Cultural and Humanitarian Agents is a seminar co-sponsored by the Cultural Agents Initiative and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and features a range of contemporary mentors who recognize art and interpretation as fundamental to active citizenship. The series works within a long humanistic tradition dedicated to civic development. In particular, it focuses on identifying artists, educators, and leaders who have developed creative practices that reflect on the role of art in building civil society and responding to its challenges. In the spirit of a new General Education course offered by Harvard College, “Rx: Arts for Global Health,” this semester’s seminar series dives deeper and more explicitly into the topic of global health. Academics, artists, and politicians across Buenos Aires, Milan, and Provincetown will pose provocative questions and present personal cases about the role of the arts and aesthetic in breaking disease patterns that travel not only biologically and socially, but culturally. Our seminar begs the big question: How can global health initiatives break emerging patterns of illness and disease by building cultural and humanitarian agents?

Upcoming Events

Pier Luigi Sacco, International University of Languages and Literatures, Milan
Reclaiming the Public Domain through Massive Cultural Capability Building
Monday, November 6, 2017 - 4:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center


Pier Luigi Sacco is Professor of Cultural Economics, IULM University Milan; Senior Researcher, metaLAB (at) Harvard, and visiting scholar at Harvard University. He is the Special Adviser of the European Commissioner for Education and Culture, member of the Europeana Research Advisory Board, of the Economics of Culture Committee of the Italian Ministry of Culture, of the Advisory Council for Research & Innovation of the Czech Republic, and of the Advisory Council of Creative Georgia. He works and consults internationally in the fields of culture-led local development and is author of more than 200 papers on peer reviewed journals and major international scientific publishers.

Free and open to the public. Registration is on a first come, first served basis and space is limited. RSVP is optional, but not required.

Theresa Betancourt, Boston College
Narrative, Creativity, and Resilience in War-Affected Populations
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 4:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center

About the Speaker

Theresa S. Betancourt, Sc.D., M.A., is the inaugural Salem Professor of Global Practice at the Boston College School of Social Work and Director of the Research Program on Children and Adversity (RPCA). Her research includes the developmental and psychosocial consequences of concentrated adversity on children, youth and families; resilience and protective processes in child and adolescent mental health and child development; refugee families; and applied, cross-cultural mental health research. She is Principal Investigator of a prospective longitudinal study of war-affected youth in Sierra Leone (LSWAY). This research led to the development of the Youth Readiness Intervention (YRI), a group mental health intervention for war-affected youth that demonstrated effectiveness for improving emotion regulation, daily functioning and school functioning. Dr. Betancourt has also developed and evaluated the impact of a Family Strengthening Intervention for HIV-affected children and families and is leading the investigation of
a home-visiting early childhood development (ECD) intervention to promote enriched parent-child relationships and prevent violence that can be integrated within poverty reduction/social protection initiatives in Rwanda. Domestically, she is engaged in community-based participatory research on family-based prevention of emotional and behavioral problems in refugee children and adolescents resettled in the U.S.

Free and open to the public. Registration is on a first come, first served basis and space is limited. RSVP is optional, but not required.

Past Events 2017 - 18

Diego Fernandez, Secretary for Social and Urban Integration, Buenos Aires
What is a Slum? Welcome to #31, Buenos Aires
Jay Critchley, Multimedia Artist and Writer
Affirmative Re-Action

Past Events 2016 - 17

Symbolic Reparations
Kaira M. Cabañas, University of Florida
Clinical-Artistic Tableaux: The Emergence of Art as Psychiatric Care in Transatlantic Perspective

Past Events 2015 - 16

Alejandra Ballón-Gutierrez, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Kimberly Theidon, Tufts University
Red Carpet: A Possible Form of Affective Politics
Simon Hosie
Planos Vivos: Architecture and Community Engagement in Colombia
Araceli Alonso, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Nikumbuke: Women Turning Structural Violence into Health and Well-Being
Fabienne Le Houérou, Sciences-PO (Aix)
Asylum in France: The Rising Paradox of Individual Compassion and Collective Rejection of the Refugees 1990-2015
Fabienne Le Houérou, Sciences-PO (Aix)
“WOMEN ON THE EDGE” A Tibetan Case Study of Angie a Woman on the Edge in India

Past Events 2014 - 15

Nandita Das, Harvard University
The Role of Arts in Social Change
Jorge Munguía, Buró-Buró
Strategies for Cultural Participation
Mexico at a Crossroads: Political Crisis, Civic Agency and Culture

Past Events 2013 - 14

Matthew Mazzotta, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
OPEN HOUSE: A House with a Secret
Fred Ritchin, New York University
Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen
Panel Discussion with Artists in Context
FeFa in Context

Past Events 2012 - 13

Luis García Nava and Carolina Chávez Mendoza (OSIMMPE)
"he Recovery of the Mixteca Language in the Municipality of Santa María Peñoles, Mexico"
Pablo Rey Mazón, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Basurama: A Framework for Designing Collectively with Waste”

Past Events 2011 - 12

Jocelyn Kelly, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
"Visual Stories: Working with Reintegrating Child Soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo"
Raúl Cárdenas, Founder and Director of Torolab
"Contested Territories and the Transborder Farm Lab"
Alfredo Jaar
"It is Difficult"
David Lammy, MP, British Labour Party
A conversation with David Lammy
Antanas Mockus, former mayor of Bogota
"Art in Action: Creative Governance for Cities in Crisis"
Naseemah Mohamed, Harvard University
"The Art of Literacy: A Post-Colonial Pedagogy for Zimbabwe"

Past Events 2010 - 11

Marcos Porras
Oliver Lee Arce
Inaugural Presentation of the Annual "Cátedra de Cultura de México" Award
Pedro Reyes, artist, Mexico
"Palas por Pistolas / Guns for Shovels: Art for Social Change"
Ana Blohm, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
"Art and Medicine"
Frank Pearl, High Counselor for Social and Economic Reintegration in Colombia
"Art for Social and Economic Reintegration of Rebel Groups in Colombia"
Gustavo Buntinx
"Between the Earth and the World: The Shamanic Moment in The Symbolic Exhumation of the Disappeared"