WaterFire Symposium, a series of public dialogues at the WaterFire Arts Center

WaterFire Symposium A Series of Public Dialogues at the WaterFire Arts Center

Symposium Books and WaterFire Providence Curate a Series of Public Dialogues At The WaterFire Arts Center, Named “WaterFire Symposium”

The new WaterFire Symposium event series at the WaterFire Arts Center is curated by Symposium Books and WaterFire. These public dialogues consist of talks, panels, and readings covering the most pressing topics facing our society today, from environmentalism and urbanism to science and visual arts.

“The WaterFire Symposium is a series of public lectures, readings and conversations about vital and timely issues from the arts to the sciences, from history to the climate crisis. WaterFire’s mission is to inspire our community.  Bringing us all together in cordial discussion about the issues impacting our community helps us better understand the issues of the day.

In an era where complex issues become reduced to silly slogans, a forum for learning understanding and dialog is critical to the democratic process.
WaterFire is pleased to partner with Symposium Books to host and co-curate this series of community conversations that are presented for free and are open to all.”
–Barnaby Evans, Executive Artistic Director

WaterFire X Symposium Books

The series will start at the end of January and be about once a month until early June. Author Peter Andreas will be the first WaterFire Symposium on Tuesday, January 28th talking about his new book, “Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs”.

WaterFire Symposium Event Dates:

Tuesday, January 28, 6:30 PM
Author Talk with Peter Andreas on “Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs”

“Ingeniously plotted, briskly written, and strikingly illustrated, Killer High delivers a kaleidoscopic trip through the history of drugs and war. Peter Andreas looks at the drug-war relationship from every angle: how combatants and noncombatants used drugs; how wars were fought through, for, or against drugs; and how wars shaped the fates of drugs, often speeding their rise as global commodities.” —David Courtwright, author of Forces of Habit and The Age of Addiction

Wednesday, February 12, 6:30 PM
Writer Marjan Kamali reading from her widely acclaimed novel “The Stationary Shop”

“[A] moving tale of lost love…” –Wall Street Journal

“Kamali paints an evocative portrait of 1950s Iran and its political upheaval, and she cleverly writes the heartbreak of Roya and Bahman’s romance to mirror the tragic recent history of their country. Simultaneously briskly paced and deeply moving, this will appeal to fans of Khaled Hosseini and should find a wide audience.” –Booklist

Friday, February 28, 6:30 PM
Cultural critic and theorist Ariella Aïsha Azoulay in conversation with Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa on “Unlearning Imperialism, Repair and Reparations?”

“Ariella Azoulay takes on the seemingly impossible task of teaching us how to unlearn: unlearning imperialism, unlearning the archive, unlearning our complicity with regimes of violence, domination and exploitation, and most importantly for this ambitious volume, unlearning photography and its capacity to foreclose ‘potential histories’ that must urgently be realized and reclaimed.” –Tina Campt, author of Listening to Images

Monday, March 16, 6:30 PM
Lukas Rieppel, “Dinosaurs and Capitalism”

“Rieppel traces the commingling of capitalism and science…Thrilling museum fossil displays burnished the reputations of philanthropists who backed the institutions, such as Andrew Carnegie and J. P. Morgan―even as the tycoons twisted the dinosaurs’ demise into a metaphor for the advance of ‘enlightened’ corporate culture.” ―Nature

Thursday, April 9, 6:30 PM
An Evening of Poetry with Charles Kell, Timothy Liu, and Rob Ostrom

Monday, May 11, 6:30 PM
Reza Negarestani, “Philosophy as A Generation Spaceship: How to explore the outer rims of who we are and what we can become”

Tuesday, June 2, 6:30 PM
Dr. Mikkael Sekeres, “When Blood Breaks Down: Life Lessons from Leukemia”



The views and opinions expressed by speakers/presenters at the WaterFire Arts Center are those of the speakers/authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of WaterFire Providence or any of our partners, sponsors, or supporters.



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