In his new film, John Gianvito, known for passion projects of expansive shape and political ambition, meditates on a particular moment in early 20th-century history: when Helen Keller began speaking out on behalf of progressive causes. Beginning in 1913 when, at age 32, Keller gave her first public talk before a general audience, Her Socialist Smile is constructed of onscreen text taken from Keller’s speeches, impressionistic images of nature, and newly recorded voiceover by poet Carolyn Forché. The film is a rousing reminder that Keller’s undaunted activism for labor rights, pacifism, and women’s suffrage was inseparable from her battles for the rights of the disabled. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion and a reception.
The New England Biography Series invites you to join this special session in the Disability and the American Past series. While we had hoped to host the film screening in person, at this time we have moved the event to a fully virtual program. Registrants will receive a temporary link to view the film 24 hours before the virtual panel discussion on Saturday October 16, which will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will also receive an email with a link to join the program for the panel discussion.
**Please be sure to register by noon on Friday October 15 to receive the film link.