Public Humanities Showcase with Lloyd Wolf, Sushmita Mazumdar, Lara Ajami, and Dewey Tron

A Panel moderated by Catherine Olien

Friday, October 14, 2022 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM EDT
Hybrid Event: Horizon Hall 6325 on Mason's Fairfax Campus or via Zoom (registration required; link below)

Public Humanities Showcase with Lloyd Wolf, Sushmita Mazumdar, Lara Ajami, and Dewey Tron


Registration required for both in person and virtual attendees.

A small reception (desserts, coffee, tea!) will follow in person.

What are the Public Humanities?

The Center for Humanities Research is excited to be expanding its focus and programs to include the public humanities.

What does current public humanities work look like on the ground in the community, locally? What types of things do we learn from this work and who can it serve? How can scholars new to the methodology join up with current practitioners and learn how to begin a public humanities initiative or project of their own?

Please join us for our first public humanities showcase--one we hope will build bridges between the academy and the community, featuring the work of Lloyd Wolf, Sushmita Mazumdar, Lara Ajami, Dewey Tron, and Xang Mimi Ho. These local artists are involved in The Columbia Pike Documentary Project and we'll hear about this ongoing work as well as their two recent publications (details and links to purchase below). Beyond engaging those interested in the public humanities, this event will also interest anyone working on photography and/or the immigrant experience in the United States. We'll also consider the intersections between public and more traditional university scholarship.

CHR's Associate Director, Catherine Olien, will guide the discussion. There will also be time for an audience Q&A.

Panel discussion runs from 2-3:30 pm, small reception (with desserts, coffee, tea) to follow 3:30-4:30 pm.

Speaker Bios

Picture of Lloyd Wolf Lloyd Wolf, photographer, director of the Columbia Pike Documentary Project

Lloyd Wolf is an award-winning photographer with work included in the Library of Congress, the Katzen Museum of Art, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, American University of Cairo, and many others. He has been in over 150 national and international exhibitions, including 50 solo shows.

He has worked for The Washington Post Magazine, National Geographic Explorer, Elle, People, Vogue and many other publications. He received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1980. A member of the US House and Senate Press Photographer’s Gallery, he is also chief photographer for the Columbia Pike Documentary Project. His project, "Washington's Other Monuments," on homemade street shrines to violence victims was featured in the Washington Post Magazine and NPR. Books include Living Diversity, Transitions, Jewish Mothers: Strength Wisdom Compassion, Jewish Fathers: A Legacy of Love and Facing the Wall. Americans at the Vietnam Memorial.

He has taught at George Mason University, Shepherd College, to homeless youth in DC, and to immigrant teenagers in Arlington VA.

Picture of Sushmita MazumdarSushmita Mazumdar, Artist and writer, founder of Studio PAUSE

Sushmita Mazumdar works across stories, book arts, and mixed media, to explore her memories of home, heritage, and migration from India. She mixes into her work present-day places which inspire; and the community who collaborate, discuss, and respond to inform her creations. After a 15-year career in advertising, Sushmita launched Handmade Storybooks in 2007. In 2013 she opened Studio PAUSE, a community space for art and stories, in Arlington, VA.



Picture of Lara AjamiLara Ajami, Photographer/Segment Producer

Lara Ajami, Originally from the Middle East, draws inspiration from her muse and daughter, Gia. Lara has been a freelance photographer since 2012. She loves to engage with the people she photographs; to participate with the on their journey, to help then express their feelings, and encourage them to allow her to capture these expressions. Documenting a moment in time of an event, a landscape, still life, the meaning of a feeling or sentiment is her true passion, she holds degrees in photography, advertising , and psychology, and currently works as a segment producer at the Middle East Broadcasting Network (Alhurra).

In the end, the test of a work of art is our feeling for it, not our ability to explain why it is good" (Stanley Kubrick)



Picture of Dewey TronDewey Tron, Photographer

I like to take pictures. I like to tell stories. I like to make music.







Columbia Pike Project Publications

Image of Living Diversity book coverLiving Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project










Image of Transitions book cover

Transitions: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project

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