Special Conference Events


Guest speakers and creative writers

International Festival of Arts & Ideas

The International Festival of Arts & Ideas works year-round to bring the best and brightest artists and thinkers to New Haven’s stages. We invite you to join in celebrating and exploring the issues of our day. Come together as we break down barriers through conversations and performances that dig deeper, continue to expand our imaginations, and bring us hope and joy.

There’s so much to experience, with over 200 events, 18 venues, Festival commissions, world premieres, tours, food, yoga, and circus. Be empowered through the rhythms of BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play June 15 & 16 at 8pm, healed through the communal music of (Be)longing June 17 & 18 at 2pm, and energized by the music of TROKER and Fulaso live in a free concert on the New Haven Green Saturday, June 17 from 6pm.

Book Launches
Afro-American Cultural Center

Film Screenings
Whitney Humanities Center

Afro-American Cultural Center

An Evening of Readings in Mother Tongue African Languages

Variety Performance
Afro-American Cultural Center


PIER Summer Institutes for Teachers 2017
Coordinators: Margaret Marcotte (Director of Outreach for Africa and the Middle East, the MacMillan Center) and Anne Carlson (acarlson@spelman.edu)

Africa and the World: Literature, Politics, and Global Geographies
June 14 - 17, 2017 

While Africa is often portrayed negatively in Western media outlets and makes an occasional appearance in countless social studies textbooks in U.S. schools, few K-12 and community college curricula demonstrate the aesthetic diversity and riches of the continent. African literatures broadly defined engages with questions of what it means to be framed as regional, national, “postcolonial”, or “world” in a globalized context. In collaboration with the African Literature Association (ALA), the institute will offer an intensive four-day program for K-12 and community college educators who are passionate about using creative literary works to explore Africa’s diverse social histories, politics, and cultural identities. Participants will have access to reputable African authors and leading literary scholars who will present on themes of migration and creativity, teaching canonical African texts, film in the classroom, and poetry and performance, as well as have the opportunity to attend special events held throughout the conference. The institute will offer a broad range of resources for teachers interested in integrating this content into their classroom curriculum. These include pedagogical workshops on how to analyze and teach literary sources from Africa, as well as to utilize materials from the Yale Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Collection and the Yale Art Gallery visits. 

Details and registration information available here

Human Rights in Africa and the Middle East: Recognition, Research and Response
July 10 - 13, 2017 

As civil war and unrest rage in several countries spanning an area from Northern Nigeria to the Middle East, the world bears witness to a humanitarian crisis unparalleled since 1945. An estimated 65.3 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homelands, while over 100 million innocent civilians are on the brink of starvation (as estimated by the United Nations Refugee Agency and UN Food and Agriculture Organization, respectively). Though these crises call attention to the urgency in ensuring for basic human rights, it is becoming evident in our increasingly interconnected world, that the responsibility for the protection of all human rights extend far beyond the borders of these regions.

In addition to the lectures, the Institute will also feature classroom resource sessions led by the Institute’s Curriculum Advisor and other curricular specialists.  These hands-on sessions will guide participants in crafting their own classroom units using a variety of resources, including primary resources made available from our presenters.  Participants will also attend film screenings and discussions at humanitarian agencies in New York City.

Details and registration information available here.