Colloquia 2019-2020 | Film Screening of Change the Subject, and a Q + A with Filmmakers

Film Screening of Change the Subject, and a Q + A with Filmmakers

Abstract

Change the Subject The power of words in incalculable. While researching immigration, a Dartmouth College student kept encountering the term “Illegal aliens” as a library subject heading. As a person who had grown up undocumented in Georgia, she was disturbed by this institutionalized form of a racial slur. And so she did something about it: she and other students joined librarians in petitioning the Library of Congress to change its terminology. Change the Subject tells the story of these students, whose singular effort at confronting an instance of anti-immigrant sentiment in their library catalog took them all the way from Baker-Berry Library to the halls of Congress. This film shows how an instance of campus activism entered the national spotlight, and how a cataloging term became a flashpoint in the immigration debate on Capitol Hill.

Librarian Jill Baron and filmmaker Sawyer Broadley co-directed the film, with significant collaboration from co-producers Óscar Rubén Cornejo Cásares and Melissa Padilla. While the narrative driving the film is of the activism of students and librarians around a Library of Congress subject heading, the film extends into a meditation on the ways that language is often weaponized to divide and dehumanize people.

The Q & A with filmmakers Jill Baron and Óscar Rubén Cornejo Cásares will take place via videoconferencing immediately after the screening.

 

Vimeo Trailer

Youtube Trailer #1

Youtube Trailer #2

 

Bios

Óscar Rubén Cornejo Cásares is a member of the Dartmouth College Class of 2017, double majoring in Sociology and Native American Studies. He is now a sociology Ph.D. student at Northwestern University. His research focuses on the intersections of undocumented migration, race, and social movements.

Jill Baron is the librarian for romance languages and Latin American, Latin@ & Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College. She received her masters in library and information science from Rutgers University, an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School, and her BA in French and comparative literature from Bryn Mawr College. She lives in Vermont with her family. This is her first feature-length documentary film.