Reproductive rights, classroom curricula and Black female activism will be some of the topics discussed at the 2023 American Dream Reconsidered Conference, held on October 16-18. Hosted on the Roosevelt University Loop Campus and adjoining Auditorium Theatre, the three-day event will bring scholars, activists and artists together to address the persistent inequities facing many Americans. The public is invited to attend panels, 纪录片 screenings and photography exhibitions.
“精神, Body and the American Dream” is the theme for this year’s conference, and the emphasis will be on how bodily autonomy and expression are under threat in the spheres of healthcare, education and athletics.
“We’re an academic institution that is nominally focused on enriching the mind, but the human body and the politics that dictate the ownership and expression of it are very rich topics to discuss and are fundamental to what we consider the ‘American Dream,’” says conference organizer and Roosevelt history professor Margaret Rung. “This year will be an excellent mix of academics and artists.”
This year’s panels will be “The State and the Body: Reproductive Justice and the American Dream,”—which will focus on the threats towards reproductive health after Rove v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2022—and “Carrying the Light: Mary McLeod Bethune and Black Women’s Activism.” Bethune was a womanist and civil rights advocate in the 1930s who served as an advisor to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and President Franklin Roosevelt. A virtual panel titled “Curriculum Wars: The Battle to Control our Schools” will explore how polarization in American politics has impacted what is taught in public schools.
Other conference events will include an exhibition of pictures from New Deal-era photographer Arthur Rothstein, a multidisciplinary CCPA performance titled “The Embodied Performer” and a screening of The Loyola Project 纪录片. Followed by a filmmaker discussion moderated by Roosevelt men’s basketball coach Dee Brown, the 纪录片 mixed-race 1963 Loyola Ramblers basketball team facing segregation during the height of the Civil Rights Era.