. There is a two drink minimum
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