Keynote Speakers

Films and Public Health: Linking Theory to Practice

winskellDr. Kate Winskell is a cultural historian and a professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health, where she teaches courses on gender, sexuality, global health communication, and HIV/AIDS. At Critical Junctures, she will host a workshop with her partner Daniel Enger, where they’ll discuss their work with Global Dialogues and Scenarios from Africa. These international projects involve the production of short fiction films on HIV-related subjects by African directors, featuring films created in scriptwriting contests by young people from over forty countries.

They will host a Special Seminar & Discussion, where students, researchers and activists are welcome to learn how art works to empower voices that must be heard.

Intersectionality: A Grant-Thinking Workshop

mallThe time is ripe for scholars of arts and letters, especially those who specialize in queer history, critical race theory and disability studies, to come together and learn how we can synergize to better promote social equity through healthcare investment. In October 2016, the NIH announced “the formal designation of sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) as a health disparity population for NIH research. The term SGM encompasses lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations, as well as those whose sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, or reproductive development varies from traditional, societal, cultural, or physiological norms.”

Dr. Karen Parker, director of the NIH’s new SGM Research Office, will be joined by Atlanta-area academics and activists to discuss interdisciplinary approaches toward developing NIH grant proposals that are focused on the health and wellness of queer folx.


Get Free: Hip Hop Civics & Intersectional Justice 

headshot-3Dr. Bettina L. Love is an award-winning author and professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia, and she studies how urban youth negotiate Hip Hop music and culture to form social, cultural, and political identities. Her research focuses on how teachers and schools working with parents and communities can build communal, civically engaged, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, and anti-sexist educational, equitable classrooms.

She draws her inspiration from the formal and informal educational experiences of marginalized youth, be they queer, urban, African-American, female, male, or a unification of these identities. Dr. Love was named 2016 Nasir Jones Fellow by the W.E.B. Du Bois Center and Hip Hop Archive at Harvard University. During this time, she further developed her Hip Hop Ed for Social Justice, a multimedia civics curriculum for middle to high school students.

Dr. Love will lead a seminar on how she integrates the arts and education in her theory-to-practice work as a scholar, teacher and a community organizer.


Constructing Realties: Theatre and Representation

kenKen Hornbeck is an actor, playwright, and visual artist with post-graduate training in both theater and social work, who leverages his unique talents to engage students, artists and professionals on college campuses and hospitals across the U.S. and around the world. Through the creation of innovative and interactive theatre programs, his work explores topics including HIV/AIDS and early pregnancy prevention, diversity, decision-making and abuse. He has also served as master trainer for the United Nations on three continents, exploring issues of sexuality and HIV/AIDS prevention. From 2003 to 2015, Ken led the Emory Issues Troupe, using theatre pieces written and performed by Emory students to increase awareness of social justice issues such as privilege, identity, and stereotypes.

Debra and Ken recognize that their research and professional practice necessitate working between and across disciplines, communities, forms, and audiences.  They will jointly lead an interactive improvisational theater workshop to explore ways they can empower themselves and others through socially-engaged theater.


Dr. Debra Vidali is a professor in the Emory Department of Anthropology, where her research focuses on civic engagement, human expression, and the frontiers of ethnography.  This work is guided by a theoretical examination of language and its relation to power and “reality” construction.  Her projects bring ethnography off the written page, as a theater-maker and as a multi-media ethnographic artist, working from a social justice framework that employs anthropology to promote positive social change.  She is part of a long tradition of social justice and humanistic anthropology that seeks to decolonize scholarship and pedagogy and to understand humanity at its fullest expression. She works with the Re-Generation Initiative to create theater workshops, performances, and pop up projects focused on social justice and civic engagement.  Recent work also includes “Repairing a Screaming Silence,” an exploration of contemporary Native American realities, as well as an essay on multi-sensorial knowledge production.