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MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute Festosium: Storytelling and the Night Sky

Courtesy of Joe Eakin, Ho Tung Visualization Laboratory

7:30 PM: In the Shadow of the Moon: The Science, Magic, and Mystery Behind Solar Eclipse Stories
On Aug 21, 2017, America will witness the first coast–to-coast total eclipse of the sun in 99 years. A second eclipse, total in the Adirondacks, will follow seven years later. Tony Aveni, professor emeritus at Colgate University and one of the founders of the field of Mesoamerican archaeoastronomy, will give a talk recounting the profound effects the sky’s most storied phenomenon has had on human history via exploring the meaning behind eclipse myths from ancient Babylon through the Maya of Central America, to the early American Republic.

8:30 PM: Night Sky Stories: An Informal Conversation
Following Dr. Aveni’s talk, he will engage in an informal conversation on “Night Sky Stories” with his collaborator and Colgate’s Visualization Lab Director Joe Eakin. They will discuss selections from an animated collection of stories used from a wide variety of cultures around the world, related to phenomena visible in late Spring/early Summer skies.

9:30 PM: The Nighttime Sky Over Saratoga
Following the conversation, the audience will be invited up to the Tang’s rooftop to witness the real actors and the action in sky stories. Telescopes will be available for viewing.

These events are free and open to the public and organized by the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS) at Skidmore College as part of its second annual Storytellers’ Institute’s Festosium. This year documentary makers who explore the theme of Space and Place through film, sound, interactive media, museum curation, scholarship, etc. connect with Skidmore and community members during the weekend-long event. Join an international group of storytellers to explore these questions in events including film screenings, audio experiences, dialogues, and star gazing. See here for more information on all of the events taking place at various locations on the Skidmore campus from June 8-12.

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