University of Tennessee Social Psychologist to Keynote 65th Annual Science Seminar

University of Tennessee Professor of Social Psychology Michael Olson will deliver the keynote address at Hollins University’s 65th Annual Science Seminar in April.

The seminar, which celebrates scientific research and inquiry, showcases the work conducted by Hollins science and mathematics students throughout the current academic year.

On Wednesday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center, Olson will present “The Science of Bias: Implicit Attitude Formation, Change, and Impact.” His research centers on implicit bias, prejudice reduction, and intergroup relations. More broadly, he applies a dual-process approach to a variety of domains, including prejudice correction, close relationships, sexual aggression, and most recently, suicide.

Olson has served as associate editor of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. He is currently completing a textbook on the psychology of prejudice.

The Science Seminar will spotlight student research posters on Friday, April 14, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Dana Science Building. The poster session will be held in Dana’s first and second floor hallways.

Hollins Announces Children’s Literature Workshops for Summer 2023

This summer, Hollins University’s graduate programs in children’s literature are offering three one-week intensive workshops for teachers and librarians, aspiring authors and illustrators, and alumnae/i of Hollins’ undergraduate and graduate programs.

“Whether you want to grow your skills as a picture book creator, scholar, or selector, or would like to enhance your ability to write for children, these workshops offer practical guidance through the expertise of accomplished artists and authors,” said Lisa Fraustino, children’s literature graduate programs director.

The three Summer 2023 workshops are listed below. Visit the children’s literature workshops webpage for details on registration, fees, housing, and meals. For further information, contact Cathy Koon, graduate programs manager, at

Picture Book Trends: A Curated Reading Workshop
Elizabeth Dulemba, Instructor
June 12 – 16, 2023

Are you a teacher or librarian overwhelmed by the prospect of picking out the best new picture books for your young readers? Are you a creator who needs to stay on top of today’s picture book marketplace? If so, let this expert guide you on a curated reading journey.

Dulemba, an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, will walk you through the picture book submissions for the annual Margaret Wise Brown Prize and other bestsellers, covering current themes and trends, and pointing out the written and visual tricks that make them popular, successful, and beloved. By the end of the week, you will have a solid grasp of the current picture book landscape to better prepare you to recommend books to others or create them yourself. 

Writing Intensive: The Path to Publication
Erin Clyburn, Instructor
June 26 – 30. 2023

You’ve spent months (or even years!) writing and editing your novel, workshopping and rereading and editing again, and you are ready to seek traditional publication. Literary agent Erin Clyburn will cover the steps to take your work from manuscript to book: crafting a query letter, learning what comp titles are, researching agents to query, writing a synopsis, making sure your first page shines, learning about the market, seeing what your agent relationship might look like, and working on your platform (and knowing if you need one at all).

This intensive is intended for authors of novel-length works (chapter books, middle grade, and young adult) who have completed or near-completed manuscripts and are preparing to seek traditional publication. The goal is to finish the week with a polished query package and an understanding of how to seek out the right agent for your work.

Writing for Children Intensive: “Writing is Rewriting”
Dhonielle Clayton, Instructor
July 10 – July 14, 2023

Finished a first draft? Or have a solid chunk of a novel? Now what? The best writers are really revisers. Join this intensive to find the right ingredients to transform your rough pages into a compelling book for young people. Writing demands complex characters, high stakes, a layered world, and research.

Leading this workshop is Dhonielle Clayton, a New York Times bestselling author of The Marvellerverse series, The Belles series, and Shattered Midnight; and coauthor of Blackout, Whiteout, The Rumor Game, and the Tiny Pretty Things duology, a Netflix original series. The emphasis will be on the building blocks of craft: the one-line pitch, voice and character, worldbuilding, plot and pace, and revision. Participants will exchange up to 50-75 pages of work with the instructor and other writers in the class. In addition to morning sessions, there will be two optional afternoon sessions about behind-the-scenes deep dives on: publishing, including query letters, editorial letters, and the phases of a manuscript from draft to published.


Wilson Museum Exhibition, “Suzanne Schireson: Aftercare,” Highlights “A Generosity of Spirit and an Intensity of Color”

As an artist, what do you do when a pandemic turns the world upside down and the constraints of caregiving make time alone in your studio utterly impossible? Do those additional responsibilities intensify your need for a creative outlet? How do you keep the demands of caregiving from stymieing creativity?

From March 9 through May 7, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University is presenting Suzanne Schireson: Aftercare, a series of paintings that Schireson, an artist and professor who lives and works in Rhode Island, created from 2020 to 2023 to maximize her “studio time.”

“With a generosity of spirit and an intensity of color, she invents glowing, nocturnal, makeshift fantasy studios for herself and her circle of caregiving artist friends,” said Jenine Culligan, director of the Wilson Museum.

Suzanne Schireson, “Scaffold,” 2022. Oil on paper. Courtesy of the artist.

“A dream of solitary space is contradictory in this moment,” Schireson stated. “As a mother in quarantine, I occupied more of my time with those I care for, making flashes of solitude particularly rare and inspiring….I find it is important to share a range of experiences and promote the multitude of ways that caretakers construct their lives.”

Schireson begins each composition with a fluorescent ground built up with saturated neon colors juxtaposed with impasto strokes and bands of tighter shades. The focus is on structures in the rural landscape; some are mere suggestions of a dig site; others are simple constructed sheds or lean-tos. Many incorporate the artists working intensely, feverishly, at a task, whether it is dyeing, weaving, painting, writing, or thinking and smoking.

“These artists are hungry to make art,” Culligan said. “In this nocturnal world, we witness the artists in action as they use short bursts of time and solitude to care for themselves and their art. In this work Schireson not only sustains her need to paint but also visualizes a world where artist friends have the space they need.”

Schireson’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia; Smith College, Northampton, MA; the New Bedford Museum of Art, New Bedford, MA; the Sori Art Center, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea; the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra, Guwahati, Assam, India; and the Carrousel du Louvre, Paris. An associate professor of art and design at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, she holds a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.F.A. from Indiana University, and a certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Schireson will present a lecture in conjunction with the opening of her exhibition on Thursday, March 9, at 6 p.m. in Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center. A reception will follow in the Wilson Museum. The lecture is also available via Zoom; contact for the link.

Top image: Suzanne Schireson, Turmeric Dye Night, 2022. Oil on paper. Courtesy of the artist. 

Third Annual Leading EDJ Conference Continues the Work in Building “A More Inclusive and Equitable Hollins University”

Hollins University President Mary Dana Hinton urged students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i to “choose to see the bared humanity of one another and choose not to look away from the discomfort, but rather to lean into it” during the third annual Leading Equity, Diversity, and Justice (Leading EDJ) Conference, held February 23-24.

“I know there will also be moments of love and grace, of courage and compassion,” she added. “I ask that we lean into those moments as well.”

This year’s Leading EDJ Conference welcomed over 370 participants for roughly 30 sessions united around the theme of Barriers and Bridges to Access. “The theme reflects the holistic need to evaluate our policies, practices, programs, and this place,” Hinton explained. “We’re asking ourselves: How do we experience Hollins? How do we limit one another’s experience in this place? And most importantly, how can we turn barriers into bridges?”

Vice President for Student Success, Well-being, and Belonging Nakeshia Williams expressed her hope that attendees would come away “with new knowledge and tools, piqued curiosity, heightened self-reflection, increased understanding and compassion, and some very concrete plans for action and change” after “listening, learning, and connecting with one another as we work together to imagine, strategize, and create a more inclusive and equitable Hollins University.”

Hollins President Mary Dana Hinton (left) welcomed keynote speaker Lauren Ridloff to the 2023 Leading EDJ Conference.

Lauren Ridloff, who portrayed the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first deaf superhero in the 2021 film Eternals, delivered the event’s keynote address. Ridloff, who is also Hollins’ Distinguished Speaker for Spring 2023, is a former Miss Deaf America who played the lead role of Sarah Norman in the 2018 Broadway revival of Children of a Lesser God and was nominated for a Tony Award. She subsequently appeared as Connie on the AMC series The Walking Dead and was honored in 2020 with the SAG-AFTRA Harold Russell Award at the Media Access Awards, which highlight and promote disability and its representation in film, television, and new media.

Born deaf to hearing parents, Ridloff told the conference audience that she grew up signing and speaking at the same time and had years of speech therapy. But by the time she became a teenager, “my parents began to realize that my sense of identity, my cultural pride as a deaf person, wasn’t strong. My mother is a proud, Black, female artist and my father is a strong, proud, Mexican musician, and they knew the importance of having that sense of belonging and understanding of cultural pride. They saw I needed to be around more people who were like me.”

Local resident Jordan Bell presented “Gainsboro Revisited,” which explored the history of the African American people in Roanoke’s Gainsboro community.

In what she called a life-changing event, Ridloff spent two weeks at a sleepaway camp for deaf teens. “For the first time, I was free to express myself in my most native, natural language, which was sign language. This was the first time I didn’t have to choose my words carefully and I didn’t have to modulate my intentions to fit my speaking ability.”

Returning home, “that was when I truly came out, so to speak, to my family as this proud deaf woman who chose not to use her voice. I chose to use my hands. Now, I think, ‘Wow, that was a brave and radical thing for a young woman to do.’ I didn’t have any idea of how it would turn out, but I had to be true to myself.”

Over the next 30 years, Ridloff completed her education, embarked on a teaching career, and got married. “I found my joy and purpose,” she said. When she was approached to serve as a consultant to director Kenny Leon as he prepared the Children of a Lesser God revival, she jumped at the opportunity to share her advice and experience with the production and had no illusions of becoming an actor. However, another pivotal life moment occurred when she was asked to participate in a table read of the play.

Assistant Professor of Theatre Wendy-Marie Martin gave students an overview of theatre for social change and how it functions.

“I would have to use my voice, and my feelings, my body turned upside down. Was I bending my principles of who I am as a person by using my voice? It was such a vulnerable moment for me, and I was terrified.

“But then I realized: What I’m doing is helping make a story happen again on stage, and that story is important. And I thought, ‘Other deaf actors would be able to take on that role and tell the story of Sarah.’ We started the table read and got to the scene where Sarah, who had refused to use her voice up until that point in the story, screams her words. And I just screamed. It didn’t matter if people understood me, it was about the feeling, the intention. And I think in that moment in that room, I found my voice. I learned how to push for storytelling that impacts change.”

When ultimately she was asked to actually play Sarah, Ridloff said she “couldn’t stop thinking about the irony of that. Here I was on stage, night after night, yelling words to the audience. Some people might have understood them, some may have not, but I claimed my power. And I screamed: ‘This is my perfect voice. This is exactly how I want to convey myself.’ Somehow, through the magic of storytelling, the audience found a connection with me. That’s when thought that maybe I could pursue acting.”

Mackenzie Rose M.A. ’14 led a session on defining and combating the stigma of trauma in educational environments.

Ridloff landed her role in The Walking Dead a couple of weeks after her Broadway run ended, and it was during the series that she was approached about playing Makkari in Eternals. While both experiences were exciting, she nevertheless at times felt fear and frustration. As a deaf actress she had needs ranging from the appropriate number of interpreters to how to get cues from the director when she had her back to the camera. Yet, “I didn’t want to ask for too much. I was so grateful to work with these amazing, seasoned stars and I didn’t want to cause trouble. I just wanted to prove that working with a deaf actor is easy. To deliver the best work they could, other actors did not hesitate to ask for the things they needed, so I finally had to admit I had some challenges as a deaf actor. I had to advocate for myself.”

Currently, Ridloff is preparing to star in a new show for Starz in which she also serves as executive producer along with filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time, When They See Us) and actor and costar Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek, Fringe, The Affair). “I finally have a seat at that table in Hollywood where the important decisions are being made. I am so happy to open more doors for deaf talent. This show will include deaf actors and writers, which means authentic representation is happening not just in front of the camera but also behind it where the story is being created.”

When Ridloff looks back, she is “so glad I found my voice at that table read. I found a way to fight, and this is how I fight: by telling stories that mean something. By telling stories that make connections. I am ringing that bell, making sure stories are heard.”


Francophone Film Festival Spotlights “Diversity Found in French-Speaking Cultures”

Throughout Spring Term 2023, Hollins University’s Departments of Film, French Studies, and International Programs are presenting an array of film screenings as part of the Francophone Film Festival. The festival is made possible through a grant from Albertine Cinematheque, a program of FACE Foundation and Villa Albertine, with support from the CNC (Centre National du Cinema) and SACEM (Fonds Culturel Franco-Americain).

“This is the second time that Hollins has received this grant to offer excellent Francophone cinema to the Hollins community and beyond,” said Director of International Programs Ramona Kirsch. “The films are from an array of Francophone countries and display the diversity found in French-speaking cultures.”

The festival schedule includes the following screenings. Each will be introduced by Hollins faculty, who will also lead post-screening discussions. Admission is free and open to the public.

Les 400 coups (400 Blows) (1959)

  • Screening: 1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10, Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center
  • Country: France
  • Runtime: 90 minutes
  • Director: François Truffaut
  • Synopsis: “The 400 Blows traces 14-year-old Antoine Doinel’s odyssey through a life of aloof parents, oppressive teachers and petty crime. A loner on the brink of rebellion, Antoine is buoyed along the way by a touching friendship, a love of cinema, and the hope of escape.” –
  • Facilitator: Kenza Chabane

Bamako (2006)

  • Screening: 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 16, Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center
  • Country: Mali
  • Runtime: 115 minutes
  • Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
  • Synopsis: “An extraordinary trial is taking place in a residential courtyard in Bamako, the capital city of Mali. African citizens have taken proceedings against such international financial institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whom civil society blames for perpetuating Africa’s debt crisis, at the heart of so many of the continent’s woes. As numerous trial witnesses (schoolteachers, farmers, writers, etc.) air bracing indictments against the global economic machinery that haunts them, life in the courtyard presses forward. Melé, a lounge singer, and her unemployed husband Chaka are on the verge of breaking up; a security guard’s gun goes missing; a young man lies ill; a wedding procession passes through; and women keep everything rolling – dyeing fabric, minding children, spinning cotton, and speaking their minds.” – Icarus Films
  • Facilitator: Jeanne Jégousso

L’Evénement (Happening) (2021)

  • Screening: 2 p.m., Thursday, March 16, Babcock Auditorium, Dana Science Building
  • Country: France
  • Runtime: 100 minutes
  • Director: Audrey Diwan
  • Synopsis: “France, 1963. Anne is a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her. But when she falls pregnant, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her social background disappearing. With her final exams fast approaching and her belly growing, Anne resolves to act, even if she has to confront shame and pain, even if she must risk prison to do so…” – 
  • Facilitator: Abubakarr Jalloh

France (2021)

  • Screening: 5 p.m., Thursday, March 30, Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center
  • Countries: France, Germany, Italy, Belgium
  • Runtime: 133 minutes
  • Director: Bruno Dumon
  • Synopsis: “A celebrity journalist, juggling her busy career and personal life, has her life overturned by a freak car accident.” –
  • Facilitator: Jeanne Jégousso

Lingui, les liens sacrés (Lingui, the Sacred Bonds) (2021)

  • Screening: 2 p.m., Friday, April 7, Niederer Auditorium, Wetherill Visual Arts Center
  • Country: Chad
  • Runtime: 87 minutes
  • Director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
  • Synopsis: “On the outskirts of the capital of Chad, determined single mother Amina works tirelessly to provide for herself and her 15-year-old daughter Maria. When Amina discovers Maria is pregnant and does not want a child, the two women begin to seek out an abortion, condemned by both religion and law.” –
  • Facilitator: Lindsey Breitwieser

Aline (2020)

  • Screening: 4:30 p.m., Thursday, May 4, Babcock Auditorium, Dana Science Building
  • Country: Canada
  • Runtime: 126 minutes
  • Director: Valérie Lemercier
  • Synopsis: “Quebec, late 1960s, Sylvette and Anglomard welcome their 14th child: Aline. In the Dieu family, music reigns supreme and when Aline grows up we discover a gift to her, she has a golden voice. When he hears that voice, music producer Guy-Claude has just one thing in mind – to make Aline the greatest singer in the world. Supported by her family and guided by the experience and then the budding love of Guy-Claude, they will together write the pages of an extraordinary destiny.” –
  • Facilitator: Kenza Chabane




Hollins, Roanoke College Present International Film Series, Feb. 15-26

The Fifth Annual Roanoke College International Film Series, presented in collaboration with Hollins University, is kicking off Wednesday, February 15, with a lineup of films centered on the theme of Ghosts.

The screenings, which will be hosted across multiple campus and community venues, are designed to promote intercultural exchange, learning, and world cinema among both students and the wider region.

In total, eight films will be shown between Feb. 15 and Feb. 26. Each screening is free and open to the public. Panel-led discussions with the audience and faculty members will be held after each film.

The International Film Series was first launched in 2019 as an initiative of Roanoke College’s Department of Modern Languages. Key partners in the program include Hollins University, Roanoke Valley Sister Cities, the Grandin Theatre and the Taubman Museum of Art.

The event works to cultivate cross-cultural learning and dialogue.

“Film is a powerful vehicle of culture,” said Teresa Hancock-Parmer, a Spanish lecturer with Roanoke College and committee chair for the film series. “The International Film Series encourages our students to engage with the cultures of the languages that they study and get that multi-layered exposure and language input.”

“The series also builds community,” Hancock-Parmer said. “We want community members to come. Afterward, we invite people to come together to discuss the films and share their thoughts. So, we get to build those connections both within the Roanoke College community and beyond.”

Each film series is organized around a unifying theme that adds depth to the experience by encouraging audiences to reflect on how an issue is dealt with across different cultures. This year’s theme, Ghosts, was the top pick of the organizing committee.

“Hollins University is thrilled to partner with Roanoke College on this year’s international film series on the rich and provocative theme of ‘ghosts,’” said Nathan Lee, assistant professor of film with Hollins. “All of cinema is a kind of haunting, as images captured in the past float and glimmer on screen. I’m particularly excited to be screening the sublime Russian Ark — one of the most extraordinary films ever made — at Hollins, as well as the supremely spooky Pulse, a movie that dramatizes millennial anxieties about the ‘ghosts in the machine’ of network culture.”

More details about this year’s film lineup follow below or are available online here 

Photograph (2019)

  • Screening: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the Grandin Theatre
  • Language: Hindi
  • Runtime: 110 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Details: In this romantic drama, directed by Ritesh Batra, struggling street photographer Rafi learns his grandmother has stopped taking her medication in order to find him a bride. When Rafi meets a woman named Miloni, he convinces her to pretend to be his fiancée in order to convince his grandmother of their relationship. The film highlights Mumbai, refracting the protagonists’ love story through the city’s sociocultural realities. View the trailer here.
  • Panelists: Srikanth Mallavarapu and Meeta Mehrotra

 Volver (2006)

  • Screening: 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in Wortmann Ballroom (Roanoke College)
  • Language: Spanish
  • Runtime: 121 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Details: This comedy-drama, directed by the acclaimed Pedro Almodóvar, tackles difficult themes of sexual abuse, death, and family secrets. Penélope Cruz stars as Raimunda, a working-class woman forced to go to great lengths to protect her 14-year-old daughter, Paula. Raimunda’s dead mother, Irene, also mysteriously reappears. The film, which Roger Ebert praised as “enchanting, gentle, transgressive,” won two awards — Best Actress and Best Screenplay — at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival where it premiered. View the trailer here.
  • Panelists: Charlene Kalinoski and Juan Manuel Portillo

 Russian Ark (2002)

  • Screening: 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at Wetherill Visual Arts Center Auditorium, Room 200 (Hollins University)
  • Language: Russian
  • Runtime: 159 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Details: A sumptuous cinematic experience and experimental historical drama, with a cast of over 2,000 actors and three orchestras, director Alexander Sokurov’s extraordinary masterpiece is a unique journey through time and Russian history. Filmed entirely in the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, this groundbreaking film recreates 300 years of history in a single, unedited, feature-length take. Sokurov’s camera glides through 33 rooms of the Hermitage, moving in and out of cathedral-like galleries, opulent ballrooms and shadowy corridors and workrooms covering three centuries of Russian history and European art. View the trailer here.
  • Panelists: Nathan Lee and Tatyana Munsey 

Rouge (1987)

  • Screening: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, in Wortmann Ballroom (Roanoke College)
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Details: Rouge bridges past and present in its tragic romance between a humble courtesan (Fleur) and the wayward scion of a wealthy family (Chan), who embrace death by suicide pact amid the opulent teahouses of 1930s Hong Kong. Fifty years later, Fleur returns to the city-state to find her lover, who never showed up in the afterlife. When she posts a newspaper advertisement, she draws a young contemporary couple into her quest to rekindle a passion that may be as illusory as time itself. With its lush mise-en-scène and transcendently melancholy mood, this sensuous ghost story directed by Stanley Kwan is an exquisite, enduringly resonant elegy for both lost love and vanishing history. View the trailer here.
  • Panelist: Stella Xu

 Pulse (2001)

  • Screening: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Wetherill Visual Arts Center Auditorium, Room 200 (Hollins University)
  • Language: Japanese
  • Runtime: 119 minutes
  • Rating: R
  • Details: An apparent suicide in Tokyo triggers a chain of mysterious disappearances involving computers in writer-director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s creepy techno-thriller. As ghosts invade the world through the Internet, many more people vanish. The film inspired a 2006 English-language remake. View the trailer here.
  • Panelist: Nathan Lee  

Sicilian Ghost Story (2017)

  • Screening: 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at Wortmann Ballroom (Roanoke College)
  • Language: Italian
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Details: Directed by Fabio Grassandonia and Antonio Piazza, in this film, in a little Sicilian village at the edge of a forest, 13-year-old Giuseppe vanishes. Luna, his classmate who loves him, refuses to accept his mysterious disappearance. She rebels against the code of silence and collusion that surrounds her, and to find him she descends into the dark world which has swallowed him up and which has a lake as its mysterious entrance. The film, inspired by true events, is dedicated to the memory of Giuseppe Di Matteo, a victim of Mafia violence. View the trailer here.
  • Panelist: Giuliana Chapman 

Phoenix (2014)

  • Screening: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in Antrim Chapel (Roanoke College)
  • Language: German
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Details: This evocative and haunting drama, set in rubble-strewn Berlin in 1945, is like no other film about post-World War II, Jewish-German identity. After surviving Auschwitz, a former cabaret singer (Nina Hoss) has her disfigured face reconstructed and returns to her war-ravaged hometown to seek out her gentile husband, who may or may not have betrayed her to the Nazis. Without recognizing her, he enlists her to play his wife in a bizarre hall-of-shattered-mirrors story that is as richly metaphorical as it is preposterously engrossing. Revenge film or tale of romantic reconciliation? One doesn’t know until the superb closing scene of this marvel from director Christian Petzold, one of the most important figures in contemporary German cinema. View the trailer here.
  • Panelist: Rob Willingham 

Sylvie and the Ghost (1946)

  • Screening: 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Taubman Museum of Art
  • Language: French
  • Runtime: 98 minutes
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Details: Director Claude Autant-Lara enters the realm of pure fantasy with this film, conceived during the German occupation and released after World War II. Odette Joyeux stars as Sylvie, in love with a long-dead romantic figure from her family’s past. Sylvie’s father hires three actors to impersonate the ghost of her beloved, while the spirit himself (Jacques Tati) stalks the grounds. Marrying a playful script, artful special effects, and wistful performances, Sylvie et le fantôme stages a delicate dance of enchantment. View a preview here.
  • Panelists: Jeanne Jégousso & Matthew Trumbo-Tual

Hollins Presents Leading EDJ Conference, February 23 & 24

The artist celebrated for her pioneering role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will be the keynote speaker at Hollins University’s third annual Leading Equity, Diversity and Justice (Leading EDJ) Conference, February 23-24.

Featuring the theme “Barriers and Bridges to Access,” the Leading EDJ Conference will bring together Hollins students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i for 30 sessions across three time periods.

Lauren Ridloff
Tony nominee Lauren Ridloff is Leading EDJ 2023’s keynote speaker.

“Leading EDJ aims to create an intentional and meaningful space for all of us to reflect, learn, and facilitate action toward making Hollins a more equitable and just community,” said Hollins President Mary Dana Hinton. “This event brings together members of our community and prominent local and national figures to learn from one another in various formats, both face-to-face and online.”

Lauren Ridloff will deliver the conference’s keynote address on Friday morning, February 24. A former Miss Deaf America, Ridloff performed on Broadway as Sarah Norman in Children of a Lesser God and in 2018 was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, the Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance, and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play. She subsequently appeared as Connie on the AMC series The Walking Dead and was honored in 2020 with the SAG-AFTRA Harold Russell Award at the Media Access Awards, which highlight and promote disability and its representation in film, television, and new media. That same year, she was chosen by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts as a 2020 Breakthrough performer.

Dev Cuny
Guest speaker Dev Cuny ’02 will present “Asserting Identity in the Workplace” to kick off Leading EDJ 2023.

In 2021, Ridloff was cast in the movie Eternals as Makkari, the MCU’s first deaf superhero. “It felt like it was a lifetime of waiting,” Ridloff shared with Variety after the film’s release. “I didn’t really see anyone like myself ever represented on the screen. It was definitely life changing. And I hope that this has the same impact on different communities, people who have been marginalized or are underrepresented in this industry. From the deaf and hard of hearing community, the response has been very positive. I feel like a lot of people are thrilled just to see a deaf person of color in the movie.”

Guest speaker Dev Cuny ’02 will kick off this year’s event with a special session for students and alumnae/i on Thursday evening, February 23, entitled “Asserting Identity in the Workplace.” Cuny (they/them) is a nonbinary speaker, educator, chaplain, and restorative justice facilitator who works in multiple capacities to support young people at the intersection of oppression, trauma, and mental health.




Distinguished Jurist and Hollins Alumna to Speak at 181st Commencement Exercises

Senior United States District Judge Callie Virginia “Ginny” Smith Granade ’72 will be the guest speaker at Hollins University’s 181st Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 21. The ceremony will be held on Hollins’ historic Front Quadrangle.

Granade was nominated to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama by President George W. Bush in August 2001 and was sworn in on February 20, 2002. From 2003 to 2010 she served as the district’s chief judge, and in 2016 she chose to take senior status as a federal judge.

Born in Lexington, Virginia, Granade earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972 from Hollins, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1975, she received a juris doctor degree from the University of Texas. From 1975 to 1976, she was a law clerk for the Honorable John C. Godbold, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth (now Eleventh) Circuit.

In 1977, Granade joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama, the first female assistant U.S. attorney in that district. Early in her career she gained extensive trial experience prosecuting criminal offenses and defending the United States in civil suits. Her expertise in the courtroom was reflected in her vigorous prosecution of complex white-collar fraud, tax fraud, and public corruption cases. Her prosecution of a multi-defendant, far-reaching, racketeering/public corruption case in 1990 still holds the record as the lengthiest jury trial in the Southern District of Alabama. She also gained extensive appellate experience before the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

In 1990, Granade was promoted to chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. From 1997 until her appointment as interim U.S. attorney in May 2001, she served as first assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Alabama, and as such, was responsible for supervising the overall operation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Recognized as both a leader and teacher in the field of trial practice, Granade has served as an instructor of criminal trial and grand jury practice at the Department of Justice’s Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute. She was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1994 and was Alabama’s first female Fellow.

Granade, a member of the Hollins University Board of Trustees, is married to Fred K. Granade, who recently retired from law practice. They have three grown sons and four granddaughters.

For more information about Hollins’ 181st Commencement Exercises, visit the university’s commencement webpage.

Hollins Students to Deliberate “Ethics and Digital Media” at VFIC Ethics Bowl

Four Hollins University students will compete head-to-head against other teams from Virginia’s leading independent colleges and universities at the 23rd annual statewide collegiate Ethics Bowl, which takes place January 29-30 at Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach. The event is sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC).

The teams will deliberate a variety of case studies relating to this year’s Ethics Bowl theme, “Ethics and Digital Media.” Notable individuals from a variety of career fields including business, law, education, finance, journalism, and others will listen to team presentations and offer reactions to the students’ presentations.

Representing Hollins at the Ethics Bowl are Allison Goguen ’24, Jenna Johnston ’25, S. Merritt ’24, and Nupur Sehgal ’23. The team’s faculty coordinators are Associate Professor of Philosophy James Downey and Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy Charles Lowney.

The 2023 VFIC Ethics Bowl will begin with an opening session on Sunday, January 29, at 2:45 p.m. in Virginia Wesleyan’s Blocker Auditorium, with the first rounds of competition scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in various rooms in Blocker Hall and Greer Environmental Sciences Center. On Monday, January 30, rounds three and four will begin at 8:45 a.m. The final round will take place at 11:30 a.m. in Brock Theatre, located in the Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center, with the winning team announced at 12:45 p.m. The public is invited to attend the rounds free of charge.

Established in 1952, the VFIC aims to advance the distinctive values and strengths of the 16 colleges across Virginia that make up the consortium. Members include Bridgewater College, Emory & Henry College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Mary Baldwin University, Marymount University, Randolph College, Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College, University of Lynchburg, University of Richmond, Virginia Union University, Virginia Wesleyan University, and Washington and Lee University.


“The Audacity of a Leader”: Hollins Honors the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Members of the Hollins community embraced the theme of “Community, Justice, and Activism” during the university’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 16.

Students, faculty, and staff engaged in a morning of conversation that, according to President Mary Dana Hinton, “facilitated and enhanced our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.”

In her welcome, Hinton praised the campus community for cherishing that promise. “Now, that is not to say that we are doing the work perfectly. We are imperfect and incomplete in our efforts. But we get up and we do the work each day, not just on major occasions, and I believe that sets us apart as a university, along with the sense of love that permeates our community. I believe it’s that sense of love that has particular meaning on this day, and particular relevance to the topic of community, justice, and activism.”

Hinton emphasized that Hollins “will take a more arduous road, a longer road, and a road we must tread in community with one another, but it’s a road that will move us, individually and collectively, to a new and better place.”

Sabrina Dent, D.Min., president of the Center for Faith, Justice, and Reconciliation, delivered the program’s keynote address. Based in Richmond, Virginia, the Center is an independent, nonprofit organization and theological think tank dedicated to building a beloved community in Virginia and beyond.

Citing King’s example, Dent focused on “the audacity of a leader” and how that characteristic remains as relevant today as it did during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. She quoted Coretta Scott King’s foreword from her husband’s 1967 book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?: “He not only took the responsibility for leadership, he toiled vigorously to offer discerning leadership.”

Dent noted that King practiced discerning leadership in a number of ways. “He took the time to travel to the communities that were the most marginalized and impacted by the public policies that continued to disenfranchise Black people in the South. He listened to the stories of the people as a strategy to develop his plans to move forward to support the community. Furthermore, he used wisdom – his knowledge, experience, and good judgment – to make decisions.”

King, Dent continued, “teaches us that leadership requires that we do the difficult, uncomfortable, and sometimes thankless work to help others in need or to save lives. This requires that we acknowledge the pain of those who are suffering and that we work toward addressing the issues that caused that pain.”

The courage to draw attention racism, bigotry, and prejudice is a core component of a leader’s audacity, Dent said. “One must be willing to be call out what they see as a truth teller. King was clear in stating in his book, ‘Like life, racial understanding is not something that we find, but something we create. A productive and happy life is not something that you find, it is something that you make.’” She added that “diversity of voice, identity, and experience are critical in addressing issues of racial justice, religious freedom, and human rights. Yet, at the same time, the unspoken hierarchy of white privilege and supremacy is ever present in how we operate in society and even create public policies that impact communities. This has, and will continue to have, implications for many groups if people of goodwill and faith fail to take action, to humanize the true essence of freedom for all people.”

Dent identified other qualities of an audacious leader:

  • Understanding history (“We must be willing to teach and acknowledge the truth about all of American history. If we don’t, the lessons of history are doomed to repeat themselves.”)
  • Protecting the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (“The First Amendment guarantees human rights for all people.”)
  • Serving as an ally (“One who is intentionally choosing to align themselves with the issues and concerns of the very individuals they claim are their community.”)

Significantly, she added, “It requires that we reimagine our role in doing this work, that we reimagine our advocacy and engagement, that we get involved. The dream of religious freedom, building community, advancing justice, and pursuing activism is one that causes us to be disciplined and united. It is in our pursuit of dignity, justice, and reconciliation that we must take a look at ourselves and the honest stories we’ve seen unfold in history and think about our responsibility in addressing them.”

Dent concluded, “I want us to remember and honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose commitment to the beloved community was unwavering. But most importantly, I want us to commit ourselves to finding and exercising the audacity to lead in our various contexts by being courageous truth tellers, activists, students, and engaged citizens who are committed to building a better and brighter world for our children, now and in the future.”

Following the keynote address, participants in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event could attend the concurrent resource sessions “Antisemitism,” “Resistance in Art,” or “BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People of Color] Identity and Resistance.” Hollins’ celebration was sponsored by the Darci Ellis Godhard Fund.