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If you're thirsty and have always wanted to know about looking for space microbes on Europa, what medieval people really thought about dragons, how to make energy from alternative sources, or what a philosopher has to say about what the heck is actually going on, come to Public Works! It's a free event in the style of Nerd Night but designed just for Ithaca. We're bringing a variety of intellectually-stimulating presentations right to you for your entertainment and educational pleasure at The Downstairs, the bar below The Watershed. Come hear talks given by Cornell and IC graduate students, professors, community experts, and everything in between! Each session will feature one to three accessible talks, followed by a Q&A session where audience participation is highly encouraged but not required!

Bring a friend, make a friend, ask an expert, and drink a beer!

The July 3rd Public Works event will feature 2 talks:

a history talk:

"The Strange Connection Between India and the Star Spangled Banner"

by Naman Agrawal
PhD Student in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University

Did you know that the US National Anthem refers to military technology stolen from India by the British? In this talk we'll look at the history of rocketry and fireworks, and how these technologies held off the might of the British empire and lit up the skies of Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner in this special July 4th edition of Public Works!

and a performance studies talk:

"Nigerian Cinema/Nollywood: The Making of a Global Cinema"

by Rejoice Abutsa
PhD Candidate in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University

The origin story of Nollywood is intriguing, complex, and intertwined by multiple histories, people, and geographies – it unfolds like the most drama-packed film that you have yet to see. In terms of output, Nollywood is the second-largest film industry in the world. It is surpassed by Bollywood, with the United States-grown Hollywood taking the third slot. Nollywood has inspired the emergence of several African film industries, it orchestrates a space for post- colonial African migrants to engage with home-grown film productions, and lately, it has been expanding its reach via distribution on global streaming sites such as as Netflix. This talk asks: What is Nollywood, and how did it become a global film industry? How does the industry continue to position itself, both within and outside of Africa? Drawing on its origin story and its point of contact, I spotlight the exciting profile of this African film industry.


Time and Location

First Wednesday of every month, 7 PM.
The Downstairs
121 W. State Street
Ithaca, NY

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Interested in giving a talk?

We want to hear from you! Come talk to us at a Public Works event or send us a message at ithacapublicworks@gmail.com. Are you an academic? Feel free to list your Public Works talk as an outreach event on your CV! Are you not an academic? We still want to hear from you!