Current Year Guests-in-Residence
2017–2018 Unit One/Allen Hall Guests-in-ResidenceThe Unit One/Allen Hall Guest-in-Residence Program consists of a series of visiting guests who have a diverse range of professions and interests. Guests live in Allen Hall, interacting with residents and the public in a variety of programs, performances, workshops, and informal discussions. Guests typically give introductory presentations on the first evening of their residency and hold nightly events thereafter in Allen Hall, 1005 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana.
Pandora Thomas: Rescheduled. TBDPandora Thomas is a passionate global citizen whose work as a teacher, writer, and designer is rooted in creating a world where all people have access to empowering and hands-on ecological education. She has lectured extensively on issues of diversity and social justice, women’s and youth leadership, social entrepreneurship, permaculture, sustainability, and education. As co-director of the Green Life at San Quentin she works with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals to expand their education and leadership around sustainability. Thomas is a naturalist, outdoor education and permaculture instructor, and certified green building professional. She most recently founded the Black Permaculture Network to engage a broader, more diverse audience around integrating permaculture design into social advocacy. Jimmy Santiago Baca is an award-winning American poet and writer of Chicano descent. While serving a five-year sentence in a maximum security prison, he learned to read and began to turn his life around, eventually emerging as a prolific artist of the spoken and written word. He is a winner of the prestigious International Award for his memoir, A Place to Stand, which is now also a documentary by the same title. His book, Martin & Meditations on the South Valley, received the American Book Award for poetry and the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature. In addition to over a dozen books of poetry, he has published essays, stories, and a screenplay, Bound by Honor, which was made into a feature-length film. Baca has conducted writing workshops in prisons, libraries, and universities across the country for more than thirty years. Jimmy Santiago Baca is being brought to campus in collaboration with the Honors Living Learning Community. Peace Paper Project is an international community-arts initiative that utilizes traditional papermaking as a form of trauma therapy, social engagement, and community activism. Through workshops that incorporate hand-papermaking, writing, bookmaking, and printmaking, participants collaborate to transform significant articles of clothing into works of art that tell personal stories and facilitate mutual understanding and healing. Since 2011, Peace Paper Project has conducted over two hundred workshops worldwide in conjunction with community leaders, mental health professionals, and art therapists. They have helped launch twenty studios that use papermaking as a form of healing and community engagement. Kate Bornstein is an author, performance artist, public speaker, and transgender trailblazer who has written several award-winning books including Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and The Rest of Us; and My New Gender Workbook. Her book, Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws, propelled Kate into the position of international advocate for marginalized and at-risk youth. Kate's books are taught in five languages in over two hundred colleges and universities around the world. Her latest book is a memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger: the true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology, and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today. She is the subject of the award-winning documentary, “Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger.”
Shing Yin Khor is a cartoonist and installation artist who is exploring personal narrative, new human rituals, and collaborative world-building through graphic memoir, science fiction, and large scale art structures. Her immersive and narrative haunted house art installations, The Last Outpost and The Last Apothecary, received grants from Burning Man for their 2014 and 2016 festivals. She recently completed another large scale science fiction-themed site-specific installation, Salvage Station No. 8, in conjunction with Beam Camp in New Hampshire. As a cartoonist, her work has been published in The Toast and Bitch Magazine. Her first full length graphic novel, about traveling Route 66, is published by Zest Books. She creates comics at the intersection of race, gender, immigrant stories, and queerness.Ricardo Levins Morales describes himself as a “healer and trickster organizer disguised as an artist.” He was born into the anti-colonial movement in his native Puerto Rico and was drawn into activism in Chicago when his family moved there in 1967. His activism has included support work for the Black Panthers and Young Lords, as well as participating in or acting in solidarity with farmers, environmental, labor, racial justice, and peace movements. He co-founded the Northland Poster Collective, which for thirty years produced posters, t-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers designed to organize, educate, and motivate. Increasingly he has come to see his art and organizing practices as a means to address individual, collective and historical trauma. He leads workshops on trauma and resilience and provides training on creative organizing, social justice strategy, and sustainable activism.
Terry Dame is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, instrument inventor/builder, circuit bender, and educator. Dame’s current work involves creating and performing with interactive sensor-driven musical instruments, sculptures, and installations. She has an active career composing for film and dance. From 1998-2012 she led the percussion-based ensemble Electric Junkyard Gamelan, performing her original compositions on invented instruments of her design and build. Dame holds an MFA in composition and performance from the California Institute for the Arts. She is currently on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts and Marymount Manhattan College in NYC.Mitch Altman is a San Francisco-based hacker and inventor, best known for inventing the TV-B-Gone remote control, a keychain that turns off TVs in public places. He co-founded 3ware, a Silicon Valley RAID controller company; did pioneering work in Virtual Reality at VPL Research; and created the Brain Machine, one of MAKE Magazine's most popular DIY projects. He leads workshops around the world, teaching people to make cool things with microcontrollers, as well as promoting hackerspaces and open source hardware. Altman is co-founder of Noisebridge, and President and CEO of Cornfield Electronics. Make Magazine has referred to Altman as "the Johnny Appleseed of hackerspaces", and he was awarded the first "Maker Hero" award, named in his honor.